New APS Magnet Schools Named after Notable Coloradans of Color

We are excited to announce that the APS Board of Education unanimously approved the name recommendations for our two new magnet schools opening in August 2022!

The Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy and The Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus are the first magnet schools slated to open as part of our Blueprint APS facilities plan. These magnet schools are located in regions 3 and 6 and will serve students in APS and across the metropolitan area. 

Peoria and Wheeling elementary schools will close at the end of the 2021-22 school year and be repurposed into the two magnet schools. Aurora Central High School will also serve students as part of The Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus.

Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy

The existing Wheeling Elementary School building will be repurposed into the Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy, which will serve students in grades K-8 throughout APS and the metropolitan area. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, the school will open for students in Preschool through 3rd grade. The school will add a grade level each year, ultimately serving students in grades K-8. The Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy will focus on entrepreneurship and invention pathways. Students will cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset by investigating and responding to authentic, engaging and complex questions or challenges.

About Clara Brown

Clara Brown was a former enslaved woman from Virginia. She made her mark as Colorado's first black settler and a prosperous entrepreneur. Brown is hailed as a community leader and philanthropist who aided the settlement of former slaves during the time of Colorado's Gold Rush. 

She is known as the 'Angel of the Rockies' for helping those in need, whether newly settled Euro-Americans or Native Americans. Brown gave generously of herself to those in the community and was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 1989. To learn more about Clara Brown and her legacy, click here.  


The Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus

The Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus will serve students in grades K-12 throughout APS and the metropolitan area. The magnet campus will focus on arts-related disciplines including dance, music, theater and visual arts. 

Opening in August 2022, the campus will include Peoria Elementary School, APS Educational Services Center 4 and Aurora Central High School, which will remain a comprehensive neighborhood boundary school with the addition of the Visual and Performing Arts Pathway. The campus will add a grade level each year, ultimately serving students in grades K-12.

About Charles Burrell

Charles Burrell is a classical and jazz bass player, often referred to as ‘the Jackie Robinson of Classical Music’ for being the first African American to be a member of a major American symphony. Burrell became a member of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Colorado Symphony, in 1949. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado, and happily accepted this honorary designation.

To learn more about Burrell, watch this PBS special that highlights his many accomplishments and contributions.

Interested in Applying?

Applications for the Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy and The Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus will be available beginning Jan. 17, 2022.