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Online K-12 Public School Grows Statewide

A fifth-grade student at Clifty Creek Elementary boots up a laptop that she uses for class.

Although charter schools get most of the attention when it comes to education alternatives, there is the option of an online public education that is rapidly growing in interest.

Indiana Connections Academy is a Kindergarten through 12th grade public online school in the state. Principal Melissa Brown says the school began in 2010 with just 280 students and has since grown to 2,600 students in just two years.

The school offers what every other public school in the state offers with classes taught by state-certified teachers. Brown says the online education option is a choice for any student.

“Minor medical issues, they might have chronic illness. There are kids who are bullied mercilessly in public schools or just in any social setting. Or there are kids who need flexible schedules to fit the activities that they do,” Brown says. “For instance, we have five students who are currently training with USA Diving and are potential Olympic athletes.”

Regardless of the reason for attendance, Brown says the school‘s enrollment numbers are a clear sign that there is a high desire for this type of education option.

Brown says Connections Academy should not be mistaken for a home school provider because they have classes presented by certified teachers just like a brick-and mortar school. Brown says the only difference is that the students classroom is their computer screen.

Although online education has received some criticism claiming there is a lack of socialization for students, Brown counters the argument stating that some students are over-socialized, good or bad, and online education gives them the opportunity to focus on their academics.

Brown says teachers in the school also get the chance to know their students individually without the distraction of classroom discipline.

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