Enrollment Checklist

Giftedness is identified in Colorado for kids with skills advanced above their years... things that five kids or fewer out of 100 kids that age might be able to do... the complex ways that they think. Imagine a place where they are not lonely, where they find others who 'get' them... who geek out on topics and ask complicated questions and experience deep connections... and are uniquely vulnerable as 'different' from others their age... where "giftedness is not what you do, but who you are (-Dr. Linda Silverman)." All within free public education, without test scores required for entry. 

Enrollment questions? Send an email to office@academyacl.org or call 719.434.6566

We are still accepting enrollment requests for the 2023-2024 school year!
Please fill out the form below to have an enrollment packet emailed to you.
Lottery window for the 2023-23 school year runs November 1, 2022-March 2, 2023. 

See "Frequently Asked Questions" following the list of 8 highlights below.

 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

Please email office@academyacl.org or call 719-434-6566 to be added to a tour. 

Tours are available on select days by appointment. Young children may be impatient by the end of the tour, so we leave their attendance to your discretion. 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, Forest Green at Pike Park, AcademyACLRobotics, and GeekThinkFilms.

3. Complete the Enrollment Packet

Open enrollment for the next school year runs November 1 through a Wednesday deadline in March. 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. After the lottery's waiting lists are created, additional students may be added to the bottom of any such lists at any time. Lists are recycled again through a new lottery for those families on a waiting list for the current year who also want to be considered for the new year; waiting lists do not remain from year to year to year.

Online enrollment form



Request Enrollment Form

  • Please provide your first and last name
  • Please provide your email address. You will be provided access to the enrollment documents and upcoming deadlines as available, and may unsubscribe at any time.
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AcademyACL Enrollment Checklist

4. Schedule a Shadow Day

Shadow Days are available often (and required for Division V prospective students).

5. Get on the Enrollment Request List

The lottery system sets enrollment priority for the following year. This process will also set the order of any wait lists, if needed.

 6. 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.

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.


Frequently Asked Question- Timing of the Request to Enroll

AcademyACL's lottery process enters all Requests for Enrollment from the opening to the closing of the deadline into the same lottery. There is no numeric advantage to returning the application in November vs. February; entries are pulled by lottery. Earlier entries, though, are added to our email updates and announcements lists and any documents that must be reviewed  or questions answered are better-scheduled early in the process.

Frequently Asked Question- Gifted Education Specialty

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 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."

Frequently Asked Question- Other Specialties?

AcademyACL specializes in gifted education in its program design for students who work above-grade-level and use advanced, high level vocabulary and comprehension in at least one academic area.

AcademyACL's program does not specialize more than any other public school in special education, autism, behavior concerns, or other special needs for an area of struggle. It is not a "2e specialty school"/"twice-exceptional" school, as "2e" is just a small category (with a very wide variety of what the "other" need for support might be) within "gifted education" overall. Each student's need for exceptional support outside of gifted needs is an individual situation. As a charter public school AcademyACL provides for "special education" and/or support-needs to the best of its ability and its size and according to federal and state requirements within its own program design. Please schedule an appointment through the office to answer additional questions specific to your individual needs.

Frequently Asked Question- Chances of This Year's Lottery?

What are the chances of getting an enrollment slot each year? It truly depends on the calendar year. As an example: Colorado Springs has many active military personnel, and families with this status who are enrolled at AcademyACL can suddenly get orders to move, which creates a change in waiting lists or openings during the year. Fluctuations in the job market, carpooling arrangements (since we enroll from across the Pikes Peak Region), and other family needs impact how many openings occur, and can vary from year to year for how long lists are for certain grade levels. Students are automatically re-enrolled every year unless families tell us otherwise. We recommend families considering an enrollment to ensure that we have their paperwork to get on the enrollment request lists, and then as any openings occur they can let us know at that time if they are still interested.

All Enrollment in our district is conditional on receiving full and complete information on students' needs (examples not limited to: birth date, custody, residence location, academic needs, courses completed, behavior records, attendance issues, etc.) at the time of request and also any updates or changes- which are required to be provided before the day of enrollment. Failure to do so may delay or prevent enrollment, attendance, etc. until the information is considered and addressed by the office and administration.


Contact the office for further questions and to set up an appointment to talk further: