March 26, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of JICS Students,
I sincerely hope this letter finds you and your family safe and in good health. As we all deal with this extraordinary situation, I want to write and let you know the next steps for JICS to ensure the on-going education for all James Irwin students at their respective schools.
The leadership team, under the direction of Principal Rob Daugherty, has been working for the last ten days to create an effective distance learning program. The JICS distance learning school will begin on March 31.
We have customized different distance learning programs
to each school level, as appropriate to each school’s considerations given the
age group of the students and methods involved:
– The principal of each JICS school that your student(s) attend will be sending you an email or text with instructions on accessing the teaching, materials, quizzes, and tests necessary for your student to move ahead academically and receive credit at the end of this school year. This specific and important communication will be sent on Friday, March 27.
– Once instruction starts, contact your student’s teacher first with any problems or questions,
– You can find their email address on our web site https://jamesirwin.org/?s=staff
– Select the “School Page”, Read More” and then select your student’s teacher.
At present, schools in Colorado are scheduled to re-open on April 20. However, it is very possible that we will finish the school year with distance learning, based on the experiences from other states. It is therefore necessary that all students participate in the JICS distance learning classes starting March 31 if they are to receive academic credit for this spring semester to enable them to graduate or promote to the next grade level.
Recently you received a JICS Technology Survey. This is essential. If you have not submitted your Technology Survey response, please do so by Friday, March 27. As we start the distance learning instruction, should you have technology problems at that point, let your student’s teacher know, and she or he will pass it on to our IT department and to the school principals who will work together to find a solution.
Jonathan Berg, CEO
James Irwin Charter Schools
To learn more, click here.
View the official announcement by clicking here.
In order to keep our students safe, it is important to take appropriate actions to help prevent the spread of illnesses and to stay informed. Please see the information below in regards to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19):
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Colorado
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 Fact Sheet:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- El Paso County Public Health – COVID-19
Precautions to Take
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
For general questions about COVID-19 call: CO-HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English and Spanish.
The James Irwin Charter High School Competition Cheerleaders took First Runner Up in the 2019 Colorado State 3A Cheer Competition!
Kayla Reyes, a senior, was selected to the All-State Cheer Team.
November 25, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving to our James Irwin family!
We are grateful for our students, families and staff! This year, we are participating for the second time in #GivingTuesday, which is on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. #GivingTuesday is a day of global giving which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars across the world for nonprofits.
As charter schools, each of our schools operates on much less than other public schools as we have to pay our mortgage payments out of our operating budget instead of through bonds. At James Irwin Charter Schools, we do MUCH MORE with LESS. However, we often give up basic things that would enhance our students’ education.
Each of our principals has submitted an item that would help their schools. Would you consider a contribution to help them with this need? Or ask a grandparent or other family member to contribute?
James Irwin Charter Elementary School – $2,100
- Removable Speed Bumps (parking lot)-$100-$150 each (need 2-4)–$600.00 max Water Bottle Fountains-$500 each (need 2)–$1,000
- Fax Machine-$200-$300
- Christmas items for Christmas Concert, Breakfast with Santa, etc.- $200
James Irwin Charter Middle School –
- $2500 Large color printer
James Irwin Charter High School –
- $5,000 large motorized projection screen for Field House
James Irwin Charter Academy-
- $6500 for projector screens, classroom maps, and supplemental science instructional supplies.
Power Technical –
- $7,500 Funds to buy much needed supplies for shop and academic classes .
Starting immediately, contributions can be given several ways:
- Checks to JICS with the particular school in the comment They can be dropped off c/o Linda Carroll at any school’s front office.
- There is a donate button on the first page of the http://www.jamesirwin.org You can put the school name in the comment section.
- There is a donate button on the #GivingTuesday post on each school’s Facebook page.
No matter the size, each contribution would be a blessing to our staff and students. With nearly 2,100 JICS students , even $5 per child would make a significant difference.
Thank you and have a blessed Thanksgiving.
CEO, James Irwin Charter Schools
Pikes Peak Community College has joined with the Dakota Foundation, the Legacy Institute and Harrison School District Two to create an unprecedented opportunity for high school students. Qualifying students do not have to reside within HSD2 boundaries, but must graduate from an HSD2 high school, including James Irwin Charter High School.
The Dakota Promise Scholarship, set to start in fall 2020, will provide free college tuition and academic support coaches to every qualifying high school graduate in the school district.
“Those conversations at the dinner table when a parent tells their child, ‘You’re not going to college. We can’t afford it’…Those conversations are over,” said Dr. Lance Bolton, PPCC’s president.
This pilot scholarship was developed with the financial support of the Dakota Foundation, which will be funding it for three years. Additional funding has been provided by the Legacy Foundation. Additional sources may provide funding to make the program sustainable for a fourth year.
“The idea behind this scholarship is to create new on-ramps, new ways for young people in some of our most under-served areas to reach their dreams,” Bolton said. “We’re tremendously grateful to the Dakota Foundation for sharing this vision with us, and if we can find more corporate support, we’d love to expand this to the entire Pikes Peak region.”
The Dakota Promise Scholarship aims to double the number of students attending college within one year of high school graduation, and get 80 percent of those students to complete a certificate or degree or transfer to a four-year college or university.
“Education offers the most effective pathway for upward mobility in our society,” said Bart Holaday, Chairman and CEO of the Dakota Foundation. “We at the Dakota Foundation, in partnership with PPCC and the Legacy Institute, are delighted to be able to create higher-education opportunities for District Two high school graduates. The Dakota Promise Scholarship will improve their lives and our society. As B. B. King said, ‘Education is the one thing that no one can take from you.’”
“Our organization has been working on several projects to ensure students in Harrison receive the best educational opportunities possible,” said Legacy Institute CEO Zachary McComsey. “We know this will make a huge difference, and we hope to see a significant rise in graduation rates as students see a bright future through this new scholarship beyond high school.”
PPCC will play a pivotal role in the success of this program by providing participating students with intensive support from professional student success coaches which includes financial, personal, food, transportation, and academic support.
Research has shown that this kind of financial and academic support will help more underprivileged students find successful careers. It may also affect high school student dropout rates when students can see that a college education can be a reality.
Around the country, programs like this have seen an excellent return on investment especially for low-income, first-generation students. Women and students of color also showed higher levels of achievement.
Harrison School District Two was chosen for this program because of its highly under-served population and long-standing partnership with PPCC. It is also one of the most diverse school districts in the region.
To be eligible for the program, students must complete high school with a 2.5 or better GPA for their combined junior and senior years, enroll at PPCC within 12 months of graduation, enroll and complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year and apply for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA or a different form for undocumented families. Any student who qualifies will be considered regardless of citizenship status.
The scholarships would pay the difference between grants a student receives from financial aid, and tuition and fees, up to $5,000 per student, per year. Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year and maintain a 2.0 or better college GPA to continue receiving the scholarship.
Alex Marquez, Principal of James Irwin Charter High School, is extremely grateful to the Dakota Foundation, Legacy Institute, and Pikes Peak Community College for making this opportunity possible. Mr. Marquez stated, “As a college-prep school, the Dakota Promise Scholarship allows our graduates an amazing avenue to get their Associate’s degree without worrying about finances. As a tuition-free charter school, we are honored to be included in this scholarship with other Harrison District high schools. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our school’s 20th anniversary. I’m so excited for our students’ future!”
For more information on the Dakota Promise Scholarship, contact a JICHS College and Career Counselor at 719-302-9109.
About the Dakota Foundation
For more than 20 years, the Dakota Foundation has sought to combine business discipline and charitable intentions to solve social problems. With grants and program-related investments, we take an investment approach: we want the total social return of our outlays to be higher than the cost.
In doing so, we hope to foster organizations and activities that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. We help people invest in themselves to improve their economic condition and those of their families and communities. This mission stems from our values: self-reliance, personal responsibility, human dignity, equal opportunity, and the preservation of life and beauty on our earth. More info at dakotafoundation.org.
About the Legacy Institute
The vision of the Legacy Institute is to advance education and community development in Colorado Springs. Legacy has been a major champion for Harrison School District 2 and was a leading supporter of the successful 2018 $180 million bond campaign that increased public funding for upgrading and modernizing all existing buildings (including district charter schools), building one new middle school, expanding two elementary schools into K-8 campuses, and freeing up funds to attract and retain quality teachers. More info at springslegacy.org.
About Pikes Peak Community College
Established in 1968 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, PPCC offers associate degrees, certifications in career and technical fields and two bachelors’ degrees. With three campuses, various off-campus locations, two military education centers, and hundreds of online classes, PPCC provides access to a quality, affordable and flexible education to more than 20,000 students annually with both credit and non-credit classes. More info at ppcc.edu.