FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Does ISBerne Online offer IB Courses?
Due to changes legislated by the International Baccalaureate, IB courses are no longer available for distance learning programmes such as ISBerne Online. Therefore, ISBerne Online no longer offers IB courses. If you are interested in the IB you must enroll and attend an IB school on campus, such as our International IB sister school, ISBerne, in Switzerland.
- What if my child has a learning disability?
Depending on the learning challenge, it’s best to discuss the specifics with the Enrollment team. Online learning can be a terrific alternative for students who have difficulty concentrating in a traditional classroom. Since students can go at their own pace, and work through the material independently, often times the flexibility of online learning is an appealing option for families. If a student requires a lot of extra guidance or support, the learning coach at home may need to allocate more of his/her time to the student’s studies. Again, best to discuss the issues with our Enrollment Team to see if online learning is a good solution for your child.
- What kind of support will my child have on a day-to-day basis?
There is plenty of support for each and every student. For starters, every student connects with the ISBerne Coordinator who offers support and guidance to both the student and the learning coach. Then there is the K12 Academic Coach, who is a student’s own personal guidance counselor to help with questions concerning the school, helping students navigate the system, and who regularly keeps the parents up to date on a student’s progress. Each course has highly qualified, course-specific teachers who are there for questions concerning the course content that can be available over email or Skype. And lastly, there is an ISBerne College Counselor available to students when applying to colleges and universities in their final year and will even help with the application process.
- Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?
When enrolling sibling, we offer a 10% discount off full-time enrollment for each subsequent child. However, there are no scholarships awarded for ISBerne Online at this time.
- How many courses can I take at a time?
A full-time student can take up to 6 courses at a time. A part-time student can take no more than 3 courses at a time. Since a part-time student is normally following a full school work load at their local school, we urge students to consider how much time they have to dedicate to the required work before enrolling in multiple online courses in a single term.
- Do I have to be online at a specific hour?
Our online courses do not require you to be online at a specific time. We have submission deadlines but students choose the place and time to attend courses and work on assignments. Students should plan on logging into the online learning school at least an hour a day for each subject.
- Is there a student age limit?
ISBerne Online is a Middle and High School for students in Grade 6 – 12, typically aged 11 to 18 years. Students can study full-time or part-time, entering at any grade. For students older than age 18, enrollment is possible provided that courses are finished before a student turns 22 years old. For more information or to explain your situation, please contact us.
- What are the technical requirements for studying online?
Our online courses are designed to work on modern browsers and operating systems. Please use the recommendations below to ensure that your computer is properly configured for our online curriculum.
PLATFORM OPERATING SYSTEM BROWSERS PC Microsoft Windows XP or later Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or laterInternet Explorer 7 or 8*Safari 4 or later Macintosh Apple Macintosh OS X 10.5 or later Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or laterInternet Explorer 7 or 8*Safari 4 or later
* 64-bit versions of IE are not supported so 32-bit versions must be used.
* IE 9 is not officially supported, but most features work if all plugins are installed
* Google Chrome is not supported, and some issues have been reported.
* We recommend using one of the above browsers for Blackboard.
- What kind of computer do I need to take online courses?
You can take our online classes using either a PC or a Mac.
- Are the courses self-paced?
The Middle School program (Grades 6 – 8) offers a great degree of flexibility. A suggested lesson plan is provided to the parent or “Learning Coach” each week, which updates automatically as students progress through the curriculum. The parent/Learning Coach can vary the lesson plan, to accommodate the student’s pace or abilities: for instance, some kids do better when they can concentrate their math studies for longer hours per day but fewer days per week. The ISBerne Online On-site Coordinator and the online teacher work in conjunction with the parent/Learning Coach to review progress and modify the pace when necessary.
In the High School program, students are expected to be more accountable for their daily progress and time management. The student is expected to move at a more consistent pace with her or his classes, in each subject, though there is room for flexibility. There are weekly and sometimes daily assignments and due dates. Students are expected to complete assignments and submit them on or prior to the due date or the grade may be penalized. Students can work whenever they want, including on the weekends, but must meet due dates for assignments. If students have a call scheduled with a teacher or have a synchronous online session, they are expected to attend those meetings.
There is no fixed time for students to log into the online school. They are free to do so anytime during the day. We recommend students to take at least an hour per day, per subject for the ordinary online courses. Advanced Placement courses have different requirements.
- Do students receive report cards?
Students will automatically receive an academic record upon completion of their enrollment but may also request an Academic Record any time.
- How does grading work?
ISBerne Online uses several types of assessments including practice quizzes, short answer and essay questions, objective multiple choice exams, and oral examinations (when appropriate). This mix provides the independent learner with checkpoints to monitor his or her progress through each course.
- Does ISBerne Online have certified teachers?
Yes, our teachers are a fundamental part of our school. The K12 course-specific teachers are all highly qualified, certified teachers with an average of 7 years of teaching experience. The Academic staff at both K12 and ISBerne Online have years of international experience and provide excelled guidance and support to our students.
- Do I have to go to Switzerland?
ISBerne Online students can choose if they want to come to the Gümligen campus for residency weeks. These weeks are designed to support the student academically and socially, but are not required.
Students can also opt to participate in our Study Abroad Program and enroll in traditional classes on-campus or take a combination of both on-campus and online courses, for either a semester or full-year. The student will stay with either an ISBerne or local Swiss family.
- Is ISBerne Online accredited?
ISBerne Online is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- Can students talk to their teachers?
Yes, students are assigned a teacher for each course and they also receive support from the ISBerne Online Coordinator. The Coordinator works with the Learning Coach/Parent and oversees the student’s entire schedule, offers advice and answers questions. For specific course questions, teachers have “office hours” when they are available online and they respond to emails within 24 hours. Teachers are available for Skype calls as well. And each week, each of the core classes host a Class Connect where students and teachers can connect real-time in our version of a virtual classroom.
- Where are the instructors based?
Currently, the majority of our course instructors are based in the United States with a few residing in Europe and elsewhere in the world. However, our ISBerne Online Coordinator and other support staff are located in Switzerland to assist and guide the students.
- If my child transfers to ISBerne Online in grades 10-12, will he/she receive credit for high school courses already completed?
Yes. Part of the enrollment process is for our Enrollment Team to evaluate the transcripts from his/her previous high school and determine the number of credits that can be transferred to meet our own graduation requirements. Some Grade 10-12 international transcripts may require translation and/or evaluation through an external agency, The Arizona International Credential Evaluators, at an extra cost prior to being considered for transfer credits.