While approximately 2900 students come to NC every day for their classes, some fall under the radar and take a different path. NC offers the option for online classes, taken either at home or during a free period in the school day through the Cobb Virtual Academy or Georgia Virtual School, with the frequency of online classes rising in the future.
Online classes function in three ways: as free periods where students go to the media center and take use a computer there, as the student’s first period where they come into school late, and as an at-home after school class. Both the first and second options are free to Georgia students, but the latter costs $275 for half credit and $550 for full credit.
27 students currently take online classes at NC in the 2015-16 school year. Seniors who require an extra class to graduate serve as the most popular types of students who take online classes, as well as Magnet students who want to fit more AP’s into their schedules.
Online classes, like their counterparts, come with their own pros and cons.
Junior Katelynn Riner reflects on the upsides of her time in two online classes: “You have more time to take what you want during the school year when you take an online class, and this really helped because I wanted to be ahead in math so I wouldn’t have to take it my junior year. Online classes are also a chance to learn about yourself and learn to push through the temptation of procrastination because you literally have to work on the classes everyday.”
The idea of independence and the opportunity to take more classes while in high school appeal; nonetheless, setbacks exist.
“A major con is the price,” Riner explained. “For a single credit, it’s $550 and for most people that is a lot of money just to take a class, especially one you could be taking at school, for free.”
Interested in joining an online class? Counselor Brie Perozzi explained what students should decide before they start: “You need to decide a couple of things, and probably talk it over with your counselor. First you need to know what class you want to take, and you also have to figure out for what reason you are taking it online. You’ll have to choose when you’re going to take it, either during the school day or at home, in addition to your high school classes.”
While online classes still prove the minority at NC, Perozzi believes its future looks bright.
“There really is a push at the state level for students to take at least one online class by the time they graduate,” she claims. “It hasn’t necessarily exploded from last year to this year, but it has steadily increased over the past three to five years. Colleges are starting to require them in their curriculum and would like our students to figure out what learning virtually looks like. I can only see it increasing from here.”