Adams 12 Five Star School District Wednesday night turned down a charter application from Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons.
Its board of education voted 5 to 0 to deny the application after approximately two hours of discussion about the project, which first was presented at a Dec. 19 meeting.
Superintendent Chris Gdowski said there were no specifics on the location of the charter school, but that Ascent wanted to build near 120th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.
"We got communication from Ascent yesterday that they are likely to appeal to the state board of education," Gdowski said Friday afternoon.
Ascent has 30 days from the date of board action to file an appeal with the state board.
A similar scenario is taking place in neighboring Boulder County where the Boulder Valley School District board of education — citing an incomplete application — in September initially voted not to review an application from Ascent.
In November, the Colorado State Board of Education sided with the charter organizers and ordered BVSD to review the charter application.
On Tuesday, Boulder Valley Superintendent Rob Anderson recommended the school board approve the K-12 Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons, but with a long list of conditions.
The conditional approval would address district concerns and set firm deadlines to receive missing information, he said at a Tuesday school board work session on the charter school's application.
Organizers want to open the school in August in eastern Boulder County, replicating two existing Ascent charter schools in Golden and Douglas County.
Gdowski said district staff, the accountability committee and board members, had a number of concerns — including some about the governance structure. Some were worried about lack of a mechanism for parents of students at the school to elect members to the board.
Several Adams 12 board members were concerned about the ability of the school to serve students with special education needs and English Second Language learners in a way that would align with the district's commitments to the state.
Gdowski said board members also had concerns about "quite an extensive list" of waivers requested by Ascent and a lack of proposed replacement policies.
"It was not accompanied by 'why do you want some of these waivers?'" he said. "What would you propose to put in its place? That caused concern."
In its presentation last month, Ascent officials reported that they collected 536 expressions of interest as of Dec. 18, but board members questioned the way the question was posed, Gdowski said, which was more general — "are you in favor of high quality school options in the Flatiron region" versus "would you enroll your child in Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons if it is approved by the board?"
At last month's meeting, there were six parents within Adams 12 who expressed interest and support, he said, but the majority of people who spoke were from other communities, including Jefferson County, Boulder Valley and St. Vrain school districts. Ascent came back with documentation about 125 home-school students who were interested in the school, but did not delineate how many lived within Adams 12.
"Add all that together and (board members) weren't seeing substantial demand and interest from Adams 12 families to enroll their children in this school," Gdowski said.
Derec Shuler, CEO of Ascent Classical Academies, was at Wednesday's meeting to make a presentation and answer questions.