School Details

Challenge School

9659 East Mississippi Ave, Denver, CO 80247
(720) 747-2100
10

(out of 10)

Public Grades K-8 535 students 18 students/teacher (CO avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade

100%
82%
72%
100%
80%
73%
93%
58%
51%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
98%
79%
70%
100%
80%
73%
93%
62%
51%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

100%
81%
72%
100%
77%
68%
99%
63%
53%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
100%
80%
71%
100%
75%
65%
100%
66%
56%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

100%
76%
65%
99%
79%
70%
97%
61%
49%
96%
66%
57%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
100%
76%
66%
100%
77%
69%
97%
58%
47%
99%
71%
60%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

100%
73%
62%
100%
70%
73%
97%
65%
58%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
99%
74%
63%
99%
77%
71%
94%
70%
62%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

100%
66%
55%
100%
74%
68%
100%
69%
61%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
94%
64%
53%
97%
74%
67%
99%
69%
59%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

97%
61%
52%
99%
74%
67%
97%
61%
52%
100%
65%
56%

Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)

In 2011-2012 Colorado used the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The TCAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
95%
59%
51%
100%
72%
67%
97%
56%
49%
99%
63%
54%

Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

In 2010-2011 Colorado used the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to test students' skills in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10, and in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSAP is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Colorado. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.
  • This school in 2011
  • Cherry Creek, School District No. 5, in the County of Arapah average
  • Colorado state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Challenge School is a public middle school in Aurora. The principal of Challenge School is Edie Alvarez. 535 students go to Challenge School and identify primarily as Black, non-Hispanic; Multiracial; and White, non-Hispanic. 4% of the 535 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at Challenge School is 18:1. Aurora Academy Charter School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 7% 14%
Multiracial 6% %
White, non-Hispanic 53% 63%
Asian 21% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 19% 8%
Hispanic 12% 13%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.4% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.6%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 4% 22%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (7 months ago)

    I felt I had to enter my own review after reading some of the responses here. I have had two children (a male and a female so I got to see both perspectives) go through Challenge from K-8th grade. I can tell you for a fact that I did not have enough money to offer a "donation" bribe and feel that although rigorous the application process is fair and understandable. Challenge was a fantastic experience for both kids and provided a great foundation for their future. My eldest is graduating from the International Baccalaureate program this Spring and felt that Challenge provided the good habits and academic background necessary to achieve this goal. As far as the "bullying" and "self-harm" I have been a member of this community for 13 years and through multiple principals and team changes and have neither seen this as a major problem nor ever experienced a time when the staff was unresponsive to serious issues. No school is perfect but the times when I have seen issues come up they have been handled promptly and professionally. Challenge has been a real blessing for my children and provides a unique opportunity for gifted students. I wish the school continued success.

  • (7 months ago)

    My child entered this school in 5th grade as an extremely advanced self-assured individual. In four years time this well-adjusted young adult fell to modestly advanced/proficient (according to TCAP scores) and became severely emotionally distraught. There was tremendous pressure at this school on many levels (not just academic). I would liken it to a pressure cooker. As a result there was a significant problem with self-harm especially in the higher grades (fortunately my child did not resort to this) which was all but ignored. Bullying was also a major problem but is much more insidious and manipulative than you will find at most middle schools (these are gifted children after all). My child was bullied excessively and sought help from teachers and the administration on many occassions (to no avail). When my child fought back physically (after months of abuse) she received a ridiculously harsh punishment while the perpetrator received a slap on the wrist. Does this school provide challenging curriculum yes. Will it be the right fit for every gifted learner most definitely not. Please just do your homework and ask lots of questions before you commit to this school.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a parent to three current Challenge students and we have been a member of the Challenge community since 2006. I can gauranteed you that we have not made or been expected to make any sizeable donation to the school. Challenge is a unique and special community and admission to the school is not purely based upon test scores. I believe that Challenge embraces its standing as an IB school equally with being a gifted school. In my opinion in order to be accepted you must fit well as a gifted learner and an IB learner. The staff is wonderful and they try to do what they believe is best for the students. Unfortunately based on size and popularity alone there would be no way to accept all the students who wish to attend.

  • (1 year ago)

    I agree with the parent about unfairness of the application process. It is very unclear who gets in. Gossip around town is that you have to offer a good donation to be considered. I tried to get my two children in 4 years apart. They both scored high in IQ tests got in in advanced kindergarten in two districts early entrance in one admitted to another gifted school in Aurora but not in Challenge. No wonder I asked the question how that is possible.

  • (1 year ago)

    Re 2/1/2013 post about application process As a teacher who is part of the application process at Challenge each year I have to say this post is incredibly inaccurate. Teachers spend literally hours examining the entire application and test scores work samples student and parent questionnaires are all given a thorough examination during the process. No one part of the application means more than the others. Please consider the efforts expended by staff to make this process transparent and fair as we are all working for the best for each student. Challenge is an outstanding school and I am proud to be part of such a dynamic and hard working staff.

  • (1 year ago)

    When u apply to Challenge they go by the teacher's recommendation(most teachers don't have the time to fill out a 4 page application that is pretty long ). They filter the candidates and select the ones with a good recommendation. In my opinion it is not a fair process every child should be interviewed and tested for their talent. The child's future is in the hands of the recommending teacher and in most cases the teacher recommending may not even check the questions on the form to see if the child knows it.. Even though they say it is overall scoring i thinks its disappointing when they don't even give your child a fair interview after u spend hours filling out an appplication and getting the recommendation letters. I am not happy with the selection process. Its just not fair!

  • (2 years ago)

    I am so blessed to have found this school for my children! We were paying private school tuition until we found out there was a public school doing better work for kids than our private school was - and without all of the silly politics you find at private schools. We are grateful to the outstanding principal and staff for such a wonderful school for our children.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am an eighth grader at Challenge and this is my ninth year. I have loved every second at this school! The atmosphere is great the students are excellent well-rounded people (contrary to some inaccurate allegations incidents of self harm and bullying are almost nonexistent even among the older kids) the teachers are intelligent and caring and the academics are challenging and fun. The courseload and homework are manageable and simulating. The Challenge school environment is unforgettable and i would recommend it for anyone who likes to learn.

  • (3 years ago)

    An incredible learning environment for the academically motivated child! The faculty quickly learned each of my 3 children's learning styles and 'challenged' them to succeed. I love that they are graded on the whole child and that their self esteem is bolstered in every way. The principal is amazing as she began her Challenge School career as one of the first teachers. I sleep well at night knowing that my children are getting everything they need during the 7 hours they are away from home!!

  • (4 years ago)

    good school with good location. close to home and work. my kids go here and will stay here until 9th grade.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am so very fortunate to have had 2 children obtain their education at this school. It is truly excellent!!

  • (4 years ago)

    Challenge school has been great for me I have learned so much. However I never really learned ti spell the only clubs are chess and math clubs and your with the same 50 kids all of your school. Since I started in kindergarden I am looking forward to highschool. Challenge school is a great school.

  • (4 years ago)

    We have an 8th grader at CS. We have loved it from day one. From the nurturing environment to the excellent curriuclum we have but raves for this school. Yes sports activities are sadly absent but I would enroll my other children any day at CS.

  • (6 years ago)

    I am a 7th grader and I have gone to this school since kindergarden I must say that I love it. All of the teachers are incredible and my fellow students are kind courteous. Sadly there are no extra-curricular sports activities.

  • (6 years ago)

    This is a great school! I am a 7th grader and I've gone here since 2nd grade. I am ahead in all of my classes and this school has helped me so much throughout the years. Most students don't enjoy our school because it's not like a normal middle school but socially it's not bad. Going to high school will be a big change but it's worth it because the school is just wonderful.

  • (7 years ago)

    I am a parent of 2 in the Challenge School and I love it as well as my 3rd and 8th grader. It is an incredible school. The teachers are the best! They are caring and they know every student well they get to have them 2 consecutive years. The students in the whole school get to know each other too. Because of the mini courses and the immersion week every fall and spring very fan program where you get to choose what you want to study for a week. If you like to be challenge and have high goals and expectations; as well as an interest on been involved with their education you'll love this school. The staff and students are like a great big family. The principal knows everyone's name. They have a great spirit and they care for the community. Your kids will love!

  • (7 years ago)

    I just finished 8th grade at Challenge. It's an excellent school academically. The math program is great. As a member of the math team I can say we do very well in math contests on a regional state and national level. However the school is really small. Our graduating class of '07 only had 73 people. You don't get very many chances to meet somebody new. The lack of PE Art Technology and Music classes is also a minus. The 7th and 8th graders don't get any of those and the 5th and 6th graders (to the best of my knowledge) only get PE and Art. Even though I have been critisizing it it's a great school. It's very safe you learn a lot and it's fun.

  • (7 years ago)

    Challenge School truly sets the standard for others to follow. My kid is a chess whiz member of Mensa and craves challenges. He's been at Challenge School for 3 years and loves it! When he entered kindergarten there (already reading books before entering) it was nice to see that the rest of the kids were all at his level. Each and every kid was already reading just like him so he wasn't held back so that others could catch up learn the alphabet phonics whatever. This included math and number sense as well. In all subjects the kids are at least 1 grade level if not 2 grade levels ahead. This school is a perfect fit for any parent who has a child who is ahead of their game. Challenge School is a magnet school and a public school at the same time. I cannot say enough good words about it.

  • (7 years ago)

    This school is great. It is safe fun challenging (hence the name Challenge School) and has a very close-knit relationship with its students. We have a strong focus on math. Our math teams and classes dominate the state of Colorado. Our school is also small. The size is for the better because you get to know people better. The only thing the school lacks is sports we have nothing in the way of after school sports.

  • (7 years ago)

    I am going to the Challenge School as we speak. This school is the bomb if your smart go here.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 38 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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