A Glimpse at New Schools: Aurora Opens Vista PEAK Exploratory School

Looking for something a little different than the traditional schooling model, maybe even cutting edge and innovative? After all, exposing Colorado families to more choices and educational options is a big part of what the “glimpse at new schools” series is all about.

You might be interested in this: Aurora Public Schools opens the doors of Vista PEAK Exploratory in August. The school was highlighted a few months back in a story for the Aurora Sentinel:

It’s an approach that will offer students a new way of planning their education from an early age, one that will give children access to specialized programs in science, math, visual arts, business and other areas. This new “pathways” method will play a central role in the Vista PEAK Exploratory School on East 6th Avenue and Harvest Road that’s set to open later this year, the first part of a campus that’s eventually slated to include a high school and a satellite college campus.

“Imagine you’ve got all of these different experiences. We’re going to be very intentional to make sure that this career piece goes all the way down to preschool,” said Rich Patterson, director of Vista PEAK campus development for APS. “It’s not as if you’re choosing those kinds of experiences specifically at those early ages, but we’re going to give you access to all of them, so you know already at kindergarten that if you want to be a doctor, you can be a doctor.”

It’s a long story, so you really should read the whole thing. During the first year, while the high school is being built, ninth grade students will also be a part of the Vista PEAK K-8 campus. The K-8 ultimately is supposed to blossom into a P-20 educational commitment to “21st century learning and skills” (see the FAQ page for more).

While Vista PEAK certainly can’t be called “traditional” in the sense of its program, it is otherwise a traditional public school. It becomes the default for families who live in the attendance area. Enrollment also already has taken place for new kindergarteners and for those who have opted in from other neighborhoods and districts. Even for those who didn’t get in on the ground floor, there is hope: “If wait listed, applications may be reviewed for placement no earlier than 15 days after the start of school.”

Finally, whether you are a parent whose child will be attending the school or whether you want to serve from the goodness of your heart, Vista PEAK is advertising some volunteer opportunities with which you may be able to assist.

Other new schools: West Denver Prep and DSST Add Campuses