Colorado is one of 18 states where Internet-based charter schools operate, according to the New York Times article, "Online School Grows, Setting Off a Debate." Colorado has two online charter schools: Colorado Virtual Academy (COVA), a K12 school and Hope Online Academy.
COVA has more than 4,000 students in the state. Bill Bennett's K12 company operates the school, which has students across the state. Students get a computer in order to access their online curriculum. Students in primary grades have a great deal of parent/mentor interaction, whereas high school students interact more online with each other and their teachers. For many COVA students education is similar to home school or independent study. High school students have synchronous classrooms where students and the teacher interact with webcams and audio links and a screen that permits students to ask questions, make comments or answer questions.
There are about 20 online education programs in the state. Most of these are credit recovery or supplemental programs operated by local school districts.
Last year an online education bill passed that created a new Online Division within CDE. This division is led by Pam Ice. An advisory panel has proposed rules for online education that were adopted on an emergency basis by the State Board of Education on January 10th. The advisory panel also developed Quality Standards that are included in the rules.