Texas School District Offers Virtual Academy for High School Students

HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — Next year, more Central Texas students can skip the classroom and learn at home in the Hutto Independent School District.

The current virtual program at Hutto ISD, called River Horse Academy, started out helping students get ahead at work, but is now expanding.

The current program allows students to work online with in-class teachers, who can provide assistance when needed. Students like Jesus Lara, who is a senior, said the current program is a game changer if you apply yourself.

“I never really liked school, but I knew I wanted to finish it, just to feel fulfilled,” Lara said. “If I hadn’t come here, I probably would have been in high school for another three years.”

“Students can come here not only to catch up, but to pick up gear and graduate early,” said Drew McConnaughhay, director of the River Horse Academy.

While on campus, they can access all their courses electronically, but next year they are expanding to include a virtual academy for students who will work from home.

“It will be open to all high school students, meaning sixth through 12, and so we are trying to provide an innovative and flexible option for students with unique circumstances,” McConnaughhay said.

Students must apply for the virtual academy and meet the requirements.

“It’s not just those families who say they don’t want to go to school anymore. These are special circumstances,” said McConnaughhay. “They have gone through an application process.”

The virtual River Horse Academy currently has about 10 students enrolled, but they hope to add more.

Application considerations include:

  • High school students only, 6-12 grades
  • No excessive history of unauthorized absences
  • Must have passed the most recent STAAR Assessments
  • Must have a C or higher in all core classes
  • Full list of requirements online

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