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CCS History

How the Crestone Charter School started

Fourteen charter schools in the state of Colorado launched into being when the state passed the Charter School Act of 1994. Within a few years, all but four of those programs were out of business as the trends in their community or the values of their constituency shifted and these programs were unable to adapt. This is where Crestone Charter School (CCS) pulled away from the pack. In operation since 1996, CCS has managed to serve the needs of rural students in the second poorest county in the state, while growing the depth and consistency of educational programming that has earned it the John Irwin Award for Academic Excellence.

In 2006, the Crestone Charter School high school program was named one of the top three schools for academic achievement in the state by the Colorado Department of Education. CCS has sustained a program of academic excellence over the past fifteen years while developing an expeditionary program that allows rural students a leg up into global citizenship through service learning, academic and cultural studies in Japan, Costa Rica, India, and Mexico.

Located since its inception in a series of disconnected, thirty+ year old modular trailers and rental buildings four miles outside of the town limits, the program now exists in a permanent, modern facility made possible through a Colorado Department of Education's BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) capital construction grant.

The Crestone Charter School serves 90 students, K-12, in multi-age classrooms. Our instructors provide innovative educational programming, aligned with state standards with a focus on environmental and character education. Our graduates have earned acceptance into universities such as Colorado School of Mines, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Colorado, Mesa State, Antioch College, University of New Mexico, Western State and have earned Master Degrees from The University of California, Davis and Denver University.

The Crestone Charter School’s commitment to global awareness for its students is matched equally with its commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of our local community. It is to this end we constructed a school building that excels as a model of sustainability and green construction, and serve as the community’s desperately needed, only shared space for civic activities, after-school programs, and continuing education for our local residents.

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