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Press Release - Colorado Charter School Institute - 6/29/17

 Monarch Classical School of the Arts' Founding Team, following CSI Board approval of their charter application.

Monarch Classical School of the Arts' Founding Team, following CSI Board approval of their charter application.


Monarch Classical School of the Arts Charter Application Approved

The Colorado Charter School Institute Approves Colorado Springs Charter School to Open Fall 2018

Colorado Springs, CO –On Tuesday, July 20, 2017, after an extensive review process that included an application, interview, and multiple presentations to the community and board, the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) Board of Directors unanimously approved the charter application for Monarch Classical School of the Arts. The recommendation from the CSI Review Team highlighted the overall strength of the application, particularly highlighting the school’s proposed educational program as well as its demonstrated need, support, and involvement with the community. CSI Executive Director, Dr. Terry Croy Lewis, shared, “The applicant clearly did its research and took the time to connect with the community to understand their needs and put together a thorough proposal. We are excited to have Monarch join the CSI portfolio of schools.”

This approval marks the culmination of years of research and preparation by the school’s founder, Leigha Johnson, including visits to over 100 ‘best of the best’ schools and receiving over 500 letters of intent to enroll for Year 1 from the local Colorado Springs community where she hoped to open the school. As she shared with CSI staff following the board’s approval of the application, “This journey into making Monarch has been such a deeply personal experience for my team and represents the truest part of what I believe my life is supposed to be about. Starting about 7 years ago, kind of by accident, I was just a mom on a mission to find someone who could help me understand the many unanswered questions that I had. Although I was a teacher surrounded by experts in their field, nobody could tell me how we were going to support my young daughter. My kid was hurting and I found myself without a guidebook to dive into. The one resource that promised to be the solution for her turned out to be an impossible reality was a fancy private school that required tuition of more than my annual salary as a public school teacher. The emotions that I felt the day I visited that fancy school--so close to what we needed, yet so far from what I could access—stirred a fire inside of me that couldn't be extinguished. My purpose became very clear. If my children and those that I was responsible for educating couldn't afford to pay the bill that gave them this ‘superior’ learning experience, then I would learn every inch of the ways of the "superior" environments and bring it back to the children that I knew and loved... because they needed it just as much.” 

As a public charter school, Monarch is tuition-free, open to children of all backgrounds and learning styles and requires no special entrance requirements. Monarch will locate in central Colorado Springs and proposes to offer a Core Knowledge classical education program along with free before and after school care. The charter school is scheduled to open as a K-6 school in the Fall of 2018 and will grow to serve grades K-8.     

About the Colorado Charter School Institute:
The Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) is a statewide charter school authorizer with a mission to foster high-quality public school choices that deliver rigorous academic content and high academic performance with a particular focus on schools for at-risk students. As of the 2016-2017 school year, CSI authorizes 39 charter schools across the state, from Grand Junction to Calhan, and from Durango to Steamboat Springs, with service to more than 16,000 students. Schools within the CSI portfolio offer a wide range of educational models including Montessori, classical, alternative education, early college, and dual language immersion.

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Listen in as Sarada Connors speaks with Leigha and Pauline about Monarch Classical School of the Arts.