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Charter Schools


A Definition

“Charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that have the flexibility to be innovative, entrepreneurial, self-governing, and yet are accountable for student and operational performance.”

– Colorado League of Charter Schools


St. Vrain Community Montessori School (SVCMS) is a charter school authorized by the St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD), which operates through a contract with the district.


SVCMS enjoys a collaborative and supportive relationship with the St. Vrain Valley School District. We also enjoy significant operational autonomy from the district in order to fully implement our authentic Montessori program.

Our Charter History

In 2007, a core group of over 30 parents, educators, and community members met regularly to form a steering committee and interim Board, which successfully completed a charter school application for a kindergarten through 6th year school – founding the St. Vrain Community Montessori School.


The SVVSD Board of Education unanimously approved the school’s initial charter in October 2008, and by August 2009, the school opened its doors to 99 students.


In 2012, our initial three-year charter was unanimously extended by the St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education for an additional 10 years. At the same time, the school’s charter was extended to authorize it to serve years K-8 for the term of its charter.

In 2022, our charter was unanimously extended again for 15 years by the St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education.


The Facts about Colorado Charter Schools

According to the Colorado League of Charter Schools:


Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement.


  • Charter schools are public schools.

  • Charter schools do not charge tuition.

  • Charter schools use non-discriminatory enrollment practices.

  • There are no test-in requirements to attend charter schools.

  • Today, 268 public charter schools in Colorado serve over 137,000 students (2022-23).

  • Charter school enrollment in Colorado is 15% of total public school enrollment in the state.

  • Charter school students must take state assessments.

  • Charter schools are subject to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

  • Charter schools in Colorado spend $606 per student from designated per-pupil operating revenue on facilities. School districts finance non-charter district facilities using property tax, mill levies, and taxpayer-backed bonds.

  • Charter school teachers must be “highly qualified” under No Child Left Behind.

  • Charter schools serve a broad range of diverse students, including low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and students with disabilities or other special needs.


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