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Local Freshman Empowered Thanks to Online School

By Aly Brandt

When Napa ninth grader Tori Creaves went back to school at the beginning of the month, rather than catching the bus to her local high school, she logged on to her digital classroom through California Connections Academy North Bay.

The tuition-free online public school which serves students in grades TK-12 throughout Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo counties, began its 2019-2020 school year earlier this month. Tori has been enrolled with California Connections Academy for three years and made the decision to pursue an online education for the schedule flexibility and class offerings it allows.

As an avid student, Tori is taking honors and AP courses through the school and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). NJHS requires students to complete an individual service project to give back to the community and encourages them to pursue an area of passion.

Tori chose to follow her love of reading and organized a community wide book swap by collecting book donations and advertising the events locally. Having since fulfilled her NJHS service requirement, Tori continues to host book swaps for fun and even has booth at the Napa Farmers Market.

“I ask people to bring a book they’ve already read and swap it for a new one,” said Tori Creaves. “We give away around 60 books at each event. It’s so rewarding to see kids pick up a book and get excited about reading again.”

Tori is also actively involved in Girls Garage, a Berkeley-based nonprofit design and building program for girls ages 9-17. Through classes in carpentry, welding, architecture and activist art, the organization equips a community of girls with the skills needed to build the world they want to see.

As part of her involvement in Girls Garage, Tori uses a jigsaw to build a storage box which will be donated to a local high school.

Tori’s mom, Kay Creaves, credits her daughter’s ability to be so actively involved in the North Bay community to California Connections Academy for allowing her to build a schedule that accommodates her educational needs and extracurricular interests. For example, Tori knows that geometry is one of her tougher subjects, so she builds her day to tackle math first thing in the morning, when she’s most alert.

Tori and her mom have both been blown away with the support they have received from California Connections Academy teachers.

“All of Tori’s teachers have gone above and beyond to make sure she understands the assignments,” said Kay Creaves. “They are so supportive and truly encourage students to reach out with questions and to build a student/teacher relationship.”

California Connections Academy North Bay will serve more than 200 students in the 2019-20 school year and is proud to celebrate its track record of helping students succeed, with the network of California schools entering its 15th anniversary milestone school year.

As digital literacy and personalized academic programs continue to grow throughout the nation, families across North Bay continue to turn to California Connections Academy for an alternative education program suited to their student’s individual learning needs. The school offers innovative and diverse courses, including foreign languages, digital technology and web design.

Additionally, California Connections Academy offers a flexible learning environment for children with a dynamic schedule who learn at different pace from their peers or want a more individualized approach to learning. State-credentialed teachers work with students to excel academically while allowing them time to pursue their dreams and extracurricular interests.

For more information about enrolling in California Connections Academy, visit

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