Tag Archives: public charter school

Offering Ideas to Address Stapleton School Overcrowding Challenge

What to do if you’re a school district, you have a fast-growing neighborhood, and not enough tax revenue to meet the promises to build schools for the elementary and middle school kids in the area? Well, Denver Public Schools is confronting that problem right now in regards to the Stapleton neighborhood. A meeting with community members “to share a list of options about what to do about overcrowding” is scheduled for next Tuesday. While it’s hard to argue that this situation isn’t a sticky one, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow nevertheless has written a new piece for Education News Colorado (also re-posted at the Independence Institute website), proposing some suggestions to help the district and citizens think outside the box a bit. Here’s the flavor:

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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.

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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:

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Animas High

Guess what? It’s that time again — time to highlight some of the exciting new educational options opening up for Colorado students and parents this fall. Last year we were able to give readers a glimpse at 10 new schools. My goal is to do at least that many for 2009. First on the list, we start at the far end of the state in Durango for the opening of a new public charter school for 9th graders. Authorized by the Charter School Institute, Animas High School. Animas, which is intentionally modeled after San Diego’s innovative High Tech High, is slated to add grades each year so the first class will graduate in 2013.

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Amandla Charter Closure Exceptional, Sign of the Institution's Strength

The Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer reports that Denver Public Schools is closing the troubled Amandla Charter Academy — a contract school re-applying to become a charter school. Given the known facts (a checkered past, ongoing financial problems, poor academic results, and lack of a “coherent education program”), it looks like a tough but very good decision by the school board. Public charter schools are an important option in the school choice menu, the institution should be strengthened, and their leaders and managers should be empowered for success. But we have to recognize one of the inherent strengths of charters is that they can be closed down effectively if they fail. That being said, Edspresso is correct to emphasize that decision makers must be “serious about understanding and reviewing original data before making conclusions” about charter school closures. For every Amandla that (as far as I can tell) deserves to be shut down, there is a Cesar Chavez, West Denver Prep, Ridgeview Classical, and many other Colorado charter schools that are doing great work providing families successful alternatives to the traditional public education model.

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Boulder School Officials Won't Give Up on Case against State Charter Schools

I know, I know. Yesterday there was this big election, and some things happened that will have an impact on education reform in Colorado. I’m going to let you know more about that a little later. For now, regardless of winners and losers at the ballot box, there are real threats to face – like school officials who won’t give up on using the courts to wrest control and choice from parents: The Charter School Act was passed by the then-Republican controlled General Assembly in 2004 to meet a growing demand for charter schools statewide. The legislation established the Charter School Institute, which provides oversight and funding to state charter schools. Over the last four years, the Boulder Valley School District has consistently tried to tear down the law by challenging its constitutionality. The district says the law takes away its constitutional right to govern schools operating within its boundaries. Provisions in the state constitution allow school districts local control on education policy. This particular complaint was first heard in district court with two other similar cases brought forth by Adams County School District 50 and the Poudre School District. However, when all three complaints were shot down in December […]

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A Glimpse at New Schools: The Imagine Classical Academy at Indigo Ranch

Today’s post is the first in a series on new charter or option schools opening up in Colorado this year. I’m out there keeping an eye on developments in the world of education that are important to parents. This definitely includes knowing about specific new options that may happen to be in your area or the area of someone you know, with a child who might fit well into the school’s environment. Our first featured school is The Imagine Classical Academy at Indigo Ranch – located in the Falcon School District on the east side of Colorado Springs. The Academy is scheduled to open its doors for the upcoming 2008-09 school year. A temporary facility (pictured at right) will be used for the first year, while the permanent site is under construction. Catering to students in kindergarten through 6th grade in its first year, the Academy will a use the Core Knowledge curriculum, and has school uniform requirements. Check out the school’s website for access to much more information on enrollment, program, staff, and more. The Academy is the first of two schools being opened by principal and charter school developer Tina Leone, under an operating agreement with the national […]

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