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Publish Date: 6/27/2005

Tri-Town academy almost complete

FREDERICK — Carbon Valley Academy charter school has a lot to do before classes begin Aug. 24.

Renovations on the school’s building, at 4040 Coriolis Way in Frederick, began Tuesday and aren’t expected to be completed until the second week of August.

Anne-Marie Nichols, president of the school’s board of directors, said the two-story brick building the school is leasing, which is near Weld County Road 18 and the Interstate 25 Frontage Road, is getting a new interior, including 15 classrooms, a library, a cafeteria and a gymnasium.

The construction schedule is tight, but “we should have no problems getting the building ready for opening,” Nichols said.

Carbon Valley will open as a K-6 school in the fall and will add seventh grade in 2006-07 and eighth grade in 2007-08.

In its charter application to the St. Vrain Valley School District, Carbon Valley said it would open with about 175 students. Because the building the school is leasing is so large, the founders decided to take in even more pupils.

The school has about 275 students enrolled and is hoping to bring in an additional 30 students before August, Nichols said.

“If we have room for them, we might as well get them in the first year,” she said.

The school has available slots in grades two through six and preschool.

Carbon Valley is offering fee-based preschool, two half-day kindergarten classes and one full-day kindergarten class.

The school anticipates it will have a waiting list in 2006-07 because two large housing developments in the area recently broke ground, Nichols said.

The charter school is following a Core Knowledge focus. Core Knowledge is not a curriculum, but a set of standards children have to meet at every grade level.

“The curriculum really interested me on how it is based,” said Shannon Barton, the parent of a future second-grader at Carbon Valley. “It’s more challenging for the younger kids.”

Barton said she was excited to learn that her 7-year-old son, Isaac, would be learning about civil rights and world figures such as Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt at such a young age.

“I think Isaac will definitely be challenged that way,” she said.

Isaac attended Prairie Ridge Elementary School just down the street from the Barton home last year, and Barton said she isn’t withdrawing him from that school because of any problems.

“We loved his teacher,” she said. “We were happy with Prairie Ridge. This was just a different approach — a totally different approach, really, as far as the curriculum goes.”

Barton is heading up a group of volunteers to help line the parking lot, pull weeds and put in playground equipment July 9.

Volunteers also will help paint walls inside the school and set up classrooms once refurbishment of the building is further along.

Paula Aven Gladych can be reached at 303-684-5211 or pavengladych@times-call.com.

What: Carbon Valley Academy charter school open houses

When: 7 to 8 p.m. July 13 and July 28 at the school.

Where: 4040 Coriolis Way, Frederick

For more information, visit www.carbonvalleyacademy.org.

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