This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
MTS Minnesota Connections Academy5
Posted September 25, 2014
- a community member
I left brick and mortar school for Connections and never looked back. I am a pretty average paced student and I feel that the time spent during the day is perfect. As a student who spends an average amount of time, I only spend about 3-5 hours per day doing lessons. We have maybe 1 big project per unit, per class (plus there are resources listed for the entire unit and you are expected to be working on it) and the teachers put lots of helpful resources up. There is no bullying as far as I've seen, and the teachers seem to care a lot more! If there are any big problems, I've found the staff is MORE than willing to help and make sure you succeed. This is just my experience, not trying to discredit anyone else's experience. I'm just saying as your average Connections student, this is my experience.
I attended Connections Academy from 10th through 12th grade. I was a serious and dedicated student, I was involved in student government, and I kept in close contact with my teachers and counsellors year to year. Why the rating? The pros were outweighed in my experience by the flaws in the system. The product that's being pitched is poorer than the advertising presents. Pros: Many excellent teachers who sincerely care; a bit of schedule flexibility; provides an option for those with only truly awful alternatives. Major Cons 1. The pacing is obscene. In an effort to be challenging, it's crossed over to insane. The portfolio projects are excessive in number and all highly involved. The number of concepts crammed into a semester is also extreme. If you fall behind due to the rigor, it's a nightmare to rectify because of the avalanche of concepts. 2. Errors. Errors in the tests and quizzes that need correcting, errors in the instructions for projects, etc. 3. Social/mental health will suffer. No amount of interaction over tech at a distance begins to address the basic isolation online school brings. I knew kids unhappy with their old public ed. who returned rather than endure it.
I HATE this school. We came to Connections because of my child being bullied. My daughter is in middle school. Connections is not the answer. If you like your child online 8 - 9 hours a day doing school work, 25+ BIG projects a semester (more than I had in grad school!), significant computer compatability problems, and online bullying, this might be the right school. We are trying to find something else. VERY disappointed!
my childrens school has been connections academy for the past 5 years. They have worked hard with a very challenging corriculum and I believe it has helped them gain their knowledge to be successful mature citizens in a very challenging world we live in. They have had success and reached goals with out the distractions of peer pressure to be involved in inappropriate things. School is a place to gain experience in knowledge and to receave an education. Connections academy has fullfilled that purpose. Thank you.
My son started Connections Academy January of 2013. He was in 1st grade, now going into 2nd. I was skeptical at first wondering how this was going to work with my schedule and if my son would learn at home and learn from me and the teachers. It did take a month or two to get the swing of things. I have found that Connections Academy is a great school!! They have the best teachers. He enjoys talking to his teachers on the phone and really enjoys the live lessons. He has improved so much and has grown a lot since taking him out of the brick and mortar school. Being a learning coach so is rewarding , I wouldn't change a thing!! Being able to be part of my sons schooling and learning more about him and seeing what he struggles with and seeing what he loves to do is so much fun!! I am so happy that we made the switch, and we wont be going back to a brick and mortar school..
My child has gone to MTC Connections Academy for 5 years. We like the freedom the school allows for us to do school during any time of the day. We also like being able to adjust the class schedule to fit our days. The teachers are supportive and helpful. The cirriculum is challenging and fun. The electives and clubs are amazing. The only thing I could ask for is more school events in our area in Southern MN.
We have been using Connections Academy for 2 years. We chose an online school because we felt each of our kids needed and deserved something extra. We wanted them to each get more individualized attention. We tried traditional homeschooling, but I found the lesson planning to be overwhelming, and I always felt I was lacking in some area. Using Connections, the kids each have a teacher we can connect with regarding questions and concerns. When asked, my boys have all said they prefer being home and using the online school to the brick and mortar school.
This is our first year at a virtual school. We left first the public schools and the a private schools because of bullying and not getting the good education for our daughter. She is bright and both other schools were causing her to be worried and not concentrate on schools. It's amazing the bad things going on in schools these days! We have been so impressed with the curriculum, the teachers, and the field trips offered. Our daughter LOVES the school and is so much happier. We have made sure that she's socialized by doing outside events and she's also in band locally and community education activities. For those that worry that their children won't be socialized, there is nothing to worry about with that if an effort is made to get out. Keep in mind that to be successful the parent (learning coach) really needs to be organized and keep the student on tract. Our daughter is self motivated and can't wait to get going each morning!
After one year of brick and mortar school this past school year, we are returning to Connections Academy for next year. The curriculum is challenging, but it is extremely well-presented and taught by teachers who provide engaging live lessons and videos. Parents also need to be aware that there is a time commitment involved with younger children, as you will need to help with some of the projects constructed, the science experiments, and the spelling quizzes, etc. Yet, our child learned so much more through this kind of hands-on experience with Connections Academy, and the teachers are great for providing support and encouragement to the students. As someone else posted, they also offer several field trips throughout the year so that the students get to interact with their teachers and their peers in person.