Socialization Tips and Strategies for Online School Students
April 12, 2023
Despite the many advantages, some parents still worry online school students won’t be able to have opportunities to socialize and build relationships as readily as they would in a traditional school.
It is reassuring to know that online students can, and do, make friends both within and outside of school, and that opportunities for social interaction are numerous and readily available.
Social Connections In School
At the nationally ranked Dwight Global, students socialize through:
- Live class experiences
- Non-academic activities such as homeroom and advisory
- Extracurricular activities outside of school
- Residential experiences such as Orientation, Senior Week, STEAM weekend, and graduation
An excellent online school will cultivate a strong sense of community and make it an integral part of each school day.
Students have opportunities to talk outside of the classroom during homeroom, clubs, extracurricular activities, and during collaborative study groups.
At Dwight Global, students are encouraged to:
- Introduce themselves and participate in class discussions
- Respond to online discussion board posts
- Reach out to classmates about school work
- Start, or join, an extracurricular club or activity
- Form a study group
- Host a game night or movie night
Dwight Global’s House System is a beloved tradition that assigns each student into one of four houses, as soon as each student is enrolled. Every house is overseen by two student leaders who ensure all students feel welcomed and supported. Houses often compete for points through debates, Spirit Week, and other events. Dean of Student Life Dr. Anthea Lake encourages students to become involved in all aspects of the school.
“Our students come from all over the world, but what they have in common is that they all want to learn while feeling a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Dr. Lake. “We may live in different time zones and countries, but we come together as one.”
Social Connections Outside of School
Online school students discover that they have more time to socialize outside of school than they did when they attended brick and mortar schools. Online schools free up time for:
- outside passions and pursuits
- volunteer work
- community service
- recreational sports
- part-time jobs in the areas where they live
- family and extended family get togethers
- neighborhood connections
- local library events and programs
Beatrice Badino, a competitive skier and student at Dwight Global Online School, can attest to friendships created and sustained as an online student, both within and outside of school. Badino lives in Italy and fell in love with skiing at age three. She dreams of competing for an American university after high school.
“One might think that since it is an online school it might be hard to make friends and have a community,” said Beatrice. “Instead, with all the activities, group projects, clubs, homeroom, family connections, and a lot more, I have made many friends, and we chat often outside of school.”
Beatrice, who started at Dwight Global as a middle schooler, also noted that Dwight Global places an emphasis on building strong, consistent, and abundant opportunities for interactive student involvement apart from academics.
Dwight Global also offers students weekly advisories, a weekly newsletter, homeroom time, and a chance for students to work as student ambassadors; all activities where students get to be around each other in a non-academic setting.
In-Person School Events
Dwight Global Online School students can also take advantage of a unique feature among online schools: multiple opportunities throughout the year to visit Dwight physical campuses worldwide. Dwight Global is part of the Dwight Global Network of Schools, with physical campuses in New York, London, Shanghai, Seoul, Dubai, and Hanoi (opening in Fall, 2024). As such, students are invited to visit campuses throughout the world.
Dwight Global online students have in-person opportunities at Dwight School in New York to attend orientation, conferences, prom, performances, competitions, and other events and activities.