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Topic: National Connections Academy

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Subject: National Connections Academy
Date Posted: 5/5/2010 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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We have been a part of a virtual charter school this past year.  They have been having some adminstrative issues and we are exploring our options.

Has anyone worked with the Naitonal Connections Academy before?  Any feedback?




Date Posted: 5/29/2010 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2007
Posts: 11
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We used Oregon Connections Academy (I'm betting this is the same program?)  and found it was not a good fit for our family.

Because it goes through the public school system, we were under the same constraints as the PS.  X number of hours X number of days.  The problem is that they do not take into account how much down time you have at the PS, so it was straight desk work for that period of time.   He learned a lot, but was desperately bored and very lonely as it doesn't really allow time for things like field trips and extracurricular things. 


I should add, DS was in the TAG program, so the amount of work was heavier there too. 

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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We are with Connections Academy in Pennsylvania. This is our second year. they offer a lot, including a PE class in case you can't afford outside classes. They have a fairly heavy workload, and they tend to push for student independence rather young, I think- 7th grade or so. It is PS curriculum, so there is the regular PS emphasis on certain issues over other ones. Many teachers are excellent- more than we encountered in PS. We did hit a bad one this year, unfortunately. There is a certain uneveness because they are going thru such growth pains, their policies change from year to year, different teachers have vastly different understanding and experience in the virtual school realm, but then maybe that would happen in any school. They provide all materials, and pay for shipping for sending it back. And when they switch from one curriculum to another, you inherit left over printers and yoga books and so on. But 7 th grade was really hard for my child, for a number of reasons. I don't think it all had to do with CA. My 3rd grader got a great education, I wish my older one had had these chances, then some of her struggles would be less in the higher grades.

Anyway, was there a specific question you had about them?

They do pay for school picnics, at least in our state, and they offer special services- one of my students has webcam speech therapy. Live lessons, manuals, clubs galore. They have guest speakers do live lessons, too, like a poet one time and an indian folk story teller. Field trips we have problems with because of limited transportation during the day. Also, there are enough things to get us off schedule as it is- illness, state testsing, etc. I don't know how many field trips we would get to go on anyway. We try for one a year, but we do many of them on our own time as a family anyway. The school provides funds for internet service, as well.

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions.

Date Posted: 7/30/2010 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 2
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We did Connections Academy here in Oregon for a few years.  It was very scripted, although one of our teachers was willing to make some adjustments for us.  It was pretty comprehensive, but rather a dry, check-the-box type of curriculum.  It was more challenging than what my kid was doing in regular public school for sure.  At the time we used it, Connections Academy sent us the books and a computer to use.  K12 had also started a virtual school in Oregon a couple years ago, called ORVA.  You might look into that too if you are looking specifically for a virtual school.  You are welcom to PM with questions if you like.


Date Posted: 7/31/2010 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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As a K12 user for 7 years, I'd compare CA to ORVA/K12.