State's Largest Online Public School Announces New Charter with Santiam Canyon School District

--Oregon Connections Academy Looking Forward to Opportunities Ahead--

SCIO, OR (January 16, 2015) -- Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA), the state's largest tuition- free virtual public charter school, has signed a charter agreement with the Santiam Canyon School District (SCSD). "The ORCA board is truly excited to be able to offer new educational opportunities for our students by establishing a new partnership with the Santiam Canyon School District," said ORCA School Board Chairman Jeff Kropf, who is also one of the founders of the online academy.

The new charter will be in place when the 2015-16 school year gets underway next fall. Oregon Connections Academy started in 2005 under a contract with the Scio School District. “We appreciate the time and support we have received from Scio, but feel that Santiam Canyon will help us better serve students as we continue to grow,” Kropf continued. Enrollment at ORCA the first year was approximately 650 students statewide and over the past decade it has grown to around 3,700 students in grades K-12 during the current school year.

"I'm very proud of the progress we've made in the past ten years to provide a high quality personalized education for our students," explained Candy Farthing, Oregon Connections Academy Executive Director. "Moving forward for our next ten years my focus is continued improvement on our engaging curriculum, cutting-edge technology, and state certified teaching staff to support our families and help each student succeed."

The Santiam Canyon School Board approved the new charter with ORCA in early January. The SCSD Superintendent, Todd Miller, has a special connection to Oregon Connections Academy. He was the Executive Director at the school for two years before taking the helm at Santiam Canyon. "We look forward to partnering with Oregon Connections Academy to advance educational opportunities to the benefit of students," said Miller.

In the months ahead, Oregon Connections Academy will set up a main office in Mill City to comply with state law requiring charter schools to have headquarters inside the boundaries of the sponsoring school districts. "We expect the transition to be seamless for students and their families," noted Farthing, "That's one of the many benefits of being an online public school. It's been said before; 'a school is not a building – it’s a place where children learn', and that's really true at Oregon Connections Academy.”

To find out more about Oregon Connections Academy visit www.OregonConnectionsAcademy.com or call 800-382-6010.

About Oregon Connections Academy
Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable statewide online charter school that serves students in grades K–12. The school is authorized by the Scio School District 95C. All Oregon Connections Academy 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. Oregon Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of Oregon-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. Oregon Connections Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), an accrediting division of AdvancED. For more information, call 800-382-6010, or visit http://www.OregonConnectionsAcademy.com.