Pagosa charter school invites board member applications

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By Bill Hudson | Pagosa Peak Open School

Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) has announced a vacancy on its board of directors and invites applications from the Pagosa community to fulfill a two-year term.

PPOS is an intentionally small and intimate tuition-free public charter school in Pagosa Springs. PPOS is chartered through Archuleta School District and governed by an independent, volunteer board of directors. Current enrollment is approximately 120 students in grades K-8, but the school district recently approved a plan to expand the enrollment.

PPOS was started by a small group of local parents dedicated to bringing educational choice to our small mountain community. These parents visited multiple innovative schools across Colorado and New Mexico, and attended workshops and conferences to learn the process of starting a school. They researched alternative forms of education and decided that a school focused on project-based learning (PBL) would be the best educational model for their students.

The experience of thousands of teachers across all grade levels and subject areas, backed by research, confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career and civic life. PBL is not merely a tool for learning academic skills; it also strengthens a child’s ability to successfully collaborate, and to persevere in the face of challenges.

Place-based education (PBE) is another component to the educational model of PPOS. PBE immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, visual arts, agriculture, science and other subjects.

To incorporate project- and place-based model into the school, the founding parents decided on a year-round school schedule to allow children to experience all of the various outdoor activities beloved to Pagosans.

The board currently consists of six members: Ursala Hudson, Julie Simmons, Gary Hedgecock, Elly Osmera, Bill Hudson and Michelle Carpenter.

Community members are invited to visit the school’s website, https://pagosapeakopenschool.org, to learn more about the school’s goals and philosophy.