Frequently Asked Questions about Maine Connections Academy
To get the information you need from our Maine Virtual school FAQs, click on one of the questions listed below.
What is Maine Connections Academy?
Maine Connections Academy is the state’s first virtual public charter school for students in grades 7-12 across Maine. The program combines certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives, and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for families and students who want an personalized approach to education. Through the power of technology, lessons are delivered online by certified teachers while a parent or other adult Learning Coach monitors progress in the home. As a public school there are no fees to attend.
Who runs Maine Connections Academy?
Maine Connections Academy is authorized by the Maine Charter School Commission and overseen by an independent, non-profit local Governing Board composed of Maine residents. Maine Connections Academy contracts with Connections Education for its curriculum and other services, much in the same way traditional brick-and-mortar schools contract with companies for services for transportation, curriculum/textbooks, technology, food services, etc.
How is the Maine Connections Academy Governing Board held accountable?
Maine Connections Academy’s board is uniquely accountable to the public because it has signed a contract explaining how the school will operate and the results it will achieve with the Maine Charter School Commission (a government-endorsed authorizer). If the school does not produce the intended results, the authorizer has the power to work to immediately fix the school or, if necessary, close the school.
How is Maine Connections Academy funded? Who is responsible for the school’s finances?
Maine Connections Academy is a virtual public charter school, and just like any other public charter school, funding is based on the charter school funding formula which includes attendance during the school year. As a virtual public school, Maine Connections Academy will provide the highest quality education to students and responsibly budget all taxpayer money. Maine Connections Academy’s budget is developed and approved under the Governing Board’s direction and oversight. The school has a Maine based CFO who reports to the Board and oversees the day to day finances of the school.
Who is eligible to attend Maine Connections Academy (MCA)?
Students entering grades 7–12, residing in Maine, are eligible to enroll in MCA.
What types of students does Maine Connections Academy serve?
Maine Connections Academy is a virtual public charter school and a great option for a wide variety of students including those who need a flexible schedule (like athletes, actors, students with medical conditions), learn at a different pace from their peers, need more individualized attention, live in rural settings or are simply not thriving in the traditional brick-and-mortar environment for one reason or another. Just as traditional school is not the best fit for every student, online school is not the best for every student—but there are many families who want and need this option for their student(s). Given the rigorous curriculum, students who are self-motivated and attend daily are most successful in the program.
Do Maine Connections Academy students participate in standardized tests?
All Maine Connections Academy students are required to take the same Maine state assessments as traditional school students. Maine Connections Academy is a public school offering high-quality curriculum that is aligned to Maine state-standards.
Are all Maine Connections Academy teachers Maine-based?
The Governing Board hired all Maine-based and certified teachers for the core curriculum courses. Teachers are specially trained in online learning and the majority work from the school’s teaching facility in South Portland.
Maine Connections Academy students and teachers will connect real-time via synchronous online lessons called LiveLesson® sessions, where teachers provide direct instruction. Additionally, teachers will communicate regularly with students and families via phone, Webmail messages, message boards and at school events.
How do Maine Connections Academy students engage in social activities?
Maine Connections Academy understands that making connections – not just to academics, but to other students and families as well – is one of the most important parts of a great school experience. Maine Connections Academy is able to offer a wide range of clubs and activities online through their support partner, Connections Education. Maine Connections Academy students can expand their educational horizons while interacting with other virtual students across the country. Maine Connections Academy also creates a social atmosphere locally through various activities, such as field trips and volunteer opportunities in communities statewide.
How does Maine Connections Academy support students with disabilities?
Federal law requires Maine Connections Academy to provide its students, regardless of disability, with an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the school’s education program. Maine Connections Academy is committed to providing its students with equal access to its education program. We provide students with accessibility through resources tailored to each student’s individual abilities and needs, including assistive technologies and individualized support. If your student is in need of assistance in order to fully participate in Maine Connections Academy's education program, please contact the school's special education director, Joy Kiely, at 1-207-805-3254 or the school’s 504 coordinator, AnnaStina Wardlaw, at AWardlaw@mca.connectionsacademy.org. You can also obtain 24-hour technical support by calling the Accessibility Hotline at 888-639-5960.
Does Maine Connections Academy provide services and accommodations for students with disabilities?
For students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Maine Connections Academy provides a continuum of virtual special education services that range from consultation, curriculum accommodation and modification, collaboration with learning coaches and general education teachers, to virtual direct instruction. Maine Connections Academy provides students with IEPs with related services that may include virtual speech language and virtual occupational therapy, as determined by the IEP team. For eligible students with disabilities who do not require special education, Connections Academy develops (as needed) and implements Section 504 plans that detail necessary accommodations and modifications.
What kind of technology does my family need to participate?
Families enrolling in MCA should visit the
Hardware and Connectivity page for full details.
How do I request a transcript?
form to request an official school transcript. Fax or mail this form to MCA. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Read additional Connections Academy FAQs