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Students Can Start Classes at Any Time
Catalyst offers rolling admissions, so students can start classes at any time. We want to be accessible to when you need us. We don't make you wait until the beginning of a semester or for the start of the next school year to start. The best time to start is when the student is ready to work hard and to overcome the adversity that has interfered with progress in school.
The Non-Traditional School Day
The first shift is appropriate for seniors and more independent students, by administrative approval only. Students may qualify to be in the First Session by consistently earning good grades and consistently earning maximum credits. Classes meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. First Session students take Wednesdays classes as needed, 10:30-4:30, for Fitness/Health/Outdoor Education Program, or they may come into school for quiet study time. A typical credit load will include one 5-credit class and one 2.5-credit class. Course offerings will include all core subjects, counseling, advisory, college application prep, limited arts and electives. Participation in an afternoon activity outside of school is required, and Catalyst credit for this involvement available by administrative approval for activities such as college classes, working a paying job, volunteering, mentoring, etc.
The second shift is appropriate for underclassmen, new students, and students who will benefit from more contact time and more in-house program options. Classes meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Classes 11:00 to 4:30. Most Second Session students take Wednesday classes, 10:30-4:30, for Fitness/Health/Outdoor Education Program. A typical regular block schedule will include three 2.5-credit classes, two core academic classes and one non-core class. All core subjects will be offered, as well as counseling, advisory, groups, etc. An expanded arts and electives program will be offered during the school day, instead of after school. While not required, student may earn credits by participating in a number of morning activities or programs outside of school.
Every few months, the regular routine is broken up with a special schedule that is a called an “intensive.” During intensives, students meet as a community to take field trips, interact with guest teachers, and intensively study a subject such as arts and electives. Intensives usually last between five and ten days. During one favorite intensive, students spend the week at the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado.
At Catalyst High School, we help the student select and earn credit for many types of activities. Students may:
The Catalyst learning model is based on the highly successful Chinook program that Ed Porritt, founder of Catalyst High School, developed in the public school system. Graduates of the Chinook program tell us that this high school model is excellent for college preparation. At Catalyst, the true variables are the student's motivation, innate abilities, limitations and goals. Catalyst is capable of supporting virtually any realistic academic goal. Chinook graduates have gone on to schools such as Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, George Washington University, Vancouver Film School, and University of Milan, Italy. Some of these graduates received full-ride scholarships, became teachers, or continued on to graduate school. Several Chinook students have completed college and returned to Catalyst as teachers, academic advisors, volunteers and mentors. A handful of Chinook parents are members of the Catalyst Board of Directors.
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