Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to attend Southwest Colorado eSchool?
Southwest Colorado eSchool is a public high school open to students ages 12-20* and who are eligible to begin 7th-12th grades. Students must live in the boundaries of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores, and San Juan counties.
Enrollment will be finalized once students complete all registration paperwork and meet with a staff member of the SWCeS to ensure that an online environment is a good fit.
*Students must be 20 years of age or younger on October 1st of the school year for which they are enrolling. Students who turn 21 years old after October 1st may remain enrolled until they complete that school year. Students enrolling for the 2nd semester must be eligible for grades 7 thru 11 and be 20 years of age or younger on October 1st of the following year.
Can I enroll part-time?
Yes, less than full-time enrollment is possible. Many students at SWCeS enroll on a full-time basis, however, students living within the attendance boundaries and attend an area high school are eligible take supplemental courses with SWCeS upon the approval of their home high school. If you have an interest in taking supplemental courses through SWCeS, your high school counselor can help you begin the approval and enrollment process.
What if my student was expelled from another school?
In accordance with State Law, we will carefully review the student’s records, and may grant enrollment on a case by case basis.
Is this program available for home school students?
Yes, home school students may attend SWCeS. All of our teachers are highly qualified in their subject areas which make SWCeS an ideal fit for home school families looking for high quality and individualized instruction. There are numerous course offerings that have been popular with home schooling families.
Is my student a good candidate for an online class?
Every student is unique and the staff at SWCeS is dedicated to helping your family make sure that your child is a good fit for online learning. All students will meet with a member of the staff prior to finalizing enrollment.
COURSES, COSTS, AND FEES
What courses are available in the online program?
SWCeS offers a broad range of core and elective courses taught by highly qualified, Colorado licensed teachers. All courses meet or exceed Colorado Academic Standards. For a full list of courses, please see our course catalog.
How much time do courses take?
The amount of time required for each course will vary depending on the student and the course. Students need to log in and work on every course, every day, Monday through Friday for about an hour to an hour and a half. Weekends can be used to catch up on course work, or work ahead.
When are the online courses available?
SWCeS courses Students can access courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any place with a high speed Internet connection.
Are there any tuition or fees to attend SWCeS?
SWCeS is a public school and is therefore free to attend. The only cost to families will be for a computer, high speed internet access, headphones and a microphone.
COMPUTERS AND INTERNET REQUIREMENTS
What computer equipment will I need?
Students will need consistent access to a computer and high speed Internet access. In order for students to participate in classroom discussions and world language classes, computers should have plug-ins for speakers, headphones and microphones. In addition, students will need word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software to complete assignments.
Technical requirements for computers are as follows:
- Courses will be administered through a program called Schoology. Schoology is one of the most commonly used learning platforms in K-12, higher education and government today. This program does not need to be purchased by students. To run Schoology, your computer needs
• Intel® Pentium® III or equivalent processor
• Microsoft® Windows® Vista; Windows XP Professional, Home Edition, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 2; Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4; Windows 2003 Server
• 128MB of RAM (256MB recommended for complex forms or large documents)
• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or 7.0, Firefox 1.5 or 2.0, Mozilla 1.7, AOL 9
• PowerPC® G3, G4, G5 or Intel® processor
• Mac OS X 10.4.3 to 10.4.9
• 128MB of RAM (256MB recommended for complex forms or large documents)
• 170MB of available hard?disk space
• Safari 2.0.2 or newer
- Plug-in requirements:
• Adobe Acrobat Reader – required (version 5 or newer)
• Adobe Flash Player – required (version 7 or newer)
• Adobe Shockwave Player
• Windows Media Player
• Apple Quicktime Player
• RealNetworks RealPlayer
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Is there someone available to help me with my homework?
SWCeS teachers are typically available Monday through Friday to help students with their course work. They host “live” individual help sessions as well as small group tutoring sessions throughout the week. In addition, all teachers have office hours and will be available to help via phone, instant messaging, email, discussion boards, and web conferencing.
In addition, the SWCeS administration is available to provide support in course registration planning, college and career planning, exceptional student service referrals and general guidance counseling.
How does SWCeS report academic progress?
Parents and students will be able to monitor academic progress, report cards and missing and incomplete assignments at any time by logging into the student information system or the learning managements system. SWCeS staff will also be in touch regularly with parents and students about academic progress. If students are falling behind, teachers and administration will take an active role with the family to address any issues the student may be having.
How does SWCeS support gifted and talented students?
Gifted learners may find SWCeS to be a good fit because students are able work at their own pace, including at an accelerated pace. We have access to challenging courses as well as college level courses where students can earn both high school and college credits at the same time. Teachers can also provide students with additional and more challenging projects to deepen learning and understanding.
How does SWCeS support special needs students?
Students’ IEPs (Individual Education Plans) will be reviewed by the IEP team of San Juan BOCES when an application is received. The team will work to determine if an online learning environment can meet the educational needs of an online student. If it is determined that the student’s needs can be met then an accommodation plan will be put into place as necessary. Accommodations may include: additional time on tests and assignments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology and advanced copies of the syllabus.
Because online learning requires a significant amount of reading and reading comprehension, if you have any questions about your child’s reading level we advise you to speak with the SWCeS administration for further evaluation.
PARCC, CMAS, COACT AND STANDARDIZED TESTING
Do I have to take PARCC/CMAS or other similar assessments?
Assessments play a very important role for teachers and administrators to assess a student’s mastery of content, growth and areas for improvement. All fulltime SWCeS students will take the PARCC/CMAS in 7th through 9th grades (and possibly 10th – depending on Colorado Department of Education rulings, pending as of November, 2015) and the Colorado ACT in 11th grade as required by the state of Colorado. Additional assessments and benchmarks will be given throughout the year for teachers and administrators to track student progress and to best address the needs of each individual student.
GRADUATION, COLLEGE, AND CAREER PREP
Will my student graduate with a high school diploma?
Yes, all students who have completed their graduation requirements will receive a state accredited high school diploma, just as they would at a traditional brick and mortar high school.
How does SWCeS make sure that students are ready for college?
SWCeS staff will work with all students to provide college and career counseling throughout their four years of high school. In addition to pursuing the minimum requirements for graduation, we will encourage students to pursue a college preparatory course load and will provide information and assistance on college applications and admittance as well as SAT and ACT prep.
Who are the SWCeS teachers?
SWCeS teachers are all licensed by the Colorado Department of Education. They are all experienced teachers and have received extensive professional development in how to teach in an online environment. Many teachers have advanced degrees and all are committed to providing students with the support they need to be successful.
How will I get to know my teacher?
SWCeS is committed to small class sizes and individual student instruction. There is a large amount of personal support through one on one tutoring, small group learning sessions, live, interactive sessions, email, phone, discussion boards, and web conferencing. These services are available consistently throughout the day. Because of this personal support, many teachers and students say that they feel like they know each other better than when they were in a traditional school environment.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, ATHLETICS, AND FIELD TRIPS
Will my child have a chance to work with, meet or interact socially with other SWCeS students?
Online learning is not about sitting in front of a computer in isolation. Students will interact with their classmates and teachers through group projects, message boards and email. SWCeS will also provide group field trips and other out of school clubs and activities throughout the school year.
Can an online student participate in athletics?
Students enrolled at SWCeS will be eligible to participate in athletics at their local high school. We support student participation in these activities.