Arizona Connections Academy provides School at home for students across Arizona who have an Internet Connection. It is considered public education at home and is available for students kindergarten through 12th grade. Public Education at home gives flexibility to students and parents.
Arizona Connections Academy is part of the Connections Academy Network of schools, which is part of the education company Pearson (which you may have heard of them from all of their book publishing, testing and more!). Arizona Connections Academy offices are located in Gilbert, however, teachers often can teach from anywhere and students can learn from anywhere! All teachers are fully certified teachers in their teaching specialty and follow all state certification laws. Arizona Connections Academy opened in 2004 and is certified with the State under the Charter School Laws.
If you have ever wondered about having your child at home for school but weren’t sure how you would handle picking out curriculum, Arizona Connections Academy provides the means for your child to get the education they need.
Why do students attend an at home public school?
- The student might be an athlete in training and cannot attend a normal school day
- The student might have medical needs that prevent them from attending a regular school
- The student might have behavioral needs that need to be addressed with therapies outside of the classroom
- The student may be going through a transition period that may be better suited to an at home environment
- A parent may want to be more involved in the learning experience with their child
- The student may learn better with a parent or caregiver assisting them
Arizona Connections Academy offers special education, IEP help, and gifted education as well as regular education classes, along with the flexibility to do school at your own pace. Along with all of the regular subject teachers, students are also matched up with a “homeroom teacher” who calls into the family every few weeks to check to see how the student and parents are doing with schoolwork and life balance. Students are encouraged to participate in online clubs that the National Connection Academy online clubs but also to get involved with community groups and activities.
A Parent’s Perspective
I also interviewed one of the parents whose four children have all attended Arizona Connections Academy since Kindergarten to get her perspective on her children’s education.
Shirley and her husband, although they had attended traditional brick and mortar schools themselves, decided that they wanted something different for their children. They thought of doing the more traditional homeschooling route where they picked the curricula themselves but were concerned that they would miss teaching their children important information, the continuous expense of buying curricula every year and missed graduation requirements to get their children into college and university.
They looked at different options and found Arizona Connections Academy and tried it and haven’t regretted their decision. Currently, in 2019, they have a 7th grader, a 6th grader, a 4th grader, and a kindergartener. The kids love the live sessions with the teachers.
Shirley loves that the schedule is already made for the kids, but that there is some flexibility as well. Her children are able to sign on to live sessions if they need additional help with certain subjects and are able to interact with classmates online. The lessons are also recorded, so kids can go back and replay the lessons if they need to watch them again to grasp the concept and they are done in a very visual way to help children learn.
However, Shirley cautions, parents should know that they do need to be very involved with their kids especially in the beginning with Arizona Connections Academy as the child gets used to the system of learning online. Children will need help navigating the computer system and possibly emailing the teachers for information and getting assistance from the teacher. Shirley has loved the amount of support from the teachers and has felt that the teachers really care about her children and their progress.
Arizona Connections Academy provides one computer per household and all of the books and workbooks for each student at the beginning of the year. Shirley cautioned that it might be advisable for each student to have their own computer if the family can do so, but the workbooks are able to be scanned or mailed in with prepaid envelopes that are mailed to the families. There are also benchmark sessions planned for the students to make sure children are meeting state goals, and children do take AZ Merit tests (Statewide tests) at testing locations starting at third grade.
As for the socialization aspect, Shirley’s family is involved with sports, church activities, music, and the kids do interact with other children during live sessions with their teachers. Shirley loves how her kids are doing in Arizona Connections Academy and feels that they are well rounded. It has been an investment in her time, but she loves the curricula and how they have been able to have flexibility in their lives to travel for family obligations.
How to Get More information for Arizona Connections Academy
Students and Parents can get more information from an online interactive information session, or you can contact the school directly to see if Arizona Connections Academy will be a good fit for you and your student!
Available throughout Arizona for students Kindergarten through grade 12
Arizona Connections Academy