Out in the wide-open grassland in the Dove Valley area just south of Centennial, construction workers are raising a new campus that will offer curriculum focused on “real-world skills” and trades.
The Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, scheduled to open August 2019, will be a college- and career-preparedness facility available to all high school students in the Cherry Creek School District, according to the district.
“Planned pathways available at the school include advanced manufacturing, business services, culinary (and) hospitality,” said Adam Goldstein, spokesman for the district, who said the campus' courses will be rooted in real-world skills and trade certifications.
Health services; infrastructure and engineering, or building trades; STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — and automotive and aviation curriculum will also be focuses, Goldstein said. Computer sciences will also be covered, the district's website said.
Here are a few things to know about the campus as construction continues.
On the prairie
Located in unincorporated Arapahoe County, the building at 8000 S. Chambers Road will sit in an area with a large amount of undeveloped space near Dove Valley Regional Park.
Construction began in January, southeast of South Potomac Street and East Broncos Parkway, and the campus' temporary office is located at 9150 E. Union Ave., room 210, Greenwood Village.
The campus will “expand the district's commitment” to preparing students for 21st-century academic and professional demands, the district's website said.
“The student-learning experience will mimic state-of-the-art work environments with a focus on putting learners in an industry-based culture and climate,” the website said.
Fits into students' lives
Taking classes at the campus will be free for all students, aside from fees for materials and other costs that may apply to individual courses, like at other district high schools, Goldstein said.
The classes will fit into the framework of students' schedules — they can still go through the normal credit pathways to graduation while attending the campus.
“Students attending classes at CCIC will be able to take core classes in math and science at the facility,” Goldstein said. “We're making the experience as user-friendly for our students as possible, so on the days they're at the campus for trade classes, they will be able to take core classes that go toward their graduation requirements.”
The building is designed to serve about 500 kids per session, meaning 500 students for morning sessions and 500 students for afternoon sessions on A and B days.
“Theoretically, we could host up to 2,000 students a week,” Goldstein said.
Part of career-technical education
The campus will offer some CTE curriculum given at other schools, like automotive courses akin to those at Overland and Smoky Hill high schools, Goldstein said.
“At the same time, the new facility will expand that curriculum for advanced students and offer new pathways and specialties not currently available, (like) aviation,” Goldstein added.
The campus's curriculum is expected to “expand and evolve” as it welcomes its first cohorts of students, Goldstein said.
College credit offered, too
With much programming at the campus, concurrent-enrollment college credits will be offered “rooted in specific industry curriculum,” Goldstein said.
“We've been in contact with the Community College of Aurora, Arapahoe Community College and other higher-education institutions in formulating our concurrent-enrollment offerings,” he added.
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