Connections Academy Virtual School in Partnership with Sperry Public Schools Comes to Oklahoma – Approved to Open for 2011-2012 School Year

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New Public Virtual School to Serve Grades K-8 Statewide; High-Quality, Tuition-Free, Public Education Option for Oklahoma Families, March 31st Enrollment Deadline

Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, Oklahoma students in grades K-8 will have an exciting new virtual school option that delivers exceptional public schooling to students online. Oklahoma Connections Academy, a virtual school, has just been approved by the Sperry Public Schools Board of Education and will begin enrollment immediately for the 2011-12 school year. Oklahoma Connections Academy can enroll students in grades K-8 from anywhere in the state and will offer a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option. The school expects to expand to grades K-12 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Important deadline: Families with students wishing to attend Oklahoma Connections Academy in the 2011-2012 school year must submit a Parent’s Application for an Open Transfer form by March 31, 2011. Information sessions about the school are taking place across the state and online. Visit the Connections Academy website for updates to the information session schedule and further details about enrollment.

Oklahoma Connections Academy will combine Oklahoma-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, an extensive selection of electives and clubs, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom.

All Oklahoma 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 and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a licensed Oklahoma teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs.

VIDEO: A Day-in-the-Life of a Connections Academy Family

Oklahoma Connections Academy is expected to serve a wide range of Oklahoma 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. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in Connections Academy’s program.

Interaction between teachers and students will be frequent. Accountability is central to the school’s mission and students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools.

“We are thrilled to bring Connections Academy’s high quality and highly regarded online school to Oklahoma and to serve students from across the state,” commented Pat Laystrom, Senior Vice President for State Relations for Connections Academy. “Personalized learning is at the core of the Connections Academy program. Our new partner in Oklahoma, Sperry Public Schools, clearly understands the benefits of an individualized approach to education and how it can contribute to student success.
Additionally, our program uses technology to bring public school to the student – no matter where they live – which is particularly appealing to families in rural locations looking for an innovative public school option. We look forward to the 2011-2012 school year and working with the Sperry Public Schools.”

“Connections Academy’s reputation as a leader in virtual education and track record of proven success was by far the most significant factor in our decision to pursue this partnership,” said Joshua Williams, Director of Technology for Sperry Public Schools. “It is very evident that Connections Academy is focused on quality education and that accountability is central to its mission. We are confident that students enrolled in Oklahoma Connections Academy receive a world-class education experience. We are excited about bringing this innovative approach of learning to the students and parents of Oklahoma.”

Families seeking more information about Connections Academy and its approach to personalized public education can visit http://www.ConnectionsAcademy.com or call 800-382-6010.

Connections Academy opened its first schools—serving 400 K-8 students—in 2002. Since then, strong parental demand for this innovative public school alternative has led Connections Academy to grow both its school network and student body by double-digits annually. With its authorization, Oklahoma Connections Academy joins the national network of Connections Academy schools that is serving more than 30,000 students in grades K–12 in 2010–2011.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, full-time and part-time private school programs, and turnkey online programs for bricks and mortar schools, 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. In the 2010–11 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in Arizona, California (Southern and Central), Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming through its public school programs. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National 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

About Sperry Public Schools
Sperry Public Schools serves pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students in western Tulsa and eastern Osage Counties in northeast Oklahoma. For more information visit http://www.sperryps.net
MEDIA CONTACT:    Allison Bazin, Connections Academy
            (609) 247-0275
            abazin(at)ConnectionsAcademy(dot)com

            Joshua Williams, Sperry Public Schools
            (918) 288-7213
            jwilliams(at)sperry(dot)k12(dot)ok(dot)us

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Allison Bazin

Joshua Williams
Sperry Public Schools
(918) 288-7213
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