Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I'm currently enrolled in a Great Hearts school in Texas. Our family wants to stay with Distance Learning all year. Should we transfer from our current campus to Great Hearts Online?
No. Your campus-based distance learning program will continue for as long as you want to keep your child(ren) it during the 2020-2021 school year. The new Great Hearts Online school is being developed for families who currently have no access to any Great Hearts schools in Texas. If you transfer enrollment from your current Great Hearts campus to GH Online, your child will lose his/her seat at the current campus and will not be able to return to in-person school there this year.
Q. What's the difference between my campus' Distance Learning program and Great Hearts Online?
The new Great Hearts Online will truly be a state-wide, stand-alone virtual school, not directly connected to any existing campus in Texas. It will have its own headmaster and administration, its own staff of instructors and tutors, its own school day structure, and its own academic calendar. Students in GH Online will not be directly connected to student life in any school buildings/campuses. The curriculum will be the same GH Texas curriculum for all subjects.
Q. Why offer Great Hearts Online?
The TEA has made it possible for us to begin offering on-line instruction to students anywhere in Texas during this unprecedented 2020-2021 school year, and Great Hearts is taking advantage of it to bring a classical, liberal arts education to families who currently have no access to it, either because they are waitlisted at our existing campuses in Irving, San Antonio, and Fort Worth, or because they live in one of the other 251 Texas counties with no Great Hearts schools in them. We believe that the opportunity to serve hundreds more Texas families in this way should not be passed up.
Q. Will there be any cost to attend the new Great Hearts Online?
No. Great Hearts Online will be a tuition-free, equal-access, Texas public charter school.
Q. I'm interested in working for GH Online.
Thank you for your interest! We will be posting for leadership and faculty roles on the GH Online website and will be actively recruiting, interviewing, and hiring in the near future.
Go to our Careers page for more information!
Q. When will Great Hearts Online begin?
Great Hearts Online will formally begin classes on Monday, January 4th, 2021. We selected this date based on feedback from families and for hiring and enrollment timeline considerations.
We will begin with Prep Week in December, just ahead of the two-week winter holiday break. During these days, students can meet and interact with classmates and teachers, learn their schedules, know where to go and how to logon for synchronous classes, understand where to go for asynchronous materials, practice reviewing and submitting assignments, become familiar with the curriculum and syllabus, and so much more! Similarly, parents will learn more about the Great Hearts model and curriculum, understand schedules, discuss our communication methods, and more.
Our goal is to have families - parents and students - going into their winter holiday break clear, excited, and optimistic for the first day of school!
Q. What grade levels will you serve?
Grades 2 - 6 will be served by Great Hearts Online this academic year! Students who are currently attending a public ISD or public charter school in Texas, and are classified as 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th graders, will be eligible to apply for a virtual seat with Great Hearts Online during the 2020-21 school year.
Q. How will I know if my child is eligible?
Children who are currently enrolled in a public school in Texas and are in grades 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 are eligible to apply to attend Great Hearts Online. You can read more about the eligibility guidelines for those interested in attending an online public charter school by visiting the Texas Education Agency's Attendance and Enrollment policy at https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/SY-2020-21-Attendance-and-Enrollment.pdf. See the Remote Attendance Requirements section, specifically number 13, for more information on TEA's policy.
Q. When and how do we apply?
Open Enrollment for Great Hearts Online will begin on Tuesday, October 13 at 12AM CDT and close on November 8 at 11:59PM CDT. Parents/Guardians should visit www.greatheartsonline.org/enroll to submit their child's application. Again, the parent portal will open as early as 12AM CDT on Tuesday, October 13.
Q. For students who need it, will technology be provided?
Yes, if your student needs a computer to be able to access GH Online, we will loan it out for the year.
If your student needs a computer and you'd like to purchase one, we will set up a "GH Online Education Kit" where you can purchase your computer and other supplies that will be coordinated by Great Hearts for your ease of preparation.
If your family already has technology for your student, you will be all set.
Q. Are home-schooled students eligible?
TEA has provided the following guidance: Students who attended a private school, including a home school, in Texas the prior year will be eligible to earn funding under the traditional on-campus method. But remote instruction is treated differently. Consistent with the laws governing the Texas Virtual School Network, school systems may not submit for funding educational delivery through either a remote synchronous or asynchronous method for students who attended a private school, including a home school, in Texas the prior year, with certain exceptions.
Q. Why only TX and not AZ?
This flexibility is available in Texas due to a waiver from Commissioner Morath. That same flexibility is not available in the same way in Arizona.
Q. How do you handle students that are behind in school, re: earning credits to catch up for what's required to graduate?
GH Online will use high-quality assessments, strong and focused interventions, alongside excellent faculty. We will focus on meeting student learning needs and coaching and developing your students toward learning, growth, and achievement.
Q. Is this only for 1 year?
While Great Hearts currently has a one-year 2020-2021 waiver from TEA to serve students anywhere in Texas with on-line only instruction, we are actively working with state policy makers and education advocates to ensure that Great Hearts Online can continue for years to come.