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8th grade student, Elijah Ruff (cq), age 14, talks to a class-mate during algebra class at KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy on November 30, 2007. He transferred to KIPP from Colfax Elementary in west Denver as a fifth-grader because his mom wanted to make sure he was prepared for college. He the entire first year at KIPP he wanted to leave, as students spend the equivalent of 89 more days in school than students in traditional DPS middle schools. Because of this, he was doing a lot more homework and spending a lot more time in school than at Colfax Elementary. He started liking the school in the sixth and seventh grades and is now glad that his mother decided to transfer him. He wants to be an engineer and attend Colorado School of Mines,a school which is known for its challenging entry requirements. He's applying to three pretty tough high schools as well - Denver School of Science and Technology, a DPS charter, and two private high schools, Kent Denver and Regis. (JAVIER MANZANO / THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) Elijah Ruff (cq)

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