DENVER (CBS4)– North High School students will have to share their campus once again.
The Denver Board of Education voted Thursday night to allow a charter school, Strive Prep School, to move into part of the campus for North High School.
Parents, students and residents in the North High School community protested outside the school board meeting on Thursday. They claimed to have 1,200 petition signatures showing opposition to the shared high school campus.
Denver Public Schools administrators are quick to point out that 40 schools in the district are sharing campuses and that it has proven to be a successful and resourceful relationship.
Most of those demonstrators were from the “Choose North Now” group formed in the community. They believe the pairing of schools is a recipe for disaster.
“We exist in a world that choice and competition are significant. That test scores determine the ability to attract kids,” said parent Renee Martinez Stone. “Unfortunately they will always be compared to one another and the pace at which they achieve.”
DPS said North is already sharing a campus with a middle school. They don’t believe adding the charter school will make a big difference.
“In the last 10 years the number of school age children has declined by one-third. We do believe they will be able to share for many years to come,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg.
Strive Prep School administrators hope the collaboration will be a positive one for all students involved.
“The community has spoken clearly that we want all of these schools to be successful. And now it’s a matter of figuring out the best way to do that and move forward in a positive way,” said Strive Prep School founder Chris Gibbons.
At one point during the meeting a compromise was nearly reached between the two sides, that would allow Strive to relocate on the North High School campus temporarily for two years. That amendment to the proposal failed by one vote.