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Planned charter school loses hoped-for site

John Adams now plans for 2016 opening, resumes location search


John Adams High School is going back to the drawing board in its search for a site. An effort to buy the former Denver Christian School campus in Highlands Ranch was not successful.

That almost certainly eliminates the hope the proposed school could open in 2015, and moves the planned first day of classes back a year.

“Now that we don’t have Denver Christian School anymore, that puts us in the 2016 cycle,” board president Matthew Krol said. “We’re disappointed we can’t be opening in August of 2015 like we had hoped to be. We have so many people waiting.

“But this now gives us time to get ready and prepared for 2016.”

The school so far has received about 1,700 intent-to-enroll forms.

The idea for a charter high school first was proposed by Jason Sanders, founder of the K-8 Ben Franklin Academy in Highlands Ranch. Only two of the Douglas County School District’s 12 charter schools offer high school classes, and Sanders felt the thousands of children who attend elementary charters needed a similar educational experience in high school.

John Adams’ emphasis would differ from that of DCSD’s traditional public high schools, with the aim of ensuring every student is accepted to at least one four-year college or university.

“Our goal is to take the education children are learning from different charter schools and have an overall rigorous curriculum that prepares them for college,” Krol said.

Sanders is the board’s vice president. Former DCSD board president and University of Colorado regent-elect John Carson also is on the board.

The charter high school likely will open with about 500 freshmen and sophomores, and eventually would accommodate a total of 1,500 students.


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