LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — About 950 Nevada students headed back to the classroom from home the first week of August. Nevada Connections Academy says they’re now preparing students for in person back to school events, a huge part of what sets their homeschooling experience apart.

“We really do make honest efforts, repeatedly, to connect with our students and our families to make them feel supported,” said NCA principal, Chris McBride.

McBride says most of the students enrolled in NCA are athletes, but there are NCA students who chose online schooling because they have medical issues, are parents, have jobs, or needed an alternative to the brick-and-mortar high schools.

“NCA has given me so much flexibility,” said NCA Junior, Mariah Salas.

She signed up for school to focus on her passion: soccer. She’s currently playing for her zoned school, Green Valley High school, and Club Soccer for Heat FC.

“If I can’t do my schoolwork in the morning, I know that if I come home or on the weekends, I can do the lessons and really give my full commitment to soccer,” she said.

But the flexible schedule isn’t the only thing that draws Nevada’s youth to NCA. Students can be on an accelerated scheduled or do dual enrollment and take a college course with a local community college partner. The free public school also offers career technical education courses so students can enter the workforce right out of high school. Most importantly, offers students the ability to work at their own pace.

“It’s made my learning a lot easier because in certain subjects, I’m not as strong. It’s made it ten times easier for me,” Salas said.

Unlike many home school options, NCA offers students more emotional and social support.

“We have to make sure that parents understand that even though you’re doing your schooling at home, this is not homeschooling that you’re doing. You are attending a public charter school,” McBride said.

Besides the in-person back to school events, the school holds in-person field trips, has a student team who creates social events, and provides an in-person prom and graduation.

“I know we’re just starting so it’s super chill now. I’ve met all of my teachers. They’ve been so helpful. It’s been amazing,” Salas said.

Enrollment is still open. Nevada Connections Academy is currently accepting ninth and tenth graders.