Wyoming Connections Academy: Alternative Education for K-12 - Wyoming Magazine

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Wyoming Connections Academy: Alternative Education for K-12

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Remember sitting in school and staring out the window wishing you could have class outside? Well, you can in Wyoming!

Wyoming Connections Academy is a tuition free, K-12, virtual public school open to every Wyoming student. Not only will students have the opportunity to have class outside whenever they want, but they’ll also have highly qualified teachers guiding them to reach their potential.

One of these teachers is Daniel Bradford, a math teacher who’s in his fourth year at Wyoming Connections Academy after over ten years teaching at a traditional brick and mortar school. He teaches everything from Geometry to AP Stat and Calculus. When asked about the greatest part of teaching virtually, Bradford noted the flexibility that the school allows. He now has the opportunity to build his own schedule and is able to focus first on helping the students who need it most. 

The school also offers students the same luxury. Each student has a lesson plan and a certain amount of lessons to complete each day. Unlike traditional public school however, students can complete their lessons as quickly as they are able, wherever they have access to a computer.

Tranquilla Button, a fifth grade Wyoming Connections academy student, chose Wyoming Connections Academy to have flexibility in her schedule that consists of traveling for various appointments. She also wanted an educational experience that catered to her needs and challenged her.

Students choose Wyoming Connections Academy for a variety of reasons. Some students would be missing school regularly because of things like medical appointments and rodeo, but a virtual school allows them to complete all of their schoolwork. Others might feel more comfortable at home when a traditional public school experience can seem unfriendly. The pace at which a student advances in Wyoming Connections Academy is also a strong draw for students. Not only can an individual student move at a slower pace while working one-on-one with a teacher to ensure they grasp all of the material and concepts, but students may also have the opportunity to move at a faster pace and progress through their academics much easier than in traditional schools.

Just because all classes are online does not mean a student will have a limited choice of courses. Like traditional public schools, Wyoming Connections Academy offers all the core classes a student needs to graduate, but also a good deal of elective courses, including many options not provided at traditional schools, like Criminal Investigation for example.

Class sizes can vary from a couple students to around 40-50, but each student will have access to one-on-one leaning with a highly qualified teacher. Wyoming Connections Academy also makes it a priority to host events and field trips around the state. Designed not only for students to attend and further their education tactically but also providing opportunities for students to interact and engage with their peers, other students, and teachers.

Since it’s establishment in 2009, Wyoming Connections Academy has grown dramatically. They now have numerous teachers and students of all ages throughout the state of Wyoming. Daniel Bradford has emphasized that Wyoming Connections Academy is another option for every student in Wyoming. An option that many students like Tranquilla Button are choosing and “liking very much.”

In our ever-changing world that seems to be going more digital all the time, Wyoming Connections Academy is ahead of the game.

-Nathan Trampe

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