Douglas County’s newest Charter School, American Academy, is gearing up to open in August. The school, founded by several CPN residents, has been awarded grants, signed their contract with the Douglas County School District, and has selected a new administrator.
The Walton Family Foundation recently awarded American Academy with a grant for $180,000. The Foundation selected nine Charter School finalists for grant consideration from a large pool of applicants. On November 18th, American Academy Board Members, and CPN residents, Jackie Santos, Erin Kane, and Denise Gardner, were interviewed by the Grant Review Panel. Only three schools were awarded grants, and American Academy was awarded the full amount of $180,000.
Last fall, American Academy was also awarded with a grant from the Colorado Department of Education for $175,000. “We will use these start-up funds for school expenses including curriculum materials, technology, professional development, furniture and hiring of key personnel,” said Denese Gardner.
On Tuesday, January 18, the American Academy Board signed the charter contract with the Douglas County School District. The last remaining item is for the school to sign a lease on a temporary location by March 1. The school has narrowed the selection down to two properties, on in Lone Tree, and one in Inverness. Both properties are a 15 minute drive from CPN.
American Academy is currently working with developers of “The Canyons,” the new community planned for east of I-25 and Castle Pines Parkway and Happy Canyon Road, to secure a site for a future school building.
An enrollment lottery from a list of over 550 applicants was held on February 1, and American Academy is expected to open with approximately 360 students. The new school will utilize the Core Knowledge curriculum with an emphasis in math, science and technology, and will also include character development and community service.
American Academy has hired Roberta Harrell from Littleton Academy, one of the most successful Coker Knowledge schools in Colorado. “Roberta has an amazing track record and brings real passion for the American Academy vision. She will be spending the next few months hand-selecting her staff, meeting American Academy families, and finalizing plans to get the school opened,” said Erin Kane. “We believe we have selected one of the best administrators in the state and are thrilled to have her on board.”
The American Academy team is entirely comprised of up parent volunteers. “We have over 30 families that have contributed more than 3,300 hours of time to create American Academy,” said Jackie Santos. “More than 40 individuals working on 15 committees are working diligently to open our new school.”
For more information about American Academy, please visit www.aacpcs.org.