A Charter School
Colorado is a School-Choice State
According to State law, parents have a statutory right of educational choice to public schools (including charter, independent, and contract) that are meant to:
* Expand learning opportunities for all students
* Encourage diverse approaches to learning through the use of different, innovative, research-based, or proven teaching methods
* Provide parents/guardians and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system
* Encourage parental and community involvement with public schools
Many people in our community believe that the addition of a public school choice will further strengthen educational opportunities for the students in the Teller County/Ute Pass area. This is particularly so with Merit Academy, a classical, parent- and community-led public school.
Family educational preference and community-led educational options are cornerstones of school choice.
While we hear the need and desire to open with high school grades in place, many of our experts advised that we open K-8, growing to K-12 as our students advanced in grades. We did so, and our first graduating class will be the class of 2025-26.
Merit Academy is public charter school. The operations, decisions, and management are responsibilities of the Merit Academy nonprofit board and staff, which are not government entities. The Merit Academy team reports to Woodland Park School District, the authorizing entity, regarding the goals, performance, and state of the school. Merit Academy has waivers from several State and District laws and procedures, allowing autonomy of governance to lie with our school. The primary funding-source is per-pupil-revenue, which comes primarily from property taxes and state taxes. This is true for all public schools.
The Merit Academy Board of Directors are led by the founding members (who are all local Merit parents), as well as parent-elected representatives and local community member(s).
This has been a grassroots effort from the very beginning. From the unbelievable numbers of Intent to Enrolls to the local hidden and expressed supports, it was clear that Merit Academy (as designed and governed by our parents, community members, and experts) is a perfect addition to local educational offerings.