K12 Discusses Plan for Colorado Virtual Academy, In Talks with Multiple Charter Authorizers
K12 (NYSE: LRN) today released the following statement regarding its ongoing action plan in support of Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA):
K12 has been working closely for some time with Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA)'s independent non-profit governing board to address performance issues arising from the school's changing demographics and the influx of academically at-risk students who have transferred to COVA.
While growth in at-risk populations is a phenomenon increasingly affecting public schools across the country, the growth in this cohort in COVA appears disproportionate to other schools we manage. This influx has required extensive changes to an intervention model there, an adjustment which has proved difficult for some teachers in the short term and also contributed to a reduction in parent satisfaction to a level below the near-90% range characteristic of other K12-managed schools.
The academic success of all the children in the schools that we manage remains our number one priority, and working with our governing charter and district board partners, we have extensive investment underway in enhanced remedial instruction, programs and teaching practices across K12-managed schools. K12 takes accountability seriously, and COVA's recent decline in academic performance, as indicated by Colorado's new growth model, is a concern to the company and resulted in the development and implementation of a concerted action plan in the Fall of 2012.
A special operations team has been put in place at COVA, and significant improvements in teaching and other practices are being made to ensure the school's efforts are fully consistent with intervention practices at other K12-managed virtual academies serving at-risk youth. The special operations team is carefully analyzing the academic growth model data at COVA in order to put additional plans and programs in place to help the school make further adjustments to serve this changing population, improve academic performance and increase accountability.
It is worth noting that the continued demand for COVA's offerings by the parents of academically at-risk children is a clear recognition of COVA's and K12's leadership in addressing the difficult challenges of this vulnerable student population.
The COVA Board and K12 are in active discussions with multiple charter authorizers. We remain confident that COVA will remain a long-term public school option in Colorado. We are also in close contact with the Board and parents and encourage an open, transparent, constructive discussion going forward as we work together to implement a transformative model of individualized education that meets the needs of every student.
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