Muncie, IN, February 5, 2007– Indiana students will have an exciting new public school alternative this fall that delivers exceptional schooling to students in a unique "school without walls." Indiana Connections Academy (INCA), Indiana´s first statewide virtual charter school for students in grades K-12, was unanimously authorized by Ball State University earlier this month. INCA will immediately begin collecting names of students interested in enrolling in the 700 spots available. In-person and online informational meetings to introduce INCA to Indiana families will be held beginning in February, 2007.
A group of Indiana parents and community leaders joined together two years ago to establish a school that would serve students outside of the traditional classroom and formed the Indiana Connections Academy. They were the first group to approach Ball State University, one of Indiana´s charter school authorizers, to apply to open a "virtual" charter school, using the proven and successful "classroom without walls" model developed by Connections Academy, LLC, a leading national provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual public schools. The group requested authorization to serve a fraction of the 3,000 families who had already indicated an interest in attending the school in order to ensure a smooth opening. Some members of the parent group also participated in a Connections Academy school where they experienced the program first hand. INCA combines Indiana-certified teachers, a standards aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom.
INCA will serve students in grades K-12, starting with grades K-11 in the 2007-2008 school year. Students complete their schoolwork under the supervision of a certified Indiana teacher and a parent or other adult working outside of a traditional classroom. Students will complete a rigorous curriculum that combines high-quality textbooks from leading publishers with cutting-edge, technology-based resources and hands-on materials.
Along with the curriculum, students are provided with a loaned desktop computer, printer and Internet subsidy. Students also participate in field trips and other in-person activities facilitated by a community coordinator and certified teacher.
INCA is organized as an Indiana nonprofit corporation governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Board has contracted with Connections Academy, LLC for curriculum, technology, and school management services to operate the school. Nationally, Connections Academy currently serves approximately 9,000 students in 12 schools in 10 states.
"Connections Academy is helping to redefine how students are educated by moving away from the traditional classroom model and using technology to actively deliver and manage a student´s learning. We look forward to bringing our highly rated program, which is the only nationally accredited K-12 distance school program, to Indiana," said Connections Academy president Barbara Dreyer. Connections Academy serves a wide range of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who benefit from more individualized instruction; or require a flexible school schedule. Homebound and previously home-schooled students also thrive in the Connections Academy program.
Rhonda Eby, president of INCA´s Board of Directors, commented, "The INCA board has worked very hard for the past two years to bring this program to Indiana. My own daughter has participated in the Connections Academy program, and I have seen the tremendous advantages it brings for gifted students and for any student that needs personal attention in order to succeed. We know that some parents wanted us to be bigger because there is such a demand, but starting small ensures that everyone will have a chance to help this school to become the leader of its kind in the state. We hope that everyone gets their applications in early!"
INCA will have its administrative offices and teaching center located in Muncie but will serve families all over the state. Families seeking more information about INCA can call (800) 382-6010, or visit www.connectionsacademy.com/in .
About Connections Academy
Connections Academy (CA) is a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable K-12 virtual public schools operated in partnership with charter schools and school districts. Connections Academy schools deliver top-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers; a proven, print-rich curriculum; technology tools; and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who need an individualized approach to education. In CA´s unique Personalized Performance Learning approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by CA. Teachers develop a Personalized Learning Plan for each student, whose progress is tracked through a
proprietary, web-based Learning Management System. Connections Academy currently serves about 9.000 students in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin through its high-tech, high-touch public "schools without walls." For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit www.connectionsacademy.com.