The Owl Experience
We believe that by holding our students to a high standard, and through offering them high levels of support, they will thrive academically. Our small school setting allows teachers and students to develop and nurture close relationships to create an inclusive, strong community and a culture where every student is valued for who they are and their successes.
Why Aurora Science & Tech High School?
The DSST Network launched its 1st school in Aurora, Colorado in 2019, Aurora Science & Tech! Our school serves students in grades 9-12.
Aurora Science & Tech is a school where close, caring relationships are at the heart of the school experience, and our school culture intentionally fosters strong relationships. We prepare students for college, with an emphasis on developing students through liberal arts learning (reading, writing, mathematics, and science). Ultimately our goal is to ensure that our future students are prepared for college, career and life.
The Great Horned Owl is our mascot because owls represent wisdom, forward-thinking, and integrity. Owls are nocturnal and have amazing eye sight and aerodynamics. Our student's embody the characteristics of the Great Horned Owl and we cannot wait to see what they all accomplish in high school and beyond.
AST HS course offerings are being determined. The following is an example of possible course offerings at each grade level:
- Math 1/Math 2 Honors
- World Literature
- World History
- Math 2/Algebra. 2 Honors
- Chemistry/AP Chemistry
- Spanish 2
- American Literature
- American History
- Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus Honors
- Bio/AP Bio
- Spanish 3/AP Spanish Language
- Senior English
- Pre-Calculus/AP Calculus AB
- AP Statistics
- AP Psychology
- AP Government
- AP Literature
- Anatomy & Physiology
- AP Spanish Literature
The athletic program emphasizes high-level skill and strategies, teamwork, good sportsmanship, school spirit, character building, and fun. The goal is to provide each student with a sense of affiliation, motivation, and accomplishment by balancing a challenging experience with support and encouragement. The athletic program is an integral part of DSST's curriculum and emphasizes living the school's Core Values.
Aurora Science and Tech offers a variety of after school clubs depending on staff and student interest.
- Science explorers
- PRIDE club
- Student council
- Video game club
In order to fulfill DSST’s mission to eliminate educational inequity and serve all students, we must serve students with disabilities with excellence, to ensure they are welcomed, known and challenged through rigorous academic instruction to achieve their most ambitious post-secondary path. This requires embracing DSST’s view of the human condition and executing on a common set of guiding principles, foundational practices, and key levers that will translate into transformational outcomes for our students with disabilities.
We aim to ensure that all students with disabilities are known, welcomed, and challenged to succeed within our schools and to achieve their most ambitious post-secondary path. In pursuit of equity and inclusion for all students, we measure our success through the following metrics:
- Student and family sense of belonging
- Academic growth
- HS graduation rate
- Success in college or post-secondary programming
The following guiding beliefs are central to our goals for our students and our approach to ensuring the individual needs of all students are met at DSST. These principles guide our thinking and our decisions at the student, school and network level.
- All Means All - We believe all students, regardless of background, needs, or disability status, can thrive at DSST. In pursuit of our mission, we strive to serve all students’ diverse learning needs so that they may achieve rigorous outcomes while in our schools and succeed on their ideal post-secondary path.
- Culture of Inclusion - We believe students learn best when they are included in their community and classrooms to the fullest extent possible. Meeting this ambitious goal requires the full engagement and collaboration of all community members. A truly inclusive environment requires that parents have input and staff members share ownership of all students.
- Responsibility for Success - We believe that, ultimately, the success of all students is our responsibility. While we hold our students to high expectations and intentionally teach self-advocacy skills, we believe it is our job to provide the supports and instruction necessary to ensure students meet those expectations. We celebrate students’ successes and provide additional learning opportunities when students face obstacles.
- Learning Organization - Serving the diverse needs of all students requires curiosity, openness to new ideas and a drive to be on the forefront of best practices. We must be open to examining what is and is not working for students, trying new things, and adjusting course when necessary.
We provide services to student in Special Education in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
- Push-in Special Education teachers serve within the general education classroom
- Pull-out services: Special Education teachers pull small groups from the general education classroom to provide Specially Designed Instruction
- Co-teaching- Some of our classes are co-taught with a gen-ed teacher and a special education teacher.
- Special Services, Students who have an identified need on their IEP may gain access to a variety of service providers including, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Vision and Motor therapists, and Mental health service providers, School Psychologists and/or Social Workers.
- Intervention courses: Full courses to provide remedial support in reading or math
- In-class accommodations and modifications as determined by the IEP
- Testing accommodations and modifications as determined by the IEP
How to Enroll
Enrollment at Aurora Science & Tech is managed through an independently run lottery. Interested families will complete an online-only application, which opens in January.
If there are more applications submitted than seats available, a waitlist will be created. Applicants who submit their application after the application deadline will be added to the waitlist in order of priority. Families that are placed at Aurora Science & Tech in the lottery will be notified of admission after the lottery is run and asked to confirm their intent to enroll.
Priorities exist within the randomized lottery. The priorities for admission are as follows, in order of priority:
- Siblings of current AST students
- Residents in the Aurora Public Schools (APS) district
- Residents not in the Aurora Public Schools district
We know that seeing is believing. We are excited to offer in-person and virtual opportunities to visit our school this school year.
Families can explore our school building by taking a virtual tour or join us for an in-person event!
Public charter schools are tuition-free public schools operated by an independent board of directors. Public charter schools operate under a contract or "charter" between the board of the charter school community and the APS Board of Education.
To enroll at Aurora Science & Tech High School, families must complete a free, quick, online-only application, which can be accessed below.