Fresno Unified's new program is giving students flexibility to stay ahead of their class

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Students at Fresno Unified's J. E. Young Academic Center are part of the new E-Learn academy that's an online version of school. The group of nearly a dozen students is looking for more flexibility and prefers classes and curriculum online.

"One of the advantages is that you can come in at any time, but also if you want to accelerate. We shave some students who are planning to be December graduates. They are seniors but they would like to graduate early," said Tom Nixon with Fresno Unified.

The free program launched in August. Laptops are provided on site for each student, they can also check out laptops to use at home.

Students are required to meet with an instructor at least once a week and each online course is conducted through a special type of software.

"It actually tells them this how much you need to do today, this is how much you need to do tomorrow, and this is how much what you need to do the next day. So it keeps them on pace in actually a way that's very different than perhaps better than traditional classroom," said Nixon.

The program is open to junior high and high school students, but most are seniors who want to graduate early.

McKenzie Robles was a performing arts student at Roosevelt High School. She enrolled in the program to have more time for focus on her music career outside the classroom.

"They are on block schedules. So you like, have your even days and you have your odd days and I use to spend eight hours every day, but now in one week I only spend eight hours in two days."

Waleed Kaleem was born in Chicago, but was raised in Pakistan, and recently moved to Fresno and hopes to complete required course to attend a UC next fall.

"So I was really behind on credits and I didn't have a lot of time to cover it up, but then I got to know about E-Learn academy and ever since I've been here it has been really good."

Both students plan on finishing high school in December.
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