Madison Collins is a middle school student who attends Ohio Connections Academy (OCA). When she was in elementary school, she attended a traditional public school that she loved; she enjoyed the classes and did very well thanks to her teachers, who kept her challenged. Madison’s mother, Kristy, also liked the school and appreciated how engaged the families were and the community feeling that created.
Unfortunately, when Madison entered the fifth grade and moved to her middle school, everything changed. The school was significantly larger, and there were a lot more kids and a lot more distractions in the classroom. Madison also felt unchallenged and found the pace of teaching to be considerably slower.
Madison wanted a school environment where she would be challenged academically and feel safer, and her parents wanted the opportunity to be involved in her education. In August, Madison enrolled in Ohio Connections Academy.
According to Kristy, Madison’s transition to the online platform was relatively easy. At first there were some time management issues to work out, but Madison’s father, a retired police officer, is her Learning Coach, and he worked closely with the teachers to keep her motivated.
After only a few months, Madison believes she is more challenged than she has ever been before and is learning more than she ever has. The schedule flexibility also enables her to volunteer in the community and work with younger children.
Given that both her parents have worked in public safety, Madison has always had a passion for helping to keep children safe. Since the time she was seven years old, Madison has volunteered for the Greater Hamilton Safety Council to support its Safety Town program. Each summer Madison helps teach children all aspects of safety, including pedestrian and traffic safety, fire prevention, and poison/substance avoidance, among other things.
Madison’s service to her community was recently recognized by Ohio Connections Academy, and she was presented a Prudential Spirit of Community Certificate of Achievement as one of the school’s volunteers of the year.