Digital learning is old hat for some local students

California Connections Academy celebrates nearly 40 graduating seniors in Tulare County from online public school

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. – The pandemic may have marked a vastly different style of learning for most Tulare County students, but there is about 500 local youth each year who had either experienced digital only school before or had spent more years learning online than in a traditional classroom.

California Connections Academy, a tuition-free network of online public schools serving students in transitional kindergarten (TK) through grade 12 across 32 counties in California since 2004, celebrated nearly 900 graduating seniors last month. Despite the challenges of the last year with the ongoing pandemic, school administrators and teachers were still able to honor the graduating class with proper pomp and circumstance during the virtual graduation ceremony.

The California Connections Academy Class of 2021 is comprised of graduates from six California schools: California Connections Academy Central, California Connections Academy Central Coast, California Connections Academy Monterey Bay, California Connections Academy North Bay, California Connections Academy Ripon and California Connections Academy Southern California, with students residing in 32 counties across the state.

The online network’s Central academy serves Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties and is based in Ripon, Calif. In Tulare County, students register under a charter designation through the Alpaugh Unified School District. There are about 550 students enrolled through Tulare County with about 40 graduating each year.

Among this year’s graduating class, 62% plan to attend two- or four-year colleges or universities, 10% plan to enter the work force and 7% plan to attend vocational or technical school. Collectively, the graduating class earned more than $1.9 million in scholarship funds and students have been accepted to notable in-state and out-of-state universities including Dartmouth, United States Military Academy West Point, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University, among many others.

“I am continually proud of the hard work and dedication of our graduating class. Despite the challenging year we all experienced, our students leveraged their experience with online learning and were able to continue aiming high and conquering goals,” said Dr. Richard Savage, California Connections Academy Executive Director. “These students kept their focus and their heads up through it all, and I am excited to see them become the next generation of successful and thoughtful leaders.”

As a WASC-accredited, online public school with 17 years of expertise, California Connections Academy provides more than 6,500 students with the continuous support of highly-skilled, state-credentialed teachers and curriculum that focuses on both academics and social-emotional learning. The school’s teachers are specially trained to bring their skills and personality to the virtual classroom and emphasize the importance of fostering meaningful connections with students and their families. A student’s daily learning activities are flexible to meet their needs and families can decide in which order to complete the assigned work.

California Connections Academy students represent a diversity of backgrounds and education histories, ranging from those who are academically ahead or struggling in a traditional school setting to those who experience health challenges or bullying. At California Connections Academy, students have access to advanced courses and flexible daily scheduling that helps them to take ownership of their own educational journey. Students who choose to enroll in the school join a collaborative community of their fellow students and educators that provides a welcoming, distraction-free learning environment.

For additional information about online education and enrollment, the school is hosting free events for families to learn more. To learn more about California Connections Academy and begin the enrollment process, visit

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