Going to High School, Online

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Orion High School in Midland is seeing an increase in enrollment, but it's a school you don't even have to leave your home to attend, it's brought to you via the World Wide Web. It's an online high school started by former and current ECISD educators.

"We just got to thinking you know we are in a digital era, where everybody is working on computers all the time. Kids are more knowledgeable about computers than even I was as a child," said Sophia Valdez, one of the founders of Orion High School.

She said they have been offering classes since August.

"We are above a GED, we are equivalent to a high school diploma. You have to earn 23 credits with Orion High School," explained Valdez.

And that includes courses in Math, Science, and Social Studies. You might think that if you are sitting at a computer taking classes online, you wouldn't have the same interaction between a student and teacher that you would get in a typical classroom. However, administrators with Orion said you can talk to your mentors, ask them questions, and even send them all kinds of messages, it's just all done online.

But there's still one catch, it has not be accredited yet. Administrators said they are in that process.

"Depending on how fast things are running, our estimated time is probably within a year we will have than accreditation," said Valdez.

And even though they don't have the official word, Valdez said the classes are worth it.

"I mean, it's good. It's good quality and, just speaking from a public school teacher's perspective, there really are people out there that just don't deal well with traditional high school," explained Valdez. "So this is just another outlet."