Engage in our School Community

Family involvement supports student success and strengthens our community. At AcademyACL, we work together with families, community members, and alumni to provide unique learning opportunities, collaborative projects, and events that build community and life-long relationships.

School Accountability

Get access to meeting agendas and notes to stay up to date with the latest information.

Our School Accountability Committee meets monthly to
discuss academic achievement and growth data, social-emotional needs of our student community, family feedback, and celebrate school-wide and individual student accomplishments.

Meeting dates are published on our school calendar, but typically fall on the last Monday of the Month. All meetings are held at AcademyACL at 3:30 p.m.

Parade at Academy ACL


Parents of AcademyACL

PAACL is the parent organization for AcademyACL and every parent automatically becomes a PAACL member. PAACL operates independently of AcademyACL and communicates frequently with the AcademyACL Director.

PAACL focuses on family and social events, student enrichment, and teacher appreciation. They support AcademyACL's Chili and Games night every February, host book and clothing swaps, and provide coffee and snacks for a Cheers and Tears Breakfast on the first day of each school year so that parents can get to know one another. They also bring forward candidates to the AcademyACL Board when there is a parent member opening on the Board.

PAACL meets the first Wednesday of every month. Committee member meetings are usually held the third Thursday of the month. All meetings are open to the public.

Contact paaclpresident@AcademyACL.org for time and location of meetings and for copies of meeting agendas. AcademyACL encourages all families to participate in PAACL to help develop solid family-school partnerships.

Grading at Academy ACL

At AcademyACL, we use standards-based grading to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of student progress. By focusing on mastery of specific skills and knowledge, we ensure that every student receives the support they need to succeed.

Students are provided learning opportunities that encourage progress over perfection, with multiple touch-points to demonstrate progress toward mastery of skills and knowledge. Short and long-term projects, design thinking and concept attainment activities, problem-based learning, and research opportunities in all subject areas allow students to collaborate, share, and apply what they've learned.


ALMA is our online learning management system that serves as a way to communicate with families and students about progress toward mastery of standards.

We use Alma in two ways: the gradebook program that tracks students’ progress on supporting standards for the year; with frequent progress reports released throughout the year, and a trimester “learning report” that illustrates students progress at the end of each trimester on the larger power standards for the year and includes a narrative from each teacher on your student's progress. This system allows us to capture students working at different grade levels of instruction than they might be enrolled, such as a “third grade” student working on level five math.

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading ensures a fair and consistent evaluation of student performance, focusing on progress over time on specific skill and knowledge-based standards.

With standards-based grading, scores on assignments are not the focus and scores are not averaged together for a final score. The focus is on individual skills and/or pieces of knowledge (supporting standards) that, when put together, illustrate progress toward a larger, more encompassing power standard.

In standards-based grading, percentages are not used. Students’ scores are instead tracked on each standard, progressing from the first time they encounter the material to the last time before the trimester grade report is created. Scores on power standards should increase over time.  Students are expected to reach at least 3.0 level of mastery by the end of the year. A percentage, commonly used in a traditional letter grade system, would hide that growth.

AcademyACL’s report card is a “Learning Report” that identifies each student’s demonstrated work ethic at that level, separately from his/her level of mastery of the standards. The work ethic level for each subject denotes whether the student has missing or incomplete assignments, is turning in quality work, is following directions for the assigned expectations, etc. Teachers include a narrative in each child's learning report for each class to highlight areas of strength and exceptional progress or interest and areas of growth for the coming trimester.

AcademyACL's grading scale for each subject follows this scale:
1.0 (Beginning): the student can only attempt the concept with help
2.0 (Developing): the student can define the words but not necessarily apply the concept without major or frequent errors
3.0 (Mastery): the student can fully apply that particular standard
4.0 (Advanced): the student can fully extend the application of the concept into new areas beyond what the class was presented
5.0 (Exceptionally Advanced): the student can substantially extend the concept and create new material with the concept that is significantly above the level of 3.0 mastery for this class.

What Makes AcademyACL Different

PI - Academy ACL

Innovation in Classroom Placement

Our classroom placement policy offers each child the greatest chance of success and support within their multi-page learning cohort. Our teaching staff considers multiple factors, such as intellectual, social, emotional, behavioral and developmental needs, leadership skills, preferred learning styles, and student friendships when determining classroom placement.

Leaf Symbol- Academy ACL

Family Conference Opportunities

We offer initial family conferences before school begins to get to know new families and share goals and plans for the school year. We also hold three additional sets of family conferences throughout the year to discuss student goals and progress. Families are always welcome to schedule time to meet with teachers outside of conference days.

Pencil icon - Academy ACL


During the first three weeks of school, we intentionally plan learning opportunities around a common theme that changes from year to year. This time provides time for community building within divisions, establishing social contracts, and beginning of year testing to determine learning groups for core classes. Our September "ODD Night" (Orientation, Divisions, & Desserts) serves are our back to school night and showcases orientation projects, teacher-led informational sessions, and community.

Atom Symbol- Academy ACL

A Schedule to Support Multi-Age Classes

At AcademyACL, we use an elementary scheduling model school-wide:

7:50 Students begin to arrive
8:00-8:30 Lifeskills
8:30-10:00 Art of Language
10:00-10:30 Fitness and Fun
10:30-12:00 World of Math
12:00-12:30 Lunch in classrooms
12:30-3:00 90-minute Historical or Scientific Inquiry, and 50-minute Encore classes
3:00-3:10 Reflection and Launch
3:10 Dismissal

All divisions have an outdoor break in the afternoon for 10-15 minutes.

Drama Icon - Academy ACL

Innovation & Best Practice

The Colorado Department of Education notes that a charter school has more flexibility than traditional public schools in regards to curriculum, fiscal management, overall school operations, and may offer an education program that is more innovative.

At AcademyACL. every teacher, including Encore teachers, specializes in the needs of advanced, gifted learners. We use a K-8 model with a block schedule which allows students to attend the level class they need for reading, writing, and math. Our curriculum comes from gifted focused, researched-based resources which are used to develop units of instruction around a Big Idea using the Integrated Curriculum Model (Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska) which focuses on Big Ideas and themes within and between disciplines, with Advanced Content and Differentiated Instruction & Projects designed for students.

Treble Clef - Academy ACL

Research-Based Curriculum

We use resources from the College of William and Mary, Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop, Reveal Math, Foss Science, and Physics-In-A-Box from Physcira and a partnership with Dr. Anatoliy Glushchenko in the UCCS Physics Department. Our teachers use these resources to develop Integrated Curriculum Model structured units of instruction and learning opportunities that correlate to the Colorado State Standards with gifted learners in mind.

School activities at Academy ACL

Encore & Integration

Encore (Enhancing the Core) classes include Art, Music, Theater, Spanish, and Physical Education on a rotating basis. Upper Division students also experience two additional Encore classes that may vary from year to year.

Encore teachers schedule time in the morning block classes to work with classroom teachers to integrate Encore subjects with math, reading, and writing standards. They often lend their expertise to Lifeskills lessons as well.

Enrichment Programs

Our enrichment programs offer a wide range of opportunities for students to explore their passions. We have hosted choir, Taiko drumming, art and construction collaborations with Concrete Couch, theater productions, chess, fiber arts, and many others! We offer summer enrichment learning after the school year ends, with classes including Ozobots, Fiber Arts, Creative Writing, and Spanish Immersion. Offerings each summer vary.

Parent Involvement

We value the partnership between parents and the school community in fostering student success. Parents have opportunities to volunteer in classrooms, lead games or small group activities, support events, and share their expertise with both students and staff as special speakers or hosting activities during STEAM Day or other school-wide event days.


Find answers to frequently asked questions about AcademyACL and our programs.

Is transportation provided?

AcademyACL does not provide daily transportation services to and from school. However, we can assist families in finding carpooling options or public transportation routes to our school.

What are the school hours?

Our school hours are from 8:00 AM to 3:10 PM, Monday through Friday. We also offer before and after-school care through the YMCA for the convenience of our families.

What grades do you offer?

AcademyACL uses a K-8 model with multi-age classrooms separated into divisions: Division I (Kindergarten), Division II (1st/2nd), Division III (3rd/4th), Division IV (5th/6th), and Division V (7th/8th).

How do I request enrollment?

To request enrollment to AcademyACL, please visit our Enrollment page. We look forward to receiving your request!

What is AcademyACL?

AcademyACL is a free charter public school that focuses on guiding gifted learners in the Pikes Peak Region. We provide a challenging and supportive learning environment for our students.

Still have questions?

Contact us for more information or to schedule a visit.