Support for Parents and Teachers Shifting to Online School


Right now, millions of families are trying online learning for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We see you making the most of being at home—doing great things for your kids. For the past 20 years, Connections Academy has helped students make the transition to online school. We know this probably wasn’t in your plan, but know that you can do this. We’re here to share our expertise and the resources you need to succeed with online school. Together, we’re focused on keeping kids learning as we adjust to our changing world.

Resources for Families


New to distance learning? Check out our tips and tricks to help your student learn from home.

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Resources for Educators


New to teaching from home? We have tips for educators looking for helpful strategies for switching to an online classroom.

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Students everywhere are learning from home for the first time due to COVID-19. Kudos to all of the parents and teachers stepping up, adjusting plans, and wearing many hats to ensure learning continues for our kids.

Learning online can feel different, so I want to offer resources from our online learning expertise to families and teachers as more schools move online to keep everyone healthy.

As parents and teachers, you know your kids better than anyone and we’re here to support you however we can. We’re in this together.



Meet Our Experts

Amanda Ebel

Director of Leadership Development (Moderator)

Amanda serves as a leadership coach for principals at Connections Academy-supported schools. Previously she was a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and the leader of South Carolina Connections Academy.

Colleen Gaard

Instructional Leadership Specialist

Colleen provides coaching and support to administrators at three Connections Academy-supported schools. She was a teacher at Indiana Connections Academy, where she also served as an assistant principal.

Noel Spalding

Director, Special Populations Consulting

Noel impacts student success by supporting the managers and teachers serving students in special populations. She has 22 years’ experience as a special education teacher, school leader, and program administrator.

Morgan Champion

Director of School Counseling

Morgan works with school counselors implementing best practices for students’ academic and social/emotional needs and college/career readiness. Previously she was a school administrator, counselor, and teacher.

Kim Francese

Manager of Learning Coach Support

Kim leads the team that supports adults who coach online school students learning at home. She has been a special educator in traditional and virtual school and was also a Learning Coach for her own child.

Mandi Brazill

School Leader, Kansas Connections Academy

Mandi has served as the school leader and assistant principal for Kansas Connections Academy. Before joining Connections Academy, she spent 6 years teaching high school students in a traditional classroom.

Karen Roper

Director of Instructional Leadership Consulting Services

With 25+ years’ experience in education, Karen leads the team that provides training and professional development to help Connections Academy teachers advance instruction and maximize student achievement.

Jordan Churchill

Director of Special Education, Colorado Connections Academy

Before joining Connections Academy in 2017, Jordan was dedicated to meeting students’ special needs, serving in facility schools, intensive learning centers, and providing behavioral analytic services to students.

Sharon Jaso

Special Education Director, Kansas Connections Academy

A nationally board-certified teacher, Sharon taught special education for 18 years to students in kindergarten to age 21. She has a doctorate and mentors teachers seeking certification in exceptional needs.

LaQuisha Leath

Assistant Principal, International Connections Academy

With 19+ years’ experience in education, LaQuisha holds an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction. Before joining our online private school, she was a teacher and a school leader.

Christine Hayes

Vice President of School Academic Services

Christine leads the teams that provide Connections Academy-supported schools with leadership development and consulting services for school counseling, instructional leadership, and more. She began her career as a teacher and went on to support public school partnerships nationally for several education companies.

Kristie Clements

Director of Schools

With 28 years’ experience in education as a principal, in public district and state-level department of education roles, and more, Kristie works to provide quality online education programs to schools.