With data from the 2019 October Count released by the state a little over a month ago, CSI’s Evaluation and Assessment team got to work digging, slicing, and dicing the data. The analysis allows CSI to get a better grasp on how we’re performing as a portfolio over time as well as how we are performing against the state. Here are some enrollment highlights shared by Aislinn Walsh, our Performance and Accountability Analyst.

The portfolio of charter schools overseen by the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) represents the 16th largest school district in the state with a total of 18,275 students enrolled pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

CSI oversees 40 charter schools across the state, from Fruita to Colorado Springs, Durango to Steamboat Springs. Not surprisingly, the largest proportion of students in CSI schools is in the Denver Metro area, followed by Colorado Springs and the Western Slope.

Enrollment Growth

Over the past five years, CSI’s changing portfolio has contributed to a 21% increase in the number of students served across the state. 

Reflecting Statewide Averages

Overall, CSI schools continue to serve higher proportions of minority students, English Learners, and students with a 504 plan than the state. 

Growth in Serving Students with Special Needs

More impressive are the enrollment gains CSI schools made with students with a 504 plan and students with an IEP. Since 2015, CSI has seen substantial increases for these student populations: 

  • 63% increase in students with IEPs
  • 74% increase in students with 504 plans

Bucking the Statewide Trend

CSI also saw increases in the overall percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and English Learners, bucking statewide trends of decreased enrollment for those special populations.

Many of these increases for special populations align closely to and are supported by the work CSI and schools have undertaken to advance equity over the last several years. (Read last year’s annual report for more on the various initiatives to advance equity in charter schools.)

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