Community-Engaged Learning

“Why do I need to learn this? When will I ever use it?”

Students ask these questions in their classes every day. Compass Community Collaborative School provides them with the skills and opportunities to answer these questions themselves. Through interdisciplinary and individualized learning plans and collaborative initiatives with local businesses and university partners, our mission is to help students discover learning with purpose. We have charted a new course at Compass Community Collaborative School – leaving behind the well-worn paths of schools designed to study individual academic disciplines at levels determined by age. Compass is student-centered and community-based. More than delivering curriculum, we nurture the development of intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence, creativity, and curiosity in our students and their families.

Curious Let’s Connect

Compass provides an innovative addition to the menu of school choices in Fort Collins. Here, we provide students entering 6th grade and above with opportunities to excel in areas of interest and strength, get support where they need help, and have the opportunity to explore and contribute to our community. Students can earn an associate degree or trade certificate before graduation and receive training in project development and strategic planning that will serve them throughout their adolescence and adulthood, no matter where their inner compass guides them.


CCC Mission

Our mission is to help students discover learning with purpose and to be the authors of the best possible story of their lives and of our collective future. We recognize the unique attributes and needs of adolescents and actively support their development of identity, competency, and agency. We ask questions instead of giving answers. We provide resources instead of assignments. We embrace our community’s entrepreneurial nature and energy. Our teachers and our local, national, and international partners collaborate with our students and their families to chart a path of opportunity. Our students graduate as co-creators of a learning life.

Why choose Compass?

Our future-ready school was designed by a diverse team of educators, students, artists, parents, business owners, and community leaders in this entrepreneurial business incubator, we are embedding secondary education into real world problem solving and meaningful work.

With the help and expertise of a “360 Team” made up of a teacher, family member, and community mentor, our students, ages 11-19, earn academic credit in state and international academic standards. They also earn digital badges in seven skill areas by working on community-engaged ventures that inspire deep learning of academic, social emotional, and future ready skills. At Compass, we see collaborative design, research, and problem solving as a game changer for how adolescents view their place in our community, and how the community views the capacities of our youth. Unlike the current model of schooling where kids spend everyday in a building separate from the “real world,” at Compass will have students work side-by-side with community members in multi-age, interdisciplinary teams to actively participate in the creation of our future. Individualized and competency-based, our curriculum challenges students to grow and demonstrate their learning every day in a multitude of real-world applications.

Compass Design Foundations

The design principles reflect our intention to create a student-centered learning environment at Compass that is healthy for adolescents, families, and staff and that prepares students to be positive change-makers in a rapidly changing world.

  • Purposeful, student-centered, community-engaged learning in service to a greater social cause
  • Research-based and interest-driven curriculum
  • Design thinking
  • Intentional, inclusive, and positive school climate and culture
  • Explicit social and emotional learning
  • Restorative practices for connection and constructive engagement of conflict
  • Diversity by design and equity of opportunity
  • Environmental sustainability and regeneration
  • Engaging staff and community mentors as co-learners and collaborators with students
  • Future-ready focus on college preparation, career planning and community engagement