Keeping Online School Students Connected
Even in online school, Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) students are connected to a community. They meet regularly in online LiveLesson® sessions and have opportunities to share ideas, compare experiences, and have fun learning together. Students are always able to choose the level of social interaction they’re comfortable with—whether in a Connections Academy online club or in their own community.
ORCA offers many ways for virtual school students to meet and learn through field trips, online school clubs, talent networks, and special school events. These socialization opportunities give students a chance to explore the world around them and form friendships with other students. They also help students gain social confidence, learn teamwork, and develop leadership and communication skills. And, they’re just plain fun!
Allowing Flexibility for Extracurriculars
Many students attending ORCA are busy with activities in their local communities. The flexibility of the program allows students to take advantage of more extracurricular activities. We encourage every student to find and explore interests outside of the classroom that also help build confidence and character.
Working with Families
Families are a crucial part of an online student’s educational experience. We recognize that the same routine does not work for every student and family. That’s why ORCA gives you the freedom to design a schedule that includes volunteer work, sports, performing arts, and other pursuits.
Parents, in particular, perform a very important role, as they often play the role of the Learning Coach, keeping the student on track and regularly communicating with teachers.
Families can connect with
teachers, school counselors, community coordinators, and other parents both online and in person through:
- Open houses and Learning Coach training online and at local teaching centers
- Secure Message Boards where parents can post questions, tips, and resources for helping students succeed
- The Virtual Learning Connections blog, where Learning Coaches find tips and information about a variety of topics for busy virtual schooling families
- Club ORANGE, a network of Oregon Connections Academy parents who are highly involved in the ORCA community
Participating in the Online Learning Community at Large
At ORCA, we also want students to understand that they’re a part of a broader virtual learning community. So, with help from Learning Coaches and community coordinators, we arrange volunteer activities and participation in other community events throughout Oregon.