A new middle school will offer unique learning opportunities for students with and without diagnosed learning differences beginning in the fall of 2022. A groundbreaking ceremony for Prospect Academy, a tuition-free charter school for 5-8 graders, was held on Sept. 25 at the school’s 5592 Independence Street campus — the former site of Arvada Presbyterian Church.
Prospect will specialize in serving students with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other diagnosed learning disabilities, as well as students who struggle in a traditional learning environment who do not have diagnosed learning disabilities.
The school is aiming to accommodate 240 students in its first year and will spend the bulk of the upcoming months renovating the former church site and hiring roughly 40 faculty members.
Founding Principal Mia Coffing, who has a background in public school special education teaching, said the school will use a teaching philosophy called Precision Learning which refrains from punitive behavior modification practices.
“We’re not just doing it and then telling the kids what to do,” said Coffing. “We will be teaching the kids how to use those charts and how to make those decisions for themselves, especially on very important foundational skills.”
The Charter School Development Corporation purchased the school’s future home and will lease the building to Prospect Academy with the school retaining the option to purchase. Coffing said that CSDC will also be a part of the renovation efforts.
Coffing said that after nearly a half-decade of planning, finally breaking ground presented a surreal moment.
“It’s really exciting for us,” said Coffing. “We’ve been working on this pretty dedicated for the last four years, so it doesn’t even feel real yet. We know that this is needed, and we’re so glad to be able to bring this to fruition.”