Customized Learning for Home Education

Asian elementary aged student doing coursework with her mother

We know that students learn best when lessons are tailored to their individual interests, strengths and challenges. That’s why personalized learning online is fundamental at Oregon Connections Academy—where every type of student has the opportunity to succeed.

Personalized Learning Process

At ORCA, students, teachers, and Learning Coaches are all partners in the Personalized Performance Learning® (PPL) approach, a method that offers students the best personalized learning in Oregon. Together we develop an instructional plan tailored to each student’s academic abilities. We adjust the program and goals as needed to ensure the student is learning and growing at ORCA, monitoring that plan and the student’s progress throughout the school year. Geared to each student’s success, the PPL includes:

  • Detailed Review of Student Background and Learning Styles. Teachers, Learning Coaches, and students discuss student strengths, skill deficiencies, and previous school performance. A detailed student questionnaire helps us identify individual learning styles and the most effective approaches for accommodating those styles.
  • Placement and Course Selection; Goal Setting. Using information collected during the review process, counselors and staff help families select the courses most appropriate to the student’s individual academic abilities. With the academic schedule in place, teachers and Learning Coaches then work together to set goals for the students with achievable milestones throughout the year.
  • Regular Communication. At the start of school, Learning Coaches and teachers establish a regular communication schedule—at least once every 2 weeks—or more, depending on the needs of the student.
  • Performance Tracking. In grades K–8, students complete the Longitudinal Evaluation of Academic Progress® (LEAP) to identify areas of academic strength and need. Taken multiple times during the school year, the test helps us modify learning goals and adapt new approaches where needed.
  • Schedule Modifications and Electives (K–8). Once the school year gets started, teachers help create a personalized learning schedule. They inquire about the student's daily routines and make adjustments to the student's online learning schedule as necessary.

Special Programs Enhance Customized Learning

ORCA also offers an individualized education program designed for gifted and talented students. Students in grades 2 through 8 may be enrolled in specially designated gifted courses in language arts and mathematics. High school students benefit from rigorous college preparatory curriculum that provides an opportunity for students to participate in Honors and Advanced Placement courses.