“Catalyst’s specialty:  Unique and individually

designed academia.”

5280 Magazine, September 2013


Our newest graduate is Jacques Decalo, 4.11.14

Jacques graduation.2 005
Catalyst’s most recent graduate is Jacques Decalo, who graduated on April 11, 2014. Jacques did his Capstone presentation on the problem of ocean pollution and presented positive action steps to address it. Jacques is leaving in May to go to the South of France, where he will be working in the fruit packing industry for three months while perfecting his French language skills. His future plans include college with a probable emphasis in environmental studies.

Congratulations Jacques and Bon Voyage!



Centrally located in Boulder County, Colorado, Catalyst High School is an internationally accredited high school offering students the opportunity to experience a supportive and highly individualized education. Our flexible curricula and class schedules are tailored to meet each individual student’s strengths and interests, and allow enrollment at any time during the school year.

Catalyst’s mission is to nurture promising teens and empower them to develop responsibility for their own education.



A Catalyst student works in the science lab at Catalyst High School.

A Catalyst student works in the science lab at Catalyst High School.

Catalyst graduates are successfully pursuing careers in a range of fields including nutrition, business, military service, and fine arts. Catalyst students learn how to maximize their unique gifts in order to create vibrant, quality-filled lives.

Catalyst serves unique learn­ers who need more flexibili­ty than mainstream educa­tion can offer. We teach unconventional students seek­ing genuine challenges, gifted learners who wish to concurrently enroll in college, twice-exceptional students who are advanced in some academic areas and excel if given appropriate support with learning chal­lenges, teens who learn best in small classes and through supportive relationships with teachers, and stu­dents who require scheduling flexibility to accommodate career-related opportunities.

Scobby-Playing-Guitar-on-Trip-685x1024INDIVIDUALLY DESIGNED CURRICULA

Catalyst High School enrolls a diverse population of talented, perceptive, and promising teens. Teachers use customized learning plans to engage each student’s individual strengths and interests while addressing their challenges. Five-week academic blocks help students focus their learning around their specific goals. Our contract-based learning program engages the students by encouraging their participation in their high school education.


Catalyst was founded in 2007 by Ed Porritt, former administrator of Chinook Alternatives, a highly successful program he began in 1998 and developed for the public schools to help unique learners excel and graduate. Catalyst is a non-profit – 501(c)3, alternative high school governed by an independent Board of Directors composed of parents, community members, business leaders, and attorneys. Our administrators bring more than 60 years of experience working with teens to the leadership of Catalyst High School.