Colorado public charters net $2 million-plus in RISE grants

Colorado charter schools will receive more than $2 million in grants from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ Recovery Innovation and Student Equity (RISE) fund. The fund supports innovative solutions to help state students affected by the economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first RISE grant is for $1.48 million and will be shared among 13 charter schools and one DPS innovation zone school. The schools will use the funds to improve engagement – and subsequently achievement – for students, including diverse learners, through the Increasing Diverse Learner Engagement & Achievement project. The project focuses on assessing student engagement, creating support and tools for schools to increase that engagement, and then sharing those lessons with the state’s 261 public charter schools and 4,570 traditional public schools across the state.

The schools involved in this grant are Academy 360, Animas High School, Carbondale Community School, Girls Athletic Leadership School (High School), Girls Athletic Leadership School (Middle School), Global Village Academy, McAuliffe International School (DPS innovation zone school), New Legacy Charter School, Pagosa Peak Open School, REACH Charter School, Rocky Mountain Classical Academy, Steamboat Montessori (formerly Mountain Village Montessori), STRIVE Prep Montbello and Thomas MacLaren School.

The second grant is for $595,700 and will be shared among 11 charter schools in Denver Public Schools. The schools will use the funds to redesign the school year by offering more than 2,000 of Colorado’s highest-need students the opportunity to participate in innovative extended-school-year programs that include academic, social-emotional, and experiential components.

The schools involved in this grant are RiseUP Community School, Academy of Urban Learning, Colorado High School Charter – Osage Campus, Colorado High School Charter – GES Campus, The Cube, Odyssey School, Academy 360, Highline Academy – Northeast Campus, Highline Academy – Southeast Campus, Girls Athletic Leadership School (High School) and Girls Athletic Leadership School Middle School).

“Charter schools in Colorado offer some of the most innovative public-school options in our state, and we are pleased that the Polis Administration sees enormous value in the proposals our schools made to enhance educational experiences during COVID-19,” said Dan Schaller, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools. “There is no question that the pandemic has caused many of our state’s students to regress, and innovative programs like the ones our charter schools have proposed can be an important step to mitigating that impact.”

Editor’s note: The accompanying photo was taken before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

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