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Grades Served: K-12
Approved as a Multidistrict Online Course Provider and Online Program Provider from the 2010-11 through the 2013-14 school year.
Online Program Purchasing Information:
The Connections Academy course catalog consists of more than 500 public-school-tested courses for Kindergarten through grade 12, including courses in all core subject areas (with options for remedial, credit recovery, and honors); more than 30 diverse electives; 7 foreign language courses including Mandarin, Latin, and Sign Language; nearly 20 Advanced Placement courses; and rich Gifted and Talented programming for K-8. Each course comes with all necessary curriculum, a certified expert online teacher, and the powerful Connections Academy Learning Management System.
Visit the website www.connectionslearning.com for more information, or call a representative at 1-888-440-2890. You can also e-mail Heather Krohn, at email@example.com.
Connections Education, a national leader in virtual education, is dedicated to the idea that combining individualized instruction, high-quality curriculum, exceptional teachers, and powerful technology will produce outstanding student achievement. Our mission is to help each student maximize his or her potential and meet the highest performance standards through a uniquely individualized learning program.
Connections Academy opened its first public virtual school programs in two states in the fall of 2002. Since then, Connections Academy has grown to serve more than 320,000 enrollments in 500+ quality online courses as of fall 2010.
The Connections Academy program of instruction has the ability to be individualized, personalized and delivered in a non-traditional environment to give our students the best pathways to success. The curriculum integrates a wide variety of materials, including textbooks, lesson plans, and other content from a variety of leading publishers including Pearson, Prentice Hall®, McGraw Hill®, Houghton Mifflin®, Zaner-Bloser®, the Calvert School®, and others. In addition to high-quality print materials, the Connections Academy curriculum also features 1,500 Teachlet® proprietary instructional movies and more than 1,000 primary source and instructional videos, as well as technology-based content from “best of breed” providers such as BrainPop®, World Book®, SkillsTutor™, Compass Learning®, Discovery Education™ United Streaming®, and Grolier Online®.
The Connections program produces outstanding academic results. For example, on the Advanced Placement tests, 78% of students using the Connections Education curriculum scored 3 or higher – compared with 57% of students nationally. Students do equally well on state standardized tests: as a case in point, Connections Academy students’ aggregate Reading/Language Arts test scores for 2008-09 across all tested grades exceeded the state aggregate in 100% of the states where a Connections Academy school has been operating for two or more years. (Test scores for 2009-2010 are still preliminary since not all states have reported.)
Annual satisfaction surveys conducted by a third-party research firm shows that 96% of users rate the Connections curriculum to be of high quality, and 94% would recommend the program to others. Connections Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC, formerly the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, or NAAS), as well as AdvancED (the successor organization to the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
Connections Academy’s outstanding curriculum is one of the key reasons our students perform so well. With over 500 K-12 courses, we offer one of the largest selections available from any virtual school. We constantly monitor and enhance our curriculum, incorporating student, parent, and teacher feedback in our evaluations and updates.
Connections Academy courses help students develop superior critical thinking, global awareness, and technology fluency essential for success in the 21st century. Our students also achieve a high degree of specific subject and skills mastery as reflected in our superb testing results. In fact, the nationwide averages on state tests for students enrolled in Connections Academy schools exceed all other similar programs.
Our K-5 curriculum is designed to provide the solid foundation in reading, writing, and mathematics that is essential for success in all academic pursuits. In addition, we focus on foundation science, social studies, technology, art, and physical fitness skills. We engage young students further by offering a wide selection of exciting electives. Students can learn a foreign language (or even American Sign Language), explore music, pursue genealogy, learn orienteering, and much more. We also offer a variety of field trips, extracurricular activities, and clubs.
In sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, we help students develop and refine the study habits that will promote success in school and beyond. These are also the grades in which students begin working directly with our highly qualified subject-specific teachers. Our LiveLesson® sessions enable interaction in real time between students and the teacher, and also with their classmates.
Our curriculum in these grades becomes more rigorous. In literature, we begin a more advanced analysis and critique of poetry and prose. In math and social studies, we place added emphasis on in-depth inquiry. In science, we investigate the atom and higher principles of force and motion. We balance this core academic coursework with art classes that stimulate creativity and with physical education classes that promote healthy living through fitness and proper nutrition. We offer further variety with a wide range of exciting electives. Students can study music, a foreign language, and more. This is an especially exciting time for gifted students, so we make it possible to start earning high school credits early.
Connections Academy’s comprehensive high school program is a challenging, standards-based alternative to a brick-and-mortar school. We offer a wide variety of rigorous courses that provide a solid foundation for whatever path our graduates choose: attending college or starting a career. We combine the latest advancements in online instruction with the best curriculum resources for over 100 high school courses.
• Core and Elective Courses: Our inclusive set of core courses cover subjects in math, science, language arts, and social studies. We also offer many elective courses in areas such as foreign languages, digital technology, journalism, and art history.
• Honors and AP Courses: Our Honors/AP courses are particularly beneficial for college-bound students, or any ambitious student who wishes to demonstrate mastery in a specific subject area.
• Credit Recovery Courses: Through our new partnership with Pearson Digital, Connections Academy now offers an expanded suite of courses for students who need a diagnostic-prescriptive approach to credit recovery.
• College Courses: Students in certain states may be able to take college courses while still in high school, simultaneously earning high school and college credit.
• NCAA Approved Courses: Many Connections Academy core high school courses are approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Connections Academy specializes in the individual; our public-school-tested personalized learning plans allow students to realize their potential, be it through credit-recovery or remedial courses or through gifted and talented or Advanced Placement classes.
- Core and Elective Courses: Our inclusive set of core courses cover subjects in math, science, language arts, and social studies. We also offer many elective courses in areas such as foreign languages, digital technology, journalism, and art history.
- Gifted and Talented Courses: Our Gifted and Talented courses are targeted for students in grades 3-8 eager to maximize their learning in specific subject areas.
- Honors and AP Courses: Our Honors/AP courses are particularly beneficial for college-bound students, or any ambitious student who wishes to demonstrate mastery in a specific subject area.
- Credit Recovery Courses: Through our new partnership with Pearson Digital, Connections Academy now offers an expanded suite of courses for students who need a diagnostic-prescriptive approach to credit recovery.
- College Courses: Students in certain states may be able to take college courses while still in high school, simultaneously earning high school and college credit.
- NCAA Approved Courses: Many Connections Academy core high school courses are approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Connections Academy courses correlate with applicable Washington academic standards. Our curriculum specialists compare the standards to each course’s objectives and activities, which typically results in 90% direct correlation. Any gaps identified are then filled either through additional curriculum development or through a combination of targeted LiveLesson synchronous Web sessions and course modifications carried out by the teacher of the course.
National Connections Academy has been approved by the International and Transregional Accreditation Committee of Northwest Accreditation Commission, AdvancED (successor to Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation) and the Southern Association for Schools and Colleges, as well as the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). All of our AP® courses have received College Board approval.
All National Connections Academy teachers are state certified and are highly qualified to teach their courses. The average teaching experience is 9 years. All have had several years’ experience teaching online courses, and 80% have graduate degrees.
Our 18+ AP courses have all been approved by College Board.
The platform for organizing and managing the entire Connections Academy educational environment is the Education Management System (EMS). This proprietary, Web-based software delivers every assignment and tracks every activity, monitoring the completion of individual lessons as well as mastery of discrete skills and knowledge, and houses all student information. The EMS operates within a secure, robust technology infrastructure while maintaining a safe environment in which students and teachers can interact with each other. Students, teachers, and administrators have 24/7 access to information on grades, courses, schedules, contact information, and technical support.
The Education Management System (EMS) was developed from scratch by Connections beginning in 2001. Connections built it because no other solution was available to comprehensively meet K-12 virtual education needs (from content delivery to performance tracking, communication to personalization, data analysis to data security) across grade levels and learning situations, and none has emerged since that addresses these needs in an equally integrated and powerful way. The Connections Education proprietary EMS software is an ASP.NET (C#) application that uses a clustered SQL Server 2008 database engine, a multiple-server Web farm, and several application servers, and is protected by copyright.
Connections Education has deep and varied experience exchanging data between the education management system and partner Student Information Systems via either API or flat file exchange. For the virtual public schools we support across the nation, we integrate with 20+ different district and state SIS, and provide custom data reporting using the extended data field capability in our EMS platform.
Student Performance and Demographics
Teacher-to-student ratio: 1:50 - elementary; 1:250 high school
Course completion rate: 92% nationally
Course pass rate: 93% nationally
Student Satisfaction Survey
Data for school year: 2011-2012
Average Student Satisfaction: