North Carolina Connections Academy opens initial enrollment period for 2015–16 school year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

North Carolina Connections Academy, the state’s newest full-time, tuition-free virtual public charter school for all students in grades kindergarten through nine across the state, is now accepting applications during its initial enrollment period for the 2015-16 school year.

The school will open this August and can enroll up to 1,500 students from anywhere in the state. The initial enrollment period is from March 3 to April 2. A lottery will be held in April, if necessary.

In a news release, school officials said North Carolina Connections Academy “will combine North Carolina-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for families and students who want an individualized approach to education.”

As a public virtual charter school, all students will be required to take the same state assessments as traditional school students measuring their mastery of North Carolina state academic standards.

“When it comes to educating students, it is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and we are excited to provide students in North Carolina access to a personalized education with a high-quality virtual public school option,” Bryan Setser, board president of North Carolina Connections Academy, said in the news release.

Setser said there will be an upcoming information session for interested families to get a feel for the online learning experience.

“Families in North Carolina can trust NCCA to provide a complete education experience where students can maximize their potential, thrive academically, and prepare for future goals and successes,” he added.

North Carolina Connections Academy was unanimously approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education in February, and the school’s charter agreement will be held by a nonprofit organization, North Carolina for Quality Virtual Education, Inc.

The school is governed by an independent board of directors composed of North Carolina residents, while its curriculum and other services are contracted through Connections Education, which the news release called “a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable digital learning solutions and accredited by AdvancED.”

All students will participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program which the news release said “combines high-quality resources from leading publishers with leading-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology tools and hands-on materials.”

Students will work closely with certified North Carolina teachers using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs, according to the news release. A parent or another adult “learning coach” will monitor student progress.

“A virtual school serves a wide variety of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, those who need a flexible schedule or learn at a different pace from their peers, and those who need more individualized attention or live in rural settings. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in NCCA’s program,” the news release said.

NCCA can initially enroll up to 1,500 students from across the state in grades K-9 and grow in subsequent years. A grade level will be added each school year until the fourth year of operation, increasing enrollment until the school serves a maximum of 2,592 students in grades K-12. For more information, visit