Denver’s STRIVE Prep charter network to close its Lake middle school

A girl with brown hair wearing a green shirt sits at a desk, reading a book.
STRIVE Prep has 10 schools in Denver. The charter network is closing its STRIVE Prep - Lake middle school at the end of this year. (RJ Sangosti / Denver Post)

STRIVE Prep, Denver’s second-largest charter school network, is closing one of its middle schools at the end of this school year, the network announced Tuesday.

STRIVE Prep - Lake in west Denver will close after 12 years in operation. The school currently serves 188 students in grades six through eight, a network spokesperson said.

By closing the school, “we are ensuring students have access to well-resourced schools that offer the broad and robust programming that all students deserve,” STRIVE Prep said in a letter. “This will also allow us to better meet staffing challenges and concentrate resources to build out academic, social, extracurricular, and student support programs and services.”

Last year, 84% of STRIVE Prep - Lake students were Hispanic, 6% were Black, and 4% were white. Nearly all students — 93% — qualified for subsidized school meals.

Enrollment in Denver Public Schools is declining, and more school closures are likely. Superintendent Alex Marrero has said the school board will vote next month on recommendations for closing underenrolled elementary and middle schools.

The STRIVE Prep closure is separate in that the network is voluntarily closing the school. It will be the 12th Denver charter school — and the second STRIVE Prep — to close in the past four years. In 2020, STRIVE Prep closed its Excel high school due to declining enrollment. 

STRIVE Prep - Excel was co-located with a district-run school, North High School. Similarly, STRIVE Prep - Lake is co-located with district-run Lake Middle School. 

STRIVE Prep has a total of 10 schools, including STRIVE Prep - Lake. The network is describing the Lake closure as a consolidation in that the school’s sixth and seventh graders could transfer next year to one of the network’s four other nearby middle schools. 

STRIVE Prep - Kepner middle school is about four miles south of the network’s Lake school, and STRIVE - Prep Sunnyside middle school is about four miles north. Students could also choose to attend a school outside the STRIVE network. 

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, covering Denver Public Schools. Contact Melanie at masmar@chalkbeat.org.

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