Carbon Valley Academy Family Handbook



“Extraordinary student growth in academic achievement and character development through results-driven leadership relentlessly focused on students.”


“Provide rich content and solid skills instruction in an environment that champions character and personal academic achievement.”



School Hours                          School phone number
8:00am-3:15pm                                 (303) 774-9555

School Hours                          School phone number
8:00am-3:15pm                                 (303) 774-9555
student handbook

CVA Motto:

Be Nice, Work Hard

CVA Board Philosophy:

  • CVA will provide a classroom and school culture that will create the best learning environment for students through high expectations of student discipline and character. We believe that children and young adolescents need to develop respect for others, to grow in their own insight into ethical values and principles, and to be able to live and work collaboratively with others.

  • CVA believes that parents are their children’s first teachers and those parents delegate to us in a cooperative spirit the responsibility of their child’s education. 

  • CVA believes that students thrive on challenge and learning at their “resistance level” and will strive to help develop individualized and rigorous learning goals collaboratively with the students in the area of language arts and mathematics.

  • Further, at Carbon Valley Academy, a high priority is placed upon character development, critical thinking, collaboration, social-emotional learning and communication in order to develop the whole child.

Carbon Valley Academy Character Code of Conduct

Character and Citizenship

The Carbon Valley Academy Code of Conduct is founded on nine Character Traits, which are reflected both in our positive behavior system as well as in our discipline structure. Every month, each trait will be highlighted in classroom teaching and culture as well as throughout the school with the exception of August, during which our motto BE NICE; WORK HARD and our value of COMMUNITY will be featured. Individual students reflecting these traits will be celebrated at monthly Character Assemblies and during Board of Directors meetings. 

Each Character Trait is defined as follows 

1. Responsibility: to do the things you are expected to do and to accept the consequences of your actions. 

2. Respect:  to recognize and appreciate the rights, beliefs, practices and differences of other people.

3. Patriotism: love and devotion to one’s country and community.

. 4. Courage: strength in overcoming fear and carrying on against difficulties.

5. Honesty: being truthful and sincere with your words, actions, and thoughts.

 6. Work Ethic: understanding the importance of doing work and a desire to work hard.

7. Friendship: having a strong liking for and trust in another person.

8. Perseverance: overcoming challenges and sticking with something, even when it is hard.

9. Compassion: -to recognize the struggles of others and then take action to help.


History of the CVA Charter, Mission and Goals

Pursuant to the Colorado Charter Schools Act, we seek “to provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in education opportunities that are available within the public school system.” 

Carbon Valley Academy’s (CVA) mission and goals are truly a community effort and represent different faiths, cultures and economic standings. The mission was developed largely from input at three community meetings that were advertised door to door through the free distribution and paid subscriber edition of the Farmer and Miner, in various local and surrounding area newspapers, area businesses, recreation centers, libraries and via word of mouth. At these meetings, approximately 100 families who are residents of the Tri-Town and surrounding areas were asked to write down what elements they would need to see in a successful charter school located in the Tri-Town area. According to those feedback sheets, the overwhelming answers were:

  • Parent involvement

  • Higher academic standards and a more challenging curriculum than are currently available as the norm in their local public school

  • Character Ed that reflects higher standards and promotes a positive learning environment

These answers were “fill in the blanks” and not suggested to parents by the Founding Board. 

Carbon Valley Academy’s mission and goals are in compliance to the purposes set forth in the Colorado Charter Schools Act. As stated in CRS 22-30.5-102:

“It is the obligation of all Coloradoans to provide all children with schools that reflect high expectations and create conditions in all schools where these expectations can be met. Education reform is in the best interests of the state in order to strengthen the performance of elementary and secondary public school pupils, that the best education decisions are made by those who know the students best and who are responsible for implementing the decisions and therefore, that educators and parents have a right and a responsibility to participate in the education institutions which serve them: Different pupils learn differently and public school programs should be designed to fit the needs of individual pupils and that there are educators, citizens and parents in Colorado who are willing and able to offer innovative efforts.”


The Board’s vision of Carbon Valley Academy is: 

 Extraordinary student growth in academic achievement and character development through results-driven leadership relentlessly focused on students. 

The Board believes that leadership occurs throughout the organization. Leadership is formal, through positions with formal authority including the board, executive director, Principal, staff, volunteers, and student leaders. It is also informal, through the contributions of influential members of the Carbon Valley Academy community. Leadership is the responsibility of both formal and informal leaders to promote the vision and mission of Carbon Valley Academy. 

Such leadership develops and sustains a positive, student centered organization culture through communication and decision making which is uncompromisingly truthful, transparent, and respectful. It ensures that students feel safe and respected by staff and other students. It holds individuals and groups accountable for actions consistent with core values and goals. Such leadership sustains high morale and motivation by sharing decision making authority, within boundaries, with those who are accountable for results. It develops understanding and earns the loyalty of students, their families, and staff through consistent and constant telling and retelling of the Carbon Valley Academy story. It always focuses on the execution of decisions and the results achieved. It is grounded in trust, caring, and positive relationships. 

The Board is resolute in carrying out its leadership role. It believes in defined roles which clearly delineate the authority and accountability of the board to secure for Carbon Valley Academy fiscal sustainability, a vibrant and relevant vision and mission, a strategic context in which goals and improvement targets are defined and achieved, and a well-defined and highly effective relationship with the Principal and/or the Executive Director. 

The Board believes Carbon Valley Academy is a Kindergarten through Eighth grade organization serving the Carbon Valley and its immediate surroundings. It believes in fostering a small school feel while meeting the academic needs of all children attending CVA. 

The Board embraces a hybrid version of Carver Policy Governance as the most effective means to continually improve its ability to: 

● Define results to be achieved with students; 

● Delegate authority and its limits to the Principal/Executive Director through which to achieve these results;

● Hold the Principal/Executive Director accountable for results and the quality of operations; and 

● Provide broad fiscal and program oversight necessary to be highly informed strategic decision makers.

The Board is committed to hiring and retaining exceptional talent in the Principal/Executive Director position. It is equally committed to providing an environment within which the Principal/Executive Director may assemble and develop talented staff and volunteers to perform at exceptional levels throughout the organization. The Board believes this is the surest route to producing the extraordinary education program envisioned for the students of Carbon Valley Academy. 

The Board believes the extraordinary education program is demonstrated by 

● High positive academic growth of every student; 

● Commitment to and demonstration of the character traits Respect, Responsibility, Patriotism, Compassion, Work Ethic, Friendship, Honesty, Perseverance, and Courage; 

● Students who apply their solid foundation of knowledge in an integrated fashion to solve problems and successfully respond to future challenges and opportunities. 

The Board believes that talented staff performing at exceptional levels develops students who achieve extraordinary growth when there is an intense commitment to: 

● Quality; 

● The growth of every student without exception; 

● Making decisions which are data driven, from the classroom to the boardroom; 

● Implementing a rigorous curriculum which provides for differentiation among students by staff who know how to differentiate instruction; 

● Continuously improving instruction through systematic professional development and individual effort in a team environment; 

● Utilizing learning styles in instruction; 

● Developing student character in our core traits: Respect, Responsibility, Patriotism, Compassion, Work Ethic, Friendship, Honesty, Perseverance, and Courage; 

● Remunerating staff through a system which reflects what is valued in instruction, staff involvement and leadership; and 

● Open two-way communication in all conversations. 

The Board believes that this vision for Carbon Valley Academy is best achieved by proactively developing partnerships between and among the members of the Carbon Valley Academy community, the broader educational community, local and regional government, private agencies, and the general citizenry. 

Through these partnerships and results-driven leadership relentlessly focused on students, Carbon Valley Academy will achieve our vision of extraordinary student growth in academic achievement and character development. 


Eligibility and Election of Board Members

● No members may be employees of the charter school. 

● All Board members are subject to background checks. 

● Board members are not entitled to compensation for their services, but may be entitled to reimbursement from the school for any reasonable expenses incurred in performing services for CVA, as deemed reasonable by the Board of Directors. 

● Only one member of any family may serve on the Board at any time. 

● Board members will elect the officers of the Board after each election. The officers will be President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. 

● In the event of vacancy through resignation, dismissal or otherwise the Board may fill the vacancy by appointment for the remaining portion of the vacant member’s term.

Carbon Valley Academy Curriculum and the Academic Plan

The “Core Knowledge” movement is an educational reform based on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and fair elementary education. The movement was started by Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr., author of Cultural Literacy and The Schools We Need, and is based on a large body of research in cognitive psychology, as well as a careful examination of several of the world’s fairest and most effective school systems. Professor Hirsch has argued that, for the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness, and higher literacy, early schooling should provide a solid, specific, shared core curriculum in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge. After wide consultation, the content of this core curriculum has been outlined in two books — The Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence and The Core Knowledge Sequence, K–8 — that state explicitly what students should learn at each grade level. Currently, hundreds of schools and thousands of dedicated educators are participating in this school reform movement throughout the United States. 


Core Knowledge is: 

Solid: Many people say that knowledge is changing so fast that what students learn today will soon be outdated. While current events and technology are constantly changing, there is nevertheless a body of lasting knowledge that should form the core of a Preschool-Grade 8 curriculum. Such solid knowledge includes, for example, the basic principles of constitutional government, important events of world history, essential elements of mathematics and of oral and written expression, widely acknowledged masterpieces of art and music, and stories and poems passed down from generation to generation. 

Sequenced: Knowledge builds on knowledge. Children learn new knowledge by building on what they already know. Only a school system that clearly defines the knowledge and skills required to participate in each successive grade can be excellent and fair for all students. For this reason, the Core Knowledge Sequence provides a clear outline of content to be learned grade by grade. This sequential building of knowledge not only helps ensure that children enter each new grade ready to learn, but also helps prevent the many repetitions and gaps that characterize much current schooling (repeated units, for example, on pioneer days or the rainforest, but little or no attention to the Bill of Rights, or to adding fractions with unlike denominators). 

Specific: A typical state or district curriculum says, “Students will demonstrate knowledge of people, events, ideas, and movements that contributed to the development of the United States.” But which people and events? What ideas and movements? The Core Knowledge Sequence is distinguished by its specificity. By clearly specifying important knowledge in language arts, history and geography, math, science, and the fine arts, the Core Knowledge Sequence presents a practical answer to the question, “What do our children need to know?” 

Shared: Literacy depends on shared knowledge. To be literate means, in part, to be familiar with a broad range of knowledge taken for granted by speakers and writers. For example, when sportscasters refer to an upset victory as “David knocking off Goliath,” or when reporters refer to a “threatened presidential veto,” they are assuming that their audience shares certain knowledge. One goal of the Core Knowledge Foundation is to provide all children, regardless of background, with the shared knowledge they need to be included in our national literate culture. 


Carbon Valley Academy is committed to using the Core Knowledge Sequence with slight variations.  


Eureka MATH-the most widely used curriculum in the United States

Numbers should add up to more than a right answer. They should inspire aha moments and joyful connections. Eureka Math sets a new standard for rigor, coherence, and focus in the classroom so students gain a deeper understanding of the why behind the numbers, all while making math more enjoyable to learn and teach.

Thoughtfully constructed and designed like a story, Eureka Math is meticulously coherent, with an intense focus on key concepts that layer over time, creating enduring knowledge. Students gain a complete body of math knowledge, not just a discrete set of skills. They use the same models and problem-solving methods from grade to grade, so math concepts stay with them, year after year.  Students learn to think, strategize and solve problems… not just get answers.



Elementary students will complete history, science, art, music, physical education, technology, and Spanish with their grade level. Students will be assessed before beginning coursework to determine where the best placement will be for them during each unit of language arts and mathematics. Depending on how they assess, they may be able to work at their own grade level or on deeper, more critical thinking experiences with other students in groups that will best challenge them in math and language arts.

Middle School students will complete History and Science with their grade level. Middle School students will be placed in Spanish, English and Math classes according to ability. Art, Technology, Music, WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) and P.E. classes are chosen electives. 


Learning Environment 

We at CVA believe there is a huge difference between enabling students and EMPOWERING students. Teaching students how to critically think helps them develop into innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers which we all know is essential to a successful life both inside and outside of the classroom. We are working to be intentional and strategic with our learning experiences so that they offer a certain level of struggle. We believe that productive struggle leads to deeper learning and the ability to retain that learning.

Help us make words like perseverance, patterns, structure, precision and tools be commonplace in our students’ vocabulary.


Teaching Human Sexuality 

We will teach the Core Knowledge Sequence in the fifth grade, which includes a discussion on the reproductive organs and reproduction, in a gender-separated environment. Eighth grade will also have a reproductive and wellness unit of study in Science.


Teaching Evolution 

Much of modern biology rests on the theory of evolution. The Core Knowledge Sequence introduces the theory of evolution in 7th grade. We will adhere to the Core Knowledge Sequence. The theory of evolution in relation to human origins will not be taught at this time. The teaching of evolution is not intended to exclude other theories of human origins and development. 


Teaching of Religion 

Carbon Valley Academy will encourage all students, parents, and staff members to appreciate and respect each other’s religious views. Within the Core Knowledge sequence, religion is discussed in relation to world history and culture and is a critical piece to a culturally literate education. When it is educationally appropriate (as it occurs within the established curriculum), discussion of religion will be conducted in an open, objective, and respectful manner as a basis for gaining knowledge and perspective. 

Important points within the Carbon Valley Academy procedures are: 


● The school’s approach to religion is academic

● The school may expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view

● The religious beliefs of the staff, students and their families will be respected

● When the study of a world religion occurs in the curriculum or as a logical extension of the curriculum, the discussion and teaching of the religion will be conducted in a manner consistent with the above guidelines

● Historical accuracy demands that teachers pay special attention to truthfully representing history, even when it involves motives and foundations based on religion. Examples of this would include being historically accurate in describing the Pilgrim’s reason for immigrating to America (religious freedom), or the strong motivation provided by the faith convictions of the forefathers of the United States

Room parents and party planners should be aware of these guidelines. 


Homework Procedures 

Students on an educational contract or those students falling behind their classroom assignments may be required to complete additional work at home to maintain progress and develop content mastery. Consistent opportunities exist for students to master and practice concepts within the regular school day and our goal is to offer additional opportunities for students to PRACTICE their learning towards mastery at home. It will be the responsibility of each teacher/student/family to evaluate whether or not the completion of work or additional homework is appropriate for students to master new or more difficult concepts. If homework is assigned, it will be used as a tool to help students achieve academic potential. Middle school students, grade 6-8, may be asked to complete assignments/projects/multi-day learning activities after school hours as homework. 

In addition to or for the completion of regular classroom assignments, we would like each student to read, or be read to, preferably every day. Understanding that becoming a competent reader is critical to being a good student and is the first step to being able to explore the world. By making sure your child is reading at home, you are directly contributing to their education. By reading in front of your children, you model good habits and reinforce your expectations. We feel the same way about math. Developing number sense and automaticity in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are the foundational elements of the creation of problem solving. Any time each evening that students can improve their foundational learning will only benefit their ability to THINK as they grow older. 

CVA Policies and Procedures

School-wide Safety

Safety at CVA is our number one priority. All visitors must enter through our front door where they will need to be “buzzed” in. All visitors will be “Raptored”  and given a sticker that makes all adults aware that their person followed our procedure.  Our Raptor system requires a driver’s license and it runs the information through CBI to determine that the individual is deemed “safe to enter”. Staff has been informed to interact with anyone who is not stickered and to escort them to the front desk in order to follow our safety procedures. This rarely happens due to the only entrance into our building that doesn’t require a key/key card is our front entrance which is monitored by our front desk receptionist. 

Safety drills will be run based on the expectations from CDE and Frederick PD/FD. You may need to pick up your child and arrive at school to find us in the middle of a drill.  Please be patient! Your child’s safety is our number one priority and we must make sure that everyone understands the procedures of when/if an emergency happens.  

Examples of drills that be consistently run: 


Severe weather 


Secure (formerly known as Lockout)


Student Safety

Code of Conduct and Behavior 

The origins of the word “discipline” lie in the Latin word disciplina, which means “teaching” or “learning.” To discipline is to instruct. At Carbon Valley Academy, Teachers and Administrators know that discipline is an essential component of academic achievement. The ultimate goal of CVA’s discipline plan is to help students become people who behave well on their own – not just when under the direct supervision of adults. All situations requiring a disciplinary consequence will be seen as a learning opportunity for the students with the goal of not making the same mistake again. Restorative Practices will be a part of any consequence given to students where they learn to fix the harm that was created. Our Behavior Team and our Positive Behavior Team (PBIS) have created structures so that we create school-wide clarity and consistency in the expectations for student behavior.

With COMMUNITY being one of the core values at CVA, we value the role that each student plays within our community. We are dependent on each other to play our specific role and follow the expectations/guidelines given within our community.  Communities depend on members to support the big picture and goals of the community. When a student makes the choice to go against the community we request that they “fix the harm” that was created by doing school community service as soon as possible. Helping us keep the inside and outside of our school clean and safe is always a need and a constant consequence to kiddos that make mistakes.

The management structure will be followed when addressing student misbehavior. 

Classroom level guidelines:

  • Multiple redirections from teacher 

  • Final redirection of teacher

  • Written refocus form–personal reflection of choice made

  • Teacher/student conversation about student choice and reflection form

  • Removal from class to refocus/time out area– SEL room/buddy classroom

  • Parent phone call/conversation 

  • Community service during the day

  • After school detention 

Administration level:

  • Community Service during/before or after school

  • In School Suspension (ISS) 

  • Individualized Behavior Plan

  • Out of School Suspension (OSS)

  • Modified class schedule (shortened days)

Teachers or administrators may search students and their possessions, under reasonable suspicion for contraband or weapons. Witnesses will always be present.

A thorough and complete investigation will happen for every occurance to ensure due process to every student/person involved in any inappropriate situation that comes to the front office. 


Grounds for Suspension, Expulsion or Denial of Admission 

In addition to state law 22-33-106 we also include: 


● Repeated infractions of CVA discipline policy. 

● Repeated conduct or a pattern of behavior, which substantially or materially disrupts or interferes with school programs or activities, or otherwise interferes with the school’s ability to provide educational opportunities to other students. 

● Theft, willful, or grossly negligent damage, vandalism or destruction of school property or private property on school grounds or at a school activity. 

Threat of physical harm to another another student or staff member

● Assault, physical or verbal abuse, or any form of intimidation or hazing another student or denying other person on school grounds or at a school activity. 

● Behavior off school property which is detrimental to the welfare of other students or school personnel, including behavior which creates a threat of physical harm to the student or to other students (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok)

● Knowingly making a false accusation of, or intentionally, giving false information regarding child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct; and/or allegedly committing an offense referenced in the Colorado Criminal Code when on school grounds; at a school activity, or under circumstances having a substantial effect on school programs or activities. 

● Carrying, bringing, using or possessing a dangerous or deadly weapon, or using any other objects so as to render them dangerous to the user or to others, without authorization from the school or the school district on school grounds or at a school activity or under any other circumstance that has a substantial effect on school programs or activities. 

● Activities and actions reasonably considered to be gang related which occur in the school on, school grounds, or at a school activity. “Gang” is defined in Colorado school law 22-25-103 (3.5) “a group of three or more individuals with a common interest, bond or activity characterized by criminal or delinquent conduct, engaged in either collectively or individually.” Any cult or gang related symbols or materials will result in a phone call to parents and an infraction of dress code and may result in a seizure of said contraband and at the administration’s discretion be used in a suspension hearing. 

● Manufacture, use, possession, sale, transfer, or distribution of alcoholic substances or illegal drugs, or being in an impaired state apparently caused by the use of alcohol or illegal drugs at the school. 

● Cheating, forgery, or any student manipulation of any assessment system will result in a recommendation for suspension 

School-wide COVID Policy/Procedures

Masks are not required at Carbon Valley Academy.

  • CVA will honor personal and parent choice with regard to mask-wearing.