Enrollment at AcademyACL
At AcademyACL, we have an open enrollment, open welcome policy. Formal identification of gifted educational needs is not required for enrollment.
The Enrollment Process
The Enrollment Packet MUST be printed, signed and sent by mail or hand-delivered to the school. Enrollment forms may not be turned in by fax or email, and any forms received via fax or email will not be processed.
- Please see Students with Special Needs section below, including academic and behavioral support needs
The Enrollment Packet includes a series of checklists that gives parents questions to consider as to whether or not their child has the need for a gifted education program like AcademyACL. The checklists are meant to be general observations; if you are unsure, feel free to leave it blank, make your best guess, or ask a teacher who knows your child well.
Enrollment for each school year continues through October 1st and after that, on a grading-period when seats are available. When enrollment changes occur, the next student on the waiting list is notified. We will ask for an enrollment confirmation packet, immunization records, and birth certificate at that time.
Please note that the submission of the Enrollment Packet indicates from a parent: “I am meaningfully interested in (but not obligated to) having my child attend Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning. I understand that submitting this information does not enroll my child in AcademyACL.” Enrollment occurs when an official Offer of Enrollment is extended and accepted within the given deadline.
Concerning Board Policy and Enrollment After Count Day:
The Board recognizes the importance of stable class rosters and keeping manageable class sizes. To this end, after the official Count Day no more students may be accepted into any class that already has a roster equal to or exceeding the maximum number of students in the grade as directed by the Board. Should a class roster drop below the stated minimum enrollment, any students on the waiting list for that roster shall be offered a space on that class roster in the order they are listed on the wait list. When a class roster is equal to or greater than the stated minimum and less than stated maximum, students on the wait list may be offered a space on the class roster—in the order they are listed on the wait list—at the Academy Director’s sole discretion. (see Policy link for JFBA, above)
Update: Tours have been done virtually during the impact of COVID-19. Please contact the school office for schedules and dates regarding in-person and virtual tours.
AcademyACL schedules tours on Tuesdays, from 8:45am until approximately 10:00am. Please call ahead to schedule. Occasionally, schedule accommodations can occur for a shortened tour outside of that routine time; please discuss with the office. Children are welcome to accompany you, but the tours are geared and directed towards adults and last the full time period. Young children will need to be able to maintain that time without disturbing classrooms during the full tour. On a routine tour, you can see the following in action:
- Student Greeters of all ages who share top things they want you to know about our school and answer questions.
- Our NEW building renovation and expansion, a $10.4 million dollar upgrade opened in January 2020
- Highly challenging vocabulary and content with students working above-level
- Elements of the Integrated Curriculum Model.
- The ICM model is designed for gifted learners with Above-grade-level Content, Big Ideas, and Differentiated Instruction & Projects.
- A physical environment that supports creativity
- Multi-age divisions rather than “graded” classrooms
- Division I = Kindergarten
- Division II = 1st/2nd
- Division III = 3rd/4th
- Division IV = 5th/6th
- Division V = 7th/8th
- Block Scheduling (only Art of Language time viewed on tour)
- Lifeskills, Social-Emotional Curriculum from 8:00-8:30
- Art of Language, Reading/Writing Workshop, 8:30-10:00
- Fitness & Fun, 10:00-10:30
- World of Math, 10:30-12:00
- Lunch, 12:00-12:30
- Inquiry, 12:30-3:10
- One 50-minute Encore period daily
- Capturing Kids’ Hearts© techniques for Supportive learning communities
- Leadership development
- Traditional and non-traditional learning activities
- students may participate in traditional ‘lecture’ or direct-instruction style lessons
- students may be in cooperative learning groups working on a project or problem
- each lesson format is tailored to the objectives and the needs of the students for that given lesson
- Natural spectrum lighting throughout the building
While viewing the classrooms, students often greet guests in the hallways to share their own favorite highlights of the AcademyACL program.
Shadow Days of Attendance
Shadow Days are scheduled with the front office staff.
- Upper Division (5-8) students often complete a shadow day before an offer of enrollment is extended.
- Primary (K-2) and Middle (3-4) Division students are invited to complete a shadow day of attendance if:
- An Enrollment Packet has been turned in for the lottery OR
- The student is high enough on a waiting list to be likely to receive a placement.
Students with Special Needs
ALPS, IEPS, 504S, READ PLANS
Colorado law outlines rules for special needs under the the “Exceptional Children’s Act.” Information about state law can be found at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Special Education Rules and Regulations page, here.
Students who have a disability in one or more areas are students with special needs, and their rights are protected under both federal and state law.
- Students who have a disability that severely impacts his or her education (and a requires specialized teacher) may qualify for an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
- Students who have a disability that requires accommodations in the general classroom setting may qualify for a Section 504 plan to document the accommodations needed.
- Preschool students who may have special needs should be connected with local Child Find services in order to have that information, and any completed preschool IEP, to share with the school upon Request for Enrollment.
- AcademyACL serves children who have IEPs and Section 504 Plans, and strives to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) based on each student’s needs and make all good faith efforts to accommodate these students within its resource service model.
- Prior to the lottery and/or enrollment offers, the special education lead, the Section 504 coordinator, and/or the Academy Director will meet review IEP and Section 504 plans, at District 11’s request in the charter contract. They then communicate with families of these students to ensure that each family is aware of AcademyACL’s systems in place for supporting their student in general classroom and special education settings.
- AcademyACL has one full-time special education teacher, and an intervention teacher, with part-time services for speech pathology, occupational therapy, and school psychologist. The entire school teaches reading/writing time from 8:30 to 10:00am each day, and mathematics from 10:30 to 12:00 each day, so the special education staff work across the building, in and out of various classrooms for various IEP needs throughout the day and in those subjects at those times for the whole building; there is not a separate room staffed all day for grade level service times.
Students with giftedness (significantly advanced skill or ability in one or more area) are also students with special needs protected under Colorado’s Exceptional Children’s Act.
This area of special needs is AcademyACL's program specialty. Its school structure, curriculum choices, and program models are primarily designed with gifted students' needs in mind.
AcademyACL is the only gifted-education-focused school, K through eighth grade, in the Pikes Peak Region (there are multiple such schools in the Denver/Metro area).
- Children with giftedness may qualify for an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP), with specially-trained gifted education teachers. Therefore, as a program focused on the needs of gifted students, AcademyACL uses more complicated, complex and advanced content because gifted students need this (in math, in writing, in art, in theater) more so than what typical classrooms can provide.
- These students function at the 95th percentile and higher on general ability, and/or a specific ability in an academic area.
- Colorado recognizes "Talent Pool" students who may show achievements in academic areas at the 85th percentile and higher, and who may need gaps filled or additional assessments provided in order to indicate supports needed a the 95th percentile level with an ALP.
- AcademyACL's structure, program, and curriculum meet ALP goals without separate classes needed, as it uses an entire school approach to specialize in advanced, above-grade-level and complex instruction, with social-emotional supports that gifted students need.
- Early Access students are those students who qualify as not just gifted students, but highly advanced gifted students, in preschool who test in both cognitive ability and academic skills at the 97th percentile and higher for their age level. If qualified, students may be approved through their district of residence to enter a kindergarten program in the region if they will be age four by October 1, or enter first grade if age five by October 1, of that school year.
- AcademyACL provides a uniquely specialized capacity to serve these Early Access students, and has done so for several over the years. These students must be certified through their District of Residence before they can enroll at these ages at AcademyACL. Deadlines exist from December through March for various districts for approval of the following school year, so families of preschool students who are exceptionally advanced (usually to qualify: already reading new/unseen books at a first grade level, writing, and completing new/random basic kindergarten/first grade math concepts) should investigate their home districts early.
Twice-exceptional, 2e students qualify with two areas of special needs: both giftedness and one or more disabilities. Educational specialist Dr. George Betts calls this category double-labeled. These are gifted students with very high cognitive ability in one or more areas, at the 95th percentile and higher as defined in Colorado, who also have 'something else' as well that gets in their way, a disability which often brings a conundrum-- these students are craving advanced, complex ideas and have one or more disabilities that also require specific support. There is a wide variety of what is involved with individual situations in these areas, so it is important for families to discuss individual needs in their research to find the right school program.
Denial of Admission to Lottery or Waiting List
AcademyACL uses an Open Enrollment, Open Welcome policy for parents to choose its gifted education specialty for their students. Requests for Enrollment from November 1st to the lottery deadline in March are added to the enrollment lottery for the upcoming year, after a review of the information provided to answer any questions. Requests for the current school year, or requests for the next year submitted after the lottery deadline, are added to the bottom of any waiting list.
Regarding expectations for school safety, pursuant to Colorado statute, a student's Request for Enrollment could be denied for the current or upcoming school year's lottery list, waiting list or openings, if the following occurs:
- As noted above, the school runs a lottery and uses waiting lists where the school program, class, or grade is at or above capacity. Waiting lists are reconfigured by lottery each school year.
- As noted above, the AcademyACL team reviews any specialized plans to ensure that the school could meet the requirements of the plan as documented from the previous school. Individual conversations with families can occur where there are any concerns that need to be addressed before enrollment.
- The student was expelled within the last twelve months or checked out of the sending school or school district with an expulsion pending.
- The student has been determined to have exhibited behavior on or off school property detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel including behavior which creates a threat of physical harm to the child or other children, as defined in Colorado Revised Statutes.
- The student has been charged with a felony.
- The parents or the student knowingly provide false information in their Request for Enrollment. Knowingly providing false information may be grounds for disenrollment from AcademyACL.
- Please ensure, in particular, the provision of all accurate contact information for every parent/guardian with educational decision-making status for the student, and any safety and discipline data or plans; academic enrollment records; attendance plans; special education plans in effect or lapsed (versus completed); placement recommendations from qualified and specialized personnel; grade level completion; local district of residence; birth certificate verifying age; Early Access documentation from the district of residence; et cetera.
Families are invited to schedule individual meetings through the office, with the Academy Director, to discuss any such situations.