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Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (2840)

High school

Google map of Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning

DENVER, CO 80222


Total Students Served

Half Day Kindergarten - Grade 12

School Profile

About Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (2840)


Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning


This executive summary is intended to provide historical reference along with current operational success inclusive of the stakeholders of the entity. During the 1992-1993 school year, a collaboration between four member school districts (Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, Douglas County Schools, and Littleton Public Schools), the Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), and the Colorado Outward Bound School joined together to apply for the New American Schools Development Corpo ration (NASDC) ?Break the Mold? school model application. The application was approved allowing the applicants to found the Expeditionary Learning School within the Denver Metro area. Once the application was approved, the founding entities elected to incorporate the entity named ?Expeditionary Board of Cooperative Educational Services dba The Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning? as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) pursuant to the Board of Cooperative Services Act, Colorado Revised Statute 22-5-101., et seq . The BOCES intended to serve students and families across multiple school district boundaries. Aurora Public Schools later joined this partnership in July 2006. This type of collaboration was revolutionary and truly a shining example of educators and board of education members finding a way to offer an alternative instructional framework to serve students otherwise residing within other school districts? boundaries. The founding board members, along with current board members, have collaborated over the last thirty years to fulfill the vision of creating a ?Break the Mold? model for educational access and opportunity for students in a metropolitan community. For the purposes of the state accountability, the BOCES, as a separate entity operating a school, reports to the Colorado Department of Education as governed by the Colorado Board of Education. As such, through the district school performance framework, CDE provides accreditation of the entity. RMSEL is currently rated with distinction. The BOCES elected to first operate in a vacant school facility in southeast Denver at the Ash Grove Campus, a facility owned by Denver Public Schools (DPS). Southeast Denver was selected for its central location to all participating members and provided access to a diverse population of students. As the tenant of the facility leased from DPS, the BOCES maintains the facility in a condition fit for operating a school. During the 2017-2018 school year, the BOCES and member districts authorized the RMSEL to apply for the Building Excellent Schools Today Grant (BEST). Upon approval of a successful $12.5 million application, DPS extended the BOCES a lease of the property for a thirty-year term, commencing in 2020 and ending in the year 2050. The BOCES obtained private equity bonds to fund the matching portion of the grant and renovate the lease-held property and create additional state-of-the-art classrooms. The BOCES continues to foster the original vision held by the founding members to operate a single-site Expeditionary Learning School for a population of students in grades K-12. The BOCES maintains a positive relationship with the community stakeholders represented in the entity. The school maintains an 86% retention rate in grades K-11, and a 95% retention rate after removing the middle school to high school annual attrition between 8 th to 9 th grade. The BOCES regularly collects data and feedback from its community at large to ensure the satisfaction of stakeholders. In the recently reported Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado 2020 survey, 100% of RMSEL staff responses to the question ?I would recommend this school as a good place to work? answered ?agree.? Employee satisfaction is paramount to the workplace culture of any school. RMSEL leadership views the 100% satisfaction of staff as paramount to the school's success, importance, and relevance to date of the BOCES governance model. In addition, 93.3% of the RMSEL parent community indicated agree/strongly agree? in response to the question ?My child enjoys attending RMSEL.? Continuing with a tradition of excellence and efforts to ensure widespread access to its programs, the BOCES in 2019 commissioned an independent school review and equity audit in support of the BOCES? long-term strategic plan. The BOCES engaged Ms. Toi Massey, Chief Executive Office of the Animas LCC and Jeckl Foundation, to conduct the review and audit. The BOCES asked Ms. Massey to review RMSEL's operations and school practices to ensure that access, funding, student achievement, and discipline policies and practices were accessible to students of all demographic groups. Ms. Massey reported on her findings to the BOCES Board. To summarize the report, Ms. Massey found no gaps in access and opportunity to enroll in and attend RMSEL. Specifically, Ms. Massey concluded that the school's embedded financial aid structure of the Fieldwork/ Instructional Support Resources Fee collected annually by the school for operation eliminated any financial barrier to attend RMSEL. Ms. Massey also participated in the annual lottery to ensure that the enrollment policy creates opportunity for equitable student enrollment in the school. Along with her findings, she observed that students identified as non-white received fewer disciplinary resolutions as compared to their white peers across all grade levels. In conclusion, according to this professional evaluation, all student groups have access to all programs and course work with one course of study per school level.



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Performance Rating

Attendance Rate


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4-Year Grad Rate


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Dropout Rate

<= 0.5%

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Average SAT & PSAT Scores

SAT Grade 11:


PSAT Grade 10:


PSAT Grade 9:

- -

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Chronically Absent


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