Mountain Phoenix Community School (MPCS) began as the vision of four parents and educators living outside Denver in Coal Creek Canyon and was authorized as a charter school by Jeffco Schools in 2006. The doors opened in the 2007-08 school year serving 59 students and their families in a small, 3-room schoolhouse in the foothills of Coal Creek Canyon. In 2006, it was the first charter school inspired by Waldorf Education to be approved in Colorado. For three years MPCS served a modest number of students from the surrounding mountain communities, however, well over half of the student body commuted from the Denver metro area to attend the school.
In 2010 MPCS had the opportunity to respond to the growing interest of families in the metro-Denver area and, through the networking and passion of committed parents, was able to acquire the 4.2 acre campus of a private school in Wheat Ridge (Foothills Academy). During the 2010-11 school year, MPCS operated two “sister” schools and served approximately 280 students. During that year it became evident that maintaining two schools was not sustainable and the decision was made to close the mountain school and invest in the development of the Wheat Ridge campus. This change was accomplished by negotiations with an investment firm in 2011 to purchase the property to accommodate an increasing student body.
What began as an act of love and devotion by parents, faculty and staff continues today in a way that causes many visitors to the campus to comment on the special atmosphere that’s immediately evident. Our campus is consistently noted as the most unique school campus in Jefferson County. MPCS provides a developmentally responsive education to preschoolers beginning at the age of 2.5 all the way to 8th grade. We are a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education and recognized as one of the largest public Waldorf charter schools in the country. Our campus serves over 600 students combined in our preK-8th grade main campus program and our off-site Waldorf inspired homeschool enrichment program, Lively Arts Homeschool. Parents and caregivers choose the Public Waldorf approach to education because they value a well-rounded, artistically-infused education for their students that delivers academic content while honoring the whole child. As a publicly funded charter school, MPCS is fiscally and academically accountable to the Colorado Department of Education and its authorizing district, Jefferson County Public Schools. Balancing the pursuit of the educational impulses offered by Ruldof Steiner over 100 years ago with public school accountability measures has required a blend of innovation and collaboration that have both challenged and strengthened our biography since 2007.
We look to the future with eyes focused on providing an excellent public education guided by the Core Principles of Public Waldorf Education that is accessible to all learners and meets today’s diverse students.
“We pause to note that Mountain Phoenix Community School occupies the historic land of the Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne as well as some of the other 45 recognized tribes that lived in what we know today as Colorado. As current people within this space we acknowledge the history of when the pioneers took over this area to alter the interconnected human relationship to land, air, and water to a transactional relationship through genocide and land theft. We recognize the ancestors of these tribes still survive and we hope that they thrive in our modern era. As residents of this area we seek justice for these tribes to be in contact with our government, economic, land stewardship, and residential bodies to be in dialogue about how we can all move forward together for the benefit of the land and the people.”