Colorado Charter and Option Schools
Charter schools are free public schools of choice that are founded by parents, teachers, or community members. Charter schools provide a different type of educational program than traditional public schools. Each charter school has its own governing board and a contract with either a school district or the state’s Charter School Institute.
Students must open enroll into charter schools. Check with the individual charter school to learn about enrollment dates and the application process. Some charter schools accept a "common application" that can be used at various locations. Click here for a list of participating charter schools and the application.
There are about 154 Colorado charter schools serving more than 70,000 students at 170 different brick-and-mortar campus locations, in addition to home-based online and learning center-based online charter programs. To see a list of Colorado charter schools, click here. For more charter school resources, please visit Colorado League of Charter Schools and A Parent's Voice.
Option schools are free public schools of choice that provide a special focus or educational program. Unlike charter schools, option schools are run by the school district. Option schools are also called "magnet" or "focus" schools.
Most option schools do not have an attendance area and all students must open enroll into the school. The Denver School of the Arts or Jefferson County’s D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School are examples of option schools that do not have attendance areas.
Some option schools are also neighborhood schools. When an option school is a neighborhood school, students living in the attendance area may attend the school. Students who do not live in the attendance area must open enroll into the school.
When you use SchoolChoiceForKids.org to search for schools in your area, all charter and option schools located in your area will appear in your search results.
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