CAM School Board discusses Online Charter School


December 6th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Members of the CAM Community School District’s Board of Education met Monday night in Anita, to hear a report from Superintendent Steve Pelzer about an opportunity to become involved with a company which provides students a free, online learning experience. Pelzer told KJAN News the district has been involved in discussions over the past week or so, with a national, full-time online K-12 learning company, talking about a possible partnership that would create a free, online K-12 full-time learning school in Iowa.

Pelzer says Monday night’s meeting was an opportunity to share with the board what he’s learned about the company, Connections Education, based in Baltimore, Maryland. He says a representative from Connections is scheduled to appear before the board during another special meeting Thursday, Dec. 8th, at the High School Media Center in Anita. During the 6:30-p.m. session , the Connections Rep will present additional information on their program. Pelzer says the board was interested enough during the previous meeting to hear more about the school. He says Connections Education is part of Pearson Learning. The company has already partnered with Departments of Education or Schools in more than 20 states.

He says an online K-12 School is a brand new, and interesting concept in Iowa, and something that may be worth pursuing in the future. A school district in eastern Iowa is exploring a similar online program, but with a different company. Pelzer says if CAM went with Connections Education, it would likely result in a completely new school in the district, and it would benefit CAM students, by allowing them access to certain classes online that they would otherwise not be able to take. Students would take the classes from home. Pelzer says the company wants to involve parents in the process.

The reason the full-time program would be free, according to Pelzer, is that it would follow the state’s Open Enrollment laws, in that students from across the State would have the opportunity to meet all the timelines and qualifications for Open Enrollment to open enroll into an online academy. The fees would be funded by the respective resident school district.

Pelzer says no decisions have been made with regard to the program. He says the CAM District is only “Looking to explore possibilities that would benefit our district and benefit our kids.” Learn more about Connections Education at