Protecting our Learning Environment Against Internet Bullying

Note from Janet Hale, director and founder of WiloStar3D

Hello parents, I wanted to write quick thanks for all your support, caring and involvement over the years. I want to say a few words about something important to the school. As the founder and director of WiloStar for over 18 years now,  I am still as passionate and dedicated to our school and parents as ever! As you new parents and visitors to our site consider your options for online homeschooling, it’s important to weigh information out there on the Internet, both positive and negative. We come across many parents searching and searching for options and parents need to be vigilant in their investigations into online schools and programs. There are many schools that are simply  not going to be a good fit for your child and we know that takes a lot of effort and time to weed through what is out there. We want parents to know that our main goal here at WiloStar is to create a learning environment that is safe, healthy and filled with joy. There is no room for negativity and combative thinking when there is so much of that out in the world today. Ask questions, talk to real parents who are involved in the program to get the real low down. WiloStar glady offers real reviews and real parents you can talk to. And yes, you can actually call some of them!

We also want to let prospective parents know that because we care so deeply for our students, staff and program, we carefully screen out students and families who we feel may be better served with a different approach. As a private school we have chosen this route in pursuit of providing the best environment for all. This helps protect our current students and ensure that the prospective student will be placed in an environment they will be successful in. It’s also important to understand that there is an overall picture we look at during the admissions process and this includes the parental support and stability.  It’s no secret that the Internet is filled with false information and opportunities for unstable people to do harm on social media. So do your homework.  Not all info you see on schools, good and bad is always true. In fact, after over 20 years of experiencing just fabulous outpourings from parents, WiloStar recently experienced firsthand a disturbing threat when admissions was denied to a parent’s child. We now know firsthand what it feels like to think someone may be out there creating ‘fake news’ and negative postings due to being denied admissions… a form of Internet Bullying! We have had an excellent track record all these years so the discerning reader will see between the lines if all of a sudden, during July of 2018 negative things appear about our school. Maybe nothing is happening but maybe it is. That is what bullying is all about and is very concerning. You hear of this sort of Internet bullying going on out in the world all the time with students and yes, now we see adults as well.

We try to teach WiloStar students the importance of being responsible for how you act in social media and to think twice about what you post out there. WiloStar has an entire curriculum module that addresses just this topic.  I hope that you, as a diligent parent, will do your part to find the best online school setting for your child and that you question what you read, good or bad. Maybe the school you choose will be WiloStar and maybe it won’t. But in the case of the recent bullying we experienced, we know that good always prevails and we will continue to stand by our ideals and admissions standards and teach our students anti-bullying strategies. The point of this note is to express that bullying is a very real thing and we all need to do our part to ensure this issue is overcome in our society.

The good news is that WiloStar parents and students continue to be inspiring! In fact, just yesterday we heard from a 2018 grad’s parents as follows (shared with permission)

Dear Janet:

We wanted to share the wonderful news with you: Davey was officially accepted into SCAD. See attached. Davey’s admission rep said not to worry because of his transcript from Wilostar3D.
Kris and I both consider you and your school to be miracles in our life. We owe so much to your efforts to provide a quality education to children on the spectrum like Davey. You are giving them an opportunity to live rich and fulfilling lives of inclusion. The admissions folks at SCAD know you and respect you work–that’s for sure.
Please let us know anything we can do to further your efforts. Anything.
Bless you and thank you,
David T

Parents play a huge role in the success of their child here at WiloStar and we welcome the chance for you to get to know us! Question what you see out there on social media, and really do your homework. Teach your child that bullying is not tolerated and yes, as adults we too need to set good examples for our children. Give us a call and we can talk about how WiloStar can help your student succeed! We are in your corner and always will be.

Educationally yours,

Janet Hale

Founder, Director

July 25, 2018

WiloStar3D Parent Review-Real Email comments!

As you think about joining our school, we know there is a lot to consider. With permission, here is an exert from a recent email the director got when discussing reasons to enroll and why the love our program.

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Our story is not unique.  Homeschooling wasn’t something we intended to do.  By 4th grade Ben was a sick, unhappy, sensory kid but had all the potential in the world.  We watched his love for learning get grounded into the pavement. We tried public & private but school per se was never anything more than just a big fat fight. And I’m not much of a fighter so it was pretty painful. We were scared to death but we pulled him out.  I really struggled as a “teacher” but never gave up on making it work.  And my son has met every challenge head on and is in a remarkable place now.  But…I was always very anxious about the quality and legitimacy of Ben’s academic life.  So many amazing accomplishments but what do we really have to show for it?
Josh and I are educated and very traditional in the belief that transcripts and diplomas should be left in the hands of professionals not mere mortals LOL.  No matter how great my efforts to teach Ben, or his willingness to learn, I felt like at some point his record would face harsh scrutiny and that’s not fair to dump on a kid who is working their tail off to get somewhere.  We thought that it was the legitimacy of accreditation that, at the end of this particular journey, would if nothing else give us peace of mind.
Now, all THAT snootiness having been said, I have to turn to  —> the magic you make there and how it has literally taken Ben from “interests” to Internships.  I’m not kidding. There is a practical nature to what you offer for a specific kid that goes far beyond a transcript.  It’s a place for all these wonderful, brilliant, nerdy kids to delve deep into their talents and digital media interests while crafting solid academic and life skills.  Major value there, wouldn’t you say?  Um…DUH!
So it’s hard.  We were wooed by the creative but caved at the accreditation, but now see that it is the entire package that makes us so incredibly happy to be a part of your world and wouldn’t have it any other way.  I know standards change and that those changes would have many implications throughout your organization.  No illusions there.  But I’m saying that the Watsons are very firm in our belief that what you do and how you do it along with being *legit* are things we would be willing to make sacrifices for so it can continue.  We would take on more administration, give up some flexibility and even pay more (OH GOD NO WHAT AM I $SAYING?!?!?  😉   But please know that you have some serious, solid and kinda scary backers in the Watson household.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.  Except cooking.  I don’t want to cook.  Anything.  Ever.  Again.

January 25, 2017

Parent Leadership Group

Parent Leadership Group

The WiloStar3D Academy Parent Leadership group is open to all parents of WiloStar students. The Parents’ Leadership group provides a volunteer structure for all parents interested in participating.  As a support group for our school, the Parents’ Group fosters communication between the school and the parents and serves as a means for parents to actively participate in their children’s education. There are no applications or dues.  All parents are welcome.

 

REASONS TO GET INVOLVED

  • Your child benefits.  Statistics show that your child performs better when parents are connected to the school. This is even more important in an online school setting!
  • Meet and connect with other WiloStar parents. We all care about creating the best possible educational experience for our children.
  • We make a difference.  Help create an online school community where teachers and administrators can do their best with your support.
  • We have fun.  We get a lot accomplished and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • There’s a lot to be done, ranging from online seminars to working with students to organizing local field trips.  Your help is needed to fill the gaps.  We can match jobs to your interest and abilities.
  • We pledge to honor your time constraints.
  • We’re welcoming!

Here are some of the volunteer opportunities:

  • Trading Post
  • Book club Sponsor
  • Experiential Learning Trip Sponsor
  • New family hospitality sponsor
  • Wiloworlds Tour Guide
  • Social Media Ambassador
  • Grandparents’ Day

VOLUNTEER PROCESS

Simply visit the Parent Leadership portal off your child’s log in page and click on any of the discussions or opportunities posted!

June 4, 2016

College Counseling

College Counseling

College Application and Preparation Process

When to Take Standardized Tests

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors take the PSAT in October. SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject Tests and ACT’s are taken when appropriate for the student in the junior and/or senior year.

Yearly Student Checklist/Timetable

» 10th Grade
  • Try a new club or hobby that interests you
  • Explore interests during the summer
  • Read to expand horizons
» 11th Grade

FALL

  • Attend college admission presentations at schools of your choice
  • Make a list of types of colleges and criteria that will best meet your needs
  • Research schools that meet your criteria
  • Take the PSAT (this test serves as the basis for the National Merit Scholarship recognition)
  • Register to take the SAT and ACT in the spring

SPRING

  • Meet with your college counselor to compile a list of schools that interest you
  • Schedule visits to potential colleges and universities
  • Register for the SAT II (if your colleges require them)
  • Take the ACT and SAT
  • Read through materials sent to you by colleges to further evaluate your list of schools
  • Conduct college research using your Naviance account
  • Review the College Guide

SUMMER

  • Review college websites and take virtual tours
  • Explore outside interests
  • Visit college campuses
  • Begin to work on college essays
  • Update resume/activities list in Naviance
  • Complete your senior biography in Naviance
 » 12th Grade

FALL

 

  • Finalize your list of colleges with your counselor
  • Visit the colleges to which you are applying
  • Attend evening programs hosted by the colleges on your list
  • Submit applications for early decision (ED) in October and November
  • Submit applications for early action (EA) in October and November
  • Submit applications and meet school deadlines for rolling admission October – December
  • Make requests to teachers and other recommendation writers
  • Request official transcript from your college counselor via Naviance
  • Register for the SAT I, SAT II or ACT if applicable (send scores to your colleges)

WINTER

  • Finish and submit applications
  • Complete FAFSA and Profile if applying for financial aid

SPRING

  • Respond to offers of admission and/or scholarships
  • Ask for guidance from counselors if wait listed
  • Attend spring admitted student programs on the college campuses or arrange an individual campus visit
  • Take AP Exams in May
  • Notify your college counselor about which school you will attend
  • Thank your parents and teachers
  • Enjoy the rest of your senior year stress-free!

May 31, 2016

College Counseling

College Counseling

Our College Counseling office provides an individualized and student-centered program to help students find the right college fit. With planning and preparation, the college process will be a positive experience.  When selecting courses, students are advised to pursue studies that emphasize their particular talents and strengths. Supplementing a strong academic record with clubs and affiliations that reflect a student’s unique set of skills and talents will set the tone for success.

Personal Guidance

Our college counselor works one-on-one with students during their junior year to select colleges and universities that are best suited for their individual needs. With a clear understanding of what is important to colleges, our counselor guides students and teaches them how to put their best foot forward with their applications. For a breakdown on suggested steps to take during each year of high school, visit the College Counseling Process page. Each year, WiloStar3D Academy seniors are offered admission to some of the finest schools in the country and many receive substantial scholarship awards. View our College Acceptances for a list of schools where our students have been admitted.

College Counseling Resources

For additional information about College Counseling at WiloStar3D, please refer to our College Guide.If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

May 31, 2016

Clubs and Activities

Clubs and Activities

A variety of clubs and activities at WiloStar3D allow students to explore shared interests with their peers. Clubs range from service-oriented groups to leadership opportunities as building mentors as well special interest clubs. Many are initiated by students and appeal to the current interests of our student body.

CLUBS & SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS AT WILOSTAR3D  INCLUDE:

  • Anime Club
  • Book Club
  • Character GPS
  • 3D Modeling Club
  • 3D Building Club
  • Chess
  • Coder’s Club
  • Cinema Club
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Culinary Club
  • Environment Club
  • Equestrian Club
  • Film Club
  • Fishing Club
  • Peer Counseling
  • Photography Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Science Olympiad
  • Spanish Club
  • Student Council
  • Teen Court
  • Video Game Club
  • Sci-fi Writing Center
 

May 31, 2016

Experiential Education

Experiential Education

WiloStar3D believes that experiential education is an important piece to the online learning puzzle. It fosters a deeper understanding of the self, the world and other people. In partnership with parents and local communities, WiloStar now requires that all students participate in a minimum of two experiential learning experiences per semester.

Trips both locally and farther way fosters a sense of connections not seen when only participating in online learning experiences. Students studying Colonial America may wish to visit Jamestown or Colonial Williamsburg and document it using their smartphones. Students take part in interactive presentations and meet historical figures or  tour the Kennedy Space Center! High school students can complete local marine science labs in partnership with many excellent aquariums.  These are only a few of the wonderful learning adventures our students experience as part of our experiential learning requirement!

 

May 31, 2016

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Credits from other accredited high school programs as well as public high schools will be accepted on an individual basis. All graduating seniors must complete a rigorous individual senior project pulling together all integrated curriculum skills learned during their academic time here at WiloStar3D. Students graduating from WiloStar3D Academy must complete a minimum of 6 credits (or 25% of course work) to be eligible.

Credits Needed to Graduate: 24

English 4
Math 4
History 4
Science 4
PE 3
Electives 5

May 31, 2016

Special Needs Admissions Requirements

Special Needs Admissions Requirements

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
1- READING LEVEL
Students being admitted to our program who are going to require accommodations must not be more than 1.5 grade levels below their current grade. We give a reading assessment to screen for reading ability. Math, on the other hand they can be two grade levels below. Due to the high level of reading our program requires we have determined the threshold of 1.5 is the best in order to help them succeed.
2- STUDENT AGE
Students can not be more than two years older than the current grade level placed into. Again, this is due to socialization issues. We have live class meetings and many live virtual world projects and interacting with peers close in age is beneficial to the students as a whole. As an example, an incoming freshman who is typically 14, can’t be older than 16.
3- COMPUTER PROFICIENCY
Students must pass a computer proficiency test and be able to demonstrate at least average computer schools on Windows based computers. We require a full PC, not a tablet or ipad. This means students must be familiar with and comfortable with Windows PCs.
4- STUDENT RECORDS
All incoming special needs students must have grades/transcripts and preferably a professional evaluation that is done within the last year in order to be admitted to our school.

May 16, 2016

Middle School Math

WiloStar3D online homeschool program has adopted Teaching Textbooks as our main math curriculum. After exhaustive field testing during previous school years and piloting different programs— the results are in. Teaching Textbooks is our choice! Teaching Textbooks is an easy-to-use video based learning system designed to help a wide range of students gain proficiency in math. Teaching Textbooks offers students hundreds of video-based lessons spanning five skill levels ranging from grades 1.5 to college entry. Teaching Textbook lessons challenge beginning students all the way to advanced learners!

Please note that the Teaching Textbooks fee is NOT INCLUDED in your annual tuition and this is an extra fee.
Students at the middle school level are typically placed into one of the three courses below however a placement test is given to see which level the student is ready to learn.

Middle School Math 6

Middle School Math 7

Pre Algebra

Middle school students work on math the entire school year. High school students take math on a semester basis.
Please visit the Teaching Textbook website at http://www.teachingtextbooks.com and the click on your current grade level to take the placement test. If you are working in a different level then you should take the appropriate placement test to see how you do. For instance, if you are a 6th grader but feel you can handle 7th grade math then take the 7th grade placement test. Based on your results, the test will make a recommendation as to the CD set to purchase. Please remember it does not matter if it places you outside your current grade level. The goal to help you master core skills in order to help you move forward in math.

May 16, 2016

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