QUALITY PUBLIC SCHOOL
EDUCATION IN DENVER
The seven-county metro Denver area is
home to 19 school districts—seven in
Adams County, seven in Arapahoe County,
two in Boulder County, and one each in
Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties.
Public school K- 12 education in Denver
revolves around choice, with both public and
private schools offering many educational
options for primary and secondary students.
The K- 12 education system includes 19
public school districts and a number of
private and parochial school systems.
Students can also choose from charter and
magnet schools, international baccalaureate programs, and Montessori and English
Primary schools. In the case of charter
schools, individuals and organizations in
Colorado can establish their own schools
and curricula to meet special needs within
established school districts. These charter
schools are approved by local school
districts and receive funding from the local
district and the state of Colorado.
All metro Denver public schools offer
open enrollment, which allows students to
attend school in the district of their choice.
This flexibility helps parents select schools
that match each student’s individual
needs. See the Public Schools listings for
more information and resources.
DENVER K- 12 PRIVATE
Metro Denver has a large selection of
nonpublic private, parochial and independent schools for pre-kindergarten
(pre-K) through the 12th grade. These
schools offer traditional classroom settings,
innovative learning centers, accelerated
programs and special preparatory classes
for college-bound students. Most schools
offer financial aid.
The Colorado Department of Education website
( www.cde.state.co.us/ index_choice.htm)
lists these schools and provides some statistical
information. CDE does not accredit private
schools; however, accreditation by other
organizations is recognized. The
Association of Colorado Independent
Schools ( www.acischools.com) accredits,
supports and promotes independent
schools in Colorado.
Although Denver has excellent private
schools, overall enrollment is low because
the region offers so many high-quality public
school options. About 7 percent of metro
Denver’s total student population attended
private schools in the 2009 school year.
See the Private Schools listings for more
information and resources.
DENVER CHARTER SCHOOLS
Charter schools are free, public schools
of choice that are open to all students.
Colorado has 120 charter schools across
the state, serving approximately 40,000
students in metro, suburban and rural
These nonsectarian, nonreligious schools do
not have admission criteria or require
admission tests. As with all metro Denver
public schools, charter schools offer open
enrollment, which allows students living in
one school district to attend a school in
another district, subject to space availability.
As innovators in public school education,
charter schools allow creative educators
and parents to reach students whose
needs aren’t met in traditional public
school systems. However, they are held to
the same state and federal testing standards as all other public schools. Charter
schools are approved by local school districts, assure local control, and receive
funding from the local district and the
state of Colorado. See the Charter
Schools listing for more information and
HOME SCHOOLING IN DENVER
Home schooling offers parents another
option for educating their children.
Parents who home school their children