How Rural Colorado Parents Created A ‘No Politics’ Public School In Just One Year

How Rural Colorado Parents Created A ‘No Politics’ Public School In Just One Year


Merit Academy of Woodland Park, Colorado, opened on Aug. 23 in a buoyant ceremony featuring American flags and a teenage rider riding a dun horse while waving the school flag.

The new public school went from idea to reality in just one year, opening K-8 with plans to grow into high school. As a classical school, it offers a low-screen, high-relationship environment and a focus on creative and critical thinking through careful attention to classic works and traditional approaches to math and science. These are things parents wanted that weren’t available through the Woodland Park School District, which like many in the nation has become computer-centered over the last several years.

“Our mentors said, ‘You’re crazy, you can’t get this done in a year.’ We said, ‘Oh yeah, watch us,’” said Merit Academy founding board member John Dill, a retired Air Force Space Command lieutenant colonel who now works as a U.S. military contractor.

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