New Parent Survey Reveals Why Students Attend Full-Time Online and Blended Learning Schools

According to a recent Parent Satisfaction Survey, families enrolled at Connections Education’s tuition-free, full-time online and blended public schools serving children across Michigan continue to be overwhelmingly pleased with their children’s educational experience.


Full-time online schools Great Lakes Cyber Academy (GLCA) and Michigan Connections Academy (MICA), give students the flexibility to learn at home while receiving instruction from Michigan-certified teachers, while Nexus Academy’s unique blended learning public high school campuses in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Royal Oak enable students to split instruction between a brick-and-mortar school setting and online. Both the fully online and blended learning models supported by Connections Education feature a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards.


A review of the individual school surveys shows that the overwhelming majority of families give the schools an “A” or “B” grade – with scores ranging from 78% to 93%. According to the 45th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitude Toward the Public Schools, the schools’ scores stand well above the average public school rating, in which only 71% of parents gave the public school an “A” or “B” grade.


Among parents and guardians, there were also high satisfaction ratings for the teaching staff and curriculum; more than 94 percent of families agree that the curriculum is high quality and more than 91 percent of parents are satisfied with the helpfulness of their teachers at all five Connections Education schools in Michigan. 


“The teachers make my daughter feel like she’s their only student,” said Janae Rodriguez, whose student attends Great Lakes Cyber Academy. “They have extended such grace to her and embrace her strengths and weaknesses.”


According to the survey, 45 percent of online school families at GLCA and MICA wanted a change from their current school setting, making this the number one reason parents choose a full-time online school. In a related finding, 50 percent of first-year parents agreed with the statement, “I have a child who does not learn well in a traditional school.”


Other top reasons families provided for attending an online or blended learning school included:


·         44% - needed or wanted a flexible schedule

·         35% - expressed a desire for a safe learning environment

·         26% - the desire to have a greater involvement with their child’s education


Overall, Michigan parents continue to give Connections Education schools high marks for academic rigor, program flexibility, quality teachers and delivering high levels of student achievement. 


Parents interested in learning more about this personalized approach to learning are encouraged to attend free informational events taking place across the state. Learn more by visiting Great Lakes Cyber Academy,  Michigan Connections Academy and Nexus Academy.


Survey methodology

Connections Education conducts the annual Parent Satisfaction Survey to find out how parents, guardians and Learning Coaches grade the program in several key areas.  The 2014 survey was conducted from January 14 to February 28, 2014 by Shapiro, an independent market research company which created the questionnaire, collected the data, and tabulated the results. No individual responses were accessible to Connections Education. Parents of all students enrolled at the time of the survey were invited to complete the survey online. A WebMail invitation was sent to each parent, and one response per household was submitted.  Forty-five percent of the 41,000 households with students enrolled in a Connections Education school at the time of the survey responded to the survey. 


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