Connections Education Partners with Ombudsman Educational Services to Help Detroit-Area Residents Re-Enroll in and Graduate from High School

—Fusion Academy of Michigan will Deliver a Blended Learning Option for Students who have Dropped Out of High School; Online and In-Person Schooling at Detroit Learning Centers—

Release Highlights:
• Virtual charter school operator Connections Education is partnering with alternative education provider Ombudsman Educational Services to help Detroit students who have dropped out of high school earn the credits they need to graduate.
• The two organizations will operate Fusion Academy of Michigan, with space for 300 students in grades 9-12 during 2011-2012.
• People interested in attending Fusion Academy of Michigan can visit www.connectionsacademy.com/michigan or call (800) 382-6010.

Detroit (June 6, 2011) – Virtual charter school operator Connections Education is partnering with alternative education provider Ombudsman Educational Services to help students in the Detroit area who have dropped out of high school earn the credits they need to graduate.

The two organizations are creating an alternative, “blended” school called Fusion Academy of Michigan that will combine online learning with face-to-face instruction. Contract terms were not disclosed. Fusion will open this fall with space for 300 students at two learning centers in the Detroit metropolitan area, one in the Conner Creek neighborhood and another near Grandmont-Rosedale.

Because many students need a flexible schedule due to work or family responsibilities, Fusion Academy of Michigan will offer three daily school sessions at each of its Detroit locations. Each session will be four and one-half hours long, supplemented by additional remote coursework. Students who are under the age of 20 as of August 31 and are identified in the Michigan Student Data System as having withdrawn from school before completing 12th grade are eligible to attend. Tuition is free.

The Fusion Academy of Michigan combines Connections Education’s curriculum and technology with Ombudsman’s face-to-face instruction for students who would benefit from a more structured environment or may not have Internet access at home. This blended learning model offers an online curriculum aligned to state standards, and personal support and small group instruction led by highly qualified, certified Michigan teachers.

Connections Education and Ombudsman are accredited by AdvancEd, the international organization that accredits public and private schools. Connections Education’s Connections Academy public school division was recently awarded with the United States Distance Learning Association’s 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for preK-12 programs.

“Students living in the Detroit area who have left school have a new option to earn their high school diploma through our accredited program,” said Steven Guttentag, Chief Education Officer of Connections Education and President of Connections Learning. “We are proud to partner with Ombudsman, a leader in center-based alternative education, to offer our proven online courses together with Ombudsman’s high-quality, in-person instruction.”

“This program will give students who have dropped out of school an alternate route to a high school diploma,” said Mark Claypool, Ombudsman president and CEO. “Fusion Academy of Michigan’s blended learning model offers young people who have dropped out of school the ability to re-enroll, earn their high school diploma and transition to a path toward their post-secondary academic and career goals.”

At Fusion, students who need to repeat a course can recover credits more quickly or be on an accelerated path to graduation because the program is mastery-based, meaning students can advance as they demonstrate proficiency in the subject.

To learn more about Fusion Academy of Michigan, visit www.connectionsacademy.com/michigan or call (800) 382-6010.

About Connections Education

Connections Education offers online schooling solutions for students in grades K through 12. In the 2011-12 school year it plans to operate tuition-free online Connections Academy school programs in 22 states, including Michigan, and the National Connections Academy private school in all 50 states and outside the U.S. The Connections Learning division provides online learning solutions for K-12 school districts and other education organizations. For more information, call 800-382-6010, or visit www.ConnectionsEducation.com.

About Ombudsman Educational Services

Ombudsman Educational Services partners with more than 120 school districts in nearly 20 states to provide alternative programs for students who have dropped out of school and nontraditional learners who prefer a smaller class size and personalized instruction, require a flexible schedule to meet family or work commitments, or wish to recover credits to graduate. Nationally, 85 percent of Ombudsman students graduate, earn credits or return to their district school closer to or at grade level. Ombudsman has educated more than 132,000 students since its founding in 1975. For more information, visit www.ombudsman.com.

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Resource Links

Connections Education (including Connections Academy and Connections Learning)

Website: ConnectionsEducation.com
Blog: Virtual Learning Connections
Twitter: @Connections4u
Facebook: facebook.com/ConnectionsAcademy
YouTube: youtube.com/connectionsacademy1

Ombudsman Educational Services

Website: Ombudsman.com
Blog: DestinationDiploma
Twitter: @OmbudsmanEd
Facebook: facebook.com/OmbudsmanEducation
YouTube: youtube.com/OmbudsmanEducation

For more information:

Connections Education
Allison Bazin
(609) 247-0275
abazin@ConnectionsEducation.com

Ombudsman Educational Services
Robin Embry
Lovell Communications Inc.
(615) 297-7766
Robin@lovell.com

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