|Type||Online, Private school|
Scholars Online is a nonprofit educational corporation designed to foster Classical Christian education through instruction, guidance, and community using emergent communication technologies. It is primarily designed for Christian junior high and high school-aged homeschooled students, but accepts all qualified students, regardless of age, educational institution, or religious background. The school was formally accredited from 2009-2017 by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and AdvancEd and is currently (as of March 2018) a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools with Candidate Status.
The school was officially founded in 2006 by Bruce and Christe McMenomy following their separation from the Regina Coeli Academy, with whom they were previously associated since 1994 through the Institute for the Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the first year of Scholars Online, the faculty included Mark Johnson, Sandra Howard, Susan Dennis, and Mary McMenomy, all of whom had taught for ISLAS, teachers Art Mabbott and Jill Byington (new to Scholars Online), as well as Rachel Ahern, Sasha Decker, and Sarah Miller Esposito, themselves once students at ISLAS. Since that time, the school has added Fred Williams, Paul Christiansen, Christy Frary, Emily Jennings, Karl Oles, John Hogan, Brian Reeves, Mary Catherine Lavisièrre, and others to their faculty.
In accordance with its goal to provide classical Christian education, the school offers over 35 courses in Greek, History and Government, Latin, Literature, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Programming, Science, and Writing during the academic year, with up to a dozen courses available for the summer term.
The school uses a mix of course delivery methods and interactive technologies, according to course content and the instructor's teaching style. Math, programming, and modern language sessions use audio and whiteboard sessions hosted on WizIQ. History, literature, and writing courses use Scholars Online's own Chat software, which provides full HTML webpage presentation capability and ASCIImath notation, without audio. Chat sessions typically meet several times a week, for 11⁄2 hours, as in a college classroom. Students enter chats, receive and post assignments, take quizzes, and review grades using their personal homepages in a dedicated Moodle system.
Scholars Online is especially dedicated to providing their students with a solid basis for a college education, and working with homeschooled students to help them fulfill necessary requirements for college admission. In 2017, Scholars Online placed first in the Practical Homeschooling iLearn Awards reader survey for best online academy, best classical studies curriculum, and best history program, and placed second for overall high school core curriculum, Latin studies, and science program. In 2018, it placed first in all these categories except overall high school core curriculum, where it still held second place.
The school's Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses have been officially approved as meeting AP requirements, including lab work. Other courses, including Senior English and Latin (Vergil) are designed to prepare students for AP exams.
While most of the school's academic offerings are traditional in Classical education, they have been known to offer some more unusual classes such as Old Norse and Old English, as well as specialized summer classes in Programming, Science, Literature, Mathematics, and Writing. In literature, the Western Literature to Dante course offers high school students a unique opportunity to engage with classical and medieval literature not usually covered in high school course work, and the two-year Natural Science program introduces younger students to science from an historical perspective.
Although Scholars Online is an explicitly Christian school, they are dedicated to providing education to any student. Their homepage states:
No statement of faith is required of any student, though we expect all students to remain courteous and civil about the beliefs of others. Any student who can meet the prerequisites of a course is welcome, without regard to race, creed, color, age, or current educational affiliation.