At Lotus, we only partner with the best to create an optimal learning environment for our students. We trust our partners to provide best services to Lotus, so that we can provide an excellent education for our students.
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has supported Lotus through a 3-year start-up grant program totaling nearly $700,000. We are utilizing the grant funds to implement our charter project with the goal of making Lotus one of the top schools in the State of Colorado We sincerely thank CDE for their generous contribution to the success of Lotus.
CDE has also provided initial board training for our school board, enabling the board to manage the school better and make informed decisions. The training was again part of the grant program and was provided free of charge to Lotus. We also thank CDE for this professional training contribution.
Lotus is a public charter school within the Aurora Public School (APS) District. We would like to thank our authorizer for granting Lotus its 3-year charter, and look forward to the renewal in July 2009. APS supports our financial and special education operations and is helping Lotus to succeed as the only Math, Science, and Technology charter in the school district.
Through a generous start-up grant totaling $240,000 from the Walton Family Foundation Lotus is off to a good start in establishing itself as one of Colorado’s finest charter schools. We are using the grant funds to cover our start-up activities from financial to legal consultants and from furniture to technology equipment. We sincerely thank The Walton Family Foundation for this generous contribution.
The Colorado League of Charter Schools (CLCS) has been willing and available to assist Lotus anytime we have needed help in just about any matter. Through his vast charter experience, Mr. Jim Griffin has provided guidance and help to Lotus from the beginning. His help was crucial in getting charter approval from the APS district. He also provided expert training for our school board to improve its capabilities.
As the best university in the state, we partner with University of Colorado at Boulder for a handful of activities. We work together with numerous outreach programs to bring the best of CU-Boulder to Lotus.
A recent example is the visit from the LASP (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics). During their visit, the outreach coordinators established a STARLAB inside our gym for our students to experience outer space better then ever. Read here to learn more about the experience Lotus students gained from this outreach visit. The CU Grants Office sponsored this visit, and we thank them for their contribution.
Another exciting field trip will take place in April. Lotus has been working with two other outreach programs to organize a terrific field trip to the University of Colorado, Boulder Campus. The transportation is provided through a travel grant from SORCE (Student Outreach Retention Center for Equity); we would like to thank them for this generous contribution.
Our first host is the Colorado Space Grant Outreach (CoSGC). CoSGC was established by NASA in 1989 as part of a national effort to maintain America's preeminence in aerospace science and technology. The Colorado Space Grant Consortium extends space education to K-12 schools through its 14 member colleges and universities throughout Colorado. Headquartered at CU-Boulder, the consortium offers teacher workshops and provides group tours and hands-on activities in the Discovery Learning Center at CU-Boulder. Visit their website for more info at (http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/outreach/).
Our students will visit the Discovery Learning Center and will be given a tour of the facility where an elite group of engineering students are building satellites and participating in other space-related research. After a short lecture on an exciting Lego dropping experiment, they will build their own mini-satellites. The last part will be the most enjoyable: they will drop their Legos from the special Lego-dropping portion of the building to apply the concepts they will just have learned in the lecture.
Our second host is SORCE. Visit http://www.colorado.edu/SORCE/home.html to learn more about SORCE and the activities they offer. After the Lego experiment, Lotus students will have another lecture from a university student working for SORCE on topics like what to do in order to get admitted to a university and university life basics and expectations. This lecture will serve as a very good introduction both to motivate our students to work harder for college and to inform them on what to expect once they will have begun college. After the lecture, they will be given a tour of the beautiful Boulder campus with visits to different departmental and administration buildings.
As a math, science, and technology charter, we are committed to providing the best educational programs at Lotus. That’s why we have partnered with the Accord Institute to implement a Technology Integrated Education (TIE) curriculum.
We aim to be the school that educates the future champions of the Math and Science Olympiads (MSO), both at the state and national levels. Accord has a special program to train our students through their Math and Science Olympiads Program (MSOP). With the rigorous training and tools provided by Accord, we are confident that Lotus students will have the honor of being the state champions in these Olympiads in the foreseeable future.
We also partner with Accord in organizing the annual MathMatters contest. This is a statewide Math contest open to all 5th graders who have an interest in Math. Approximately 120 5th graders and their families participated in MathMatters’08, providing the opportunity for parents and students to learn more about Lotus and our academic program.
We thank our partner Accord for all their help and support. We look forward to working with them in our future educational affairs.
Our learning software partner is Renaissance Learning. We challenge every student at the level best suited to him or her by utilizing individualized learning plans. We are a pioneer in using the renowned Renaissance Learning programs Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math that allow us to accurately assess and improve the Reading and Math abilities of the students. Accelerated Math tracks each student and generates individualized math practice for each student to challenge him/her at the appropriate level. Similarly, through the use of Accelerated Reader, students are encouraged to read more and more via an incentive-based system, and their comprehension is tested thoroughly in the process. At each stage the students are assessed via Star Reading and Star Math to monitor their progress. For English Learners we utilize the Read Now Power Up! series which provides just the right vocabulary and language complexity for the children to improve their language skills. Parents have access to all of this data through the internet and can track their child’s academic development very closely, allowing them to oversee and intervene when necessary.
Renaissance Learning has provided all of these products at very generous discounts. We would like to thank them for this contribution to help us achieve educational excellence at Lotus.
We understand that creating a good image for the school through media is of crucial importance for the success of the school. That’s why we partner with the best PR firm in the Metro Denver area, JohnstonWells. They have been helping Lotus publicize its new location and, more recently, our MathMatters’08 contest. As a result of these efforts, MathMatters has been covered by two separate TV channels. See our "IN THE NEWS" section to watch this coverage.
JohnstonWells is helping Lotus free of charge as a community service. We deeply thank our PR partner for this generous contribution and look forward to future successful PR efforts.
Lotus has been working with a very good commercial real estate firm in order to help us find the best long-term facility for the school. Tapping their many years of experience in commercial real estate and their established success record in charter school real estate, Dustin Jones and Dorie Adams worked hard to locate our current facility. Their efforts continue as we acquire and transform the 83,000 sq foot building and nearly 12 acres of land into an educational campus. We would like to thank CBRE for its professional and prompt services.
ABSTRACT INSIGHTS, LLC
We understand the importance of establishing a sound financial background to help prepare us for future success. To that end we have been working with the best financial consultant in the charter business. Lori Deacon of Abstract Insights, LLC, is helping Lotus to establish and implement good financial practices and accountability in order to achieve its long term goals. We sincerely thank her for her help which will contribute to Lotus’s success as we work hard to become one of the top charter schools in the State of Colorado.
ARRINGTON & ASSOCIATES
Lotus has been working with the most experienced legal team in the charter business to develop its policies and contracts. Barry Arrington, Esq., is also representing Lotus in legal matters on district and state-related issues. We would like to thank Mr. Arrington for his dedication, help, and hard work to make Lotus a legally strong and compliant school.