A Day in the Life of a Compass Student
School days at Compass are busy and happy. You will quickly find a rhythm between working collaboratively with friends, focused, independent learning, and working with teachers. Our daily schedule is varied—and our teachers are the best— all of which keep your learning fresh and engaging!
Take Charge of Your Learning
Success at college and a career takes more than knowing stuff. It takes life management skills, social-emotional skills and more. At Compass you will learn and practice these skills to prepare yourself to thrive as an adult.
What Do Classes Look Like at Compass?
Advisory, Venture Projects, Book Studies, Mentoring, CARE Projects, and deep-dive seminars are among the learning opportunities you will find at Compass. Ready for college-level work? We have college classes in English, math, and Spanish on campus! We think you'll find that we keep learning fresh and engaging all day long!
Each school year, students complete four ventures (two per semester) that are deep academic explorations with real-world applications. These may be a combination of teacher-designed, student-designed, and community-inspired ventures. All are interdisciplinary and meet state academic standards for a variety of core disciplines, including applications of English Language Arts and Mathematics. Internships may be completed as Venture Projects as well.
- Are transdisciplinary and address Colorado state standards in at least two subject areas, including mathematics and English.
- Support students in learning and demonstrating their skills, developing evidence, and collecting artifacts of critical thinking, collaboration, and written and oral communication.
- Are driven by essential questions.
- Contain clear and relevant project outcomes that have meaningful impact to our community.
- Are paced to include approximately eight weeks of course material.
- Require evidence of understanding of academic standards and demonstration of Compass Competency skills through the process of Humanity-Centered Design, reflections, and a product that has had multiple iterations with feedback for improvement that is exhibited during the public Exhibition of Learning.
- Include collaboration with community partners and local experts.
- Students are assessed (and self-assess) on the skills of critical thinking, collaboration, and written and oral communication.
Compass is the only school in town in which each student has an individual teacher mentor. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your mentor will help you set goals, problem-solve, and get personalized feedback on your classwork. Parents are invited to join these meetings so that they can learn first-hand how their child is progressing.
With your mentor, you will focus on LITERACY by doing extensive reading and writing. Each cohort will read a common book and participate in weekly Socratic Seminars to deepen critical reading and thinking skills. Weekly writing assignments will support the papers that are written each quarter to strengthen writing skills in a multitude of genres.
Your mentor will also guide you in your CARE Project. This is a student-designed project that focuses on anything that you are excited to learn. Using the design thinking skills you learn in your Venture Project, you will explore a topic of interest to YOU and present your learning at the end of the quarter to peers in your cohort.
All students are enrolled in an appropriate level math class that meets four days per week, for 70 minutes per class. Our expert teachers focus on foundational operational skills and conceptual knowledge in ways that help students gain confidence and appreciation for the power of mathematics to be applied in problem-solving across disciplines. We offer pre-algebra through concurrent enrollment (college) calculus and statistics.
Students at Compass are required to complete at least one community-engaged learning experience as part of graduation requirements. Most students complete job shadows and career interviews early in their high school experience so that they are ready for internships in their junior and senior years. Internships are custom-designed by students with the help of their business partners and their mentor to fit their individual learning plans.
Our highly qualified teachers offer deep-dive seminars into academic skills and topics to support student's individual learning plans and career goals. Supported by content modules in adaptive learning software, students can engage with staff in learning everything from epistemology (how do we know what we know) to botany (plant science), to the history of conflict in modern America. Some seminars are required at each learning level and some are electives. For example, all high school students write a research paper and may take a college English class or a seminar in which to get support on this graduation requirement.
All students are part of an age-based Advisory class for 35-minutes per day. Advisory serves as the “home-base” for students to work with their same-age peers on social emotional learning, career exploration, school culture-building, and reflection on their learning. Students learn, practice, and are assessed on Compass Competencies of emotional literacy, self and social awareness, and written and oral communication as part of their Advisory classes.
Real-World, Relevant Learning Happens Here
How many times have you questioned the relevance of what you are required to learn in school, or asked yourself "why do I need to do this?" At Compass, we put students and community at the center of learning, making it purposeful and relevant.
Be an Active Part of Your Education
At Compass you are encouraged to be an active part of your own education. Is there something you are really interested in? Design an Independent Inquiry around it and get school credit for it! We promise you will be supported with resources and mentors all along the way.
Extras and Clubs
Have something special that you like to do with friends? Compass encourages students to start their clubs that can meet at lunch or after school. Extracurriculars in the 2019-20 school year included MathCounts, Robotics, Dungeons and Dragons, Student Government, Hiking Club, Mountain Biking, Ultimate Frisbee and Culture Club. What would you like to start?
Our Teachers Love to Teach
Our teachers love to learn and they love it, even more, when they get to learn alongside students! Our teachers are on a first-name basis and teach students many times, in many kinds of classes throughout the years. This allows teachers to really know and be able to support students, and it allows students to feel recognized for their strengths and growth throughout the years.
Innovative Work Spaces
Accessible for your classwork and individual work projects are innovative, state-of-the-art learning spaces and labs. Grow your skills in laser cutting, 3-D printing, virtual reality, sound recording, textiles, construction, drone piloting, podcasting, photography and videography.
Tour Our School
Come experience Compass! We invite you and your family to tour our campus. If you like what you see, we encourage you to come back and shadow one of our students for a day. We look forward to your joining us!