The Edmond Sun

February 19, 2014

Statewide K-12 virtual public school receives board approval for 2014-2015

Special to The Sun

BARTLESVILLE — Oklahoma Connections Academy, a tuition-free virtual public school serving full-time K-12 students throughout Oklahoma, was approved as a statewide virtual charter school for the 2014-2015 school year by the newly-created Statewide Virtual Charter School Board. The board voted unanimously to approve the school during its monthly meeting Jan. 14.

Oklahoma Connections Academy was the only virtual school applicant approved in the state’s first such decision round. Currently operating in partnership with Copan Public Schools, Oklahoma Connections Academy will be officially operated under the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board starting July 1.

“We are very pleased to receive this approval from the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board so we can continue to provide an exceptional and individualized learning experience for students across Oklahoma,” said Tammy Shepherd, principal at Oklahoma Connections Academy. “We’re also very grateful for the supportive partnership we’ve had with Copan Public Schools for the last two years.”

Online education brings another choice to parents.

 “It is vital to provide families with a choice when it comes to their student’s education. Oklahoma Connections Academy is providing a quality public education for students statewide while preparing them for life in the information age, and we want families across Oklahoma to consider all the education options they have when making this important choice,” said Sen. Jabar Shumate, president of the Oklahoma Connections Academy Virtual Charter School Board.

Now in its third year of providing high-quality, personalized online education, Oklahoma Connections Academy currently serves more than 700 students throughout Oklahoma. The school combines state-certified teachers with a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. Students have the ability to work with their teachers and learning coach to personalize their learning plan to meet their individual education needs. The school’s high level of accountability, proven results, and remarkable standards for teachers and students were crucial during the board’s evaluation process.

“The board’s approval is a testament to our high-quality, established virtual school program,” added Shepherd. “This includes our team of dedicated staff and teachers who are committed to maintaining a high level of accountability and ensuring each student has the support he or she needs to succeed.”

Oklahoma Connections Academy offers a non-traditional learning environment for children who want a flexible schedule, are ahead or behind in the classroom, learn at a different pace from their peers, or want a more individualized approach to learning. Many students and families choose the program because it allows them to balance unconventional schedules and gain access to courses that may not be available from their local schools. According to results from a recent Parent Satisfaction Survey, 97 percent of parents agree that the curriculum is high-quality, 94 percent of parents are satisfied with the variety of learning activities, and 96 percent agree their children are satisfied with the program.

FOR MORE information, visit the school’s website or call (918) 977-3285, or visit the teaching center located at 2425 Nowata Place, Suite 202, Bartlesville, 74006.