A new online charter school for all grades is set to operate in Santa Rosa County beginning next school year.
Coastal Connections Academy will be the third charter school in the school district, in addition to the Learning Academy of Santa Rosa, an alternative education program, and Capstone, a special education program for pre-kindergarten students.
The Santa Rosa County School District reviewed and approved the new school’s charter Thursday.
“The unique thing about this charter school is it’s full-time virtual,” said Santa Rosa County School District Superintendent Karen Barber. “Any student in the state of Florida, no matter where they reside, may receive educational services through this charter school.”
During the school board meeting, members heard about the contract process from school district staff. Barber said if charter schools meet state statutes, there’s little leeway for school districts to deny them operation, and school boards are often all but required to approve them.
The charter school could potentially affect enrollment if students who are currently enrolled in Santa Rosa County School District options choose to move to Coastal Connections next year.
However, the charter school is coming into an education system that already has some virtual options with Santa Rosa Online and the state’s Florida Virtual School.
Representatives with Connections Academy, a national free online school organization with the same registered address as Coastal Connections Academy, did not return a phone call requesting more information Friday.
Madison Arnold can be reached at [email protected] and 850-435-8522.