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Colorado virtual school to hold Pagosa meeting

Students and parents seeking a public school alternative that delivers education in a unique “school without walls,” are invited to explore Colorado Connections Academy, a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public school program.

Colorado Connections Academy (ColCA) operates a full-time, virtual public school for students in Colorado under contract with Denver Public Schools, and can accept students from anywhere in the state. Beginning April 1, ColCA will accept registrations for students entering grades K-12 in the 2009-2010 school year.

The school will hold an information session Thursday, July 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. for those who want to learn more about the free, full-time, public school program. Parents will have an opportunity to meet with teachers, view the curriculum, see a demonstration of the online Learning Management System, and thoroughly explore the program.

Connections Academy meets the needs of students who are, for a variety of reasons, better suited to learning outside the traditional classroom, but who can benefit from public school resources such as textbooks, daily assignments, professional teacher support and opportunities for peer interaction and community activities. Because it is a public school program, there is no tuition or fee to enroll. Learning from home, students work closely with their parents or other “learning coaches” under the guidance of a certified Colorado teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that are personalized to meet the individual student’s needs.

“We’re looking forward to providing area parents with an opportunity to learn more about our public school program,” said Sarah Ault, principal of Colorado’s full-time Connections Academy program. “These information sessions will give interested parents the chance to talk one-on-one with our teachers about the curriculum and technology used in our school. Our program is designed to provide individualized education for every student at a pace that’s right for them, and the information sessions will help parents see if we’re a good fit for their children’s educational needs.”

Connections Academy provides each family in its full-time program with a computer and subsidized Internet (except kindergarten) and technical support to facilitate communication and management of lessons. In addition to the state-of-the-art technology tools, students are provided with the textbooks and workbooks and have opportunities to interact with other students through Connections Academy organized field trips.