Parents’ desire to have more options for their children has contributed to a trend of online schools increasing in popularity.
In Ohio, enrollment totals have noticeably increased over the past ten years. In 2004 there were 44 online schools serving 17,000 students in the state. Today there are 27 e-schools serving 39,044 students. The decrease in the number of schools and increase in enrollment has led to online schools graduating their largest classes ever.
The Ohio Virtual Academy is among those e-learning institutions graduating their largest class ever. They are an accredited online public community school, with a graduating class of 750 this year.
Ten years ago, Patty Elwell’s children joined the Ohio Virtual Academy when they entered third and sixth grade. Elwell made the decision to switch to online schooling because they needed more than a public school education could provide.
“Their needs were not being met and everyone knew it,” said Elwell, a Hamilton resident of 26 years. “They needed more of everything. More challenge, more curriculum.
“I volunteered at school, we had a good relationship, and when I talked to them about making the change, they totally understood.”