LONGMONT — Carbon Valley Charter Academy has a contract from the St. Vrain Valley School District and a letter of intent from a landlord in Frederick to lease a building.
The charter school has not hired a principal or staff yet, has to make renovations to its building once the lease is signed and is in the process of finalizing which textbooks it is going to use in its classrooms. But even with such a tight schedule, the school’s board is confident it will open in August.
Chad Auer, president of the Carbon Valley board, told the St. Vrain Valley Board of Education on Wednesday evening that the contractors, architect and building’s owner all know “our deadline.”
The school — which plans to renovate a two-story building at 4040 Coriolis Way in Frederick, just off Weld County Road 18 and the Interstate 25 frontage road — has to have a signed lease by March 31.
Flagstaff Academy, another charter school expected to open in August, has a letter of intent to lease 1841 Lefthand Circle in Longmont.
Flagstaff initially wanted to locate in Erie, but when the developer of Erie Village backed out of an agreement to locate the school there, the school’s board scrambled to find a new location.
Flagstaff hopes to bring a signed lease to the school board at a specially called meeting March 30.
Now that Carbon Valley’s contract is approved, the school has to move forward with a number of challenges, Auer said.
“Our building committee has been there like Minutemen, talking with builders and contractors,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been like a barn raising where everyone brings their gifts and talents to bear.”
He added that Carbon Valley’s board and parents are very excited.
“This March 31 deadline has been good,” Auer said. “It has energized our community, which has taken it as a challenge. We will open this school.”
Carbon Valley has 235 students signed up to attend the school in the fall, and it continues to give informational presentations around the community to garner even more interest.
Auer said he believes most of the students who plan to attend Carbon Valley come from the Tri-Town area. Most attend area public elementary schools, but the school also has signed on some private school and home-schooled children.
The K-6 school will offer a Core Knowledge-based curriculum and will employ 15 to 17 people, Auer said.
The school had planned to offer the K12 curriculum, which is often used in home schooling, but at the last minute had to switch to Core Knowledge.
The K12 organization decided it would no longer “develop the classroom version (of its curriculum) and would not be providing an onsite trainer,” said Megan Auer, a member of the Carbon Valley board.
Carbon Valley’s board had been counting on the free onsite training that was to accompany the curriculum.
K12 also “raised the price per pupil of us buying it and figuring it out ourselves,” Megan Auer said.
Paula Aven Gladych can be reached at
303-684-5211, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.