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Students, Including Many Former Dropouts, Give Online Program High Marks

Matthew LaPlante
The American Academy
801-931-2707 ext 2062


OLYMPIA, Wash. — September 1, 2011 — From teachers to technical support, American Academy students gave their online program high marks when surveyed by Washington State’s Digital Learning Department.

The recently released survey results show that nearly nine out of every 10 members of The American Academy’s student body — mostly dropouts and other students at risk of dropping out — report being satisfied with the program.

And when asked to rate the school on a scale of one to five stars, the overwhelming majority gave the program full points. Overall, The American Academy’s students gave the program 4.4 out of 5 stars.

"With the American Academy, I always get the help I need either from my online mentor or my local mentor, who could not be nicer or easier to get along with," one student reported in the survey. "My teacher is always more than willing to help. I am very impressed with this program and wish I had found it sooner."

"Everyone who helped me through this process made it much better for me to feel like I was accomplishing something," another student wrote in the survey. "So thank you, American Academy, for giving me a second chance at a better future."

That’s music to Gregg Rosann’s ears.

"There are many reasons why our students weren't getting what they needed from a traditional school setting," said Rosann, co-founder and president of The American Academy, which was launched in 2007. "We work with school districts that want to address those reasons — and these survey results tell us that the vast majority of these students now feel like they are getting exactly what they need to keep working toward their diplomas. That just feels wonderful. It’s a real testament to the Washington state school leaders who stepped up and said, ‘we’re going to find a way to serve these students.’"

The American Academy’s chief academic officer, Rebekah Richards, said the numbers are a great indicator that the program is working. "But you know what? There’s room for improvement, too," she said. "I think that’s why we’ve been so successful — because we don’t stop at ‘good enough.’ And we won’t stop at anything short of excellence — which for us means one simple thing: No dropouts."

That might seem an impossible goal, but American Academy principal Deborah O’Brien said she’s a believer. "When you see how hard these students work and how much it means to them to get a second chance, you can’t help but believe," she said.

To read more comments from American Academy students, visit the Washington Digital Learning Department's student satisfaction survey. For more information about The American Academy, visit