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Local students begin the school year from home

Local students begin the school year from home

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - With school starting soon, most families are hitting up stores for back-to-school supplies.

But with a large number of students getting ready for virtual or online schooling, do they still have the same amount of preparation?

Many schools offer online classes or entire programs students can complete from their home computers; but instead of joining the crowds at local stores, families whose students are online learners get their supplies delivered to their doorstep.

From workbooks to rock samples for a geology class, these kids get everything they need in a back-to-school box.

Mother of 3, Nichole Cordon, enrolled her kids in Idaho Virtual Academy; a tuition-free, full-time online public charter school.

"They do math, language, science, history, foreign language," said Cordon. "A couple of my kids do foreign language."

For the last three years, the Cordon kids have been going to school online.

They said they use workbooks along with computer programs and have instructors they interact with on their desktops.

"The curriculum is good, they can go at their own pace," said Cordon. "We still have to put in a certain number of hours every week in each subject, but you can learn and go as you need."

A typical school day for the kids starts at 8 or 9 a.m. and ends around at around 1 p.m. in a room Cordon designed to mimic an actual classroom.

And like a traditional school, they'll have classes until June.

"There's good days and bad days, just like going out to school," said Cordon. "You have good days and bad days."

Many parents said what attracts them to online learning is the flexibility because students can go at their own pace; but just because they're going to school from home, they still have to take all of the state-required tests, like the ISAT.

Idaho Virtual Academy is available to students in grades K-12.

All you need to enroll is an internet connection.

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