Pagosa’s new charter school – Pagosa Peak Open School – has scheduled three public presentations during January and February, to allow parents and community members to learn about the enrollment process for this public elementary school. The presentations are Monday, January 16 at 7pm; Thursday, January 26 at 7pm; and Saturday, February 4 at 10am.
Due to the unique nature of this public school, it is important to attend one of these presentations in order to complete your child’s application. If there are more applications than available spots, then open enrollment will end February 28th, and a lottery will be held. Applications must be received by then in order to be eligible for the lottery. Students who qualify as low-income, English Language Learners, or homeless/migrant status are given more an additional entry into the lottery. More information will be given at the community presentations.
All three presentations will take place at the Parelli Building, located at 7 Parelli Way, near the Walmart store in Aspen Village. Free childcare is available and light refreshments will be served.
This tuition-free pubic school is slated to open in September, serving students in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade. The January 16th presentation will also mark the beginning of open enrollment for Archuleta County families. Enrollment packets will be available at each of the presentations, and will also be available at the Parelli Building and at the Ruby Sisson Library beginning January 16.
The public presentations will cover the school’s innovative education model and school features, and will clarify the importance of family involvement within the school culture. Unique features of the school include a focus on Project-based Learning, a flexible school day meant to accommodate working families, and a year round school calendar that will allow for increased environmental education and a school-managed gardening program. Students will not receive “letter grades” but will instead create a permanent “student portfolio” documenting their activities, which will be used to measure each individual student’s growth and achievement.
The school will expand by one grade level each year, with a final goal of serving Kindergarten through 8th grade in 2021.
The “Open School Model” is motivated by the belief that children have a natural desire to learn, and that their curiosity and passion is encouraged when they are provided multiple avenues for accessing the knowledge they need and that interests them. The model generally involves ‘hands-on’ experiences during which the students take responsibility for their own learning, and where teachers, in turn, become the learning assistant.
Pagosa Peak Open School will begin hiring staff later in the winter. Teachers at the school must have a college degree, but need not have a teaching certificate. Extensive training in the Project Based Learning style of education will be provided through the well-regarded Buck Institute for Education.
For more information, please contact Kierstan Renner at 970-946-6362.