“One reason families are turning to tuition-free full-time virtual schools like Louisiana Connections Academy is that parents want a more personalized education for their children,” notes Caroline Wood, Louisiana Connections Academy Principal. “Our school tailors students’ studies to their abilities and interests, and students can work at their own pace.”
Virtual schools can be a great alternative for lots of different kinds of students -- whether they’re ahead or behind their peers, have learning challenges, are pursuing athletics or a host of other circumstances, said Principal Wood. Yet despite the growing popularity of virtual education, some parents still don’t know how virtual schools work.
Louisiana Connections Academy has held information sessions with interested parents and students throughout the state over the summer. A handful of events to learn about the school and consider enrollment are still available:
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Online Information Session for Parents and Students Register: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/louisiana-online-school/events.aspx
GREATER NEW ORLEANS Friday, August 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Meet Us! Party at Airline Skate Center, 6711 Airline Dr., Metairie
The top facts a parent or student needs to know about a public virtual charter school, like Louisiana Connections Academy, are these, according to Principal Wood:
Fact: Virtual public school is not home school
The two are very different. Virtual public schools deliver public education in the comfort of the student’s home. Like all public schools, they are tuition-free to students. State-certified teachers deliver a rigorous curriculum that correlates to state standards. LACA graduates earn a Louisiana State Diploma and can qualify for TOPS and TOPStech.
Fact: Not all virtual schools are created equal
Parents need to do their homework to pick a high quality virtual school that’s the best fit for their child. Look for a school with a track record of delivering student academic achievement and high levels of parent and student satisfaction. Parents should ask about accommodations provided by specific staff for 504, gifted and special education, and other student needs. Other key quality benchmarks include: accreditation from AdvancED; full-time, certified and highly qualified teachers; state-of-the-art technology resources; and community activities like clubs and field trips for students.
Fact: Certified teachers do the teaching
At Louisiana Connections Academy, students learn at home under the guidance of a certified teacher. Assisting the student in day-to-day activities is an adult Learning Coach, who is typically a parent, but also could be another family member or adult caregiver. The teacher works directly with both the student and Learning Coach to develop an individual learning plan, provide instruction and evaluate assignments.
Fact: Students use textbooks, pencils, microscopes and interactive curricula
In virtual schools, the computer is a tool for teachers and parents to manage and track assignments, communicate (along with the phone) and deliver interactive curricular materials. However, students complete many assignments “unplugged,” and spend time reading textbooks, using workbooks, reading library books and doing hands-on experiments – just like a traditional school.
Fact: Students regularly socialize and interact with peers
Louisiana Connections Academy students have opportunities to interact with each other through social media, just like any other student, in addition to monitored school webmail, as well as monthly field trips, family events, volunteering, senior trips and graduations! LACA had over 50 field trips offered to students and parents last school year.
In Louisiana, learn more about virtual school and if it’s right for your family, by visiting
ABOUT LOUISIANA CONNECTIONS ACADEMY (www.LouisianaConnectionsAcademy.com)
Louisiana Connections Academy is the state’s leading provider of high-quality, free public virtual charter schooling for grades K through 12. Louisiana Connections Academy offers a superior, personalized education for students, offered by Louisiana certified teachers, with the freedom and flexibility of an online education that meets the state’s standards. As an online charter school, students access their lessons anytime, anywhere as long as they have the technology, tools and support of their family. Accountability for meeting high academic student performance is monitored by the non-profit charter board, Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy, Wade Henderson, President. The charter school is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to accept students from any parish in the state. 1200 students attended for the 2012-2013 school year. Principal Caroline Wood has expanded the school curriculum to include tutoring, summer school, dual enrollment programs and high quality electives, such as e-learning courses at Juilliard. The school is headquartered in Baton Rouge at 8281 Goodwood Blvd., Ste J, (225) 372-8389. Student field trips, graduation ceremonies, parent-to-parent events and school information sessions are regularly scheduled and promoted at the school website.
Louisiana Media Contacts:
Shelley Centanni (225) 372-8389 or H. Harper (504) 897-6110
Connections Academy Director of Public Relations