Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Colorado Online Teachers of the Year!

Congratulations to our Colorado Online Teachers of the Year!

Elementary Teacher of the Year goes to Peggy Barnholt, Colorado Connections Academy


Secondary Teacher of the Year Award goes to Kristin Kipp, Jeffco's 21st Century Virtual Academy

According to the National Board for Professional Online Teaching Standards (2007), “… the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the class.” 

CDE and the Unit of Online Learning recognizes these 2 outstanding online teachers.

Read more about these 2 teachers here.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

VSS 2010

According to Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the iNACOL, "Blended learning is the future of education allowing each student to have personalized learning experiences, competency-based pathways based on mastery of rigorous learning objectives and perform at the highest levels or take more time and keep pace. The use of online learning to work at their own pace within next generation learning contexts is going to revolutionize education in the years to come – and the innovations are happening quickly to help more students become college and career-ready."

iNACOL Hosted the 2010 Virtual School Symposium (VSS2010) in Glendale, AZ.  The Virtual School Symposium Overlay 2010 provides some great powerpoint presentations that were shared at the conference. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Colorado Cyberschools celebrate Red Ribbon Week 2010

Wednesday's Red Ribbon Week celebration was another fun event this year for our Colorado Cyberschools with approximately 200 students, parents, and supporters of online education participating.  We were privileged to be joined by the Colorado National Guard, a DEA agent, the helicopter pilot, and Miss Colorado Springs who all shared remarks with our group.  Then our families had the opportunity to check out the helicopter and experience the 8-acre corn maze at Botanic Gardens Chatfield where children searched for the several marmots hidden in the maze.  It was one very cold, very windy day, but a great day of shared learning across our Colorado Cyberschools, socializing, and pledging to be "Drug Free and Career Focused"

Check out the video below and the pictures in the slide show of Red Ribbon Week 2010 on the right sidebar. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Let Your Light Shine: Live Alcohol, Tobacco & Illegal Drug Free"

This year Colorado Cyberschool students across the state will celebrate Red Ribbon Week once again.

Our Theme: "Colorado cyberschool students pledge to be drug free and career focused"

The Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families


The Colorado Cyberschools Assosiation

Hosts its 2nd Annual

Red Ribbon Week

Who: All Colorado cyberschool students and families
All Colorado cyberschool teachers and admin
Drug Enforcement Administration
Colorado National Guard

When: Wednesday, October 27th
Where: Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road
Littleton, CO 80128

Red Ribbon Week…
The nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.
Reaches millions of Americans during the last week of October every year.
Is a week to participate in community anti-drug events and to wear red ribbons.
Is when young people pledge to live a drug-free life.
Is a time to recognize and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent EnriquĂ© “Kiki” Camarena.

Special Agent Kiki Camarena:

Enrique (Kiki) S. Camarena was born on July 26, 1947 in Mexicali, Mexico. He graduated from Calexico High School in Calexico, California in 1966, and in 1968 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in the Marine Corps for two years, he joined the Calexico Police Department as a Criminal Investigator in 1970. In May of 1973, Kiki started working as a Narcotics Investigator with the El Centro Police Department.
He stayed with the El Centro P.D. until June 28, 1974 when he joined the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His first assignment as a Special Agent with DEA was in a familiar place - Calexico, California. In 1977, after three years in Calexico, he was reassigned to the Fresno District Office in Northern California. Four years later, Kiki received transfer orders to Mexico, where he would work out of the Guadalajara Resident Office. For four and one-half years in Mexico, Kiki remained on the trail of the country's biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. And in early 1985, he was extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline. However, before he was able to expose the drug trafficking operations to the public, he was kidnapped on February 7, 1985. On that fateful day, while headed to a luncheon with his wife, Mika, Kiki was surrounded by five armed men who threw him into a car and sped away. That was the last time anyone but his kidnappers would see him alive.

It is believed that Special Agent Camarena's death actually occurred two days later, but his body was not discovered until March 5, 1985. He was 37 years old and was survived by his wife, Mika and their three children, Enrique, Daniel and Erik. During his 11 years with DEA, Kiki received two Sustained Superior Performance Awards, a Special Achievement Award and, posthumously, the Administrator’s Award of Honor, the highest award granted by DEA.

History of Red Ribbon Week:

Shortly after Kiki's death, Congressman, Duncan Hunter, and high school friend Henry Lozano launched Camarena Clubs in Kiki's hometown of Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members including Calexico High School teacher David Dhillon wore red ribbons and pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifices made by Kiki Camarena and others on behalf of all Americans.

Red Ribbon Week eventually gained momentum throughout California and later the United States. In 1985, club members presented the "Camarena Club Proclamation" to then First Lady Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention. Later that summer, parent groups in California, Illinois, and Virginia began promoting the wearing of Red Ribbons nationwide during late October. The campaign was then formalized in 1988 with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. Today, the eight-day celebration is sponsored by the National Family Partnership (previously known as the Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth), and has become the annual catalyst to show intolerance for drugs in our schools, work places, and communities. Each year, during the last week in October, more than 80 million young people and adults show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free life by wearing or displaying the Red Ribbon.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense designated 23-31 October 2010 as Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week is celebrated by an estimated 80 million people across the nation including elementary, middle school and high school students who make this pledge:

“No Use of Illegal Drugs, No Illegal Use of Legal Drugs.”

We wear a red ribbon to symbolize taking a stand against illegal drug use.

The Red Ribbon Coalition is a great resourse to get the history, basics, and online training to get your Red Ribbon Week celebration organized.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kids vs. Bureaucrats

Listen as John Stossel talks with Colin Hanna, Let Freedon Ring, Ron Packard, Founder of K12, and Rose Fernandez, parent and Learning Coach of students enrolled in WIVA.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Performance and Growing Popularity of Online Schools

KUNC's Grace Hood discusses why online schools remain a popular choice with comments by Scott Groginsky, Senior Policy and K-12 Initiatives Director at Colorado Children's Campaign and Judith Stokes, Assistant Superintendent of Branson Online and president of the Colorado Cyberschools Association.

Monday, August 23, 2010

8.26.10 Next Meeting: 2009-2010 Advisory Committee for Online Learning

The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to serve as a valuable complement to the staff and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) by offering advice and support on a variety of issues relevant to Online Learning.

Next Meeting: August 26, 2010 1-3 PM

Location: Colorado Association of School Boards, 1200 Grant Street, Denver, CO

Note: Please do not park in the CASB parking lot. Side street parking or paid parking is available nearby.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2011 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher to represent the entire profession in Colorado. The Colorado Teacher of the Year will automatically become Colorado's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the ING Foundation, Target and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The Department of Education is now accepting nominations for the annual Teacher of the Year award. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 10 no later than 4 p.m. To access an application click here and then go to Click Here for Additional Information.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Discussion of online education in Colorado

Mike Clem with Distance Learning Program of DPS interviews Judith Stokes, Asst Superintendent, Branson School District and also president of CCA. Judith talks about Branson School Online which began in 2001 and is one of many online multi-district schools in the state of Colorado. Judith also explores online education with her unique perspective as a parent, teacher, and administrator. 

Discussion of online education in Colorado

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working Together To Enhance The Cyberschool Experience

In September 2009, Ben DeGrow Policy Analyst, Education Policy Center in Colorado, interviewed Judith Stokes and Lori Cooney on the topic of the cyber school experience in Colorado.

Judith Stokes is president of the Colorado Cyberschool Association (CCA) and Lori Cooney is president of the Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families (CCCF). This 15-minute clip talks about our Colorado online schools and how our two organizations partner to enhance the cyber school experience in our state.

Thank you to Ben and the Education Policy Center for making this podcast possible!