Virtual schools in Iowa gaining popularity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Virtual schools in Iowa gaining popularity

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A new school in Iowa is getting some attention and helping a lot of kids who want a different option than a traditional school.

This is the first year for Iowa Connections Academy. It's an online virtual school and already has more than 250 students enrolled this year.

With all this talk about education reform in our schools, the department of education is willing to work with virtual schools, it just has to be regulated.

Iowa Connections Academy is a school, just without a physical building.

Students log in and start class whenever they want, wherever they want. There are seven full time teachers, kindergarten through 12th grade, who are all fully certified by the state of Iowa.

These teachers are available by phone or email to answer questions, check homework and hand back grades.

"Home schooling parents are responsible for the curriculum, responsible for doing the teaching. Where at Connections Academy the parents are helping guide the students, but are not responsible for that piece. We have full time teachers who are responsible for doing the teaching at our school," said Katie Schafer, a Secondary Science Teacher at Iowa Connections Academy.

Some students say one of the negatives of this type of schooling is the social aspect. Teachers answer that by saying there are opportunities to connect online and web chat.

The funding for the Iowa Connections Academy comes from the state of Iowa.

Students open and enroll to their partner school district, CAM Community Schools.

They get funded from the state, just as if the student was in the physical building at CAM.

Enrollment to the Iowa Connections Academy is free. All you need is computer and internet access.

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