Online Learning Community

Meet the Laystrom Family

See how one Connections Academy family stays social while attending an online school.

Connecting Students

Oregon Connections Academy is all about making connections—not just to academics, but to other students and families. Because other students are part of the experience at ORCA, your family joins a dynamic online learning community where students:

  • Interact with teachers and classmates in real-time, online classrooms.
  • Receive one-on-one support from caring teachers through telephone sessions and our after-hours tutoring program.
  • Interact with local students, as well as Connections Academy students across the country through our many exciting clubs and activities.
  • Meet classmates face-to-face at school-sponsored field trips and parties.

Creating Flexibility for Extracurricular Activities

In addition to socializing in our online school, many of our students are busy with socialization activities in their local communities. The flexibility of Connections Academy allows our students to take advantage of more extracurricular activities—often activities that the schedule of a traditional school would not accommodate.

A Conversation with Connections Academy Parents, click to play video
Watch this video to see a field trip where parents
shared their thoughts about the school. To view this
video, you will need Adobe Flash Player installed.

Supporting Parents and Learning Coaches

Throughout the school year, our secure message boards, WebMail, and phone lines are buzzing as Learning Coaches share at-home learning tips and resources, plan field trips, or just stay in the loop with school activities. As a vital part of the ORCA community, our families connect with teachers, school counselors, and other parents both online and in-person through:

  • Open houses, social events, and field trips throughout the state.
  • Weekly “Coach the Coaches” LiveLesson®  sessions where Learning Coaches can learn helpful strategies from teachers, expert guest speakers, and one another.
  • Learning Coach tutorials, orientation sessions, and LiveLesson® sessions where Learning Coaches can share tips and ask teachers questions on everything from lesson planning to navigating Connexus® to keeping their students motivated and on track.
  • Secure Message Boards where parents can post questions, tips, and resources on helping students succeed.
  • Our Connections Academy Blog, Virtual Learning Connections, where Learning Coaches find tips and information on a variety of topics for busy virtual schooling families.

Participating in the Broader Online Learning Community

At ORCA, we also want our students to understand that they’re a part of a broader online learning community. Through ORCA’s Key Club, our students can help others while developing leadership skills and compassion. During the 2009–10 school year, ORCA students helped in local recycling programs, volunteered in hospitals, and assisted in Haitian disaster relief.