New Virtual Public School, Washington Connections Academy, Approved for Students in Grades K-12

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Statewide virtual public school to offer tuition-free option for Washington families in the 2016-2017 school year; enrollment now open for grades K-8

Washington online school approved to begin serving students in grades K-8

Our mission is to provide students a personalized, positive, challenging, and safe learning environment with support from Washington-certified teachers, parents, and the community

Washington Connections Academy (WACA), a full-time virtual public school, has been approved by the Mary M. Knight School District to serve students in grades K-12 statewide. Washington Connections Academy will begin serving grades K-8 in the 2016-17 school year and an additional grade will be added each subsequent school year. The new school will deliver technology-enhanced, tuition-free, public school online to students statewide.

Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year is currently open for students across the state. Interested families are encouraged to attend one of the information sessions being planned across the state and online to find out if virtual school is the right fit for their students. For a complete list of events, visit the school's website.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Family

Dr. Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of the Mary M. Knight School District, commented: “We believe that a variety of learning options, including online courses and programs, are critical for 21st century learning and look forward to providing students across the state with this innovative, enriching public school option. Our mission is to provide students a personalized, positive, challenging, and safe learning environment with support from Washington-certified teachers, parents, and the community.”

The academy will combine Washington-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives, and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for families and students who want an individualized approach to education. As a public school, there are no fees or tuition to attend and all students are required to take the same state assessments as traditional public school students.

A virtual school approach serves a wide range of 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.

All Washington 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 tools and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with licensed Washington teachers using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. A parent, or another adult “Learning Coach,” monitors progress in the home. Curriculum and other services are contracted through Connections Education, a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable online learning that has been supporting schools for over a decade. Connections Education is accredited by AdvancED.

In preparation for its inaugural academic year, the district will be identifying a teaching center in the Olympia area and hiring a Principal and team of teachers who will be based in Washington.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading 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 programs, 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. Among the schools supported by Connections in the 2015–16 school year are 30 Connections Academy virtual (online) public schools that operate in 26 states. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, International Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit http://www.ConnectionsAcademy.com. Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).

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Christine Adkins
Connections Education
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