School Profile

Spectrum High School

Spectrum High School is a tuition-free, public charter school, located in Elk River, Minnesota, in its 15th year of operation. This comprehensive high school, authorized by Volunteers of America, enrolls approximately 438 students in grades 9-12.
US News and World Report recognized Spectrum High School in its Best High School rankings, awarding a silver medal. Spectrum was the 5th highest ranking out of Minnesota’s 164 charter schools. Spectrum also received recognition as a High Quality Charter School by the Minnesota Dept. of Education for 2017-18.

Mission Statement

The mission of Spectrum High School is to encourage students in attaining their maximum potential through a 3-dimensional strategy emphasizing:

  • College preparatorycurriculum;
  • A technology integrated environment;and
  • Community-based outreach.

Vision Statement

The vision of Spectrum High School is to be a leader in fostering academic and personal excellence through programs emphasizing high academic standards in a small–school setting.

Curriculum

When students choose Spectrum, they accept the challenge of rigorous college-level coursework (see Concurrent Enrollment at Spectrum High School). They engage in the educational process through classroom activities that effectively integrate one-to-one technology. Students also participate in service learning that benefits the student, the school, and the larger community. Additionally, Spectrum High School utilizes the AVID college preparatory program and strategies.

Faculty

Spectrum’s faculty and administration are committed to excellence, as they prepare our students to achieve their future educational and career goals. Of the 37 members, 47% hold a Master’s degree. All SHS courses are taught by teachers certified in the subject area by the MN Professional Educators Licensing & Standards Board. SHS faculty are committed to a growth mindset, seeking ways to continually improve instruction and meet students’ needs.

Graduation Requirements

Subject

Credits
Required

English (Language Arts) - one credit each year plus
0.5 credit Composition

4.5

Social Studies
Geography, US History, World History,
American Government, & Economics

4.0

Mathematics (all students must complete Algebra 2)

3.0

Science
Physical Science, Biology, & Chemistry or Physics

3.0

Foreign Language

2.0

Fine Arts

1.0

SHS Requirements
21st Century Skills, College Readiness I, College Readiness II, College Readiness III, Intro to Speech Communications or Public Speaking, & Senior
Capstone

3.0

Health

0.5

Physical Education

1.0

Electives (including service learning)

4.0

Total Requirements

26.00

ACT Test Score Results
Spectrum’s 2020 graduates’ average composite score exceeded Minnesota and National Averages. As per MN state requirement, all 2020 seniors were provided the option to take the ACT on a state test date. In 2016, seniors were required to take the ACT test on a state test date. Prior years the test was optional.

Grad Year

Spectrum

MN

National

2020 22.7 21.3 20.8
2019 23.7 21.4 20.7

2018

22.3

21.3

20.8

Concurrent Enrollment at Spectrum High School

Spectrum High School offers college courses taught by Spectrum faculty allowing students to earn college credit while staying on Spectrum’s campus. College at Spectrum High School (C@SH) is a partnership with the following colleges: Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Central Lakes College, Pine Technical and Community College, and the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

C@SH and Advanced Placement Classes at Spectrum High School

Art

  • Intro to Digital Photography

English

  • College Critical Writing & Reading 
  • Introduction to Communication
  • Intro to Literary Studies
  • Multicultural Literature
  • Writing Studio


Health/Physical Education

  • Wellness for Life Lecture and Lab

Math

  • Calculus I
  • College Algebra I
  • College Algebra II & Trig
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Mathematical Thinking

Science

  • AP Biology
  • Environmental Science Lecture and Lab

Social Studies

  • AP Human Geography
  • American Government and Politics
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Modern World Civilizations I  (1500-1870)
  • Modern World Civilizations II (1870 to present)
  • Principles of Microeconomics 
  • US History I 
  • US History II 

Spanish

  • Introductory Spanish II
  • Intermediate Spanish I
  • Intermediate Spanish II

Technology

  • AP Computer Science   Principles    
  • Intro to Information Technology
  • Client Operating Systems
     

Class of 2020 Successes

  • Spectrum High School’s class of 2020 earned 2,683 college credits. This represents an
    approximate cost savings of over $905,000, based on the avg. tuition cost per credit at a four-year public college in the United States.
  • 86.5% of students graduated with at least one college credit.
  • Fifteen students completed an Associate of Arts Degree.
  • Three seniors completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.
  • Fifteen additional  students earned 40 college credits or more.

Spectrum Class of 2020 Post Secondary Plans

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Anoka Technical College
Augsburg University
Bethel University
Cedarville University
Central Lakes College
College of St. Scholastica
Concordia University- St. Paul
Gonzaga University
Gustavus Adolphus College

Hamline University
Hennepin Technical College
Kansas State University
Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Missouri University of Science and Technology
North Dakota State University
Southwest Minnesota State University
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud Technical College
University of Jamestown

University of Minnesota - Duluth
University of Minnesota - Morris
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
University of South Dakota
University of St. Thomas
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - River Falls
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Winona State University