District 51 offers options for families to choose education path

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. School districts across the state are making sure parents know all of their options when it comes to educating their children.

District 51 offers charter schools, online classes and homeschooling students looking for a personalized education.

"We just felt really comfortable about the curriculum that he was describing and how it was going to be a fun experience for our kids," said Nick Dittrich, who has three children in the newly opened Juniper Ridge Community School. "It's a unique environment. I would drive twice as far to come here."

Also, per Colorado law, parents can put in a school of choice application to send their child to a traditional district school outside of their assigned zone based on spots available at that school.

For example, if you would like to move your child from Palisade High School to Grand Junction High School, you could use the school of choice application process to do so.

"If your neighborhood school isn't convenient or you need a different kind of service or you want to go to a school that's closer to work, we really want to open that up, make that convenient for you," said Christy McGee, of District 51.

Last year, District 51 received 1,664 school of choice applications and 82% of them were accepted.

This year's school of choice application period will start the first week of March instead of February like years past.

Also, the application will be entirely online.

The school district will have community sites open the first day for people to use computers to apply. Basil T. Knight and the Central branch of the Mesa County Public Library will be open for this purpose.

**Special note about this story: Juniper Ridge is a District 51 charter school and a 'choice' school but their application process is different than the traditional school of choice. Enrollment materials are due to Juniper Ridge by the end of February. If you're interested in additional information about the application process, contact the school or visit their website, we've put a link under the 'related links' section.

Read the original version of this article at www.nbc11news.com.

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