After setting up and taking down classrooms on a weekly basis for more than 20 years, Rock Solid Christian Academy — a University Model school — is headed to a permanent home near the Cherry …
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After setting up and taking down classrooms on a weekly basis for more than 20 years, Rock Solid Christian Academy — a University Model school — is headed to a permanent home near the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
The University Model is a nationwide Christian-based curriuculum that helps prepare students for four-year college programs. According to the University Model Schools International website, Rock Solid is the only school in Denver using the system.
Rock Solid, which has 65 students enrolled for the upcoming 2018-19 school year, was previously located in Littleton at South Fellowship Church. Because the Littleton church had other programming, Rock Solid was unable to keep classrooms in place permanently. Instead, teachers would take down materials every week. The church had also decided to expand its preschool program, which meant Rock Solid had to move.
In early July, the school packed up its bookshelves, desks, science tables and sinks and headed to Citypoint Church at 200 S. University Blvd. near the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The space was formerly home to a charter school in the Denver Public Schools district.
Cecilia Gibbs, assistant principal of the school, said the new location is four-times the size of their old space. Citypoint also has a gym and soccer field students can use. At South Fellowship, teachers were unable to personalize classrooms, since they had to break down their space every week.
“Teachers can settle in, they can make the rooms their own. I think everybody’s going to feel a lot more settled,” Gibbs said. “In our other building we just had no room for growth — we were at max.”
Moving into the new space also allowed Rock Solid to expand its programming, adding kindergarten through fifth-grade classes. The first elementary students will start this fall. Gibbs said the school had a lot of interest in elementary classes from families with younger children, but it didn’t have room in the old building.
Under the University Model, students in middle school and high school attend classes three days a week, while the new elementary classes will only go for two days. The model is meant to prepare students for college schedules. The school year starts on Aug. 14 for middle and high school students, with elementary classes starting on Sept. 5.
In addition to helping students prepare for college schedules, the three-day class schedule allows them to spend more time with their families.
Teachers also like the schedule.
Owen McCann said it allowed for him to go back to school to get his master’s degree. He will graduate with a master’s in divinity from the Denver Seminary next year.
The school, which has a 15-1 student-teacher ratio, offers math, language and science classes, as well as electives and spiritual classes on the Bible.
“We think being small and intimate is part of what makes us special,” Principal Rhonda Elliott said.
Chloe Prewitt, who will be a senior this year, said the small classes allowed for students to bond with their teachers.
“The staff and the teachers all want to help us with school, but they also want to help us on a personal level,” she said. “The staff really encourages us in our spiritual walk too.”
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