A Glimpse at New Schools: Atlas Preparatory Charter, Colorado Springs

It’s Monday, which means it’s time again to highlight a new public school opening here in our great state of Colorado. Today we look south along the Front Range to the Colorado Springs area, where the Atlas Preparatory Charter School has kicked off its very first classes today. One hundred fifth-graders represent the first cohort of what is slated to take students all the way up through eighth grade by 2012-13.

Using an intense college-prep model, the leaders of Atlas have set specific goals to make high academic achievers out of their students, and will incorporate a longer school day with extra focus on reading and math to get it done. While as a tuition-free public charter school Atlas is open to all comers, they are especially geared toward instilling a focus on achieving a four-year college education in young people who may be the first in their family to take that academic step.

The new Colorado Springs school’s mission also includes a strong focus on building character, establishing itself as a place “where students wear a uniform, follow a strict code of conduct, and embody the REACH core values of respect, excellence, authenticity, curiosity, and hard work.”

I know many readers often look to me for cutting-edge commentary. But the truth is on this particular school, I’m about 3 and a half months behind the curve: Denise at Colorado Charters first brought the blogosphere’s attention to Atlas Prep back in mid-April.

Other new schools featured: Envision Leadership Prep (Denver), Animas High School (Durango).