Plan for charter school in Glenwood Springs put off until next year |

Plan for charter school in Glenwood Springs put off until next year

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Proponents of a new state charter school in Glenwood Springs have withdrawn their application at the recommendation of the Colorado Charter School Institute and will try again next year.

“After speaking with the Charter School Institute, the Two Rivers Expeditionary School committee has decided to withdraw our application and resubmit for a 2013 opening,” committee spokeswoman Nancy Metrovich of Silt wrote in a Nov. 8 email to charter school supporters.

“We will use this time to perfect our plans for the school, continue to seek a suitable facility, and inform the community about [the school’s] vision and mission, and expeditionary learning,” she wrote.

The CSI board of directors had been scheduled to consider the Two Rivers Expeditionary School application at a Tuesday meeting in Denver.

That discussion was canceled, CSI Executive Director Mark Hyatt said, adding no new state charter applications were approved during the most recent cycle.

“We think they are on the right track with their application and their educational approach,” Hyatt said of the Glenwood Springs proposal.

“But there were some issues where they were just not ready,” he said, citing the lack of a facility to house the school as a primary concern for state charter school officials.

The charter school was being proposed by a group of parents and teachers from both the Garfield Re-2 and Roaring Fork Re-1 school districts. Re-1 includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, while Re-2 encompasses New Castle, Silt and Rifle.

Charter schools can either be approved by the local public school districts in which they are located, or by the CSI, which is the chartering authority operating under the Colorado Department of Education.

The Two Rivers application requested a new charter school to serve up to 164 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, to be located in Glenwood Springs. A specific location for the school had not been determined, but proponents have been working with local real estate representatives to find one.

The school would use the Expeditionary Learning (EL) model, which can be found in several charter and private schools around the country. The curriculum model has been adopted by some traditional public schools as well, including several in Colorado.

EL schools emphasize learning experiences outside the traditional classroom setting, including group and individual student projects that involve the larger community.

“We would like to see the group continue to work with the league of charter schools and the Department of Education to refine the curriculum,” Hyatt said.

The next application deadline will be in August 2012, which would push the opening of the proposed school until fall of 2013, he said.

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