Community meeting

Weld RE-4 School District Holds Community Open House Meeting About Charter School’s RainDance Proposal

The fate of a charter school on coveted Windsor property will likely be decided later this week.

The Weld School District RE-4 School Board is expected to decide Wednesday night whether to allow American Legacy Academy to build a K-8 school for up to 700 students on a 10-acre parcel in a known neighborhood. under the name of RainDance.

The school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium at Windsor High School.

During the special meeting, the RE-4 Board of Directors will review all information and feedback it has received on American Legacy Academy’s acquisition of the RainDance land. The board will discuss the issue in a public forum, then likely cast a vote.

Weld RE-4 had previously designated the land on Covered Bridge Parkway as the location for a 600-student K-5 building in its 2021 bond proposal. Although the bond was not passed last fall, the district maintained the need to retain the property as a site for a Weld RE-4 Elementary School in the future.

Representatives of the American Legacy Academy again addressed the RE-4 Board of Trustees regarding the acquisition of the land at the regular Board of Trustees business meeting on April 18 at Severance High School. . Less than a day later, the American Legacy Academy amended its proposal with an offer to purchase the land from RainDance for $2.1 million.

American Legacy Academy leaders said they want to open the charter school in August 2023 to help the Weld RE-4 school district address its overcrowding issues amid rising enrollment.

Weld RE-4 council ended the April 18 meeting in a bid to solicit more community input on how district residents want council to proceed – do they want council to keep the land for the district to build an RE-4 school or allow American Legacy Academy to acquire the property?

The school district launched a seven-question online survey last week. The inquest is open until 8 a.m. Wednesday at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BPKG8PK

On Monday evening, the five Weld RE-4 board members and district staff held a two-hour community meeting — open house style — at Ted’s Sweetwater Grill & Trout Pond near downtown. RainDance reception area and not far from the RainDance pitch in question. .

Weld RE-4 School Board member Lance Nichols speaks with a man during a district-hosted community meeting and open house Monday, May 2, 2022 at Ted’s Sweetwater Grill & Trout Pond in Windsor. The meeting was held to allow school board members and district staff to hear feedback from district residents on the possibility of allowing a group of charter schools to acquire a 10-acre parcel in the RainDance neighborhood. to build a K-8 charter school that will open in August 2023. The Weld RE-4 school board is expected to vote Wednesday, May 4, at a special meeting, whether it will allow American Legacy Academy to acquire the land from RainDance. (Anne Delaney/journalist)

Weld RE-4 board members – Russ Smart, Regan Price, Lance Nichols, Patrick Miller and Aaron Smith – spread around the grill and met the residents as they moved around the room. Representatives from the American Legacy Academy also attended the meeting and set up displays with information about the charter school.

“I liked hearing everyone’s feedback,” Price said. “Comments on Traditional and Charter School and Each Other’s Thoughts and Concerns.”

Crissy Kopren was among the school district residents who attended the meeting to show her support for the group of charter schools to acquire the land. Kopren, who lives north of Windsor Lake — not in the RainDance neighborhood — has three children who attended Windsor High School. The Kopren children attended Liberty Common Charter School in Fort Collins until eighth grade.

Fort Collins resident Craig Horton, consultant to American Legacy Academy Windsor, helped develop Liberty Common High School in 2008.

“I really want to support this,” Kopren said. “I believe a charter school is the way to go. I think it’s a winning combination from all points of view.

RainDance resident Cathy Anderson said she opposes the charter in the RainDance neighborhood. Anderson and her husband, Mark, have lived at RainDance for about three years. They were among the Weld RE-4 residents who addressed council on the grounds at the April 18 meeting.

Cathy Anderson said she attended the community meeting Monday night because she supports “the public school that we were promised from the beginning” because the school will be located at RainDance.

Anderson said she wasn’t opposed to another charter school in the district; Windsor Charter Academy has been in Windsor since 2001. Anderson said she opposes the neighborhood charter school.

“It should be a public school where all the kids go,” Anderson said. “We think a neighborhood school is better for everyone.”

In Colorado, charter schools are free public schools, meaning they are open to all students.

Ted and Laurie Marthaler, who also live in RainDance, support American Legacy Academy building a school in the neighborhood. Ted Marthaler said the family moved to Windsor from Johnstown for proximity to Windsor Charter Academy.

The Marthalers’ 11-year-old daughter attends WCA and the girl had a positive experience at school, Ted Marthaler said.

“She spends her time thinking,” Marthaler said. “His grades are important. I live just down the street. I like charter school because the parents are more involved, in my opinion.