Catalyst High School

Customized Learning to Suit Your Needs

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Catalyst High offers customized learning in a caring community while maintaining the highest academic standards. Learning programs at Catalyst are both highly innovative and relevant with a focus on authentic in-depth learning and higher level thinking. (Click below to learn more.)

 


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.

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The Non-Traditional School Day

• Instead of taking 5-7 classes at a time, the Catalyst student takes fewer academic classes in short blocks to allow for focus and a faster rate of completion.

• Instead of each class lasting 18 weeks, most Catalyst classes are four weeks long.

• Instead of being given a schedule, the student chooses the time of day and the days of the week to take each specialized class.

• Instead of following a typical bell schedule, the student has a customized and variable weekly schedule.

• Instead of doing work in school, much of the student's learning takes place outside of school.

• Supporting our students' physical, mental and emotional health is of paramount importance at Catalyst High School. Wednesdays are devoted to health and wellness in a variety of settings and contexts beyond the walls of the school, as well as facilitating community experiences for students. Activities on Wednesdays will include physical activities such as hiking, biking, yoga, individual and team oriented recreational games. In addition, specialists, both in house and guests from outside the school, lead workshops and classes on subject such as nutrition and stress management. Also on Wednesdays, the students may engage in group oriented community service experiences.

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First and Second Session

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.

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Catalyst “Intensives”

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.

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Elective Credit Options

At Catalyst High School, we help the student select and earn credit for many types of activities. Students may:

•Take elective classes such as: digital art, photography, film analysis, psychology, web design, and more as well as an array of lab-based physics electives

• Work with a mentor or be a mentor to others

• Participate in the Conference on World Affairs, an annual highlight!

• Volunteer to work with children or the elderly

• Meet regularly with a counselor or therapist

• Learn a martial art

• Participate in a sport or activity at a different school

• Commit to a program to support sobriety

• Take classes at a college or university

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College Preparation

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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What is Catalyst?
What is Catalyst?
Programs
Programs
Team Catalyst
Team Catalyst
Friends
Partners
Student Life
Student Life
Participate
Participate
Resources
Resources

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Parents

Contact Us
Contact Us

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Apply

 
 
 
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