Free public school online attracts local families

Jacob Wallace, 9, logging into his online classroom (Erin Cargile/KXAN)
Jacob Wallace, 9, logging into his online classroom (Erin Cargile/KXAN)


AUSTIN (KXAN) – You may have heard the radio commercials, Public and private online schools are encouraging parents to check out their programs leading into the new school year.

The ads caught the attention of Tammy and Mark Wallace. They have been looking for a better option for their 9-year-son, Jacob, who is going into the fourth grade. He was attending Wells Branch Elementary in the Round Rock Independent School District. They loved his teacher, but said Jacob was falling behind.

“The classes are getting bigger every year, it gets more and more difficult for (the teachers), it gets more and more difficult for the students who do actually need a couple extra minutes to say, ‘hey I need some help,”‘ said Tammy.

After doing her research, Tammy enrolled Jacob in K12’s Texas Virtual Academy. It is a free, online public charter school headquartered in Lewisville, Texas.

Jacob starts his virtual classes Monday and has already met his teacher via email who is located in Abilene.

“I feel kinda nervous,” said Jacob.

He received an email Friday from the principal welcoming him to the new virtual school.

“We have textbooks, we have workbooks, we have everything just like a regular school room does,” said Tammy.

There are scheduled field trips throughout the year and social events for the families and students to interact.

A spokesperson with TXVA told KXAN they opened in 2006 and served more than 6,000 Texas students last school year.

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