MTS Minnesota Connections Academy, a tuition-free K-12 online public school program, will host a free parent-to-parent meeting Thursday, May 9, from 10 to 11 a.m., at Subway, 307 N. Broadway Ave. in Spring Valley.

Hosted by a Connections Academy parent, the event allows prospective families to talk about the program in a casual setting with a currently enrolled family. For those unable to attend, real-time virtual online sessions hosted by a MTS Minnesota Connections Academy staff member are also available. For more information, visit www.connectionsacademy.com or call 800-382-6010.

Connections Academy staff members encourage families considering an online public school experience to attend an information session in-person or online because virtual education, while a great choice for many families, might not be a good fit for some.

"Attending a virtual school requires a strong commitment of parental involvement in a child's education," says Melissa Gould, principal, MTS Minnesota Connections Academy. "During our information sessions, we let families know exactly what they can expect in a virtual school setting, as well as what it takes to succeed. Having a clear understanding of how it all works is essential for students to thrive."

With its faculty headquartered in St. Paul, MTS Minnesota Connections Academy is a personalized online program offering an alternative school experience - public school from the comfort of home. Students work with state-certified teachers via email, live online lessons, text-based curriculum, web casts, telephone conversations and more, while an adult "learning coach" monitors progress.

The program meets the needs of students and their families looking for a non-traditional public school option. They may learn at a different pace from their peers, need more individualized instruction, live in an isolated rural setting, want a more flexible learning schedule, are currently home schooled, have a medical condition, or simply need a learning environment outside of the traditional classroom.

Connections Academy operates its full-time school program in Minnesota through a partnership with Minnesota Transitions Charter School.