91% of Parents Give Connections Academy, Leading Virtual School Provider, Top Marks for 10th Consecutive Year

-- Annual Parent Satisfaction Survey Reveals Satisfaction with High-Quality, Challenging Curriculum, Teachers, and More --

BALTIMORE, MD (June 4, 2012) – Connections Academy, a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12, continues to get high marks from parents, a new study shows. In its 2011–12 Parent Satisfaction Survey, 91% of parents gave the overall Connections Academy (CA) online school program an “A” or “B” grade, and 93% recommend the school to other parents. 2011–12 marks the 10th straight year that at least 90% of CA parents have graded the virtual schools so highly.

The Parent Satisfaction Survey was administered by a third party to the approx. 27,000 households with students enrolled in Connections Academy schools across the country at the time of the Survey; 53% of households completed the Survey. More details about the survey methodology may be found below.

CA parents gave the program high marks for its academic rigor, program flexibility, the high quality of its teachers, and for delivering high levels of student achievement. Ninety-two percent of parents reported that their children are making good academic progress, arguably the keenest evaluation of a child’s education. Ninety-six percent said they were pleased with the helpfulness of their children’s teachers, and specifically praised their responsiveness and accessibility. Parents were also virtually unanimous in their praise of the CA curriculum, with 96% of survey respondents calling it “high quality,” and 71% noting that it’s more challenging than their child’s previous curriculum.

CA parents’ strong support reflects the e-learning innovator’s continued success, even as more CA schools are in operation—and serving more students—than ever. CA served approximately 40,000 full-time students during the 2011–12 school year. In the 2012–13 school year, CA anticipates serving students in 22 states via 24 virtual public schools and worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. 2012 marks the start of CA’s second decade of serving K–12 students nationwide.

“Connections Academy is committed to delivering a high quality, highly personalized, and rigorous education to meet the academic needs of a wide range of students,” commented Barbara Dreyer, president and CEO of Connections Academy. “That’s why it’s so rewarding to hear from our parents and students that we have fulfilled this core mission—especially since we continue to grow and serve more students than ever before. Connections Academy schools are clearly meeting an educational need for American families, and our success is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, principals, counselors, and school support staff members.”

CA’s stellar parent satisfaction ratings (91% of parents gave CA schools a grade of “A” or “B”) stand above public school ratings from the 43rd Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward The Public Schools, in which 79% of public school parents gave the public school their oldest child attends an “A” or a “B” grade.1 Further underscoring how pleased parents are with CA schools, 85% of parents reported being ‘more satisfied’ with the CA program than their child’s/children’s previous school.

Survey methodology
Connections Academy conducts its annual Parent Satisfaction Survey to find out how its parents, guardians and Learning Coaches grade the program in several key areas. The 2011–12 survey was conducted from January 17 to February 29 by L.J. Shapiro & Associates, an independent market research company which created the questionnaire, collected the data, and tabulated the results. No individual responses were accessible to Connections Academy. Parents of all currently enrolled students were invited to complete the Survey online. A WebMail invitation was sent to each parent, and one response per household was submitted. Fifty-three percent of all households with students enrolled in a CA school at the time of the Survey responded to the Survey.

Enrollment for the 2012–13 school year is going on now and free information sessions are taking place across the country for families interested in learning more about Connections Academy virtual public schools. Visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com to learn more.

1William J. Bushaw and Shane J. Lopez, The 43rd Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, “Betting on Teachers.”  Phi Delta Kappa, Vol. 93, No. 01, September 2011.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2011–2012 school year, Connections Academy serves students in 21 states via 22 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com. Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO) www.Pearson.com.