Pearson plc

11/24/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/24/2021 07:01

New Connections Academy Online Public School Will Open in Virginia for the 2022-23 School Year

24 Nov 2021published at 13:00 PM GMT

For the first time, Virginia students statewide will gain access to Pearson's fully online public school programme, Connections Academy

Columbia, MD, 24th November 2021 - Pearson announces that Virginia Connections Academy, a full-time online public school, will open to serve students statewide in the 2022-23 school year.

A first for the state, students will now have the option to choose the Connections Academy online school programme, a quality online learning experience, built for the online environment and with a 20-year history of family satisfaction and academic achievement. Connections Academy schools have helped provide a fully online education to over one million students since the program's founding in 2001.

Interest in online school has grown amid the pandemic with 54 percent of U.S. parents surveyed agreeing that their "ideal vision" for public school in the future is either fully online or hybrid school, according to the Connections Academy 2021 Parent Pulse Report. A similar poll by NPR and Ipsos conducted amid the pandemic revealed that 29 percent of the families would likely, "stick with remote learning indefinitely." Virginia Connections Academy will meet the needs of families who saw their children thrive online as well as those seeking an alternative to a traditional classroom.

Virginia Connections Academy is part of the Scott County School Division and will initially serve students in grades six through ten statewide. The school will hire local teachers and administrators and launch a website in the weeks ahead to provide information for families about the school and enrollment.

John Ferguson, superintendent of the Scott County School Division, said: "We can't wait to make quality online learning available to additional students in Virginia. Scott County School Division strives to give every child every opportunity. Our division has a long-standing reputation of high academic achievement. We look forward to continuing this goal with our partnership with Pearson."

Tom ap Simon, president, Pearson Virtual Learning, said: "While the re-opening of schools was welcomed by families across the country, there is a decided subset-many families-that saw the benefits of public school at home and full-time online education. They're drawn to the flexibility and the ability to be more involved with their child's education; their advocacy has helped make Connections Academy in Virginia a reality. We have a standout partner in the Scott County School Division and are eager to host information sessions and begin enrolment in early 2022."

The school will join 46 other Connections Academy schools nationwide.

Virginia Connections Academy will provide students with the continuous support of state-certified teachers and curriculum that focuses on both academics and social-emotional learning. Teachers will be specially trained to bring their skills and personality to the virtual classroom and emphasise the importance of fostering meaningful connections with students and their families. Learning plans are flexible and can be uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs and abilities of each student to help them gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive in a changing world.

With Virginia Connections Academy, parents will be core members of their child's learning team and are an integral part of how the online program works. As Learning Coaches, parents will help teachers provide the support and structure their students need by setting daily routines, ensuring attendance and that their student's work is complete.

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About Virginia Connections Academy

Virginia Connections Academy is a unique, public online program that will serve students in grades 6-10 across the state. Virginia Connections Academy is part of the Scott County School Division. The online program will offer a high-quality educational experience that keeps students motivated and engaged in a safe, virtual learning environment. In addition to academics, teachers focus on emotional well-being and social development, working closely with families to help students learn how they learn best. At Virginia Connections Academy, students gain the skills and confidence they need to direct their own educational journey, learning to thrive in the real world by first learning how to be resourceful and resilient.