Colorado is always on the list of top states. There are plenty of reasons that parents want to raise their families in the Centennial State. Not only does it offer access to stunning natural attractions, but it also has a high-performing state educational system. Colorado provides a well-rounded education to over 880,597 K-12 students with over 272 operating school districts. In fact, Guided Online Academic Learning (GOAL) High School is the state’s largest public high school operated by the Colorado Department of Education. It caters to 5,308 students in ninth through 12th grade.
The state has plenty of schools with large campuses that offer academic programs and athletic and extracurricular programs. Its education system provides solid networking opportunities to thousands of learners across the state. We dive into the largest high school in Colorado, alongside its notable alumni. Let’s learn about the history, academics, campus life, and overall uniqueness of this educational giant.
The Largest High School In Colorado
GOAL High School offers a high school education to around 6,000 students. And not only is it the largest high school in Colorado, but it is also a premier model for online education. The high school combines online learning platforms with in-person support at accessible student drop-in centers. These centers are staffed by highly qualified academic and social-emotional educators. GOAL High School perfected its learning model over the past 15 years!
The mission of the state’s largest high school is to prepare students to become productive members of society. The public high school doesn’t just want its students to earn a diploma to hang on the wall but wants them to start a career readiness path for post-high school success. GOAL High School has roughly 150 full-time instructors, with 98% having state certifications. Additionally, all teachers at the school have taught for over three years.
Comparison To the Largest High School in the United States
GOAL High School is proof in Colorado that online school can work. In fact, the largest school in the United States proves that as well. Penn Foster High School offers an education to over 60,000 high school students. These schools are changing the perception of traditional high school education as we know it.
What Type of High School Is GOAL High School?
The school offers various college preparatory programs, including the traditional diploma program, GOAL 22, and Senior Recovery. GOAL High School supports students’ goals to achieve a high school diploma and their first steps toward post-secondary and/or workforce experience. Each course is aligned, where applicable, to the Colorado Academic Standards, as well as post-secondary and national industry standards.
Besides common core subjects, GOAL High School provides numerous elective options through the CTE department, including lessons in Business, STEAM, IT, Health Sciences, Criminal Justice, Military Preparation, and construction.
To fully appreciate GOAL High School, it’s essential to understand its role and structure in the broader educational landscape. Let’s dive in.
A Public High School
First and foremost, GOAL High School is a tuition-free, public online school. This means it is funded by taxpayer dollars and governed by a locally elected school board. As part of the public school system, GOAL High School provides free education to all students. And even though it is an online school, it is an accredited multi-district online charter high school with the Colorado Department of Education and authorized through School District 49.
Access To Online Learning
The school partners with Microsoft and Lenovo to provide cutting-edge technology. GOAL offers a blended education for learners wishing to gain greater control over their education. It provides a laptop computer for students to use while enrolled in school. The computer does not cost the student anything, but it is returned at the end of each school year, or when the student graduates. Also, if a student needs help accessing the Internet, GOAL High School provides a T-Mobile hotspot.
Online And In-Person Learning and Extracurriculars
Colorado law allows GOAL High School students access to extracurricular activities at their local high schools. Students can also take one course per semester at their local high school if they desire.
Also, GOAL offers around 40 student drop-in centers statewide. This provides students with one-on-one learning opportunities along with social programming activities, student government, movie nights, and proms. This option for face-to-face support allows students to meet up with teachers and receive feedback on their academic progress.
Concurrent Enrollment at GOAL High School
Students at GOAL High School can take regular college courses while still in high school. The school’s Concurrent Enrollment Program encourages students to take advantage of college courses that they will succeed in taking. The program even covers the cost of tuition and fees and provides support for books and supplies needed for college courses.
Career and Technical Education
GOAL’s Career and Technical Education Pathway Program offers students the chance to obtain technical skills, industry certificates, and college credit. Some of the Pathways the high school offers include:
- Business, Marketing and Public Information
- STEAM, Information Technology and Art and Design
- Skilled Trades and Technical Sciences
- Health Sciences, Criminal Justice and Public SafetyHospitality, Human Services and Education
- Agriculture and Natual Resources
- Alternative Cooperative Education/Senior Recovery
This program is aimed at students who want to earn their high school diploma and enter the workforce. Senior Recovery promotes employability and post-secondary learning. It also helps students show competency in core academic areas and provides students with multiple work-based learning opportunities.
GOAL High School is on the cutting edge of education with its competitive eSports program! eSports are video games that are played in a highly organized competitive environment. The sports are one of the world’s largest spectator sports and have multiple career opportunities for everyone. GOAL High School offers offer the technology, the team, the gear, and the friendships to become the best in the virtual arena.
Microsoft Showcase School
The public high school is a Microsoft Showcase School. This means it is a standout institution that serves as an example of what is possible. The prestigious name is given to schools that blend the best in education and technology, and GOAL is one of 500 schools in the world to receive the designation. And it is the only online Alternative Education Campus to receive the honor. The award shows that GOAL is committed to using technology to educate students in creative ways and accommodate all types of student needs.
Most Notable Alumni
The largest high school in Colorado began in 2007 as an online option for Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School students. Since GOAL High School is only entering its 16th year as an online charter high school, notable alumni are hard to come across at the moment.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Fong Shing Lam/Shutterstock.com
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