A new middle school in the growing northeast Denver neighborhood of Stapleton may be poised to launch as an "innovation school", as leaders from three innovation schools or networks have stepped up with bids to run the new campus.
- Beacon Network Schools, which currently runs two middle schools in Denver: Kepner Beacon in southwest Denver and Grant Beacon in south-central Denver. The Beacon schools also focus on personalized learning, partly by giving students access to technology that allows them to learn at their own pace. The new Stapleton school would be the network’s third middle school.
- Denver Green School, a stand-alone school serving students in preschool through eighth grade in southeast Denver. The Denver Green School’s hands-on curriculum is focused on “what sustainability means in relation to our classrooms, our community, our planet, and ourselves,” according to its letter. The new Stapleton school would be its first expansion.
High Tech Elementary School, a stand-alone school located in Stapleton. It currently serves students in preschool through fifth grade and is interested in expanding to serve students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, as well. High Tech uses a “technology-enhanced, personalized, project-based approach” to teaching its students, according to its letter.
In 2017-2018, school leaders from Denver Green School and Beacon Network Schools participated in a program called EdLead Denver -- a collaboration between the Gates Family Foundation, Empower Schools, Bellwether Education Partners, and the Laura and John Arnold Family Foundation -- to build specialized skills for running effective networks of autonomous schools, and to prepare their applications to potentially expand the impact of their successful school models.