More Local Students Going To School Online
Local Enrollment At California Virtual Academies Up In Last 2 Years
Last Updated: 1023 days ago
Hundreds of San Diego-area students attended their first day of school Monday without entering a school or classroom.Fourteen-year-old Jennifer Purcell's first day of high school consisted of a trip to her mother's office to use a computer."I'm anxious and excited," said Jennifer, a Scripps Ranch resident.Since first grade, Jennifer has been enrolled with California Virtual Academies, an online charter school.On Jennifer's first day, she went through an orientation chat session. A full slate of online, interactive classes with a flexible schedule will follow."You can work at your own pace and you don't have the peer pressure you might have in a traditional school," Jennifer said.The California Virtual Academies' local K-12 enrollment has climbed from 350 to 500 in the last two years -- a 43 percent increase.School officials said online offerings are popping up in traditional schools across the country.Jennifer's brother is a graduate of the school and is now a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley."Kids are so savvy with technology they are becoming more comfortable with the concept. Also, there is a cost benefit for some schools who only have 10-15 students and need a specialized course," said Katrina Abston of California Virtual Academies.10News reporter Michael Chen asked Jennifer's mother, Wendy Craig-Purcell, "Critics say you're denying your children socialization."Craig-Purcell responded, "There's so many ways to socialize, not just in the traditional classroom setting."School officials said friends are made in various youth groups and sports activities. But when at school, the focus is squarely on learning."I don't think I would love school as much if [it] were a traditional school," said Jennifer.Only a few local school districts offer online courses, including the San Diego Unified School District, which has an online high school.