Connections Academy Virtual School in Partnership with Big Horn County School District #1 will Serve Students in Grades K–12 from Across Wyoming 

Innovative, tuition-free, K–12 virtual public school option; 2011–12 enrollment going on now for Wyoming Connections Academy, Information Sessions planned


Cowley, WY (May 3, 2011) — Wyoming students from across the state have an exciting new virtual school option that delivers exceptional public schooling to students online. Connections Academy and Big Horn County School District #1 have announced a new partnership to deliver Wyoming Connections Academy. Wyoming Connections Academy can enroll students in grades K–12 from anywhere in the state and will offer a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option. Enrollment is going on now for the 2011–2012 school year.  Visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com to learn more about enrollment and the series of free in-person and virtual information sessions that are being planned across the state for interested families.

 “The future is now, and providing 21st Century education opportunities for Wyoming students is a priority for our district,” commented Big Horn County School District #1 Superintendent Shon Hocker, who has been involved in online learning since 2002. “We took the task of selecting a virtual school partner very seriously and rigorously explored our options to find the right fit for our students. We were particularly drawn to Connections Academy’s commitment to quality and the dedicated teachers that are central to its operation. We are confident that our students will not only receive a first-rate education but will be made to feel at home in a supportive learning community—which is completely in line with Big Horn #1’s philosophy.”

Wyoming Connections Academy will combine Wyoming-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, an extensive selection of electives and clubs, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom.

All Wyoming 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 and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a licensed Wyoming teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs.

Ben Kolb, principal of Wyoming Connections Academy commented on serving Wyoming students with the school’s technology-enhanced education.

“It has been very rewarding to teach students in Wyoming and to support their academic and personal successes. We look forward to serving even more students with the new Wyoming Connections Academy and being able to deliver our innovative public school to students no matter where they live. It is truly amazing what the power of technology can bring to students for whom, for a variety of reasons, the traditional classroom was not a good fit. Our students receive a more flexible education that is personalized for them, they benefit from our quality teachers and curriculum, and they gain access to courses, electives and clubs that might not have been available to them previously. We have found a like-minded partner in Big Horn County School District #1 and look forward to working with them in the months ahead.”

VIDEO: A Day-in-the-Life of a Connections Academy Family

Wyoming Connections Academy is expected to serve a wide range of Wyoming 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 Connections Academy’s program.

Interaction between teachers and students is frequent. Accountability is central to the school’s mission and students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools.

Families seeking more information about Wyoming Connections Academy and its approach to personalized public education can visit http://www.ConnectionsAcademy.com  or call 800–382–6010.

Connections Academy opened its first schools—serving 400 K–8 students—in 2002. Since then, strong parental demand for this innovative public school alternative has led Connections Academy to grow both its school network and student body by double-digits annually. With this new partnership, Wyoming Connections Academy joins the national network of Connections Academy schools that will serve 40,000 students in grades K–12 in 2011–2012.

Connections Academy is a proud sponsor of Cheyenne Frontier Days for the second year in a row. Stop by the Wyoming Connections Academy booth in the Exhibit Hall to learn about our innovative school program and speak one-on-one with teachers.

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 rograms, 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 2011–2012 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in 22 states via 23 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12and is accredited through AdvanceEd. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com.

About Big Horn County School District #1
Big Horn County School District #1 is a consolidated district incorporating the towns of Burlington, Otto, Byron, Cowley, Deaver and Frannie, Wyoming. The district prides itself on its dedicated and student-centered teachers, support staff, and administrators, who believe that students come first. Striving to ensure success for each child and help him or her reach their full potential, the district’s philosophy includes consistent curriculum, aligned with the state standards from grade to grade. Big Horn County School District # 1 recognizes that education is a life-long pursuit and that the right introduction can establish a love for learning that students will carry with them into productive adulthood. Big Horn recently received accreditation from AdvanceEd, a global leader in accreditation and school improvement.