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Indiana Department of Education Authorizes Major Expansion for Connections Academy Statewide Virtual School

— Fully-Accredited Public School Adds Kindergarten, High School Grades; Currently Enrolling Students for Grades K–12 for 2011–12 School Year —

INDIANAPOLIS (June 2, 2011) – Indiana Connections Academy (INCA), the tuition-free online public school that has served Indiana students in grades 1–8 statewide for the past school year, has announced a major expansion to its innovative education program. The Indiana Department of Education recently authorized INCA as a virtual K–12 charter school. The move authorizes INCA, a fully-accredited public school to add Kindergarten and a comprehensive high school program for the 2011–12 school year. INCA will offer students in grades K–12 from anywhere in the state a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option.

For INCA Principal Melissa Brown, the expansion authorization is both a vote of confidence from education officials and an acknowledgement of the tremendous demand from Indiana parents for this new public education alternative.

“We’re thrilled that INCA can serve even more Indiana students and their families next year,” Brown said. “We first opened INCA a year ago, and since then we have served 280 students in grades 1–8 from all over the state. In that time, we have established a solid track record of helping a wide range of Indiana students achieve both academic and personal success with our highly individualized approach to education. The Department of Education’s authorization to expand INCA to a K–12 virtual charter school gives us the opportunity to help even more students, and meet the pent-up demand we’re seeing from Indiana families for our high quality public education option,” observed Brown.

Russ Simnick, president of the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association, noted, "INCA has helped tear down many barriers to accessing education, especially for Indiana’s rural families. It has delivered on its promise of meeting a wide range of student needs and providing true one-on-one teaching and learning. We are delighted that the Department of Education has authorized INCA’s expansion to grades K–12, so the school can continue to extend high-quality education choice to more kids and families."

2011–12 enrollment is now open for Indiana Connections Academy for K–12 students statewide. INCA is hosting free Information Sessions across the state as well as virtual Information Sessions for Indiana parents seeking more information about the online public school. At the free information sessions, parents can learn about INCA’s curriculum, its proprietary online Learning Management System, and thoroughly explore the program. They can also speak with INCA representatives and parents. A complete schedule with dates and locations is available online or by calling (800) 382–6010.

INCA combines Indiana-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, an extensive selection of electives and clubs, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom. All INCA students will participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program that combines high quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology and hands-on materials.  Learning from home, students will work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a licensed Indiana teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs.

Interaction between teachers and students is frequent. Accountability is central to the school’s mission and students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools.

INCA serves a wide range of Indiana students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who would benefit from more individualized instruction; or those who require a flexible school schedule.  

About Connections Academy

Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2011–12 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in 22 states via 23 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com.