Colorado’s online schools expect enrollment surge

The only accredited synchronous virtual learning school in the state is looking to see an increase in enrollment again. Amid pandemic-related uncertainty, security concerns and better delivery, parents and teachers say the expansion of online options is good for their students.

“They feel comfortable, maybe because they’re at home, maybe because they’re behind a screen. But they feel comfortable because they’re expressing themselves in class, they feel comfortable participating,” said Kala Munguia, Jeffco’s director. Distance learning program.

The program expects around 700 students for the coming year.

“Our real concern was for him just socially and how it was going to go, but it turned out to be just fine,” said Heather Hagen, mother of a rising freshman. “I look forward to the relationships Eli can continue to build this coming year.”

The Jeffco distance learning program is a synchronous school, which means that classes start at the same time every day and most of the time students learn the program together. The student body is made up of children who could attend the other 178 schools in the district. JRLP is also open to enroll children from other districts.

“The student is at home with their family, but they also receive that education. And at Jeffco, we are always focused on teaching excellence and the student experience,” Munguia said. “Making sure they feel safe. They feel safe. And enjoy. They have fun at school.”

Safety and family ties are just a few of the reasons Hagen decided to keep his son enrolled.

“With what’s happened in the schools and the shootings, we take that into consideration knowing he can be here with us,” she said. “It’s been really cool, you can see how he’s progressing throughout the school year.”

“Teachers are very well connected with families because we’re in their homes and they’re in our classrooms. And so those connections are made and we find that’s a really strong part of our curriculum,” Munguia said. .

Karen O. Fielding