Virtual School Students Meet for First Time

One of Michigan's virtual schools has more than doubled in size since lawmakers removed the enrollment cap earlier this year.


  • When Michigan Connections Academy started in 2010 it had 400 students; it now has 1,600 enrolled.

  • On Thursday more than five hundred of those students (K-12) got to meet their fellow classmates and teachers for the first time (in person) as part of a field trip. It was a unique, but exciting experience for the kids.

  • "They could hardly sleep last night because they wanted to meet their teachers and their friends," said Edwina Gibson, guardian of three online students.

  • "It was just awesome. I never thought I'd get to meet my teacher in person. It was just awesome," said Nakyia Gibson, 5th grade student.

  • The virtual school's growing so fast that it decided to put a cap on how many students it'll allow. Once enrollment reaches 1,800, the academy will stop accepting students for the year.

  • "More and more families are looking at the choices they have and the options out there, but I think growing at a reasonable rate is better. We want to make sure everyone is set up for success," said Carrie Zopf, 5th grade teacher at Michigan's Connection Academy.

  • Success is exactly why the parents decided to make the switch. "She's talented and I needed her to be somewhere that would challenge her. She's done a hundred times better since she started the online academy," said Gibson.

  • "My daughter doesn't want to go back to the public school. I've asked her so many times. Michigan Connection is the perfect school for my child, she can go at a pace that is perfect for her," said Misty Biniecki.

  • Michigan Connections Academy is a public school, even though it's online. The students take MEAP tests and log 31 hours a week to keep up to standards.

  • It may be a different way of learning, but the goal is still the same: preparing our kids for the best possible future.

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