ACEC makes plans for online academy, annual meeting

Representatives of the Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) will meet with the Colorado Department of Education’s Charter School Institute in Denver in February to answer final questions about establishing a statewide online charter high school based in Pagosa Springs.

Mountain Online Career Academy will be for students ages 16-21 who have left high school without a diploma and have not obtained their GED, and for those students at risk of leaving high school before graduation.

The Mission Statement of the Mountain Career Online Academy indicates it will academically recover and enable at-risk students to earn a career-focused and competency-based high school diploma and career readiness certificate, improving opportunities for meaningful employment and post-secondary study.

This alternative high-school curriculum is an online curriculum that places the student’s learning in direct relation to a desired work or career path. This new delivery of learning provides flexibility, is contextual in content, assesses independent skill levels and is relevant to an individual’s needs. Moreover, it is designed to guide the student toward workforce readiness. Upon successful completion of the program, a student will graduate with a high school diploma and a National Career Readiness Certificate which will enable successful entry into the workforce.

This exciting initiative, plus others, will be presented at the eighth annual luncheon of the Archuleta County Education Center, which will be held Wednesday, March 25, starting at 11:45 a.m. at Centerpoint Church on U.S. 160.

The annual ACEC event has two aspects. First, it serves as a fund-raiser for the organization that operates with a budget of nearly $500,000 to plan and execute the variety of educational programs that are offered for all ages of people in this community. Second, it serves to inform those in attendance of the purpose, successes, and priority of enriching and educating people within our community, and to engage them in the process.

Everyone is invited to purchase tickets for a donation of $50 each and may put together a table of eight. This is an event that will enlighten you as to some of the trials that ordinary people go through, the steps people take to help themselves or help others and it will make you proud of your community. The ACEC board has planned an exciting format during the luncheon, which will highlight the initiatives the ACEC will launch this year.

Current programs offered by the ACEC include tutoring and enrichment programs for kindergarten through eighth grades, adult learning opportunities like GED and ESL, training and an array of community classes that are offered year round. The ACEC also operates the Archuleta County High School, which is currently serving 25 students who are working toward their diplomas or GEDs and an online educational component for other non-traditional school-aged students.

For more information, call the ACEC at 264-2835.