320 enroll at new high school; starts Aug. 20

       With 320 students expected for its first day Aug. 20, the new Colorado Springs Early Colleges (CSEC) has cut off enrollment.
       The state-accredited charter high school, which is focused on motivating students for higher education, plans to have more than 200 of its students taking college in the first semester, according to Keith King, CSEC co-founder.
       “It's gone very well,” he said in an interview. “We're pleased with the school's reception, which has mostly been word of mouth. We're very excited to see what happens.”
       The main campus will be Colorado Technical University (CTU), 4435 N. Chestnut St., with students also able to take up to two years of free college classes there and at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).
       When the school's accreditation was announced in January, an enrollment of 200 had been estimated for the first year.
       Any others who want to go to CSEC are being placed on a waiting list, he said.
       Based on a sociological analysis of the school's anticipated student population, at least a third are eligible for free or reduced lunches. These are the kinds of students the school was created for, he explained.
       “Our concept is to appeal to kids who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to get a college degree,” King said.
       An e-mail he sent out states the following pledge: “Every student, regardless of background or skill level, will achieve mastery and will demonstrate that they can succeed in high school, in college and their chosen career. No exceptions. No excuses.”
       CSEC students will come from as far away as Larkspur, Calhan and Fountain. They include students from “every school district in the metro area” and “quite a few kids from the Westside,” he said.
       Depending on final enrollment, another math teacher may be needed, but the probable total will be 16 teachers, he added.
       CSEC is able to use CTU in the daytime because typically most of its classrooms are used for college classes in the evening.
       No opening ceremony is planned for CSEC, although some kind of open house may be scheduled around Labor Day. “The first day, we'll have them in class and working,” King said.

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