K-8: The Role of the Learning Coach
In the K-8 program a parent (or another responsible adult), working in conjunction with the teacher(s), serves as the on-site “Learning Coach,” helping to facilitate progress through the daily lessons and working to modify the student’s pace and schedule.
- Learning coaches of children in grades K-6 can expect to spend 3-5 hours per day supporting their education.
- Learning coaches of children in grades 7-8 can expect to spend about 2 hours per day supporting their education.
- All full-time students can expect to spend 5-6 hours per day online or doing homework.
Suggested lesson plans are provided to the learning coach each week. However, the learning coach can vary the lesson plans to accommodate a child’s pace or abilities. For instance, some children do better when they can concentrate on their math studies for longer hours per day but fewer days per week. Other learning coaches use children’s favorite subjects as a reward to give them a break periodically from the tougher subjects that they like less.
Although the learning coach helps to manage the student’s schedule, MVA teachers remain constantly involved to monitor progress, ensure mastery, and develop intervention plans if a child struggles.
9-12: Less Mentor, More Class Schedule Pacing
For high school students the mentors play an important supportive role to help the students stay on task, but the students are expected to manage their time and academic schedules more directly. Although there is room for flexibility, high school students are expected to move at a consistent pace in each subject and should plan to spend at least one hour per day working on each course.
At the high school level, students will have several teachers, all of whom are well prepared in their subject fields. For example, high school students will have an English teacher, a math teacher, a science teacher, etc. High school teachers grade assignments, review assessments, respond to student questions, conduct Blackboard sessions, offer online office hours, and provide tutorial help. With MVA teachers at the helm, parents don’t need to worry about having expertise in high school subjects.
A Little About Parent, Student, and Learning Coach/Mentor Communications
Communication between parents, learning coaches/mentors, and teachers is vital. Teachers are parents’ first point of contact when questions arise about the curriculum or a student’s progress. Opportunities for communication include:
Regular phone conferences between the parent, learning coach/mentor, and the teacher.
Regular communication between the teacher and the student. Teachers might ask students to read a selection, discuss work samples, explain a math problem, make predictions, analyze data, or discuss cause & effect in historical events. Parents and learning coaches/mentors are welcome to listen in on these exchanges.
Regular teacher office hours.