More Students Hitting the Books Online - 8 News NOW

Alyson McCarthy, Reporter

More Students Hitting the Books Online

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"We go on the computer and check his courses," said their dad and learning coach Curt. "We go on the computer and check his courses," said their dad and learning coach Curt.
Because NCA is a public school, it receives the same per-pupil state funding. Because NCA is a public school, it receives the same per-pupil state funding.

Thousands of valley children head back to the classroom on Monday, but for a growing number of Nevada students, that trek takes them no farther than their own living room. Thanks to the internet and new online learning programs, the mystery and stigma surrounding home-school is quickly disappearing.

Until recently, parents choosing to home school their children felt isolated -- alone not only in their belief that it would be a better choice for their family, but also because there were precious few resources to help them. But that's not the case anymore.

Unlike most of their public school peers, when Pierce and Sierra Robinson head back to school on Monday, their classroom will be the living room.

"We go on the computer and check his courses," said their dad and learning coach Curt.

Fifth grader Pierce and third grader Sierra are enrolled at the Nevada Connections Academy. NCA is an online public charter school accredited by the Nevada Department of Education.

"We have licensed, certified, teachers who oversee the program, set the lesson plans and monitor the learning," said Online Teacher Gretchen Brown.

Because NCA is a public school, it receives the same per-pupil state funding. So the academy provides its students with all learning materials free, including books, lab supplies and even a computer.

Both Pierce and Sierra have access to a certified teacher by telephone, standardized testing and even live online lessons with their teacher and student peers.

"It's more fun than school!" Pierce says he likes the science in the kitchen activities best.

With individualized lesson plans, Pierce and Sierra progress at their own pace. Both read and write at or above their grade levels. In fact, Sierra is doing sixth grade math and dad tracks their progress online daily.

"My kids love it. They love learning," said Curt.

NCA expanded to Nevada just last year with a first year enrollment of about 500 students. That number has already doubled in a year. NCA now operates in 14 states with an enrollment of more than 14,000 students.

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