Created: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 05:41:00 EST
Updated: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:26:14 EST
Connections Academy is a full-time online public school catering to student in Kindergarten to 12th grade.
Connections has more than 40,000 student enrolled, including 14-year-old Rachael Dixon. Rachael is a 7th grader in Macon and has been enrolled in Connections since last year.
Rachael’s mother, Kimberly Dixon, took Rachael out of public school after she had been bullied for years. The Dixon’s thought online home school would be a better option.
"I became a little bit more confident without people bugging me," Rachael said in an interview at her home at her art desk.
"She was having problems being bullied and it was just perfect for her," said Kimberly Dixon, Rachael’s mother, as she explained how her daughter struggled being accepting at her elementary school in Twiggs County.
Rachael gets her school day started around 10:00 a.m. each morning. She says now she can focus on her school work instead of avoiding bullies. She also like that she gets to choose some of her curriculum.
"It's really a great experience I get to do things that I like to do,” said Rachael. “I have my own time."
“Rachael loves art and the school that she was in, they didn't offer any art classes whatsoever," her mother said.
Now, the 7th grade artist can opt to take art classes every semester. "I get to study it more often and I have the internet with me so I can study all sorts of videos and my teacher helps me a lot," Rachael added.
When students withdraw from school, connections academy gets state funds to supply their students with teachers, interest focused curriculum, and supplies, but for the Dixon’s the school has boosted their spirits.
"Her self-esteem has went through the roof," said Kimberly Dixon.
"I became more confident and my mom and I have gotten a little closer since we have to work together," Rachael added.
Connections Academy accepts students from kindergarten to 12th grade. The school focuses on providing flexible schedules and encouraging their students to pursue personal areas of interest.