Today’s Special Occasion: April Fools’ Day

It's April 1, and today is April Fools' Day.  In today's blog we're going to go through some things that might fool you as you look for a distance education high school or middle school.   The first is accreditation.  Some places may look like they offer legitimate courses and diplomas, but many times those are worthless unless they are accredited.  American School is accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies and is also recognized by the state of Illinois.  We take our accrediation seriously and you should too.  Second, some places may look like they offer cheap tuition, but look closer.  Sometimes tuition doesn't include study materials for print or online high school courses or print or online middle school courses.  American School's tuition includes all study materials, and we do not nickel and dime our students.  Finally, some might be fooled into thinking our courses are easy.  That is not true.  Our courses are designed for the average learner and present information fairly and clearly.  Don't be fooled by others.  Take a look around our web site and see for yourself that you or someone you know should enroll with American School.  You'll be glad you did!

Online Exams Available for English 9 and English 10

Today's blog announces that online exams are now available for our new English 9 and English 10 courses.  Both paper-based courses debuted in recent months and are nice additions to our impressive list of high school correspondence courses.  In these times, however, we know that students might prefer to do their exams online, and so we are happy to make online exams available.  Our goal is to have online exams available for all of our correspondence courses, and we are working hard to get there, though it may be impossible for us to offer online exams in some subject areas such as math.  Another goal is to have matching online high school courses for our high school correspondence courses and matching online middle school courses for our middle school correspondence courses.  This process takes time, but, again, we are working hard to get there.  Keep checking this blog for updates and please know how much we appreciate having you as our student! 

About Upcoming Conventions

As you might imagine, several conventions this spring at which American School planned to have a booth have been postponed or cancelled.  While we will miss seeing familiar faces and introducing new ones to our online middle school courses, middle school correspondence courses, online high school courses and high school correspondence courses, we support the organizers of these conventions and their decisions to postpone or cancel them.  With that said, we plan to publish blogs promoting the conventions we would have attended.  We are doing this for two reasons.  First, we attend conventions run by reputable organizations. These organizations have been good to us over the years, and we want to give them an extra boost of publicity during this difficult time.  Second, we want to show you the type of conventions and places we visit throughout the year to spread the word about American School's services.  Each blog entry will give the name of the convention and indicate whether the event has been postponed or cancelled.  We hope you enjoy these blogs and plan to visit us at a convention whenever it is safe to do so!     

Visit Our Updated Online Learning Page

Today's blog has information about our updated online learning page.  As some of you were aware, our Online Student Center has been down the past two weekends.  This is an unfortunate situation, and a group of webmasters and American School staff worked to fix the situation as quickly as possible.  We know that many of you go to the Online Student Center and then access your courses or exams from there, so we wanted to give you other ways to access your courses and exams should the Online Student Center be under maintenance in the future.  The newly-updated online learning page has step-by-step instructions for you to access online high school courses and online middle school courses without going to the Online Student Center.  We are working to develop a way for you to access your online exams in middle school or high school correspondence courses without having to go to the Online Student Center, but that is in development at this time.  We hope to move the Online Student Center to a more secure server as soon as this weekend, but in the meantime, please visit our online learning page if you cannot get into the Online Student Center.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation and enjoy having you as our student.

Math in Music Series to Debut

Pi Day was Saturday, March 14, and Chicago's classical music station celebrated by launching a new series called Math in Music.  We offer several math courses and a music course among our online high school courses, high school correspondence courses, online middle school courses and middle school correspondence courses, and this series sounds like a good opportunity to see how the two are linked together.  We try to include elements of multiple courses within a single course.  For example, our science courses ask students to have certain math skills.  We also advocate writing across the curriculum, which means that in many courses students are asked to write essays or paragraphs explaining what they have learned.  Doing this allows us to form well-rounded students who are ready for college or the workforce.  Join them and enroll with us today!

March 13 Coronavirus Statement

In light of more recent concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), American School is taking the following steps to ensure our students and employees stay healthy.

Since American School is a distance learning school offering online middle school courses, middle school correspondence courses, online high school courses and high school correspondence courses with a staff of fewer than 250 people in a large two-story building, we plan to remain open with regular business hours at this time. 

That said, effective Friday, March 13, only American School employees and other authorized guests will be allowed inside our building, and all large deliveries should go directly to our Shipping Department in the back of the building rather than to our main entrance.  We expect this policy to remain in effect through the close of business on Friday, March 27, though American School reserves the right to amend this policy as we see fit.  No students, parents or friends or family members of American School employees will be allowed inside our building during this time. 

If you are a student or parent and wish to enroll, pick up course materials or other documents, or make a payment in person, please call us at 708-418-2800, email us, or leave information in the white secure lockbox outside our main entrance.  Please include the student’s full name, his or her student number (if student is already enrolled), mailing address, email address and phone number when making your request.  Your request will be processed as quickly as possible, and an American School staff member will reach out to you via phone or email if we have questions about your request.  You may also continue to call or email us and expect a reply within one business day.

American School also is scheduled to attend eight conventions across the country in the next 60 days.  We are monitoring each convention carefully and will continue to put our employees’ health first in making our decision to attend or not attend if particular conventions plan to proceed as scheduled.

Should anything change regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), American School will make additional information available.  In the meantime, we encourage everyone to practice good hygiene practices on a continuous basis.  The health and safety of our employees and students is of the utmost concern to American School management.  We value our employees and appreciate the opportunity to serve our students.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, so we have a testimonial from one of our students.  Jared from Illinois writes, "Completing the study guides and self-check tests in Careers, Essential Math, Practical English and Social Civics made it a lot easier to take the tests and pass them.  The American School is an easier way to get an education in the quickest fashion.  Any student who needs a boost with credits or wants to go more in-depth than the courses at his or her school should really take courses with the American School.  Thank you."  We thank Jared for those thoughts.  It's important that students in our middle school and high school correspondence courses complete study guides and self-check tests before taking the unit exam.  The same goes for students in our online middle school courses and online high school courses.  They too should complete preliminary exercises and take their time before completing unit exams.  Of course, we allow students to work at their own pace, but in our experience students do better when they work carefully and complete preliminary exercises such as self-check tests before completing their unit exams.  We'd love to count you among our successful students, but the only way we can do that is if you make us your distance education high school or middle school and enroll today!

March 11 Coronavirus Statement

Today's blog is about our current response to concerns caused by the coronavirus.  At this time, it is business as usual for American School.  We have a generous sick policy that encourages employees to stay home when they do not feel well.  For our employees who are in the building, we remind them of good hygiene practices on a continuous basis.  We care about our employees' health, and we care about our students' health as well.  Our online middle school courses, middle school correspondence courses, online high school courses and high school correspondence courses can be done at your own pace.  If you're sick, you don't have to worry about falling behind because you're working in a classroom of one and can set your own schedule.  We do ask, however, that any exams on paper that you send to us not be soiled.  If we do receive a soiled exam, we will likely send it back to you, which will delay the grading process.  As a company we have several convention appearances scheduled this spring, and those remain as scheduled at this time.  Should anything change regarding the coronavirus, we will write an additional blog.  In the meantime, please accept our best wishes for your health and our appreciation for allowing us to serve you. 

2020 Convention #2: Texas Homeschool Convention

American School is excited to be back on the road this week when we return to the Texas Homeschool Convention in Fort Worth.  Visit us in booth 602 at the Fort Worth Convention Center on March 12 from 5 to 9 p.m.; March 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and on March 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  We will have information about our accredited middle school program and accredited high school program available, but if you're not looking for a full middle school, general high school or college preparatory program, we can also show you how you can take a high school correspondence class, online high school courses, or print or online middle school courses to enrich an existing homeschool program.  If that's not enough, we'll also bring some promotional items to pass out to guests who visit our booth.  They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the Texas Homeschool Convention.  We're happy to attend, and we hope to see you there!

Daylight Saving Time Returns March 8

Today's blog is a reminder to move your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.  Daylight Saving Time begins early Sunday morning, which means you'll lose an hour of sleep this weekend, but the sun will be out later.  Losing an hour of time won't hurt our students too much because they work when and where it is convenient for them.  Some work on online middle school courses, middle school correspondence courses, online high school courses and high school correspondence courses on a regular basis.  Others take longer breaks in between units or courses.  Whatever schedule works best for you is fine with us.  Enroll today and give yourself the flexibility of working whenever and wherever it is convenient for you.  You'll be glad you did!