Denver School of Science and Technology eighth graders, Nadia Michael, right, and Haylen Hurd write a song together, March 22, during their music composition and audio engineering class. In DSST schools, more art driven electives have recently been implemented into STEM curriculum to provide a better rounded learning experience for the students. Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel

AURORA | Popular charter network DSST announced that its first Aurora campus will be named the Aurora Science and Tech campus.

Its mascot will be the owl, said DSST spokesperson Stefanie Gilary.

The campus will share a space at Rocky Mountain Prep Fletcher Elementary School, also a charter school, for the 2019-2020 school year. DSST will open its own campus in the summer of 2020 if all goes to plan, Gilary said, adding that no roadblocks have appeared since the Aurora Public Schools district approved the charter in March.

Gilary said 150 sixth-graders will attend the school in the first year, and grades will be added successively. By the eighth year, about 975 students will be enrolled in sixth through 12th grades.

Gilary said the school will enroll the bulk of its students from northwest Aurora, but the school is open to APS students who reside throughout the district. The school will maintain a cap on the number of students enrolled.

Outgoing DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg often lauded the charter school network.

The Aurora campus will be DSST’s 15th school in the Denver metro district. All 14 are in the Denver Public Schools district.  The schools serve mostly Hispanic students, and about 70 percent of students qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches, an indicator of poverty. On its website, DSST boasts that 100 percent of its graduates were accepted to a four-year college or university 10 years in a row.

APS has provided school choices for parents and students, including charter schools like DSST, to boost low test scores. Charter schools are public schools that are free to pursue private fundraising and enjoy relaxed rules from the state education department.

Superintendent Rico Munn invited DSST to open a school in the district in 2016.