School, your way

As a student at Compass Community Collaborative School, you will collaborate with staff, peers of all ages, and community partners to engage in learning experiences that allow you to learn the skills you need to be the author of your own, unique, best possible life. Some experiences will be teacher led and focused on exposing you to a wide range of skills, topics, community needs, and academic disciplines, and some will be based on your interests and your own graduation requirements. You will learn math, science, language arts, social sciences, art, music, and Spanish and you will have a chance to apply what you learn to projects you care about. In the process, you will become an outstanding thinker, an effective communicator, a creative designer, and a master problem-solver.

Our daily schedule is different, too!

As you probably know, mornings can be very stressful. Sometimes it’s hard to wake up or your family members need to be in different places at different times, and you’re in a race against the clock. To give you the chance to get the sleep that research shows that your brain needs, and to reduce the stress in your family’s morning routine, you get some flexibility in choosing your daily start and end times at Compass. At the beginning of each semester, you and your family will get to choose the schedule that works best for you as long as you are directly involved in school work for a minimum of 7.5 hours per day. We have a flexible schedule that allows you to schedule your school day from 7:55a-3:15p OR 8:40a-4p on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Every Wednesday morning staff has meetings, so ALL students attend from 8:15a- 3:15p. At 8:45 every morning, all students meet in Advisory to ensure that you start the day connected to the school community and are physically and mentally ready to learn. Our schedule also allows you to learn beyond our campus by partnering with local businesses, colleges, and nonprofits. This allows you to apply your skills and expand your comfort zone so that you can contribute to our community and the world in meaningful, powerful ways.

At Compass, our schedule is different from traditional schools in line with our innovative educational model. We emphasize flexibility, as follows: 

  • Start times: Families choose one of two start times with a corresponding end time. This lets teens get the sleep they need, and helps bring student’s schedules more in line with family needs.
  • Individualization: Compass students have individualized learning plans built on our Foundry learning platform. This lets each student have agency in their educational progress. Middle school students are guided carefully to learn foundational skills and academics, and as they grow, they earn more independence and choice. By the time students are in their high school years, students are able to plan which Intensive classes and Venture Projects they will take over the course of the year to build on their strengths, broaden their skills and knowledge base, and work toward graduation.
  • Daily schedules that keeps learning interesting: We don’t use a traditional bell schedule. Instead, students have time for lots of different learning experiences throughout  each day. The mornings are chunked in shorter blocks, and the afternoons include large, flexible blocks of time that allow students and teachers to make the most of their Venture Projects.  This facilitates cooperation with our community partners, and give students plenty of time for advanced learning on CSU’s campus, during on-site seminars and at off-site internships. 

Check out what a typical day at Compass looks like:

Compass Community Collaborative School Daily Schedule:

At Compass, our school days have five components:  Intensives, Venture Projects, Seminars, Advisory, and Personalized Learning Time (PLT). Students focus on academic content and skills (Compass Competencies) during all of these sessions.

  • Intensives are single subject areas classes (English, math, science, social studies, Spanish, and music), and each class studies a topic in that subject area four times per week (Mon.,Tues., Thurs., Fri.) for three weeks at a time. These sprints of 12, one hour classes are called “sessions”. For example, an English class may study poetry for one session, and a science class may study fluid dynamics for one session. The next session that same English class may study a novel, and the science class may study atmospheric science. If you have already demonstrated competency in poetry, you do not need to take this session, and you may elect, instead, to create your own learning experience for that session or join another subject area class for that session. 6th and 7th-grade students generally have less choice in these intensives since they are generally working toward demonstrating proficiency in all state standards and Compass Competencies.
  • Venture Projects are interdisciplinary and usually involve collaboration with at least one community partner. Younger and newer students are placed in Venture Projects so that students get to have a wide range of experiences from which to learn. As students grow, they get more choice in their Venture Projects. These more skilled and experienced students may elect to be a teaching assistant in a Venture Project, design and execute an internship, or otherwise design their own community-engaged learning experience.  
  • Seminars meet twice a week and allow students to choose from a variety of electives and explore college and career planning. Music, art, fitness, and other electives are taught by Compass staff and community partners and are offered at our school and at partner agencies. For example, students may elect to take kickboxing at our neighbor gym, McMahon Training Center, or they may take a painting seminar led by a local artist. College and career seminars are required for a minimum of nine seminars per year and may involve visits from local professionals, field trips to local businesses, or a series of visits to local colleges and universities. All 11th-and 12th-grade students are required to take a series of seminars focused on planning and support for post-graduation.
  • Advisory meets each school day for 35 minutes. Students are grouped in same-grade level groups and stay with the same advisory teacher for several years. This time is focused on social emotional learning, culture building, and community service. Academic mentoring and check-ins are done weekly.
  • Personalized Learning Time (PLT) is a 45-minute session that offers students time to work on their classwork with the support of an adult. Students who have all their classwork done may use this time for quiet reading or for personal projects that have been approved by their Advisory teacher. This class is held from 7:55-8:40a for early arriving students or from 3:15-4p for students whose scheduled start time is 8:40a.