Accomplishments 2009-2010


    Top National Ranking: Peak to Peak High School is a Newsweek Top 100 High School, ranking as the 35th best high school in the nation out of 16,000 public high schools that made the list in 2010. Each year, Newsweek picks the best high schools in the country based on how hard school staff works to challenge students with advanced placement college-level courses and tests. Peak to Peak remains the only Colorado school to rank in the Top 100.

    For the third year in a row, Peak to Peak High School is a Gold Medal High School, ranking as the 76th best high school in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report in 2009. Of 18,743 public high schools, Peak to Peak is the only Colorado high school to rank in the Top 100 and one of only 16 charter schools from across the nation to be included in the Top 100 list. Forty-eight of the Top 100 schools had selective admissions criteria. Peak to Peak High School is open to all students who wish to attend through the open enrollment process. The Gold Medal Top 100 designation is based on the school’s College Readiness Index.

    Excellent State Ratings: Peak to Peak elementary, middle and high schools were once again all ranked “Excellent,” the top rating based on statewide CSAP testing by the State of Colorado.

    Competitive ACT Scores: Peak to Peak’s junior class of 2009 achieved a composite ACT score of 24.5. The State ACT average is 19.6 and the average ACT score for Boulder Valley High Schools is 22.2. 

    Voted Best Public School: Peak to Peak was voted Best Public School by critics and readers for the Yellow Scene’s Best of the West issue. The magazine received hundreds of votes, and the accolade is a testament “to the great things you are doing at Peak to Peak Charter School,” according to the editors.

    National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists: Two Peak to Peak seniors were named National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Seven students were recognized as commended. Three students from the class of 2010 qualified as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. Nationwide, only 15,000 finalists and 34,000 commended students are named among the 1.5 million students who take the PSAT as juniors.

    NCA Accreditation Peak to Peak was officially accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) for the next five years, following an April 2010 visit by the NCA quality assurance team. Peak to Peak was evaluated against rigorous national standards for vision and purpose; governance and leadership; teaching and learning; documenting and using results; resources and support systems; stakeholder communications and relationships; and commitment to continuous improvement.

    Graduates Granted Scholarship Money: The 2010 class of graduating seniors was awarded $9.8 million in scholarship money, a school record. With 124 graduates, this averages nearly $80,000 in scholarship offers per student.

    100% College Acceptance Rate: All of the students in Peak to Peak’s class of 2010 were accepted to a college, with nine students choosing to take a gap year. “Gap year” students were accepted into a college of their choice but chose to defer going to college for one year. The class of 2010 averaged nearly four college acceptances per student.

    Selective College Acceptances: Of the colleges that the class of 2010 plans to attend, 24 percent chose to enroll in the nation’s “Most Competitive” colleges and universities.

    High Number of Advanced Placement Tests: In 2010, a record 319 Peak to Peak students took 707 Advanced Placement (AP) exams in 19 different content areas. These college-level AP courses taken during high school are accepted for college credit by thousands of universities nationwide.

    AP Scholar Achievements: Eighty-six Peak to Peak high school students qualified for AP Scholar distinctions based on their performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

    Twenty-eight students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP exams and earning scores of three or higher on a five-point scale. (Of these students, eight earned an average score of four or higher on all AP exams taken.)

    Sixteen students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and grades of three or higher on four or more of these exams.

    Forty-two students received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and grades of three or higher on five or more of these exams.

    Peak to Peak students took nineteen of the thirty-seven different AP exams offered. About eighteen percent of the 1.6 million students worldwide who took AP exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award.

    Most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both based on successful performance on the AP exams. More than 1,400 institutions award a full year’s credit (sophomore standing) to students presenting a sufficient number of qualifying grades.

    Peak Scholar Diplomas: Forty-four Peak to Peak seniors received Peak Scholar diplomas. The Peak Scholar program indicates to selective colleges that students who achieve this honor have excelled in AP exams, grade point average (GPA), leadership, and community service. Twenty-four 2010 graduates received the school’s highest award, being recognized as Peak Scholars with Distinction (achieving an average of 3.5 or higher on at least five AP exams, earning at least a 3.9 weighted GPA, and completing 150 hours of community service); eight students received Peak Scholar with Honors (average 3.25 or higher on at least four AP exams, 3.7 weighted GPA, 125 community service hours); and 12 students received Peak Scholar designation (average 3 or higher on at least three AP exams, 3.3 weighted GPA,100 community service hours).

    Science Olympiad Winners: The Peak to Peak Science Olympiad team placed second out of 25 teams at the Northern Regional Science Olympiad in Ft. Collins. The team advanced to the state competition at the Colorado School of Mines and placed fourth.

    Regional Science Bowl Winners: Peak to Peak took first place out of forty teams at the Colorado Regional Science Bowl. Five high school students competed at the National Science Bowl Competition in Washington, D.C., where they had an impressive showing.

    National Ocean Sciences Bowl Competition: Five high school students earned second place in the state at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

    Regional Science Fair Achievements/ Elementary Science Fair Achievements: Twenty Peak to Peak middle school students competed in the Regional Science Fair, with many winning awards. An eighth grader placed second and was invited to attend the Colorado State Science Fair. Ten elementary students earned honorable mention at the Elementary Science Fair.

    Scholastic Gold Key Winner: A high school senior won a Scholastic Gold Key for fiction writing.

    Students Selected for Mentoring Program with First Lady Michelle Obama: Ten Peak to Peak high school students were among the eighty girls from 10 high schools across Colorado who attended a Leadership Mentoring Initiative Luncheon led by First Lady Michelle Obama.

    State & National Speech & Debate Qualifiers: Three Peak to Peak high school students qualified for the state tournament for speech and debate. One student qualified at the national level in extemporaneous speaking.

    DECA State Qualifiers and Medalists: In its first year as a chapter at Peak to Peak, DECA, a higher education marketing and business management association, sent six students to the state DECA competition. Four students earned state medals.

    Chinese Speech Contest Winners: Peak to Peak Chinese Speech Team members, comprised of students from seventh through twelfth grade, won first and third places at the 3rd Annual Colorado Chinese Speech Contest.

    Mock Trial Winners: The high school Mock Trial team took first place in the local competition and went on to have a commendable showing at state.

    Stock Market Game Success: Fifth-graders won second place in the Metro Region during the annual Stock Market Game. To compete in the game, students work together to create and manage a virtual investment portfolio of real-world stocks and mutual funds.

    Writing Award Winner: A Peak to Peak senior was selected as one of the winners in the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing competition. The student was selected from among 1,783 students and was one of only four Colorado winners.

    Special ACT Achievement: A Peak to Peak high school freshman who took the ACT in Colorado for gifted programs, practice, and beyond, placed in the top ten percent of test-takers and received the highest score on the reading section.

    Banned Book Essay Contest Winner: A Peak to Peak high school student won first place in the state in the Tattered Cover Eighth Annual Banned Book Week Essay contest. Another student won third place in the state. The first-place winner received a grant for the school's Library Media Center.

    Optimist Brain Bowl: Nine Peak to Peak middle school students competed in the 2010 North Region Optimist Brain Bowl tournament, and four students earned second place. They competed against schools from northern Colorado and southern Wyoming.

    National Geography Bee Winners: An eighth-grade student won the National Geography Bee. Another Peak to Peak middle school student earned the first-runner-up title.

    PawPrint High School Student Newspaper: This year, additional issues were published and weekly news updates could be found online all year for the first time.


    Gold Key Scholastic Art Award Winner: A high school student won the Gold Key Scholastic Art Award and had artwork judged at the national level.

    Congressional Art Competitors: Two high school students were selected for the 2nd Congressional District Art Competition sponsored by Jared Polis.

    Orchestra All State Winners: Six high school orchestra students were accepted into the 2010 Colorado All-State Orchestra.

    A junior was selected for the 2010 All-State Choir and 2010 All-State Orchestra and was the recipient of the 2010 University of Colorado Outstanding Junior in Music Award.

    Middle School Art Show Participants: Middle school students displayed their sculptures in a public Art Show at the Lafayette Public Library.

    Boulder Ballet/Boulder Philharmonic: Two Peak to Peak students, one high school and one middle school, were selected by audition to dance in the Boulder Ballet/Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2009 production of “The Nutcracker.”

    Ballet Nouveau Colorado: After a rigorous audition process, several Peak to Peak students were selected to perform roles in Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s annual professional production of “The Nutcracker.”

    Middle School Student Actor: A seventh-grader was selected by audition to perform as the Turkey Boy/Ensemble/ understudy in “A Christmas Carol” with the Denver Center for Performing Arts. The student also auditioned in New York with the Disney Channel.

    Thespians Produce Smash Hit: The Peak to Peak Thespian Troupe completed the play “Once Upon A Mattress,” which was a 100-percent-student-produced effort. The high school students directed, produced, acted, and served as stage managers.

    Advanced Placement Art Portfolios: Thirty-two high school students successfully completed AP Art and submitted portfolios to The College Board. Each student created 29 artworks and artist statements.


    All-State Athletes: Eleven Peak to Peak athletes earned 12 all-state recognition honors in the following sports: soccer, boys’ basketball, girls’ golf, track and field, and girls’ softball. The students were selected for 3A state honors by The Denver Post. Peak to Peak had 55 athletes compete at the state level in a variety of sports.

    State Champions: Two high school students, one boy and one girl, won state championship titles in track and field.

    All-Conference Athletes: Thirty-four Peak to Peak athletes were named to All-Conference athletic teams in 2009-2010. Sports with All-Conference winners include golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, cross country, basketball, ice hockey, track, and baseball.

    Prep Athlete of the Week: A senior Peak to Peak baseball player was named Prep Athlete of the Week by the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper.

    Metro League Coaches of the Year: Two Peak to Peak coaches were named Metro League coaches of the year; one in boys’ golf and one in boys’ soccer.

    Girls’ Golf: The Peak to Peak girls’ golf team won the Metro League 3A Championship for the first time in the school’s history. Two athletes competed at the state girls’ golf tournament.

    Varsity Basketball: The Peak to Peak boys’ varsity basketball team took fourth place in the Metro League and, for the first time, competed in the Elite Eight tournament in Fort Collins. The Peak to Peak girls’ varsity basketball team won second place in the Metro League.

    Varsity Soccer: The Peak to Peak girls’ and boys’ soccer teams finished second in league play and competed in the state quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

    Students Compete in Sports Outside of School: A number of Peak to Peak students competed at the local and national levels in a wide variety of sports, including wrestling, football, tennis, swimming, lacrosse, gymnastics, cheerleading, and others.

    Middle School Student is Junior Olympic Skier: A seventh-grade student competed in the Junior Olympics for ski racing.

    Varsity Swimming: A junior finished third in the state in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the state in the 100 freestyle at the 5A state girls’ swimming championships and is in consideration for All-American status.

    Nationally Ranked Gymnast: A senior competed at the Men’s National Junior Olympic Gymnastics Championships and finished in the top 20 on parallel bars and the top 30 on high bar.

    Elementary Students Run Bolder Boulder: For the first time, elementary students trained after school twice a week to prepare for the Bolder Boulder road race.

    Peak to Peak Students Excel in Rugby: Two Peak to Peak students were runners-up at the rugby state finals and earned several other honors, including the Leadership Award and Coach’s Award.


    Sister Carmen Food Drive: Peak to Peak sophomores continued a proud tradition and organized a canned food drive for Sister Carmen Community Center in Lafayette, generating thousands of pounds of food and a monetary donation.

    Key Club Partners with Habitat for Humanity: High school students from Peak to Peak’s Key Club joined Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build homes for those still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

    Panama Spanish Service Trip: Nine high school students traveled to Panama on a language, culture, service, and adventure trip. Service projects included painting walls in a school, helping install a roof, and serving as substitute teachers.

    Brownie Girl Scouts Give to Teen Shelter: The third-grade Peak to Peak Brownies Troop 2231 donated Girl Scout cookies to Attention Homes, a teen shelter in Boulder.

    Peru Service Learning Excursion: High school students traveled to Urubamba, Peru to help rural, indigenous communities. In two weeks, the students installed 26 cleaner burning stoves, dug approximately 1/2 mile of irrigation ditches, and collected more than 50 bags of garbage from the shores of a river. The students also fully immersed themselves in the culture and made the trek to Machu Picchu.

    Pen Pals: Spanish students were pen pals with Mayan high school students in Guatemala who were also perfecting their Spanish.

    Haiti Relief Efforts: Peak to Peak Charter School launched a K-12 fundraising event to support on-the-ground earthquake disaster relief operations in Port au Prince, Haiti. Donors gave up their extra expenses for the day and donated that money to the relief effort coordinated by Project Concern International.

    Additionally, the Peak to Peak Tri-M Music Honor Society hosted the first annual “A Night at the Grammys” recital to benefit the Haiti relief effort. The high school music students represented some of the most talented leaders from the band, orchestra and choir programs.

    Spanish Honor Society: Helps the Hungry Students from Peak to Peak's Spanish Honor Society held an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, raising awareness of global food issues as well as more than $1,000 for the Oxfam organization.

    Service Groups Help Children in Uganda: Students in the Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society and Invisible Children teamed up for a K-12 book drive that collected thousands of books to be donated to needy schoolchildren in Uganda. Funds were also raised to provide more than 100 books for Share-A-Gift distribution in Boulder.

    Sixth-Graders Raise Money for Celiac Disease: Participating in the Celebrate Lafayette Festival, two Peak to Peak sixth-graders raised money for celiac disease by performing yoyo tricks from their booth at the festival. The students raised $300 for the Celiac Disease Foundation.

    Elementary Students Committed to Service, Learning and Character: Elementary students participated in several service-learning initiatives to promote thankfulness, compassion and valuing others. The Blanket Round-Up resulted in more than 200 blankets and sleeping bags for Boulder County's homeless and the Soles 4 Souls project collected many shoes for the people of Haiti.


    Jared Polis Teacher Recognition Award: Mary Campbell, high school counselor, was recognized for her commitment to students, innovative teaching, and collaboration skills when she earned the Jared Polis award. In addition to a personal award, she won a $1,000 teacherdirected operating grant for Peak to Peak. Additionally, Campbell was named Next Step magazine’s “Super Counselor.” As winner in the bi-monthly contest, Campbell was featured on the magazine’s website and in its printed newsletter that is distributed to 20,500 high school guidance counselors nationwide.

    Computer Grants: Peak to Peak was awarded grants culminating in 69 computers and other technologies. Grants include: Intermec K-12 education grant ($2,000, six laptop computers); Northrop Grumman donation ($9,500 value, 13 desktop computers, six laptop computers); Jared Polis Foundation grant ($22,000 value, 44 desktop computers, LCD and CRT).

    Impact on Education Award: High school English teacher Kristie Letter was a 2009 Impact on Education Award winner. Only five winners are selected within the 28,000- student Boulder Valley School District. Impact on Education recognizes those who exhibit dedication to teaching and learning, building strong relationships with students, and who have an inspiring influence on students and the school community.

    Top Math Coach: Anita Chakraborty-Spots was named one of the top math coaches in Colorado. She instructed and mentored a Peak to Peak student who earned an honorable mention as having one of the best scores for eighth grade in the American Math Competition.

    Physical Education Professional Development: Physical Education teacher Jeri Chandler presented several workshops and conference sessions titled “Active Bodies, Active Brains — Engaging Students through Movement.”

    Teacher Earns Advanced Degree and Principal’s License: Keri Dunphy, Spanish teacher and World Languages curriculum leader, graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. She also earned a principal’s license.

    National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship: High School English teacher Kristie Letter received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study at the Molly Brown House during summer 2010. Instructional Leadership Peak to Peak faculty presented at the statewide charter school conference as leaders and pioneers in instructional leadership for K-12 schools.

    Aspen Writers’ Workshop Scholarship: High School English Teacher Heather Cyr was awarded the Candida Lawrence Memoir Scholarship from the Aspen Writers' Foundation. This scholarship to attend the Memoir Workshop is given to one outstanding applicant who has excelled in creative work that is not fictional and that observes or describes, in excellence of craft, the author’s personal experience.

    Charter School Support Initiative (CSSI) and NCA Accreditation (NCA): CSSI, part of the schools of choice unit at the Colorado Department of Education, enlisted several Peak to Peak faculty members to assist with important site visits. The NCA also enlisted Peak to Peak faculty to assist with accreditation site visits.

    Peak to Peak Launches Center for Professional Development: The Center for Professional Development recognizes that charter schools often experience challenges in establishing, developing, and operating a school of choice. In a partnering effort with other charter schools in Colorado, the Center offers the following opportunities for collaboration and professional development: Induction Partnerships, Customized Professional Development, Wednesday Workshops, and Classroom Observations.

    Professional Development: Bolstering their commitment to quality education for all students, Peak to Peak faculty and staff offered more than 60 professional development seminars to fellow staff and surrounding schools and universities. Peak to Peak hosted more than 200 guest educators from K-12 schools and universities who made 500 classroom observations/visits at Peak to Peak. Additionally, Peak to Peak partnered with several schools on the highly successful Peak to Peak Induction Program.

    National Council of Teachers of English Commendation: The English department was commended by the National Council of Teachers of English for excellence in its instructional program.


    Profile in Character: Award Peak to Peak was again recognized for its commitment to educating for character, earning a “Profile in Character Award” from the Character Education Partnership (CEP) National Schools of Character Awards Program. The award is given to exemplary schools which have uniquely demonstrated one or more of CEP's Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education. Only 18 schools in the nation received this award.

    State School of Character Award: The Foundation for Character Development named Peak to Peak the Colorado State School of Character in 2009 and 2010. The State Schools of Character awards program provides recognition to schools and districts in Colorado that demonstrate an outstanding character education initiative that has yielded improvements in student behavior, school culture, and academic achievement.

    Business Expo: Peak to Peak partnered with the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce to host this 2nd annual event on April 29, 2010. More than 60 businesses participated in the event, which attracted hundreds of community members.

    SCFD Alliance Project Award: Peak to Peak was the only school in Boulder County selected to participate in the 2009-2010 Alliance Project, an educational outreach program that partners teachers with the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

    Along with teachers, SCFD science and cultural organizations create curriculum applications and learning opportunities for students. Specifically, the Alliance Project Grant enabled Peak to Peak students in fifth through eighth grades to participate in field trips to museums; music concerts and master classes; dramatic performances; art and artifact installations on campus; as well as many classroom lectures and presentations.

    Peak to Peak enjoyed nearly 300 hours of programming valued at more than $8,400. Twenty cultural organizations partnered with Peak to Peak, including the Arvada Center, Butterfly Pavilion, Central City Opera, Colorado Ballet, Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Symphony, Denver Center for Performing Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art, Opera Colorado, The Wildlife Experience, and many more. A team effort by Peak to Peak teachers and administrators has secured the grant’s renewal for 2010-2011.

    Charter School Teacher Job Fair: Peak to Peak hosted a Charter School Teacher Job Fair on March 13, 2010. This event—the second of its kind in Colorado—was designed to assist charter schools with hiring and give teaching candidates a chance to explore charter school opportunities while interviewing with several schools in one day. The event attracted more than 650 teacher candidates and 47 charter schools.

    GO Boulder’s 2010 Commuter of the Year Award Winner: A Peak to Peak family was chosen as the 2010 Commuters of the Year by GO Boulder/City of Boulder. They were recognized for their dedication to finding, using and encouraging others to use Boulder’s transportation options. The winners inspire others to choose biking, walking and pubic transit for their daily trips instead of personal vehicles.