Required Lessons in Internet Safety Introduced by Leading Virtual Public School, Connections Academy

Special i-SAFE Units Adapted and Integrated Into Curriculum


Connections Academy, a high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school has launched a new curricular initiative that places emphasis on Internet Safety. All students in grades K-8 are required to complete special units dedicated to teaching safe and responsible use of the Internet as a component of their Educational Technology and Online Learning courses. High School students study Internet Safety as part of the popular elective, Introduction to Computers and Applications.

“It goes without saying that most children are on the Internet these days.” said Erin Kellner, Technology Curriculum Associate for Connections Academy, “And for our students, who spend a good deal of time learning and interacting online, the issue of Internet Safety is even more important. We want to ensure that Connections Academy students are prepared with the knowledge required to make wise decisions online. It is important that students and their families understand the risks and responsibilities involved with Internet use and what they can do to make their Internet experiences safe.”

Connections Academy selected the internationally recognized i-SAFE™ (www.iSAFE.org) curriculum due its reputation as a leader in Internet safety education.. Lessons present a prevention-oriented program to students, addressing issues associated with the Internet through real-life stories, scenarios, and activities. Simultaneously, students engage in skill-building activities for being safe and responsible cyber citizens. Each grade presents age-appropriate content – lessons increase in both frequency and content depth with each grade level. Units cover a variety of topics including: Cyber Community Citizenship and Personal Safety for younger students and Copyright, Intellectual Property, Personal Safety, Cyber Bullying, Text Messaging Safety, and others for older students.

“I think it is a very important addition to every child’s education. I am pleased that Connections Academy has made such a commitment to the topic and ultimately helping to keep our students safe and responsible,” said Elizabeth Cowan whose son attends Connections Academy in California. “The Internet is a great resource – especially for students. We want to do everything we can to be sure our students have the knowledge to make good choices when they are online.”

Students at each K-8 grade level will be required to study Internet Safety year after year as they progress through Connections Academy’s educational technology coursework. Students benefit from interactive courses aimed at mastering basic computer skills and terminology and that support students as online learners.A leading national operator of high-quality, tuition-free, highly accountable virtual public schools, Connections Academy serves students in kindergarten through 11th grade*, with 12th grade to be added during the 2008-09 school year, Connections Academy is designed to meet the needs of students and families who are looking for an alternative to the traditional classroom – those who need a flexible schedule, learn at a different pace from their peers, are looking for a different learning environment or need more individualized attention. The school serves a wide range of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, previously homeschooled students and students who may be homebound due to a medical situation or other condition.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable virtual public schools in thirteen 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 unique Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy. Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, whose progress is tracked through a proprietary, web-based Learning Management System. In 2007-08 Connections Academy will serve students in grades K-11 in Arizona, California, Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; grades 4-11 in Nevada; grades K-9 in Colorado; and grades K-8 in Florida and Wisconsin. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.connectionsacademy.com.

* Not all schools offer our complete range of grades K-11.