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Blended Learning INITIATIVES

Enriched Virtual Individual Rotation Station Rotation Flex
  • The iConnect Zone in District 49 seeks to support a spectrum of student needs in a blended learning model. Patriot High School is an Alternative Education Campus serving students in 9th-12th grade, or until the student reaches the age of 21. Students attend school five days a week at a school site where they engage in course work utilizing a blended rotation model. All students access core curriculum content provided by Edgenuity. In addition, Reading Horizons is used to close the reading achievement gap. Patriot High School currently serves 125 students. Springs Studio for Academic Excellence is a K-12 blended school. Nearly 500 students come to the school location two to three days per week. The Enriched Virtual model offers students content that is delivered both virtually and in person. K12 curriculum is deployed in grades K-5 while 6-12 graders utilize FuelEd. Reading Horizons and ALEKS Math supplements round out the curricular selections.
    Models Used: Enriched Virtual, Individual Rotation, Station Rotation
  • Pikes Peak Early College completes the portfolio of blended opportunities in the iConnect Zone. High School students seeking to complete up to 60 college credits or an Associates in Arts degree take advantage of a Flex blended learning model. In the first year of operation, over 70 students are enrolled at PPEC. High School course offerings utilize FuelEd curriculum. College courses are taken at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
    Models Used: Flex


Why Blended?

District 49 is committed to providing families a wide range of school options. The iConnect Zone encompasses the choice school options, to include blended learning opportunities. In 2009, Falcon Virtual Academy opened with the intention of serving students in a full-virtual model. Since that time, the school name has changed to Springs Studio for Academic Excellence and the approach has shifted from Full Virtual to an Enriched Virtual model. Moving to a blended approach was necessary after learning the pitfalls of educating students without having personal contact on a regular basis. The administration and staff members recognized they could better serve students at a facility that promotes flexibility yet allows for the development of independent learning in a supported environment. The lessons learned led to the development and deployment of two additional blended learning environments. Patriot High School utilizes a Rotation blended learning model to serve at risk students on an Alternative Education Campus. Pikes Peak Early College capitalizes on a Flex blended model.

Team Structure

The Blended learning team is led in part by the iConnect Zone Superintendent, Andy Franko and the Executive Principal of Pikes Peak Early College, David Knoche. In addition to the oversight leadership provided by Franko and the "on the ground" leadership provided by Knoche, the iSolutions team supports development, deployment, and evaluation of strategies. Currently the iSolutions Team consists of the Solutions Manager, Jim Bonavita, and Instructional Coach Rochelle Kolhouse.


One measure used to determine the viability of learning taking place at each school is the Colorado state rubric known as the School Performance Framework. The tool measures student achievement, student growth, and postsecondary workforce readiness. Each element contributes to an overall score which is indicated in the plan type rating, the school then uses it to develop its improvement plan. The plan types range from Performance to Turnaround. Currently, Springs Studio for Academic Excellence is a Performance rated school. Patriot High School is on an Improvement plan, but results have not yet been determined since the implementation of the blended learning structures and reading intervention. Pikes Peak Early College has not yet been evaluated under the SPF system. Internal data indicates PPEC students are out performing the district on ACT Aspire interim measure.

Areas of Leadership

D49 and the iConnect Zone have been leading the way in blended learning since 2009.

Focus Areas: Personalized / Competency-based PD, Competency-based learning

BLU Schools in this District

At A Glance

Total Student
Free and
Reduced Lunch
English-Language Learners


Michelle Wortkoetter
Administrative Assistant
3850 Pony Tracks Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States
(719)- 49-4 89
District 49 iConnect Zone's Website

Student Ethnicity

District Partners