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Online public schools a growing option for parents

Instead of heading to a classroom, a growing number of students in Washington are going completely online for school.

Kira Mills of Tumwater first tried traditional school for her then-kindergartner Gabe.

“It was a class of 30 kids,” Mills remembered. “I remember walking away crying because he wasn’t going to get the attention.”

Then the Puyallup mother tried home-schooling.

That didn’t work either.

She looked online for a solution and hasn’t looked back.

“It’s working fantastic for us,” said Mills, whose son and daughter Gwen are both students at Washington Connections Academy, an online school.

The tuition-free online schools offer students direct instruction with teachers using web cameras and interactive software.

Students are assigned homework and given tests just like traditional students.

Since the schools are part of the public school system, they are monitored and licensed by the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“We just want it to be quality. We want it to be accountable to the public. We want to make sure the results are good,” said Reykdal.

Get a list of state-licensed online schools in Washington.