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Time Commitment

Online school offers many advantages but also requires a significant time commitment.  The difference between traditional school and virtual school is that students have flexibility when during the day they complete work as long as assigned work is completed during that school day.

Modern Laptop

This flexibility requires an increased time commitment from Learning Coaches to ensure students are completing work and staying on track.  A student can easily fall behind if their Learning Coach is not there to motivate and encourage them. 

Students at NCCA must complete 30 hours of school each week (~6 hours per day) to meet North Carolina attendance law requirements, just like they would in a traditional brick and mortar school.  At NCCA, attendance is measured as a percentage of completion of each course.  Students in a year long course are expected to complete at least 2.5% of each course each week.  For high school students on a block schedule, students complete 5% of each course each week to finish their course by the end of the semester. 

The majority of NCCA students complete their work during the traditional school day.  Other students have chosen virtual school for the flexibility of when during the school day work is completed. Here are some examples of how students can use the flexibility of virtual school to support their needs:

Girl Practicing Gymnastics

Maryann has gymnastics practice from 1-3pm each afternoon.  She works to complete her 6 hours of school work from 8am-12pm and then finishes her day from 5-7pm. 

Boy's Portrait

Lucas tends to focus better with more frequent breaks which he wasn’t able to get in a traditional classroom.  His family schedule splits his school day into two hour blocks with time in between for him to recharge.  He works to complete his 6 hours from 9-11am, 1-3pm, and 4-6pm.  

Smiling Teenage Boy

Charles loves math.  He was always the first one done with his math assignments in class.  However, he was always the last one to finish his reading assignments and often had to bring work home for homework.  He found that online schooling allowed him to adjust the time he spent working in each subject to meet his needs.


Lilly’s family volunteers each Wednesday in their community.  Because she is only able to work for 3 hours on Wednesdays, she makes up this time by working 3 hours each Saturday to complete her 30 hours for the week.  

It is important for caretakers and students to understand the time commitment required of online school.   Each grade band will have different expectations of how much of the weekly attendance hours are spent on the computer, in Live Learning sessions, or working independently.  


Students in grades K-5 require the most support from their Learning Coach.  In grades K-2, Learning Coaches should expect to be working with their student for the entire school day.


  • Students must devote a minimum of 30 hours per week (~6 hours per day) to learning

  • School is a mix of online and offline activities

  • More frequent Live Learning sessions

  • Higher level of Learning Coach support

  • Students may need more flexibility in their school day (i.e. more frequent breaks)


In middle school, students start to take more personal responsibility for their learning and their Learning Coach begins to step back to allow for some independence.

  • Students must devote a minimum of 30 hours per week (~6 hours per day) to learning

  • Daily schedule become more prescribed 

  • Increase in independent work

  • Increase in communication between the student and their teachers rather than parents and teachers 



In high school, students begin to take charge of their education and goal setting.  The Learning Coach takes on more of a mentor/encourager role while continuing to track daily lesson completion and grades.

  • Students must devote a minimum of 30 hours per week (~6 hours per day) to learning

  • Most work is completed independently (depending on the maturity of the student)

  • Most lessons are on the computer

  • Students begin preparing for future career/college goals

  • Communication is primarily between the student an their teachers

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