Connections Academy Virtual Public School Students Head Back to School—Without Leaving Home

2011–12 School Year Marks 10 Year Anniversary, Record Student Enrollment and School Network

BALTIMORE (August 9, 2011) — Over 30,000 K–12 public school students nationwide are heading back to school—without getting on a bus, entering a classroom, or even leaving their homes.  It’s back to school for students enrolled in Connections Academy, tuition-free virtual public schools that students attend from home or other location outside a traditional classroom. Enrollment is still going on and interested families are encouraged to learn more at in-person and virtual information sessions taking place across the country. View a “Day in the Life” of a Connections Academy family video.

The 2011–12 school year marks the 10 year anniversary for Connections Academy, the award-winning, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. The virtual learning pioneer celebrates its decade of serving students and families with major milestones: more than 30,000 students will get their education from 22 Connections Academy full-time virtual schools spanning 21 states. New Connections Academy schools serving students in the coming school year include:  Georgia Connections Academy; Louisiana Connections Academy; Oklahoma Connections Academy; and Utah Connections Academy. Still more students will benefit from the flexible and online private school option, Pearson Online Academy.

Connections Academy students are a talented, diverse group of students who represent a cross-section of the United States. They hail from major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and small towns, like Albion, ID—population 267. Students come from large families and single parent households. They are gifted and talented students who have distinguished themselves academically; some have already taken college courses. They are champion ice skaters, Olympic hopefuls, actors, entrepreneurs, activists and Eagle Scouts. They are students who travel with their parents, and homebound students finding an active school community while dealing with illness.

“The 2011–12 school year is such an exciting time for Connections Academy,” commented Barbara Dreyer, president of Connections Academy and chief executive officer of Connections Education, Connections Academy’s parent company. “We’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary, and we continue to grow by leaps and bounds. This year we have added four new schools and we expect to serve well over 30,000 students over the course of the 2011–12 school year. But I’m most proud that we’ve been able to serve more students than ever, while continuing to raise the bar for high quality virtual schooling. Our schools have won many honors for their academic excellence and our students continue to achieve both academically and emotionally. Equally significant, in every annual parent satisfaction survey since we started the survey 9 years ago, more than 90 percent of Connections Academy parents have given our overall program top marks.” 

Over the past decade, Connections Academy has redefined K–12 education in the United States, and set a new standard for high-quality, highly accountable virtual public education.  Its commitment to quality and innovation has helped make virtual K–12 education one of American K–12 public education’s fastest-growing trends. Seventeen million pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the U.S. will get at least some of their education virtually by 2015, according to research from Ambient Insight. More than four million of these students will get their entire educations virtually, from full-time virtual schools like Connections Academy.

The past decade was also marked by dramatic growth in both the size and scope of the company’s virtual public school network. Connections Academy has enjoyed gains every single year for the past 10 years in both schools and student enrollments, going from two schools serving 400 students to the current 22 virtual public schools serving over 30,000 students. Connections Academy schools have served a total of more than 100,000 students over a decade of operation.

Connections Academy schools deliver 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 want an individualized approach to education. In Connections Academy's Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy. Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, whose progress is tracked through Connexus®, our proprietary, web-based education management system.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited 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. In the 2011–12 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in 21 states via 22 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit