More Nevada parents are going the non-traditional route when it comes to the education of their children.
Online classes are becoming more popular and virtual schools are expanding their programs to meet the needs of students.
One online school that has seen significant growth in recent years is the Nevada Connections Academy.
The school has been around since 2008 and has continually added programs.
The love of learning has always come easy for 15-year-old Devon Kisfalvi. For him, the challenge was staying focused in a traditional classroom.
“Before in regular schools, I didn’t feel happy like some kids are, I didn’t feel motivated,” he said.
That all changed six years ago when his mother Diana enrolled him in the Nevada Connections Academy, an online charter school where students get to learn from home, at their own pace.
“They don’t put a child in a box or classroom setting where everyone is taught the same thing,” said Diana Kisfalvi.
The academy has seen its enrollment numbers jump 10 percent in the past year, with nearly 3,000 students now active across the state.
Teacher Pamela Newburn says the academy’s curriculum is as tough as any public school and may be harder because kids have to manage their own time.
“The term we use is rigorous, and it’s very accurate,” Newburn said.
Recently, the school added some 30 new courses and electives to help prepare students for either a career or college. The courses include everything from accounting and finance to leadership and computer programming.
The graduation rate is around 80 percent, Newburn says. She adds, a student is most successful when parents are involved.
“A lot of parents like accountability and to be heavily involved in their kids’ education,” Newburn said.
“Parents need to be involved 100 percent,” Kisfalvi said.
For Kisfalvi, seeing her son learning and happy is worth all their time and effort.
“It’s the best fit for us.”
Clark County School District has its own virtual education program called the Nevada Learning Academy for kids in grades 6 through 12.
That school has also seen a jump in enrollment in recent years with more than 25,000 active students this fall.