Commonwealth’s Newest Virtual Public School to Graduate First Senior Class
--Olympic Ice Hockey Champion Lyndsey Fry to Give Commencement Address--
BOSTON, MA (June 12, 2015) — High school seniors from across Massachusetts became the first class to graduate from TEC Connections Academy (TECCA), the Commonwealth’s newest virtual school. The inaugural class of twelve students attended a graduation ceremony Friday, June 12 at UMass Boston. TECCA is an innovative, technology-enhanced public school option that delivers full-time, tuition-free, public school online to students in grades K-12 from across the state.
Olympian Lyndsey Fry served as the commencement speaker via video. Fry, an Arizona native and former Arizona Connections Academy student, earned a silver medal as a member of the women's ice hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and recently graduated from Harvard University. In her speech to graduates, Fry shared her experience with online school and how the flexible scheduling allowed her to play competitive ice hockey without missing out on a high quality education.
Other speakers included Dr. Peter Sanchioni, Chair of TECCA’s Board of Directors and Dr. Tyler Page, principal of TECCA during its first year.
“TECCA’s 2014-2015 school year has been a resounding success,” said Sanchioni. “With the help of our excellent teachers and administrators, our inaugural class of graduating seniors has exceeded all expectations. I know they will all go on to do great things.”
“I am so proud to be a part of TECCA’s first year,” Page said. “Our teachers and faculty have been working hard all year to deliver quality lessons and challenging curriculum to our students. Our student body is made up of some amazing people—athletes, dancers, actors and gifted students. They will do some great things in the future.”
The success of the new virtual school is apparent in the school’s first survey of TECCA parents, which was completed by an independent third party. Ninety percent of parents would recommend the new school to other families and 76 percent say they are more satisfied with TECCA than their previous school. Nearly 80 percent of parents gave TECCA an “A” or “B” grade, whereas public school ratings from the 46th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools shows that traditional public schools received only 67 percent “A” or “B” grades from parents. Parent satisfaction with TECCA’s teachers and curriculum ranges from 85 to 90 percent, with 87 percent of parents agreeing that the use of technology improves the learning experience.
Among the seniors in the inaugural graduating class are:
- Caitlin Bernard of Belchertown
- Jorden Cayford of Brockton
- Alexandria Cousin of Rockland
- Richard Greenberg of Wilmington
- Tasia Jack of South Grafton
- Erica Mazzarelli of Andover
- Jared McCracken of Andover
- Joshua Oring of Williamstown
- Erika Ross of Warwick
- Lindsey Turner of North Dighton
- Elian Valenzuela Arias of Cambridge
TECCA combines Massachusetts-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. Learning from home, TECCA students work closely with 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. 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 school students.
Enrollment for the 2015-16 school year is underway. Families interested in learning more are invited to attend an online or in-person information session. For additional information, visit http://www.ConnectionsAcademy.com/TECCA.
About TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School
TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School (TECCA) is Massachusetts’ newest statewide, tuition-free, virtual public school for students in grades K-12. The school was approved in February 2014 by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is now serving students, delivering a fully-accredited education. TECCA 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 Massachusetts-credentialed teachers, an award-winning curriculum, engaging electives, technology tools, and social experiences provides a supportive online learning opportunity for students who want an individualized approach to education. The virtual school is sponsored by The Education Cooperative (TEC). For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.TECConnectionsAcademy.com.