Connections Academy, Leading Virtual Public School, Graduates First Senior Class

Diverse Senior Class Heading to Four-year Universities, Community Colleges and Vocational Programs

Baltimore, MD, June 1, 2009

Connections Academy, a leading operator of virtual public schools that delivers an exceptional public school education to students learning online, is celebrating the graduation of its first senior class at the end of this 2008–09 academic year. More than 300 12th graders enrolled in the national network of Connections Academy virtual public schools will celebrate their achievement during in-person ceremonies in their local communities where they will graduate from 12 Connections Academy schools in 11 states.

67 percent of CA graduates will continue their education, and immediately enter four-year colleges and universities or community colleges. Roughly 8% will attend vocational or technical schools, or enter the military, and 25% will begin careers.

CA graduates have been accepted in over 100 different colleges and universities already, including the country’s most prestigious higher education institutions such as Amherst College and Williams College, the nation’s two best liberal arts colleges, according the most recent U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2009” list, which ranked both in a tie for the #1 spot. Other leading colleges and universities accepting Connections Academy graduates include Wellesley College, Vassar College, Bryn Mawr College, Bowdoin College, Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, and the University of San Diego.

“We are so proud of our first graduating class of seniors,” commented Barbara Dreyer, President of Connections Academy. “At Connections Academy, we believe in ‘learning without limits’. This group of very talented students demonstrates how much young people can achieve if they are given the right tools and support to fit their individual needs. We are so proud of them and very pleased to see that colleges and universities are recognizing the quality education provided by schools that use the Connections Academy program.”

The Connections Academy graduating class of ’09 represents a highly diverse group of students. Students come from large families, single parent households, major cities and small towns, from south Florida and northern Oregon. They have distinguished themselves academically in subjects ranging from the fine arts to the sciences, and everything in between. Some, like Arizona Connections Academy’s Geoff Wall have already taken college credit-bearing courses. They are skate boarders, computer programmers, published authors and Eagle Scouts. Most are continuing their educations, while others, like Dillon Ross of Emmett, ID, are beginning public service careers, and entering vocational training programs.

Connections Academy virtual public schools combine state-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, an extensive selection of clubs and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom. Nationwide, 15 Connections Academy schools in 14 states serve approximately 16,000 students in grades K-12.

Connections Academy opened its first school – serving 400 K-8 students – in 2002. Strong parental demand for this innovative public school alternative has led Connections Academy to grow its school network and student body by double-digits annually since then. In 2005, in response to strong parental demand, the school introduced its high school program, a challenging, standards-based alternative to a brick-and-mortar school. The high school program includes a wide variety of rigorous courses which provide a solid foundation for whatever path its graduates choose -- attending college or starting a career. The Connections Academy high school program also offers honors and AP courses, and the support of certified counselors who provide students with college and career-planning services.

About Connections Academy

Connections Academy is a leading national provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual public schools in fourteen states operated in partnership with charter schools, school districts, and state departments of education. Connections Academy schools deliver top quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who want an individualized approach to education. In Connections Academy's Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy. Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, utilizing a proprietary, web-based Learning Management System to deliver, track, and administer the learning. In 2008-09 Connections Academy serves students in Arizona, California (Southern and Central), Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri (through the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program), Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some schools do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit