Current Issue

2024 the Face of Public Education

Where is Mapleton Public Schools?

“It’s a common question,” says Charlotte Ciancio, Superintendent of Schools in Mapleton. “And I like to say we’re pretty much the ‘heart’ of the Denver-metro area.”

Located in the southwest corner of Adams County, one of the fastest-growing counties in Colorado, Mapleton Public Schools is where major arteries, including Interstates 25, 76, 270, and Highway 36, intersect. Truck farms put the district on the map more than a century ago. Today, an innovative, responsive, and resourceful approach to education keeps Mapleton in the local, national, and even international spotlight.

Mapleton has supported a full-choice, small-by-design approach to education for more than two decades. This means instead of offering larger, comprehensive schools, Mapleton offers a variety of smaller schools with strategically capped enrollments and carefully curated learning models to match the interests, passions, and learning styles of the district’s more than 7,000 preschool through twelfth-grade students. For the 2024-25 school year, Mapleton will offer families a menu of 20 schools, with specific focuses including Gifted and Talented, Dual Language, Online, EL (Expeditionary Learning), Performing and Visual Arts, STEM, Leadership, University Partnership, and Young Adult.

As a leader in school choice, Mapleton does not have “neighborhood schools.” To make it all work, transportation serves as the great equalizer, busing students living within district boundaries to their school of choice, whether one mile or ten miles away. 

Mapleton’s philosophy is simple – if students are actively engaged in their learning, and families are committed to the school, then students will have the skills and attributes to achieve their dreams. Supporting small schools and encouraging school choice is the catalyst for student engagement and ownership in education, and the key to Mapleton’s academic growth and achievement.

In 2022, Mapleton received an international accreditation rating from Cognia, a global nonprofit organization serving 36,000 public and private institutions in more than 90 countries. Cognia’s accreditation process focuses on instruction and the structures essential for improvement. Mapleton earned one of the highest initial accreditation scores in Cognia’s history.

Year after year, when surveyed, parents and students agree that learning and academic growth are prioritized at their schools, and generally view the quality of their education as favorable. To bolster Mapleton’s college and career-going culture, six new Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways were launched this school year. These pathways, including Health Sciences, Business Management, Education and Teaching, Digital Media, Engineering, and Technical Theater Design, will help students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful and workforce-ready when they finally pick up their diplomas.

Do you want to learn more about Colorado’s school district at the ‘heart’ of it all? Visit us,, or contact us,

Enrollment from the 2024-25 school year begins January 1!

Family Food

Newsletter Signup

Your weekly guide to Mile High family fun. Colorado Parent has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up