Colorado Springs District 11 is supporting a new method of alternative education called Achieve Online.
There are about 100 high school students and 60 middle school students currently enrolled in the program. They say the small size is what makes them successful.
Students who have overcome struggles in bad environments have found their safe space.
“I was relentlessly bullied at my old school,” eighth-grader Ginny said. “I was falling into depression and it was not good. Here I can just be me.”
“I’m dyslexic,” said sixth-grader Ronan. “It can help me better in school because I feel safe.”
Achieve Online School has a wing in the Wasson Campus building in Colorado Springs.
“I have never found a student that says it was too hard someplace else,” said elective teacher Kay McNeill.
It’s an alternative approach to education. The curriculum is called Fuel Education, but students can learn from teachers in the classroom as well.
“It works for the gifted kids who want to work ahead,” McNeill said. “It works for the kids who can’t sit still in the classroom. It works for the kids who struggle, who are dyslexic, who have learning disabilities. It works for all of us.”
Students have the option to come to campus or not.
“They can come in every day,” McNeill said. “We have a lot of kids that come in every day because they want to be here.”
Additionally, for those who need it, counselors, a social worker, and a service dog are available on campus. These are valuable resources because, McNeill said, no learning can get in until they take care of what’s bothering the student.
The kids say their favorite part about the school is the relationships they build.
“All the kids here are understanding and we are family here,” seventh-grader Raven said.