Tag Archives: high expectations

A Glimpse at New Schools: Westgate Community School (Northglenn)

You don’t think I would be considered a “gifted and talented” student, do you? Because if so, and if I lived in the north Denver metro area, I would take a really close look at getting into the new Westgate Community School. Chartered by the Adams 12 School District and located in Northglenn, Westgate serves students from kindergarten to 6th grade. According to the school’s main web page: Our school offers an innovative, stimulating learning environment to all students, including the twice-exceptional, visual-spatial, and highly/profoundly gifted learners. We specialize in gifted learners whose needs diverge from traditional educational models. Our instruction is organized to support diverse learning styles by using methods that match the strengths of alternative learners. We believe the social and emotional needs of gifted students are as important as their intellectual needs. While making our high expectations clear to all students, we also offer a loving learning environment where it is safe to take risks among peers. Our goal is to make our students feel successful, understood, and appreciated for who they are.

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy Denver

One of the many new charter school options in Denver this year is the expansion of a franchise that’s moved its way north: the Cesar Chavez Academy Denver. Originally founded in Pueblo in 2000 by Dr. Lawrence Hernandez, CCA has grown into a small network of charter schools focused on high expectations, equal opportunity, local culture, and parent and community involvement as components of its educational philosophy. CCA Denver opened this month in the northwest part of the city, in a 5-year-old building that formerly housed the now-defunct Denver Arts and Technology Academy. The new school, under the direction of Ryan Lucas, serves roughly 350 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The current school year is underway, but you can sign up online to get your child into the lottery for consideration to enter CCA-Denver in 2010. As the Denver Post reported yesterday, CCA-Denver is very focused on its mission, and not connected to or distracted by the controversies that have affected the Pueblo school. Other new schools featured: Jeffco’s 21st Century Virtual Academy Thomas MacLaren School (Colorado Springs) Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment (Denver) Atlas Preparatory Charter (Colorado Springs) Envision Leadership Prep (Denver) Animas High School (Durango)

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy Central

In large part due to its remarkable success with its original Pueblo school, the Cesar Chavez School Network is expanding. 2008 brings the opening of Cesar Chavez Academy-North Central in Colorado Springs, open to students in kindergarten to 8th grade. The free public charter school is authorized by the state’s Charter School Institute. The original Cesar Chavez Academy (CCA) has forged an excellent reputation. Working with a high-minority and high-poverty student population, CCA has helped nearly all its students to reach proficiency in reading, putting it on a rare plateau. The school’s success in closing the achievement gap has earned the attention of the U.S. Department of Education and generated a substantial waiting list of families waiting to get in. The website for the new Colorado Springs school declares the focus of its mission up front: It is the primary goal of the school, through an integrated K-8 program to dramatically increase the number of students who exceed district and state averages on the CSAP assessment and who enter secondary education prepared to succeed in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. High expectations, equal learning opportunities, teacher teamwork, and parental involvement are all hallmarks of the CCA franchise. Like its predecessor, Cesar […]

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Denver, Detroit Catholic Schools Save Families Money through Work-Study

The Michigan Education Report, run by a sister think tank Mackinac Institute, highlights an innovative cost-saving, Catholic school model in Detroit: Tuition costs have been cited as a factor in the closing of more than 1,000 Catholic parish schools across the country in the past two decades. The Cristo Rey model addresses that problem by requiring students to spend four days in the classroom and one full day working each week. Their earnings go toward their school costs. In Detroit, the work-study program will bring down the family contribution to an estimated $2,200 per year, according to Earl Robinson, president of Detroit Cristo Rey. The school will work to help parents who can’t afford even that much. The Cristo Rey model not only brings costs down, but introduces students to the working world, helps them develop work ethics, assists them in making career choices and, Robinson pointed out, lets them write a resume upon graduation that includes four years of work experience and four references. At the State Policy blog, John LaPlante suggests this kind of innovation helps to answer the objection that vouchers won’t fully cover private school tuition costs. Those raising the objection could also look to the […]

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