Keeping Online School Students Connected
Even though they are in virtual school, Arkansas Connections Academy (ARCA) students are connected to a real-life community. They meet regularly in online LiveLesson® sessions and have opportunities to share ideas, compare experiences, and have fun learning together. They may socialize in a Connections Academy online club or in their own community. Also, students and their families are able to choose the level of social interaction they’re comfortable with, having more control than in a brick-and-mortar school.
ARCA offers many ways for Arkansas online school students to meet one another and to learn through field trips, school clubs, talent networks, and special school events. These opportunities for socialization give students a chance to explore and understand the world around them and build friendships with other students. They also help students gain confidence with their peers, learn to work in a team, and develop leadership and communication skills. And they’re fun!
Allowing Flexibility for Extracurriculars
Many students attending a virtual school like ARCA are also busy with activities in their local communities. The flexibility of ARCA’s program allows students to participate in more extracurricular activities. We encourage every student to find and explore interests outside the classroom that also help build confidence and character.
Working with Families
Families are an essential part of an online student’s educational experience. We realize that the same schedule does not work for every student and family! That’s why ARCA gives students (and their families) the freedom to design a schedule that includes volunteer work, sports, performing arts, and other pursuits.
Parents, in particular, perform the role of the Learning Coach, a participant who keeps the student on track and regularly communicates with teachers. Another trusted adult could also serve as Learning Coach.
Families can connect with teachers, school counselors, community coordinators, and other parents both online and in person through:
- Local teaching centers, open houses, and Learning Coach training online
- Secure message boards where parents can post tips, questions, and resources for helping students succeed
- The Virtual Learning Connections blog, where Learning Coaches find helpful hints and information about a variety of topics for busy virtual school families
- Club ORANGE, a network of Arkansas Connections Academy parents who are highly involved in the ARCA community
Participating in the Online Learning Community at Large
At ARCA, we want students to understand that they’re a part of a broad online learning community. So, with help from Learning Coaches and community coordinators, we arrange volunteer activities and participation in other community events throughout Arkansas.