August 21, 2008

D-11 Math Magnet to House Arts-Focused Prep School


The Colorado Springs Conservatory has a new home in the Galileo School of Math and Science. Officials from the performing arts- focused prep school and Colorado Springs School District 11 officially announced their partnership Monday morning. D-11 will provide space to the conservatory rent-free in the former East Middle School building, 1600 N. Union Blvd., and conservatory staff will work with Galileo students during the day; its after-school and other outreach programs will continue from the new location as well.

Conservatory officials will work to find scholarships for Galileo students who are interested in the fee-based after-school program, or who show promise in a specific area, said Linda Weise, the conservatory's executive director. Conservatory programs can be pricey, but Weise said they cover a wide range of skills and are a good deal when calculating the cost per hour of instruction.

Weise said the conservatory is happy to have found a location near downtown, while D-11 Superintendent Terry Bishop said that if Colorado Springs' downtown area is to remain healthy, good schools are a key component.

"We see East as a key to the downtown area and key to keeping District 11 viable," he said.

The Conservatory had discussed buying and moving into an Academy School District 20 facility, but was unable to come up with the financing for the building, D-20 officials said. But Weise said Monday that the D-11 facility will benefit the entire region by providing more space for its programs, which means opportunities for more students.

Galileo will open in the fall with only sixth-graders, adding seventh- and eighth-graders in subsequent years.

The district is considering adding a math and science program to Wasson High School, which already has an arts magnet program. If that happens, the more than 225 sixth-graders starting classes at Galileo School of Math and Science would have a place to continue their focus when they get to high school.

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