The community Design Team
Starting in October 2017, Ariana Villalovos, Olivia Jones, and Wisdom Amouzou co-facilitated community design meetings with students and families in North Aurora to design and open a high school that awakens hope in the community. The Community Design Team (CDT) has developed an innovative model for a free public charter high school to serve the diverse population of students in Aurora Public Schools in grades 9-12. The CDT includes students, families, community members, and educators. We held bi-monthly dinner meetings (1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 PM) at RISE Colorado during which every member of the team has an equal voice in decisions impacting the school’s model and design.
Over a dozen CDT members committed two hours of their time every two weeks at dinner meetings during which every member of the team had an equal voice in decisions impacting the school’s model and design. They shared their (sometimes painful) stories about being a student or a parent in public schools in APS and DPS. They shared their hopes and dreams for a new school, one that would know and understand them as individuals. They attended school visits, learning what is being done in great schools in Denver, Aurora, and across the nation. Using these stories, the group set to work designing the nuts and bolts of a new school.