A Day in the Life of a Compass Student
School days at Compass are busy and happy. You will quickly find a rhythm between working collaboratively with friends, focused, independent learning, and working with teachers. Our daily schedule is varied—and our teachers are the best— all of which keep your learning fresh and engaging!
Take Charge of Your Learning
Success at college and a career takes more than knowing stuff. It takes life management skills, social-emotional skills and more. At Compass you will learn and practice these skills to prepare yourself to thrive as an adult.
What Do Classes Look Like at Compass?
Advisory, Venture Projects, Book Studies, Mentoring, CARE Projects, and deep-dive studios are among the learning opportunities you will find at Compass. Ready for college-level work? We have college classes in English, Math, and Design Thinking on campus! We think you'll find that we keep learning fresh and engaging all day long!
Studios are run in half-quarterly sessions and are competency-based, interdisciplinary academic-subject area classes that meet four times per week for 70 minutes each. There are three Studio class periods each morning except for late-start Wednesdays. Students choose from Studios that interest them and fulfill requirements on their journey to complete their learning plan at their Level of Autonomy.
Some Studio classes run for multiple, sequential sessions, and some Studios are required at different Levels of Autonomy. Required Studios include:
- All students take full-year MATHEMATICS Studios through Algebra 2 and then have the opportunity to take concurrent enrollment college math classes that are one semester each.
- All Explorers (6th-grade) are required to take a foundational SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING class called Self-Science during either their first or second quarter of the school year.
- All Explorers (6th-grade) and Surveyors (7th-8th-grade) take full-year LITERACY Studios to build a strong foundation in reading and writing.
- All Navigators (high school) are required to take SPANISH through Spanish level 2. Spanish 1 is taught in a one-semester sequence of Studios, and Spanish 2 and 3 are taught as semester-long community-engaged Venture Projects.
- All Surveyors (middle school) and Navigators (high school) are required to take Teen Talk, our comprehensive SEXUAL HEALTH curriculum. This class is taught in two, sequential Studio sessions (one full academic quarter). Parents are invited to inspect the curriculum and do have the legal option to opt their children out of this requirement.
- CIVICS is a graduation requirement in the state of Colorado and will be required as part of all students during their Surveyor and Navigator learning plans.
- Writing a RESEARCH PAPER (student choice of subject) is a requirement of graduation from Compass. Pathfinders (11th/12th-grade) can fulfill this requirement with a research Studio or a Composition I concurrent enrollment college class.
These classes are taught by certified master teachers through the lens of complex, multidisciplinary topics to engage students deeply in mastering skills in all seven learning domains. Students get frequent, constructive feedback to ensure that they are growing and mastering the required skills. Community partners and local experts are often involved for enrichment and “real-world” connection.
Each semester students sign up for a 95-minute elective class that meets on Wednesday mornings. Each class is designed as a quarter long (8 weeks) opportunity to explore music, art, physical education, wellness, and wood shop. Students document their learning in their skills rubrics as part of their learning plans. Electives regularly engage community partners as expert instructors.
Community-engaged learning is at the heart of the Compass Community Collaborative School difference. Our model puts students in the driver’s seat of creating work that matters to them and their community while challenging them to apply their knowledge and creativity across many subjects. Each school year students complete two ventures (one per semester) that are deep academic explorations using design thinking (humanity-centered design) with real-world applications. These may be a combination of teacher-designed, student-designed, and community-inspired ventures. All are interdisciplinary and meet state academic standards for a variety of core disciplines including applications of English Language Arts and mathematics. Internships may be scheduled in place of Venture Projects for Navigators and Pathfinders.
- Are transdisciplinary and address Colorado state standards in science, social studies, language, technology and coding, music, and art. Applications of English and math skills are always included.
- Support students in learning and demonstrating their skills, developing evidence, and collecting artifacts of critical thinking, collaboration, and written and oral communication
- Are driven by essential questions and design thinking
- Contain clear and relevant project outcomes that have meaningful impact to our community
- Require demonstration of Compass Competency skills through the process of Humanity-Centered Design, reflections, and a product that has had multiple iterations with feedback for improvement and that is exhibited during the public Exhibition of Learning.
- Include community partners and local experts as resources and partners in the work.
Students at Compass are required to complete at least one community-engaged learning experience as part of graduation requirements. Most students complete job shadows and career interviews early in their high school experience so that they are ready for internships in their junior and senior years. Internships are custom-designed by students with the help of their business partners and their mentor to fit their individual learning plans.
All students are part of an age-based Advisory class for 90-minutes, four days per week. Advisory serves as the “home-base” for students to work with their same-age peers on social emotional learning, career exploration, school culture-building, and reflection on their learning. Students learn, practice, and are assessed in the Emotional Intelligence and Wellness competencies as part of their Advisory classes.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to work on homework assignments, build new skills in our adaptive learning software, IXL Learning, or extend their learning with an individualized project called a CARE Project. Each student gets one-on-one mentoring and advising on their academic progress from their Advisor.
Real-World, Relevant Learning Happens Here
How many times have you questioned the relevance of what you are required to learn in school, or asked yourself "why do I need to do this?" At Compass, we put students and community at the center of learning, making it purposeful and relevant.
Be an Active Part of Your Education
At Compass you are encouraged to be an active part of your own education. Is there something you are really interested in? Design an Independent Inquiry around it and get school credit for it! We promise you will be supported with resources and mentors all along the way.
Extras and Clubs
Have something special that you like to do with friends? Compass encourages students to start their clubs that can meet at lunch or after school. Extracurriculars in the 2019-20 school year included MathCounts, Robotics, Dungeons and Dragons, Student Government, Hiking Club, Mountain Biking, Ultimate Frisbee and Culture Club. What would you like to start?
Our Teachers Love to Teach
Our teachers love to learn and they love it, even more, when they get to learn alongside students! Our teachers are on a first-name basis and teach students many times, in many kinds of classes throughout the years. This allows teachers to really know and be able to support students, and it allows students to feel recognized for their strengths and growth throughout the years.
Innovative Work Spaces
Accessible for your classwork and individual work projects are innovative, state-of-the-art learning spaces and labs. Grow your skills in laser cutting, 3-D printing, virtual reality, sound recording, textiles, construction, drone piloting, podcasting, photography and videography.
Tour Our School
Come experience Compass! We invite you and your family to tour our campus. If you like what you see, we encourage you to come back and shadow one of our students for a day. We look forward to your joining us!