Compass School utilizes Ft. Collins as its Classroom

January 16, 2018


Jan Harrison, Catapult alumni, recently received approval for charter Compass Community Collaborative School in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She attributes her success of her vision and process to the work she did at Catapult. It was in the program where she was introduced to other change makers and innovators who assisted Harrison with brand new ideas. 


Opening in fall 2018, CCCS is an example of the school model that Coalition of Creative Schools is designing and developing. Community-engaged learning features deep, meaningful work with and for the community. Kids will be the agents of their own learning. Harrison and her team have broken down barriers between what “school” is and its relationship to its community.


Community partners Colorado State University and Summit Learning Systems, with other community leaders have collaborated to provide students access to engaging learning opportunities. Students learn within competency groups rather than grade levels, so ages may range in particular academic practices. Such levels are labeled as Explorers, Navigators and Pathfinders depending on what Compass Competency badges have been achieved in critical thinking, media literacy, entrepreneurship, to name a few. Students drive their learning metrics by connecting with a community member and a family member. They host student-led conferences that demonstrate the purpose and command of their learning. Accessing tools from their educational partners, they will use the CSU library, science lab and the city of Ft. Collins as their “classroom.”


Students should be entrepreneurs of their learning with the expertise of those in the field. Opening in a few months with 170 students, CCCS has designed a school that is built by the students’ eagerness and vision. The community plays a key role in paving the way for students to collaborate in creating the future of Ft. Collins and other cities in the world.


Compass' motto: Helping students discover learning with purpose, to author the best possible story of their lives and our collective future.


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