Carlsbad school to take part in New Mexico virtual course consortium

Pecos Cyber Academy (PCA), formerly Pecos Connections Academy, will be taking part in a state-wide virtual course consortium that will allow students from all over New Mexico to take some of their online classes.

On July 31 The New Mexico Public Education Department announced that seven districts and charter schools will take part in the New Mexico Virtual Course Consortium which will allow students to sign up for courses while staying enrolled in their home district.

PCA Executive Director Dr. Kim Hite-Pope said the consortium is a supplemental enrollment program aimed at helping school districts that don’t have staff for certain classes. 

“Let’s say they can’t find a CTE (career and technical education) teacher, so there are some members of the consortium that are going to offer CTE classes,” Hite-Pope said.

She said the program will provide equitable access to expanded and highly qualified curriculum for students throughout New Mexico. Classes at PCA started Monday, Hite-Pope said they are just waiting for students to enroll in the consortium.

More:New Mexico Department of Transportation reminds drivers to stay safe in school zones

PCA is offering 74 high school courses but Hite-Pope said they may expand to other grades, special education or bilingual classes based on need. She said students taking part in the consortium will be able to participate in live lessons, listen to recordings and work one-on-one with teachers during office hours.

“The pandemic showed us the full potential of virtual learning as a way to expand student access to courses that may not be available in every district,” said New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart in an announcement. “As this consortium continues to grow, New Mexico students will be able to explore new topics and take advanced courses no matter where they live.”