The opportunity gap that exists in Colorado is preventing our state’s children from accessing the quality education programs needed to be successful in school and in life.
The opportunity gap in Denver is wider than 90% of other comparable cities across the country. The opportunity gap in Aurora is wider than 95% of other cities (Education Equality Index 2016).
In Denver Public Schools, only 64% of students graduate high school and of those who do, over 60% need remediation.
Colorado ranks at the very bottom when it comes to the rate of high school graduates continuing on to college. Only eight percent of low-income children in Colorado will earn a college degree.
In most subjects and grades in Denver Public Schools, higher-income students are out gaining their lower-income peers (A+ Denver).
Among Denver Public School high school graduates, only one in ten lower-income students will earn a college degree within six years (A+ Denver).
Colorado ranks 50th out of all states in teacher wages, 49th in novice teachers in the classroom, 40th in Per Pupil spending, and 39th out of 44 states that provide support for Early Childhood Education (Education Law Center, National Center for Education Statistics, National Institute for Early Education Research 2016)
Rocky Mountain Prep’s high-quality education begins early — our rigorous pre-kindergarten programs are open to three- and four-year old scholars. We know effective prekindergarten classrooms are essential to closing the opportunity gap. Evaluations of well-run pre-kindergarten programs have found that children exposed to high-quality early education were less likely to drop out of school, repeat grades or need special education, compared with similar children who did not have such exposure (EdWeek).
Starting education early ensures our scholars are exposed to an academic environment and provides them with the solid academic and social foundation to be successful learners. More than 80 percent of Rocky Mountain Prep scholars come from low-income families. Data indicates that lower-income Denver children participating in preschool programs catch up with their higher-income peers in terms of language and literacy; cognition; and physical, social and emotional development by the end of the preschool year (A+ Denver).
RMP’s Theory of Action
Lead with love.
Our scholars and staff must lead with strong relationships, build strong character, and love of learning to truly be successful.
When you love someone, you hold them to high expectations. We know that scholars’ academic performance is a powerful determinant of future success and we hold high expectations to ensure all of our scholars graduate prepared to succeed in middle school, college and life. We also know academic performance alone is not enough.
Our PEAK values underpin the culture of love that we cultivate at RMP:
- Perseverance – We work hard through challenges
- Excellence – We try our best on everything
- Adventure – We have the confidence to explore, try new ideas, and take risks.
- Kindness – We treat ourselves and others with love and respect
Inspire with rigor.
Great teaching and rigorous curricula are essential to creating transformative schools.
We hold high expectations to ensure all of our scholars graduate prepared to succeed in middle school, college, and life. Our scholars will be compassionate, curious, creative, and critical thinkers when they have a rich foundation in core content, learn to attack unfamiliar challenging problems and receive regular, clear feedback.
Develop top talent.
Transformational schools must be led by outstanding educators and staff who love their work
We know that the most important in-school determinant of a child’s success is their teacher and the adults that support their learning. We also believe that proving that high-performing schools can be places where adults bring their whole selves to work, and can establish long-term sustainable careers, will influence practices across the country.
Advocate for all.
Parents, students, schools, and community partners must advocate together for the resources and supports necessary for all students to receive the best possible education.
Too many students in Colorado are still not receiving the best possible education. Partnered with our staff, families, supporters and other community members, our powerful community is our greatest lever for systems change. Our families are among the best advocates for change, and we know that when families are lifelong advocates for their children, our scholars will be more successful long-term.