Can you switch to an online school in the middle of the year?

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If you are the parent or guardian of a K-12 child thinking of enrolling in an online school in the middle of the school year, you are not alone. There are many reasons a family may need or want to make such a change. And while switching to an online school in the middle of the school year is certainly possible, there are some important factors to consider before committing to the transition.

Understanding the benefits of an online school versus a traditional school

Among the many benefits of a K-12 online education is a flexible learning environment that can be tailored to the individual needs of each student — something not available to those in a traditional school setting. Plus, online classes allow students to work at their own pace.

Virtual schools are not just a kid and a screen. They also give students a chance to create connections with their classmates and foster a sense of community and social interaction through a medium that is second nature to them.

How do I know if online schooling is right for my child?

You may be wondering, “Should I try online school?” No one knows the educational needs of a student better than those closest to them. So whether your student is in elementary school, middle school, or high school, an online education can be a great option for a variety of reasons. Even homeschool students can transfer to an online learning environment.

Online schooling is flexible enough to be a great fit regardless of the kind of learning style that suits your student best because the learning is self-paced. And switching to an online school in the middle of the year can be a positive way to minimize distractions from outside forces that might derail their in-person learning.

How does transferring to an online school work?

Transferring to online school is similar in many aspects to moving from one brick-and-mortar school to another. This move will require you to do some advanced planning and complete the appropriate paperwork. You may also need to request transcripts and withdraw from your current school. Even though it will be a virtual learning environment, some schools will still require a birth certificate and immunization records.

Much of the work can be done online, such as the application process and the submission of transcripts and other required documentation. You will find resources to help with the process and can schedule a call with a counselor or submit questions online.

Students learning virtually

The pros and cons of online schooling

There are many benefits of online schooling, but it’s not the ideal environment for every student. It’s important to have a good understanding of how online schooling works as well as the individual needs of the student, so they have the greatest chance of success.


  • Flexibility in terms of the school schedule and student needs
  • Tailored learning environment for individual preferences
  • Expanded online course catalog and specialty instruction
  • Accelerated learning for gifted students
  • No constraints in terms of geography for families who travel


  • Less face-to-face interaction with students and teachers
  • Not suited for students who struggle with time management

What do parents need to know about online schooling for their children?

Online schooling is much more than just a student interacting with technology. Students in a virtual setting can still develop deep connections with other students through social activities and collaborate on work in a way that challenges them to excel. Online schools can also foster a sense of community, especially at the high school level, similar to those who attend traditional schools. Enrolling in an online school midyear can be an easier transition than starting out fresh in a public school.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of switching to an online school.

1. Understand not all online schools are created equal

Online schooling may be a new thought for you, but some virtual schools have been operating for years and have honed their curriculum and teaching methods to take advantage of the benefits of this medium. It’s best to research and compare different online school options to ensure you find the best fit for your child’s needs.

Proper accreditation is important, so check to see if the school you are considering meets the appropriate educational requirements for your state. Some schools offer more support for elementary or middle school students and some focus strictly on the high school student. Consider the level of academic support necessary for your child in terms of teacher availability and technology support so they have the best chance to succeed.

Parent and student working virtually

2. Plan ahead as much as possible for switching schools midyear

As with any new endeavor, planning is crucial for success. Take the time to communicate with your new school administrators and teachers so you are familiar with the unique processes and requirements associated with virtual learning.

Time management skills are critical to the success of an online student, so routines and consistency will help in that aspect. Make sure your child has a dedicated work space and the necessary technology required. And make sure they are taking advantage of the resources available to make connections and remain engaged with other students as well as their teachers.

3. Pay close attention to transfer credits

Make sure you request a transcript well in advance of your midyear enrollment in an online school so you are aware of any unexpected requirements that may be necessary for graduation in the future. Your new school will be able to walk you through the transfer process and let you know which credits will apply so you can work toward your student’s goal of a high school diploma, opening the door to college and careers of the future.

Take some time to look at the requirements of the new school and compare that to the work your student already completed at their previous school. Guidance counselors at the new school will help you with the transcript process and let you know if there are any classes you may need to retake or if there will be any additional coursework expected of you to meet the new school’s requirements.

Know you are not the first person to go through this midyear transfer, so academic advisors and guidance counselors at your chosen online school will be prepared to help you through the process.

4. Make sure you have your paperwork in order

Making a midyear switch to an online school from a public school or private school will take some advanced planning so be sure you start this process as early as you can, even if you are not certain if you will make the move. Time invested in advance will help make the enrollment process smoother.

Notify your current school of your intentions and request transcripts. Depending on their staffing and their workload, that process may take a little time. Get a detailed list from your new online school and use that as a checklist so you are on track with the requirements for the move. Typically the documents needed include your child’s birth certificate, transcripts, student assessments, immunization records, and a notice of withdrawal from their in-person school.

Teacher and student working virtually

5. Parents play a key role in online schooling

Proper support from a parent or guardian is critical in helping a child succeed in an online school environment, especially if they are making the switch midyear. Help your child establish a routine and structured schedule, just as if they were in a public school or private school. Those boundaries will help them to channel their efforts and give them the best chance for success.

A dedicated workspace will be helpful. And keeping it in a low-traffic area of the house, if possible, will help eliminate distractions. Make sure attention grabbers like a television or video games are not nearby, so their minds are not tempted to wander. Setting clear expectations and keeping track of your child’s progress will be helpful.

Build in breaks for physical activity and mind-clearing exercises to help your student remain engaged and focused when it’s time for school work. This new learning environment will be an adjustment so stay positive and be supportive during this transition.

6. Build connections with other parents

Experience is a great teacher, so connecting with other parents who have been a part of the online educational community for longer than you have can be a great resource. Setting up regular check-in sessions with other parents will help you stay connected to your online school and will also help you stay engaged with your student.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to school administrators and counselors for help. They can probably get you connected with parents who can give you advice that will help your child’s transition.

7. Maintain close communication with teachers and advisors

Administrators from a good online school have a vested interest in seeing your student succeed in making the midyear transfer from a public school or private school, so make sure to keep the lines of communication open. Routine check-ins with teachers and counselors will allow you to make sure your child is keeping pace and getting the help they need.

You are not alone, so make sure to connect with other parents and take advantage of opportunities to stay informed with virtual parent-teacher conferences. Encourage your student to make connections with other students and also establish on-camera, face-to-face sessions with their teachers on a routine basis.

Frequent check-ins with your student will help them know they have your support and will encourage them to stay engaged and motivated.

Parent and students meeting teacher

8. Help your child build great time management skills

Time management skills are one of the most important traits necessary for making a successful transition to an online school, especially if it is done in the middle of the school year. Help your child set aside a consistent time for each class, just as if they were in a traditional classroom. A calendar or day-planner will allow them to keep track of assignments and due dates.

Encourage them to connect with fellow students and ask for tips they can use to make the most of their online schooling. Teachers and administrators can also be a big help in that area.

Taking breaks for physical activity can help your student avoid burnout and keep them motivated. Help them divide large tasks into manageable chunks so they stay on track. That will help them avoid procrastination (which could hurt when a big project is assigned).

A dedicated work space that students can leave behind when the school day is through will help create some normalcy and help them feel like school is not always in session when they are at home.

Students researching a river

Is your student transferring to an online school midyear?

ASU Prep Digital is a great option to consider if you want to move away from homeschooling or public/private school and explore the flexibility and personalization of an online school program.

ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online school program serving students in grades K–12, recognized as Arizona’s #1 Online School by Our unique teaching model supports students from the safety of their homes with the latest learning technologies and several layers of personalized instruction and coaching. In addition, our program is a college prep option where online high school and university courses converge, preparing students for college acceptance and encouraging them to start earning credit toward college majors and careers.

We support districts in Arizona, while serving students and schools around the world. To learn more about ASU Prep Digital, please visit our website.

Student and parent working virtually

Can you switch to online school in the middle of the year FAQs

Can I switch to online in the middle of the semester?

Yes, you can switch to online school in the middle of the year. We understand that transferring schools is a big decision. Circumstances may change and traditional school settings may not be the best fit for every student. That’s why ASU Prep Digital offers a flexible and supportive online learning environment.

Is online school more challenging than traditional school?

This is a common concern for students and parents considering switching to online school. The truth is, online school presents its own unique set of challenges. While students enjoy the flexibility to work at their own pace, they also need strong time management skills and self-discipline to stay on track with coursework. Additionally, online classes often involve active participation in discussions and group projects, which can require additional effort compared to attending lectures in a traditional classroom setting.

Can students switch to online learning mid-year?

Yes, students can switch to online learning at any point in their education journey. Whether they are looking for a more flexible schedule, personalized curriculum, or a different academic experience, online school offers the opportunity to make the switch and continue their education in a new setting. ASU Prep Digital welcomes students from all backgrounds and provides a seamless transition process for those transferring from traditional schools.