Popularity of Clark County online schools growing - 8 News NOW

Popularity of Clark County online schools growing

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LAS VEGAS -- Students are being educated without leaving the comfort of their homes as more families turn to online schools or what's also known as "distance education."

Clark County school leaders say charter schools offering online classes were full during the last school year with around 11,000 students, both full-time and part-time, taking courses.

"I'm ready. I'm ready for graduation," said Nijaione Watts, an online student.

Watts will get his high school diploma along with thousands of other Clark County students next month.

"It was tough," he said.

The 18-year-old says due to family problems, he moved around and went to a total of six high schools. He says the online school proved to the best experience.

Watts is enrolled in the online program at the Delta Academy charter school.

"As of right now, I have all A's," he said.

Most of his schooling is done from home on the Internet, but students can go into a study session for extra help or socialize.

"It's not for everyone, but it is for some, and the ones that do well, they do extremely well," said Bruce Congleton, Delta Academy principal.

He says more students are turning to virtual schools for many reasons including family problems, bullying or overall dissatisfaction with the traditional school setting.

"It gives them more individualized learning. They have better opportunities to have one on ones with the teachers and they can work at their own pace," said Jennifer Clough, an online student's mother.

She says her daughters left Leavitt Middle School after Aria was failing science and Prestly was expelled for bringing a knife to school. Clough, a single mom who works an overnight schedule, says she gets to spend more time with her daughters who are both doing better.

"I can get the help that I need and it's like a one on one with your teacher," online student Aria Wagner said.

Congleton says 150 students are enrolled at Delta academy which is state funded so it's tuition free, but there's been a waiting list to get in.

"I hate it. I wish we had the opportunity to take every student that walks through the door," he said.

Delta Academy is planning on building a larger school where more students could enroll, stay in school, and hopefully graduate.

"When a student walks across the stage with our at risk population and graduates maybe that otherwise would not have graduated, it's a rewarding feeling beyond description," Congleton said.

He adds, students need motivation and drive to be successful in virtual school.

"Out of anything, this gave me opportunity and you only have one shot for opportunity. So take it while it lasts," Watts said.


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