Rocky mountain prep News


Growing the RMP Community through our Family Recruiter Program

October 16, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

On a typical Rocky Mountain Prep day, scholars are learning, teachers are wowing, and RMP parents are everywhere: volunteering in classrooms, observing lessons, and helping RMP expand our community. As part of our mission, we strive to ensure every family (not just those in our network) has access to the information required to navigate their student’s educational experience. Rooted in this belief, we hire current RMP family members to support our recruitment and outreach efforts as part of our Family Recruiter program.

RMP family recruiters work directly with other families in Denver and Aurora, providing resources for and information about school choice and RMP. While part of this program, we help our family recruiters develop as leaders so they can bring about the change they seek at RMP and their broader community. This program engages 10-11 recruiters during peak enrollment season, with three parents/guardians staying on to support outreach throughout the spring and summer months.

We asked current Family Recruiter, Lorena Popoca, what this role has meant to her: “When you find something great, like Rocky Mountain Prep, you want to share it with others! My passion and love for the school have made this role feel more like a mission than a job. I love it and truly believe the best way for a family to learn about a school is to hear the experiences of a current parent.”

Lorena and her daughter, Sophia

This work is vital to our mission. Every day at RMP it’s all hands on deck to spread the word about our schools, as well as provide educational resources all over Denver and Aurora. Not only have we seen incredible success in this initiative, but four of our family recruiters have since joined RMP in full-time positions!

*RMP’s Family Recruiter Program recently received recognition from the Colorado Department of Education as a Promising Partnership Practice.


RMP 2019 CMAS results in review

September 27, 2019   |   By James Cryan

With the release of last school year’s Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) data, we are eager to celebrate areas of success and to dig in on areas where we know we need to grow. 

Proficiency data is included in the chart below; Four key headlines surface for me from these results:

1. We continue to have very strong math results. 

Our math results continue to be impressive at all campuses compared to other schools in Denver and we have the highest math proficiency out of all Denver CMOs (charter management organizations). 


2. We are particularly proud that our math Median Growth Percentile (MGP) data at all three of our DPS schools was in the top 20% statewide. (Growth data is not yet available for RMP Fletcher.)


  • 100% of exited ELL scholars at Creekside (and 94% in literacy) were proficient in math 

  • Our Hispanic students at Creekside and Southwest were in the top ten schools across the district for Math proficiency.


3. All schools are improving in ELA proficiency although all schools are significantly below our aspirations.

  • Southwest reduced by >17% the percentage of scholars in the lowest performance band, and increased by >10% the percentage of scholars who are at level 3 and above!

  • At Creekside, our Black students ranked in the top ten for both ELA and Math as compared to district peers, with Black students in 4th grade outperforming all other schools in the district. 


4. Our turnaround schools (RMP Fletcher and RMP Berkeley) are off to great starts with their first round of state-data.

  • Fletcher has the highest math proficiency of all charter schools in Aurora and the third-highest of all schools in the district (including magnet & gifted programs).

  • Berkeley increased the percentage of scholars who were proficient by 20% in one year in math.


These results help us understand where our program has strengths we can continue to build on, and where we will seek to make adjustments. I am grateful to everyone in our RMP community for their contributions to our rigorous and loving philosophy of education. 


2018-19 CMAS Proficiency rates for DPS and APS schools where >50% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch 

2018-19 CMAS Proficiency rates for DPS and APS schools where >50% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch


How Music Shapes Scholar Learning at RMP Fletcher

September 18, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

“Music is a human thing.” - Alec Powell, Music Teacher, Rocky Mountain Prep Fletcher


Walking through the halls of Rocky Mountain Prep Fletcher, it’s impossible to miss the joyous sounds of Mr. Alec Powell’s music class. As the only RMP school that offers music as part of its specials curriculum, RMP Fletcher has blazed a trail, opening new doors to scholar growth. To learn more about this unique program, we sat down with Mr. Powell, music teacher extraordinaire.

Since joining the team, Mr. Powell has been growing the RMP Fletcher music program and recently added string instruments to complete the ensemble.

On top of developing his scholars’ musical prowess, Mr. Powell has used the addition of musical instruments to teach important lessons about responsibility. Scholars are invited to bring their instruments home to practice independently and are expected to return the instruments in good condition. Mr. Powell has observed an increase in maturity, positive scholar behavior, and responsibility, since introducing instruments to the program.

The RMP Fletcher music classroom is structured to allow small group learning. Mr. Powell has found that more intimate groups help build relationships between scholars, which fosters growth, learning, and classroom engagement. Additionally, “Small groups equalize the relationship between the teacher and students, creating a powerful and inclusive environment of balance and respect.”

Based on a recent increase in parent and family volunteers, it is evident that enthusiasm for RMP Fletcher’s music program is growing. Mr. Powell said, “Parents not only provided extra help in the classroom while students were rehearsing for their performances, but they also supported school teams with set-up and ushering at those performances. We know that parent involvement will be a crucial component of sustaining this program in the long-term.”

Under Mr. Powell’s loving guidance, the RMP Fletcher community has experienced the incredible effects of a high-quality music program, “The music program provides a unique opportunity for students to see one another in a different setting from a traditional classroom where preconceived biases and misconceptions are minimized."

The Fletcher music program is sponsored in part by the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities’ generous ongoing support. We are grateful to them for the support of a program that allows us to enhance our scholars’ learning with a focus on musical literacy and expression. 


How RMP gives love to its teachers

August 07, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

10. Mission-driven staff

Quote: When you work with a team of educators and leaders who are truly united by the common belief that every child is important, special, and capable of great things, it creates an environment of collaboration which I feel is crucial to student success and teacher happiness.  

Quote: My co-workers inspire me every day to be a better teacher - after a long week I feel supported and loved, and that is what makes me come to work excited every morning. The free swag and the treats are always a nice gesture, but it's the culture of RMP that makes people want to work here.

9. RMP fellowship: What's better than a free master's degree? A free master's degree with a $25,000 living stipend and working with exceptional mentor teachers! Our teaching fellowship prepares the next generation of teachers, from new graduates from college to folks looking to change careers.

8. RMP celebrations: At the end of each semester we gather as a network to celebrate together. 

7. Teacher appreciation week: Every year in May we dedicate a full week to our teachers to honor their awesomeness by showing them appreciation all week long. RMP families bring in homemade food, scholars write their teachers cards, and we celebrate with coffee and other treats. 

6. Teacher mentors: From Grade Level Chairs to Curricular Leads and Fellow Advisors, teachers serve in a variety of teacher leader capacities, meaning we all have the opportunity to learn and grow from one another.

Quote: The people around me make me able to do my job. I have learned everything from mentors I have had and my coworkers are the reason that I stay. Any chance we have to be together and to learn from each other in both structured and unstructured capacities is what makes this job worthwhile. I would not be a good teacher for kids without them. 

5. Yummy food on data days and other PD days: We know how important it is for teachers to stay fueled and nourished in order to do the hard work of data analysis and action planning!

4. Well-stocked supply closets and workrooms: Snacks, paper, pens, chart paper, and other materials are unlimited to all school teams. Our amazing operations teams make sure classrooms are always stocked with necessary materials and supplies and that copiers and printers are always up and running! 

4. Quote: I think it's important that RMP doesn't give us a limit with paper/printing/supplies so that we can make sure our kiddos have everything that they need! It takes away the stress of having a printing limit like some schools do, and shows how much we value rigor for our kids! 

3. RMP swag: Because “just any swag would not be the same.” 

Quote: I absolutely love [the RMP] swag! I feel like it automatically improves my mood and I love showing school spirit as much as I can. The scholars love our shirts and comment on when we wear them. All of these are so great that RMP does! It really makes us feel special.

Quote: I am very impressed with the RMP swag because you get high-quality items. Just any swag would not be the same. The fact that it is nice stuff shows that [RMP] cares enough about us to get the best items that we will love and use. 

2. Professional development opportunities: Every Friday is a half-day for teachers, staff, and administration teams to further growth and learning. There are other opportunities for teachers to attend additional conferences and trainings for Denver and Aurora Public Schools throughout the school year. 

Quote: PD and development makes me feel like I'm growing every day to be a better teacher!

Quote: Teacher appreciation week makes me feel valued, but I think what helps the most with being a better teacher is the work we do in professional development and team meetings.

1. Retention bonuses: The average teacher is leaving the field after less than 5 years. We offer bonuses of up to $5,000 to teachers who return for another school year. We honor teachers this way because we know that teacher retention is critical to both our student and staff culture.

Quote: I think retention bonuses show the value in keeping teachers and rewards teachers for staying and keeping a consistent staff for our students.

Quote: This is the first year for retention bonuses, and I feel valued for my long term commitment to RMP. 


Why Rocky Mountain Prep was right for my 3rd grader - the benefits of transferring mid-elementary school

July 30, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We recently sat down with Toni Weed, mother of Sebastian and Amos, two RMP Berkeley scholars, to talk about her experience transferring her son Sebastian (aka Bash) to 3rd grade at Rocky Mountain Prep.

Toni shared that what drew her to RMP was making connections with the staff. “Initially I was unhappy in my neighborhood school and I wanted to come back to Cesar Chavez Academy because it was a better environment... As soon as we came in [to RMP] we saw Ms. Rosy and met Coach [our Assistant Principal of Operations] and we just loved it.” Ms. Rosy, our current Operations Manager at RMP Berkeley also worked at the front desk at CCA. Toni exclaimed, “We were so happy right away.”

Toni has seen tremendous growth from both Amos and Bash at RMP. “The progress I’ve seen my children make, not only emotionally, mentally, but the biggest of all is academically. I struggled with my little one (Amos) and teaching him at home and he made a lot of improvements,” Toni shared. “It totally motivated me to just try harder at home, and Sebastian, I always saw how amazing he was and others did not recognize that and it made me feel sad and RMP recognizing that, I know this is like our second family.” 

She described RMP as, “a loving, structured, high-quality place for my children to be.” All of our teachers go through extensive training during the professional development days that happen every Friday throughout the year at our schools. Additionally, Toni shared, “I feel so safe with them here. I love that I can talk to any of the teachers, even the ones that don’t have my kids as students. I love how much they care about all of the students because my kids go to school with these people, they’re important to me too and yeah there is just a family culture here and I really love how a lot of the teachers have volunteered and worked with non-profits. I think that shows how sincere they are about change and helping the community.” 

Toni is very satisfied with her decision to transfer her son Bash to RMP. “My goal as a mom is to see my son thrive academically because that eventually will lead to a successful future/career.” Transferring students to different schools can be a nerve-wracking process but RMP provides strong support from the teachers and administrative staff to ensure smooth and helpful transitions. 

If Toni were to share with other families why Rocky Mountain Prep is so special to her she would tell them, “I am going to let them know that we have four principals and our teachers really get their coaching and development time. They get observed, which in turn gets them feedback. No kid gets left behind.”

At Rocky Mountain Prep we believe all students deserve access to a great public education that helps them reach their full potential. We're so grateful Toni, Bash, and Amos are a part of the Rocky Mountain Prep family. If you want to learn more or be contacted by a member of our team visit


Langston Hughes’ ‘April Rain Song’ inspires student poetry

July 15, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Kara Barten’s 1st grade 2019 class at RMP Berkeley was full of brilliant poets! Last year, the class studied Langston Hughes’ poem April Rain Song during April’s National Poetry Month and then constructed their own beautiful versions. 

Ms. Barten shared, “My students and I love nature and being outside. This was a pretty great access point for them when reading poetry. We read a few works about the seasons and the environment. This poem by Langston Hughes, April Rain Song, uses conventions that they are familiar with such as repetition and the use of sensory words which help the reader understand the poem and visualize it. For this assignment, we read April Rain Song and discussed how these two conventions enhance the lines of the poem. The students were then asked to create a poem of their own about the sun, using sensory words and sentence stems. I love poetry and I think that my genuine excitement translates to them in the classroom. They are always very invested and eager to create when we practice our poetry skills. They were very proud of their work for this assignment and asked if I could laminate them so they could keep them forever. So sweet!”

April Rain Song by Langston Hughes

"Sunshine" by Jasmine

"The Sun is Great" by Eduardo

"April Sun" by Aberiella

"Sun" by Adrian

"Let the Sun Sine" by Jake

"Sun" by Josh


On teacher compensation: PreK should not be an exception

June 10, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

At Rocky Mountain Prep, we believe that investing in the best possible pre-kindergarten teachers pays dividends in the lives of our students.

Abundant research demonstrates that children who enroll in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs enter kindergarten prepared to have a successful and enjoyable experience, paving the way for future success in school.

Having taught middle school for many years before becoming a pre-K teacher, and seeing the challenges many middle school students face, I truly believe that high-quality pre-K for all has to be at the top of the list of strategies for closing the opportunity gap.

Despite this, in most places, early childhood and pre-K teachers are paid far less than elementary school teachers. A recent article in Chalkbeat painted a stark picture:

“Last year, lead preschool teachers in district-run schools made $30,500 on average, nearly $22,000 less than public elementary school teachers, according to a new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.”

That’s one key reason why, at Rocky Mountain Prep, we decided at the start of the 2018-19 school year to start paying our pre-K teachers on the same scale as our elementary school teachers. We have always paid our pre-K teachers significantly more than the area average, but until this year their pay was, on average, lower than that of K-5 teachers due to stipends and other metrics. We also wanted to acknowledge the amazing strengths of our staff, which has made our pre-K program highly successful.

It is essential to us that our pre-K staff know they are valued and that they are equal partners with our other teachers in the success of our scholars. We’ve always provided them with the same amount of professional development and coaching as our K-5 teachers. What better way to reinforce how highly they are valued than by paying them at the same level?

At Rocky Mountain Prep, the starting salary for a pre-K teacher is now $47,250. That’s 55 percent higher than the average pay for pre-K teachers in district-run programs in Colorado.

From our perspective, doing this is just plain common sense. For one, it helps us attract and retain the best teachers in the business. This school year, in fact, we retained 100 percent of the pre-K teachers to whom we made offers.

Another major impetus for increasing the pay of our pre-K teachers is that at RMP, we try to view everything we do through a diversity, equity, and inclusivity lens, and we wanted to acknowledge in a tangible way the value-add that all of our teachers bring to the organization. We also want all of our teachers to feel that they equally own the results at our schools.

Even before this change RMP stood out in comparison to many other charter schools, simply by virtue of offering pre-K to all our scholars. It’s an expensive proposition because pre-K does not receive full funding from the state. But, we believe so strongly in this investment because we have evidence that the students who go through our pre-K program achieve at a higher rate and are better prepared for kindergarten.

Creating parity in salaries did not come without trade-offs. We decided to pause any shifts to administrative or central network team salaries in order to invest in our preK-5 salaries, with pre-K teachers seeing some of the most significant increases across the board.

Paying our teachers a respectable wage also amounts to a down-payment on the future school success of our scholars.

Data on the success of RMP’s pre-K program bears this out. Students who attend pre-K at RMP score an average of 5 percentage points higher in both English Language Arts and Math than incoming kindergarten students who either didn't attend pre-K or attended elsewhere.

Also, students who attend the pre-K program at RMP start kindergarten an average of half a year ahead in reading compared to their peers who start here in kindergarten.

We are confident that our success will continue, and even accelerate, as we make this much-deserved investment in our pre-K teachers. We hope that the broader Denver community will continue to prioritize funding for early childhood education so that more schools can offer a more competitive wage to teachers.


10 Ways We Show Love to Our Teachers (Year Round!)

May 30, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

ICYMI, we were hard at work celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. But our appreciation of our teachers doesn’t end at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week! We work hard to make sure teachers at RMP feel loved, valued, and appreciated all year long. We asked our teachers which “perks” are their favorite and why those things make them feel so appreciated. Here are the top 10 things teachers at Fletcher and Berkeley value the most and why:

10. Summer retreat: Every summer, RMP staff spends two days in the mountains to recharge and build connection and trust among the team.

9. Coffee & snacks: There are always a variety of delicious snacks, tea, and coffee available in teacher and staff kitchens/workrooms to keep our teachers caffeinated and nourished!

8. Monthly DEI workshops: We hold monthly DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) workshops to reflect on our identities, power, privilege, and building connections across lines of difference so that we can create inclusive and loving learning environments for our students.

7. PEAK awards: These awards are given out at the holiday and end of year parties to celebrate and recognize people who are living out our PEAK values: Perseverance, Excellence, Adventure, and Kindness.

Quote: I feel valued and loved when I am cared for personally! I am shown through these things that I am a valued member of the team.

6. Coaching & feedback: Teachers and staff have opportunities for weekly feedback with their teacher mentors, coaches and principals.      

5. Happy hours, staff parties & other celebrations of life: There are frequent happy hours, social gatherings, morning mindfulness, baby showers and birthday celebrations. Every staff member updates a “treats and deets” spreadsheet at the beginning of each year so that they can be celebrated and treated in ways that are the most special to them!

Quote: I love random, unexpected treats. I especially love the treats & deets doc- getting (& giving!) treats to colleagues makes my day every time!

4. Late start or early leave: Once per month, teachers have the option of arriving to school late or leaving early.

Quote: I love the Late Start/Leave Early because it helps to maintain a better work/life balance and take care of myself for the morning/afternoon. It also helps me to feel supported by my peers that cover my classroom.

Quote: As a teacher, time is the largest obstacle in work/life balance….late starts and leave early's help teachers take time for self care and meet wellness and health needs by providing time within the work week to schedule appointments without it impacting attendance. For me, it allows me time to pick up my daughter and show up for my family and my health which lets me come in as my best self for my students.

3. Wellness benefit: All RMP teachers are given a $500 wellness stipend for the year. They can use this for gym memberships, ski passes, concert tickets, and more!

Quote: Ensuring that we spend money on things that make us whole allow us to be fully present and live our mission everyday with our kids. Happy teachers = happy scholars 

Quote: The wellness benefit is my number 1. It helps the work/life balance and helps me spend time on things that fill me up so I am able to show up to work as my best self.

2. 250+ hours of professional development: RMP teachers receive more than double the amount of PD and coaching compared to the national average. There is scheduled professional development time every Friday as well as other workshops and trainings throughout the year.

1. Classroom spending allowance & unlimited book ordering: Each teacher receives an annual budget to create the best possible learning environment in their classroom, as well as an unlimited amount of book ordering.

Quote: Having such a large book and classroom budget allows me to support my kids without having to use my own money. I love being able to buy them new books when they pass a STEP level or ordering a series they are really excited about.

Quote: I've used so much of my own money in the past to purchase supplies, books, and more, for my students that it took me a while to realize most of that has been covered while working at RMP.


Scholar Poems

April 30, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Happy National Poetry Month, Rocky Mountain Prep! We are celebrating the month of April by sharing some awesome poems that were written by some of Sam Becker’s RMP Berkeley scholars. Mr. Becker and his scholars read a poem by Mary Oliver, which inspired his poetry assignment for his class. His class used poetry month as a creative opportunity to practice phonemic and phonological syllable awareness! Check out their poems and artwork below!

“Cheetah” by Ruben (3rd grade)

“The Deer” by Lucia (3rd grade)

“The Night Fox” by Alex H. (5th grade)

“The Llama” by Daniel (3rd grade)

“Wild Bunny” by Jeremy (3rd grade)


Scholar Spotlight

April 12, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Rocky Mountain Prep is such an extraordinary place and our scholars are the reason our schools are so special. We recently had the chance to meet with Estrella or “Ella,” for short, to chat with her about Rocky Mountain Prep. We asked her different questions about school, her classes, and her favorite part of the day. Here is what Ella, a 3rd grade scholar, in Ms. Beard’s class at RMP Fletcher shared with us!

Q: What is your favorite part about coming to RMP?

A: I love math because there are a lot of numbers and I love adding and subtracting.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: I want to be a dancer because I’ve done dance for a long time and know I would be great.

Q: How does RMP make you feel?

A: My classmates make me feel happy because I can tell them how I feel.

Q: What are you reading right now?

A: I am reading Just Breathe.

Q: What is your favorite part of the school day and why?

A: My favorite part is ‘morning meeting’ because we talk in a circle and everyone shares.

Q: What did you learn today or yesterday?

A: I learned how to tell time.

Q: What do you love about RMP?

A: I love learning new stuff. I’m excited to learn how to tell time.

Q: Who do you look up to at RMP?

A: My friend Nancy is my hero because I can tell her how I feel and she helps me when I’m sad.


RMP Teachers Share Their Favorite Dr. Seuss Books

February 26, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

This week, we are celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Week! In celebration, we asked five Rocky Mountain Prep teachers to share their favorite Dr. Seuss books with us.

Check out their responses below!

Bridget Joyce, fourth-grade teacher at RMP Southwest

Green Eggs and Ham

Ms. Joyce shared that, “As a child, I was a very picky eater. This book used to crack me up because everything I ate was the same color. Though, I only enjoyed beige foods, never anything green! (like broccoli...or green eggs & ham).”


Cary Meyers, third-grade teacher at RMP Creekside

The Lorax

Ms. Meyer’s favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Lorax. She shared with us, “It is such a fun book that helps us think about the environment and what is important to us.”


Tom Letourneau, kindergarten teacher at RMP Berkeley

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Mr. Letourneau said, “My favorite Dr. Seuss book is Bartholomew and the Oobleck. It is kind of a hidden Seuss gem. I love the illustrations, where the vibrant green oobleck is the only color, and the lesson on humility and grace. I teach it every year and make slime with my students. They love the oobleck's ingredients and saying the magic words!”


Isabel Nevarez, pre-k teaching assistant at RMP Creekside

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Ms. Nevarez shared, “My favorite Dr. Seuss book is Oh, The Places You'll Go! I love the message Dr. Seuss tells his readers about persevering to see where life takes them, no matter what age they may be.”


Nora McNeil, pre-k teacher at RMP Fletcher

The Lorax

Ms. McNeil shared, “My favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Lorax because of its themes of equity, environmentalism and greed that are present in kid-friendly language and metaphors. As he writes in the book, ‘unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.’ The Lorax encourages students to think critically about their impact and choices, and how to face big problems with courage.”



Celebrating the 100th Day of School

February 22, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Our schools recently reached their 100th day of school for the year, and in celebration we collected 100 adjectives from our team to describe how they feel about working at RMP.

Check out the wordle below to see how our team feels about being part of the RMP family:

A big shout out to our scholars and team members for showing their PEAK values (perseverance, excellence, adventure, and kindness) for these first 100 days and through the end of the year. Be sure to also check out some of our amazing scholars and staff who dressed up in celebration:


Rocky Mountain Prep’s 2018 Annual Report

February 15, 2019   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

As we reflect on our impact over the last year, we thought it most important to hear from those who know us best — our scholars, family members, and staff.

View our annual report below to meet some of the members of the RMP family who make our schools the special places they are, helping us build a rigorous, loving culture where everyone can reach their full potential.



RMP 2018 DPS School Performance Framework Results

October 31, 2018   |   By James Cryan

Earlier this month, Denver Public Schools (DPS) shared the results for the 2018 School Performance Framework (SPF) ratings, a report card that tells us important information about how much our students have improved their scores on state tests from year to year, and how satisfied our students and families are with our school. We are then able to use this information to make any necessary changes in the classroom and to bring in additional supports where needed.

With the release of this year’s SPF, we’re eager to celebrate those areas where our scholars and schools excelled, and know there is work to do to improve how we support all of our scholars.

This year, RMP Creekside was rated “green” or meets expectations.

  • We are particularly proud that for the fourth year in a row, our scholars had the highest math proficiency rates among any DPS school with a majority of students eligible for free or reduced lunch.
  • Our scholars’ math proficiency level also put us above the proficiency rate achieved by Boulder Valley School District, an important milestone for our mission to close the opportunity gap for all students in Colorado.
  • When looking specifically at proficiency rates for ELLs, Creekside scholars’ math proficiency scores were in the top ten of all schools in the district.
  • Our overall proficiency scores were essentially flat from last year to this year, which is still high relative to many benchmarks, but not the growth we hope to see each year.
  • It is worth noting that although our results were flat, changes to the SPF ratings resulted in us having fewer blue and green categories across the board, which impacted our overall rating. (From last year to this year, more than a quarter of schools in DPS that were previously blue or green dropped categories.)
  • We know we have work to do to improve how we support our earliest learners and our students with disabilities, and close the gap between our students who qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL) and those who don’t.

RMP Southwest has been rated “yellow” or accredited on watch. (This year’s rating was calculated using the more-limited early ed SPF. Once we receive PARCC growth data in 2019 we will qualify for the traditional framework.)

  • We are so proud that RMP Southwest was the #1 elementary school in DPS for parent/family satisfaction for the second year in a row!
  • RMP Southwest scholars’ math proficiency scores were 20 percentage points higher than those of other elementary schools in the district with a similar percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
  • When looking specifically at proficiency scores for students learning English as a Second Language, Southwest scholars’ math proficiency scores were in the top ten of all schools in the district.
  • Our ELA scores weren't where we want them to be, and our academic gaps are too large between different student subgroups. It is worth noting that a school can only receive DPS’ highest ratings of Distinguished (blue) or Meets Expectations (green) if it earns a blue or green rating on Academic Gaps. In order to move up from yellow and into the green or blue category, we will be working on support strategies that will make a difference for all of our students right away. We know that closing those gaps will make the biggest difference for our kids and for our SPF rating next year.

Our Fletcher campus is a part of Aurora Public Schools, which evaluates schools using the State of Colorado SPF. We look forward to seeing Fletcher’s state ranking in January 2019.


In partnership,



RMP Parent: The Importance of School Choice in DPS Superintendent Search

October 01, 2018   |   By Berenice Quezada, DPS graduate and current DPS parent

When I graduated from Denver’s South High School in 2006, I didn’t know what kinds of options I had or how I could continue my education. Not having a college degree has made things harder for my small family. We have struggled with things like buying a car and buying a house. So when I started looking for a school for my kids, I knew that I wanted them to go to a place that would prepare them for college -- and not just that, but I wanted them to have an education that opened all opportunities for them.

Unfortunately, having the determination to get them to a great school was not enough to help me navigate the complicated process of school choice. When it came time to select a school for my daughters, I called on my sister-in-law to help me understand how schools were rated and where I could find the best elementary school.

That is what lead me to Rocky Mountain Prep (RMP). Although I was guided to send my daughters there because of their academic results, it is the warm and supportive community that has kept us there. At RMP, not only have my daughters grown and succeeded, but I have also found a place where I can grow as a leader.

Last year when my daughter, Alexa, was getting ready to transition to middle school, RMP provided every single fifth-grade family with information on what schools were available. They talked to us about finding a school that was a good fit for our students. And, most importantly, they helped us navigate a complicated school choice process. It was this kind of information and support that allowed me to feel like I had the power to actually make a choice for my kid’s education. When I was growing up accessing this information and resources was difficult for my parents, just like it continues to be difficult for families that don’t speak English and are not familiar with the education system in the U.S.

There has been a lot of progress made in Denver Public Schools (DPS) since I graduated and the growth and success of my daughters in school is proof of that. This type of progress can really shape our communities and better our future. But right now not all families have the option or the access to send their kids to a great school that will prepare them for the future. Our kids can no longer wait. That is why we must do more than just recognize the challenges our schools and district face and take real action.

The next DPS superintendent needs to understand that school choice is important for families and that all kids in every corner of the city need to have a GREAT school to choose from in their neighborhood.

In order to make this a reality we need to choose a leader that will work with families and schools and bring new ideas to solve the challenges we face.

Berenice Quezada is a DPS graduate and current DPS parent.


Want to share your opinion in the DPS Superintendent Search process? The DPS online community survey is live now until Oct. 12. Submit your survey response here.


RMP 2018 CMAS Results in Review

August 16, 2018   |   By James Cryan

With the release of school year 2017-18 Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) data, we are excited to celebrate our successes and reflect on the areas where we hope to grow. We’re committed to being transparent about our work, as we believe this is central to continuing to improve.

Below are a few early reflections on RMP’s CMAS results, with more to come as additional data is released by the state.

At RMP Creekside, we were glad to see status results similar to years past in Math and English Language Arts. (View our 2016 and 2017 results.)

In fact, for the fourth year in a row, our Creekside scholars had the highest math proficiency rates among any DPS school with a majority of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. In that same subgroup, RMP scholars’ scores were fifth for English Language Arts.

When looking specifically at proficiency rates for our students who are English Language Learners, both Creekside and Southwest scholars’ math proficiency scores were in the top ten of all schools in the district.

At RMP Southwest, we were eager for our scholars to take CMAS for the first time. Our two third grade classes at this campus embodied our PEAK Values, showing adventure and perseverance as they completed their first-ever round of CMAS testing.

In math specifically, RMP Southwest scholars’ math proficiency scores were 20% higher than those of other elementary schools in the district with a similar percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

However, our ELA results at RMP Southwest were significantly short of our goals for RMP scholars with 15% proficient.

These results help us understand where our program has strengths we can continue to build on, and where we will seek to make adjustments.

When it comes to 2018 parent satisfaction survey results, we are thrilled that for the second year in a row, RMP Southwest was rated in the top five out of all schools in the district. RMP Southwest had the #1 highest overall positive parent satisfaction rating out of all DPS elementary schools.

Additionally, RMP Creekside’s parent survey results were in the top 15% of all schools in the district.

We have also just recently received growth data from the state. While we’re proud that our 4th- and 5th-grade scholars’ math growth at RMP Creekside outpaced the state results, we fell short of our goals for our scholars’ literacy growth. As we have more time to process this data, we will be sharing additional reflections on growth specifically. (We will not have growth data for our Southwest campus until next year.)

As we review this data and our performance on the school performance framework, we will be reflecting on a number of questions:

  • What is it that has worked well in math, and how can we be sure to build on and accelerate that improvement?
  • What worked well about our academic program and what shifts can we make to improve?
  • What are the right strategies to significantly improve ELA performance?
  • How do we best meet the needs of our scholars who are learning English in school?

We look forward to receiving additional data from the state to help us answer some of these questions.  And we are committed to ensuring that our ELA results improve significantly over the next few years.

I am very proud of our team here at RMP, and I can’t imagine a stronger group of educators to continue to work towards ensuring the best for all our scholars.





Celebrating Our Second Class of Continuing 5th Grade Scholars

June 21, 2018   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Earlier this month, we had the honor of celebrating our fifth-grade scholars--some of whom started at RMP as three-year-olds--as they walked across the stage in recognition of their continuation from RMP into middle school. 

RMP’s second continuation ceremony sent 82 fifth graders on to sixth grade, and we couldn’t be more proud!

Congratulations, and have a wonderful summer, scholars! We know you will all do incredible things next year in middle school and beyond.


Setting your child up for success in Pre-K

May 30, 2018   |   By Stephanie McGhee

As the preschool landscape changes in Denver, families are beginning to think about pre-k options earlier and earlier... Many families may even find themselves thinking about preschool options before their little one is even born!

As a pre-kindergarten teacher at Rocky Mountain Prep Fletcher, I have many conversations with families about what they can be doing to help ease their child into what for many may be their first formal school experience.

Whether you are planning for your student to start pre-k this fall or have several years to go, there are many simple ways you can help your child feel ready and excited for this transition into school:

1. Capitalize on your child’s natural curiosity.
It’s a cliche you’ve likely heard many times before: Kids are like sponges! The truth is that, particularly as children are in the 3- to 5-year-old age range, there are millions of neurons firing in your child’s brain as they grow and develop. This physical growth means that they are making so many natural connections in their lives. Support this by talking to them about what they see, hear, taste, touch… These conversations will allow their brains to continue to grow.

2. Bring literacy to life with text and visuals. 
I often hear from family and friends that their kids “know the ABCs,” when what they really mean is they know the alphabet song. That is wonderful and I can’t encourage families enough to sing with their children. The follow-up question I always ask if they know the symbols. At this age, kids are incredible at memorizing songs, particularly catchy ones, and you can help them along with their learning by incorporating text and/or visuals into any literacy practice.

The good news is there are a variety of easy ways to do this! When you sign something like the alphabet, point to letters on blocks or watch a fun alphabet video together. If you are singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” incorporate a puppet to help sing with the child and encourage them to do hand gestures, too.

3. Count everything. 
There are limitless numbers of opportunities to count objects with your child! Need six bananas at the grocery store? Count them as you load them into the cart. Out on a walk? Count the number of dogs you pass! Students feel so much pride when they come into my pre-k classroom and can already count to a certain number. This pride will help them feel comfortable trying new things in the classroom and help them foster their sense of adventure.

Find opportunities to do this in a way that does not feel forced - if you are insisting that you and your child sit down and count every day, they will tire of it and so will you. Children at this age are also very perceptive. They will know if you are forcing something!

4. Your child is only this age once - enjoy it!
Last, but absolutely not least, this is an incredible, magical time in your child’s life. Take advantage of this wonderful time with your kids by playing games, reading their favorite books, spending time at parks… Anything that allows you to spend quality time together means creating special memories for the both of you.

One of my most absolute favorite parts about teaching pre-k is building relationships with my students and families and helping them find the balance of rigor and love at this special age. I am a firm believer that you can both #letthemplay and show them endless amounts of love - and support them in learning content that encourages them to grow. Don’t be afraid of what may seem to be new, challenging content for them - they can handle it while keeping learning fun!


Stephanie McGhee is a prekindergarten teacher at Rocky Mountain Prep Fletcher, a free, APS public elementary school. She can be reached at Interested in learning more about Rocky Mountain Prep? Visit our enrollment page or give us a call at 720.863.8922.


Good Things Come in Threes

April 20, 2018   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We’re delighted to share that for the THIRD year in a row, Rocky Mountain Prep has been named a Denver Post Top Workplace in Colorado!

This recognition is decided based on anonymous employee surveys, and we are so grateful to the RMP team who made it happen for the third time.

Just what makes RMP so special? We turned to our team for their thoughts on what makes our schools an exceptional place to work:


Want to join our team?

We're hiring! View our open positions for the 2018-19 school year and apply today. (It takes less than ten minutes to submit your application!)


RMP Creekside a Finalist for The Succeeds Prize

February 22, 2018   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We’re excited to announce that Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside is a finalist for The Succeeds Prize award for Transformational Impact in an Elementary School! The Succeeds Prize is the state’s most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado's public schools and educators. It is presented by 9NEWS, Colorado Succeeds, and mindSpark Learning.

Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside is a finalist along with two other incredible schools that are making a meaningful difference for students. The winner will be announced at a live reveal celebration on September 18, 2018 in Denver. If selected, we would receive a $15,000 cash award to fund our ongoing success and enhance the positive impact we’re making on our students!

Our teachers and school leaders will also be eligible for professional learning opportunities thanks to mindSpark Learning, a non-profit dedicated to impacting and evolving education through educators. To learn more about The Succeeds Prize and the other award finalists, click here.

We’re proud to be recognized by this prestigious award and hope you’ll join us in celebrating and sharing this achievement. Make sure to use #TheSucceedsPrize and tag our school. Thank you to our amazing staff and students for all their hard work, and to our community for its support!


Complete your DPS SchoolChoice application in five easy steps!

February 16, 2018   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Round 1 of SchoolChoice is currently open in Denver Public Schools (DPS), which means families who are looking for a school for next year should complete the new online application before February 28th at 4:00 pm.

To make it easier for families to complete that form, we’ve outlined below the five steps you'll need to complete to submit your application.


1. Open the DPS application home by clicking here. Then select the “Get started” button.


2. Sign in or create an account.

Please note, you will need an email address to create an account.


3. Enter all your household information.

You will need the following information:

  • Parent/Guardian Information
  • Address
  • Student Information
  • Details about other student(s) in the household (if applicable)


4. Select up to 5 schools and rank your selections.

Please note, selecting only one school does not increase your chance of getting into that school. You should select your schools in order of preference. Each school should only be chosen once.


5. Complete your application and click “submit"!

You will need the following information available to complete your application:

  • Basic Information
    • Siblings
    • Free and Reduced Lunch (optional)
  • Additional Application Questions:
    • Student Language Information and Instruction Preference
  • Tuition Information
  • Document Uploads
    • Proof of Address - birth certificate, baptismal record, hospital record with official signature, passport, or I-94
    • Proof of Age - current utility bill with service address, valid rental/lease agreement; warranty deed; current mortgage statement; property tax notice; or signed contract stating your name, closing date, and property address
    • Proof of Income 30 consecutive days of paycheck stubs; 2017 W-2; or letter from employer on company letterhead that states hours worked and pay rate. If applicable, proof of non-work income (TANF, food stamps, child support, etc.)
  • School Choice Acknowledgement
    • Student’s Race/Ethnicity
    • General SchoolChoice Parent/Guardian Agreement



Questions about the DPS SchoolChoice process or about completing this application? Give us a call at 720-464-3530 or RSVP for one of our upcoming events!


Rocky Mountain Prep’s 2017 Annual Report

February 14, 2018   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

At Rocky Mountain Prep, we believe that love drives deep learning.

In this year’s annual report, we explore RMP’s foundation of rigor and love and showcase how it supports our students and staff.

Take a look and meet some of the amazing community members who live the RMP values and inspire others to do the same:


RMP Parent: Leadership, diversity are among RMP’s greatest strengths

February 02, 2018   |   By Sarah Bagley, Founding RMP Creekside Parent

My name is Sarah Bagley and I’m a founding parent at Rocky Mountain Prep’s first campus, located in southeast Denver. I would like to tell you a little about my experience with Rocky Mountain Prep, as well as with Sara Carlson, the educator who will be the principal of Rocky Mountain Prep Berkeley, which opens in August.

My husband, two children and I live in the Cherry Creek School District, very close to one of the top-rated elementary schools in Colorado. We choose to drive our children 25 minutes twice each day so they can attend Rocky Mountain Prep instead. We’ve been making that daily drive for six years now.

Why have we made this choice? Because not only are the academics challenging and the atmosphere nurturing, but just as important, my two daughters come home every day having experienced things I wasn’t lucky enough to be exposed to as a child.

Recently, for example, my eight-year-old started asking me to buy her a beautiful piece of sequined fabric. She had a very specific idea in mind about how she wanted to use this fabric. We finally found just the right piece, and I asked her what she planned to do with it.

As it turns out, her best friend wears a hijab to school, and she wanted to look like her friend and be like her friend. I found myself explaining to an eight-year-old the cultural significance of the hijab, its history, and why women wear them. I didn’t know a lot of this information, so we went online and learned together.

This kind of interchange occurs frequently in the classrooms and halls of Rocky Mountain Prep. It’s one of the things we value most about the school. I love the diversity that RMP has and celebrates each and every day. It doesn't matter if they're celebrating my Irish kids or the Ethiopian families' holidays. Everyone is treated with equal respect and importance.

The Rocky Mountain Prep staff is wonderful. They help their students learn at a deep level, and they do so with a loving spirit. And Sara Carlson exemplifies that spirit.

If I had to sum Sara up with one word it would be intuitive. She understands and inherently knows what each student needs at any given moment in the day. My older daughter Cathryn had Sara as her second-grade teacher, and I was able to experience the powerful impact of Sara’s intuition frequently.

After Cathryn had been in her class for a short time, Sara could look at Cathryn and see she was on an emotional edge and knew just how to bring her off of it. Whether it was because she was having a growth spurt and needed an extra snack, or she just needed a quiet hug, Sara always seemed to know just what would work at that moment.

Sara is passionate. She believes fiercely in kids and their capabilities and believes in setting high expectations and providing the supporting structures they need to meet those expectations. She also believes in partnerships. She works hard to create a community in her classroom among the kids and a strong partnership with the parents. It's through this community and partnership that Sara is able to reach all kids and help them exceed expectations.

Sara will be a great school leader, and will be a real asset not only to her school but to the North Denver community.

If you’d like to learn more about Rocky Mountain Prep, join us at an upcoming event by RSVPing here.


RMP Creekside Receives Center For Excellence Award

January 31, 2018  

Just a month into the New Year, Rocky Mountain Prep is already having a great 2018!

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) recently announced its yearly list of Denver Public Schools (DPS) that qualify for state awards and we are honored to share that Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside was part of that list for the second year in a row!

Each year, the CDE rates DPS schools enrolling more than 75% of “at-risk” students based on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), which are a portion of PARCC score totals. The CDE publicly recognizes schools with top academic performance using the Colorado Growth Model.

RMP Creekside received the Center for Excellence Award which recognized our scholars’ academic prowess!

RMP was one of 54 schools, out of almost 1,900 grade schools in Colorado, to receive an award. We are thrilled to receive this recognition!


To Our Neighbors in North Denver

January 17, 2018   |   By Sara Carlson

To our neighbors in North Denver:

My name is Sara Carlson and I am the principal of Rocky Mountain Prep Berkeley (RMP Berkeley). RMP Berkeley is a Pre-K through 5th grade public charter school that will be opening in your neighborhood this August. I am honored by and excited about the work we will do together in our community and wanted to take this opportunity to share my vision for the school, invite you into conversations over the next few months, and introduce you to Rocky Mountain Prep, truly a unique and inclusive network of charter schools.

First, allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I was born in South America to a Peruvian mother and an American father. They met while collaborating on reforestation work in the Andes of Peru. We moved to rural western North Carolina when I was young, and we lived there until I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Being the only Latina in my rural community school, I was blessed with a collaborative education experience in which my parents and my teachers worked hand in hand to give me the education I needed to become a successful citizen. 

Upon graduating, I had the honor of working as a bilingual, second-grade literacy teacher in southwest Denver, where I fell in love with Denver and Denver’s kids. I joined Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside in its inaugural year, teaching first and second grade before becoming the school’s assistant principal. This will be my 8th year working in Denver schools as a teacher, administrator, and now principal. 

I’m excited to lead Rocky Mountain Prep Berkeley because I believe our schools continue to hone the craft of simultaneously challenging and nurturing our scholars. We deeply believe in the power of our scholars and know that it is our responsibility to love them and deeply challenge them to empower their voices as future leaders of our community. We therefore work hard to ensure we’re challenging all our students every day with high-quality curriculum so that they stretch and grow through engaging in hard work. At the same time, we place the highest value on ensuring that our students can rise to any challenge because they feel safe to take risks, they are loved, and they are welcomed regardless of background. 

Our teachers develop strong, trusting relationships with our scholars, and as a direct result, RMP students are among the highest performing in Denver. We believe that spending the time to build strong relationships with our students and families motivates students to try their hardest, and to overcome the frustrations that inevitably arise in any learning environment.

Love and challenge are two parts of the same whole at Rocky Mountain Prep and can’t exist independent of one another.

In short, we believe love drives deep learning.

When we think about our scholars’ futures, we see them as the next generation of entrepreneurs, inventors, cutting-edge thinkers. That’s who we strive to develop: tomorrow’s leaders.

We also believe deep learning occurs most readily in a diverse environment. That’s one of the many reasons I am so excited to be opening a Rocky Mountain Prep school in North Denver. We have a great opportunity here to create a truly diverse, inclusive school, where children of all cultures and backgrounds are valued, and where we believe that our differences are what make our community stronger.

Our great neighborhood school will feature affordable, all-day early childhood education for four-year-olds and free full-day kindergarten. All scholars in K- 5th grade will have science class every day, another special offering that a steering committee of parents will help determine, and consistent college-ready work with a common-core aligned curriculum.

I look forward to getting to know many of you and welcoming many new scholars to our school this summer.

There is so much more I’d like to discuss with you. I hope we can meet in person soon, and open a stimulating dialogue.

Yours in learning,

Sara Carlson
Principal, RMP Berkeley


Applying for a job at RMP? Five things to know!

December 22, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We’re hiring! Rocky Mountain Prep is looking for enthusiastic and all-around awesome people to join our fun and hardworking team. Sound like the place for you? Get some tips on applying at RMP below, and visit our hiring page to view open positions and apply today!

1. Our application takes less than ten minutes to complete. (Really.) We know life is busy - and we’re eager to get to know you! On our application page, all you’ll need to do is answer a few basic questions and upload a current resume. Our hiring team will be in touch from there!



2. Watch for next steps from us. We pride ourselves on keeping in touch throughout the application process. You should expect to hear from us within 2 business days. Typically, we’ll ask for some type of work sample and a quick video, and may have follow-up questions - but we promise to make the entire process super clear.



3. Prepping for an interview? Nice!

Make sure to bring:

  • Your sample lesson A game.
  • A smile 😊 We’re nice, we promise!
  • Something to write with and on (other than the back of your hand).
  • Confidence! You already know how awesome you are, all you have to do is share your awesomeness with us.



4. Don’t forget you’re interviewing us, too. Be sure to bring any and all questions about working at RMP. On your interview day, you’ll have a chance to talk with current members of our team, and you should ask away to be sure RMP is the place for you.



5. Keep in touch! Perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to have you join our team… Or maybe now is not the time for you to make a change. Either way, we still want to stay connected! Following us on Facebook or bookmarking our hiring page is an easy way to keep in touch.



RMP Schools Shine on the 2017 School Performance Framework

October 12, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Today, Denver Public Schools (DPS) shared the results for the 2017 School Performance Framework (SPF) ratings, a report card that tells us important information about how much our students have improved their scores on state tests from year to year, and how satisfied our students and families are with our school.

DPS uses a color-coded rating scale to show at-a-glance how schools are performing, ranging from the highest rating, Distinguished (blue) to the lowest rating, Accredited on Probation (red).

We are thrilled to share that RMP Creekside has received a Distinguished or “Blue” rating on this year’s SPF.

In fact, based on our SPF rating, RMP Creekside is the highest-performing elementary school in DPS out of schools where more than 50% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. (#1 out of 79 schools!)

Creekside is one of only 20 schools in DPS to receive the Distinguished rating.

We are also proud of our RMP Southwest campus, which received a Meets Expectations or “Green” rating on the more limited Early SPF, and are particularly proud that Southwest is in the top five of all elementary schools that educate more than 50 percent English Language Learners.

Our Fletcher campus is a part of Aurora Public Schools, which evaluates schools using the State of Colorado SPF. We look forward to seeing our first state ranking in January 2019.


Families Make RMP Schools #1!

October 03, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

At Rocky Mountain Prep, we know that meaningful parent and family engagement helps shape our school culture, holds RMP accountable to meaningful results for students, and drives positive change in our communities.

One of the ways in which families reflect and give feedback on their experience at RMP is through the DPS Parent Satisfaction Survey, sent to parents once each year through the school district. Read more about the distribution and data collection for this survey on the DPS website.

We are thrilled to share that on the 2017 survey, both RMP Southwest and RMP Creekside were rated in the top five out of all schools in the district.

In fact, RMP Southwest was the #1 overall highest-rated school out of all schools in the district:

As we break the data down even further, on 23 of 33 measures on the 2017 DPS Parent Satisfaction Survey - including the questions about academics and teachers caring about their child's success - RMP Southwest had the highest positive parent satisfaction score out of all DPS elementary schools.

Thank you to our RMP families for helping us reach this important achievement! We are honored and privileged to have such amazing families as a part of the RMP community.  


Games & Activities Help to Build RMP Culture

September 19, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

From day one of each year, scholars and teachers alike kick learning into high gear - and so much of it takes place away from a desk!

As a starting point for building our classroom communities, RMP teachers and scholars work together to learn and play games that help create our culture every new school year. Read on for a few of our favorites!

Teamwork: To encourage collaboration, we love “Balloon Bounce,” in which scholars work with their teammates to keep a balloon in the air and communicate with kindness to avoid colliding with another scholar!

Kindness: RMP teachers have modified the rules of “Freeze Tag” so scholars who are frozen need to request assistance to become unfrozen. This emphasizes that not only that is it okay to ask for help, but that it is kind to oblige.

Tracking: For new scholars, the term “track” (looking at the speaker as they talk) may be unfamiliar. To explain this concept, RMP teachers toss a beach ball around the classroom and ask scholars to track the person with the ball. The game is silent, so if they don’t track the right person they might miss the ball!

Fun! While academics are exceptionally important, sometimes you just need to have a little dance party to clear your head!

What community building games do you love? Tell us in the comments below!  


RMP Outperforms DPS on PARCC for the Third Year in a Row!

August 29, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

With the recent release of PARCC scores, we are excited to share results from our Creekside campus.

Of all DPS elementary schools educating a majority of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, RMP scholars’ scores ranked 1st for math and 4th for English Language Arts!

  One of the other data points we are most excited about is the performance of our scholars who are English Language Learners (ELL).

Our ELL scholars specifically were the highest-performing in math across all schools in the district.

  As compared to other ELL students in DPS, RMP scholars demonstrated the highest proficiency in Math with 49.6% of them scoring met or exceeds and achieving the 3rd highest proficiency in ELA with 38.5%. (The district averages for math and ELA are 11.7% and 13.9%, respectively.) Important to keep in mind is these are status scores - which means they represent how our scholars performed at a given time vs. how much they’ve grown year over year. We are eager to share our growth scores from PARCC, where our scholars also shined in 2016! Stay tuned!


In Celebration of our First Graduating Class!

June 20, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Five years ago, just over 100 students started at our first Rocky Mountain Prep school. And this month, with more than 800 students across three campuses, we’re celebrating the continuation of our first class of fifth graders on to middle school. To mark the milestone, we talked to some of our fifth-grade scholars about coming to RMP and what they’ll take with them to middle school and beyond:


Rocky Mountain Prep: A Denver Post Top Workplace Two Years in a Row!

April 09, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We are thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, Rocky Mountain Prep has been named one of The Denver Post Top Workplaces in the "Small Companies" category! Our team is made up of a group of wildly talented, dedicated, hardworking, intelligent educators - and we are so proud of the work they do every day to support our scholars. What makes RMP such a special place? Read on for some of our favorite staff quotes about RMP!


Want to join our team? Learn more about open positions for 2017-18 here!


10 Questions to Ask When Touring a Potential School

March 27, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

We believe in supporting every family in finding the best school for their child. And in Denver Public Schools, parents have the opportunity to visit and select a great school through the SchoolChoice process! As a part of the choice process, many schools offer regularly scheduled times during which you can see the facility and learn about their program. But once you’ve scheduled a tour, what key things should you be observing? While every parent should ask questions specific to their child, we’ve put together a list of ten questions to ask when touring a school:

  1. What distinguishes your school from others?
  2. What is your rating on the School Performance Framework?
  3. On average, how much homework do students have each night?
  4. How do you support students with different learning styles and needs?
  5. What after-school activities do you offer?
  6. Do you provide transportation for students?
  7. On average, how many students are in each classroom?
  8. What character development do you provide for students?
  9. What is your discipline structure?
  10. What expectations do you have for parent and family involvement?

Interested in touring Rocky Mountain Prep? Call us at 720.464.3530.


Understanding the School Performance Framework

January 17, 2017   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Denver Public Schools uses the School Performance Framework (SPF) to evaluate its schools and share how well each school in the district is doing. This report card helps all of us understand whether or not schools are meeting their goals and where they might need more support. The SPF considers things like growth on state tests, attendance rates, and parent satisfaction, and gives each school a color ranking that shows how well it is serving students and families. The short video below helps break down this rating. The SPF can be a great resource for families who are looking for an excellent school for their child. And while it is important for families to look at a school’s overall rating, there are a few key indicators that can help families make the right choice for their child.


The growth metric on the SPF shows how much a school is able to help individual students grow in their learning. If a student is behind academically, looking at the growth metric is going to show you how a school helps to catch that student up. Similarly, if a student is ahead of grade level, growth can help show that all students are being pushed to continue growing.

Rocky Mountain Prep’s growth in math last year ranked us 4th of all DPS elementary schools and 18th of all elementary schools in the state.



The equity measure highlights the ability of a school to serve a diverse student body. If a student is learning English as a second language or receives special services, the equity measure will show whether similar students in a given school are being served well. For example, if you were trying to find a school for a student who was currently learning English, you would want to review the equity measure for English Language Learners to be sure that school is supporting the growth of other students who are learning a second language.

Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest was the only school in DPS last year to receive 100% on the equity indicator.



Status shows the overall performance of students in a given school. This highlights whether students are performing at the grade level in which they are currently enrolled. One piece of the status that is of particular importance is the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) literacy measure, which is shown in the detail scorecard. The CMAS measure shares indicators for whether schools are supporting their students on the track to college.

Rocky Mountain Prep's Creekside campus is the highest-performing elementary school in Denver serving a majority of students eligible for free and reduced lunch.

  Have additional questions about the School Performance Framework or school choice? Call us at 720.863.8920!


PARCC Growth Scores Show Rocky Mountain Prep in Top 5 of DPS Elementaries

October 19, 2016   |   By Rocky Mountain Prep

Last month, we shared our 2016 PARCC scores. Today, we’re writing with more good news about PARCC, this time looking at our PARCC score growth results.

The status results we reported in September reflect achievement data, or how well our individual scholars are meeting Colorado’s academic expectations. The growth results provide information on how our scholars make progress over time toward meeting or exceeding those expectations and are an additional data point to reinforce our scholars’ performance as the highest performing elementary school in Denver serving a majority of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL).

Growth scores are reported as median growth percentiles (MGP), meaning that scholars’ PARCC scores from 2016 are compared to their scores from 2015 and then their year-to-year progress is compared to others with similar scores. Based on that comparison, scholars are given a percentile score (1-99) and the median percentile score of all scholars in a grade or school determines the school’s MGP. We’re excited about what the results show.

  • Our growth in math is excellent (76 MGP), ranking RMP Creekside 4th of all DPS elementary schools on math growth and 18th of all elementary schools in the state.
  • Our combined math and English (ELA) growth score also ranks RMP Creekside 6th of all DPS elementary schools. Overall, our growth outpaces both the district and the state.
  • And while our English growth score isn’t quite as strong (61 MGP), it still shows that students are making more than a typical Colorado student’s year of growth in this area – and highlights an area where we will focus even more in this school year.
  • Our growth for English Language Learners (ELL) was also strong. The RMP Creekside ELL math MGP was 78 compared to 46 for DPS ELL math, and our English MGP was 73 compared to 49 for DPS.

Our current data is based on results from RMP Creekside, where our older students (grades 3-5) took PARCC tests in the spring of 2016. (For elementary schools, students in grades 3 – 5 take PARCC tests each spring)

The strong growth we are seeing in scholars’ scores shows us that the positive results we reported back in September are not an anomaly. Our scholars are doing very well comparatively both in absolute terms – the percentage who are meeting state standards compared to other students in Denver, and in growth terms – how quickly and how far our scholars are growing compared to other students across Colorado.

As we mentioned in September, we are focusing on strengthening our ELA instruction and closing the gap faced by our English Language Learners. And we also continue to work on our support system for scholars who are behind in either math or English. We are proud of what our students have already achieved as we work every day to give them an excellent education. 


Rocky Mountain Prep Excels in 2016 PARCC Results!

September 06, 2016   |   By James Cryan

We at Rocky Mountain Prep are excited to report on our 2016 PARCC results. While we are proud to say that our performance remains high and is improving in key areas, this data has also presented us with opportunities to improve.

As shown in the chart below, we continue to be the highest performing elementary school in Denver serving a majority of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL).

Math and ELA performance for schools with greater than 50% FRL students

In addition, we’ve seen improvements in some of our major focus areas. In 2015, 43% of our 3rd graders met or exceeded expectations in ELA, compared to 49% this year.  This has outpaced improvement across DPS.  As we made ELA growth a top priority for the 2015-16 school year, it is rewarding to the benefits of the hard work and dedication of our scholars, families, teachers and staff.

Comparing percentage of third graders meeting grade level expectations
to the DPS average

We are also excited about the long-term impact of our educational model for our scholars. For every year a scholar remains at RMP, their performance increases significantly. 60% of scholars who have been at RMP for 4 years met or exceeded expectations in ELA, while only 37% of scholars in their first year did.

These gains also serve as inspiration to find new ways to strengthen our academic program. During the 2016-17 school year, we aim to:

  • Continue to build on our ELA growth, as too many students are still below expectations
  • Close the persistent gap in ELA mastery that our English Language Learners face
  • Build out our support systems for students behind in ELA and Math

There is a lot to celebrate in our performance this year, as well as additional areas for growth.  Our scholars deserve a school that continually adapts to their ever-changing needs, and we are working every day to ensure all our students receive an excellent education. 


James Cryan

CEO, Rocky Mountain Prep  

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