HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — Next year, more Central Texas students will be able to skip the classroom and learn from home in the Hutto Independent School District.

The current virtual program at Hutto ISD, which is called River Horse Academy, started to help students get ahead on their work, but now it is expanding.

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

“I never really liked school, but I knew that I wanted to finish it just to feel accomplished,” said Lara. “I probably would have been at the high school three more years if I didn’t come here.”

“Students can come over here and not only catch up but actually seek acceleration and graduate early,” said River Horse Academy Principal Drew McConnaughhay.

While on campus they access all their courses electronically, but next year they will expand offering a virtual academy for students that will work from home.

“It is going to be open to all secondary, which means sixth through 12, and so, what we are trying to do is offer an innovative and flexible option for students with unique circumstances,” said McConnaughhay.

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

“This is not just those families that say they don’t want to come to school anymore. This is special circumstances,” said McConnaughhay. “They have been through an application process.”

River Horse Academy’s virtual currently has about 10 students signed up, but they hope to add more.

Application considerations include:

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