Florida Connections Academy Earns "A" Grade from Florida Department of Education

-- Virtual K-8 School Takes Top Honors on 2006-2007 School “Report Card”--

ORLANDO, July 25, 2007 – Florida Connections Academy (FCA), the virtual public school that Florida students attend from home, has earned an “A” grade for the 2006–2007 year from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). FCA is one of only 91 K–8 public schools in the entire state that took top honors on state-issued annual school report cards. Last year, FCA served approximately 700 students from across the state in grades K-8.

“We are thrilled and honored that FCA has gotten an “A” on its 2006–2007 report card, commented Thomas J. Herdtner, FCA Principal. “But we are not surprised the state has determined that our school delivers a superior education program—we hear this every day from our parents and students. By combining the strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly-funded education, and the flexibility of online study, Florida Connections Academy truly provides Florida families with an outstanding educational alternative.”

Under Florida’s “A+ Plan,” the FLDOE annually assigns every public school a grade. School grades are based on how well students have mastered the Sunshine State Standards—the skills Florida teachers determined the state’s children must learn at each grade level—which are measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Student scores are classified into five achievement levels, with “1” being the lowest and “5” being the highest. Schools earn points based on three criteria: how well students are doing, how much progress they are making (learning gains), and how much progress struggling students are making in reading and mathematics. To earn an “A” grade, like FCA did, a school must earn at least 525 points, meet adequate progress of lowest students in reading and math, and test at least 95 percent of eligible students.

Headquartered in Orlando, FCA has operated under contract with the Florida Department of Education since 2004. Parents pay no tuition for students to attend FCA, since it is a public school. FCA offers a unique, high-quality curriculum aligned to Florida’s state learning standards. The school uses technology and more to deliver individualized instruction following a Personalized Learning Plan developed for each student. FCA provides textbooks and other curriculum materials, along with a loaned computer, printer and subsidy for Internet service. FCA Students are required to take all state mandated, standardized tests in person at locations designated by the school.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy (CA) is a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable K–11 virtual public schools operated in partnership with charter schools and school districts. Connections Academy schools deliver top-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers; a proven, print-rich curriculum; technology tools; and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who need an individualized approach to education. In CA’s unique Personalized Performance Learning™ approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by CA. Teachers develop a Personalized 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 Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin through its high-tech, high-touch public "schools without walls." For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.connectionsacademy.com.