Parents of Florida Connections Academy (FCA) students are essential to students’ success, serving as a personal Learning Coach and helping with their child’s day-to-day learning and activities. Learning Coaches give students the structure they need by establishing and maintaining a daily school routine. With access to an online scheduling tool. it’s easy to schedule subject lessons and combine school and family life together. The Learning Coach is also responsible for keeping track of attendance and making sure students attend state examinations as necessary.
In addition, each Learning Coach stays in close contact with students’ teachers by WebMail messages, phone, and online meetings. Teachers contact Learning Coaches early in the school year to discuss ways you can work together to enable your student to reach his or her full potential.
Understanding the Commitment
It is essential that parents understand the role of Learning Coach to give students the greatest chance of success in our virtual school. The age of the student plays a role in how hands-on you are as a Learning Coach—the younger a student, the more interaction they have with their Learning Coach.
Online Elementary School—Starting Out Together
Students in grades K–5 require significantly more support from adults both online in the classroom, and at home.
Learning Coaches can expect to:
- Set the daily schedule for their students, factoring in a variety of activities and breaks
- Communicate regularly with the teacher and assist with lessons
- Monitor student comprehension and progress
- Devote roughly five hours to overseeing students’ schoolwork each day
Online Middle School—Nurturing Independence and Accountability
Students gain more independence and accountability in grades 6-8, meaning Learning Coaches take a bit of a step back as the subject-specific teachers take a step in to offer online and offline supports and instruction in language arts, science, social studies, math, and a variety of electives.
Learning Coaches support this transition to more independent learning for students by:
- Monitoring grades and student comprehension
- Offering lesson assistance
- Overseeing two or three hours of schoolwork every day
- Maintaining regular communication with teachers
- Making sure students seek the help of their teachers as needed
Online High School—Students Take the Lead
In grades high school, online students start to really take charge of their education—setting goals, working independently, and exploring their future options.
Learning Coaches encourage their students’ growing independence as they:
- Commit one to two hours per day to overseeing schoolwork
- Verify that lessons and assignments are completed
- Communicate with teachers, referring students to teachers for help when needed
- Attend regular teacher conferences
Complete Training and Support
At FCA, we offer an online orientation program to help Learning Coaches understand their roles and responsibilities. All of the resources and support systems are introduced during this orientation to make sure Learning Coaches have everything they need to help their students succeed. Connections Academy offers Learning Coach Central, an online resource, that's available to Learning Coaches 24/7. The Learning Coach can also call a toll-free number to speak with a Connections Academy technical support representative. This support is available for both installation and troubleshooting. Teachers, school staff, and other families are also very helpful in offering support when needed.
Local Family Involvement Coordinators
Parents are also welcome to get involved in FCA as local Family Involvement Coordinators, working together with teachers to plan field trips and create opportunities for students to participate in special projects throughout the year.