After being denied the funding last year, The Juniper School, has received a grant from the Colorado Department of Education that will allow it to open for the 2017-2018 school year.
The charter elementary school’s projected grant from the Colorado Charter Schools Program for each of the next three years, would be $215,000 annually for a total of $645,000. The grant is still subject to final budget and eligibility approval, said Jeremy Meyer, assistant director of communications for the Education Department.
The Juniper School was chartered through Durango School District 9-R in 2015, but its failure to get the grant a year ago delayed the opening for a year. It will offer a curriculum using Montessori, project-based learning, EL Education and inquiry-based learning, all of which are individualized, student-centered active learning methods.
“We’re very proud of our accomplishment and are looking forward to an August 2017 opening,” said Tammy Fraley, president of the school’s board of directors.
Grant applications are reviewed on a point scale, with 135 points as the maximum score. A charter needed to get at least 85 points to be eligible for a grant, and The Juniper School received 131 points.
The enrollment application process for kindergarten through fifth grade will begin in February. In the coming months, the school will host kid-centered outreach activities and events to raise the rest of the funds it will need to open.
The quest is also on for a new home. Juniper originally intended to go into the second floor of the old Arts and Sciences Building, where The Liberty School currently offers classes. But the building does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements – the lack of an elevator is the major issue – so the school is looking at other sites.