Avon charter school expanding | VailDaily.com

Avon charter school expanding

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” Stone Creek Charter School officials hope the Avon, Colorado school will start to be thought of as the third middle school option upvalley with its expanding middle school curriculum.

The Avon charter school, which gets its funding directly from the state and has no affiliation with the Eagle County School District, is expanding it’s middle school next fall. The school is finishing its first year as a full middle school ” eighth grade was a first for the 2009-10 school year.

Principal Katherine Lange said the school hopes for about 50 to 55 middle school students next year; there were 40 this year.

The school’s mission is “core knowledge,” meaning the curriculum continues from year to year so children learn a continuation of what they’ve learned in lower grades, she said.

“It’s a challenging curriculum,” Lange said. “It’s a back-to-the-classics kind of mentality of teaching. We’re reviewing as the years go on and not just leaving that information behind.”

Maggie Pavlik, a consultant for the school, is excited about expanding the middle school. She said there are three veteran teachers at the school who really understand the curriculum and give the middle school that extra edge.

With a summer reading program this summer and new programs in the school for things like math and science, she said the academic program is really taking shape.

“We’re looking to expand the sixth and seventh grade with families committed to education and committed to their children’s well being,” Pavlik said.

The school is adding an advisory program for the middle school to help students expand on things beyond school work, like time management, organization and confrontation, she said. Stone Creek also limits class sizes to 24 students, so they have more one-on-one attention from their teachers, she said.

The curriculum really prepares students for high school, Lange said. The school isn’t a district school, so there’s more flexibility to change things around to fit the needs of the students, she said.

Stone Creek Charter School will be on the final year of a five-year lease from the town of Avon in 2010, meaning it’s location for the 2010-11 school year and beyond is still uncertain. When the town leased the site, which is just past The Home Depot and Wal-Mart, the town wasn’t growing much, said Becky Lawlor, town spokeswoman.

Now the town is looking to expand its public works facilities at the Swift Gulch site, just north of Interstate 70 and the Avon interchange, and would need a place to temporarily move some of its operations while construction goes on, she said. The town is applying for grants to start of construction in the summer of 2010 ” the time when the Stone Creek site would become available.

“It was intended as a public works site,” Lawlor said.

The town wants the school to survive and find a permanent home, Lawlor said. The town is open to talks with the school and Traer Creek, owners of the Village at Avon, about using a site behind City Market that would allow the school to extend its lease for at least another year. Nothing has been scheduled yet, though, she said, so the future location of the school is unknown.

Lange said the school has a facilities committee working on several options, and that the school will be open beyond 2010 no matter what. The school is looking at anything from leasing a new building to buying land to building its own school ” whichever makes the most sense financially, she said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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