The Aspen Community School (ACS) is a public charter school of the Aspen School District offering equal and tuition-free access to the school’s high quality education. The project-based curriculum at (ACS) is built around four guiding principles: “community, lifelong learning, responsibility and social justice.”
Project-based learning explores a particular “subject” through a multitude of disciplines, revealing the connections between math, art, biology, music, history, geography, etc. Students are engaged in a mode of discovery wherein the primary teaching tool is the “ah ha” moment. Lessons learned in this manner are not soon forgotten. Among other rewards at Aspen Community School this approach delivers the following results: Students in upper grades outperform state averages by 24 percent in reading; 28 percent in math and 32 percent in writing.
Upper-grade students at ACS help care for and shepherd younger ones; lower-grade students emulate and learn from older ones — all of which over time engenders leadership qualities in both.
ACS students also interface significantly with the community by engaging in public service programs such as the Family Resource Center, Empty Bowls and the annual spring musical at the Wheeler Opera House. ACS may be a small school, but its students have a significant impact on the wider world. The results are self-possessed young people imbued with community awareness — the cornerstone of tomorrow’s successful leaders.
However, after 40 years of service, the school’s facilities — built around the concept that small class size leads to greater learning opportunities — no longer provide a safe and healthy environment. The existing campus was built for 80 students; today it serves 127 students and 18 teachers. Out of nearly 1,700 public schools, the Colorado Facilities Index ranks ACS in the bottom 1 percent. These conditions are unacceptable. It is time for our community to step up.
Aspen Community School is currently engaged in a capital campaign to build new campus facilities. In order to meet Colorado State B.E.S.T. grant matching requirements, the school needs your support before May 1. For more information visit www.http://ibelieveacs.org . Please donate whatever you can.
To invest in the future of our kids is to invest in the future of this community. After all, it is the toddlers of today who will be filling your teeth tomorrow.
Compass board member