ST. CLOUD - Attending online public school is a growing trend for students and families in St. Cloud.

Around 100 students in the St. Cloud area are now enrolled in MTS Minnesota Connections Academy, an online public school based in St. Paul.

Students attend classes and interact with their classmates online. Work is done with teachers via email, live online lessons, text-based curriculum, webcasts and telephone conversations. Over 50 full-time faculty members are available for students.

Melissa Gould is the principal of MTS Minnesota Connections Academy, she says online school can be an option for kids struggling from bullying.

"Sometimes they stay long enough to rebuild that self-esteem and then they often transition back."

Gould says it's also an appealing option for kids who need flexible scheduling.

"Some of our more long term families could be families who have a student who has an exceptional talent, maybe in some type of acting or is maybe training for a sport."

In order to keep students on track, parents have access to a learning coach to help them log class hours. Gould says high school level students need to complete 30 hours of school work every week.

Lilly Rios lives in St. Cloud and has signed up her two kids (Abigail-6th grade, Josh-4th grade) for online public school, she says it's been a very positive experience for the family.

"I was looking for a little more of a challenge for my children and I was also looking for more flexibility in their schedules. My kids are challenged every day, they work at their own pace and the curriculum is individualized to them to their needs and strengths."

Rios says their family travels a lot and it allows her kids to do classwork on the road.

"It's nice to have that flexibility, they have their laptops and they continue with their school work if we're on vacation."

There are currently 1,900 students enrolled in MTS Minnesota Connections Academy. About half of the students come from the Twin Cities metro area, the other half come from the remainder of the state.

MTS Minnesota Connections Academy also offers field trips and community experiences where students, their families and teachers can meet face to face.

For more information, visit their website.