The Alabama ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide) Distance Learning Initiative was launched November 1, 2004. The distance and blended learning initiative was the culmination of research and planning by the Task Force on Distance Learning. The ACCESS Distance Learning Initiative has become a cornerstone in providing equitable education to all Alabama public school students in a cost‐effective model regardless of where they live. During the 2015 – 2016 school year, approximately 25,000 students completed an ACCESS course.
Just like traditional brick-and-mortar school buildings, parents of online students need to take an active role in supporting their child’s academic success. By serving as learning coaches, parents are able to assist students through coursework and projects. It is important to remember that the less experienced a student is at taking online classes, the more support a parent will have to provide, particularly in the area of time management. As students gain experience and become more autonomous digital learners, the level of parental support will lessen. Regardless of your child’s post-secondary goals (college or industry) all high school graduates will be expected to be ‘digital ready’ by having the skills necessary to learn in online environments. In addition to supporting time management skills, parents should also ensure that child is logging in daily to the classes, discussing academic grades and progress, and require compliance with ACCESS and local school guidelines.