Local 5th grader enjoying online public charter school

By Justina Coelho

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The new school year is coming up fast but for one local family the classroom is right inside their home.

5th grader Nathan Mullanix attends Oregon Connections Academy. He’s one of 4,000 students across the state enrolled in online public charter schools.

His mother, Claire Mullanix, says virtual schooling was an easy choice. "They get more individualized attention than they would in a traditional class where the teacher has 30 kids."

Through the Oregon Connections Academy students can get one-on-one lessons.

“I wanted to be able to work at my own pace,” says Nathan, and a flexible schedule, leaving him plenty of time to raise money for his favorite charity -- Relay for Life. "My friend died from cancer."

Throughout the year he works everywhere from lemonade stands to carnivals.

“We can start for a couple of hours in the morning, take a break, and do the things he needs to do for his Relay for Life fundraising,” explains Claire, “and then come back and finish the 2 or 3 hours left in the evening."     

"We can look at their needs -- their academic needs -- and help them meet their goals," says the Academy’s Laura Dillon.

"I want to be either a White House correspondent or a White House press secretary," Nathan says.

You can learn more about online schools and the academy online: oregonconnectionsacademy.com.