The school is stratified across high end learners and economically disadvantaged learners. There is very little in between and with weak athletic programs that also means there is little opportunities for the groups to mix.
Centaurus was once a top 5A school in Colorado, both in academics and athletics but has been in a slow decline relative to its peers since the opening of Monarch High School in Louisville and Peak To Peak in Lafayette and in the next 5-10 years given current growth rates will likely succumb to Peak to Peak as the top high school in Lafayette. The boulder area has experienced explosive growth over the last 5 years however Centraurus has not grown at the same rate as its peers and has seen a marginal increase in enrollment. As a result and primarily due to open enrollment by Centaurus district kids to other schools, Centaurus has the highest Hispanic and economically disadvantaged populations as a percentage of total enrollment in the BVSD district. As a result there is not a robust parent community and volunteering/raising money for athletics and activities is challenging. The school won the Gold School of Opportunity Award in 2015 and spends lots of resources on helping ESL and lower spectrum learners be successful. A world class Engineering Academy was developed in the 2000's to help attract top students and change the stigma of the school and has seen some success but other local high schools are starting to adopt similar programs. The BVSD school district pays the highest wages in the area and Centaurus like other BVSD schools has some of the best teachers in Colorado that truly care about the student. Centaurus struggles athletically and while once was rivals to other local district 5A schools, its main rival now is 2A/3A Peak to Peak Academy, which in 2015 Centaurus failed to win any athletic competitions against and was swept on all levels both girls and boys in basketball as well as volleyball. In 2015 Centaurus was given $23.5M in district bond money to improve the school. Due to these challenges, the schools is an early adopter in a combined architecture, open classroom and shared curriculum teaching concept based on the "21st century schools" model http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/. This is a great school for an Engineer focused student or a lower learner that needs one on one attention. Its also a great school for athletes who enjoy competing but don't necessarily care about winning as they will struggle with teammates that don't have the same dedication.
Centaurus is an amazing school that treats every student with respect and value. It is no surprise that they received the Gold School of Opportunity Award in 2015! If you are looking for a school that honors the unique talents of your child and that will treat your child like their own child, Centaurus is the school. The teachers, counselors, and administration, work together to create individual student-centered learning opportunities for every student. Whether the student is taking AP/ IB/Engineering classes or the student is new to the country and learning English, Centaurus truly cares about each of the students. As a result, their students are achieving at amazing rates, and their school community is one that honors the diversity of each of us.
Centaurus is a hidden gem in small town Lafayette, CO! Students have many opportunities in various fields that will prepare them for life after high school. The marching band is 3-time state champions. The engineering program is amazing - working with other colleges to provide students with many "professional" opportunities and furthering education. The teachers and office staff are committed to the success of every student.
Centaurus is a magnificent place to attend high school. I went there because of their phenomenal engineering program. The school's atmosphere is a friendly and welcoming place. I feel like the teachers know me on a deeper level than other schools that i have attended. The students are great friends and they help each other with school work and other things. Centaurus is the place to be if you want a fun, loving and caring community in high school and beyond.
Centaurus is a student-centric school, something which is rare to find these days, particularly in Colorado. The Principal is actively involved in evolving school culture towards 21st Century learners. All the programs within the school -IB, Pre-engineering, AVID, etc. -are geared towards individual student success and betterment. Supports are in place for all students, from after and in-school tutoring, to Success Lab with one on one teacher tutoring, to counselor access and advisory planning classes ( counselor sand advisory teachers stay with students for all four years, so they get to know individual students well). Most importantly, the school climate is open and supportive, diverse and welcoming. High school is a challenging time for all kids, but Centaurus is a smaller, closer community than most and the courtesy and respect students show each other here is impressive. Students are active in a variety of sports and club activities (often multiple activities), throughout the year, summer too. They are encouraged to try new things and grow, not just academically, but as fully rounded people, so they are ready for whatever life throws at them.
Centaurus is the best kept secret in Boulder Valley! The IB and Engineering programs really challenge those students who are motivated to do the work, and sets them up beautifully for college. the test score gaps have been closing steadily for several years, and they have done an excellent job addressing the needs of those who are not native English speakers. One of the smallest teacher/ student ratios in the district allows individual attention to students who need more assistance. This next four years will be a technology plus, with each freshman being supplied with a chromebook. I am so happy with the responsiveness of the staff and administration here; I have never waited more than two hours for a response when asking a question about something concerning my students. The marching band is a state champion, and all kids who would like to play sports are welcome to play. You can't go wrong here!!
I find it interesting that a previous reviewer finds that Centaurus is not a good fit for gifted students. In our experience, the exact opposite is the case. My son's counselor has been extremely responsive and has made every effort to set him up for success. He has been given an extraordinary amount of freedom and guidance to learn and grow in the engineering program, even as a freshman, and all of his pre IB teachers appreciate him as a person and encourage him to excel. I feel that he will have many doors open for him in college due to the foundation he is getting in high school. In our experience in other schools, TAG is a program that may work with kids on a few things but does not really reach them as whole people. Additionally, quiet students and those who are more introverted are often not recognized for their abilities. At Centaurus we feel our son is thriving as never before; he is motivated to do his best and is so happy to go to school.