Elena Shatilenko

California CA parent Marla with her children

Parent Elena Shatilenko is the Learning Coach to her children enrolled in California Connections Academy. Elena chose California Connections Academy because it offers a free high-quality curriculum and caring, qualified teachers.

“I became interested in California Connections Academy after I saw a Facebook advertisement for International Connections Academy and discovered there was a charter public school option,” said Elena. “We love the instructional support of the learning platform, which has a lot of different and integrated media. The educational technology courses are absolutely amazing and have a great amount of offline work: hands-on projects in art, science, math, and language arts. My second-grader has done a PowerPoint presentation and types much better than I do,” she said.

“I love spending time with my second and fifth-grader as their Learning Coach, working on gifted and talented literature study and math. Books for the literature study are always inviting to reflect on, and the projects are very interesting. Our fifth-grader is doing sixth-grade math, and the course is just so well done.

We stay connected to friends because we are very outgoing and participate in a lot of activities, including dance, gymnastics, tennis, Chess Club, Book Club, and going to the park. We do school until 3:30 p.m. Then it is time for piano, cello, ballet, tap, jazz, tennis, gymnastics, chess, and orchestra. We also love opera, ballet, and just reading books. And we are trying to learn two additional languages: Russian and French.

Our tenth-grader would like to become a lawyer and earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He is enjoying writing, math, world history, and chemistry (all honors) and believes he can reach his goals while studying at California Connections Academy.”

Elena and her family have lived in Bangladesh, Vietnam, England, and Indonesia, where her children attended private schools. They were used to a high level of academic rigor and an inquiry-based, student-led learning philosophy. There was a lot of collaboration, classroom discussion, and projects, all in a warm, kind, and holistic environment.

“When we came back to California in 2016, we enrolled our children in the local public school. Although we live in a highly ranked school district, our children did not find it engaging, challenging, or even interesting socially. And after school, the majority of students go to a tutoring service.”

So, after short stays in their local public school, Elena pulled her children and enrolled them in California Connections Academy. “Connections Academy let my children find the joy in learning again.”

To see in real time what your child is learning and see where her strength or weaknesses are, where she needs more support, or what can be sped up is enlightening!
— Elena