The Blend of Online Extracurricular Activities and Education

At Mountain Heights Academy, we believe that enrolling in online school doesn't mean Utah students have to surrender the enriching world of extracurricular activities that complement their academic education. 

Utahns considering enrolling their children in online school might be concerned about a lack of social opportunities. Not to worry — at Mountain Heights Academy our students play sports, sing in the choir, and participate in a number of clubs. In fact, our students often choose online school because it allows them greater flexibility and balance to fit a quality education around their activities and lifestyle; and that’s a win for busy parents too.

Embracing the Digital Age: The Shift to Online Education

With the advancement of technology and the growing acceptance of digital platforms as viable environments for learning, the traditional education landscape has been transforming significantly. One prominent change is the emergence and growth of online schools, which provide flexible learning opportunities that break down the geographical barriers that may prevent students from accessing quality education.

Mountain Heights Academy has been at the forefront of this digital learning revolution, providing an online learning platform where students receive a quality education, irrespective of where they are located within Utah. The key attribute of our online education is that it does not compromise on the extracurricular opportunities that traditional education offers.

Why Online Extracurricular Activities Are So Important

It's undeniable that academia is a significant aspect of a student's education. However, we believe that a well-rounded education extends beyond the confines of the classroom and includes experiences and skills gained from participating in sports, music, arts, and other online extracurricular activities.

Secondary schools and colleges alike emphasize the importance of extracurricular activities, but sometimes it can be difficult for students to see just how the extra time and dedication will benefit them. From strengthening the mind to promoting better time management skills, extracurricular activities can help students succeed in much more than just their academic endeavors.

A Stronger Mind

Academic rigors such as in-depth reading and complex problem-solving go far to strengthen the mind, but extracurricular activities will take this mind strengthening even further. High-endurance sports, for example, will train students to maintain patience and resilience in the face of intense difficulty.

Training in Professional Skills

These activities can also work to build professional skills that a classroom alone cannot always foster. A leadership-oriented club, for example, will help students to learn essential skills in management and delegation, while a debate or speech club will provide additional public speaking practice for students. Sports most often have the effect of fostering strong team-building skills and training students in holding long-term goals. In short, online extracurricular activities can arm students with many of the skills future employers will be looking for.

A Wider Social Circle

Extracurriculars are not solely about imparting stronger professional skills and supplementing education. These programs are also fun and offer students the opportunity to spend time with others of similar interests. Students can meet friends from different social groups by joining a sports team, student government or debate.

Better Time Management

Ironically enough, many students find that adding more commitments to their already coursework-filled schedules has the effect of improving time management. The student who is busy with coursework but also needs to balance two other extracurricular activities is more likely to plan out time dedicated to each activity and less likely to procrastinate during downtimes. An extracurricular activity might even have the effect of “recharging” the brain after a day of rigorous schoolwork, allowing students to return to homework assignments with a refreshed mind.

Exploration of interests

Extracurriculars allow students to pursue interests outside of a standardized academic context. A student with a flair for mathematics, for example, might become a member of the school’s math honor society program. This decision could help them decide if math will be something to pursue in higher education. Students can also use these activities to explore interests they’ve never encountered, exposing students to a more diverse range of interests.

Nurturing Sports and Performing Arts

An integral part of our mission at Mountain Heights Academy is to provide an online education experience that does not compromise the opportunities available to our students. We believe that extracurricular activities like sports, choir, clubs, and more are pivotal to a student's overall development, promoting both mental and physical well-being.

The flexibility of online schooling opens up more doors for students and parents alike, allowing them to balance a quality education around their activities and lifestyle. We understand that each student is unique, so our flexible curriculum allows them to choose a learning path that best suits their interests and aspirations.

Utah legislation encourages this blending of online and in-person learning experiences. It enables students attending a public online charter school, such as ours, to participate in their boundary school sports program, provided they qualify. The legislation also facilitates students to opt for a mix of in-person and online classes. As part of this blended learning approach, students can engage in activities such as choir, orchestra, debate, theater, and dance programs, while also taking up to four credits online each year.

Building Communities Through Clubs

One of the many ways we provide a holistic learning experience at Mountain Heights Academy is through our range of clubs. From the Art Club to Fit Club, History Club to Photography Club, we've curated a diverse mix of clubs to cater to the varying interests of our students. Each club aims to foster a sense of community, promote collaboration, and provide opportunities for students to develop various skills.

Some clubs convene in-person, taking advantage of the geographical proximity of students. However, many of our clubs operate in a virtual environment, with meetings held online via chat or video conference at convenient times. This approach has proven to be beneficial, especially for our photography club, where members engage in exciting photo challenges and critique each other's work virtually.

Regardless of the platform, clubs serve as a fertile ground for learning. Leadership-oriented clubs help students learn essential skills in management and delegation. Debate or speech clubs provide additional public speaking practice. Sports clubs foster strong team-building skills and train students in maintaining long-term goals. In short, online extracurricular activities can arm students with many of the skills future employers will be looking for.

Engaging in Meaningful Community Service

At Mountain Heights Academy, we strongly emphasize the importance of community service and have made it a core value of our institution. While it's not a graduation requirement in Utah, we believe it's an essential component of a student's personal growth. Community service provides students with opportunities to contribute to their communities, impact people's lives in a meaningful way, and develop empathy and character.

Our students annually contribute a minimum of 10,000 volunteer hours to organizations across various cities in the state. This participation in community service is not only a testament to their dedication and commitment but also serves as an excellent learning experience that can't be replicated in a traditional classroom environment.

Enriching Learning Through Field Trips

Field trips play an essential role in our holistic learning approach. Organized in collaboration with parent groups and the school, these trips allow students to connect their classroom learnings with real-world scenarios. Whether it's a trip to a local historical site or a visit to a zoo, these activities provide students with hands-on experiences that can significantly enhance their understanding and interest in various subjects.

Field trips also play a vital role in building a sense of community among students and teachers. It provides them with opportunities to interact and engage with each other outside the academic environment, thereby fostering stronger relationships.

The Full Spectrum of Traditional School Experiences

Online education at Mountain Heights Academy offers students much more than just academic knowledge. We provide a holistic learning experience that equips students with valuable life skills and broadens their social circle. Our approach to education demonstrates that online learning can offer the full spectrum of traditional school experiences – from sports to clubs, community service to field trips – all while providing the flexibility and convenience of online learning.

If you're considering enrolling your child in an online school in Utah, Mountain Heights Academy offers a unique blend of online education with the richness of extracurricular pursuits. We invite you to explore the possibilities with us and provide your child with an opportunity to receive a holistic education that balances academic excellence with personal growth.