As Executive Director of the Board of Louisiana’s leading virtual K-12 charter school, Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy, Melissa Bentley Bergeron is concerned that parents understand the unique experience they are embarking on with their children when the decide to pursue a completely online, public education certified by the State of Louisiana.
“Parental involvement is key,” said Ms. Bentley. “A parent’s daily participation in learning activities shows children that education is a top priority and helps ensure their success.”
The parent or legal guardian of the student is known as a “Learning Coach” in the Connections Academy vernacular. It’s an important role that requires parents, students and teachers to work together to personalize the child’s education and ensure student success.
Right now, Louisiana Connections Academy is traveling the state, meeting with parents and potential students who want to enroll in the K-12 public, charter school. Like any other public school in the state, the education is free.
“We actually have an agreement with our learning coaches,” said High School Principal Shuanessy Matthews, just as the school and student makes commitments every school year. These parental commitments are reviewed each year at a detailed one-day session that helps the parent prepare for the coming academic focus of Louisiana Connections Academy.
These commitments are pretty routine and include:
• Ensuring the child participates in school regularly;
• Establishing a time and quiet place for the child to complete schoolwork;
• Ensure that the child participates in all required state testing;
• Supports the school in its efforts to maintain proper discipline;
• Reads school communications and responds when necessary;
• Attends school functions, supports school activities, and makes every effort to attend parent-teacher conferences;
• Actively participates in decisions relating to the child’s education;
• Shows an interest in the child’s well-being and encourages the child to do his/her best;
• Shares information and concerns about the child and about the school, and works together with the school to resolve problems.
“The parental commitments are the same,” said Community Liaison Shelly Centanni, “but the application in an online school can be different. That is why we spend time with our parents getting them used to how they are an active part in the online system.”
This orientation is explained in the information sessions which are currently scheduled in cities across the state, as well as anytime online. The school offers these parental “training sessions” in person and as recorded sessions, so parents can learn from the experts, from other enrolled families and from other resources, such as parental blogs.
“This is a hands-on partnership between the school, the student and the family,” said ED Bentley. “We offer help 24/7 because we firmly believe this approach is the right fit for your child and you, the parent.”
Find out about the learning session nearest you, or the ones scheduled online, at www.ConnectionsAcademy.com/LACAevents
ABOUT LOUISIANA CONNECTIONS ACADEMY
Louisiana Connections Academy is the state’s leading provider of high-quality, free public online 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 an Internet connection. 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. The school curriculum includes tutoring, summer school, dual enrollment programs and high quality electives. The school is headquartered in Baton Rouge at 4664 Jamestown Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Student field trips, graduation ceremonies, parent-to-parent events and school information sessions are regularly scheduled and promoted at the school website.