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Press Release: Maine Connections Academy, New Virtual Public School, Approved to Open in the 2014-2015 School Year for Students in Grades 7-12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Virtual Public School, Maine Connections Academy, Approved to Open in the 2014-2015 School Year for Students in Grades 7-12

Statewide virtual public school to offer tuition-free middle and high school option for Maine families; enrollment opens this spring

Augusta, ME—(March 6, 2014)—Students in grades 7-12 from across Maine will have an exciting new public school option for the 2014-2015 school year. Maine Connections Academy (MCA, www.MaineConnectionsAcademy.com), a full-time virtual public charter school, has been approved by the Maine Charter School Commission. The new school will deliver technology-enhanced, tuition-free, public school online to students statewide. Enrollment begins this spring and 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.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Family (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp_oV3L45Sk&list=PL6AB2CA8DEB1E7A13&feature=share&index=1)

The Academy will combine Maine-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 school students. Maine Connections Academy will open its doors September 2014.

The school is governed by a board composed of Maine residents, while its 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.

“With the expansion of quality public learning opportunities accessible to students from every community in Maine, the Commission’s action is an exciting step forward for Maine families,” said Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier in a statement following Monday’s approval. “Maine must continue to develop educational options that inspire kids and both traditional and public charter schools play an important role in that. More good public school choices mean more chances for Maine kids to get a great education.”

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. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in MCA’s program. Learn more about why families are choosing full-time online school: INFOGRAPHIC: The Growth of K-12 Online Learning (http://www.connectionsacademy.com/news/growth-of-k-12-online-education-infographic.aspx).

All MCA 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 Maine 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.

In addition to core academics the school offers a variety of exciting courses for students including:

• Foreign Languages (Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Sign Language and more)
• Advanced Placement
• Juilliard eLearning music courses
• Career Technical Education for high school students such as introductory courses in Law, Early Childhood Education, Finance, and more.
• Specialty “school within a school” Academies for visual and performing arts, sports, and science and technology

“The Governing Board couldn’t be more pleased with the school’s approval. As we have said, this is about expanding options for students in our great state. Every student in Maine deserves the right to find a school that best meets his or her unique needs. We are confident that Maine Connections Academy will fulfill the needs of many families looking for a different approach to learning—one that is uniquely individualized, more flexible, and above all, highly accountable and high quality,” said Amy Volk, Board Chair of Maine Connections Academy.
MCA can initially enroll up to 270 students from across the state. In preparation for its inaugural academic year, the Governing Board will be identifying a teaching center in the Scarborough area, and hiring a CEO/Principal and team of teachers who will be based in Maine.

Enrollment for MCA will open this spring for the 2014-2015 school year. Interested parents and students are encouraged to learn more online at www.MaineConnectionsAcademy.com or at one of the many upcoming in-person or online information sessions offered by the school.

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 2013–14 school year are 25 Connections Academy virtual (online) public schools that operate in 23 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 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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