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Charter school celebrates anniversary

Plans include a new high school


Students, parents and staff recently celebrated 20 years of education and success at Stargate School in Thornton. The Dec. 9 event brought back past students and highlighted the accomplishments made in the past two decades.

“My experience at Stargate’s been different than any other school,” said Reese Kelly, a Stargate eighth-grader and student body president. “It’s very unique. I like it because it’s a smaller school and I get more one-on-one time with the teachers.”

Stargate is a charter school within the Adams 12 Five Star School District. The school provides programs specifically designed to meet the needs of intellectually gifted students. Cochran said a “gifted” student doesn’t just mean he or she is a high achiever or scores high on test. It could also mean the student has affective needs like social and emotional needs.

“Gifted kids learn differently, so we have to teach them through a hands-on method,” he said. “Our students all have a different way of learning so we try to meet their needs by providing many levels of learning. We have eight levels of learning for math and language arts so kids can go into a classroom that meets their needs.”

Currently Stargate is a kindergarten through eighth-grade school, but starting this fall, the school will be expanding to include high school grades. Stargate will be adding a new grade each year beginning with ninth grade this fall, which will be housed out of rental space at a Metro State campus at 120th Avenue and Grant Street.

A secondary Stargate campus is being built at 144th Avenue and Washington street to eventually accommodate grades sixth through 12th, which will open in August 2016. Cochran said the desire to build a high school came out of the need to provide a learning environment that can meet their students’ needs after eighth grade.

“About 45 percent of our students leave the Adams 12 district for high school,” he said. “We realized there wasn’t’ a great place for gifted kids to go to high school and we thought we could do a good job. Now our kids will be able to go to classes in high school based on their ability, not their grade.”

At build-out the new campus will accommodate 975 students, 600 of them being high school students. The high school will offer a full range of athletics and extra-curricular activities. Cochran said each student will also experience the adroit program, which is designed to support the social, emotional, creative and gifted needs of the students.

“The emphasis of adroit, which is an adjective meaning clever or skillful in using the hands or minds, includes a four-year relationship with a counselor, passion projects, online courses and gifted discussion groups,” he said. “Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in internships and have college planning help and career preparation so that by the time they graduate, they have a plan for their future.”

For more information on Stargate School, visit www.stargateschool.org.


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