First local micro school, Zealous Schools, opens admissions for grades 6-8 | VailDaily.com

First local micro school, Zealous Schools, opens admissions for grades 6-8

Geoff Grimmer launched ZEALOUS Learning Solutions, and is opening the region's first micro school. Enrollment opens Monday, Feb. 5, for grades 6-8. Grimmer is the former headmaster of Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.

EAGLE — The first micro school in the Rocky Mountains is open for business.

Enrollment for Zealous Schools opens Monday, Feb. 5, and runs through Saturday, March 31. It's for grades six through eight and will be based in Eagle.

Geoff Grimmer opened Zealous Learning Solutions, an education consulting firm in Eagle County. He's the former headmaster of the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy.

"I wanted to design something that would significantly improve the learning experience for middle-schoolers in our community," Grimmer said. "Zealous will be the first micro school in the Rocky Mountains. We couldn't be more excited about redefining the scholastic experience in order to ignite passion for learning in our students."

A little about Zealous

Zealous is an independent micro school with tuition set at $14,000 per year. Enrollment is capped at 20 students, Grimmer said.

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It has a 5:1 student/teacher ratio, with four academic coaches who specialize in mathematics, science, English and social studies.

Zealous was launched as a nonprofit in 2017 by Grimmer and Brent Drever, founder and CEO of Acuity Institute, an online education provider in the business community.

Grimmer said multidiscipline projects will promote "real world" critical thinking and problem solving, supplemented with traditional academic skills such as reading, writing and mathematics, as well as virtual reality stations integrated with 3D printing, robotics and other technology.

What's a micro school?

The micro school movement started in Silicon Valley and is gaining momentum across the country. They don't have to be private schools, Grimmer said.

Most micro schools have a few things in common, Grimmer said:

• They're smaller, from around 10 to a few dozen students;

• Multiple ages learn together in a single classroom;

• Teachers act more as guides than lecturers;

• There's a heavy emphasis on digital and project-based learning;

• Education is highly personalized;

• They can meet five days per week, the worldwide paradigm for school scheduling, but don't have to;

• Classes tend to be hands-on and activity-based.

"If we're studying climate change, why wouldn't we have the kids do a community project as a teaching tool and benefits the community?" Grimmer said.

Zealous will host a parent/student meet and greet at Color Coffee on Monday, Feb. 12.

To learn more or apply, visit http://www.zealous schools.org.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.