Virtual Schools

MICA To Provide 400 Students Online Schooling Tuition-Free

Connections Academy, a private company operating 15 virtual schools in 14 states, has opened enrollment for the Michigan Connections Academy (MICA).

MICA is a tuition-free online public school for grade levels K through 12 and will enroll 400 students this school year with a projection of 1,000 openings for next year. In addition to textbooks and other materials, Connections Academy provides a computer, printer, and Internet stipend to participating families. The deadline for application is June 11.

Only a portion of the school day is spent on a computer, the balance used for workbook or other offline activity. Higher grade levels mean more computer time; about 10 percent for elementary grades, 30 percent for middle school, and 50 percent for high school, according to Connections Academy. Part of the online instruction will feature LiveLesson sessions, a virtual classroom where teacher and students interact in real time.

MICA offers a customized curriculum with individual lesson plans for each student based on ability assessment and progress tracking, including a gifted student program in math and language arts for grades 3 through 8, as well as college preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement coursework for high school students.

The school will ask parents of incoming students to sign a Learning Coach agreement and will offer parents instruction programs to help them guide daily learning. Parents are also invited to become community coordinators who assist with field trips and other special projects. Information sessions are planned for interested parents through the summer. (Dates were not available at the time of this writing.)

More information can be found here.

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Evan Tassistro is a freelance writer based in San Diego, CA.