DENVER -- A promotional video on YouTube showcases the progress Manual High School has made.
Back in 2006, the school was shut down for poor performance. It re-opened a year later with a new vision.
"We're so different from other schools and our faculty is getting used to it. Our kids have never seen anything like it,” Robert Stein, the school’s principal at that time, said.
Last year, the school had its second graduating class. There were 72 students who entered as freshmen in 2007. They graduated in 2011.
Most of them went on to college – a great feat for the school. But what this year school brings – a seven-week head start – is something that hasn't been done in Denver Public Schools ever before.
“It gives you, as a high schooler, a chance to learn, explore outside your community and go to other places. See new things, meet new people, and experience things you may never experience,” one student said in the school’s newest YouTube video, Learn it and Live it.
DPS officials say 25 days of the new, 210 day school year – about 30 days more than a normal school year – will be dedicated to off-campus learning opportunities offered at no additional cost to families.
“It's like a privilege because not many other high schools are going be traveling,” another student from the video said. “We're the only high school that's going be traveling and learning new stuff around the world.”
“I think it will take me further and give me more options for college because I might see something I like out of state,” yet another student said. “And for other students – to get them out of Colorado could be great. Because maybe they've never been anywhere – like me.”