New Online Public School, Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, Approved to Open for Students in Grades K-10

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Statewide online public school will launch in partnership with Durango School District 9-R and established Colorado Connections Academy school to offer tuition-free option for Colorado families; enrollment is underway for the 2016-17 school year

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Full-time online public school, Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, approved to serve K-10 students statewide

With the opening of Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, we will have a presence and partnership on both sides of the Rockies, which will allow us to expand our offerings to Colorado students

Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, a full-time online public school, is authorized by the Durango School District 9-R and certified by the State Board of Education and the Colorado Department of Education to serve students in all grades from across Colorado. Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango will begin serving students in grades K-10 in the 2016-17 school year, with an additional grade level added each subsequent school year. The new school will deliver technology-enhanced, tuition-free, public school online to students statewide.

Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year is open, and interested families are encouraged to attend one of the information sessions being planned across the state and online to find out if virtual school is the right fit for their students.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Family

Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango joins the growing national network of 30 plus Connections Academy schools, including Colorado Connections Academy @ Mapleton, which continues to successfully serve students in grades K-12 statewide. Both Colorado Connections Academy schools share a common goal—to ensure that students become productive, successful, and confident in school and in life. The Colorado Connections Academy schools will be overseen by Chaille Hymes, who currently serves as principal of the Mapleton location. Amy Davis, current assistant principal, will be the site administrator for Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango.

“With the opening of Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, we will have a presence and partnership on both sides of the Rockies, which will allow us to expand our offerings to Colorado students—not to mention the added benefits of having two office locations within the state for teacher collaboration and in-person meetings with families,” commented Hymes. “We look forward to expanding online school options in the state and building on the long-standing success and reputation of Colorado Connections Academy to provide even more students with a high-quality option.”

Dan Snowberger, superintendent at Durango School District 9-R, commented: "We are excited about the educational enrichment and supplemental opportunities that will be available to 9-R students through Connections Academy. Our community values educational choice, and we are pleased to work with Connections Academy to offer courses traditionally not available in Durango, but also opportunities to new challenges for students who are excelling, and provide additional supports for student who may be falling behind."

Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, like the Mapleton location, will combine Colorado-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, engaging electives, and social experiences to create a supportive and successful online learning program for families and students who want an individualized approach to education. As a public school, there are no fees or tuition to attend and all students are required to take the same state assessments as traditional public school students.

A online school approach serves a wide range of students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, those who need a flexible schedule or learn at a different pace from their peers, and those who need more individualized attention or live in isolated rural settings. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in the Colorado Connections Academy program.

All Colorado Connections Academy students will participate in the nationally accredited Connections Academy program that combines high-quality resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology tools and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with licensed Colorado teachers using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. A parent, or another adult “Learning Coach,” monitors progress in the home. In preparation for its inaugural academic year, the school, in conjunction with the Durango School District, will work to identify a teaching and learning center in the Durango area. The team looks forward to working with students and families throughout Colorado regardless of geographic location who need a high-quality online education option.

The curriculum and other services for both Colorado Connections Academy schools are contracted through Connections Education, a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable online learning that has been supporting schools for over a decade. Connections Education is accredited by AdvancED.

About the Durango School District 9-R
The mission of Durango School District 9-R, an innovative educational system committed to excellence, is to ensure each student develops the skills and attributes for lifelong learning. Through leading instructional models, globally minded learning programs and engaging teaching and learning methods, the district aims to instill in each student the ability to compete and contribute in the global community. Furthermore, the district encourages supportive and safe school environments, guaranteeing equitable educational opportunities for each and every student. For more information, visit us online at http://www.durangoschools.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/Durango9R and follow us on Twitter @Durango9R.

About Colorado Connections Academy
Colorado Connections Academy schools are tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable public online schools serving students statewide. Colorado Connections Academy @ Mapleton, which serves students in grades K-12 statewide, opened in 2002 and has been partnering with Mapleton Public Schools since 2010 as a contract school. Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, authorized by the Durango Public School District 9-R, will open in the 2016-17 school year for students in grades K-10, adding an additional grade level each subsequent school year. Colorado Connections Academy schools provide students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of Colorado-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit http://www.ColoradoConnectionsAcademy.com.

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Samantha Bryant
Connections Education
+1 563-940-3795
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Julie Popp
Durango School District 9-R
(970) 247-5411
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