Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a Charter School?

In Colorado a charter school is a free public school that operates under the authorization of a Public School District. Charter schools have an independent Board of Education separate from the District Board of Education and more autonomy than traditional public schools but are still expected to meet Colorado state testing standards.

What is Expeditionary Learning or EL Education?

Sometimes expeditionary learning is confused with nature schools. Although nature schools are a neat concept, EL schools emphasize engaged teaching and learning, project-based curriculum, and a demanding and supportive school culture. Literacy is central and reading and writing are integrated throughout the curriculum. Character development and teamwork are not just emphasized, but embedded in school structures, practices and rituals and integrated into the academic program. In Expeditionary Learning schools, much of the academic work is done in learning expeditions — long-term investigations of important questions and subjects that include individual and group projects, field studies, and performances and presentations of student work.

How will VBE be funded?

VBE receives per pupil revenue from the state just as do public school districts. In addition to these monies VBE will be a 501(c)(3) organization pursuing grant and donation funding to increase the resources available to students and teachers.

Is there tuition for VBE?

No, VBE is a free, public school chartered by Pueblo County School District 70.

Where will VBE be located?

VBE is located at 2390 Rawlings Boulevard just east of the CSU-Pueblo campus and across the street from the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. 

What grades are offered at VBE?

VBE will open its doors to students entering grades kindergarten through 3rdgrade in the Fall of 2019. This year’s 3rd grade class will become next year’s 4th graders. Over the course of the next few years, our slow growth model will expand the school to ultimately serve grades K-5.

2019-2020: K-3rd
2020-2021: K-4th
2021-2022: K-5th

 

How do I get on the waitlist for VBE?

Click here and look for the Future Enrollment tab to add your student’s name to the waitlist for future years.

What annual school calendar do you follow?
VBE follows the Pueblo County School District 70 academic calendar.
What is the weekly and daily school schedule?
Similar to Pueblo County School District 70 and Pueblo City School District 60, VBE follows a four day school week, Monday through Thursday. Student drop-off is from 7:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. The tardy bell will ring at 7:30 a.m. The school dismissal time is 3:00 p.m.
What does the average school day look like at VBE?
The schedule for a typical day at VBE does not look vastly different than another school. There is time for Science, Math, History, Reading, Writing, and other more specialized classes like P.E. or Music. The difference is in the delivery model (i.e. method of instruction). Students tend to be more active in the learning process in Expeditionary Learning classrooms. Rather than teachers lecturing often or students doing worksheet after worksheet, students at VBE find themselves immersed in the content of the Expedition and actively engaged in their own learning. Students get to really dive into what they are learning by exploring, discovering, and asking questions.
What are your class sizes and student/teacher ratios?
We allow up to 50 students per grade level, with two teachers per grade, our student/teacher ratio is no more than 25:1. As we continue to grow and develop our revenue streams, we do plan to add paras to assist teachers as needed.
Do you have any special area teachers?
We have an Outdoor/Physical Education Teacher and a Music/Art Teacher. Students will participate in each of these classes twice per week. We also plan to partner with volunteers and community partners to offer special area activities to our students.
How often will students have recess at VBE?
Every child will have at least two recesses and an extended lunch time each day. Our academic program also incorporates movement throughout the day.
Will hot meals be provided at VBE?
VBE will be a District 70 serving site similar to other D70 Elementary Schools. Food will be delivered and served fresh daily to the school. Families will be able to use the same my school bucks platform to pay for student lunches. VBE will participate in the free and reduced lunch program for families that meet the income requirements. We will NOT be offering breakfast for the 2019-2020 school year.
Is bus transportation provided?
In order to reduce costs and invest more in the best academic resources, VBE will not offer bus transportation to and from school.
Are there any expectations for volunteering at VBE?
VBE believes that family support and involvement is vital to the success of our school. Therefore, we require each family to complete 20 hours of volunteer activities each year. Parents will be notified of volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
What are the after-school and Friday care options for my child?
VBE is partnering with the YMCA to offer after-school and Friday care. The Y will provide K-5th grade children with a safe and supportive environment that enriches their life through exposure to a wide array of activities, strategic programming, and academic support. More information about this program will be available soon.
What is the construction schedule for VBE?
Construction of VBE is on schedule and will be completed by August 1, 2019. Should construction get delayed, plans will be shared in June for how the start of the school year will be modified. There is a verbal agreement in place with Colorado State University- Pueblo to assist in providing space if needed in the event of any construction delays.

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