Success Story

Teammates on the Ice and in the Classroom

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Northern Cyclones Junior Hockey Academy, Massachusetts

About the School

100 student athletes, Eastern Hockey Federation, Boston Metro area

Edmentum Products

Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS)


As the Northern Cyclones youth hockey program expanded from a small organization of mostly local skaters—almost all of them high school graduates—to a five-team junior hockey league with student athletes from across the U.S., providing educational support became a priority. The family-owned program is committed to college and career preparation for long-term success both on and off the ice. Many of its players will go on to play hockey in college or in semi-professional leagues around the world, but for many others, the sport will not be their primary focus as young adults.

“The ALVS curriculum is diverse and challenging—and never easier than a traditional brick-and-mortar school. There is a wide range of AP, Honors, and elective courses. Their teachers are professional and responsive.”

Janet Sisson, Director of Learning and Academics
Northern Cyclones Junior Hockey Academy, Massachusetts


The Northern Cyclones partner with Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS) to offer a private online high school option for families whose student athletes live near its rinks in New Hampshire, just north of the Boston metro area. The flexibility of ALVS courses accommodates the skaters’ busy practice and travel schedules. And the Northern Cyclones’ Director of Learning and Academics, Janet Sisson, is able to monitor students’ progress 24/7 via an online dashboard.

Implementing Edmentum

It is rare for a rural high school serving only 200 students to be able to offer courses in anthropology, sociology, advanced math, and multiple foreign languages, but through its virtual program partnership with EdOptions Academy, those are only a few of the options that Telstar High is providing. During the vetting process, students and parents are given access to the course catalog, and they are given the opportunity to come up with a plan in collaboration with school staff.

“We have found that the students actually like having a plan and hold themselves accountable,” Mr. Raymond said. “They often tell me when they are falling behind and what they plan on doing to catch up.”

Telstar High’s online course program takes communication seriously. Students are in regular contact with teachers, and teachers communicate with parents and guardians often, all in an effort to make sure that the school’s resources are being used wisely and that students are best positioning themselves for success.

Telstar High’s staff has been impressed with the depth of knowledge and pacing provided by EdOptions Academy’s courses and excited about how well-organized the syllabi and tutorials are. If students are struggling, either online or in-person, often all they have to do is retrace their steps to find their learning gap and take ample notes from there to guide continued learning.


ALVS integrates seamlessly into the educational side of the Northern Cyclones program, offering a diverse and challenging array of courses plus the support and scaffolding to ensure that student athletes can handle the academic rigor. Families who are balancing the cost of ice time, room, and board appreciate the financial options ALVS offers. Most importantly, the college acceptance rate for ALVS students is 100%.

According to Sisson, “Setting them up for college and the work world with a good GPA is important to us. And we started asking who could help us do that?”

Programs that Drive Success

Learn more about the programs used by this school community to achieve results.


Apex Learning Virtual School

Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS) is a fully accredited, private, online school for grades 6–12 that provides families with flexible options and empowers students to control when, where, and how learning happens.

Instructional Services


Apex Courses

Digital curricula for grade 6 through adult learners help students reach graduation goals and beyond through flexible, personalized first-time credit, credit recovery, and expanded course access.

Courses & Curriculum



Pretest-driven concept recovery to help grade 6–12 students catch up and find success in the courses they’re taking and the tests they’re preparing for.

Assessments, Supplemental & Intervention