Courses and Instruction FAQs

Does online learning in an independent study format work well?

Yes. For many students, online independent learning is an excellent way to develop personal strengths. After all, not every student feels comfortable raising their hand in a traditional classroom setting, or asking a question without fearing embarrassment. Every student deserves the chance to share thoughts and get helpful feedback from teachers and advisors. Pikes Peak Online School (PPOS) offers an environment where this can happen at each students pace, when he or she can focus best.

What roles do instructors play?

Teachers at PPOS, all of whom are Colorado-certified, play a central role. We combine state-of-the-art online teaching techniques with experienced state-certified teachers to create an environment where students feel engaged, empowered, and challenged. Our teachers know how to connect and inspire, and they're dedicated to helping each student succeed. They're able to spend their time focusing on teaching, mentoring, and engaging with students - rather than on time-consuming classroom management - so they can build one-to-one relationships with them and understand and respond to their individual strengths and needs.

PPOS teachers also answer day-to-day questions and assess student performance through assignments, exams, and quizzes.

Do your courses require textbooks?

Some courses do require textbooks, but most textbooks are electronic. PPOS provides required books to all students.

How do you teach lab courses like biology or chemistry?

The content component and structure of our biology and chemistry courses are the same as for our other courses. We make use of the latest technologies to enable students to participate in virtual labs and dissections.

How do you satisfy the physical fitness requirement?

Being successful at PPOS involves staying active both inside and outside the classroom. We have a set of courses that teach and emphasize individual physical fitness and nutrition. These courses require the student to perform fitness activities and measure and report on their individual fitness as they complete individual physical fitness exercises.

Are there assignments and due dates?

Like a traditional full-time public school, PPOS encourages students to develop responsibility for their academic progress. That means there are assignments, due dates, and deadlines. While some of what we do is more flexible in terms of the times and the places students do their work, we also make sure that parents and teachers are involved to help students progress through coursework in a timely manner.

How do you prevent students from cheating?

PPOS takes academic integrity very seriously, and we have a number of methods to prevent plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration. We use several online tools designed specifically to identify plagiarism. Our online quizzes and exams require special passwords. Our online quiz technology can detect when a student is copying from another student.

A more subjective, but no less effective, tool for identifying cheating is the teacher's knowledge of the student's ability, past work, and verbal "print." Keeping in mind that much of the relationship with the student is built via written word, a student's "word print" is as unique and identifiable in an online classroom as a student's face is in a face-to-face classroom.

Although no school - online or otherwise - can guarantee one hundred percent academic honesty, we've taken robust and reasonable measures to monitor student activities and to identify cheating when it happens. Instances of academic dishonesty are dealt with immediately and in accordance with school policy. Prior to enrolling, students and their parents are required to read, agree with, and sign an academic honesty policy.

How do parents stay involved?

We know that parental interest and involvement can play a key role in student success; although for some students parent involvement may not be possible. We strongly encourage parents to support their student in their studies, keep informed of their progress, and encourage them to stay on top of their work. Parents are provided access to up-to-date information about their student's progress throughout the year via regular communication from the teacher and school.

How frequently will I receive progress reports/how do parents get information?

Parents are provided access to our learning management system and can enter the online system at any point with a username and password. Grades are updated weekly. Also, PPOS teachers are always available to consult with parents by e-mail or telephone. And, of course, parents always have access to their student's progress and report cards each month and can view lessons, student log-in activity, class calendars, etc.

What support do you offer students?

Beyond the ongoing support offered by our teachers every day in class, PPOS supports today's students with a host of innovative programs, including a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program, remediation programs, and much more.

Do I have to be home while my child is doing schoolwork?

No. Although your student will benefit from your encouragement and knowing that you care about his or her progress, PPOS teachers and staff are available for problem-solving and support even when you are away. One benefit of our program is that your student can study at his or her own time, place, and pace - you can observe your student "going to school" whenever your schedule permits the opportunity, even when you're at home together.

Do Pikes Peak Online School credits transfer back into other schools if needed?

Pikes Peak Online School is a public school, so our courses and the credits earned are transferable.

Does Pikes Peak Online School offer summer school courses?

We are considering offering a summer program in the future.