Courses and Instruction FAQs
Does online learning in an independent study format work well?
Yes. For many students, independent online learning is an excellent option. While not all students feel comfortable speaking up in a traditional classroom setting, each 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 student's pace and when they can focus best.
What roles do teachers play?
PPOS teachers play a central role in your student's education. PPOS trains experienced Colorado-licensed teachers in online teaching techniques 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 less time on classroom management and more time on teaching, mentoring, and engaging with students, so they can build one-to-one relationships with them and understand and respond to their individual 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 students to perform fitness activities and measure and report 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 in helping students progress through coursework in a timely manner.
How do you prevent students from cheating?
PPOS takes academic integrity very seriously, and we have several 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 an in-person classroom.
Although no school—online or otherwise—can guarantee 100 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, if possible, parental interest and involvement can play a key role in student success. 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 do parents get information/progress reports?
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. PPOS teachers are also available to consult with parents by email 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?
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 their progress, PPOS teachers and staff are available for problem-solving and support even when you're away. One benefit of our program is that your student can study at their own time, place, and pace, even when you can't be there.
Do PPOS credits transfer to other schools if needed?
Because PPOS is a public school, our courses and the credits earned are transferable.
Does PPOS offer summer school courses?
Not currently, but we're considering offering a summer program in the future.