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Navigator News: 1.27.20

posted Mon, Jan 27, 2020


College Courses at Compass

8th-11th grade students and their parents will be offered several opportunities to sit in on Literature 115 with our master teacher, Jenny Findlay, and our deeply engaged and hard-working upper school students! These observations will offer a taste of what a college class looks like at Compass.

Literature 115 is the first guaranteed transfer class being offered at Compass. Next year the offering will be expanded to include: 

  • Composition 1 (English 121) 
  • Composition 2 (English 122) 
  • College Algebra (Math 166)
  • Calculus (Math 201)

These Front Range Community College (FRCC) courses are taught on-site, at Compass, by Compass teachers who are also certified to teach at FRCC.

In the years ahead we will add even more opportunities to earn college credit for FREE at Compass—including offering students the opportunity for an entire year of college at Front Range Community College, at no charge, as a 5th-year high school student in the ASCENT Program.


Middle School Coding Venture


CSU Computer Science Career Conference


Twenty students from 8th-11th grade went to Colorado State University on Thursday for most of the day to learn first hand about the computer science department and unique opportunities offered for CS majors. 

“One thing we learned was how Humanity Centered Design, that we use all the time at Compass, is used in coding and the computer science industry. That was good to see! We also learned the importance of diversity in a work environment. CSU is doing research to find ways to broaden the appeal of CS careers for women and minorities,” reported Jadan K., one of the students who went on the trip.

The visit made Jadan feel more optimistic about the university environment—it was not as impersonal as he had imagined. He was happy that the head of the Colorado State University Department of Computer Science came to talk to the visiting high school students. Opportunities for students like hackathons and tech conferences and internships sounded really great to him!

Another student, Brenden D., was really excited about the different projects CSU students are working on. For example, students made a server out of Raspberry Pi mini computers. He saw more classrooms than he had seen before at CSU, and appreciated the tips on dorm life that the students gave the visitors. “I am more determined than ever to get to go to CSU to study computer science,’‘ he said. 

The opportunities for Compass middle and high school students to access events at CSU is unparalleled in the district. We are grateful for the access we have on the MAX, for the “blanket” permission slips parents sign during registration, and the enthusiasm and determination of teachers to make the extra effort it takes to get kids out in the community on a regular basis.


Student Insights

An impromptu conversation with one of our 11th-grade students revealed one of the strengths of a Compass education.

Lewis said: “Opposed to a traditional high school, kids at Compass are exposed to unfamiliar and challenging perspectives and backgrounds amongst their peers and teachers. Through this blossoms relationships that are unique and diverse. My personal perspective has been shifted immensely by those with whom I have bonded in this small school setting and the powerful resources that Advisory provides to facilitate those fundamental relations. I have made friends with kids who are different than me and that has shaped how I think, feel, and learn in really positive ways.” 

We don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that the very intentional culture building we do at Compass is actively creating hope for the world!


Welcome Spring Interns!

We are fortunate to have two undergraduate interns from the CSU Human Development and Family Studies Department and one graduate level intern in school counseling working with us at Compass this semester. Welcome to Nikki, Anna, and Nick, we look forward to learning and growing with you!

Nikki Mingola
Nikki is currently an HDFS student at CSU with a concentration in Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions. In 2010, she earned her Associate of Arts degree in Elementary Education and has been searching for ways to improve public school systems. While working on her education, she also volunteers at 3Hopeful Hearts in Fort Collins by providing grief support and coping education to all ages. Nikki hopes to be a strong voice for future generations while empowering competence and confidence in the youth she works with. She enjoys learning from the innovative minds that young individuals bring to the table which is why she is very excited about her internship with Compass. Nikki is looking forward to the refreshing atmosphere of this nontraditional school setting while learning more about the process, the staff, and the students of Compass.

Anna Pridey
My name is Anna Pridey, and I am interning at Compass this semester. I am currently a senior at CSU studying Human Development and Family Studies. Through my time at CSU, I have focused primarily on adolescent development, so I’m incredibly excited to work directly with that population this spring! Regarding my professional background, I have worked in a myriad of childcare positions over the last eight years, including tutoring, coaching, nannying, mentoring, and most recently, teaching pre-school here in Fort Collins. Through these positions, I have gained a passion for working with children and youth as they explore the world. Because of this, Compass provides a perfect opportunity for me to engage directly with the students as they learn, grow, and prepare for their futures. I can’t wait to get to know more about the incredible students and faculty at Compass this spring! 

Nick Leavitt
Hello all, my name is Nick Leavitt and I am studying to be a school counselor through Adam’s State University online graduate school of counseling. I grew up in Fort Collins, graduating from Poudre High School in 2005. I took some time after high school to find out what my passions are and started my educational trek towards school counseling at Front Range Community College. After earning an Associate of Arts in 2012 I transferred to the University of Northern Colorado where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Sociology and History in 2015. I was able to intern at Poudre High School in the school counseling department which cemented my belief that I was on the right track. I started my current program in the Spring of 2019. Along the way I worked in the service industry to pay the bills and have learned so much about how people connect.I am really excited to play a small role in a school like Compass that heavily focuses on socio-emotional learning! My wife, Kelsey, likes to joke how much I talk about how I feel, and Compass fits that aspect of my life really well. I can’t wait to get to know the students and parents!  You’ll find me in the building on Mondays and Wednesdays, so please feel free to speak to me at any time.


Student Weekly Newspaper Launches

The first issue of The Weekly TP, our school’s first student-run newspaper, published on January 17. Way to go students! Have a read.

Following PSD's lead and Larimer County Health Department recommendations, Compass will not reopen the school building until August 14, 2020, and we will continue our remote learning plan through the end of May. Please check email regularly and follow health department guidelines to keep your family well during the outbreak of Corona Virus (COVID-19).