North of the metro Denver area there is a competition for elementary school students brewing and it could end up being a free-for-all.
The St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) has announced its plans to open a new elementary school in Erie and the school will offer the Core Knowledge curriculum, popular with many parents. There are presently two charter school applications in the process and all are targeting the same group of students.
To put this into context, a little history is important to note. Twin Peaks Academy opened in Longmont in 1997 after an extensive battle of appeal hearings to the State Board of Education and numerous application attempts. Then Peak to Peak opened in Lafayette after yet more struggles, which included delaying a year due to the lack of a facility. Peak to Peak was in such high demand about five years ago that only siblings of current students could get into the Kindergarten class. Disillusioned, parents who couldn't get their children into Peak to Peak formed to start Flagstaff Academy, which was originally intended to open in Erie, but had to locate in Longmont due to facility issues. In the meantime, Imagine Classical at Firestone was approved, again after appeals and delays, with the SVVSD.
With all of these charter schools offering the Core Knowledge curriculum, you'd think it would have reached a saturation point, but quite the opposite is true. Prospect Ridge and Foundations Academy have both applied to the Adams 12 School District and are attempting to locate in the Erie area. Again, both applicants are proposing schools that will use the Core Knowledge curriculum. Further, most of the charter schools already open have extensive waiting lists, some into the thousands.
The Erie area is close to borders of the Boulder Valley School District, the St. Vrain district, and the Adams 12 district. Therefore, it's likely that any school that opens could compete for students and draw them across district boundaries.
Now the St. Vrain district Superintendent, Don Haddad, announces a new elementary school in Erie. Not taking into consideration the controversy about the district's plans to open the new school in modules, when a few years ago they criticized Imagine Classical at Firestone for opening in modules that weren't "safe," the district has apparently heard loud and clear the call from parents for more Core Knowledge schools. The district is now in the game!