90% of Parents Give Connections Academy Virtual Schools Top Marks for 11th Consecutive Year

-- Flexibility, Different Learning Environment from Current School, and Safe Environment are Top Enrollment Drivers Cited by Parents in Annual Survey --

Baltimore, MD (August 13, 2013)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 latest Parent Satisfaction Survey, 90% of parents gave the overall Connections Academy (CA) online public school program an “A” or “B” grade, and 92% recommend Connections Academy schools to other parents. This year marks the 11th straight year that at least 90% of parents with students enrolled in a school supported by Connections Academy have graded the virtual schools so highly.

Enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year is going on now and free information sessions are taking place across the country for families interested in learning more about the program, meeting Connections Academy teachers, and exploring the award-winning curriculum.

Parents gave the Connections Academy program high marks for its academic rigor, program flexibility, the high quality of its teachers, and for delivering high levels of student achievement. Ninety-one percent of parents reported that their children are making good academic progress, arguably the keenest evaluation of a child’s education. Ninety-five 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 72% noting it is more challenging than the curriculum at their child’s previous school.

The annual parent survey also revealed that parents’ top reasons for enrolling their students in a Connections Academy school included: flexible schedule (43%), wanting a change from their current school (42%), and learning in a safe environment (37%). Other factors parents cited included the wish for “greater involvement in my child’s learning” (25%) and 17% who said “my child was at risk of academic failure and I wanted a more intensive and personalized instruction for him/her.”

Connections Academy parents’ strong support reflects the e-learning innovator’s continued success, even as Connections Academy supports more schools—and serves more students—than ever. Approximately 40,000 full-time students were enrolled in a Connections Academy school during the 2012-13 school year. In the 2013-2014 school year, CA will support students in 23 states via 26 virtual public schools and worldwide through the online private school, International Connections Academy.

“We take the results of this parent survey very seriously; it is very rewarding to get this feedback directly from parents,” commented Barbara Dreyer, president and CEO of Connections Academy. “Not only do the findings guide the development of our program and help make Connections Academy better, but the results offer insight for a larger education discussion—a discussion about ‘what works’ for students and what families want for their children. I’m very proud of our high marks and am particularly grateful for dedicated and hardworking Connections Academy teachers, principals, counselors, and school support staff members, who have helped such a wide range of students succeed academically, and in life.”

CA’s stellar parent satisfaction ratings—90% gave Connections Academy an A or B grade—stand well above public school ratings from the 44th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, in which 77% of public school parents gave the public school their oldest child attends an “A” or a “B” grade. Further underscoring how pleased parents are with CA schools, 84% 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 parents, guardians and other Learning Coaches grade the program in several key areas. The 2012-2013 survey was conducted from January 15th to March 8th by L.J. Shapiro & Associates, an independent market research company which deployed the questionnaire, collected the data, and tabulated the results. No individual responses were accessible to Connections Academy personnel. 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. Just under half of the over 34,000 households with students enrolled in a CA school at the time responded to the Survey.

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 2012–13 school year, Connections Academy serves students in 22 states via 24 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, International 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.