AcademyACL has an Open Enrollment, Open Welcome policy for parents and guardians to evaluate and choose this program if they believe it could work for their student, without testing requirements. Our free charter public school (only full-day K requires tuition) specializes in gifted education that supports unusually advanced students in kindergarten through eighth grade who have one or more subject areas where they need to work above-grade-level. This could be five year olds who are already reading, or doing math, or have memorized dinosaur taxonomies, or use advanced vocabulary in context after hearing a new word once... older students who have tested at 95th percentiles or higher in a subject, crave advanced vocabulary and show their own 'geeky' passions... students who have already been formally identified with "gifted" educational needs that are above what typical same-age peers need... and students who show these characteristics but are not yet formally identified with "gifted" needs by a school system. A very small group of students may even qualify and enroll at AcademyACL at four years old, to entering kindergarten as "highly advanced" gifted students, through Colorado Springs District 11's Early Access process.
Colorado recognizes that these "gifted" learning needs require specialized academic and social-emotional support, as a category of "special need" (within the "Exceptional Children's Education Act") that is often surrounded by stereotypes of what "gifted" is. This type of learning need is not "better" than any other need... it's just different, and sometimes it is even complicated by both giftedness and a disability (such as advanced math, and dyslexia), which is called "twice-exceptional." AcademyACL provides a place for "gifted" to be challenged and supported, within a wide variety of fellow learners; and a chance to learn the value of both kindness and hard work where otherwise, learning might come all too easily. To quote one of our students, "You can work where your mind is, not just your age. You can work as high as you need to go."
1. Learn About AcademyACL
Parents learn about our program and consider their individual child/ren’s educational needs. Check out the Colorado Department of Education's definition of "gifted". The National Association for Gifted Children has resources for "Is My Child Gifted?" Visit our Colorado Springs School District 11 to learn more about local procedures.
2. Take a Tour
Tours are available most Tuesdays @ 8:45am. Please contact the office to RSVP. Summer tours depend on office hours and facility projects. Please also tour the photo albums on our Facebook pages: AcademyACLConnect, AcademyACL Graduates, Forest Green at Pike Park, and GeekThinkFilms.
3. Complete the Enrollment Packet
Open enrollment for the next school year runs November 1 through February 8. At the closing deadline, all students with an enrollment request are entered into a lottery system. Enrollment paperwork must be for the current open enrollment period.
4. Review of Records
Review of Records: As needed, AcademyACL verifies information from a previous school, obtains copies of any official plans in place, and schedules a meeting with the parents to discuss those plans as needed.
5. Schedule a Shadow Day
Shadow Days are available often (and required for Division V prospective students).
6. Get on the Enrollment List
The lottery system sets enrollment priority for the following year. This process will also set the order of any wait lists, if needed.
7. Confirmation of Enrollment Acceptance
Families are notified, by email, of an opening for their child they must confirm whether or not there have been changes in any official plans (IEP, 504, Retention or Acceleration, Discipline or Behavior) and they must confirm whether or not they will accept the opening.
8. Confirm You're on the Waiting List
Waiting lists are maintained for the year, but once October 1 has passed, students on the waiting list for the current year are enrolled only when the Academy Director approves an opening at the end of a marking period.
Start Your Enrollment Process
Give your child the best head start and complete your Request for Enrollment packet today!