Are you interested in finding a private online school for your child? It can be a daunting task to figure out which online schools are the best fit for your child. It’s one thing to find a list of “Top 100 Online Schools” through Google. It’s another to find the school that will best support your child’s specific needs.
Here’s a comparison between two competitive options across key considerations: Sora Schools and Laurel Springs. After reading, you’ll have a better idea of how to determine which online school is best for your child.
Most student and parent reviews attest their satisfaction with Laurel Spring’s academic quality. Several say that it provides more academic rigor than their local public schools. This seems especially true for students who were unsatisfied with their public schools’ remote learning response to the pandemic. Notably, they provide a healthy list of electives that students can choose from to dabble in different interests.
At the same time, some say that the curriculum can feel dated. Several reviews also cite frustrations from mistakes in course materials and online quizzes.
At Sora, students and parents have expressed high satisfaction not only with Sora’s rigor, but also its commitment to innovation. Sora’s parents rave over the amount of initiative Sora gives their children to shape their academic journey and pursue their passions. As one parent put it,
Sora allows [my child] to follow her passion, making it a focal point, and it has the added bonus of providing her with the educational rigor of high school. And it doesn’t hold her back from advancing at her own pace. I absolutely love that!
Let’s be honest, in-person private school can get expensive. Opting for an online school high school like Laurel Springs or Sora can save you thousands of dollars.
Laurel Springs has a variety of tuition rates depending on factors like grade level, full-time versus part-time, and advanced placement courses. For their full-time high school Academy, they charge $7,000 by the semester, or $13,000 for a full year’s tuition.
Sora is the clear winner in this category, offering a yearly full-time tuition of $4,800 to $9,600, depending on household income. About 50% of Sora’s current students enjoy a discounted full-time tuition thanks to its Flexible Tuition program.
Student-to-faculty ratio indicates the number of students enrolled in a school compared to the number of faculty members available to teach them. Generally speaking, both students and faculty tend to benefit from lower student-to-faculty ratios.
Why? Because lower student-to-faculty ratios tend to mean smaller class sizes. This means that teachers can more effectively tailor their instruction methods to individual students’ needs and learning styles. It means more time and resources for students to engage in hands-on learning rather than passively absorbing information through lectures. And smaller class sizes afford more opportunities for students to form deeper bonds and learn from one another.
Ideally, schools should strive for less than a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Laurel Springs reportedly maintains a 24:1 ratio. This may not be a problem for highly independent learners who aren’t looking for engaging interactions with their teachers. But this may be why some students report their disappointment with their teachers’ minimal feedback on coursework and unresponsiveness outside of class.
Sora, on the other hand, relies on a low student-to-faculty ratio to support its personalized, project-based learning program. Sora’s Learning Expeditions tend to hold a 10:1 ratio, which allows faculty to engage students in targeted, discussion-based learning to develop their projects.
When it comes to teacher accessibility, students and parents give mixed feedback for Laurel Springs. Some say the teachers were responsive and helpful. Other student and parent reviews report that Laurel Springs teachers hold rigid office hours that don’t align with their schedules. It appears that some teachers are only available early in the morning, such as 4 am to 6 am, or late in the evening. This may be an important consideration if your child values easy access outside of class for help on course materials.
Sora has made communication between students and faculty fast and easy through the use of Discord. Using a live chat platform to consolidate communication promotes responsiveness and fluid conversation. One student shared,
Sora’s experts are also incredibly accessible. If I have a question about anything, be it about the course work or the details of a particular assignment or even the time of a meeting, I know that I’ll get an answer quickly.
Which School is Best for Your Child?
Laurel Springs offers more course variety than most local public schools, while still providing a relatively traditional education experience. Its high student-to-faculty ratio and mixed reviews concerning teacher responsiveness suggest that highly independent learners may be best suited for their program. If your child works well alone and is looking for an online version of a traditional education, this may be a school to consider.
Sora provides a more innovative and interactive approach to learning. Its low student-to-faculty ratio and project-based learning model provides an active, hands-on experience. Sora’s approach especially supports the student who is tired of lectures and learns better through interaction. If you’re interested in your child learning by mastering skills over memorizing information, Sora may be a great fit for you. To find out more about enrolling your child at Sora, click here to speak with our admissions team.