Expanding charter school leads students into future

SkyView Academy has Nooks, Smart Boards in classroom

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Entering a high school classroom at SkyView Academy is like walking into the future of education.

The students are learning lessons that other children are not, and they are learning in ways that have not even been considered by some schools. With a cutting-edge curriculum and high-tech gadgets that could have come from a 1950s science fiction novel, SkyView’s student body is being engaged in multiple ways.

Each ninth-grader at the new charter school near C-470 and Quebec Street is now equipped with a Nook, and they are reading classical literature on the handheld devices. Every classroom also has a Smart Board, an interactive tool that connects teachers with their students in a way that keeps everyone on the same page.

SkyView administrators intend for the expanding high school to become a college preparation institution.

“One of the things we’re really conscious of is staying true to who we are,” said Lorrie Grove, co-founder of the school. “We want to make sure the kids and the culture are in place.”

That means tweaking its bold curriculum where needed because “we really want to nail it,” she said. It also has led the school to execute a “planned, intentional rollout” for sports programs and to incrementally build its enrollment.

The school is doubling its available area for classrooms, going from just under 50,000 square feet for grades Pre-6 and the first class of ninth-graders, to about 109,000 square feet for what will be a Pre-12 school.

The Douglas County School District-backed charter is growing within its existing space, which a few years ago served as a Home Depot store on Business Center Drive. The expansion plan was approved by the Douglas County Planning Commission last month.

When the school is fully built out, it will house 1,400-1,500 pupils, including 600 high-schoolers. The inaugural class of freshmen will complete its first year this May, and one grade will be added each year as those students move up toward graduation.

Enrollment is now open for incoming ninth-graders and informational meetings for parents are planned in March.

SkyView’s middle school students will be on the ground level, while high school classes will be on the second floor. The first high school students are embracing their roles as pioneers and have become active in extracurricular programs and service projects outside of SkyView.

“Our students will be known for the content of their character,” Grove said.

They already are experiencing the social gatherings that round out the high school experience, including pep assemblies and dances, as well as joining developing sports programs.