Annual Parent Survey Shows Overwhelming Satisfaction with Connections Academy Virtual Schools, Teachers and Curriculum

Fourteenth consecutive year of top marks from parents: 92 percent of parents would recommend Connections Academy to other families; 95 percent agree curriculum is high quality

Baltimore, Md. (July 28, 2016) — Connections Academy, a leading provider of online K-12 schools, released results today from its annual parent satisfaction survey measuring families’ satisfaction with their Connections Academy virtual school experience. The survey also reveals reasons why families are choosing Connections Academy for their children. In the 2015-16 school year, 30 Connections Academy-supported schools in 26 states served students with a top-tier, personalized education.

Now in its 14th year, the third-party Connections Academy Parent Satisfaction Survey provides valuable feedback to help tailor and improve the online school program. Thirty-six percent of enrolled families participated in the survey.

Parents give Connections Academy schools high marks for academic rigor, program flexibility and quality teachers. Ninety percent of parents gave the online school program an “A” or “B” grade, a rating that has remained steady since the survey was launched over a decade ago. In comparison, Connections Academy scores stand well above the public school ratings, in which only 70 percent of public school parents gave the school their oldest child attends an “A” or “B” grade, according to the 47th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools*.

“This annual survey is a significant touchstone event for our organization -- hearing directly from families with students enrolled in the schools we support about where we are doing well and where we can improve drives our focus for continual improvement and reinforces our commitment to accountability. As a co-founder of Connections Academy, I’m also incredibly proud that satisfaction ratings have remained so high for so many years and that we continue to positively impact the lives of students and their families,” said Steven Guttentag, Ph.D., president and co-founder of Connections Academy.

The top reasons families choose to enroll in online school include: 47 percent required greater flexibility; 43 percent wanted a change from their local school; 35 percent wanted a safe learning environment; and 24 percent of parents wanted to be more involved in their child’s education. Other families specifically cited health concerns, bullying or extracurricular activities as an incentive for enrollment.

Like every school, quality teachers are vital to success. In 2016, 96 percent of Connections Academy parents reported satisfaction with the helpfulness of their child’s teacher and 92 percent of parents agreed the teacher improved their child’s learning experience.

To meet stringent education standards, Connections Academy combines a rigorous standards-aligned curriculum with responsive and helpful licensed teachers. This year, 95 percent of parents rated the curriculum as high quality and 93 percent of parents agreed they are satisfied with the variety of learning activities provided by the schools. Connections Academy offers diverse course options for students, including many world languages, digital technology, career technical courses, as well as honors and AP courses. The schools also offer a broad assortment of online clubs, ranging from robotics and gaming to poetry and more.

Connections Academy schools host many activities throughout the year to help build relationships among students including numerous field trips, National Honor Society, community service opportunities, junior and senior prom, as well as in-person graduation ceremonies. A majority of parents agree that Connections Academy provides socialization events for their children, according to the survey data.

Additional highlights:

  • 95 percent of parents say their child is satisfied with Connections Academy’s program
  • 91 percent of parents agree their child is making good progress at Connections Academy
  • 90 percent of parents agree their child is enjoying the program
  • 91 percent of parents rate the response time of teachers as excellent or good
  • 93 percent of parents agree the program is flexible
  • 93 percent of parents agree the use of technology is improving the learning experience

What parents are saying:

“I like that my daughter can work at her own pace. For classes in which she excels she can work ahead and even work with the teachers to do greater and more stimulating projects. And in classes where it takes her longer to learn the material she can take the time to review assignments and even spend extra time to take those exams without the constraints of a bell schedule.” --Alicia Held, Arizona Connections Academy parent

“The teachers and staff have really catered to my son’s personal learning needs. They are involved and caring and have created a positive learning environment for him. The flexible schedule is great, too. My son had a really hard time getting up early... Now he can sleep in a little later and even do his school work in the evenings and weekends if needed.” –Peter Davis, Colorado Connections Academy parent

Enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year and information sessions are going on now.

Survey methodology
Connections Academy conducts the annual Parent Satisfaction Survey to find out how parents, guardians and Learning Coaches grade the program in several key areas. The 2016 survey was conducted from January 1 to February 26, 2016 by Shapiro + Raj, 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 students enrolled at the time of the survey were invited to complete the survey online. A WebMail invitation was sent to each parent, and one response per household was submitted. Thirty-six percent of the more than 44,300 households with students enrolled in a Connections Academy school at the time of the survey responded to the survey.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading provider of high-quality virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience the Connections Academy online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, an award-winning 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. Connections Academy-supported schools offer grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson.

*Joan Richardson and William J. Bushaw, “The 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools: Testing Doesn’t Measure Up for Americans,” Phi Delta Kappan (2015): 20.

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