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El Paso County Colorado District 49

School news

Rocky Mountain Classical AcademyRMCA will offer ninth grade classes beginning August 2008 and add a new grade each subsequent year until all grades – nine through 12 – are available at the charter school. To accommodate the extra students, RMCA leased space from Springs Ranch Baptist Church at Carefree Circle and Peterson Road. Grades six through nine will attend class at the new location, and kindergarten through fifth grade will remain at the current facility on Piros Drive.”The high school will offer extensive career planning and counseling” said RMCA Principal Linda Stahnke. A career counselor will help students research careers in demand over the next five to 10 years, she said. Both college preparation and vocational training will be available to RMCA students.In keeping with its philosophy of partnering with parents to educate students, RMCA also offers a program for home-school families. Home-school students attend class at RMCA once a week and take enrichment classes, such as music, art and physical education, while interested parents receive assistance and coaching from RMCA teachers.For more information, visit Learning CenterLocated in the old Falcon Middle School facility, Patriot Learning Center is designed to help students at risk. PLC will house a middle school, grades six through eight and a day and evening high school program.”Our target student is any student who doesn’t reach full potential in a traditional school setting,” PLC middle school teacher Alyce Dalzell said. She emphasized that her definition of target students includes students who struggle socially or academically, as well as students who are not challenged enough in their current class setting.”The key behind our program is low class size,” Principal Jay Hahn said. “This will help teachers make individual connections with the students.” Hahn said classes in the middle school will have a 15 to 1 student teacher ratio; the high school ratio is 17 to 1.PLC will share the facility with Pikes Peak Community College. Hahn said high school students will be able to take college courses and receive dual credit.While the middle school and evening high school are full, applications are still being accepted for the day high school. More information is available at Imagine Classical Academy at Indigo RanchThe 2008-2009 school year is the inaugural year for Imagine Classical Academy, a School District 49 charter school. The TICA curriculum is based on what principal Tina Leone calls the “Five C’s:” classical approach, character education, Core Knowledge, college prep and strong community.”Being under the umbrella of Imagine Schools gives us resources we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Leone said. The school received capital funding from Imagine Schools and broke ground on two facilities this spring. Both buildings – at Dublin Boulevard and Peterson Road and Woodmen and Black Forest roads – will be ready for the 2009-2010 school year. Until then, TICA will use a cottage campus at the Forest Meadows site at Woodmen and Black Forest.TICA offers K-6 and will expand to offer classes through eighth grade.Visit or Ridge High SchoolFalcon District’s newest high school will open to 600 ninth and 10th graders, with plans to expand to 11th and 12th grades by 2011. Students will come from Skyview Middle School and Sand Creek High School.Vista Ridge is a comprehensive high school and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) focus school. The engineering academy currently housed at Sand Creek will move to Vista Ridge. Students also will have access to classes that prepare them for a bio-medical science career path. Vista Ridge offers a full complement of sports, band, choir and theater programs as well.”Building strong relationships between students, teachers and parents is one of the school’s top priorities,” said Sandy Collins, Vista Ridge principal.A modified block schedule will allow five teachers more face time with students, and each student will be assigned a staff advisor who will chart their progress. Advisors will check grades and serve as a primary contact for parents. “The intent is to catch students before they fail,” Collins said.The new facility is a green building, with recycled carpet fibers, natural products like linoleum and light-reflecting panels. “In many classrooms, the panels direct enough light to the front of the room to see without the (overhead) lights on,” Collins said.Visit’s Peak School of Expeditionary LearningNow in its seventh year of operation, PPSEL will move classes into its new building on Meridian Road this September. The new building features a gymnasium, art room, library and a stage. PPSEL offers classes from preschool to eighth grade.Built on the expeditionary teaching method, the PPSEL program emphasizes active learning, teamwork and character development. Each semester, students embark on a themed learning expedition, which acts as the foundation for each area of learning. For example, if the expedition is the Great Depression, students study the history of that era and write essays about it. Other examples of a learning expedition include space exploration, ancient Egypt, insects and farming. For more information, visit Charter AcademyFor more information visit’s note: NFH calls to Frontier Charter Academy were not returned.

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