Get strong wireless internet
One of the most critical systems in an eLearning school is its ability to connect to the internet. Most major internet providers have internet solutions for small businesses and even specifically for schools. Talk to a few of them to get an idea of what a school of your size would need. Be sure to let them know it’s quite possible that all the students in the school will be working online at the same time, so they can advise you of the best plan to make sure your students don’t lose connectivity. There are a lot of places to cut corners and save a little money, but this is not one of them.
Implement classroom technology
Visualize the work you’ll be doing in the learning center throughout the year. What classroom technology will you need? One of the most obvious will probably be a computer for each student to do individual core skill mastery. We recommend some type of Chromebook for this. They’re a less expensive version of a typical laptop that only serves to access the internet in a web browser. Between eLearning websites and Google docs, everything your students would need to do is online, so it’s a great fit. Chromebooks can also be centrally managed for security risks and firewalls, which is a big plus.
Since each student will have a Chromebook, adequate power supply is a concern. Set up plenty of computer charging stations in the areas where students would need them most to reduce interruptions in work.
You’ll also want a printer. Your building might have one you can use, or you might need to get one yourself. If your school is going to be small, it doesn’t need to be a large office printer, but you might want to get one that prints quickly for the days when you need to run off multiple copies of a document.
Obtain everyday supplies
Finally, there are an assortment of odds and ends you’ll need to have at the school. No need to go overboard on any of these; just the basics will do.
Most important is a first aid kit, or maybe a few. Keep it in a known location, and make it part of your emergency policies. Hopefully you’ll never need it for anything more than skinned knees, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Speaking of skinned knees, you’ll also want to have some sports equipment available for outside break time. Again, just the basics will do. A soccer ball, four square ball, and a box of chalk can go a long way. Double-check your list of supplies against any physical education activities you’re planning on, too.
Next up is a fun one: library books. These can get expensive pretty quickly, but the books don’t have to be brand-new. Ask friends or even the parents for suggestions to make sure you’ll have plenty of diversity in there, and make sure to keep in mind the reading level of your students.
Just one last consideration: cleaning supplies. A household cleaner and a few rags will work to start. Depending on your agreement with your landlord, don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper, hand-washing soap, and a way for everyone to dry their hands as well!