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This was our 4th year with Oklahoma Connections Academy. We have 5 children and have now experienced every grade level from Kindergarten all the way to a graduated senior. My oldest has now completed his Freshman year of college. OKCA gave us freedom to be involved in extra-curricular activities such as Oklahoma Homeschool Band, Homeschool Gymnastics, Martial Arts as well as social activities such as field trips. Before coming to OKCA our students were in a Private Christian School and then we moved to a traditional Homeschool setting.
Our decision was we wanted to know exactly what our children were being taught and as well wanted a challenging curriculum. Unfortunately the school district we live in does not have stellar public schools. OKCA has been an awesome experience for us. I as a parent love that I have the support of teachers, principal and counselors like I would in a traditional school setting, but have my children home with me learning. I am able to view exactly what they are learning and as well help them understand what they are learning. Please note...for elementary ages this DOES require parent involvement. I sit by my 1st grader for about 3-4 hours a day helping her navigate her lessons and then she does other learning activities independently, like math worksheets, reading, and art projects.
I love the electives that are offered. Everything from Chess club, foreign languages, computer skills classes and even an ASL class. We also love the flexibility this setting provides for our family as we can work ahead so we can have days off, or work their calendars to suit our own schedule around doctor's appointments, field trips, extra long weekends for quick trips and we have even gone on vacation during the school year and the kids are able to complete their lessons while away in our downtime.
I enrolled my children (7th and 11th grades) into Connections Academy (PA-Reach Cyber Charter) because we were not happy with our local public school's options during the pandemic. My 7th grader has fallen in love with it so much that he plans to stay for the rest of his schooling. He really loves all of the STEM opportunities, clubs, and pop up type events. He also has less anxiety not having to go to the brick and mortar school. He also loves the live lessons for all of his classes.
My 11th grader is planning to go back to the local public school next year, as she misses her friends and wants to graduate with them... But she is also very happy that she has had Reach Cyber as an option this year. She cannot imagine having to deal with all of the changes and learning curves that the local school has dealt with during this pandemic. She is very happy to have had a choice!
As a mom, I am very happy that we have had the choice of a cyber school. I love the flexibility of Connection Academy! There are a lot of live lessons but none of them are required. So, if my children have a doctor's appointment or something else going on, they can just complete their assignments later on in the day. But, at the same time they always know that there is a live lesson to go to, if they want/need to. The lessons/curriculum is challenging and there are always fun things added into school also.
Hi Brandi. Thank you so much for leaving a review. We are SO happy to hear that your 7th grader is participating in our STEM opportunities and enjoying all we have to offer at Reach Cyber Charter! We love that we can provide a safe and stable learning environment for your family. ~Kim
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We decided to enroll our son in a virtual school right after the end of the school year in 2020 due to COVID-19. This was such a blessing in disguise! Connections Academy offers a challenging curriculum that is interesting and fun at the same time. Our son was in the advanced/gifted program in brick and mortar school, and Connections is able to meet his needs with the same quality classes that he had previously. They are able to cater to his individual needs, and he is still on the same pace he was before. He loves his classes, his teachers, and the flexibility the virtual schedule offers. All of his teachers make the live lessons fun and engaging, and there are so many clubs to choose from plus fun pop up events for more social interaction, fun, and learning!
If he ever needs additional help with his lessons, his teachers are always right there for him. They are more than happy to video chat, talk on the phone, or email and text too. They've been there for me too whenever I've had a question, and have been very helpful and involved. Once COVID-19 has passed, there are many opportunities to get together with other local Connections families for clubs and field trips that we'll definitely be joining. We are so happy with Connections, that we will be staying on for 7th grade instead of returning to brick and mortar next year, and foreseeably through graduation.
Hi Amie. I'm so glad your son is having a good academic year, and is exploring some of the fun parts of being a Connections Academy student, too!
My 5th grader is attending REACH Cyber Charter School which is part of connections academy. She has live lessons twice a week for science, social studies, English and math as well as math small group, English small group, art, Ed tech and physical education (1x/week for these). Her teachers are always a phone call or email away and are willing to help her when she gets stuck on a topic and I can’t help her. I love teaching her the content of the lessons and organizing it to our schedule. The curriculum is way harder than what was offered at her regular school (2 older siblings who are in high school) and she is learning to code which isn’t offered at the regular school in 5th grade either.
Through her classes, she’s becoming friends with kids all around Pennsylvania and it’s really cool to see. Kids from her former dance classes are even in REACH and they reconnected recently. Neither knew they were both at REACH. Nothing is a secret or kept from the parents. My daughter loves working at her own pace and has thrived this school year! We will be continuing on next year into the 6th grade and adding Spanish to her schedule too. We didn’t add a language this year but there is a variety of languages and music classes to choose from as well as clubs.
Hi Tara, Isn't it great that they're learning to code at such a young age?! So glad to hear that Reach Cyber is working well for your family. :) ~Kim
We're in our first year at Texas Connections Academy. 3rd Grade. First of all let me say that each state has to deal with different education laws, so pay close attention to each state's Connections Academy. We have had a great experience so far and I know he's learning more and exposed to more 3rd grade education points that Texas public in person or online from a local school. School is hard - choose which hard you want to tackle - do it yourself, self-motivate - parent motivate or send them to school and let the teachers do it all.
The Connections Academy teachers can only do so much not getting to be in the house with you. If you follow the curriculum and do the work and attend the live lessons you'll do well here. SCHOOL IS HARD AT HOME. Be dedicated to your child's education and they will respond accordingly. We recently had my son diagnosed with Aspergers and this explains why we've had struggles at home behavior-wise. With that said, He is keeping up with the lessons! He is also catching up on days he gets behind.
PORTFOLIOS are projects that take more than one day/step to complete. Follow the rubric and you'll get a good grade. The Teachers are quick to respond and are very encouraging. They even help with pep talks when your student isn't feeling his best or needs moral support. Online school isn't for everyone. We won't be doing this his entire school career. This works for us now but maybe not every year. Yes online school is hard but what are your expectations? Be involved and communicate daily and you will see results.
I have been a Connections Academy Learning Coach for about 3 1/2 years going on 4, I want everyone to know that if you're looking for an online school Connections Academy is the way to go. From the curriculum to the teachers I have never experienced education at it's best, teacher have the patience and the caring that one needs, they help with everything very fast and the learning what can I say is impeccable. I highly recommend Connections Academy for families who are looking into homeschooling their children. Learning that a brick and mortar school can not offer.
My oldest daughter graduates this month after two years with Connections. She got the opportunity to do dual enrollment with a state University that I could have never afforded to do for her without connections, it was a difficult switch as her local school had been a failing school and she started off behind. My youngest is completing her first year as a 3rd grader. I did work with her on her school work daily as her committed learning coach. She grew so much as a student and was eager to do her schoolwork. She was also behind and her teacher put her in small math and reading groups which she got to work through at her own pace and move to the next set of exercises when she was ready. She is finishing her school year with straight A’s, a big smile, and confidence. She’s already looking forward to the summer connections and next year.
I have two boys that have attended Connections Academy the last 3 years. My oldest graduates this year. It has been a wonderful experience. The teachers are caring, supportive, and helpful. Both boys are dyslexic and I could not think of anything that could have helped them more with have complete access to computer classes. The IEP teachers are great and do everything they can to get your student to college. Through the pandemic their education was never altered it stayed strong and that means our boys' education remained strong and going in the right direction. The program is flexible but you must stay as structured as possible and it helps with having live lessons with the teachers. Connections Academy is the best.
I've learned to embrace this school.
I am a 7th grader in Connexus as of April 15, 2021. This education really isn't education. It is a way to say "Oh, I go to school." It's really daycare. I have learned nothing this year. The only way I'm passing is by my learning coach trying to walk me through everything. "Learning at your own pace" marketing is a scam. If you don't complete your lessons on that day, you become overdue. A friend of mine is trying to learn at her own pace, and is over 20 overdue.
I mentioned I've learned nothing. They have you take a mandated/required test about every 2 months to assess you. I was dubbed "unsatisfactory" in the Math portion. Now they have me take a mandated/required extra-curricular math class called "FRECKLE." Here's the problem: if you don't spend 120 minutes in FRECKLE MONTHLY, they give you an unsatisfactory grade. My computer can't do FRECKLE, and my friend lends me his computer once every 2 weeks for a little bit of time to get it done. Also, if you don't contact your teacher every 2 weeks, you become in alarm. If you are in alarm for too long, they threaten to call the police. So that's my experience. Against my will, I will be returning next year. Hopefully, they will change EVERYTHING.
I’m sorry to hear you’re having a rough year, Dylan. Have you called the tech team for help with Freckle? Please let your teacher know, too. I hear your frustration about overdue lessons and having to talk with your teachers regularly, but that structure helps you stay on track so you can learn what you need to learn to move on to the next grade. Please reach out to your counselor or your homeroom teacher to let them know you’re feeling frustrated and behind. They can help you work on a plan.
Hello everyone, around a year ago I made a review as a very upset 9th grader struggling with French 1. I am here again, to share my experiences and bring light to the school from literal hell. I want to say first off, maybe it's not fair that I'm already biased in this case, but I don't feel bad. This school literally ruined my life. When I was in 7th grade I started this school. My parents trusted I could do this by myself with no help, so I tried. Except, I wasn't aware that lessons with our teacher where we actually meet would be around once or twice a week per class. As a 7th grader, you are only 12 or 13. Do you seriously expect a 12 year old to manage their own work in a regular school, much less a school online. Sure, you could argue that some kids have learning coaches then, but the schools paints a picture that it's easy to do it yourself.
As the weeks dragged on I realized that I was screwed. I wasn't doing well in this school. I didn't know how to write notes or do homework since I didn't even know what was expected of me. If your child was given the choice to either do school or play video games, what do you think they would do? I had no enforcement and the teachers said nothing. Eventually, I realized I needed to do better. Did I do that? No. Instead, I turned to another way to lessen the burden of 7-8 lessons a day, cheating. I want to make it clear before this school, I thrived in public. I had straight As and tested out for most of my classes. Here, sure, I could be called a bad student, but in my defense you can do corrections and get 100s anyway. I finished 7th and 8th grade cheating. I don't agree with what I did, and I regret it. Yet, the school is textbook learning with little to no help, I did what I had to...
9th grade hits. I couldn't do the cheating anymore. I picked myself up from the ground and started the journey to recovery. I worked hard, and yes, I still had to beat the cheating habits. It became very rare that I would cheat, but sometimes it was necessary. They would give you tests and quizzes EVERY single day and you'd most of the time get no study guide. These tests and quizzes were after pages upon pages of information with no help. As a 9th grader I had 4 core classes to do, and couldn't spend my time on the electives. Plus, I was like 14, I couldn't focus to save my life.
Come 10th grade, this was the best year for me. I cut way back on the cheating, but here I come into an issue. My teacher would put questions we never saw before on these tests. That or they would pull questions from the first semester with no help or even a mention. The workload is insane. It's so much more than an hour per class. It's at least 2 if you are taking minimal notes. The electives are truly awful. Motivation is so low when you can just correct your tests for 100s.
I started cheating again second semester, badly. I would be so scared that my grade would suffer, since I just cared about my grades, not my mental health. I would do maybe 1 or 2 questions per test. I regret it, but if the school was truly capable of teaching children they should've helped more. My French reviews literally just say "Go back and review the material." Not to mention the fast pace and completely out of date lessons. My French lesson is literally the same age I am, 16.
I can't fully blame the school for my cheating habits, I'm stressed beyond belief, and that's my problem. The issue is this school does nothing to help mental health. In a normal school you get days to review this material and learn. Here, *against the belief of a flexible schedule* you are given pages upon pages to do each day, FOR ONE CLASS. Half the time I'm stuck on Google figuring out how to do math or science. I can't learn this way, and your child shouldn't have to either. I literally had a teacher tell me that she knows most of the students cheat. You shouldn't have a need for them to cheat, instead you should have systems where they can help instead of hurt. I take blame for my cheating, but the course load is insane. I had my French lessons literally give me no translation and 4 tests per unit, literally I had so many tests they would count for 3% of my grade.
The school needs more teachers, better lessons, and more ways to learn than textbook. I hope you don't discount my arguments based on the cheating, because let me tell you something. Probably 90% of the kids cheat. Maybe 80% if you want to not count look at notes as cheating. It's not good. I can't just read and read and read with no help or payoff for the work. Why should a student work hard if another student can get the same grades with corrections with 1/4th the effort?
If you are going to send your child here, think before you do. You need to seriously think about how much time you can help your kid with. Even the most academically gifted students can break under the intense workload, and little help from teachers. They may cheat and even if they don't their mental health will be damaged in the process. Please, if you truly care about your child, think about the implications when you click yes to enrollment.
Hi Emily, I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time. I‘d like to try to help. We do recommend that students have a learning coach to help keep them on track and assist with communication to teachers, etc. It doesn't need to be your mom or dad – it can be any adult they trust to help you. I’d also like to put your homeroom teacher in touch with your parents to see how he or she might be able to help. Can you ask your parents to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
Connections Academy author review by ConsumerAffairs
Connections Academy is a virtual education organization that provides a free public online school for grades K-12, as well as a tuition-based online private school. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC.
In-person and online informational events: Connections Academy offers both online and in-person events for prospective students and their families to have their questions answered.
Personalized Performance Learning: Connections Academy provides a personalized educational experience using its Personalized Performance Learning approach. The school begins by reviewing the student’s background and learning style. It then conducts periodical testing to track progress over time and uses assessments to identify a student’s core strengths and weaknesses.
Career technical education: This program is designed for students — especially high school students — who would like to gain more targeted education towards a career in many fields; including, accounting, education, programming and business.
Diverse course options: Connections Academy can meet the needs of a diverse range of students with traditional courses, Honors and AP courses, and the ability to take college and NCAA approved courses while in high school.
Student experience catalog: Through a wide variety of extracurricular activities, Connections Academy provides one of the most advanced socialization programs in the online school industry.
Connections Academy Company Information
- Company Name:
- Connections Academy
- Year Founded:
- 1001 Fleet Street, 5th Floor
- Postal Code:
- United States
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