Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently asked questions

Where will you be located?

Prospect Academy will be located at 5592 Independence St., Arvada, CO 80002. This is the site of the former Arvada Presbyterian Church. The building is currently being renovated into a school.

What grades will you serve?

Prospect will open serving students in the middle grades, grades 5-8.

Will you serve other grades like high school?  And when?

Prospect hopes to expand to serve other grades in the near future after opening, but the timeline is yet 100% known. The goal would be for the school to expand after year 3 of operations, but we will take into account community need, available resources (financial & partnerships), and current programming.

Is the school free?

Yes. Prospect Academy is a free, public charter school authorized through the state of Colorado’s Charter School Institute (CSI). We are funded like other public neighborhood schools and charter schools.

Will your teachers be certified?

Public charter schools in the state of Colorado are required to hire certified, licensed special education teachers. All special education teachers at Prospect will be licensed through Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Any other general education teacher or subject area teacher needs to be considered “in-field” to teach their subject(s), which teachers can qualify for in a variety of ways, including taking a teacher licensure test within the PRAXIS series. Regardless of licensure status, all staff at Prospect will receive robust Professional Development and regular, weekly coaching on the different aspects that make Prospect Academy unique and help us have a positive impact on students and families.

Will you follow IEPs or 504 plans already in existence?

Yes, Prospect is a free, public charter school and therefore is legally bound to a student’s IEP or 504 plan as written. However, given that Prospect’s model is unique and everything we do is tailored to meet the needs of neurodiverse students, we will likely modify IEPs and 504 plans so that they are more consistent with our programming. In most cases, students will be getting more specialized services, not fewer, and family (including the student) is always part of the IEP team.

Do you use Orton Gillingham?

Yes. “Orton Gillingham is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach” (, and all of the methods and curriculum for teaching at Prospect (in all subjects, not just reading), use these elements throughout the scope and sequence for each grade and level, providing strong support in Tier 1, available to all students.

Will you group kids by diagnosis?

No, students will not be grouped by diagnosis. This is because a diagnosis is a label used to describe a set of behaviors or actions, including academic skills (at Prospect, we define the word “behavior” a little differently than you are used to - behavior means any action on the environment - so to us, the term “reading” refers to a set of behaviors). Not all students with the same diagnosis will exhibit the same set of behaviors. Therefore, for the most effective instruction, we will group students by the skills they show in the different subject areas - math, reading, and writing. Other classes will be grouped in different ways, but the main content areas will have flexible, skills-based groupings. We anticipate groups will change based on the pace of learning for some students.

Will you have electives? Which ones?

Yes, we will have electives. Electives will be decided on by the enrolled students and their families! We’ll have school design meetings with students beginning in early January and will post the opportunities for students and families to participate, either through zoom or in-person.

How many students will be in a class?

Current ratios have an average class size of 20 students :1 teacher. However, we hope to utilize different providers in unique ways, which will lower the ratios for certain classes and at certain times.

Will you open in 2022?

Yes, we anticipate opening in 2022. We need a minimum number of students in order to operate the school, and are working hard to recruit and retain a diverse student body who will benefit from the mission and vision of Prospect.

Can you serve general education students?

Yes! We desire to serve general education students and create a diverse student body. Our methods are extremely effective with ANY profile of student, including neurotypical students. We know there may be general education students who desire a smaller environment or school, want more direct instruction methods, and appreciate or could benefit from the positive behavior approach and strong social emotional emphasis. We also know that there may be general education students who have a strong focus on creating a better world and increasing their own understanding of peers who may be neurodiverse. We see the general education students who will attend Prospect as true pioneers in the social justice movement and the future thought-leaders around inclusion and belonging for all.

My student has ____ diagnosis. Can they attend Prospect?

Yes. Prospect is set-up to serve students with various learning profiles and does not discriminate based on diagnosis or disability status (or race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin (ancestry), and sexual orientation in students eligible to attend Prospect). Prospect is a school designed to support students who fall into the gray area between center-based programming and full-inclusion. We know that students placed in either setting may not be served to the fullest extent to reach their potential. The majority of students at Prospect still qualify to take the general state test: Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), regardless of their diagnosis.

Will you offer before and after school care?

We will have some electives offered during school and after school. We will ask our families if they need before or after school care and are planning on working with an external provider depending on school community need.

What are the school hours?

Current school hours are projected to be 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. However, we will talk with our enrolled students and families to get input regarding start and end times. Like electives and other school elements, we will co-create these aspects of the school with our community.