We see an opportunity for CA to prepare students for a complex and ever-changing world by enhancing our Pre-K through Grade 12 curriculum with more authentic engagement, as well as self-directed, inquiry-based learning. This work not only helps students explore their sense of purpose and exercise agency, it also aligns with emerging best practices at leading independent schools across the country.
CA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as to sustainability, are infused in all of this work and are vital to upholding our values as a school. These experiences will likewise be anchored in our 21st Century learning framework, the Six Cs: critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, cultural competence, and character development.
Enhance learning experiences for students to explore, investigate, debate, and research complex ideas and subject matter.
Develop distinctive and rigorous CA programs that will push academic excellence beyond Advanced Placement.
Institute recommendations from our recent diversity, equity, and inclusion curriculum audit.
Investigate K-12 curricular and co-curricular programs in the natural sciences, engineering, and technology which might better tie students into school efforts toward environmental innovation of the buildings and grounds.
Revive CA’s global and domestic travel program and its connection to academic and co-curricular programs, as well as the development of cultural competencies.
Expand opportunities for students to engage with the Denver and Lakewood communities, providing space and time for students to participate, develop relationships, and meaningfully contribute to the community.
Reinforce CA’s social-emotional learning objectives in all divisions, giving students the tools necessary to develop empathy, explore their identities, and make authentic connections across differences.
Provide students with the tools to debate and question complex and controversial ideas in a manner that models the best of civil discourse.
Prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability in the everyday habits of the students and the community.
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2. Support Instructional Excellence
CA strives to cultivate a healthy and inspiring work environment where faculty are empowered on their professional journeys. We see a robust and ongoing commitment to faculty development through resources and support as essential to the evolving curriculum proposed in this plan.
Elevate the excellent work of CA educators through professional development. We must ensure that our teachers apply best practices, current research, emerging trends related to their discipline, immersive learning, and educating students with learning differences.
Invest in avenues for teachers to expand their instructional skill sets. This may take the form of classroom coaching, targeted observation, mentoring, book groups, or action research projects. As we develop deeper learning experiences, we will train faculty to facilitate immersive and multidisciplinary programming.
Introduce an instructional program through which faculty may apply to coach, mentor, and support one another. The program will provide a venue for informal observation, guidance, and feedback, allowing faculty to seek regular and intentional professional growth opportunities outside of CA’s advancement structure.
Revisit and strengthen the faculty professional advancement program that helps teachers grow throughout their careers.
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3. Make Strategic Investments in Campus Facilities
CA is an idyllic environment, one surrounded by natural beauty, with outstanding academic buildings and high caliber athletic and arts facilities that serve the CA community and bring the public to our campus. Ongoing investments in campus facilities are fundamental to fulfilling our mission and to supporting top-notch programming, strong enrollment, and financial sustainability.
CA will focus on spaces not touched by recent investments and capital improvements to deliver the following outcomes:
Modern learning environments
Well-maintained facilities that support the mission and daily operations
Reduce water usage for both conservation and cost savings
Responsible environmental sustainability practices in the renovation of both buildings and grounds
Safe and secure facilities
Technology infrastructure for effective support of teachers, students, learning environments, and educational programming
Inclusive and appealing outdoor recreational and learning spaces
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4. Improve Financial Sustainability
CA is well-positioned to leverage its reputation, expertise, and physical assets to generate valuable auxiliary revenue streams, while simultaneously enhancing the experience for CA students and faculty, burnishing CA’s brand, and deepening engagement with our broader community.
In 2021, CA’s Board of Trustees created a Strategic Planning Committee that included faculty, administrators, and board members and hosted multiple brainstorming sessions with students from all divisions. To help inform our Strategic Plan, we solicited input from stakeholders of the CA community, including teachers, administrators, students, parents, and alumni. The Committee interviewed leaders at more than 40 independent schools across the country, learning from their experiences and programmatic efforts as well as discussing the future of independent school education, the changing expectations of colleges and universities, and the broader needs and values of our increasingly diverse workforce and society.
In deciding what to prioritize, first and foremost we took into consideration CA’s mission: “to create curious, kind, courageous, and adventurous learners and leaders.” We evaluated ideas through the lens of how they would help advance our mission.
At our core, CA remains focused on delivering the best possible education, both in and out of the classroom. The Future in Focus builds upon CA’s already rigorous academic program and unique extracurricular offerings in ways that spark student curiosity, provide space for exploration, and allow all learners to take more ownership over their education. We will respond to the strong desire communicated by our students for more immersive and research-oriented learning experiences. Evolving our offerings in these ways will help CA prepare our students to lead fulfilling lives in college and the world beyond.