Wyatt Academy's Underdog Story - A Tuition-Free Charter School in Denver

The saying, “It takes a village,” looks more like “It takes Community,” for Wyatt Academy (Wyatt). The Cole-Whittier neighborhoods in Denver pooled together to create this tuition-free public charter school now enrolling grades K-5. We are forever grateful to our community, and humbly reflect upon our incredible journey. Thanks to you, We Are Wyatt. Somos Wyatt.

Thriving, Thanks To Community Support

The Cole-Whittier neighborhoods rallied to reopen a once abandoned school building, restore it from shambles to magnificence, and encourage attendance. The history of the school itself is quite an underdog story. From a time in which the Denver Public School system declined to reopen a public school in the neighborhood (bussing students to schools outside their area), to a current day thriving community with academic success, Wyatt is truly a model of resilience.

A Wyatt academy student smiles joyfully as she does her school work. The Cole/Whittier community built this charter school.

Fortune Favors the Bold

The building itself was built in 1887 and is the oldest building in Denver to be built as a school that is still used as a school today. A grant allowed our beautiful historic building to upgrade all the windows for aesthetic, safety, and energy-efficiency reasons. Even so, this is not a story of, “If you build it, they will come.”

A brief history: In the late 1800’s when the school first opened, enrollment was around 1100 students. Over the next century, shifting neighborhood dynamics and decreasing enrollment led to eventual closing and ultimately – abandonment. Many decades later, Wyatt reopened as a charter school. In the 1990’s, the school struggled yet again – high principal turnover and low test scores threatened a final closure. One more time, the neighborhood rallied, improvements in infrastructure and leadership were made, and Wyatt resurrected itself back to what it is today – a school of academic success – including our 2020 Colorado Succeeds Elementary School Prize for Transformational Impact. 

Since 2019, Wyatt has been in the Green and thriving with abundant community support. It’s because of our community that we are able to cultivate an environment that nurtures every student to reach full potential. 

It only seems natural that we give back to this same community as much as possible. Part of giving back is creating our Empowerment Center for any member of the community to utilize. The Empowerment Center holds a clothing boutique, laundromat, food pantry, and computer lab, all at no cost. The community is also invited to enjoy our Mini Pitch, gardens, and playground, all available at our Wyatt campus.

Interested in learning more? Watch our video, “Wyatt Academy- A Brief History” for more details or schedule a tour of our campus. We guarantee you’ll feel the vibrant energy of our free public K-5 school, and understand very quickly why our community worked so diligently to support our school. We are Wyatt. Somos Wyatt! Enrolling today!

About Wyatt Academy

Denver’s Wyatt Academy nurtures K-5 students with expeditionary learning and our motivational spirit. Our students experience the power of community, the wonder of seeking knowledge, the joy of celebrating achievements, and the opportunity to grow through the arts. Sharing our garden plots, mini pitch, and Empowerment Center, we feel our essential connection to our community. We are magnetic energy. We are closing the achievement gap. We are Wyatt! Somos Wyatt! Enroll with us today!