Free Online K-12 Public Charter School Seeks Students

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

June 8, 2011 Updated Jun 8, 2011 at 11:29 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – No tuition, no textbook rental fees and no classrooms.

That is the pitch from the Indiana Connections Academy, a virtual public K-12 charter school.

Indiana Connections Academy is based out of Indianapolis.

The school is a part of national educational organization named "Connections Academy".

When questioned about test scores, the Indiana Connections Academy has only been open for one year, so test scores are not available.

However, Indiana Connections Academy 5th Grade Teacher & Marketing Director Cassie Pugh said nationwide, the virtual school has been test scores than traditional public schools.

Pugh told Indiana's NewsCenter parental involvement is key.

"Not only is it mandatory, it's essential to the child's success for parents to be involved in their child's education and whether that's at the public level or at the brick and mortar," said Indiana Connections Academy 5th Grade Teacher & Marketing Director Cassie Pugh.

"But in order to be a part of our program the learning coach, has to sign up in agreement that they will be active in their child's involvement at Indiana Connections Academy," explained Pugh.

Pugh continued say it is hands-on learning, without having to deal with behavioral problems.

Meanwhile, how much time parents have to spend with their children as their learning coach depends on that child's age.

K through 5 learning coaches need to spend at least five hours a day supervising their child's education.

However, as children get older, they rely more on their teachers to get through assignments.

Middle School and especially High School learning coaches (parents), are allowed to be part-time learning coaches.

"I like that you get to stay at home and you can have more family time," said Kendrick Crawford, a prospective 12th grader from Spencerville, Indiana.

Kendrick's dad, James Crawford brought him to Wednesday night's meeting which was held at the Fort Wayne Marriott on East Washington Center Road.

The elder Crawford thinks the school may be a good fit.

"It also allows a lot of flexibility in scheduling and time spent so it sounds pretty feasible to me," said Spencerville Parent James Crawford.

Internet access is the only technological requirement needed to attend Indiana Connections Academy.

However, if you don't have internet access and your student qualifies for free and reduced lunch at a traditional public school, your child can receive a free laptop and money to pay for internet service.

Indiana Connections Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2011-2012 school year.

Classes will begin on August 22, 2011.

The school year will end on May 24, 2012 with no extensions.

The virtual school does not have snow days.

Fort Wayne Indiana Connections Academy Information Sessions:

Wednesday, June 22, 6:30 - 7:30 PM (parent-to-parent)
301 Coliseum Blvd.

Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Fort Wayne Marriott
305 E. Washington Center Rd.

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