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Workplace-based private school to open next fall

Compositive Primary offers holistic academics to diverse student body

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Written by Chris Casey on November 9, 2018

A private school serving students in preschool through fifth grade is planned to open in fall 2019 on the Fitzsimons Innovation Community, just north of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

For the first-year launch, Compositive Primary will open with classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds, kindergarten and first grade. Applications for the 2019-2020 school year are due Feb. 1, and admission decisions will occur in March.

Compositive Primary courtyard

This is a rendering of the courtyard of Compositive Primary independent school, which is planned to open in the Fitzsimons Innovative Community in fall 2019.

A workplace-based school, enrollment preference will be given to children of parents working on the Anschutz Medical Campus, including faculty, staff and students at Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.

Marcie Prokupek, director of outreach, said a school groundbreaking will take Nov. 16 at the site, 2345 N. Ursula St. The school will add one class per year until it reaches capacity through fifth grade in 2023-2024.

The school was founded by Betsy Callaway Considine, in tandem with the Colorado-based Considine Family Foundation, and operations will be primarily funded through various philanthropic sources. The per-student cost is $100 per month for the year-round school curriculum. Compositive Primary will also offer before-school (6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) and after-school care (3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.); cost for these optional programs is similar to comparable area daycare services.

Embracing diversity

“We want to make the school accessible to all families regardless of income,” Prokupek said. “And we are really embracing diversity in our student body.”


Heather Mock, head of school, will provide information at open houses next week:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Etai’s in Research 2
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the lobby of 21 Fitzsimmons, 2100 N. Ursula St.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, in Etai’s in Research 2
  • For more information, visit www.compositiveprimary.org  or email info@compositiveprimary.org

The school is planned to open with 68 students — 16 per classroom for ages 3 and 4, and 18 per classroom in grades K-5. When at full capacity with five grades, the enrollment will be 140. The school will operate with a 9-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and multi-age groupings of children in classrooms. Compositive is planned with an eye toward the long term; it could eventually double in size to an enrollment of 280 students.

The school’s curriculum integrates cognition, character, health and well-being and community engagement. Heather Mock, head of school, said the school aligns with her philosophy of nurturing each child’s natural curiosity and joy of learning. She said the school aims to develop the whole child by cultivating essential skills, good habits and offering a rich learning environment.

Workplace-based school

The workplace-based school model makes sense in today’s age when both parents typically work. “Having your child’s school as a part of your work community is quite nice,” said Mock, who comes from The Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette, where she was associate head of school. “If your child has a performance or other function at school, you don’t have to drive across town to attend. We also want to encourage parent engagement … We believe in the idea that it takes a village to raise kids.”

The year-round model means that breaks are structured differently from typical schools. Summer break will last a few weeks and other short-term breaks will be scheduled throughout the school year. Compositive will offer enrichment programs during the breaks with a separate fee structure.


The next generation of health professionals and researchers will soon be learning in a STEM-focused school in the Fitzsimons Innovation Community.

Aurora Public Schools (APS) has authorized Denver School of Science and Technology Public Schools (DSST) to design a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school for grades 6-12. Aurora Science & Tech (AST), the new school, is developing its academic program and STEM partnerships, according to Peter Sherman, founding school director. AST will open with 150 sixth-graders in August 2019, and will grow one grade level per year until it is 6-12 at full buildout.

The new DSST school will provide APS students with a robust STEM program and access to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and its pioneering research labs. Application to AST will be available starting in January.

“For the first year, 2019-2020, we will be in a temporary facility nearby. In partnership with APS, there will be a new permanent facility on the north side of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus ready for students in August 2020,” Sherman said.

More information is available at www.dsstpublicschools/aurora-science-and-tech. For more information or to sign up for an open house or tour, please email Yunuen Cisneros at Yunuen.Cisneros@scienceandtech.org.


Topics: Education