Strive Prep – Kepner, a charter center school in southwest Denver, will close at the conclude of this school calendar year immediately after the Denver faculty board voted Thursday to shutter it for lower test scores. 

The school has a “red” score and its students scored in the very first percentile on point out math and examining checks past spring, according to a district memo recommending closure.

The closure vote was exceptional for two causes. The Denver college board has not voted to near a charter school since 2011, while much more than a dozen have surrendered their charters voluntarily above the previous 10 years, generally simply because of reduced enrollment. The Try Prep network is surrendering the charter for one more of its educational institutions, Lake, this spring.

The university board also has not voted to close a college — district-operate or charter — for very low check scores given that 2016 when it closed district-operate Gilpin Montessori. It hasn’t voted to near faculties for small enrollment, both. In November, the board rejected a advice from Superintendent Alex Marrero to near a established of compact district-operate educational facilities.

Nevertheless college closures are normally controversial and spark forceful pushback, the vote to near Attempt Prep – Kepner was fast. There was very little discussion between board members. Vice President Auon’tai Anderson was the only member to vote no. He mentioned he opposes closing any school with no strong neighborhood engagement, which he reported did not occur in this case.

“I want to admit the ache that some households may possibly be sitting with proper now,” he mentioned.

Try Prep did not publicly oppose the superintendent’s suggestion to shut its Kepner college, and no teachers or dad and mom spoke during a special general public comment session Tuesday. 

In a letter to people final thirty day period, Strive Prep acknowledged that it fell shorter at its Kepner school, which opened in 2016 as a substitute for struggling district-run Kepner Middle College.

“STRIVE Prep asked for the prospect to work Kepner to much better deliver for young ones and people, and in spite of our most effective attempts, we did not live up to our promises,” the letter reads.

Constitution colleges can charm closures to the Condition Board of Schooling. But Try Prep will not appeal the Kepner closure, spokesperson Julia Virnstein stated.

Strive Prep – Kepner has 178 pupils this calendar year, Virnstein said. District data for last calendar year demonstrates 91% of the school’s learners were being Hispanic, 86% capable for subsidized college foods, and 82% were being English language learners, which is considerably earlier mentioned the district common. 

The school is aspect of Denver’s 2nd-premier charter community. Its sixth and seventh graders will have to have to find new middle colleges following 12 months. Denver General public Schools’ window for households to decide on colleges for following 12 months opens Friday. Some Strive Prep college students might choose to show up at Kepner Beacon, a district-operate middle university that shares the Kepner campus.

The board on Thursday accredited 19 other constitution universities to continue to keep functioning within Denver Public Educational facilities. The board voted to renew their charters for periods ranging from a person to five years, depending on the schools’ tutorial functionality and other elements.

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, covering Denver General public Colleges. Get in touch with Melanie at masmar@chalkbeat.org.


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