GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With the first day of school just weeks away, North Carolina’s free online charter school is recruiting students across the state.
Alternatives to public school are becoming more and more popular, with options like charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling. Then, there are some students doing it all online.
The North Carolina Connections Academy is a tuition-free online public school now enrolling students in kindergarten through tenth grades. Certified teachers work closely with students and a learning coach, like a parent, to develop custom study programs. Kids put their personal schedules into a planner, with everything from doctors’ appointments to practices and volunteer work, then their lesson plan is built around that.
Teacher Nathalie Morse says families choose NCCA for a variety of reasons.
“We’ve got special needs. We’ve got the gifted and talented. We had 5th graders taking 7th grade math last year. We have people that are actually professionals, I mean they’re kids, but they’re professional in sports, acting, music, and so they need a flexible schedule,” Morse said.
Students can learn and do coursework as long as they have access to Wi-Fi. NCCA sends computers to students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunches.
Morse says families tell her it better prepares kids for the future.
“The reason they wanted their child to come was because it prepared them for college because college now is so much internet, so much online classes. And if they can learn to do this with a support system that we have, helping them learn to do it, become independent, creating self-esteem, that kind of thing, then when they get to college, they’ll be good to go,” Morse said.
This will be NCCA’s second year. The academy is accepting 1,800 students this year, which is up from the 1,500 accepted last year.
Parents who would like to learn more can attend NCCA’s information session Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Courtyard Greenville.