by PearsonFrequently Asked QuestionsCommon QuestionsWHAT IS CONNECTIONS ACADEMY?Connections Academy –supported schools are tuition–free online public schools for gradesK–12 offered in certain states. This is a unique program that combines the strong parentalinvolvement of homeschooling, professional expertise and accountability, and a flexiblelearning environment. Connections Academy provides the tools and support students need tolearn in an online setting. Learn how to enroll.WHAT GRADES DOES CONNECTIONS ACADEMY SERVE?Connections Academy serves students in grades K–12 in most states. Check your school’shome page to find out more.WHAT SETS CONNECTIONS ACADEMY APART?Families choose Connections Academy because they trust us to give their children a unique,personalized school experience where students can learn and grow. Supported by Pearson,the world’s learning company, Connections Academy provides a complete, fulltime educationfor children—one that includes all the core courses, electives, and social opportunities K-12students need. Caring teachers specialize in online learning and work with parents. Together,they set individual goals and ensure that students learn. Connections Academy prepareschildren for a bright future—whether that includes college, technical training, or careerreadiness.HOW IS CONNECTIONS ACADEMY DIFFERENT FROMTRADITIONAL SCHOOLING?Connections Academy schools are committed to providing a high-quality education thatis personalized to meet a student’s individual needs. This level of personalization is notcommonly available in traditional public bricks-and-mortar schools. Using our accessibletechnology, we connect parents, teachers, and students from home or anywhere there isInternet service. Additionally, families benefit from unique flexibility in creating their schedule,something that typically isn’t possible in a traditional setting. Parents are also able to controltheir student’s learning environment, ensuring a safe and stimulating atmosphere. Check outthe Connections Academy Resource Hub to learn more about the benefits of attending schoolonline.WHAT DOES A CONNECTIONS ACADEMY FAMILY RECEIVE? First-Class Curriculum: Our program features curriculum developed by leadingeducational publishers. Connections Academy families receive a combination oftextbooks*, online textbooks, workbooks, comprehensive lesson plans, and excitingenrichment courses. Exceptional Teaching: Connections Academy’s professional teachers work one-onone with students and their parents to instruct, review assignments, and customize thecurriculum. Our teachers provide extra help for struggling or gifted students. State-of-the-Art Technology: Families receive online communication, planning, andlearning management tools; online lessons and library resources; and technology
IS THE CONNECTIONS ACADEMY PROGRAM HOMESCHOOLING?Although Connections Academy and homeschooling have some similar attributes, ConnectionsAcademy is not homeschooling. All Connections Academy schools are public schoolprograms. Connections Academy schools provide a defined set of curriculum materialsthat have been specifically aligned to local standards and use certified teachers to evaluatestudent performance, including decisions concerning the child’s grade-level promotion. AllConnections Academy students are required to take state standardized tests, and the schoolsare accountable to regulatory authorities for the students’ performance.CAN I ENROLL MY CHILD AFTER THE SCHOOL YEAR HAS STARTED?Yes. In many states, you can enroll after the start of the school year. Most schools haveenrollment deadlines at some point during the year, however. Check your school’s enrollmentpage for more information, or call us for a consultation, particularly if you want to start late inthe school year.CAN MY CHILD ATTEND THE PROGRAM PART-TIME OR DURINGTHE SUMMER?The Connections Academy public schools are offered on a full-time basis. Pearson OnlineAcademy, our accredited online private school, offers a part-time program and online summerschool in addition to a fulltime program.ARE CONNECTIONS ACADEMY SCHOOLS NONPROFIT?Connections Academy public schools are operated under contract with nonprofitorganizations that are either charter schools, school districts, or governmental entities.Pearson Online Academy is a private school.WHEN DOES THE SCHOOL YEAR START AND END?School year start and end dates vary by school. Check your school’s calendar page for thecorrect start and end dates.WHAT ARE THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT CONNECTIONSACADEMY?Connections Academy is always looking for hardworking dedicated individuals to join the team.Please review the current openings to see if a position is available near you. ConnectionsAcademy is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Tuition & CostsHOW MUCH DOES THE ONLINE PROGRAM COST?The online public school program is free, including all of the books and curriculum. The onlycosts are the optional field trips, which are organized by your school’s community coordinatorsand staff, and the replenishment of some school supplies, such as printer cartridges.WILL I NEED TO PURCHASE BOOKS OR MATERIALS FOR COURSES?No. All required books and instructional materials for courses are provided to students. Sometexts are provided online, and other texts are in print form.CurriculumWHAT CURRICULUM DOES CONNECTIONS ACADEMY PROVIDE?Connections Academy provides comprehensive lesson plans online and in print, along with anumber of exciting elective courses. The proven curriculum incorporates materials developedby leading educational institutions, as well as lessons and other resources developed bycurriculum specialists. The curriculum for each public school is aligned to the state standards.WILL MY CHILD BE REQUIRED TO TAKE STANDARDIZED TESTS,AND WHERE?Yes. All online public school students must complete the standardized tests that are requiredin their state or district. We also provide a test preparation program to develop the skills thatstudents will need in order to perform well on many types of assessments. Your ConnectionsAcademy school will arrange testing locations throughout the state and will inform you inadvance of where and when your child is scheduled to attend.HOW ARE LESSONS CUSTOMIZED?Teachers and Learning Coaches work closely together to create a unique learning environmentand to set goals for their students’ learning. Teachers use an individualized approach tolearning throughout the year called Personalized Performance Learning (PPL), which allowsthem to evaluate the needs of a student and customize accordingly.WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE?Connections Academy students often lead busy lives, and this online flexibility allows forlearning when it works best. Students will need to be available for teacher-led LiveLesson sessions, but are able to choose how to arrange their free time in between. For somestudents, scheduling breaks in between lessons may be the answer to optimized learning. Forothers, leaving time for extracurricular activities is key. Check out the Connections Academyblog to see some examples of sample schedules.
EnrollmentHOW DO I START THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS?Find your school and get started!HOW ARE COURSES CHOSEN ONCE WE ARE ENROLLED?Connections Academy’s Academic Placement Services team uses academic records to placestudents in courses that are the best fit for them.WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM STUDENT ENROLLMENT PERHOUSEHOLD AT CONNECTIONS ACADEMY?Connections Academy is comfortable with a ratio of 4:1 (four children to one Learning Coach).An additional adult serving as Learning Coach is recommended for more than 4 studentsin a household. In the event that the additional adult is not a parent or legal guardian, aDesignated Learning Coach Agreement must be completed by both the parent/legal guardianand Designated Learning Coach.HOW DO I FIND OUT WHETHER OR NOT MY CHILD MAY BEELIGIBLE TO ATTEND CONNECTIONS ACADEMY?Find the Connections Academy school in your state. Under the school’s enroll section, checkthe eligibility page to find the following: Grades offered.The age that a child must be to start school in your state.The acceptable proof of age documents in your state.Any geographical restrictions for attending in your state.The acceptable proof of residency documents in your state.Restrictions for submitting immunization documentation.Types of immunizations (shots) your student must have for enrollment.Prior public schooling limitations.Supporting documentation.Types of documentation that may apply to your student that may need to be submitted.HOW DOES SELF-ENROLLMENT WORK IF I AM 18 YEARS OLD, OROLDER, OR AM AN EMANCIPATED MINOR?Students who are 18 or over must meet age eligibility requirements in their state. Studentsmust also submit academic documentation of all courses attempted since entering the 9thgrade. Academic documentation will be reviewed by a school counselor to determine thestudent’s eligibility to complete the program requirements before meeting the age cap forenrollment. Students who cannot complete the program requirements before meeting the agecap for enrollment are not eligible to enroll.Both emancipated minors and students 18 years and older are required to complete theParent/Legal Guardian (Caretaker) Acknowledgement (PLCA) form and to provide all requiredenrollment documentation before the student can enroll. Emancipated minors must alsosubmit court documentation for their emancipation. Please contact the Enrollment Team at877-648-8451 for more information.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THE TERM “LEARNING COACH”?The term “Learning Coach” is used to represent the role that the enrolling parent/guardianplays in the student’s educational experience. The enrolling parent/guardian chooses toserve as the “Learning Coach” which may include working closely with the teacher to ensureassignments are completed, schedules are met, and students are engaged and motivated.The parent/guardian may designate another trusted adult to act as a Learning Coach bycompleting the Designated Learning Coach online form.IF I ENROLL MY STUDENT IN CONNECTIONS ACADEMY WILL MYSTUDENT BE ABLE TO LOG IN AT ANY TIME TO DO SCHOOL WORKOR ONLY DURING NORMAL SCHOOL HOURS?You will have access to Pearson Online Classroom (formerly known as Connexus ), oureducation management system, at any time of the day including weekends and holiday breaks.This level of flexibility helps you to design a learning day that works best for your family.WHAT IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AT CONNECTIONS ACADEMY?Communication is the most important element in succeeding with online learning. If you oryour student experience any problems along the way, contact us immediately. Many kinds ofsupport are available for students and families, including enrollment help, computer/technicalsupport, academic assistance, and school counselor support. We are ready and willing toassist you—give us a call or send us a WebMail message. Communication is key throughoutyour entire experience with Connections Academy.WHY IS THE VIRTUAL ENROLLMENT PROCESS DIFFERENT FROM APHYSICAL SCHOOL?Local schools serve one district. Connections Academy serves students from multiple districtsstatewide. Not all districts statewide accept the same documentation.WHY DOES A VIRTUAL OR CYBER SCHOOL NEED DOCUMENTSSUCH AS THE IMMUNIZATION RECORD TO PROCESS MYSTUDENT?Connections Academy schools operate like any other public school. Therefore, our schoolsmust comply with the same state regulations. Specific documents are required for all enrollingstudents.WHY IS ACADEMIC DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED FOR MYSTUDENT?During the enrollment process, submission of academic documentation such as a report card,unofficial transcript, schedule, or current progress report, helps to ensure that your studenthas an accurate and personalized course placement to start with Connections Academy.HOW DO I OBTAIN COPIES OF MY STUDENT’S RECORDS FROMTHE PREVIOUS SCHOOL?As a parent/legal guardian you may request copies of the student’s most recent report cardor unofficial transcript, IEP documentation, birth certificate, and immunization record fromtheir file. DO NOT withdraw from your current school or request a complete copy of thestudent’s cumulative file prior to completing the enrollment process, as this information will berequested from the student’s previous school upon completion of the enrollment process.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE ENROLLMENTPROCESS?That depends on you. The sooner you complete online enrollment forms and submit therequired documents, the sooner your student will be enrolled. It typically takes two weeks ormore to complete the entire enrollment process.TIP: Log in to your caretaker homepage daily to review the student’s enrollment status and theverification of documents you submit.WHAT CAN I DO TO COMPLETE THE ENROLLMENT PROCESSFASTER?Our process is streamlined to minimize any inconvenience to you while still meeting stateregulations. Refer to the Enrollment Instructions document for some tips to help you keep theprocess moving.HOW SHOULD I VERIFY THAT THE DOCUMENTS I SENT ARRIVED?After submitting your documents, you can navigate to the Submit Documents section locatedin the Enrollment Details. There you can see if your documents have been verified or arestill waiting to be processed. The Enrollment Details will also show if your file was markedinvalid and your document will be removed so that you can upload a new document. If youare unable to verify the status of your documents or have any questions, please call 877-6488451 and contact the Enrollment Team using the document submission option in our phonesystem. We will check the system to see if the document was received. Please be preparedto provide us with the following information: student’s name, number of pages sent, the datesent, and if sent by fax, the fax number.ONCE I COMPLETE THE STEPS TO CONFIRM MY STUDENT’SENROLLMENT, HOW LONG DO I WAIT TO WITHDRAW FROM MYLOCAL SCHOOL?After you have confirmed your student’s enrollment with Connections Academy, you shouldwithdraw your child from your previous/local school immediately—preferably the sameday. Delaying withdrawal could result in confusion, extra documentation, or cancellation ofenrollment.Do not withdraw your student before confirming your student’s enrollment, as this may resultin additional documentation being required (e.g. report card). Delays in submitting thesedocuments could result in delays starting school.HOW CAN I CHANGE MY ADDRESS AND OTHER CONTACTINFORMATION?You can change your information by logging into Pearson Online Classroom (formerly knownas Connexus ). On your caretaker homepage, click on the “Change Contact Information” link.Or, you can notify the student’s teacher who can submit the change for you.I NEED TO CHANGE MY STUDENT’S NAME IN PEARSON ONLINECLASSROOM , WHO DO I CONTACT?In order to update a parent or student name, Connections Academy will need a copy of thelegal name change documentation such as an amended birth certificate, marriage certificateor court order. Please submit this documentation to the Enrollment Department. If studentsuse a preferred name and/or gender that differs from the legal name and gender, you canreach out to your school counselor or principal to make that request once students becomeenrolled.
SocializationWHAT DO CURRENT PARENTS THINK ABOUT CONNECTIONSACADEMY?Every year, we ask Connections Academy families to rate our program. This year, once again,parents who completed online school reviews gave us high marks for helping studentssucceed academically and personally. See the results of the latest Parent Satisfaction Survey.WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A LEARNING COACH?Just like in a bricks-and-mortar school, the most successful students have parents who areinvolved in their education. We recommend that a parent or other trusted adult serve as aLearning Coach to support the student’s learning. Each family does this differently, and therole largely depends on the age of the student. For instance, students in high school areencouraged to work more independently, whereas elementary-age students will need moresupport while completing lessons. Some of the ways families may support learning includeproviding daily structure, communicating with teachers, and helping students stay on track.Throughout a student’s education, Connections Academy teachers take the lead in ensuringstudent success. When first getting started, the Connections Academy Family Support Programprovides ample resources to help families become acquainted with the online learningstructure. Learn more about the responsibilities of a Learning Coach.ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET OTHER CONNECTIONSACADEMY FAMILIES AND SOCIALIZE ONCE REGISTERED?Yes. We understand the importance of students and parents interacting with others in theprogram and in the community. There are a number of opportunities for you to take partin activities, both online and in person. Community coordinators and school staff plan fieldtrips, special projects, and group meetings with other families in your area. Online discussiongroups and the private email system allow you to communicate with other students or parentsfrom all Connections Academy schools.Additionally, Connections Academy’s Club Connections brings together families acrossthe country who are reaching out to their local communities to spread the word aboutConnections Academy.We connect currently registered caretakers, parents, and families so they can: Engage and interact with other caretakers through our Facebook group. Promote their school virtually and within your community using digital resources andpromotional items. Advocate for school choice by supporting legislative efforts and referring new families.WHAT DOES CONNECTIONS ACADEMY DO TO HELP STUDENTSREMAIN SAFE WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAM?Connections Academy knows that for students to achieve at the highest levels, they neednot only a great academic program, but also the freedom to learn in a safe and comfortablesetting. Parents and Learning Coaches also play a key role in creating this environment toensure their child’s well-being. Below are some of the most important resources ConnectionsAcademy provides to ensure that students are safe and focused on learning:
Throughout a student’s education, Connections Academy teachers take the lead in ensuringstudent success. When first getting started, the Connections Academy Family Support Programprovides ample resources to help families become acquainted with the online learningstructure. Learn more about the responsibilities of a Learning Coach. All Connections Academy–provided computers are equipped with heightened Internetsecurity settings and Internet filtering software that can be activated upon request bycalling the Technical Support line at 877-648-8451. If you are using your own computer,Technical Support can help you configure Internet security settings and find additionalInternet filtering software. We provide an Internet safety course for students, parents, and Learning Coaches. Thecourse contains valuable information about practicing safe behaviors online. This courseis also required training for all Connections Academy school staff. Staff trainings regarding student safety are a critical part of the Connections Academyprofessional development plan. The Connections Academy course Students in Distress:Recognizing and Responding is designed to help teachers and other school staff becomefamiliar with the signs of distress, such as from bullying/cyberbullying, neglect and abuse,or depression, or other problems that would keep students from doing their best. Thecourse also teaches them how to respond promptly and professionally. Regular required contact between teachers and students helps teachers get to knoweach student individually. Educators who know their students are better able to notebehaviors or attitudes that may indicate problems. Connections Academy strictly prohibits any form of bullying/cyberbullying, harassment,hazing, or other destructive actions that may cause emotional and/or physical harm tostudents. School policies regarding these prohibited behaviors are documented in theSchool Handbook: General Portion and the state-specific School Handbook Supplement. Each Connections Academy course contains a summary of web links so parents andLearning Coaches can quickly and easily note any links that they may not wish to havetheir student access.CAN MY STUDENT PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS IN THE SCHOOLDISTRICT?Many states allow students to participate in extracurricular activities within their residentdistrict; however, there are some states with restrictions regarding online school. Check withthe school in your state or give us a call at 877-648-8451.Technology RequirementsHOW MUCH TIME DO STUDENTS SPEND ON THE COMPUTER?The amount of time a student spends on the computer varies by grade. Younger studentsspend approximately 15–30%, middle school students spend about 50–75%, and high schoolstudents spend about 80–90% of their school day working on the computer.** Time on the computer may vary based on the use of print textbooks or online textbooks.The availability of print textbooks varies by state and course.
WHAT COMPUTER SKILLS DO CONNECTIONS ACADEMY STUDENTSAND LEARNING COACHES NEED?Students and Learning Coaches do not need advanced computer skills to attend ConnectionsAcademy. Through our Learning Coach Success series, parents are given the opportunityto attend a variety of sessions on subjects about anything from becoming acquainted withtechnology, to where to find resources in Pearson Online Classroom (formerly known asConnexus ), our education management system. We also provide a technology literacy programthat aids students in developing additional skills.WHAT HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE DO I NEED TO ACCESSLESSONS AND LEARNING TOOLS ONLINE?There are some specific software requirements necessary to use Pearson Online Classroom(formerly known as Connexus ), our online education management system. Please refer to theTechnology Support page for complete details.
WHAT IS CONNECTIONS ACADEMY? Connections Academy -supported schools are tuition-free online public schools for grades K-12 offered in certain states. This is a unique program that combines the strong parental involvement of homeschooling, professional expertise and accountability, and a flexible learning environment.