“Why do I need to learn this?”,
and, “When will I ever use this?”, are questions students are asking in classes every day. Compass Community Collaborative School will provide them with the skills and opportunities to answer this question 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 are charting 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. We are creating a school that is student-centered and community-based. More than delivering curriculum, we are nurturing the development of intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence, creativity, and curiosity in our students and their families.
Fort Collins has many school choices, and now with the opening of Compass in 2018, there will be an innovative addition to our Choice City’s menu. Students in 6th grade and above are invited to join our secondary school to excel in areas of interest and strength, get support in areas in which they need help, and to have the opportunity to explore and contribute to our community. Students can earn an associate’s degree or trade certificate before graduation, and will have training in project development and strategic planning that will serve them throughout their adolescence and adulthood, no matter where their compass guides them.
The mission of Compass Community Collaborative School is to help students discover learning with purpose, to be 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.
Our future ready school is being designed by a diverse team of educators, students, artists, parents, business owners, and community leaders in an entrepreneurial business incubator where 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, will earn academic credit in state and international academic standards and digital badges in eight skill areas as they work 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. Opposed to the current model where kids spend everyday in a building separate from the “real world”, we will have adolescents working in multi-age, interdisciplinary teams, and side-by-side with community members to actively participate in the creation of our future. Individualized and competency-based, students will be challenged every day to grow and to demonstrate their learning in a multitude of real-world applications.
The CCC Difference
Individualized, 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 will complete at least eight ventures (two per quarter), which are deep academic explorations with real world applications. These may be a combination of teacher-designed, student-designed, and community-inspired ventures. All will be interdisciplinary and will meet the state academic standards for a variety of core disciplines, including art, health, and physical education. Additionally, students will practice mathematics and English skill development daily, showing progress through their online learning platform (Summit Learning Systems) and MAP testing three times per year. Students will be challenged to continuously reflect on their mastery of the eight Compass Competencies (future ready skills) as well as Colorado and international academic standards. Presentations of Learning (student led conferences) will be evaluated by the student’s 360 team three times per year, but students will be given regular feedback over the course of each venture. Twice a year students and staff will host public Exhibitions of Learning.
Newer students will work in and around the school and will choose from among teacher-led ventures to develop the skills to manage their learning. Experienced CCC students who have demonstrated required academic and skill competencies will take the lead in designing ventures, take college classes, and intern with local businesses in career fields in which they are interested.
To graduate future ready, students will:
Demonstrate competency in all of the state academic standards.
Demonstrate competency in all eight of the Compass Competency Skills (see below).
Have completed at least one concurrent enrollment or college/university class.
Have completed at least one professional internship and have a letter of recommendation from a supervisor for college or work applications.
Be accepted into a 2 or 4-year college and have a realistic plan to pay tuition, OR have a self-sustaining and meaningful job, apprenticeship, or certificate program in which they will continue to learn and have opportunity for advancement.
Have a professional portfolio of their best work.
Our daily schedule is different, too!
Mornings can be very stressful. When teens are hard to awaken, and family members need to be in different places at different times, mornings can turn into a race against the clock. To allow our families to take some of the stress out of the morning routine, and to give teens a chance to get the sleep that brain research demonstrates they need, we are providing flexibility in the daily start and end times for Compass. Student’s start and end time will be established with each family at the beginning of each semester, however, all students and staff will be directly involved in CCC school work for a minimum of 7.5 hours per day.
Our design principles reflect the school’s commitment to creating a student-centered learning environment that is healthy for adolescents, families, and staff and that prepares students to be positive change-makers in a rapidly changing world.
Student-centered, community-engaged learning in service to a greater social cause (education in context and with purpose)
Small group seminars and online academic skill development and practice research-based and student-driven curriculum
Intentional, inclusive, and positive school climate and culture
Explicit and active support of physical and mental health and wellness
Social and emotional learning
Restorative practices for connection and constructive engagement of conflict
Diversity by design and equity of opportunity
Environmental sustainability and regeneration
Staff and community mentors are co-learners and collaborators with students
Flexible daily schedule and year-round learning
Future ready: college preparation, career planning and community engagement
With the guidance of evidence-based research, we have created eight core competencies that will drive instruction, reflection, and assessment of mastery for both staff and students. In addition to academic common core standards and next generation science standards, master of these eight skills will guide teacher evaluation and measure student achievement:
Students will become part of a larger community as they experience opportunities to work as volunteers and interns with city government, Colorado State University professors and students, and a multitude of local businesses and nonprofits. All students will graduate having had at least one extensive internship in the community. These first-hand experiences will help create meaning and relevancy for students as they co-create a future for themselves and our community.
Additional ways that we are breaking down barriers between school and community include our monthly Community Conclaves and our monthly “Lunch and Learn” programs. Compass will host “lunch and learn” presentations on various topics of interest to students and their families and these events will be open to the public. The Community Conclaves will be special evening events in which businesses, students, and citizens with ideas for Compass ventures, or particular problems they are concerned about solving, can pitch their ideas to the Compass community to develop opportunities for collaboration.
Compass Community Collaborative will be an active partner with parents to help raise the next generation of change makers.
Partnering with families is part of what will make our climate and culture exceptional. In addition to being part of our Presentations of Learning (student led conferences) three times a year, we will also welcome our families to evening classes to learn English, computer skills, and tricks of the trade in the difficult job of parenting. Additionally, parents will be an important connection to the working world by offering internships, project ideas, business connections, and expertise for our students. Other classes and opportunities for parents and families will be created on a year-by-year basis in response to family needs and interests.
One of our highest priorities at Compass is to take care of our families; we welcome ideas and opportunities to make your student’s success a family affair.
Registering Students NOW!
Compass Community Collaborative School’s intended opening date is August, 2018. We will be accepting students going into 6th through 10th grade only for our inaugural year. If you are interested in enrolling your student please visit our website and complete the “SIGN UP FOR PARENTS” form at https://compassfortcollins.org/