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Tips for Making the Most of Your Fourth of July

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The United States is turning 240 this July 4. With such a special birthday coming this year, it’s important you take some time to get prepared for a proper celebration. To help you get ready, we’ve put together some great tips to make the most out of this year’s Fourth of July.

Tip #1 Invest in a fan

A fan serves an even greater purpose than keeping you cool. The moving air is also a natural mosquito repellent. With a fan, you can enjoy the great outdoors feeling cooler and without swatting mosquitos all night.

Tip #2 Make your own “thunder calming shirt” for your pets before fireworks

Whether you plan to go out and watch fireworks or light some yourself, making sure your pets are calm before you go is important. If you don’t want to buy a thunder jacket, check out this photo for an easy DIY.

Tip #3 Try some Fourth of July themed foods

To get you thinking about Independence Day, why not try cooking some patriotic foods? Bake a pie and decorate it with American colors, or even make a American flag cake. Grilling some traditional BBQ is always great, so long as it reminds you of childhood favorites and America!

Tip #4 Or make some simple Watermelon Juice

Watermelon is a great summertime treat that will go with just about any dish you serve this Fourth of July. This time around, try turning your favorite side dish into your favorite drink. For easy instructions, check out this Facebook video.

Tip #5 But more importantly, brush up on your history

What’s an Independence Day celebration without taking some time to think about those who made it happen. This Fourth of July, take some time to reread the events that took place July 4, 1776 so you can truly know the meaning of the day’s celebration.

Tip #6 Memorize at least one amendment in the Bill of Rights

Speaking of Independence Day, why not celebrate your freedoms by learning more about them? The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States are known as the Bill of Rights, which lists out each freedom you are guaranteed as an American citizen.

Without the events that took place in 1776, there would be no Bill of Rights. So make sure you know at least one of them and memorize it this Fourth of July. Then you can cite it to your friends like a pro.

Tip #7 Drive somewhere nearby and soak up some local history

You might be thinking there isn’t much “Fourth of July” history in Idaho. But that’s where you’d be wrong! While we may not be near Revolutionary War historical sites, taking time to appreciate history anywhere in the US certainly counts! Here are a couple places in Idaho that likely aren’t too far from you:

  • Drive along the GreenbeltEnjoy a beautiful, quiet scenery in the great outdoors.
  • Take an adventure to Shoshone FallsHells Canyon or another beautiful state park. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders.”
  • Idaho Museum of Natural HistoryFor thousands of years of history, try visiting a museum.

Tip #8 Above all, spend the day with someone you care about

Of course, the best part of any holiday is that you can surround yourself with people you love. Whether it’s a significant other or family and friends, be sure to spend your Independence with people you care about.

6 Things You Won't Miss About Your Old School

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While school can definitely have its perks, there’s a lot of things about traditional high school that we’re willing to bet you won’t miss when you leave. Check out our list below.

1. Raising your hand to ask a question everyone else seems to understand and wanting to just do this.

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Even with the nicest instructor, raising your hand in class can be intimidating. At Valor Online High School, getting help from teachers is easier than ever. You can email, call or even instant message your instructor within the Parent Student Portal (PSP)

 

 

2. Or that gum infested, uncomfortable desk

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Doesn’t sitting in the couch of your living room to do schoolwork sound so much better?

 

 

3. Speaking of gum, you probably won’t miss those beaten up textbooks

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If you’re the lucky one, you will get the nice, new textbooks. But most likely, you end up with one like the picture above: gratified, pages ripped and notes all over.

Aside from having to shove them in your backpack and carry a heavy load all day, textbook reading can be rough. Valor has award-winning curriculum that includes games, videos, comic book stories and more so you can get a quality education and actually enjoy what you’re learning.

4. Getting caught sleeping in class…again

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In a big classroom, the last thing you’d want to do was be the one who fell asleep. Either you get in trouble, or you end up like the guy in the photo above. Luckily at Primavera, you can complete your schoolwork on a flexible schedule. If you need to take a break between courses and take a short nap, go for it! Although we can’t promise your siblings won’t try to mess with you while you nap.

 

 

5. Not getting to dye your hair or wear pajamas because of dress code rules

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Our main concern at Valor is that you receive a quality education and earn your accredited diploma. How you choose to style your hair (or not style) and dress is entirely up to you.

 

 

6. The commute certainly won’t be missed either

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Waking up before the sun, rushing to catch the bus and sitting in a loud crowded bus are things we’re willing to bet you won’t miss. Instead, you can enjoy a stress free morning that consists of waking up, getting ready and starting your schoolwork from home.

 

 

Get enrolled today.

  • What are some other things you don’t miss about your old school? Share with us in the comments below!

 

Jina Reeves- The Teacher of the Year!

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At iSucceed, we have several talented students working hard to earn their diplomas. But as we all know, behind every successful student are countless teachers helping them along the way. In this series, we highlight one of our many incredible teachers.

Meet Mrs. Jina Reeves, iSucceed instructor, Teacher of the Year 2016

Jina ReevesMrs. Reeves has been with iSucceed for two years now, teaching Criminology, Psychology and Sociology. She enjoys what she refers to as “old lady hobbies,” including baking and cross stitching. But Mrs. Reeves has fun with her cross stitching by designing modern shows, such as Bob’s Burgers or Star Wars.

In addition to her hobbies, another thing Mrs. Reeves loves is being a teacher at iSucceed, especially because of the different types of students she gets to meet and help mentor.

 “Our students are all so inspiring that it makes it easy to do whatever necessary to help them succeed,” said Mrs. Reeves. “These students are not only persevering but are wildly succeeding in school in the face of adversity… I don’t feel like teaching them is work, it’s a pleasure and an honor.”

One of her favorite things about being an online instructor is the ability she has to provide more personalized support to each of her students.

“I believe that I have stronger connections to iSucceed’s students than I would have otherwise had in a traditional brick and mortar,” said Mrs. Reeves. “You have to make a stronger effort at communication skills and not solely be dependent on physical presence, which can, in turn, offers opportunity to bring teachers and students together.”

In fact, in one instance this past school year, Mrs. Reeves recalls working with one student who was struggling to pass his courses. Although he had gotten far behind, she wouldn’t let him give up on his grades.

The end of this school year, I had a student that was coming in every day for about two weeks and was pretty far behind in his classes because, as he admitted, he didn’t work much in the middle of the quarter.  I explained how many lessons he needed to do daily to finish his courses. We worked together on two projects and prepping for his final exam in History. 

Then, on the last day of school, I got an email around 8 p.m. from the student saying that he passed all of his classes. He was so excited, the next day, I checked his grades and saw that he finished his classes, and he passed with 2 C’s and an A… the A was in History.  🙂

With such dedication from her end, it’s no wonder that Mrs. Reeves was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award, though she told us it was a huge surprise.

 “I was dumbfounded, I think I was blushing for the rest of the day,” said Mrs. Reeves. “I am so very honored and thankful to the staff, teachers, and (especially) the students.”

When it comes to advice, Mrs. Reeves has just a few words for our students and graduates:

Party on, Wayne.

 

7 Perks of Being an Online High School Student

 

7_Perks_iSucceed_HeaderWhen it comes to high school, we know there are some things you probably don’t enjoy. For one, we’re willing to bet you aren’t too fond of getting gum stuck to your hand after you make the mistake of putting your hand under the desk. That’s where being an online high school student can have some serious perks! In fact, we’ve gathered the top seven benefits of attending high school online in this blog post; check them out below!

1. Wake up when you want!

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Once you attend iSucceed Virtual High School, you can say goodbye to crawling out of bed before the sun’s even up! Of course, if you’re one of those rare (lucky you) morning people, you’re more than welcome to keep waking up at the crack of dawn. But if you prefer, you can enjoy a few more zzz’s before starting your school day.

 

 

2. Your school is in a safe, comfy environment

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iSucceed’s classroom is wherever you have access to the internet. Whether your preferred workspace be a comfy couch, a home desk or coffee shop, you can complete schoolwork the place of your choice. Plus, iSucceed has an online community monitored by staff where you can join student clubs and safely chat with other students online to get to know your peers. We also hold several fun school events, dances and a graduation ceremony so socializing won’t be a worry!

 

 

3. Getting help from teachers is a cinch

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If you’re one who doesn’t like the burning stares from 30+ classmates that inevitably accompanies raising your hand to ask a question, we got you covered! Our teachers communicate with each student personally via phone calls, emails, texting, school announcements and instant messaging so that you can enjoy easy access to homework help from instructors.

 

 

4. Make your own dress code

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Dress code? We don’t know that word. If you want to wear a hat, chew gum, wear pajamas or have purple hair, go for it! As long as you’re working hard on to earn your diploma, it doesn’t matter to us what you decide to wear at home!

 

 

5. School is set to your schedule

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If you’re at a traditional high school right now, we can probably guess what your schedule looks like:

  • 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. classes (6:30 if you’re in A or Zero Hour).
  • 3 – 5 p.m. Sports practice, club meeting or other extracurricular activities.
  • 5 – who-knows p.m. finishing up homework or studying for an exam.

Yikes. Here’s what a day in a life at iSucceed could look like:

  • Wake up (when you want!)
  • Knock out about three hours of coursework, studying or participating in class discussions
  • Take a break! Go explore, eat lunch or do something you love
  • Finish up for a few more hours
  • Go to work, spend time with family or enjoy your evening how you want!

Getting the picture?

 

 

6. Learning is actually fun

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Ever got in trouble for falling asleep in class? We understand. School lectures can get boring. That’s why we’ve created a curriculum we know you’ll love! iSucceed’s online curriculum is just as rigorous as your old school (we are accredited, of course), but we include gaming, videos, comic stories and more so that you can actually enjoy yourself while you learn.

 

 

7. You can actually stay focused on your courses

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As if trying to shove six heavy textbooks into your beat up school bag ripping at the seams wasn’t bad enough, adding on homework, exams and projects from six classes at once gets overwhelming. That’s why iSucceed has three classes every nine weeks to help you focus on just two courses at a time and better retain what you’ve learned, since your final isn’t covering stuff from five months ago (because it’s a six-week course).

To get started with iSucceed Virtual High School, head to ChooseiSucceed.com/Enroll or give us a call at 208.908.6250.

 

  • Students, do you have a perk of being an online student that you’d like to add to the list? Share with us in the comments below!

 

iSucceed Connections: Elective Work Credit

iSucceed_conections_blogheaderAt iSucceed Virtual High School, we provide our students with the tools needed not only to graduate, but to excel while in high school, and that’s why we have special resources that allow you to leave iSucceed with even more than just an accredited diploma.

Did you know you can earn high school credit for working a job? If you’re a junior or senior in need of some elective credits, take advantage of our work credit program.

Earning an elective Work Credit

In order to get an elective work credit, you need to:

  • Get permission from your guidance counselor
  • Have your job supervisor sign off on hours spent working

Once you’ve completed the set amount of hours needed, you will earn a high school credit to count toward graduation. While this will not be a core credit, it is a great way to catch up on some electives so you can get closer to that diploma.

Many of our students have full or part-time jobs in a number of industries including working at restaurants or fast food establishments, movie theaters, public pools, babysitting, landscaping, agriculture and even dog walking to name a few. The work credit allows students to get real world experience and earn money, all while working toward their goal of graduating!

  • Students, what kind of jobs do you work? Share with us in the comments below!

iSucceed Connections: Physical Education Online

iSucceed_conections_blogheaderYou might be wondering how iSucceed Virtual High School can offer physical education as an online school. But the fact is, taking physical education online can be much more beneficial than in a traditional school setting. Here’s a little more information so you can see why taking physical education online with iSucceed is your best option.

How Physical Education Online Works at isucceed

When you take physical education online with iSucceed, you stay connected with an instructor who will keep you motivated to stay active. You can choose workouts you’re actually interested in, such as power walking, jogging, yoga or playing a sport, and keep a weekly log for extra credit, so you can be your best self.

What You Will Learn 

A big part of physical education is not only being active, but learning how to live a healthy lifestyle. At iSucceed, you will not only engage in fitness activities, you will also learn about nutrition and how to stay physically and mentally healthy, so that your health becomes a lifelong goal, instead of a class you dread.

Why Physical Education Online is Better

There are a lot of benefits from taking physical education online. For one, you don’t have to worry about being picked last, changing in a locker room or going to your next class sweaty. But what’s more important is that with iSucceed, you learn skills that you take with you for life. Many students who take physical education with us end up saying it was a much better option than traditional physical education classes.

What our Students Think About Physical Education Online

Alyssa, a former physical education student, told us how students at her old middle school would harass her during her physical education class, causing her to have low self-esteem and no longer want to be active. Once she tried out physical education online, she became motivated to exercise, and said she feels healthier and happier.

” I am choosing what exercises I am doing, where I do them and when I do them. At the beginning of this course, I barely even walked my dog. Now I bike again, I’m back on those long walks I loved as a kid, and come summer I’ll swim every other day at least. Doing these things now has made me endlessly happy.”
– Alyssa, iSucceed student

Six Ways to Communicate With Online Instructors

iSucceed_6ways_connect_with_teachers_headerTo those outside of the online high school environment, it can sometimes seem like online instructors are distant, no-faced beings who don’t communicate with students. But in reality, our students find that they communicate much more with our instructors than they ever did in their traditional schools! Without the distraction of managing 30+ kids at a time, iSucceed Virtual High School’s highly qualified instructors have more time to provide individualized instruction to every student. Check out the list of ways you can communicate with online instructors at iSucceed.

Six Ways to Communicate With Online Instructors

1. Email

At iSucceed, every teacher has an individual email provided to all students at the beginning of each course. This way, students can easily send messages to their teachers and usually get a response within 24 hours or less.

2. PSP instant messaging

Another way to contact teachers for a faster response is through iSucceed’s Parent Student Portal (PSP), where students log in to see announcements, check grades, chat with other students and even teachers. In the messaging section of the PSP, students can find their teachers, see if they are online and send instant messages with any questions they have.

3. Phone call

For an immediate response, students can call teachers and chat with them regarding any questions or concerns. Each instructor has a direct phone line, which is provided to every student in the PSP course announcements.

4. In many cases, text message

Many of our teachers even offer text messaging, either through personal phones or a Google phone line. If your instructor offers this option, you will find out at the beginning of class in announcements, or you can always reach out through one of the other communication lines and see if they have texting available.

5. Real-time online sessions

In our online courses, teachers will hold real-time classroom online sessions to instruct the course, answer questions and hold classroom discussions. If you don’t want to ask questions in the group session, our teachers are more than willing to schedule a one-on-one online session with you to provide tutoring and more personalized instruction.

6. In-person appointments

If you live within driving distance of the iSucceed office in Boise, you can always stop by the office and get in-person support when needed. Of course, you should schedule an in-person appointment ahead of time with your instructor, but an in-person session can be a great way to meet you teacher face to face and get face-to-face support from your instructors.

Remember, our teachers are here from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday and are always happy to help you during business hours. We hope you take advantage of all the communication channels available to you.

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  • Have you had a teacher who went above and beyond to help you here at iSucceed? Share with us in the comments below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog post!

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Q4 Info Session Road Show

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iSucceed is back on the road and ready to help you get you enrolled for our third quarter (Q3)! This month, we will be at various locations throughout Idaho for you to come meet our staff, enroll onsite and enjoy some treats at our Info Session Road Show.

The Details

There will be multiple events happening all next week. Each event will have staff members and teachers for you to come meet, ask questions and get enrolled onsite. For current iSucceed students, come meet your teachers, receive or drop off your laptops and learn more about your school. There will even be free food available at many of the events! Check out the list below to see which Info Session works best for you.

ROAD SHOW DATES AND LOCATIONS

Wednesday, March 16: Idaho Falls & Pocatello

  • Hastings Hardback Cafe at 2 p.m. 540 E 17th St., Idaho Falls, ID 83404. Enjoy a free coffee or tea!
  • Pocatello Towne Place Suites at 5 p.m. 2376 Via Caporatti Dr, Pocatello, ID 83201. Enjoy some free pizza and soda!

Thursday, March 17: Burley & Twin Falls

  • Nostalgia Coffee and Cafe at noon. 1332 Albion Ave, Burley, ID 83318. Enjoy a free coffee or tea!
  • Idaho Pizza Company at 2 p.m. 1859 Kimberly Rd, Twin Falls, ID 83301. Enjoy some free pizza and soda!

Monday, March 21: Lewiston & Coeur d’Alene Info Session

  • Blue Lantern Coffee at noon. 326 Main St., Lewiston, ID 83501. Enjoy a free coffee or tea!
  • Marriott Springhill Suites at 6 p.m. 2250 W. Seltice Way Coeur d’Alene ID, 83814. Enjoy some free pizza and a soda!

Tuesday, March 22: Sandpoint

  • Starbucks at 4 p.m. 477100 US-95, Ponderay, ID 83852. Enjoy a free coffee or tea!

Thursday, March 24: Boise

  • iSucceed Main Office from 3 – 7 p.m. 16148 N. Discovery Way, Suite 120, Boise, ID, 83702

Friday, March 25: Caldwell

  • Idaho Pizza Company from 3–6 p.m. 4816 Cleveland Blvd, Caldwell, ID 83605. Enjoy some free pizza and soda!

What to Bring

If you plan to enroll onsite, you will need to bring a couple important items with you. Check them out in the image below.

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To see the full list of items, download our Enrollment Packet. Students who enroll onsite and fill out an application will even get the chance to take home a school provided laptop!

Q4 starts March 30. Start your online application today at isucceedvhs.net/enroll.

We will see you along the road!

  • Do you have questions about the Info Session Road Show? Share with us in the comments below; we’re happy to help!

Random Facts About Leap Day

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It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. Four years have come and gone, and we finally have an extra day of the year to enjoy! But what’s so great about Leap Day? We’ve got some random facts about the day to at least entertain you, if not, inspire you to do something great this February 29.

1. Leap Day is a day to get engaged…or get some gloves

Irish tradition (and at some points in history, law) states that every February 29, women can propose to a man that day, and the man has to accept. If he refuses, he must buy you a pair of silk gloves. So either way, leap day is a win for the ladies.

Of course, there is a slight catch. For any woman planning to propose, she must wear something scarlet colored to give guys proper warning.

2. Or, depending on your view, not get married this year

Greek and few other cultures, on the other hand, believes the entire year is bad luck to get married. So the silk gloves might be a better option after all!

3. Leaplings have special talents 

Leaplings, or people born on February 29, are believed by astrologers and some cultures to have special talents, ranging from burping the alphabet to being an accomplished piano player. But one thing they don’t have: A set birthday every year. In fact, country’s laws vary as to when important birthdays like the 18th, 21st actually occur for leaplings–some say February 28, others make them wait until March 1 to celebrate.

4. But if you’re not a leapling,  you can still get candy

If you’ve ever watched the TV series “30 Rock,” you’ve probably already heard of Leap Day William. Once ever four years, the old man with gills, a blue suit and top hat named Leap Day William emerges from the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the sea, and trades tears for candy.

5. Unless you don’t wear blue and yellow, then you get kicked and poked

There is a catch. If you don’t wear blue and yellow, you don’t any candy and risk getting either kicked, poked in the eye or have your hair pulled. It just might be worse than a pinch on St. Patrick’s Day.

6. But more importantly, it’s a day to take chances

Over the many years, leap day has become known as a day to, well, take a leap. After all, it only comes once every four years, so don’t miss your opportunity to take chances and try something you normally wouldn’t. Try a new restaurant, go to a new place or enjoy relaxing. Whatever you do, make the most of this February 29!

  • How do you plan to spend your Leap Day? Share with us in the comments below!

What You Need to Know About Free Online High School

iSuceed_free_highschool_headerAt iSucceed, we provide you with the connections you need to achieve your academic goals. Because we believe every student deserves a great education, we work hard to provide our online education to all Idaho students. To make it even more accessible, we provide completely tuition free online high school to all 9–12th grade students.

Free Online High School: Is there Actually a Cost?

Surprisingly, we receive this question a lot. And we’re happy to say the answer is “no!” There is no cost for students at iSucceed. In fact, we even provide our students with a school laptop free of charge to them while they are taking classes at iSucceed, so you can be sure to have all the tools you need to earn your free online high school diploma.

How Can You Provide Free Online High School?

iSucceed is considered a public charter school. Because of that status, that makes attending iSucceed the same as just about any other school in Idaho. The only difference is it’s online, more flexible and has more personal communication from your teachers and counselors.

Do iSucceed Graduates Receive an Actual Diploma?

Yes! iSucceed is fully accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). That means that all full-time students who graduate at iSucceed receive the same caliber diploma as any other school at iSucceed. Graduates can attend our annual graduation ceremony to receive their diplomas in person, or have it mailed to their homes. Either way, you will graduate with a tangible online high school diploma.

When Can I Enroll?

iSucceed is set on a quarter schedule, which breaks down students courses into three classes every nine weeks. As a result, iSucceed has four open enrollment dates throughout the year to help you be able to enroll at a time that’s convenient for you. Our next quarter starts March 30. To learn more about our Quarter Schedule, check out our Infographic.

Have more questions about online high school? Give us a call at 208.908.6250! Our enrollment advisor is happy to help!

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