There are more than 780,000 students actively enrolled in preschool through 12th grade in the state of South Carolina, but not all of them report to a physical brick-and-mortar school each morning. An estimated 5,300 students log in online to attend South Carolina Connections Academy—a tuition-free virtual public school that serves grades K-12 throughout the state.
No two children are alike, and South Carolina Connections Academy offers a unique opportunity for students to receive a more personalized education to help them achieve their college and career goals. The curriculum is tailored to each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses making it a great alternative for students seeking more individualized instruction, those who are either ahead or behind in a traditional classroom setting, or those who have situations that would benefit from a flexible school schedule.
After a recommendation from a friend, Shannon Guy of Georgetown was drawn to the idea of taking a more active role in her daughter’s education and the flexibility a virtual school could afford. Lana Guy enrolled in South Carolina Connections Academy in the fourth grade. Currently a ninth grader, she says the experience has broadened her perspective and given her opportunities she otherwise would not have had like dissecting a shark at Ripley’s Aquarium.
“I love the teachers and principals. Everyone is so supportive,” she says. “And through school-hosted events, clubs and field trips, I’ve been able to make friends who live in other parts of the state.”
She has also served in various leadership positions with the National Junior Honor Society and thanks to the flexible schedule has been able to explore a wide variety of outside interests such as theater and music. You may have even seen her perform on stage during a Charleston Stage production at Historic Dock Street Theatre.
Though Lana and her mom both agree that it was the best decision, the transition from a brick-and-mortar school to virtual had its challenges. For Shannon, it was learning how to use the technology—a challenge she’s been able to overcome by utilizing the school’s technology support line.
“The adjustment period can be difficult, but the rewards are there if you stick with it,” she says.
For her coursework, Lana has learned to use a variety of technology tools that will prove beneficial in college and her future career. The self-paced, yet structured learning approach teaches valuable life skills such as accountability, independence, time management and organization. The end result upon graduation are well-rounded students who are prepared and confident to become successful, contributing members of society.
Founded in 2008, South Carolina Connections Academy is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and authorized under state law by the South Carolina Public Charter School District. To learn more about the high-quality curriculum they provide, call 1-800-382-6010 or visit www.SouthCarolinaConnectionsAcademy.com.