An Aurora charter school for pregnant and parenting teens is set to open next fall on the site of what is now a vacant bowling alley near the northwestern border of the Aurora school district.
New Legacy Charter High School, the first high school for pregnant and parenting teens in the Aurora district, will enroll up to 100 high school students—teen fathers included—plus 70 young children at its on-site child care center. The center will be run by Mile High Montessori, a well-known early childhood care provider with several locations around Denver.
New Legacy will get a new 22,000-foot building through a partnership with the Urban Land Conservancy, which purchased the Dayton Avenue property for $675,000. The conservancy, or ULC, will pay for demolition of the old building and construction of the new one, with plans to lease the building back to the charter school. The project, announced this week, represents ULC’s first investment in Aurora.
New Legacy won’t be the only new resource for teen parents in the district. Starting this fall, Aurora Public Schools opened a new child care center for up to 72 young children of teen parents who attend high school in the district. Called Early Beginnings, the center is located on the campus of Jamaica Child Development Center, not far from Central High School. District officials have also revamped their support program for teen parents, creating a mobile team of four advocates charged with helping those students stay in schools, find child care and access health care for themselves and their children.
While teen birth rates have dropped in Colorado over the last two decades, they are higher than average in Aurora. For example, in Adams County, where part of the Aurora school district lies, there were 44.5 births per 1,000 females 15-19 during 2010-2012, compared to the state average of 28.4.