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Individualized Instruction Program

Students learn best when lessons match their personal interests and abilities. The mission of California Connections Academy is to help each student maximize his or her potential and meet the highest performance standards through a uniquely individualized learning plan.

At California Connections Academy, each student receives individualized instruction, including lessons tailored to that student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. This is the Personalized Performance Learning® (PPL) approach—a dynamic process that begins by evaluating each student’s strengths and needs. Teachers and counselors are then able to develop focused, customized approaches that work for the student along with the curriculum—all year long.

Timely Intervention

When help is needed, teachers may modify instruction strategies or lessons, provide meaningful ways to practice skills, and offer helpful resources. They may arrange to work with a student in a small group or even one-on-one. This personal attention empowers students in virtual school to do their best and to achieve their goals.

Collaborating to Provide Even Greater Support

Our teachers work together closely and talk regularly. They share best practices, subject matter tips, teaching methods, and more. For families working with multiple teachers, these teachers can coordinate efforts to meet the student’s needs.

Connected to Students and Families

The bonds that teachers at California Connections Academy online schools build with their students are deep and strong. Often, teachers get to know the entire family well. These relationships enable teachers to make truly meaningful, life-changing connections with their students.

Director of Student Services, Tanya Gustin

Meet Tanya Gustin

Director of Student Services

Tanya Gustin has worked in the field of special education for over twenty years. She began her career as a behavior technician at a nonpublic school for students with autism. Over the course of her career, Ms. Gustin has held many positions in the special education field, including paraprofessional, in-home applied behavior analysis tutor, and special day class teacher for students with autism in settings from preschool to postsecondary school. As an administrator, Ms. Gustin served as a program specialist at the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) level. In this role, Ms. Gustin worked closely with multiple agencies to create programs for students in her community with special needs, such as the Collaborative Autism Diagnostic Clinic, which is associated with the North Bay Regional Center.

Ms. Gustin brings a wealth of knowledge about various special education topics, allowing her to provide ongoing training at many levels and to present at conferences, such as the statewide Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Conference for Special Education. Just prior to joining the staff of California Connections Academy, she was principal for an alternative small school that provided intensive academic and behavior support for students with autism and other social/emotional disorders. Her philosophy of special education is that teaching independence and creating independent learners opens doors and opportunities for all students. She encourages compassion, resiliency, grit, and positivity in her staff, her colleagues, her students, and their families.


  • Bachelor of Arts: Liberal Studies, Sacramento State University
  • Master of Science: Special Education, National University