What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public “school of choice” usually founded by a group of parents, teachers and/or community members.  The founders enter into a contract with a district.  Additionally, the Colorado General Assembly authorized the creation of the State Charter School Institute empowering the Institute to enter into charter school contracts similar to a local district.  The philosophy and operation of the charter school are independent of the district allowing it to be more innovative regarding educational programs, codes of conduct, teaching methodologies and curriculum, based on the standards determined by the founders. Please refer to Our Philosophy of Education page on this website for more detailed information.

Do charter schools charge tuition?
No.  Charter schools are public schools and are funded by state taxpayer dollars.  They are funded according to enrollment levels and receive public funds on a per pupil basis. *Note – Unlike non-charter public schools whose buildings are paid for out of mill levy building bonds, JICS must pay for our buildings out of the general budget. This has a significant impact on what is available for salaries. In spite of this, our staff continues to provide excellent, award-winning schools for our students.

Who can attend a charter school?
Charter schools are public schools.  Admission to our schools is not limited by school district boundaries and we attract students from all over the Pikes Peak Region and Front Range including students from as far away as Pueblo, Divide/Woodland Park, Calhan, Monument and even Denver.  James Irwin Charter Schools admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Who governs your charter schools?
The James Irwin Charter School Collaborative Board is the “umbrella” organization that governs the network of ALL James Irwin Schools:  JICHS, JICMS, JICES, JICA, and PTEC.
Additionally, the Astrozon campus has a Board of Directors based on the district contract for that campus.  These Boards are made up of members from our community and our own parents.  We warmly invite and encourage parental involvement in all of our schools.