How It Works
Curious how online learning works?
With online learning, your child can learn at home, or wherever there’s an internet connection, while enjoying the benefits and support of a school program. They’ll complete a mix of online lessons and offline activities using K12-provided books and materials.* State-certified teachers provide instruction in virtual sessions called “Class Connects.”
Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) uses quality curriculum from K12 designed to let students find the learning style that works best for them, allowing them to find their own path to success. Each online classroom offers engaging and relevant lessons that build on your child’s interests and abilities. Our career and college prep program also helps middle and high school students prepare for life after graduation.
What’s my role as a parent?
You’ll play an active and important role as your child’s Learning Coach. Plan to:
- Provide academic support, motivation, and guidance throughout the school year
- Ensure your child is on track with assignments and coursework
- Communicate with teachers
- Report daily attendance
If you or your child’s legal guardian are unable to fill this role, you can choose a family member, friend, or another trusted adult to be the Learning Coach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to attend Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS)?
Texas Online Preparatory School serves full-time students in grades 3–12 who are residents of the state of Texas.
How many of my children can I enroll in TOPS?
Because TOPS provides the lesson plans and materials needed for grades 3–12, many parents find it easy to enroll multiple children in the program.
What does it cost to attend TOPS?
Since Texas Online Preparatory School is a public school program, there is no tuition. TOPS provides a state-certified teacher and all instructional materials for the program. However, students and families will be responsible for providing some consumable materials (such as printer ink and paper). In addition, families are required to provide their own computers and internet access to participate in the program. In certain cases, based on financial need, TOPS may loan a computer to an enrolling family. This determination will take place during the enrollment process.
Can our family take a vacation during the school year?
The school calendar includes school holidays or vacation time. Whenever possible, family vacations should align with school vacation days. Parents are encouraged to contact their teacher if they plan a vacation that does not coordinate with the school calendar.
How much time will my child spend online?
In the younger grades, many of the online lessons include offline work. Students in grades 3–5 spend about 50–60 percent of their time online. Screen time increases in middle school, and by high school, most of the school day is online.
How do students interact socially?
Throughout the year, students are invited to participate in school outings, field trips (e.g., to historical sites, museums, zoos), picnics, and other social events. We expect local clusters of students and parents to get together on a regular basis in their areas. We also are exploring new ways to interact socially using the powerful reach of the internet. The online Family Directory provides a way for families to network with families in their region of the state. With online discussions and forums, new types of communities can be formed that are based not on geography and place but on shared interests.