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Virtual Classrooms Come with Pros and Cons

Parents consider virtual schools for many reasons including flexible classroom hours.
Parents consider virtual schools for many reasons including flexible classroom hours.
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As technology grows, it seems like we are doing more things online.

Now, that includes going to school too.

Virtual school allows kids to go to class anywhere there's an internet connection.

It's an option more and more parents are considering.

In a Texas Connections Academy classroom, students in grades 3 through 12 are guided by teachers through phone, webmail, and live classroom interaction.

Parents monitor their progress making sure they attend each lesson, but this is not homeschool.

“Because in this environment, this is a free public charter school for Houston ISD, and all the instruction is done by certified teachers and not parents,” said Chena Karega with the academy.

It may be based out of Houston ISD, but because it’s online, students from all over Texas can join in the classroom.

Hours are flexible, which is something many parents are looking for.

“Both our children are acrobatic gymnasts and they both are going to be advancing with training, potentially up to 21 hours a week,” said mom Debra Massa.

Since it started in 2009, parents have been choosing this option for many different reasons, and their classroom sizes have grown significantly.

“We have heard of parents choosing the school choice because of overcrowding bullying or not being comfortable with the direction of their school,” said Karega. “There's definitely not a one size fits all learning for each student.”

Although sports and activities like prom are a little tougher to figure out, moms are keeping an open mind.

“There's always pros and cons of everything,” said mom Brooke Miller.

There are similar programs elsewhere, but since Texas Connections Academy is a public charter school, it is free.

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