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Connections Academy and Scientific Learning Announce Agreement



Connections Academy and Scientific Learning Announce Agreement


Fast ForWord program offered to all students in the largest Connections Academy school



BALTIMORE, MD, September 17, 2009 – Connections Academy, a leading national operator of K-12 virtual public schools, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Scientific Learning to provide the renowned Fast ForWord® family of reading intervention products to Connections Academy customers.


Scientific Learning, whose motto is Fit Brains Learn Better, is the creator of the Fast ForWord family of products which accelerate learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Developed by four internationally renowned research scientists, the program is based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research.  Fast ForWord simultaneously builds the cognitive skills of memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing, along with the foundational reading skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 


Over 1.5 million product uses of Fast ForWord have occurred since 1997 leading to dramatic learning gains around the world.  Most of these students accessed the products at their local schools as part of an intervention program for struggling readers or to address other special needs.  Scientific Learning has also documented learning gains for students reading on or above grade level and recently launched BrainSpark Learning to address the needs of these learners.  The company’s products were recently featured on a public television special, “The New Science of Learning: Brain Fitness for Kids,” that focused on brain science and its impact on learning.


Connections Academy and the largest of the 15 full-time virtual public schools that it operates, the Commonwealth Connections Academy (CCA), a cyber charter school that serves public school students statewide in Pennsylvania, will provide online access to the Fast ForWord products to all of the approximately 4,000 students that CCA expects to enroll during the 2009-2010 school year.  


“As part of our ongoing efforts to offer students the best quality curriculum and educational services, we are delighted to partner with Scientific Learning and the Commonwealth Connections Academy to provide all students with access to Fast ForWord.  We believe this can become a model for how technology can transform the educational experience,” said Barbara Dreyer, president and CEO for Connections Academy.  Adds Dr. Dennis Tulli, CEO of Commonwealth Connections Academy, “Having served previously as a district superintendent, I was familiar with what Fast ForWord can do for students, but I would never have been able to offer this product to all students in a classroom setting.  With students able to access the products in their home on a flexible schedule, now we can incorporate products like Fast ForWord into our standard educational offering.  I am very excited to see the learning gains we believe will be achieved with these products.”


“The benefits of online learning are well-documented and, in fact, nearly all 50 states now have programs in which students take most or all of their courses online.  It’s a growing body of students that can benefit greatly from the Fast ForWord family of products,” said Andy Myers, president and CEO of Scientific Learning Corp.  “As a leader in public virtual schools, Connections Academy is the perfect partner for Scientific Learning to expand its reach and help even more students achieve learning success.”


Some students will be provided access to Fast ForWord as early as October, with all CCA students expected to have access early next year.  For more information, visit and


About Connections Academy


Connections Academy is a leading national provider of educational products and services used by students in grades K-12 attending full-time virtual (online) public and private schools, taking supplemental online courses, or using other educational software products to improve their learning.  Connections Academy currently operates full-time public schools in 14 states, along with providing supplemental courses in other states, in partnership with charter schools, school districts, and state departments of education. It also operates the accredited private school, the National Connections Academy.  In Connections Academy‘s Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and print and online curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy. Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, utilizing a proprietary, web-based Learning Management System to deliver, track, and administer the learning. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit



About Scientific Learning


Scientific Learning creates educational software that accelerates learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, the Fast ForWord® family of products provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively. Scientific Learning Reading Assistant™ combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based courseware to help students strengthen fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to become proficient, life-long readers. The efficacy of the products has been established by more than 550 research studies and publications. For more information, visit or call toll-free 888-358-0212.



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Allison Bazin, Connections Academy Public Relations

(609) 247-0275



Jessica Lindl
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Management
Scientific Learning Corporation
(510) 625-6784



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