A Glimpse at New Schools: Denver's Envision Leadership Prep (6-12)

Can you picture it? Envision Schools are coming to Colorado, and the first one opens this fall: the Envision Leadership Prep in Denver. Believe it or not, the morning bell will ring sixth- and ninth-grade students in for the first time in only three weeks!

Envision Leadership Prep will share campus space with the Smiley Middle School program in Denver’s North Park Hill neighborhood. Eventually, the school will serve a sixth-through-12th grade student population.

What makes Envision Schools different from school as you remember it? Well, as they describe their curriculum:

Envision integrates technology and artistic methods into all core subjects, and students have multiple art electives, ranging from dance and drawing to filmmaking and photography. Students do not have to be artists or technologists, but have an interest in learning actively and creatively. Research shows strong arts education contributes to increased creativity, more student engagement, higher-order thinking skills, and positive school climate.

Envision is banking on its success at engaging kids academically in California, and translating the model here in Colorado. The schools boast of sending more than 90 percent of their graduates to a two-year or four-year university and seeing them stay there! Not bad at all. After Envision Leadership Prep, a second Envision school is slated to open in Denver in 2010.

If you live in the Denver area and are interested in this opportunity for your sixth-grade or ninth-grade student, you can find all the application materials online. As a public charter school, Envision Leadership Prep cannot have an admission policy, cannot discriminate against applicants, and cannot charge tuition.

Other new schools featured: Animas High School (Durango)