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Press Releases: Charter School News

Ribbon-Cutting Event Scheduled to Celebrate New Location for Thomas MacLaren School

Wednesday, August 9, 2017  
Posted by: Kerri Barclay
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August 2, 2017 Director of Marketing


Contact: Katherine Brophy

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Ribbon-Cutting Event Scheduled to Celebrate New Location for Thomas MacLaren School

Thomas MacLaren School purchased former Irving Middle School and plans to expand to K-12 in 2018-19

Colorado Springs, CO -- Thomas MacLaren School, a 6th-12th grade charter public school in Colorado Springs, will celebrate the purchase of their new campus at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, August 6, at 12:30 p.m. Light refreshments and tours of the school will follow.

Thomas MacLaren School purchased the former Irving Middle School at 1702 North Murray Boulevard on June 12, 2017 and began moving into its new home that very week. Global Village Academy, a K-8 charter public school that had occupied the Irving Middle School property up until that point, swapped places with MacLaren, and is now leasing space at Pulpit Rock Church, MacLaren’s home for the past eight years.

Moving into this much larger space is allowing Thomas MacLaren School to expand to be a K-12 school beginning in the 2018-19 school year. MacLaren has won numerous awards from the Colorado Department of Education and the Charter School Institute (MacLaren’s authorizer) over the last eight years for excellence in academics, financial controls, governance, and student academic achievement. The Class of 2017 scored the highest average composite score on the ACT in state history – 29.8. MacLaren looks to bring this history of excellent education to its new elementary school.

The school leader for the new K-5 program of MacLaren will be Nico Alvarado. Mr. Alvarado has been a member of the MacLaren faculty for 6 years. He is a Dean of Faculty, the 6th grade boys lead teacher and the curricular lead teacher for Literature and Composition classes in the middle school. He has his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Portland State University and he holds a Masters in Fine Arts in English from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop where he was a Maytag Fellow and a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Previous to working at MacLaren, Mr. Alvarado taught Literature and Composition at the University of Iowa, the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, and in a variety of workshops for children and adults.

Reflecting on the new campus and the launch of an elementary school, Mary Faith Hall, Head of School, said “We are excited to have our own home within the heart of Colorado Springs and look forward to being established in this neighborhood and serving families with younger and older school-age children. I am confident Mr. Alvarado will transform our ideas for the K-5 program into an elementary school option that many families in this neighborhood and the broader Pikes Peak region are looking for.”

When asked about his role as the new school leader for the MacLaren elementary school, Mr. Alvarado said, “I'm honored to have the chance to open up this great education to younger students. We're going to have a lovely K-5 program that looks a lot like our 6-12 -- a deep immersion in music, mathematics, history, science, and stories.”

Thomas MacLaren School is a charter public school serving grades 6-12. The school opened in Colorado Springs in 2009 and features a common, classical curriculum. Each student studies the humanities, sciences, and arts, allowing every student in the school to participate in orchestra. More information is available at

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