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What is a Charter School?

GALS is a charter school and part of the DPS Family of Schools

Denver Public Schools strongly believes that those closest to students – families and school leaders – know what’s best for their students academically, socially and emotionally, so they offer diverse school models to meet students’ diverse needs. 

All DPS schools are equally part of the DPS family and are equally held accountable to performance standards, while also meeting different needs, taking different approaches, and having various forms of flexibility. DPS also collaborates with and supports every school to ensure they are heard and considered. 

DPS charter schools are public, independently operated schools. In Colorado, charter schools are operated pursuant to the Colorado Charter Schools Act. All DPS charter schools are nonprofit organizations. 

How does this apply to GALS Denver?

  • As a Colorado charter school, GALS is a tuition-free public school and is open to all students
  • GALS Denver is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and contracts with DPS to operate two public schools, GALS Middle School and GALS High School
  • GALS is governed by a Board of Directors, set Bylaws and a team of highly qualified educational leaders. All board meetings are open to the public with meeting minutes and financials published monthly 
  • GALS operates as an independent organization as authorized by DPS. GALS has more flexibility than traditional DPS schools with regards curriculum, fiscal management, and offers an innovative whole child approach to education
  • Parents/students apply to GALS through DPS’ SchoolChoice - the one-application, one-deadline program introduced in 2011 that was designed to ensure equity, consistency and simplicity in school DPS enrollment. During the application window, families rank their top school preferences and submit their application and DPS matches students to schools based on preferences, as well as school admission priorities and available space. 
  • As a charter school, GALS may request waivers from provisions of state law and any state or local rule, regulation, policy, or procedure relating to schools in the school district; however, in exchange for this flexibility, GALS is contractually bound to meet the financial and academic performance-based objectives specified in our charter with the district
  • Just like other DPS schools, GALS receives state funding based on Per Pupil Operating Revenue (PPR), which is a formula for each student enrolled and per state law is required to be financially transparent
  • Currently, GALS is one of 57 Charter Schools who serve over 21,000 DPS students, almost a quarter of the student population.  
  • GALS Denver proudly partners with the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Colorado League of Charter Schools, and Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools 
Interested in learning more?