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Families fighting hard to keep Nevada Connections Academy from closing

Posted at 7:11 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 22:20:10-05

An online school is in danger of being shut down, but the parents and students aren't going out without a fight.

The fate of Nevada Connections Academy is to be decided by the State Public Charter School Authority.

Nevada Connections Academy is at risk because it's dipped below the required 60 percent graduation rate for chartered high schools.

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If the school is closed, Nathan Held's family says he'll be devastated.

Held, 14, has had eight brain surgeries in the last three years. Nevada Connections Academy allowed him not to fall behind while he recovered from surgeries.

"If it wasn't for NCA, I would've missed about 60 weeks of actual school," Held said.

He credits the school for keeping him interested in his classes and turning him into a straight-A student.

Now, Held asks the decision-makers to look past the graduation numbers.

"NCA represents freedom and opportunity, because it's not just for me that it's providing all these unique options," Held said. "It's for any kid who might have some sort of medical issue, for any kid who's struggling in a public environment."

Parents and students of the school protested before the authority hearing and overflowed into the lobby once it started.

Adam Johnson, the authority chairman, says they're exploring all options related to the school.

"We don't want to be just punitive," he said. "The goal is to ensure every student comes out of our schools college and career ready."

No decision on the school was reached Friday because the number of people attending didn't fit in the meeting room. It forced the authority to call another hearing for Jan. 27.