Our School

Welcome to Frontier Academy

A tuition-free charter school for grades K-12

 



About Charter Schools
About Core Knowledge
The History of Frontier Academy
How to Enroll



What Makes Frontier Academy Unique?


Frontier Academy is markedly different from other Greeley schools in several ways, including the following:

  1. Core Knowledge Curriculum - The Direct Instruction teaching method and the overall academic atmosphere stresses personal excellence, citizenship, and a desire to achieve.
  2. The Dress Code - Frontier believes a dress code helps students focus on learning instead of worrying about the latest fashion trends. The dress code is strictly enforced, although there are variations in each school.
  3. The Environment - Frontier strives to maintain an atmosphere of integrity and respect from all members of our community. We use the Core Virtues program to highlight a different virtue each month and students and faculty alike are expected to be respectful and honest at all times.
  4. Our Volunteers - Frontier families are expected to give four hours each month to the school and many families give much more. Parents can volunteer in a wide range of areas, including the classroom, during special projects or even working at home (see Volunteer Information insert).
  5. The Leadership Network - As a charter school, Frontier is responsible for determining its own path and accountability. The Administration works closely with the Executive Committee and the two O.P.T. boards (Organization of Parents and Teachers). The eleven-member Executive Committee has a wide range of responsibilities, including staffing, setting and monitoring the budget, facilities upkeep and long-range planning. A newsletter and web site enhance communication between the school & our families.




What is a charter school?


Charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that have the flexibility to be more innovative and are held accountable for student achievement. Below are more facts about Colorado's charter schools.
  • Charter schools are public schools.
  • Charter schools do not charge tuition.
  • Charter schools use non-discriminatory enrollment practices.
  • There are no "test-in" requirements to attend charter schools.
  • Currently, nearly 72,000 students attend the 170 charter school campuses in Colorado. This amounts to approximately 8.8% of total K-12 public school enrollment in the state.
  • Charter school students must take the CSAP.
  • Charter schools are subject to the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
  • Charter school teachers must be "highly qualified" under NCLB.
  • Charter schools serve a broad range of diverse students, including low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and students with disabilities or other special needs.
  • Colorado charter schools continue to attract a variety of students and are located in diverse geographical areas across the state.
  • Charter school programs and academic designs are as diverse as the students they enroll. Some charters implement longer school days, while others implement curricula specifically designed for at-risk students, gifted children, pregnant/parenting teens, juvenile offenders, and more.

Demographics
Statewide data regarding the nearly 72,000 students enrolled in charter schools in 2010-11, demonstrates diversity comparable to statewide data on traditional public schools. Currently:

42.8% of Colorado charter school students are minorities compared to 44.5% of the state's traditional K-12 public school students.

Colorado Charter School Demographics (2009-10):

  • 60.86% are white (not Hispanic)
  • 26.19% are Hispanic
  • 7.75% are Black (not Hispanic)
  • 4.12% are Asian or Pacific Islander
  • 1.08% are American Indian or Alaskan Native

Colorado Traditional Public School Demographics (2009-10):

  • 60.85% are white (not Hispanic)
  • 28.50% are Hispanic
  • 5.80% are Black (not Hispanic)
  • 3.68% are Asian or Pacific Islander
  • 1.17% are American Indian or Alaskan Native

Academic Performance
Evidence of the strong academic performance of charter schools is provided by both federal and state measures of student achievement:

In 2009, Colorado's charter schools outperformed the state's non-charters in the percentage of schools with strong enough academic performance to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Specifically,

  • 85% of charter elementary schools made AYP, compared to 73% of non-charter elementary schools.
  • 81% of charter middle schools made AYP, compared to 49% of non-charter middle schools.
  • 36% of charter high schools made AYP, compared to 34% of non-charter high schools.

Charter School Funding
The academic success achieved by charter schools is especially impressive in light of the financial challenges they face:

  • On average, charter schools in Colorado spend $480 per student from designated per-pupil operating revenue on facilities costs.
  • School districts finance their facilities using property tax, mill levies, and taxpayer-backed bonds. Charter schools generally do not receive a proportionate share of these monies. As a result, money often comes out of the classroom to pay for buildings.

Source: Colorado League of Charter Schools, Focus on the Facts (pdf)


 


What is Core Knowledge?


Core Knowledge is the nationally-recognized K-8 curriculum Frontier Academy uses in both its Elementary and Middle schools. It is traditional in nature and instills a solid foundation of knowledge and cultural literacy in all students. Students are taught in specific sequences starting in Kindergarten; each unit in each subject builds on previously learned information. 


Is Core Knowledge different than “The Common Core?” 

Yes! Don’t let the shared word “core” cause confusion. “Common Core” is the largest initiative in the United States to set national education standards and establish consistency in learning from state to state. Currently, these standards are specific to the “core” subjects of mathematics and English/Language Arts. Common Core learning goals outline what each student should be able to know and do at the end of each grade. 

You can learn more about Common Core by visiting their official website.

Core Knowledge, on the other hand, is a specific curriculum that details the content every grade studies for each subject. Core Knowledge covers a broad variety of topics in language arts, world history, American history, geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science. These “core” topics aim to grow students in both their academic skills and subject-specific knowledge. 

In other words, Common Core is the national standard for each grade; Core Knowledge is the curriculum that provides the specific, day-to-day content that actually enables students to meet (and often surpass!) that standard. 

You can learn more about the overall Core Knowledge Sequence here or in the series of books written by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.; the elementary library has this series available for parents to check out. 


Does Frontier use Core Knowledge curriculum in High School? 

No. Core Knowledge is only designed to cover grades K-8. Our high school builds on the strong foundation the K-8 Core Knowledge Curriculum establishes and has designed a challenging program that will help prepare students for acceptance and achievement in colleges, universities, or other post-secondary programs. 


Does Frontier Secondary School meet Common Core standards?

Absolutely. Common Core's national college- and career-ready standards cover grades K-12, and Frontier Academy's high school curriculum is designed to address these standards. In addition, Frontier Academy's high school graduation requirements exceed state-level requirements and surpass the expectations of most other high schools, especially in core areas such as English, Mathematics, and Science. Our curriculum exceeds the 2010 Colorado Commission of Higher Education admission requirements.

 




The History of Frontier Academy


In 1996, a group of parents in the Greeley community met in a basement and had the courage to dream. They began to dream of a better future for their own children. They began to dream of ways to create that future.

They dreamed because they saw a lack of progression and consistency in their children’s education from grade-to-grade. These parents wanted higher expectations for teachers, students, and parents alike, so they began putting wings to their dreams and sought a different model of education than the one they saw in other public schools. They wanted an academically rigorous curriculum that would challenge students, an environment that limited distractions and allowed students to focus, and an emphasis on parent choice and parent involvement. And so, in 1997, Frontier Charter Academy was born.

From the outset, the founders invested their resources into the quality of their curriculum and teachers. Their curriculum choice of Core Knowledge paired with their choice in instructional methods implemented academic rigor and consistency across all grade levels while also allowing for creativity, ongoing development, and innovation within the classroom. The founding parents hired leading experts to conduct intensive training that would ensure the first team of teachers was well-equipped to continue building the dream they’d courageously worked to make a reality.

In those early years, while teachers dedicated themselves to excellent classroom instruction, the parents of Frontier Academy built everything else from the ground up. Parents spent hours in the kitchen making sandwiches for students; on weekends, they built walls and remodeled their repurposed building; they repainted parking lot stripes by hand; and every week, they sat down at a wooden picnic table for their board meetings to discuss what the school needed next.

Twenty years later, a lot has changed at Frontier Academy. District 6 provides daily, nutritious meals, as well as free and reduced lunches; professionals paint the parking lot; the school has expanded from K-6 to K-12 and has grown from a single building to two campuses with five buildings in west and mid-town Greeley; the staff has grown from 14 to over 140 in order to support this extensive growth; both campuses offer dozens more extracurricular opportunities in athletics, the arts, and STEM that nourish body and mind.

But some things haven’t changed. 2 of those original founding parents and 1 original founding teacher still serve on staff at Frontier Academy. The school still exists to grow students into community leaders who possess a strong foundation of knowledge and a lifelong commitment to learning. Frontier still focuses on academic engagement by limiting distractions to learning and striving to grow students’ character inside and outside the classroom. The Frontier community still values parent choice and holds high expectations of parental involvement in school activities and programs so that the ethical, civic, and intellectual values promoted in the classroom are reinforced at home. This unique dedication to developing the whole student is what makes Frontier Academy the premier K-12 school of its kind. And it all began with parents who had the courage to dream big dreams for their children and for the future of education in the Greeley-Evans community.

 

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.