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Boulder Parents Heartbroken that BVSD Refuses to Review This Charter School's Application

Wednesday, October 10, 2018  
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Boulder Parents Heartbroken that Boulder Valley School District Refuses to Review Ascent

Classical Academy Flatirons Charter Application


Golden, CO ‐ Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons (ACAF) was refused the opportunity to have a charter school application considered by the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Board of Education (BOE).  On Tuesday night, September 25 the BVSD BOE voted to deny reviewing the plan to open a K‐12 tuition‐free charter school in the fall of 2019 in eastern Boulder County.


ACAF has significant and broad community support and is a replication of one of the highest performing school models in the State of Colorado. The team working with the school successfully opened Golden View Classical Academy in Jefferson County and Ascent Classical Academy of Douglas County.  ACAF has been working with parents and families in the Boulder community for over a year. Since this type of classical school model is not available in Boulder County, over 350 local children already completed an intent‐to‐enroll form. These ACAF families are expressing extreme disappointment as they hear that the BVSD BOE made this decision.


“This is heartbreaking for us as we have been actively pursuing this exciting option and biding our time over the past two years while we become increasingly frustrated at the education our daughter is getting” said Brigette Cole, a prospective ACAF parent. “We need a public charter school option for classical education in Boulder Valley.


We have toured Golden View Classical Academy and were so impressed with the teachers, students and staff. The students were highly engaged in what they were learning, articulate and well‐rounded,” said Pam Farone of Louisville, CO.  “I do not understand why the BVSD BOE would not even consider a review of the school’s application.”


In its rationale, the BVSD BOE claims the ACAF application was incomplete despite the fact that ACAF submitted an application of over 200 pages that thoroughly outlined all aspects of the proposed school in line with best practices outlined in state statute. ACAF submitted a thorough and thoughtful application that deserves a fair review.


“In ACAF’s application, the school proposed several policies be delegated and enforced at the school level, which is how both Golden View Classical Academy and Ascent Classical Academy of Douglas County have handled their district policy waivers,” said Derec Shuler, Executive Director of Ascent Classical Academies. “This is absolutely consistent with most charter schools.”


The Ascent Classical Academy of Flatirons application followed the same model used throughout the state and draws from the best practices being implemented at Golden View Classical Academy and Ascent Classical Academy of Douglas County, which were both approved by their respective district local school boards and are now fully‐operational and successful charter schools. As evidence of the demand for this type of school, Golden View Classical Academy now has a waitlist in the hundreds.


“Our three children had the opportunity to attend the closest classical School, Golden View Classical Academy during its first two years.  All three of them thrived in GVCA’s learning environment and worked hard toward excellence!  BVSD states that it has a vision to ‘provide a comprehensive and innovative approach to education and graduate successful, curious, lifelong learners who confidently confront the great challenges of their time.’ This perfectly describes the classical model developed at GVCA. Thus, ACAF would complement the many fine schools in BVSD,” said Boulder parent Beth Paulson.


In June of this year, ACAF requested that BVSD allow them to apply for authorization through the state‐ authorizer, the Charter School Institute (CSI). If allowed to charter through CSI, BVSD could potentially keep mill levy funding it would otherwise be required to share with ACAF.   


“The Boulder Valley School District also refused to allow our school to work directly with CSI, a move we believe is in the best interest of our families and the community, given CSI’s familiarity with our academic model and mission to support high‐quality charter schools,” said Kim Gilmartin, Director of New School Development for Ascent Classical.  “BVSD’s refusal to review our application while also not allowing the school to partner with CSI, makes Boulder‐area families the biggest losers in this vote.”


Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons has submitted an appeal to the State Board of Education and will have a hearing on November 15, 2018 at the State Board of Education meeting room.


Interested families may continue submitting letters of interest or learn about upcoming information meetings online at


For additional information, contact Kim Gilmartin at


About Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons Ascent Classical Academy is offering a tuition‐free K‐12 classical, charter public school to families in the greater Flatirons area. The community will finally have one of the highest performing school models to help children flourish and to prepare them to be happy in life. The school plans to open in the Fall of 2019. For more information visit