July 1st, 2020
Hello Students, Parents, and Community Members:
Welcome to the Southwest Colorado eSchool. I am excited to be working with the San Juan BOCES to bring school districts of Southwest Colorado it’s own accredited, tuition-free, diploma granting, online school. We are very pleased that you are here and interested in learning more about our school and its unique learning environment. Southwest Colorado eSchool is a regional online middle and high school that is both local and global. Students are able to receive local support services, attend field trips, and participate in sports and other extracurricular activities while engaging in a variety of online courses that open up the world to them through the power of the Internet.
For the 2020-21 school year I am taking over as principal following Mike Freeburn’s retirement. I want to thank Mike for his vision and tireless dedication to the students of the eSchool. We wish him well in retirement. As the new principal I am excited about partnering with our exceptional staff and the community to ensure our students have an outstanding educational experience.
As we look to the start of the 2020-21 school year we can’t help but reflect on the past months. Challenging times bring out the best in people and the eSchool staff were no exception. The eSchool found itself well prepared for a shifting educational landscape and was able to continue its highly supportive educational model. There are learnings that we will carry forward and the summer has given us all time to reflect on the importance of a safe and supportive school community. I am so proud that the eSchool is just such a community. Together we can have a positive impact on the lives of the students we support.
For 2020-21 we will continue to staff both our Durango Student Center and our Cortez Student Center regularly. These facilities are an integral component of the eSchool experience for many students and will continue to function as common gathering areas for students to connect with eSchool staff and other students. We are continuing to expand school technology at both locations, having added more Chromebooks, headsets with microphones, conference rooms equipped with large conferencing screens that better facilitate working directly with teachers and collaboration with other students. We will continue with tutoring support in core subject areas at both Student Centers and using Google Hangout. I encourage all members of the community to visit one of our SWCeS Student Centers and see how we use technology to facilitate communication and learning.
At the Southwest Colorado eSchool, we continue to understand that in today’s world the lives of students are fast-paced and high tech. Our goal is to provide our students with a high-quality education that is as flexible as our students need it to be. Students enrolled in the Southwest Colorado eSchool can do their school work anytime and anywhere there is a high-speed Internet connection. This means that students who want to work a full-time job during the day can work on their classes in the evenings and over the weekends, or students who want to participate more fully in their sport can build their own schedule around their needs. Other students who often thrive in online education include home school students, teenage moms, students who want greater flexibility for any reason, or students who want an increased level of course offerings.
All Southwest Colorado eSchool courses are taught by highly qualified, Colorado licensed teachers whose qualifications and experience are focused on a specific content area. Many of our teachers have years of experience using the unique tools of online instruction to help students succeed. Students in our school can expect a highly interactive learning environment with online discussions, live conferencing with teachers and tutors, email, instant messaging, text messaging, and phone conversations.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss the eSchool or just say hello.
Steve Otter, Southwest Colorado eSchool Principal