Excitement was in the air for Colorado Cyber School Families!
Yesterday was Digital Learning Day and Colorado Cyber School Families began their celebration of the day at the History Colorado Center and then marched to the West Steps of the State Capitol for a Rally.
We were joined by Amanda Heiney, Senior Consultant in the Office of Online and Blended Learning at the Colorado Department of Education who shared remarks about the growth in online education from 2003 when there were 9 full time online schools in Colorado to today with 3000 students enrolled. Today there are over 16,000 students enrolled in 35 full-time online schools. There are 47 districts offering some kind of full time online option.
She credited the online learners as being instrumental in highlighting the need for ALL students to have access to high-quality personalized learning. Amanda spoke about the fact that they at CDE had conducted 4 research studies & reports about online, blended and digital learning.
She encouraged parents to do their research about the different schools and instructional models and to use the CDE website. She stressed that parents are the most important advocates for their students and their schools. She recognized that teachers play the most important role in customizing each student’s education and she stressed that students have a rare opportunity to directly influence their own learning and encouraged them to work hard, dream big.
Senator Mark Scheffel, Assistant Minority Leader and member of the Senate Education Committee, talked about the right and responsibility of parents to choose for their students and their family what is best. He acknowledged that the people today in the digital learning community were leading the way. He encouraged all to stay the course and do what was in the best interest of their students.
Gov. Hickenlooper’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Jamie Van Leewuen was there to help celebrate Digital Learning Day and read the Proclamation from the Governor and presented it to CCA. In addition each of the CCA member schools were recognized as leaders and presented a personalized certificate for their role in advancing digital learning in Colorado.
Rachel Salzano, COVA HS Graduate shared about the benefits of having been an online student and how she has/does benefit from the learning in her post-secondary pursuits.
Representative Paul Rosenthal is a Special Education teacher in the Denver public schools. His remarks were regarding the benefit in choice and having options for students. He recognized the families in their choice in education.
We also had two students read their persuasive letters to the legislators—the students were both 10th graders from Branson School Online. They each had their own distinct reasons for the participating in online and were passionate in their messages to legislators to support and value this educational option.
This day was made possible by the efforts of the Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families (CCCF) and the Colorado Cyberschool Association (CCA). Both organizations work closely together to benefit cyber school families.
For Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA) students, parents, and staff, the day culminated with a long Adams 12 School Board meeting where the board’s decision about reauthorizing COVA’s charter would impact over 4,000 students. You can read the details about how COVA Receives a 1-Year Charter Extension—With Conditions.
It was a fabulous day for Colorado Cyber School students, parents, families, teachers, administrators, friends and supporters
of online education, and for COVA, the day ended in a well deserrved victory of a unanimous vote of the Adams 12 School Board to renew COVA’s charter for one year!
A big thank you to the CCCF Board for their time and efforts to bring this event to our families, Jill Hamilton and the SE2 Team for all of their endless hours of organizing and coordinating to ensure this day was a memorable one for all of our families, and CCA for their continued collaboration with us on this event. A sincere thank you to Judith Stokes, president of CCA and to all CCA members for their efforts in drawing families to this event, sponsoring the beanies, and for their support and dedication to help ensure our Colorado public online schools remain an option for our families.
Please scroll down to the left footer to see pictures of the Colorado Cyberschools Day at the Capitol 2013.