Leman Academy opening in Parker

Charter school will be 18th in Douglas County district

Posted 7/20/18

The Leman Academy of Excellence will officially open its Parker location July 29 on the corner of Parker Road and Stroh Road. The Leman Academy will become the seventh charter school in Parker and …

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Leman Academy opening in Parker

Charter school will be 18th in Douglas County district

Posted

The Leman Academy of Excellence will officially open its Parker location July 29 on the corner of Parker Road and Stroh Road.

The Leman Academy will become the seventh charter school in Parker and one of 18 in the Douglas County School District. It will be located at 19560 Stroh Road. The school is tuition-free and will be the first of the school's locations in Colorado. There are five other Leman Academy schools, all in Arizona.

The curriculum is centered around a classical education platform, which integrates parents in the learning process with teachers and students. The school was founded by best-selling author and international educator Kevin Leman, who wrote 45 books on parenting, marriage and family.

At the school, parents are encouraged to be involved closely with the education process and students are instead referred to as “scholars.” The school does not require an entrance exam for admission and exercises an open-admissions policy. The Leman Academy also incorporates principles for child development.

“Leman Academy brings a very different educational model to the Parker community,” said Victoria Hostin, president of the Leman Classical Board. “Our local, Colorado, nonprofit board is partnering with parents to bring this proven, successful model to Parker.”

The K-8 school has 511 enrolled students so far and more than 35 teachers, administrators and para-professionals have been hired on staff. The school's first principal will be Jason Edwards, a Douglas County charter school teacher and administrator since 2011. He taught history at SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch and was part of the start-up administration team of Aspen View Academy in Castle Rock and served as principal there for two years.

Classical education is a model centered around the liberal arts with roots in the teaching methods of the classical era of ancient Greece. It places an emphasis on the use of rhetoric, logic and grammar.

In a news release published on the Leman Academy's website, Edwards said the classical model is “really all I could hope for in a school,” citing the curriculum's utilization of the parent-student-teacher integration method.

The growing number of charter schools in Douglas County has drawn concern for the enrollment numbers of the surrounding public elementary and middle schools, particularly in a place like Parker with nearly as many charter schools as public elementary schools. David Ray, president of the Douglas County School Board of Directors, said though the Leman Academy will offer a new style of learning to the community, he cautioned that the rising number of charter schools could have a negative impact on the surrounding schools.

“The cons are not necessarily unique to Leman, but a district-wide concern around oversaturating areas with new schools that negatively impact enrollment of surrounding schools,” Ray wrote in an email. “The current school board is demanding that decision-making be more thoughtful when proposals for new schools are made.”

Hostin offered the point that although the school would pull from the general pool of students who would otherwise enroll in a traditional public school, the Leman Academy has also attracted a number of students who were formerly home-schooled or attending private schools back into the public school system.

“Classical education is a popular teaching method among home-school and private schools,” Hostin wrote in an email. “As a public charter school, Leman Academy of Excellence is a draw for these families.”

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