New Charter School Coming to Castle Pines
The Douglas County Board of Education has approved American Academy’s charter for a new school in the Castle Pines North area.
At a second hearing on November 3rd, the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the school, contingent on a lease signing agreement and compliance with the District’s open enrollment policy. Parent organizers and supporters erupted in applause when the Board voted to approve the new school.
“We are thrilled to be given the green light to open our new school,” said Jackie Santos, Founding Board member and CPN resident.
“We are quickly moving forward with plans for American Academy.”
The school is working with the developers of The Canyons, the new community being planned east of I-25, between Castle Pines Parkway and Happy Canyon Road, to identify potential sites for a future school building. They are also negotiating a lease for a temporary location in the Lone Tree area.
The founders are implementing plans for operations, including searching for an administrator, planning details of the education program, and finalizing the enrollment plan.
American Academy will open on a traditional school year in the fall of 2005 with 360 students in grades K-6, with plans to expand to K-8 by 2007. The school will utilize the Core Knowledge curriculum with an emphasis on math, science and technology. The founders are partnering with the Governor’s office of Innovation and Technology to facilitate the math science and technology curriculum. The school curriculum also includes character development and community service.
“The Core Knowledge curriculum outlines specifically what material is covered in each grade to ensure comprehensive knowledge and reduce gaps and repetition,” said Erin Kane, Founding Board member and CPN resident. Core Knowledge helps children “learn more effectively by building on what they already know.”
In Science, for example, the basic concept of an atom is introduced in the first grade and by fifth grade leads to an understanding of how atomic properties are organized in the Periodic Table. “Grade-by-grade sequencing of topics give teachers some assurance that children will come prepared with a variety of knowledge and skills,” said Kane. It will be the District’s fourth charter school to fully adopt the Core Knowledge curriculum based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
“This new school will greatly enhance our community,” said Master Association President Linda Nuzum. “It will give parents another choice in education, while helping to relieve school capacity issues that we currently face in Castle Pines North.”
American Academy is accepting intent to enroll applications for the 2005-2006 school year through January 31. If the school is oversubscribed, a lottery will be drawn. Invitations to enroll will be extended in early February. Please visit www.aacpcs.org to find out more about our community’s new school and for online enrollment.