New Virtual Public School, Pecos Connections Academy, Approved to Open in the 2016-2017 School Year for Students in Grades K-8

Statewide virtual public school to offer tuition-free elementary and middle school option for New Mexico families; enrollment opens this spring

Carlsbad, NM (February 24, 2016) — Pecos Connections Academy, a full-time virtual public charter school, is approved by the Carlsbad Municipal School District to serve students in grades K-8 from across New Mexico. Pecos Connections Academy will begin serving students in the 2016-17 school year, and an additional grade will be added each subsequent school year. The new school will deliver technology-enhanced, tuition-free, public school online to students statewide.

Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year will open on March 1. Interested families are encouraged to attend one of the information sessions being planned across the state and online to find out if virtual school is the right fit for their students.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Family

Kyla Anderson, Santa Fe resident and Board President of Pecos Connections Academy commented: “We are proud to provide students with this exciting, innovative public school option and to partner with Carlsbad Municipal Schools. Students in grades K-6 will receive a literacy-focused education while students in grades 7-8 will have access to college and career readiness courses. We look forward to watching all Pecos Connections Academy students thrive.”

The academy will combine New Mexico-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives, and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for families and students who want an individualized approach to education. As a public school, there are no fees or tuition to attend and all students are required to take the same state assessments as traditional public school students.

“New Mexico must continue to develop educational options that meet the needs of all students regardless of their ability, ethnicity, or social standing,” said Gary Perkowski, superintendent of Carlsbad Municipal School District. “We look forward to providing a variety of choices and more chances for students to receive a high quality education experience.”

A virtual school approach serves a wide range of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, those who need a flexible schedule or learn at a different pace from their peers, and those who need more individualized attention or live in isolated rural settings. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in Pecos Connections Academy’s program.

All Pecos Connections Academy students will participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program that combines high-quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology tools and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with licensed New Mexico teachers using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. A parent, or another adult “Learning Coach,” monitors progress in the home.

Pecos Connections Academy is governed by a board composed of New Mexico residents, while its curriculum and other services are contracted through Connections Education, a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable online learning that has been supporting schools for over a decade. Connections Education is accredited by AdvancED.

In preparation for its inaugural academic year, the Governing Council will identify a teaching and learning center in the Carlsbad area, and hire a Principal and team of certified teachers based in New Mexico. The team looks forward to working with students and families throughout New Mexico regardless of geographic location who need a high-quality virtual educational option.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading 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. Among the schools supported by Connections in the 2015–16 school year are 30 Connections Academy virtual (online) public schools that operate in 26 states, including New Mexico Connections Academy. 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 Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).