Indiana Connections Academy, Statewide K–12 Virtual School, Honored for School Counseling Excellence

--First and Sole Full-time Online School and One of Only Six Public Schools Statewide to Win IDOE Gold Star Counseling Award--

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 29, 2014) – Indiana Connections Academy (INCA), the statewide K-12 virtual charter school, has been honored with a prestigious educational award recognizing the excellence of its school counseling program.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has awarded INCA its 2014 Indiana Gold Star School Counseling Award, in recognition of the unique contributions of its school counselors in improving student achievement and preparing its K-12 students to be productive citizens in a global economy. INCA is the first and only fully online public school to be so honored by the IDOE, and one of only six schools statewide to win the award in 2014.

INCA Lead Principal Melissa Brown will officially accept the Gold Star award for the school at the official award presentation slated for the Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA) fall conference in Indianapolis in November 2014.

“We are so proud that INCA has made history by becoming the first and only fully online public school in Indiana to be honored for the excellence of our school counseling program,” Brown commented. “To receive this honor from the IDOE speaks volumes about the incredible quality of our school counseling program, and the talent and dedication of our entire counseling team. Our counselors and educators are truly devoted to our students, and helping them find academic and emotional success – not just while in school with us, but for the rest of their lives.”

To qualify for the Gold Star Counseling Award, INCA submitted an online portfolio with documentation that it meets the nine program standards found in Indiana’s Program Standards for School Counseling.

More than 3,500 students in grades K-12 statewide are enrolled in INCA. The 2014-2015 school year marks the start of the fifth year that INCA has served K-12 students statewide, delivering a 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 benefit from an individualized approach to education. 2014-2015 student enrollment is up 25% over 2013-2014, reflecting Indiana families’ growing demand for INCA’s rigorous, highly accountable virtual public school program.

INCA was founded in 2010 when the Indiana Department of Education selected Connections Academy to serve K-8 students throughout Indiana as part of the Virtual School Pilot Program. In the fall of 2011, Indiana Connections Academy became a K-12 virtual charter school. Since opening its virtual doors four years ago, INCA has served more than 5,000 Indiana students and their families with its exceptional home-based public education.

INCA, accredited by AdvancED, combines Indiana-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, an extensive selection of electives and clubs, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom. All INCA students participate in the national Connections Academy program that combines high quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a licensed Indiana teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs.

Interaction between teachers and students at INCA is frequent. Accountability is central to the school’s mission and students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools. INCA serves a wide range of Indiana students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who would benefit from more individualized instruction; or those who require a flexible school schedule.

More information about INCA is available at http://www.IndianaConnectionsAcademy.com.

About Indiana Connections Academy
Indiana Connections Academy (INCA) is a K-12 virtual charter school authorized by the Indiana Department of Education that offers students statewide a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option. All INCA students participate in the award-winning national Connections Academy program that combines high quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology and hands-on materials. INCA, which is accredited by AdvancED, 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. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.IndianaConnectionsAcademy.com. Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).