Spacious Skies Charter School (SSCS), a K-8 tuition free, charter public school, received encouraging support from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) this month when they were awarded the Colorado Charter School Program (CCSP) grant for $687,750 over three years. This financial support is a significant milestone, and provides the necessary resources to support a successful launch for the school which anticipates opening in the Fall of 2018.
CDE reported 24 “intent to apply” forms were submitted this year for the CCSP grant, with only 10 schools earning the prestigious funding. The grant is awarded to applicants that show promise in their ability to assist in meeting the purpose of the grant which is “to increase the number of new, high-quality charter schools that enable all students to become educated and productive citizens capable of succeeding in society, the workforce, and life.” Schools do not compete against each other, but rather against a rigorous rubric. Spacious Skies scored 111 of a possible 135 (with a cut off score of 85), placing 3rd.
“The Colorado Department of Education’s evaluation of our grant application was objective and impartial, and it shows the quality of our school’s education program, governance structure, and financial viability,” said Evelyn Cortez-Ford, SSCS Founder. “CDE staff impressed upon all grant applicants that the grant is, in effect, the school’s business plan. That Spacious Skies was awarded this competitive grant is a strong endorsement from CDE of our school’s capacity to achieve our goals.”
The following projected goals were included in the grant application:
- PROJECT GOAL 1: ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT – All students will be successful readers, writers,historians, geographers, mathematicians, scientists, designers, engineers, artists, and everyday athletes.
- PROJECT GOAL 2: FULLY EQUIPPED CLASSROOMS AND FACILITIES – Before the first day of classes each year, 100% of classrooms and the office will be fully equipped with the furniture (desks, chairs, tables, etc.) necessary to support student achievement, and for full functioning.
- PROJECT GOAL 3: LIBRARY – All SSCS students will be information literate.
- PROJECT GOAL 4: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – All teachers, administrators, and members of the SSCS Board of Directors will have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and efficiently fulfill their roles.
- PROJECT GOAL 5: TECHNOLOGY – SSCS will have all of the necessary technology available to teachers, students, and staff to fulfill our mission, vision, and design principles.
“We are humbled and excited to have been awarded this grant. It is a clear indication that Spacious Skies is ready to serve children of the Pikes Peak region,” said Cortez-Ford.
SSCS is collecting ‘expression of interest’ forms to show support for the school’s program and keep interested families updated with the latest news. Interested families may submit a non-binding ‘expression of interest’ form on the school’s website at https://spaciousskies.org/expression-of-interest/.
About Spacious Skies
Spacious Skies Charter School is a tuition free, charter public PK-8 school of choice founded on the project-based learning (PBL) model. PBL taps into a student’s needs, strengths and interests to engage them to learn in a way that best meets their learning style. Spacious Skies will serve approximately 226 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse students in K-3 grade during its inaugural year in 2018-2019 while increasing a grade level every year through 8th grade.