Monday, February 1, 2010

Colorado Online K-12 Enrollment Increases 13 Percent

Online student enrollment in kindergarten through grade twelve in the state of Colorado increased to 13,093 during the 2008-2009 school year, an increase of 1,452 students over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the Colorado Department of Education.

“Students in Colorado continue to see the value of online learning,” said Pam Ice, the online support director at the CDE. “The 2008-2009 school year brought improvements in student success in many of Colorado’s online programs. Graduation rates and completion rates increased, more programs employ guidance counselors and credentialed staff for special education and English Language Learners. These efforts are paying off for the programs.”

The 122-page report called “Summary Report of the Operations and Activities of Online Programs in Colorado” describes the activities for single-district and multi-district online programs during the 2008-2009 school year, as well as an enrollment count for October 2009. The report provides information about a program’s delivery, the alignment to standards, the demographics and accountability data, curriculum, student support and budgets.

The Denver Business Journal culled some of the information in the report for its Saturday edition. It found 25 distinct programs. Some are designed for “at-risk” students. Others are for advanced students. Most of the programs are for high school students. But Littleton Public Schools offers "LPS@Home" to elementary students. The largest online program is the Colorado Virtual Academy, based in Northglen, with 4,333 students enrolled during the 2009-2010 school year.

Eighty-seven percent of online students are from school districts outside the district sponsoring the online program. In addition, the programs are suffering their own drop-out problems. Officials state that students sometimes think the programs will be easier than traditional high schools and they discover they are not.

To read the complete report, visit . To see the article in the Denver Business Journal go to .