Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is this school approved and definitely opening in 2017?
A: The school was approved by the State Board of Education on March 8th, 2017. We will definitely be opening in the Fall of 2017.
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: Will our school still have to take standardized test?
A: Yes. Our school will still be a public school and will need to comply with state guidelines for all Colorado public schools. That being said, we will not let standardized tests drive our instruction. We believe 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. We do not believe that tests and teaching to tests prepares them for anything but tests.
Q: Will students be required to use the Common Core standards?
A: Yes. But there is a misperception about the standards. Many believe this is a prescribed way to teach. It isn't. We plan to have standards-based learning with standards-based grading that looks nothing like what you have seen in education so far. Our goal is to have students dig deep and learn deep and we believe we can achieve this with a focus on the standards.
Q: Will there be Gifted & Talented services and/or Special Education?
A: As a public school, these are required by law, and we will plan to provide these services in partnership with Greeley-Evans District 6. As a school that will stretch the boundaries of learning and push kids beyond arbitrary grade level curriculum, we expect our school to 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 will be developed on-site by our teachers to meet the needs of our students. All work will 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: While our students will have flex levels based on needs and learning, we plan to open as a K-8 in Fall of 2017.
Q: What type of homework will 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: Grading will be standards-focused, and competency-based grading. Students will be familiar with and have ownership over their learning. Assessments will be authentic and non-traditional and created by the students as a means to show mastery of learning.
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 will be essential, especially in lower grades, to spend time teaching students the base skills and strategies they will need to be successful.
If you have a question that isn't answered here, send us an email! We will be happy to answer your questions.