GOAL Academy, an online high school for students in Craig, surpassed enrollment goals for two years in only two months. With 69 enrolled and 22 more on a wait list, academic coach Annette McCurdy seems Craig has a market for alternative learning options.

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GOAL Academy, an online high school for students in Craig, surpassed enrollment goals for two years in only two months. With 69 enrolled and 22 more on a wait list, academic coach Annette McCurdy seems Craig has a market for alternative learning options.

GOAL Academy surpasses 2 year enrollment goal in nearly 2 months

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“I’ve worked with this program for about six months now and I am very very pleased with it. It offers a variety of classes for the students at different levels depending on their educational needs."

Annette McCurdy, a GOAL Academy's academic coach in Craig, about the academy's success so far

When Annette McCurdy signed on as Guided Online Academic Learning Academy's academic coach in Craig in August 2011, officials from the online high school warned her it may take two years of working from home to enroll enough students, 50, to warrant moving into a facility.

A month and a half later McCurdy rented out space in the Centennial Mall for a drop-in learning center. She had already reached the two-year goal.

Now six months later, McCurdy said she has about 69 students enrolled and 22 more on the waiting list. She believes she’ll have more when enrollment opens in the summer.

“Nobody thought it would go this quickly,” McCurdy said. “It’s the fastest growing area GOAL’s ever had.”

A former teacher for the Moffat County School District, McCurdy said she got along with her students. Combined with her belief that traditional school doesn’t work for everybody, McCurdy was motivated to help establish GOAL Academy in Craig.

“I felt it was just needed in this area in this time,” McCurdy said. “At the same time I recognize online doesn’t work for everybody, but it’s good to have that choice.”

The academy offers students an accredited high school diploma, not a GED, is funded by the state and backed by the Colorado Department of Education.

“The students don’t have to come in every day. They have classes online and have a teacher assigned to every class. We also have local support,” McCurdy said.

McCurdy said GOAL in Craig now employs five staff members, three academic coaches, a parent coordinator and site coordinator.

“I’ve worked with this program for about six months now and I am very very pleased with it,” McCurdy said. “It offers a variety of classes for the students at different levels depending on their educational needs.”

Aside from engaging students, GOAL works to keep families involved and engaged in their students work as well, hosting monthly family nights.

GOAL’s parent coordinator, Nikki Frederickson, joined the team in November and said she’s excited to increase attendance at each family night.

Each meeting features a different topic. Last month featured the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, Colorado’s standardized test to gauge students’ learning.

“Having meetings with parents is really a way to keep their student engaged,” Frederickson said. “ If they don’t know how their kids are doing in school, they don’t know how to help them at home.”

For more information about GOAL Academy call McCurdy at (970) 208-6329.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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