Elementary school students can take classes online
August 9, 2001
DENVER (AP) Some elementary-school students in Colorado will be able to telecommute to school this fall with the state’s first online instructional program for young students.
The Colorado Virtual Academy, also the state’s first virtual charter school, is awaiting final approval from the Adams 12 Five Star School District superintendent and final negotiations on contract details. The district’s school board unanimously approved the agreement Tuesday.
Once approved, the school will be run by the Academy of Charter Schools, a K-12 charter school complex in Northglenn.
The virtual school will be open to any child in kindergarten through second grade throughout Colorado, including qualifying home-schooled children.
”Students or families can have their education anytime, anywhere as opposed to only 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at your local school,” said academy principal Kin Griffith. ”Students will be able to go on vacation or go to grandma’s out of state and still have an education program with them.”
Creation of the Colorado academy was announced Thursday by McLean, Va.-based K12 Inc., a for-profit education company co-founded by former U.S. Education Secretary William Bennett.
Students enrolled in the academy will get Internet-connected computers in their homes and access to teachers around the state. Students also will receive learning materials, including musical instruments and science experiments. All materials will remain under the academy’s ownership.
The program can accommodate up to 500 students per grade level, but school officials believe it will attract about 200 per grade level to start. Three grade levels will be added each year, through 12th grade. Students will be tested regularly, and state standardized tests will be administered in appropriate grade levels.
K12, founded 18 months ago, has set up a similar academy in Norristown, Pa., which also opens this fall.
Bennett, who served under President Reagan, said the virtual school is expected to boost parental involvement, which he said is crucial in improving education.