Mission: to provide a rigorous and relevant high school diploma program for youth who need extensive wraparound services to succeed academically. AUL, in collaboration with Urban Peak Denver, seeks to enable all students to meet the criteria for high school completion and successfully make the transition to careers, future educational opportunities and economic self-sufficiency.

AUL Fast Facts

  • Opened August 2005
  • Current Student Enrollment: 55
  • Current Full-Time Staff: 7


  • Foster a productive and meaningful partnership among students and teachers that supports academic involvement, high school completion, and post secondary transition.
  • Create a flexible and accessibly program that allows non-traditional students the opportunity to learn in  an academically challenging environment.
  • Integrate school based learning and real world learning by providing access to internships, work, and higher education courses.
  • Empower students to obtain the skills, motivation and confidence necessary to become economically self sufficient.


  1. Increase the number of marginalized youth who earn their high school diploma
  2. Increase the number of high school students who effectively demonstrate post-secondary readiness
  3. Provide all students with intensive wraparound services through a partnership with Urban Peak.

Academy of Urban Learning (AUL) was founded by the Jared Polis Foundation and Urban Peak Denver in the fall 2005. Both organizations recognized the need for a small public charter high school in Denver that would focus on providing essential wraparound services to youth who are homeless, experiencing unstable living conditions or have other at-risk factors. The Jared Polis Foundation and Urban Peak Denver understood the importance of staff and students knowing each other well and creating a caring, academic environment that pushes each student to succeed.

…focuses on individuals who failed to thrive…because of homelessness, unstable living conditions…

AUL, a charter school in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) district, focuses on individuals who failed to thrive in a traditional classroom environment because of homlessness, unstable living conditions, personal problems and other issues that hinder academic performance. AUL’s educational strategy is structured around a competency-based curriculum, where each student is encouraged to develop an individualized learning plan. Case managers, advisors, guardians and teachers work collaboratively to ensure that students reach acceptable levels of competency in core subject areas like Reading and Writing, Math, Lifeskills, Social Studies and Science. In addition to academic competencies, AUL is committed to helping students graduate from the program and develop the skills necessary for economic self-sufficiency.

Above: Principal Mark Koester cuts the ribbon on opening day August 15, 2005.

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