iConnect Zone Leader
Degrees and Certifications:
Andy Franko is the iConnect Zone Superintendent. The iConnect Zone encompasses twelve “non-traditional” schools within the district portfolio. Franko oversees four district operated schools including an Alternative Education Campus (9-12), multi-district online/blended school (K-12), multi-district online/blended Early College (9-14), and a Homeschool Program (K-12). In addition, Franko manages the authorization of eight charter schools offering K-12 models inclusive of online learning, classical education, expeditionary learning, project-based learning, career and tech, and humanities based education.
Franko holds a Masters Degree from the University of Colorado. His career in education includes teaching, coaching, and administration in the K-12 setting. With both traditional and public charter experience, Franko embraces a unique perspective of school choice and student opportunity. In addition to his work in District 49, Franko serves as a board member for the Colorado League of Charter Schools and the Colorado Digital Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Currently, Franko and his team are working on three projects to enhance the educational quality for students. The first is developing online professional development courses for teachers. Mastery badges are awarded upon completion and identify opportunities for instructional staff. As a result, the iConnect Zone deploys instructors focused on virtual education and instructors focused on blended education. The goal is to better utilize instructional staff based on strengths, become more efficient with the staffing model, and maximize a workforce.
The second project is focused on students. The iConnect Zone is developing a student centric system that allows for the identification of students’ abilities to work in an independent learning environment. The iConnect Zone seeks to understand and provide the appropriate supports to students who learn in an independent environment. As such, the iConnect Zone is in the process of developing an Autonomous Learning Profile (ALP).
Finally, Franko and the iConnect Zone are working directly with the local community to support students who are engaged in High Performance activities that extend beyond the school day. Given the District’s location in Colorado Springs, the project began with the Olympic Training Center and National Governing Bodies such as USA Wrestling and USA Boxing. The iConnect Zone offers a unique educational opportunity to athletes, artists, and performers through a blended school model. Student performers leverage a flexible school schedule and online curriculum to complete graduation pathways and compete and perform at the highest level.