James Irwin Charter Schools has two K-5 elementary schools on different campuses. These two schools offer the same program and are both high-achieving, award-winning schools.
James Irwin Charter Elementary School (JICES), on the Astrozon campus, opened its doors in the fall of 2005. The JICS Board approved it as a Direct Instruction/Core Knowledge school with a faithful Direct Instruction (DI) implementation. DI materials are scripted to ensure the fidelity of the meticulous design and methods. Extensive professional development via training and regular coaching allows teachers to acquire specific teaching skills necessary to the DI approach and to achieve a high level of mastery and teach more in less time. In fact, the DI materials provide a template for the teacher that accelerates their own learning curve in becoming an effective teacher as they apply the same design principles in non-scripted curricula.
As JICES filled up and the waiting lists for students applying there became extensive, it was clear that there was a need for a second elementary school so in the fall of 2013 James Irwin Charter Academy, the Howard Campus, opened its doors. This was the first JI school to be located on a different campus and in a different area of the city. It is an intentional replica of JICES in its program using the same Direct Instruction/Core Knowledge model with a faithful Direct Instruction (DI) implementation. In its first year of operation, JICA out-performed every single elementary in the Pikes Peak region on its 4th grade TCAP scores!