CEI Joins Forces with Partners to Support Military Students and Families in Academic Success

October 12, 2016

Five Colorado Springs-Area High Schools Join Colorado Legacy Schools AP Program

October 12, 2016

Contact Information:
Melissa Reeves
720-502-4756 work
303-856-8098 cell

WHAT: Funding and Academic Support for Military Students and Families Announced

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Doherty High School, 4515 Barnes Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80917

Colorado Springs, Colo. — Colorado’s military students and their families are getting the academic tools and supports they need to become college ready — for our country’s military children success depends on having consistent, high-quality educational opportunities whenever and wherever their families may be transferred.

CEI’s Colorado Legacy Schools (CLS) AP program partners with the U.S. Department of Defense’s (USDoD) Joining Forces program, and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to help military children become college-ready with STEM and AP courses in Colorado schools serving large numbers of students in military families.

The nationwide initiative, launched in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, calls on the public and private sectors to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.

“Students in military families can face unique challenges because they often move around and switch schools,” said CLS Director Greg Hessee. “AP credits are especially valuable to students in military families because they are portable as families move and students transfer to new schools. Our CLS program helps ensure that these students are prepared for the rigors of college and career.”

Doherty High School (DHS) in Colorado Springs School District 11 has over 2,000 students, 189 are military dependents, and Principal Kevin Gardner hopes the new partnership will inspire all of his students to take the opportunity to challenge themselves. “We’re excited about this partnership because it helps us provide academic stability and rigor to not only our military students, but all of our students,” he said.
Senior Zachary Lacross’ parents both served in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and his dad retired from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. “I’ve been transferring schools throughout my life,” he said. “I realized I have to prepare for college so I’m taking four AP courses — AP literature, physics, calculus II, and economics.”

Lacross said extra supports like Saturday study sessions and mock exams will help him gain college-ready skills and college credit before ever stepping foot on a college campus. “I learn how to manage workload and time,” he said. “I have to decide what to spend time on and I also gain a work ethic.”

Gardner said he plans to recruit every student to join the school’s AP program. “I’m proud of our school’s culture, it’s all about being Spartans,” he said. “It’s just going to get better with this program.”

The CLS program provides schools with:

  • A unique four-day AP summer institute for educators, with training on how to teach underrepresented students.
  • Mock exams for students and scoring practice for teachers at mock readings.
  • Two-day fall professional development for AP teachers.
  • Ongoing instructional support from content specialists.
  • Saturday in-person and online study sessions for students.

The five new Colorado Springs-area schools funded by the program are:

  • Atlas Preparatory School
  • Coronado High School
  • Doherty High School
  • Ellicott High School
  • Falcon High School

Learn more about CEI’s partnership with Joining Forces. 

About The Colorado Education Initiative

CEI is an independent nonprofit working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, educators, schools, districts, and other public education stakeholders to unlock the unique potential of every student by incubating innovation, shining a spotlight on success, and investing in sustainable change that improves outcomes for all students. CEI envisions that every student in Colorado is prepared and unafraid to succeed in school, work, and life, and ready to take on the challenges of today, tomorrow, and beyond.