Alysa Liu is making history. She took first place for women at the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Detroit, Michigan, when she landed three triple axles during the competition. At age 13, she is the youngest winner ever, too young even to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Olympic team. But she is widely seen as the future of U.S. figure skating. Behind the scenes, her family had to make some adjustments to accommodate her talent and passion for ice-skating.
Why does k–12 online school work for the Liu family?
The Liu family chose to switch Alysa from her traditional brick-and-mortar school to California Connections Academy in sixth grade so that Alysa could have the scheduling flexibility she needed to pursue skating at a higher level. “We tried one of our local public schools, but it required students to be there from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. each day,” said Arthur Liu, Alysa’s father. “That really didn’t work for her. When I decided to pull her out of middle school, I was looking to online schools. Connections Academy came highly recommended; we had no hesitation.”
An online curriculum that is flexible for home—…or on the go
For the Lius, Alysa’s education and the pursuit of her skating dreams were equally important. “We can’t afford to miss too many classes,” Arthur continued. “But we travel a lot for competitions and have to maintain her training schedule. Connections Academy provided her this huge flexibility. She can finish her schoolwork in the car on the way to training. Online school has worked for us for the past four years.”
How online public school supports parent and student success
And it’s working for the entire family. Arthur is Alysa’s Learning Coach, the mentor who supports Alysa’s online learning by communicating with teachers, monitoring her progress and grades, and helping with organization and study skills. He is also a practicing lawyer and single father of five children. He knows what it’s like to juggle work and family commitments. He had to adapt to his role as Alysa’s Learning Coach. “It was a lot to manage in the beginning. You have to be very disciplined as a coach.” But California Connections Academy’s solution of providing an accredited public school education, state-certified teachers, and transparency into progress and grades helps keep Alysa’s education on track. With everything clicking right now, Arthur isn’t worried about his daughter’s skating or school success.
We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Alysa as she develops as a star skater and student!