Oregon Connections Academy

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Oregon Connections Academy
Oregon Connections Academy storefront - Scio Oregon.jpg
Address
38761 N Main Street
Scio, Oregon, Linn County, 97374
 United States
Coordinates 44°42′19″N 122°50′56″W / 44.705173°N 122.848834°W / 44.705173; -122.848834Coordinates: 44°42′19″N 122°50′56″W / 44.705173°N 122.848834°W / 44.705173; -122.848834
Information
Type Public
Opened 2005[1]
School district Scio School District
Principal Jerry Wilks[2]
Grades K-12[2][3]
Number of students 1473[4]
Student to teacher ratio 38:1[5]
Accreditation NAAS (provisional)[6]
Website

Oregon Connections Academy is a virtual charter school affiliated with the Scio School District in Scio, Oregon, United States.[7] The district contracts operation to Apollo Management, a Baltimore, Maryland company operating similar Connections Academies in other states.[7][8][9][10]

School profile[edit]

As of 2007, the school was the only virtual school (of 80) in Oregon to not be associated with a traditional school.[11]

Academics[edit]

Logo and door at entrance to Oregon Connections Academy

The school has been provisionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools since 2006.[6]

The academic record of Connections Academy in other states was called "spotty" by The Oregonian in 2005,[7] comparing the 1:50 teacher:student ratio to the 1:20 ratio of the Clackamas Web Academy.[7]

Of the eight high school students in 2008, three dropped out and five are still in high school.[12][13] (There were no graduates that year as the 12th grade was not added until 2009.[2][4])

Funding[edit]

Each student enrolled at the school is worth $5800[1] in tax money; 5% of this goes to the school district,[7][11] with the remaining 95% going to Oregon Connections Academy.[11] In 2009, 99% of the school's students were from outside the district.[14]

The school opened before the Oregon Legislature's law regulating virtual schools to draw at least 50% of its students from the home district came into effect.[7][11] This home rule law, effective September 2, 2005,[15][16] was intended to prevent the school district (in this case, Scio School District) from "poaching" students from their local district. The school was grandfathered in, becoming a de facto monopoly.[7][11] The school's contract expires June 30, 2010, and the school would then be responsible for meeting the "home rule" law;[1] a spokesman indicated he "believed the school was permanently exempt" from the law. The school was given a waiver following a 2008 Oregon Administrative Rule.[16][17]

In 2006, the school was informed by the Oregon Department of Education that it would not receive state funding due to requiring parents to serve as learning coaches, and for failing to use a lottery system for student admission.[10] The parent involvement requirement was not allowed as a condition for enrollment, as the only charter school enrollment requirements allowed are age or grade level.[10] State Representative Linda Flores, then Chair of the House Education Committee, called the denial "heavy-handed tactics".[10] The school complied by changing the "parent involvement requirement" to a "parent involvement recommendation."

In 2009, Oregon Senate Bill 767 was passed, capping the enrollment of virtual schools at their May 2009 levels.[18]

Notable staff[edit]

Location[edit]

The academy is located in a small office between a retail hardware store and a restaurant in central Scio, across from the post office. Since the school is conducted in cyberspace, the physical location is largely a matter of formality, and does not reflect the physical location of the school's servers, instructors, etc. The school lists the location as its administrative office.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Graves, Bill (2009-05-03). "Oregon Senate would take virtual charter schools offline for two years". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  2. ^ a b c "Oregon School Directory 2009-2010". Oregon Department of Education. p. 117. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  3. ^ "Oregon Connections Academy Meets All Areas of AYP; 2009 State Test Scores Exceptional". PRWeb. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Oregon School Directory 2008-09". Oregon Department of Education. p. 139. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  5. ^ "Online charter school grows quickly". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2009-09-13. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b http://www.northwestaccreditation.org/schools/2008-2009%20Oregon%20Provisionally%20Accredited%20Schools.pdf
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Carter, Steven (2005-08-24). "Cyber school charts untested waters". The Oregonian. 
  8. ^ Moody, Jennifer (2006-01-07). "Blazing a virtual-school trail". Albany Democrat-Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ Rob, Cullivan (2007-06-09). "Online academy offers alternative". The Gresham Outlook (Pamplin Media Group). Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Oregon virtual charter school faces loss of funds". The Oregonian. 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Charter school battle in Oregon". Boston Globe. Associated Press. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-13. [dead link]
  12. ^ "State releases high school graduation rates". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  13. ^ "Oregon dropout rates for 2008". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  14. ^ Hammond, Betsy (2007-09-21). "Online education facing a decision". The Oregonian. 
  15. ^ Oregon Revised Statutes 338.125 section 5 (2)(b)
  16. ^ a b "Keeping Pace: 2008". 2008. p. 165. Retrieved 2009-09-13. [dead link]
  17. ^ Oregon Administrative Rule 581.020-0339 (6)
  18. ^ Hammond, Betsy (2009-06-29). "Time-out on growth of online schools squeaks through". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  19. ^ "Charter School and University School Directory". Nevada Department of Education. September 10, 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Krummel won’t seek re-election". The Tigard Times (Pamplin Media Group). 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  21. ^ Roberts, Anthony (2006-10-30). "Krummel seeking another term". The Sherwood Gazette (Pamplin Media Group). Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  22. ^ "About Us". Connections Academy Oregon. Retrieved 2009-09-14.