Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long have you been open?
A: The school was approved by the State Board of Education on March 8th, 2017. We opened in the Fall of 2017.
Q: If students go to school here through 8th grade, will they be prepared for high school or college?:
A: Yes. Our 8th grade graduates have had great success in high school. They report feeling ready and that they have the ability to learn in any enviornment and their teachers report the same. One TSOI graduate recently stated that "This was the best education I have received in my life. I get now that education isn't just going to school."
Q: How is an Innovation Status School different than any other school?
A: Innovation Status schools are funded just like any other in-district, public school, but the main difference is Innovation Status schools get waivers from the state that allow them freedom to operate in ways that are different from other in-district schools. This allows the school to develop curriculum and programs that are in-line with the individual school's mission. Click here for a link to the CDE fact sheet for more information on Innovation Status schools.
Q: Does this school still have to take standardized test?
A: Yes. Our school is a public school and complies with state guidelines for all Colorado public schools. That being said, our instruction is driven by our mission, not testing. We believe that if we engage students in high quality learning, then they will be successful on the tests, while also building the skills necessary to be successful in life.
Q: Will there be Gifted & Talented services and/or Special Education?
A: As a public school, these are required by law, and we provide these services in partnership with Greeley-Evans District 6. As a school that stretches the boundaries of learning and push kids beyond arbitrary grade level curriculum, we meet children at a variety of different levels and challenge or support them in whatever ways necessary.
Q: What curriculum will we use?
A: Teachers teach best and students learn best when everyone is invested in the learning. Our curriculum is developed on-site by our teachers to meet the needs of our students. All work is be done in teacher collaboratives that allow teachers to develop loops that are thoughtful, challenging, and meaningful to the students in their grade level band.
Q: What grade levels will we service?
A: We service children in grades K-8.
Q: What type of homework do students do?
A: Homework will fit its intended purpose of meaningful practice. Research shows there is a law of diminishing returns on homework and our goal is to establish a delicate balance. But what comes home will not be canned worksheets and assignments that require parent support. Our students are the students, and all homework will be work they are able to do independently.
Q: What will grading look like?
A: We have a variety of assessments that show that students are growing both academically and socially and emotionally. Students set goals and are familiar with and have ownership over their learning. Assessments are authentic, non-traditional, and research-based.
Q: Will there be anything traditional about our curriculum?
A: Yes. While our goal is to rethink school, we are also aware that some material must be learned through teacher-led instruction and not hands-on exploration. It is essential, especially in lower grades, to spend time teaching students the base skills and strategies they need to be successful.
Q: How do students get into to The Fred Tjardes School of Innovation?
A: We use a lottery system. If you would like to attend, please fill out the open enrollment form during the Greeley-Evans District 6 open enrollment window to be placed in the lottery for the following year.
If you have a question that isn't answered here, send us an email! We will be happy to answer your questions.