Ruth Garcia was a Learning Coach for three of her children who have now graduated from Arkansas Connections Academy
(ARCA). ARCA worked well for her family because of the flexibility the program provided which allowed her family to
travel out of town together. Each of her children could work at their own pace, and they were all able to do their
schoolwork anywhere that had an internet connection. Ruth shares her family’s story below:
“I learned about Connections Academy through my sister who has a son who attends ARCA. I was interested because ARCA is
through the state and is still considered public school while also being online (virtual). I also liked that the classes
were accredited. If my children decided to go to college, their classes at ARCA would count toward their credits. Also,
I had two students with a 504 plan.
My children had a set time to do their schoolwork at home, and they also had a room at their grandmother’s house for
doing their assignments. If they finished their work on time and it fit into that week’s schedule, we got to go
somewhere fun. However, if they didn't complete their work, they would miss out on the fun activity that week and have
to catch up on schoolwork.
The ARCA program worked well for my family because of the flexibility that it gave us. And it kept us together.
ARCA was a bit more challenging than the brick-and-mortar public school my students used to attend, but at ARCA my
children could take their time understanding subjects, whereas in the brick-and-mortar setting, it was more of ‘If you
get it, good. If not, you’re stuck.’
With three students at ARCA, it could get a bit challenging, but what I loved is that I was able to learn alongside my
children. For example, my son chose to take American Sign Language (ASL). I learned along with him, and we would test
each other on what signs we’ve learned. We even started having small conversations using ASL.
My children have many outside interests. My girls like horseback riding and my son likes the outdoors and doing small
projects around the house. My son wants to do construction. One of my girls would like to have a business degree, while
the other one wants to be an emergency medical technician or do another type of work in ambulance service. They stayed
connected with their friends through the many field trips offered and in-house WebMail.”