How many students will attend SA and what will be class size?
The launch begins with the 1st year class anticipated to be150 students. Each year, for the next 4 years, an additional 150 students will join SA. After 4 years, the numbers will be capped at 600 students. We anticipate an average of 22 students per academic class.
How do you help students find their passion?
When students enter 9th grade, they take various personality, interest, strength and weakness, and learning assessments. With the support of their Academic Advisor, Mentor, Counselors and Student Advisory Cluster (SAC), they use this information to wayfind, recognize their passions and hone in on their personal goals. This is an ongoing process throughout the student’s time at SA.
How are students supported and prepared for internships and college?
Each student has regular meetings and interactions with an academic advisor, college counselor, mentor and their Student Advisory Cluster.
The learning academy model creates Student Advisory Clusters with small communities of students who have a strong connection, and excitement to share, learn and grow together. When a student chooses to join an academy, the student experiences:
· Select and focused elective and summer discovery experiences within the targeted academy focus
· A cohort of year-three and year-four students for academy study time, club experiences, social connection and friendship
· Community mentors with expertise in targeted academy studies
· Focus on year-four internship, potential global experiences, or service learning experiences
· College and career counseling within targeted academy area(s)
Will there be advanced placement, IB, dual enrollment opportunities?
Advanced classes with the opportunity to take AP exams and dual enrollment are offered. We do not offer an IB program.
Will students be prepared and accepted into a highly selective universities?
Academically students are prepared to be accepted into the university of their choosing. The SA curriculum exceeds BVSD and Colorado state standards. Graduation requirements also exceed BVSD and State requirements. Students have opportunities for advanced placement and dual enrollment. The curriculum focus on proven mastery of knowledge, not time in a classroom. Additionally, because of the process of wayfinding, students have a stronger idea of what they wish to achieve in college. The whole person, not just the intellect will be developed at SA. SA students will be strong candidates for any university.
A paper published by the New England Board of Higher Education reads:
· “The movement toward proficiency-based learning (mastery) is gaining momentum in high schools across the country.” Mastery-based learning, like the Summit Academy model, is the system of instruction, assessment and grading based on the demonstration of skills that meet performance standards or “proficiencies.” The goal of mastery-based learning is to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in higher education and 21st century careers.” Colleges are looking for a combination of feedback systems (grades/test scores or proficiency measures as well as 21st century skill-based demonstrations).
· Moreover, according to some admissions leaders, features of the mastery-based transcript model provide important information for institutions seeking not just high-performing academics, but engaged, lifelong learners.
· During that 2016 meeting, 73 highly selective New England colleges and universities signed letters stating–unequivocally–that students with mastery-based grades and transcripts will not be disadvantaged in any way.
What will the school calendar look like?
The Summit Academy school year will essentially follow the Boulder Valley School District yearly schedule (mid-August - early June), and the Summit Academy year-long calendar is innovative in the following ways:
13-week trimester system including one week for immersion projects, outdoor education and presentations. This system allows for flexibility in course scheduling, acceleration options for some coursework, and built-in time for immersion weeks, capstone presentations, publications and exhibitions, working on solutions to real-world problems.
Immersion weeks in the calendar include weeks of immersive experiences. For example, at school-year launch: for year-one students, a one-week outdoor education/service learning project; for year-four, a one-week project planning, capstone proposal and internship interviews. Between trimesters, students use immersion weeks for project completion, demonstration, community exhibitions and service learning projects.
Extension time within the school year allows for more student contact than most Boulder and Denver school calendars.
Summit Academy Summer Discovery acknowledges that a SA student’s entire high-school career is learning time. Therefore, personalized learning pathway plans will incorporate student activity, travel, work and enrichment experiences during the summer months. These experiences can include summer online coursework facilitated by online teachers, summer internships, summer travel and service experiences. These opportunities will not all be supervised by Summit Academy faculty but will operate as independent studies.
A Day in the Life - The Daily schedule is built in 90-minute blocks with three advisory meetings a week, and 3-5 hours of intervention time for students who need it. Students complete four core or elective courses each trimester.
Sample Student Schedule
Travel to Mexico
The Science of Life - Biology
Job at Glacier Ice Cream
Introduction/ Advanced Robotics
The Science of Life - Biology
PM Break and SA Rally 1:55 - 2:05
Summit Academy Sample Daily Schedule
First year student, First Trimester
AM Break 10:00 - 10:10
Teacher Data Team/PD Student Intervention, Tutoring, MicroClasses and Project Time
Lunch, Student Led Clubs, Advisory Office Hours, Academy Functions 11:40 - 12:25
Office Hours, Peer Tutoring, Mentoring, Intervention 3:35 - 4:30
Will there be clubs, sports, music?
Summit Academy will offer an array of student led organizations. Depending on the interests of the enrolled student these may change over time. Additionally, we will partner with outside organizations to help offer experiences that our students are passionate about. Although we will not field football, basketball or volleyball teams, we will work with the students to ensure that they can play at their neighborhood high school.
Where will SA be located (Facility)?
The Summit Academy Facilities task force, that includes principal Adam Gavin, Summit board members, Summit parents, and Project Manager Sonny Zinn, have looked at many options for space including commercial/warehouse space, purchasing land, as well as BVSD options. BVSD options have included co-locating in a district school, using a District building that will become unoccupied, and building on District land. The facility for SA will be a major focus of our charter negotiations!
What is the timing of the charter application and the school opening?
The application was submitted to the BVSD Superintendent on 02/02/18.
The application was delivered to District Advisory Council (DAC) on 02/16/18.
The DAC sub-committee review was completed by 04/02/18.
A BVSD committee, appointed by the Superintendent, review was completed 04/02/18.
The Board of Education (BOE) public comment period started 04/02/18.
SA final presentation to the board was held on April 10, 2018.
BOE decision will be made by 05/03/18.
Charter negotiation period began 05/03/18 and ends 9/30/18
Summit Academy opening date is to be determined but no sooner that Fall 2020.
What will be the governance of Summit Academy?
Summit Academy and Summit Middle will be one legal entity. The board will oversee both the middle and high school.
Why would I take the bold step of sending my child to Summit Academy?
A student at Summit Academy will have many advantages over the students graduating from a traditional high school. A cornerstone at Summit Academy is the development of the full person, intellect, social, emotional and aspirational. The systems and tools are being put into the foundation of the curriculum to ensure that this happens.
“Our current world presents a specific set of challenges. Technological innovations, changes in the workforce, and the global nature of many problems we face require a big shift in our approach to how education is delivered. Information is exploding with some suggesting the global information base is doubling at a rapid pace—soon every 12 hours. As author Daniel Pink and others have argued, the integration and navigation of information will be as important as the learning of content… Young people will increasingly need to focus on making use of what they know and less on just mastering bodies of knowledge.” https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Brookings_Skills-for-a-Changing-World_Advancing-Quality-Learning-for-Vibrant-Societies-3.pdf pg 13
Summit Academy will provide our students with the 21st Century learning and skills needed for their future. Students course work will be interdisciplinary and global focused. They will move in an out of various organizational/project teams and successfully learn and produce. Summit Academy will help students develop strong critical thinking skills so that they are able to analyze a large set of data and determine its significance. They will practice through internships and programs how to apply knowledge from multiple disciplines to solve problems creatively.
Furthermore, our students want and require the opportunity to be known as individual learners. Studies show that students in smaller schools have a stronger sense of belonging and agency, that they have more opportunities for leadership, students are more engaged with their teachers, and that the classrooms are learner-centered. Additionally, there is a much stronger feeling of belonging.
Summit Academy will provide a strong foundation for college and career and it will be done in a way that is meaningful and impactful to both the learner and the community.