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News: League News

New School Development Roundup

Thursday, May 16, 2019  
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Jen Savino, Ph.D., M.Ed., New School Development Specialist
Kathy Zlomke, New School Development Manager



Currently the New School Development team at the League is tracking 58 school teams in the inquiry phase (initial exploration of opening a charter school), 13 school teams in the application phase, and 20 schools in the approved/Year 0 phase. The focus of the work is quality and sustainability in support of early-stage founders, networks working on replication, and schools gearing up to open. The League continues to develop strong founding teams, who can build out their business plans, their applications and launch schools that have an eye toward how to succeed against the odds.




Here are some of our new schools that have developed exemplary plans in their charter applications:


Empower Community High School is a new school opening in the fall of 2019 in Aurora. The school includes a pilot program of its concepts as part of the Hada Nou Collective, which translates to “Humbly Offering a Solution". The Collective focuses on helping students find their voice and strong community involvement as hallmarks of the charter application.


French American School of Denver submitted a charter application to Denver in this spring’s 2019 cycle and is awaiting approval at a delayed hearing later this summer. Parents are building a school that focuses on Dual Language French/American instruction with a vision to be a premier bilingual educational institution using both the Colorado Academic Standards and the French education model. The School plans to prepare students to be successful lifelong learners locally and internationally. They are currently working with Alliance Francaise de Denver to connect with the francophone communities through various avenues.


American Indian Academy (AIA) of Denver was approved to open in Denver in 2019 and is delaying its opening to 2020 to enable even more targeted outreach. The program is focused on Indigenous youth using a Project-Based Learning (PBL) concept that melds academics, in such projects as a Wigwametry Unit (Geometry), and governance based on cultural norms. Outreach includes various Powwows, presentations to parents and students, a concert featuring American Indian artists and more. Click here to learn more.


Automative Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) is opening fall 2020 in D-49 Falcon School District in Colorado Springs. The school is designed to provide students the foundation they need to be successful in the automotive aftermarket industry when they graduate. AIST will also be partnered with Advance Auto Parts (AAP) to establish an industry partnership that will help to mold the students into Post-Secondary and Workforce Ready (PWR) students. The business partnerships grew from the initial plan to include a broad representation of advisory members to be part of a consortium and financial support to build a facility to house this innovative school. The students will be part of “a Pathways in Technology Early College High School" (P-TECH). The pathways allow AIST students to attend high school for grades 9-14 and attempt to obtain their associate’s degree in a high-demand career field (concurrent enrollment classes through Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). Click here to learn more. 


Aurora Community School is opening fall 2019 in Aurora Public Schools with a K-8 vision of a public school as the center of community. Using a “Community in: Community Out Model”, the design team co-created with students, families and community organizations alongside community partners to ensure students and families receive the supports needed for them to engage in life and learning. Instead of sending families and students off campus for these services, community partners can co-locate within the school so the resources are easily accessible to all.


AXIS International Academy was approved to open in fall 2019 in Fort Collins by the Charter School Institute. The school did an in-depth analysis of area demand to identify potential for growth of its language-immersion model in an area where some programs already existed. The design team also included extensive community letters of support in the charter application to give voice to the narrative. The school has already enrolled past its target for fall and is working hard to continue community outreach. Click here to learn more.