Registration for GOAL Academy will be available through Sept. 30. For more information, call 970-208-6329 or visit www.goalac.org.
Craig The Craig branch of GOAL Academy will be operating out of a slightly new facility henceforth, one not too far from its previous location.
The online public high school, which offers learning opportunities to people ages 14 to 21, celebrated the grand opening of its new drop-in learning center at Suite 112 of the Centennial Mall, a spot offering students about twice the space in which to study than the previous space in adjacent Suite 123.
There’s more than one way to learn, but no matter what kind of methods students may use in receiving their education, having a good workspace is crucial.
The purpose of GOAL — Guided Online Academic Learning — is to work with students' individual needs, whether they need a little extra attention from instructors or just an accommodating schedule to fulfill family, work or other obligations they might have.
The charter school, which operates in multiple locations across Colorado, caters to all types of students, and the Craig location keeps it casual with couches and beanbags for its pupils.
Kristi Ingram, the recruitment and retention specialist for the overall program, said students such as a professional snowboarder and a ballerina hailing from other parts of the state have been able to get the education they need through GOAL while balancing their burgeoning careers.
“They’re working at their own pace,” she said. “The good thing is if a student starts late, they’re not working alongside a classroom of 30 other students and trying to catch up. A lot of these students have been marginalized already.”
Classes for GOAL began Monday, but registration will be open until Sept. 30.
Eighteen area students graduated through the local GOAL program last year, with more than 500 completing high school across the state. About 2,700 total students were enrolled in GOAL last year. Ingram said she hopes to see about 3,500 Colorado students in the program this year with four more locations opening.
Annette McCurdy is associate director for the local branch, now in its second year as a brick-and-mortar establishment. The success of the program in Northwest Colorado — also offering services to students in Routt and Rio Blanco counties — necessitated a bigger space for more students, and she’s eager to begin kicking off the year at the new site.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know all our new students and start the new curriculum we have for this year,” she said.
McCurdy began as an academic coach for GOAL and now oversees several others in that position while working with a few students, as well.
Sisters Jordan and Cheyenne Harmon are enrolled with GOAL this year. While Jordan, 16, is returning, 14-year-old Cheyenne is new to the process.
She likes what she’s seen so far.
“We get to take our time as long as we need to get stuff done,” Cheyenne said. “The teachers don’t get frustrated if you ask them too many questions.”
The new learning center is a draw for the siblings, as well.
“It’s so much better than the little space,” Jordan said. “When we would take tests in there, it was packed.”
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.