At Georgia Connections Academy (GACA), virtual school parents serve as personal, face-to-face Learning Coaches responsible for their children’s day-to-day activities. A Learning Coach provides the structure a student needs by establishing and managing the daily routine. Our handy online scheduling tool makes it easy to schedule lessons for each subject and combine family and school activities. The Learning Coach also helps monitor attendance and ensures that the student attends state examinations as required.
In addition, the Learning Coach stays in touch with the student’s teachers by phone, WebMail (the secure internal messaging system) messages, and online meetings. Your student’s teacher will contact you early in the school year to discuss how you will work together to help your student reach his or her potential.
Understanding the Commitment
Understanding the role of the Learning Coach is key to the success of your virtual school student. In general, the age of your student determines how much hands-on time you will spend as a Learning Coach.
Online Elementary School—Starting Out Together
In grades 5, students require a lot of support from caring adults at home and in the online classroom.
Learning Coaches can expect to:
- Devote about five hours per day to overseeing their students’ schoolwork
- Set the daily schedule with varied activities and breaks
- Assist with lessons and communicate frequently with the teacher
- Help monitor student progress and comprehension
Online Middle School—Nurturing Independence and Accountability
As students become more independent and responsible in grades 6–8, Learning Coaches “step back” a bit, and subject-specific teachers “step in” to provide expert online instruction and offline support in math, language arts, science, social studies, and an array of electives.
Learning Coaches support this transition to more independent learning as they:
- Oversee schoolwork for two to three hours per day
- Assist with some lessons
- Monitor student comprehension and grades
- Refer students to teachers as needed
- Communicate regularly with teachers
Online High School—Students Take the Lead
In grades 9–12, 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
Our online orientation program helps the Learning Coach understand his or her responsibilities. It also introduces all the resources and support systems made available to help the Learning Coach and student 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.
You’ll also find support available from your student’s teacher, school staff, and other families.
Local Family Involvement Coordinators
Parents may also get involved by serving as local Family Involvement Coordinators, working with teachers to create opportunities for special projects and field trips with other students and parents throughout the year.