TOPS is well ahead of the online learning curve

Originally published in The Dallas Express – March 12, 2021

For Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS), an online public school program of the Huntsville Independent School District, it’s been business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Learning at TOPS is continuing as normal during the pandemic,” TOPS Head of School Forrest Smith told the Dallas Express. “We’re designed to be virtual, and we were ahead of the curve when school districts across Texas abruptly transitioned online last year. Our dedicated teachers are trained to navigate a virtual learning environment. Our curriculum is supported through our online school, which includes an intuitive and easy-to-use daily plan. All of this allowed us to continue personalizing and supporting student learning.”

There has been increased interest in the K-12 school during the pandemic, Smith said.

“This is not only the case with TOPS, but also a trend with online schools across the state and country,” he said. “Students and families are looking for a consistent learning option. As a trusted education partner to Texas students and families for more than eight years, this is something we’re well equipped to provide.”

TOPS was launched as a way to provide students with personalized education, Smith said.

“Our teachers, counselors and student support advisors work tirelessly to ensure students are reaching their full potential,” he said. “This year, with our new Stride Career Prep Program, students have opportunities to work toward their college and career goals, as well as gain certifications that will help them in the real world.”

Under the program, students in grades 9-12 can explore fields such business, health science and information technology.

“They have the chance to get a head start on their future and to understand what it takes to pursue a career in these fields,” Smith said. “Students can also work toward earning certifications and college credits while still in high school.”

The school is currently enrolling students for the 2021-2022 school year.

“I encourage all families across the state to explore the opportunities we provide for students to be empowered and equipped to reach their full potential in learning and in life,” Smith said.

To learn more about Texas Online Preparatory School, visit

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