First year as independent charter school almost over for Indian Peaks
The last year has been a whirlwind for the students and staff at Indian Peaks Charter School.
Last year Indian Peaks formally separated from the East Grand School District and became an independent charter school under the auspices of the Colorado Charter School Institute’s school district. The first year has been a, “very challenging learning experience,” said Indian Peaks Director Allison Beauvais.
As Indian Peaks winds down their first year under the school is looking ahead. Like all schools Indian Peaks’ viability is based largely on student enrollment figures. When the school conducted its student count for state budgeting purposes last fall they recorded 25 students.
School officials hope to increase numbers next year and are shooting for an enrollment figure around 30. Beauvais said the School recently found out three students will be moving out of the area and will not be returning.
The school anticipates losing two students who parents travel seasonally for work. The school expects to welcome four new Kindergarteners.
Among the various new elements Indian Peaks has tackled over the past year was their outdoor Expeditionary Learning Program. Twice a month Indian Peaks students head out into the wider world to engage in some onsite outdoor learning experiences. During the year the students spent time learning about winter survival, backcountry travel, watersheds and more.
“Our program incorporates a lot of leadership elements,” Beauvais said. “These are not just field trips. These are learning trips. The kids are learning how to survive.”
The Expeditionary Learning trips also incorporate many fun filled activities. “We did quite a bit of cross-country and downhill skiing,” said Beauvais. She also discussed the student’s winter snowshoe sojourn to the Broome Hut as one of the highlights of the year.
The School is actively looking to recruit homeschooled students to participate in their Expeditionary Learning Program. “We are really trying to target some homeschooled families with this,” said Beauvais before pointing out the program is free to any participating homeschooled students.
According to Beauvais students at Indian Peaks, including homeschooled students who counts as part-time students, do not pay additional fees to attend the school and do not pay program participation fees for the Expeditionary Learning Program, or even a materials fee for that matter.
“A lot of people don’t realize there is no fee to attend Indian Peaks,” Beauvais said. “We don’t have a formal fee to attend school or any of our activities.”
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