CIVA Charter School Frequently Asked Questions

How does CIVA differ from other charter school in Colorado Springs?

CIVA is one of the highest performing high schools in Colorado Springs District 11, and places a unique emphasis on integrating the arts into our rigorous academic curriculum. CIVA embodies an inclusive, welcoming culture enriched by our focus on community and international students.


Students gather outside to discuss charter school frequently asked questions


Which courses do CIVA offer?

CIVA offers challenging Honors & Advanced Placement courses to prepare students for higher education. We include a wide variety of Arts electives to encourage our students to explore artistic expression alongside strong academics. Other courses include CU Succeed Courses and Character Development to provide supplemental knowledge beyond the classroom.

What is CIVA’s average class size?

Our average class size is 16 students. We take pride in our small class sizes which allow our students to receive more personalized education, genuinely get to know their classmates, and feel safe and welcomed in the hallways.

How many years of experience does CIVA have?

Founded in September of 1997, CIVA has 25 years of experience providing unique education options to students looking for something beyond traditional high school.

Why was CIVA founded?

CIVA was founded to provide an educational pathway for students which placed more emphasis on excelling in character, academics, and the arts. Modeled after the Hyde school, CIVA continues this mission to develop scholars, citizens, and artisans of character who acquire essential qualities of the educated individual, citizen, and worker. Our vision is to inspire each student to understand and pursue their unique potential.

How are CIVA students unique?

Students at CIVA develop three unique habits which are not found anywhere else, including habits of the mind, habits of the heart, and habits of the soul.

What are CIVA’s Performing arts courses?

Our performing arts courses include Theatre, Music, Band, Choir, Guitar, and Dance.

What are CIVA Visual arts courses?

Our visual arts courses include Video Production, Ceramics, Photography, Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, and additional Visual Arts Electives.

What is a charter high school?

Charter schools are independently run, tuition-free schools which allow founders and educators to employ innovation in the school setting. For this reason, every charter school is unique. This provides increased freedom to place a unique emphasis on desired curriculum, as well as increased accountability as charter schools are publicly funded and bound by a public “charter” or contract to uphold their outlined standards and requirements.

What is the difference between charter schools and public schools?

All charter schools are public schools, but not all public schools are charter schools. Charter schools provide educators more freedom to live out the school’s mission and vision than traditional public schools, and challenge students to think independently.

What's the difference between an arts high school and traditional high school?

Arts high schools incorporate visual and performing arts into curriculum more than a traditional high school would. Students are encouraged to pursue creativity and express themselves at an arts high school, whether through visual arts, performing arts, or both.

How do Colorado charter schools work?

Like other charter schools across the country, Colorado charter schools are public and tuition free. Colorado charter schools operate under contract between the charter school and the authorizer, often a Colorado school district.

Is an arts high school a good fit for your child?

Every child and their educational needs vary, but arts high schools tend to be good options for kids who enjoy creativity and aspire to incorporate arts into traditional education or pursue arts in the future. Art high schools provide students the opportunity to excel in visual and performing arts beyond traditional curriculums. In addition, some arts high schools may incorporate a warm, inclusive culture such as CIVA Charter High School.

Why should students study Visual Arts?

Studying visual arts provides students the freedom to explore different mediums and forms of expression. This may include drawing, painting, sculpting, mixed media, and more. Students studying visual arts may find a hidden passion or talent for the arts which they may not have otherwise known.

What are performing arts?

Performing arts can include singing, dancing, acting, or any other form of artistic expression in a performance-based setting. Artists use their own bodies to perform, which can include their voice, boy movement, or facial expressions.

How do performing arts differ from visual arts?

While both disciplines involve artistic expression by the artist, performing arts utilize the artists’ voice or physical body to express their art while visual arts utilize a physical medium to express art in a static or tangible object. This can include paint, pencil, canvas, paper, ink, and more.

Does going to a prep school help college admission?

College prep schools help prepare students for collegiate courses beyond traditional high school curriculum. They can generally improve a student’s ability to pursue higher level education as they provide students more experience with rigorous academic challenges and tend to have more resources for educating and preparing students for high education.

What are AP classes?

AP classes, or Advanced Placement classes, provide students the ability to engage in college-level courses while still in high school. They allow high school students to earn college credit and gain experience in higher level education while completing their high school diploma. AP classes are generally more challenging and fast paced than traditional high school courses.

What are the benefits of AP and Honor classes?

AP and Honor classes provide students the benefit of better preparation for higher education as they learn to excel in more challenging classes while still in high school. AP classes also provide students the benefit of getting a head start on college credits through the AP program. Students develop strong critical thinking and organizational skills in AP and Honors classes which benefit them throughout life and beyond the classroom.

What is Quantum Learning?

Quantum Learning is a brain-based research model, which improves students’ ability to learn and retain information based on neurological research. Many schools are incorporating Quantum Learning into their classrooms, which has resulted in amazing academic and artistic accomplishments of our students at CIVA.