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Morgan Donovan

Morgan playing basketball

Morgan Donovan is a middle school student at Arizona Connections Academy (ACA). ACA is helping him take ownership over his learning. Morgan shares his story below.

“When I first learned about Connections Academy, I was not interested. I had just completed the fifth grade, which I barely passed. During the fifth grade in a brick-and-mortar school, my time was spent being the first one done on a lesson. If I finished quickly, I could play on the computer while the others finished their work. I did not care about how I did my work as long as I was done first. The other problem was my behavior in the classroom. I yelled out answers so no one else would have a chance to answer, and I laughed and played around with others, which disturbed the class. When we were living in Idaho, my sister and I began schooling at home using the Connections Academy curriculum. During the first semester of sixth grade, I had a nasty attitude because I wanted to be back in school with my friends doing what I wanted. I thought if I did not do the work and gave my Learning Coach a hard time, then my grandmother and Learning Coach would let me go back to my old school. After Christmas that year, I realized that it was not going to happen. So when the second semester started, I started applying myself to the lessons and amazed myself at the grades I was getting. More importantly, I liked completing assignments, getting a good grade, and having more free time to do other things. I finished sixth grade by the beginning of May, as we were moving from Lewiston, Idaho to Maricopa, Arizona. Connections Academy transferred all my school records to ACA. When I started this year, I just picked up where I left off in Idaho.

I visited one of my cousins in Georgia this summer and learned about the Honor Roll and National Junior Honor Society. I came home and decided my goal for this year was to make Honor Roll and to be invited to join National Junior Honor Society. To be considered for National Junior Honor Society, I learned that not only did I have to make Honor Roll, but also that doing service projects in the community is considered along with showing leadership qualities. I am a straight ‘A’ student and look forward to seeing my name on the Honor Roll. I am also waiting to see if I get invited to join the National Junior Honor Society. I am involved in Power Pak Copa, which is a feeding program where backpacks are given to grade school children on Friday so they will have something to eat over the weekend and during the holidays.

I love ACA and all the support and encouragement I get from my teachers. My favorite subjects are math, science, and literature. I live with my grandparents, and when I was in the second grade, my grandfather would give me addition and multiplication questions that I had to solve in my head. I love doing mental math.

LiveLesson® sessions give me a chance to meet other kids and to chat with them. Youth group at the church also gives me an outlet to do things with other kids my age.

I love soccer and made the soccer team with one of the middle schools here in Maricopa. I have team practices and games twice a week. ACA allows me to balance outside activities with schoolwork. You can work on the weekends or any time during the day, so the school also gives me more quality time with my family. ACA is different because it allows you to travel without missing school.”

The thing I like most about ACA is learning at my own pace. You can work whenever you want, even on the weekends. I like to work ahead because that allows me to start and have more time to do things during the holidays or school breaks.
— Morgan