Raised in the Rockies Back to School 2023

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Learning, Growing and Playing at the Y


YMCA Before & After School Care sets out to give kids both smile-inspiring escapades and foundational experiences Whether it’s getting homework help or enjoying outdoor playtime, the Y is a state-licensed organization that provides a safe, supportive environment that focuses on learning, developing interests and making friends

• Available for select BVSD, SVVSD, Weld RE-5J and Thompson schools

• Full-time, part-time and drop-in options

• School Day Off Camp and Late Start Day options


At YMCA Inspire Preschools, our teachers deliver lessons that allow for exploration and individualized learning opportunities for every child. By supporting your child’s academic, social and emotional well-being, they will be set up for a lifetime of learning success Our preschools in Johnstown, Longmont and Loveland (coming soon), provide early childhood education for children ages 2.5 to 6.

• Full-time and part-time options

• Open year-round

• Comprehensive preschool curriculum

• Universal Preschool Colorado eligible

FREE YMCA FAMILY MEMBERSHIP! Available with select childcare plans. YMCA OF NORTHERN COLORADO ymcanoco.org
Financial assistance and CCAP are available to those who qualify.

Contributing Writers

Brittany Anas, Adam Goldstein

Pam Moore, Linda Thorsen Bond

Shelley Widhalm, Emma Castleberry

Ross Maak, Kathleen Duff, Sarah Huber

Managing Editor / Design

Greg Stone

Marketing Consultants

Julie Casper, Pete Christiansen, Jeanine Fritz, Ruth Garfield, Keith Kratochvil, Billy Magrini, Dale Sekular, Francine Wahlgren


Jill Stravolemos

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5 Tips for Acing Back-to-School Prep

The Roots of Lifelong Learning Habits Start in Kindergarten

Building Bridges: Forging Lasting Bonds Within Your Child’s Private School Community

Navigating Preschool

World View For Students With the International Baccalaureate Program

Charter Schools Chalk Up Academic Options

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Religious School Investment

Unique Opportunities to Help Support Area Students

Getting Involved: Local Programs Build Kids’ Confidence, Skills for a Brighter Future

10 Awesome Extracurricular Activities to Get Your Child Involved In This Fall Letters from the Superintendents

Private, Charter, Preschool Spotlight

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5 Tips for Acing Back-to-School Prep

Back to school is around the corner (rather, the next page over on the calendar). In addition to shopping for school supplies and crossing off the rest of your family’s summer bucket list items, there are a few things you can do to smooth the backto-school transition

In Boulder Valley School District, the first day of school is Aug 16 for K-5 and 6th and 9th grades and Aug 17 for 7th, 8th, and 10th-12th grades.

In St. Vrain Valley Schools is Aug 16 for 1st through 5th grades; 6th grade and 9th grade and Aug. 17 for 7th, 8th, and 10th-12th grades. Aug. 18 is the first day of kindergarten Ahead, are five tips for helping your kids prepare for the first day of school.

Get into a routine

One way you can help your child’s transition back to school is by creating routines: beforeschool routines, after-school routines and bedtime routines, says Susan Bellas, MS, LPC, the regional director of Broomfield and East Boulder County for

Mental Health Partners

Getting enough ZZZs is important for concentrating and learning For younger children, 10 to 12 hours of sleep is optimal and for adolescents (ages 13 to 18), eight to 10 hours is recommended, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Ease the first-day jitters

“You can further support a good school year for your kids by listening to them, helping them identify their feelings and practicing using coping skills,” Bellas says. “It’s normal for students to be a little nervous about a new school year, so spend some time talking about what it will be like exploring all those feelings, and even visiting the school together”

If your kids are nervous about the first day of school, it can help to point out some positive aspects like seeing old friends and meeting new ones, according to the AAP

Get a new pair of shoes

Summers are for barefoot feet and flip flops But you don’t want to wait until the night

before school to realize that your child has outgrown their shoes.

When fitting new shoes for kids, bring in a pair of socks like the ones that will be worn to school; this will help fit the shoes properly with the socks that will be worn with them, says Jason Wetzel of Brown’s Shoe Fit Co in Longmont

Also, think about the type of closure you want for the shoe, he recommends Options include lace-ups that will need to be tied, velcro closures and BOA laces, which are an adjustable lace system.

Get your appointments in order

From physicals required to play sports to getting vaccinations up to date, there are lots of appointments to get lined up before the kids go back to school. While you’re in scheduling mode, it’s a good idea to get a dentist appointment on the books too before you’re juggling after-school activities and homework.

Foothills Pediatric Dentistry has locations in Lafayette, Longmont and Thornton and specializes in kids

dentistry, with features like televisions and music that help appointments fly by.

Help your kid pack their backpack correctly

The wrong backpack can lead to achy shoulders, which is why it’s important to choose one that has features like wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, according to the AAP. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back and keep in mind that the backpack should never weigh more than 10 percent of your child’s body weight, the AAP advises. Also, remind your kids that slinging a backpack over just one shoulder can cause strain muscles.

“Have some type of consistency in the morning for what they can expect for breakfast, and a certain spot where they can find all of their [school] materials,” Wilkin said “I have two very different children, ages 12 and 9, but we have tried to iron out what they need as different students One of my children needs 10 reminders to wake up, and the other one is up right away but then needs something to do until we leave for school.”

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Navigating health challenges at school

With many school activities returning to pre-pandemic levels, area schools will all have unique protocols and approaches to keep students in the classroom.

Stephanie Faren is the Director of Health Services for Boulder Valley School District. She expressed that BVSD will continue to follow state guidelines, and they will work with local public health agencies around disease surveillance and family notifications.

the pandemic … now is the best time to get caught up,” Faren said. “Students entering preschool need physicals before starting and students participating in athletics will need a physical clearing them to participate. Per Colorado law, students must have school-required vaccinations or a current exemption to attend school. Families should ensure their children are upto-date on all state-required immunizations, make a plan to get the required immunizations, or have a current certificate of exemption ”

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“As always, the most important things we can do [are] get vaccinated, stay home when feeling unwell, and get tested if exposed or symptomatic,” Faren said She also recommended scheduling routine health checkups

“We know that many families have postponed routine health checkups and vaccinations during

Additionally, Wilkin expressed that families really do need to prioritize having their students in the classroom for as many school days as possible

“As parents are gearing up, try to get back into the mindset that school is where learning is happening,” Wilkin said “If students are missing little things here and there, they add up … the best way to catch up is to be at school.”

Developing students to be well-rounded, ethical leaders with a foundation based on science and technology.
impactoneducation.org Increasingstudentaccessto excellentandequitableeducation. You can help! Investinginthesuccess andwell-beingof studentsinBoulder Valley’spublicschools. Resourcingeducators tocreateengaging learningexperiences forstudents. Raisingawarenessof theinequitiesfacedby studentsinour publicschools.

For 60 years and counting, Mental Health Partners has provided expert mental health and substance use care so people can enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives, at all stages of life. As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to deliver wholeperson wellness support to individuals and families throughout Boulder and Broomfield counties that is compassionate, equitable, and client-centered.

To get support or care, call us at (303)-443-8500 or visit our website (www.mhpcolorado.org).

Back To School Wellness Tips

For Kids and Teens

Spend time outside in sunlight

Set aside time before dinner to do homework

Try to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night

Do something creative (art, music, etc.)

If stressed, take a break

Use deep breathing to calm yourself when upset or anxious

Drink plenty of water

Limit screen time to less than two hours per day outside of school

Write in a journal

Talk to friends and adults you trust

Exercise and stay active

Eat healthy food

Tips for Parents

Make a weekly schedule that is visible to everyone in your household

Eat dinner together and talk about your days

Take some time for yourself each day (even just 10 minutes will do)

Step away and calm yourself before interacting in a stressful moment

Prepare for school the night before (backpacks, lunches, etc.)

Express gratitude and appreciation when things go well

Assign your kids daily household tasks

Take care of yourself to set a good example for your kids

Express yourself! (talk to a friend or therapist)

Get sun and exercise as often as possible

For emergency assistance with a mental health crisis, please call or text 988 - or visit our 27/7 Walk-in Crisis Center & Addiction Services at 3180 Airport Rd , Boulder, CO

The Roots Of Lifelong Learning Habits Start In Kindergarten



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There are simple ways to ensure that your child’s first days in kindergarten will establish strong habits for learning, growth and fun.

Kindergarteners set the foundations for their academic career to come Days spent finger painting, sitting through story time and enjoying playtime outdoors are also the very first days in an academic setting, the beginning of a path that will weave through elementary, middle, high school


and beyond.

That’s not to put too much pressure on parents simply looking for the best way to get their young ones started for their first days at preschool. Your child’s future enrollment at Harvard is not going to fail or succeed based on their kindergarten experience

Nevertheless, there are simple ways to ensure that your child’s first days in kindergarten will establish

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strong habits for learning, growth and fun. According to officials from the Boulder Valley School District, kindergarten isn’t only about the child; it’s about developing a learning partnership between parents and kids By taking an active role and investing in your child’s daily success at kindergarten, you can set up a pattern that benefits your child throughout their academic journey

Here are some simple tips for parents looking to create early and effective success strategies for their young students.

Invest early

Get to know your child’s

school, their teacher and their classroom before the school year starts.

Communicate with educators

Communicate with educators, get a sense of the rubric for the year, and learn about activities, books and outdoor activities taking place at the school. This will help you keep in the loop and may create a valuable bond between home and school

Encourage through doing

By getting a sense of what your child’s kindergarten

routine will look like, you can support that environment at home

On that note, what’s a better way to supplement reading time in class than creating a reading hour at home? How better to complement art class than harboring creative time at home?

Complement brain activity with physical activity

Kindergarten includes plenty of physical activity for a reason. Children at this age are growing, and keeping their bodies active is a key component of keeping their attention engaged.

Keep up a sense of play

It may seem trite, but learning can be fun. Encourage joy, and find inroads to tap into your child’s interest as they begin kindergarten.

Give it time

Transitions in life aren’t always smooth, and a child’s adjustment to a new learning environment may take some time. Equip yourself with the knowledge and background you need to offer support and be patient as your child begins to grow into their identity as a student and a learner

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Building Bridges

If the idea of creating connections with the community at your child’s private school brings back memories of struggling to find a seat at the lunch table, you’re not alone. But if you can find a way in, the rewards are more than worth it. Not only does a relationship with your child’s school foster effective communication between parents and teachers, “it also allows parents to stay informed about their child’s academic progress, social development and overall wellbeing,” says Alanna Marks, the admissions director and a parent at the Waldorf School in Boulder

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to establish relationships with the faculty, staff and fellow parents without going too far outside your comfort zone. Keep reading to learn how to establish those connections.

Start Small

Not sure where to begin? Try connecting with the Parent Teacher Organization leader, suggests Taryn Clark, a fourth and fifth-grade teacher at Vista Ridge in Erie. “They can help you get in contact with various families that are seasoned and outgoing that will be able to guide you into various social situations to foster these relationships.”

Dawn Hecox, the Upper School Director at the Dawson School in Lafayette agrees, connecting one-on-one can be a great entry point. “Find one person who seems friendly and

strike up a conversation and then ask about having coffee-then follow through,” she suggests.

If you’d rather connect directly with the school, Hecox suggests reaching out directly to administrators, coaches, or teachers. “Don’t be shy about emailing,” she says.

“We love to hear from parents and will always take the time to help you find the best way to get involved and meet other families.”

Find Existing Social Opportunities

While some may feel more comfortable connecting oneon-one with other adults in the school community, others may prefer to attend school functions where they can mingle with several other parents or families over the course of an evening.

According to Nina Lopez, the Bixby School’s Head of School, such opportunities abound. “Some of the many opportunities we offer include monthly Bixby Community Builders meetings, family game nights, Early Childhood Hike, monthly community coffees, Fall Fest, Back to School Night, Spring concert and Winter community sing, monthly assemblies, Art Show, annual auction, Coffee with Nina, gardening events, Handmade Holiday Market, and more.”


Volunteering doesn’t necessarily have to mean diving headfirst into a major commitment or even committing to a weekly time slot. If you’re pressed for time or want to dip your toe in before you take the plunge,

Shining Mountain Waldorf Parents and students toast marshmallows. (Photo courtesy: Adam Palazzari/ Shining Mountain Waldorf School).
When parents and educators team up, our kids reap the rewards.
Forging lasting bonds within your child’s private school community

consider helping out with a one-off event that aligns with your skills and interests.

“For example, if you have a background in gardening and farming, you can plant and harvest with the second grade,” suggests Marks. “Or if you have a different cultural background, there will be opportunities to share the food

and rituals of those cultures,” she adds.

Whether you chaperone a field trip or help with a Halloween celebration, “Each act of volunteerism allows the parents to view a slice of their child’s life, make friendships in the community, and feel gratitude for the many wonderful gifts that their

children are receiving,” says Marks.

Regardless of how you choose to get involved in your child’s school, it’s important to see your relationship with the school as a partnership, says Watershed’s Head of School, Timothy Breen, Ph.D. “We all bring different perspectives and expertise to the table,”

he explains. And the value of parents’ perspectives can’t be overstated. According to Breen, while educators are experts in your child’s learning and development, according to Breen, “Our parents are experts on their children.” And when parents and educators team up, our kids reap the rewards.

At Halloween, Shining Mountain Waldorf School invites parents and students for some fall fun. (Photo courtesy: Adam Palazzari/ Shining Mountain Waldorf School). ShedFest, Watershed’s big school year kickoff event that includes families, students, and educators. (Photo courtesy: Watershed School)

Navigating Preschool

There’s no single type of preschool student and no single key to success in early learning.

Preschool students are at a crucial phase of their intellectual, emotional and physical development. It’s a time when little humans and little learners are finding themselves; it’s a time rife with transformation and evolution.

That process looks different for every single kid. Every 2- to 5-year-old has their own path to success. That may feel overwhelming for parents looking for a set formula to prepare their young ones for success at the earliest phase of their academic development.

Here’s the good news: while every kid has their own needs,

strengths and challenges, early education specialists from across Boulder County have tips for ensuring that preschool is a success for all kinds of learners. That’s important because according to experts, preschool can serve as a critical bridge to later academic achievement.

“Enrolling your student in a high-quality preschool program is one of the best ways to give them a strong start on their academic journey and ensure a competitive advantage in elementary school and beyond,” said representatives from St. Vrain Valley Schools.

To make sure this critical phase in a child’s development is successful, parents can take simple, straightforward measures. Preschool students can find independence and learn cooperation. There are

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Preschool is a time when little humans and little learners are finding themselves; it’s a time rife with transformation and evolution. (Photo courtesy: Thorne Nature Experience).
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simple ways to encourage student discipline and prevent meltdowns; parents have options when it comes to helping their students successfully face big transitions and keeping up a sense of play at home.

According to representatives from TLC Learning Center, “Children increase their independence and strengthen their social and emotional development through peer interactions and play-based learning.” Preschool is a critical time to build those strong skills, a time that calls for a diverse approach to learning and curricula. “(It’s a time to) teach reading, math and science exploration, and social skills, while also fostering a child’s cognitive and motor development.”

Making sure all of those lessons resonate takes a balanced approach, according to Carrie Riesberg, spokeswoman for the Thorne Nature Experience in Boulder. The school encourages joyful, hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences that foster an emotional connection to nature.

Riesberg said the key to a successful preschool experience is adjusting to the present moment, practicing kindness and always drawing on a deep store of patience

“Avoid direct confrontation. It doesn’t help anyone,” said Riesberg, whose words reflect the expertise and input of the facility’s preschool staff, and spoke to the wisdom of incorporating play into every aspect of conflict resolution. “Instead, get creative by refocusing and making things a game instead of giving an order”

Similarly, Riesberg said that letting preschool students learn important lessons sometimes means letting go. Parents and caregivers are understandably focused on controlling their child’s environment – it’s a natural instinct, especially when it comes to protecting one’s youngest and most vulnerable.

But preschool is the beginning of a long learning

journey, and sometimes that journey necessitates lessons learned independently

“Appropriate risks are important,” she said.

“Learning how to navigate risk as a younger child helps us navigate larger risks as an adult.”

That’s not to say parents should cede control completely It’s important to be involved. Learn about what’s going on in your child’s school. Interact with teachers. Play a role in the everyday and extracurricular life of the facility

Most of all, find your own center of calm and focus to help your child through the journey.

“Ask for help,” she said. “Study conscious discipline, non-violent communication, meditate and go to therapy. We all need support.”

Finally, though preschool is the beginning of an academic journey, we’re still talking about kids younger than 5. They should retain a sense of wonder, freedom and play, even as they’re beginning to find their approach to learning.

“Kids learn through play. Play is important,” Riesberg said. “Make sure there’s lots of open space for kids to play on their own. If you feel like you’re always playing with your child, stop it. They need time to explore at their own pace.”

Hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences foster an emotional connection to nature.

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World View for Students With the International Baccalaureate

At Colorado’s IB schools, a whole-world perspective enriches the whole child

There’s a wide, wide world beyond the horizon, and students who have an international view are well-prepared for it. That broad vision of the world is built onto a comprehensive curriculum called the

International Baccalaureate (IB).

The International Baccalaureate is an important part of the middle school program at Boulder County Day School (BCD). BCD is a private preschool through middle school located in Gunbarrel where every child has the opportunity to discover their own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, engaging academics, and a focus on community, BCD teachers strive to create a well-rounded education environment that balances


traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and knowledge-based units.

Tricia Pezdek, Head of Middle School at Boulder Country Day, explains how the IB program is implemented at BCD:

“The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) is rooted in the most current research and aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced education that promotes intellectual, personal, emotional, and social growth. It encourages

students to become critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and globally-minded individuals by emphasizing the development of key skills, knowledge, and concept application across various subject areas.

The MYP offers a broad and balanced curriculum that includes eight subjects: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, Physical and Health Education, and Design. The interdisciplinary nature of the MYP program ensures that subjects are not taught

Boulder Country Day School students participate in Model UN. (Photo courtesy: Boulder Country Day School)

in isolation, but rather enables students to see the benefits of applying their subject knowledge across a broad range of problems and approaches. In addition to our core classes, BCD offers an Exploratory electives program through which students are empowered to explore and discover their curiosities, passions, and their excellence. The MYP program also places a strong emphasis on the IB Approaches to Learning skills as essential skills that all students should possess. These include critical thinking, communication, research, self-management, and collaboration. Students acquire these skills through the program and thus take an active role in their learning as they build on opportunities that develop their strengths while making connections between different subject areas.

BCD’s philosophy of placing the student at the center is evident in our MYP program and the relationships developed between student and teacher Students feel seen and heard and learn to advocate for themselves in their different educational settings. Teachers know their students and encourage them to reach their full potential while taking educationally and developmentally appropriate risks. Within the curriculum, students are engaged in a daily advisory program in which students and teachers work closely with one another to emphasize the development of social-emotional learning and

executive functioning.

The MYP program also develops internationalmindedness and helps students to take a global perspective. Through the program’s emphasis on understanding different cultures, languages, and perspectives, students gain an appreciation for diversity and are better prepared to engage with global issues.

An example of this is our Model United Nations where all students, 6th - 8th grade, participate in researching current world issues and offer resolutions to be voted on by delegates of other countries.

In 8th grade, our students participate in a year-long Community Service Capstone Project. This allows students to explore an interest in depth and apply their knowledge and skills acquired throughout the process while giving back to our community on a local, national, or global level.

It’s important to note that the MYP offers several advantages. Our program is developed to create lifelong learners and create an environment of excitement for the process of learning.

At BCD we encourage our students to meet and exceed their capabilities—to dare to be their best.”

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Baccalaureate offers programs to more than 1.95 million students ages 3 to 19 across the globe. In July 2023, there were over 7,900 programs offered worldwide across over 5,700 schools in 159 countries

Boulder Country Day School students participate in Model UN.
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Charter Schools Chalk Up AcademicOptions

Students opting for a charter school often get a more rigorous, focused education that gives them extras in anything from technology to art or math.

Summit Middle School in Boulder, founded in 1996, offers accelerated, bi-level courses, while the focus at Flagstaff Academy in Longmont, founded in 2005, is science and technology. Other specialty programs can range from a classical education to Core Knowledge.

“Our mission is one of academic rigor,” said Adam Galvin, principal at Summit Middle School, one of five charter schools in Boulder Valley School District. “We have a curriculum and a school culture that’s focused on academic achievements. … All of our curriculum is advanced, above grade level.”

The school’s 400 students

take five core classes and two electives every day the core classes are in English, math, science, history and foreign language, either Spanish or French

“Student choice is what we focus on,” Galvin said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all program determined by address.”

Charter schools operate independently of the school district and make decisions based on what’s best for students with curriculum, instruction and resources, Galvin said. The schools can be innovative and provide an education that’s based on their mission, be specific in offerings, and collaborate more with families, he said.

“Our families like that the overall school size is smaller,” Galvin said. “Students and families do choose to come here, so they’re invested in the mission and are supportive.”

Flagstaff Academy, an open enrollment PreK-8 school in the St. Vrain Valley School District, offers elementary-

Flagstaff Academy is proud of its inquiry based, hands-on Science Lab that allows students to use the process of science to understand the world around them (Photo courtesy: Flagstaff Academy).

level essentials in science and technology in place of the traditional specials. Students take essentials on a weekly rotating basis in STAMP, or Science, Technology, Art, Music and PE. For the science and technology essentials, they visit labs to extend or enrich what they’re learning in the classroom. In science, they might visit the greenhouse, while in technology, they can learn about robotics, coding or digital storytelling – these also can be separate, more in-depth elective classes.

“It’s project-based learning because we see them for a week at a time,” said Katie Gustafson, executive principal of Flagstaff Academy “It varies, and it’s the kind of curriculum that builds on each other”

At the middle school level, students visit the greenhouse monthly and can take an elective in it, plus forensics, anatomy, food science and myth busters. Some of their

options in technology include computer science, advanced computing and engineering.

“We’re making sure there are options to make sure all kids can explore their passions,” Gustafson said. We’re making sure kids have exposure to things so they can learn all the options available to them.”

As a charter school, Flagstaff can test out ideas and be more innovative and creative with its curriculum and follow best instructional practices, Gustafson said. It also has smaller class sizes and multiple opportunities for family involvement, he said.

“Not all kids are cut from the same mold – that’s why charter schools exist to make sure there is an educational option for all students,” Gustafson said. “Inherently, that makes all schools better Schools aim to be the best they can be and provide the best education for students.”

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Religious School Investment

Choosing to send your child to a religious school is an intentional decision. Parents who are investing in such schools likely have goals for their child’s experience Religious schools offer a beautiful opportunity to center your child’s life around a clear set of values that are shared by both school and home. Parents must play an active role in growing their child’s faith and doing so will ensure your child has a positive and meaningful school experience “We believe that the parents are the first

educators of their children, and so faith formation begins at home,” says Marie Dunn, principal of Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder “We highly value our partnership with the families, and parents can create a faith-based home atmosphere by exposing their children to faith, praying at

home, taking their kids to Mass, and serving others in their community.” Dunn says that she

“We believe in high academic standards, service towards our neighbors, and strong moral and character development.”
Religious schools offer a beautiful opportunity to center your child’s life around a clear set of values that are shared by both school and home. (Photo courtesy: Sacred Heart of Jesus). It’s crucial that parents play an active role in growing their child’s faith, and doing so will ensure your child has a positive and meaningful school experience. (Photo courtesy: Sacred Heart of Jesus).

encourages families to visit Sacred Heart to see if it’s a good fit for their students.

“We are a Catholic school that aligns the educational goals and learning to the Catholic teachings,” she says. “We believe in high academic standards, service towards our neighbors, and strong moral and character development. We are a welcoming and nurturing community where we share the

same hope and good intentions for your child.”

Holy Family High School offers a Catholic learning environment in Broomfield, where there is a deep focus on academic excellence, mutual respect, responsibility and self-growth. Principal Matt Hauptly explains that, because Catholic teachings are integral to the school curriculum, parents must continue that

environment in the home. “We encourage parents to open their hearts to anything their child may want to share about their faith,” says Hauptly “Having an open dialogue with them can have a profound impact on both parents and teenagers during what can be a challenging time in their lives.”

At Nativity: Faith & Reason, a Catholic pre-K through 8th grade school in Broomfield,

parents play an important role in a student’s success by supporting the school’s approach to education: through faith in the younger grades, and reason in the upper grades. “Ultimately,” says principal Sebastian Calvino, “we strive to accompany the young in age-appropriate methods as they grow in relationship with God, themselves, and each other, and as they acquire skills and knowledge which will help them know the reality around them and to judge what is true, good, and beautiful.”

For devout families, there are profound benefits to religious school education, and those benefits are even greater when parents are participatory and engaged. Creating an atmosphere of faith and a values-based lifestyle at home can ensure your child makes the most of their school years and grows into a self-sufficient, well-rounded adult.


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Holy Family High School offers a Catholic learning environment in Broomfield, where there is a deep focus on academic excellence, mutual respect, responsibility and self-growth. (Photo courtesy: Holy Family High School).
1-18 Begin here, soar anywhere!

Boulder Valley School District

Excellence and Equity


Boulder Valley School District wants to locate children ages 3 to 21 with disabilities who live within district boundaries as part of Child Find.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a child with a disability means a child evaluated and determined eligible for special education and related services (ages 3 to 21) in accordance with IDEA under the following categories: Hearing Impairment, Including Deafness, Multiple Disabilities, Deaf-Blindness, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Developmental Delay, Serious Emotional Disability, Intellectual Disability, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, or Visual Impairment, Including Blindness.

As of May 1, 2022, all referrals and evaluations for children under the age of 3 with developmental concerns or disabilities will be coordinated through Early Intervention Colorado, at 833-733-3734.

If you have a preschool aged child, or you are a parent of a child attending private or home school, and you suspect your child may have a disability or is exhibiting delays in his/her development, and you are a resident of the Boulder Valley School District, contact Child Find at:

Boulder Valley School District 6500 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303 (720) 561-5078

Para Información en Español, llame (720) 561-5267

If your child is already enrolled and is attending one of the Boulder Valley School sites, then talk to your child’s teacher or school administrator about your concerns regarding your child’s development, or that you suspect your child may have a disability.

Unique opportunities to help support area students

Thanks to a late and lengthy spring it may feel like summer just got here, but the school year is once again right around the corner.

A few organizations are already in full swing getting ready for the year in the hopes of helping those a little less fortunate get a quality education. Among others these include Impact on Education, a nonprofit foundation supporting Boulder Valley public schools; A Precious Child in Broomfield, supporting children across the Denver Metro area; and the Longmont Dairy’s Milk Caps for Mooola program, supporting more than 400 schools within the

company’s delivery area

Impact on Education

Impact on Education started in 1983 as the Foundation for Boulder Valley Public Schools and has grown into an education-supporting juggernaut. The organization equips 5,000 low-income students with school supplies, raises funds for 160 kindergarteners to participate in a full-day, four-week-long summer program and has invested $1 2 million to create Wellness Centers at six Boulder Valley high schools.

Impact on Education has also provided more than $200,000 in Academic Opportunity Fund grants per year, allowing educators to create engaging lesson plans and learning experiences for their students

Impact on Education volunteers help with equipping low-income students with school supplies. (Photo courtesy: Impact on Education).
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and provide 75 high school students the training and resources they need to prepare them for success beyond high school.

The group is always looking for volunteers and, of course, donations. For more information on how to get involved or support the group, go to impactoneducation org/ volunteer.

A Precious Child

A Precious Child, meanwhile, got its start in 2008 Its humble beginnings started out of the garage of CEO and Founder Carina Martin Back then, the group helped meet the needs of around 50 children

In 2022 A Precious Child helped more than 57,000 children and more than 10,000 adult caregivers. The group works not only out of its impressive headquarters in Broomfield but also from 50 Satellite Resource Centers across the eight Denver Metro counties it serves – Adams,

Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson and Weld.

The organization offers a full slate of services.

“Our facility provides a safe and dignified space where parents and caregivers receive resource navigation and casemanagement services and can shop for food, clothing, diapers, home goods and other basic essentials for members of their families free of charge,” said Chief Communications Officer Courtney Wickberg in an email Wickberg went on to say A Precious Child also “provides cradle-to-career support through programming that provides basic essentials such as food, clothes, toiletries and school supplies in addition to educational opportunities, access to extracurricular activities, mentorship and workforce development ”

A Precious Child prides itself on its collaborative nature, working with numerous partners and volunteers For more information on


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how to get involved, visit APreciousChild.org.

Milk Caps for Mooola, by the Longmont Dairy

Back in November of 2012, leaders at Longmont Dairy were looking for a way to give back They started the Milk Caps for Mooola program to help provide students with iPads, field trips, items for field days basically, any special items or projects students otherwise may not have been able to afford

“When we started, we had no idea how wildly successful the program would become,” said Longmont Dairy CoOwner Katie Copeland in an email. “We now have over 400 participating schools within our delivery areas As of last month, we have collected the 13 millionth cap, meaning over $650,000 has been donated to local schools ”

Copeland gave a lot of credit to the dairy’s community service coordinator, Gary

Schlagel, who has been the driving force behind the program. Copeland added that schools have come up with some creative ideas when it comes to collecting caps, and many have put notices in school newsletters recruiting parents and neighbors to save their caps

For more information on how you can participate, go to longmontdairy.com/ mooola html


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Milk Caps for Mooola program to help provide students with iPads, field trips, items for field days and more. (Photo courtesy: Longmont Dairy).
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Local programs build kids’ confidence, skills for a brighter future

Extracurricular activities offer so much more for kids than just something to do after school.

Whether it’s the local YMCA, a theater group, a sports team or a club, afterschool programs give children opportunities to expand their horizons, learn new skills and make new friends, say local program leaders.

Ideally, joining new communities and trying new activities help children become more well-rounded for their futures, said Josh Hill, programs manager at the Boulder Rock Club.

“Climbing is a new outlet of not just physical activity but also learning socialization and community Our focus

is definitely on the technical and physical side of learning how to climb but also the joy of learning to be in a new community,” Hill said.

Some children may come from an environment where they feel they lack control “Climbing is an empowering tool, and not just for kiddos. This is something they can control. They can see it and feel it,” he said.

Extracurricular activities also give children an opportunity to learn from failure, which builds confidence and resilience, activity coordinators explain.

Hill said, “Maybe dealing with failure in an athletic endeavor and understanding how to build off that failure and applying that to other circumstances will help them.

Allowing that to happen outside the classroom will click with students, It’s a lot easier

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to bring the concept of failure in the context of climbing by saying how we can come back and improve the next time.”

Learning to make failure part of the process rather than the end game may lead children to become better students and leaders, he said. Classes are offered for children as young as 4 years old up to 17 years old.

Working with experienced instructors gives children a chance to understand how to take an environment that can be dangerous and make it a relatively manageable risk by learning processes, checking systems and following through - all skills that translate into other parts of their lives, Hill said.

Pollyanna Demitro, owner and founder of Boulder Performing Arts Company, agrees that extracurricular programs offer children a chance to make a new set of friends.

“The thing that is nice is that they are coming to a different

pool of friends than they have at school. Maybe they face bullying or other issues at school. When they come to our group, they are embraced and warm,” she said. “Kids learn a lot of teamwork because we are working on a production,

and they get to give their input, which I think is important.”

Demitro, who has been teaching for 45 years, said it’s important that activities acknowledge children’s personal skills and talents but also emphasize teamwork

and working together

Children from ages 5 to 13 sing, dance and act at the company, but they also learn to take responsibility for their costumes and props.

“Extracurricular activities are really important because children don’t always get everything they need in a school situation and sometimes at home. For our studio, we really embrace all of our families. They know I really care about their kids. We are really trying to help kids find their voice. Maybe they won’t end up singing on Broadway, but they are finding out who they are in a safe place.”

The theater company also assists parents who are looking for ways to help children with reading or speech problems.

“We are working on reading scripts and using body language to communicate how we feel, learning how to speak with clarity and timing, all the while giving positive feedback,” she said. “At the end of the production, parents

Extracurricular activities also give children an opportunity to learn from failure, which builds confidence and resilience. (Photo courtesy: Boulder Rock Club).

get to see their kids onstage. That is confidence-building. When they come into this arena, you have all these people applauding and helping you, so it’s therapeutic. You may not even think about the issues you may have.”

Family balance is another consideration when determining how and where kids will spend their time outside of the classroom.

“One thing to acknowledge is that extracurricular activities are not just fun and games, they also are childcare. That makes them vital to working parents,” explained Andra Coberly Webster, executive director of communications for the YMCA of Northern Colorado.

“Children need a safe, supportive place to go so parents can go to work. That’s a benefit to the community and society,” she said.

Understanding and fulfilling the need for childcare is just a part of the nonprofit organization’s journey to fill in the gaps for communities - something that the YMCA has been doing for more than 150 years. Nearby YMCAs are located in Lafayette, Longmont, Boulder and Johnstown with another opening in Loveland this year

“Today, we consider ourselves inclusive and

welcoming to all people. That is what makes the Y specialasking what is the need in our community and saying we can do that,” Coberly Webster said. The organization also helps secure childcare and preschool financial assistance for families in need.

Beyond the childcare aspect, kids can learn hard skills, such as how to play soccer or build robots or programming. But they also can expand their peer groups by being around older and younger kids as well as new teachers and adult mentors.

“There are social and emotional skills. They can try new things and fail at them and keep going. They can expand their communication and learn how to deal with conflict with a new set of kids,” Coberly Webster said.

And let’s not forget about what is probably the most important factor for kids - the fun.

Coberly Webster said, “There is activity and movement. Our kids are on screen so much, but it’s also really great for a kid to run around and be silly and get their wiggles out. Freeplay time is something that is underrated today Sometimes, kids just go out and play on the playground. That’s really important.”

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At Boulder Performing Arts Co., children from age 5 to 13 sing, dance and act at the company, but they also learn to take responsibility for their costumes and props. (Photo courtesy: Boulder Performing Arts Co.) We are proud to offer an all-natural, non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical treatment option for your child’s sleep care!



All work and no play make for a frustrated child. The answer, according to Andra Coberly Webster, executive director of communications at the YMCA of Northern Colorado, is often extracurriculars, from after-school programs to sports, theater and music classes. After all, she said, “Kids need safe spaces after school so parents can provide for their families. It’s vital to families, communities and society.”

Josh Hill, programming manager at Boulder Rock Club, agreed, noting, “Not every kiddo thrives in the classroom, and extracurricular activity can provide them with the opportunity to better understand and practice social skills,

improve their physical fitness and potentially find a new outlet or coping skill that they can utilize throughout the rest of their lives.” Laura Amaya, president of Airborne, which offers gymnastics, dance and “trampolineninja-tumbling,” added, Movement-based extracurriculars “help children learn about their bodies, help facilitate brain development and instill confidence.”

After-school activities can also get children outside and off screens, said Liz Napp, manager and program administrator at Sunflower Farm. She said, “We want kids to feel the unconditional love of a new baby lamb or goat and find worms in the dirt ” Thankfully, Boulder County has an incredible lineup of awesome extracurriculars that stretch the mind, strengthen the body and connect with the natural world.

Boulder Rock Club

Boulder Rock Club’s after-school clubs last eight to 10 weeks, with additional camps offered over school holidays. Hill said, “Climbing in itself is a great opportunity for anyone, especially kiddos, to learn how to set reasonable goals measure progress and process failure.” He continued, Boulder Rock Club provides “new climbers with the skills and abilities to not only be proficient in their new activity but to excel.” boulderrockclub com

Airborne 3

At Airborne, “we offer something for everyone,” said Amaya, “from little threeyear-olds learning colors and cartwheels in our Sweet Pea Educational Gymnastics Program to highly competitive gymnasts that are bound for NCAA gymnastics.” Those eager to channel their inner ninja will want to check out Airborne’s trampoline and tumbling classes. Amaya said, “We strive to teach all of our athletes (that) with perseverance you can learn to do hard things.” airbornecolorado com

Sunflower Farm 4

The YMCAs of Northern Colorado after-school programs “provide children with homework help, active playtime and group activities, games and projects to keep them engaged and moving,” said Coberly Webster. Fall sports include basketball, flag football, hockey and volleyball. Financial assistance is available to “ensure all children have opportunities to learn and grow,” she said. ymcanoco org

Children learn hands-on at Sunflower Farm, said Napp. “Everything from animal care to harvesting and planting and learning about where their food comes from to life and death of our natural world,” she said. “It’s important for us to get kids and families outside connecting with nature, unplugging from our modern-day living.” Sunflower Farms offers preschool and school-aged programming, and after-school programs are in the works. sunflowerfarminfo com


Boulder Performing Arts Co. 5

For more than 40 years, Boulder Performing Arts has been nurturing student teamwork and leadership, said owner Pollyanna Demitro. She explained, “Some students are just beginning to discover their talent while others are preparing to have the self-confidence to audition for a starring role. Practicing speaking in front of a group or reading a script with expression help kids develop empathy for their character and discover who they are and want to be.” This fall the company will perform Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr” boulderperformingarts.com

HB Woodsongs 6

“There are so many benefits to learning an instrument,” said owner Sondra Blanchard. “The student is learning a new language, how to listen, how to play with others, how to be patient. There is tremendous creativity and grit in the process. Students learn to get comfy with failure and trying again.” In addition to offering instrument rentals, HB Woodsongs’ studio lessons include guitar, mandolin, bass, ukulele, piano and banjo. hbwoodsongs com

ABC Kids Climbing 7

Climbing is a great way to teach kids balance, controlled falls, motor skills and general confidence, said manager Kristen Lutz. ABC Kids Climbing’s advanced programs emphasize route reading, footwork, dynamic and static movement, endurance and strength training. Lutz said, “We promote collaboration within each program, which provides a wellrounded social and physical learning experience.” abckidsboulder.com

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Pedaling Minds 8

Founded by the Olympian Mike Friedman in 2014 after he retired from professional cycling, Pedaling Minds is a nonprofit “on a mission to help every person have fun learning how to ride a bicycle with control and confidence,” said director of operations Noemi Leick. The organization runs indoor and outdoor camps during school-off days. Winter classes feature STEM activities such as powering light bulbs with cycling power. pedalingminds.org

Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids 9

Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids delivers a unique combination of education, performance and community, said executive director Barry Freniere. “You might also say process and product meet fun and friends.” Afterschool classes are available, as is Actors Academy for advanced students. “We give students, beginner and experienced alike, a professional theater experience, as well as a personal, in-depth and holistic perspective on the crafting of theater,” Freniere said. actorsacademyco com

Boulder Valley School District’s Lifelong Learning program includes after-school and “late start Wednesday” enrichment classes. BVSD communications manager Matt Jenkins said, “Our classes are skillfocused, so kids get practical learning in their areas of interest while having a blast with their friends.” Class options include chess, cooking, sports, music and hula hooping. “Igniting a spark outside of the classroom can improve children’s attitude toward school and boost their self-confidence,” he said. LLL.bvsd.org

Welcoming all identities They want to learn. They want friends. We can help. A Safe and Engaging Learning Community for Neurodivergent Teens Twice-Exceptional ASD/ADHD Social anxiety Grades 6-12 Rigorous academic curriculum Staff-student ratio 1:3 Social communication coaching Executive function support Located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. To learn more, visit www templegrandinschool org or call 303-554-7363
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FillABackpackprovidesbackpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies to children in need to maximize their academic potential

Imaginetheexcitementinachild’s eyesastheyholdanewbackpack oftheirown,filledwithnotebooks, pencilsandallthetoolstheyneedto unlocktheirfullpotential

Educationisthekeythatopens doorstoendlesspossibilities,and together,wecanensureeverychild hastheopportunitytolearn,grow andthrive.




Help collect school supplies so that a child in need can feel confident on their first day back to school.


ecious Child’


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Welcome Back to School, BVSD! I hope you had a wonderful and fun Summer Break

As we welcome students back to our classrooms, we will be continuing our work on the All Together For All Students Strategic Plan, which aims to Inspire a love of learning in every student, Equip them with the knowledge and skills that will help to make them successful and give them the opportunities and connections so that they can Soar after high school in the college or career pathway of their choice.

We are making extraordinary strides in this work by following a pretty simple premise:

Opportunities → Growth → Achievement

Boulder Valley School District has excellent teachers and we have recognized that as they offer students increased opportunities, this naturally leads to growth in our students, which in turn lifts achievement of our children and our schools.

It has been remarkable to watch the results of this work so far Here are a few of our success stories:

180° Turnaround: Alicia Sanchez Elementary

Last year, Alicia Sanchez Elementary School in Lafayette earned the Governor’s Bright Spot Award because of the outstanding growth of its students This, only a few years after being labeled as a “turnaround school” by the state because of poor test scores

It was one of four schools to be lifted by targeted support

By creating opportunities for students through differentiated funding and specialized training for teachers from the experts in the University of Virginia Partners in Education program, test scores have soared.

In fact, thanks to this thoughtful and data-driven work, kids in BVSD are learning and growing at the highest rates in the Denver Metro, according to CDE’s School Performance


Approaching discipline


We are dedicated to ensuring that every student feels

welcome, supported and has the opportunity to strive This isn’t possible when a child is held out of the classroom due to behavior issues – and based on our data our students of color are far more likely to receive stronger punishments for the same infractions

With a 64% increase in restorative practices at our schools and professional development for our teachers and school leaders around identifying and eliminating implicit bias and discrimination in discipline, we are seeing a reduction in disproportionate discipline when it comes to students being suspended or referred to law enforcement

Grad Plus creating new pathways after graduation

The world is changing incredibly quickly. You need not look further than the impact AI is having on just about every industry To be prepared for the future, we know we must give our graduates more than just a diploma, which is why we have developed the Grad Plus framework and new Career and Technical Education pathways and facilities, thanks to the support of our voters last November. Our goal is to increase opportunities for our students to get hands-on work experience, advanced and college courses and to become proficient in more than one language

In just the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of students earning college credits, in part to programs that allow them to earn high school and college credits at the same time and receive their first year of college for free, by remaining enrolled in the district Some of our

students only have about one year of college left by the time they leave BVSD – an incredible leg up and cost savings

Wellness centers provide additional social emotional support

The Marshall Fire and the global pandemic have had a toll on the mental health of our students. Last year, Monarch High School offered students a Wellness Center – a safe place to gather with a counselor who was there to listen and help as needed It was a huge success – so much so that we are working with our partners at Impact on Education to expand the program to all of our high schools.

Reenvisioning of summer school prepares students for the new school year

A record number of students (nearly 1,500) attended Summer Summit this year, our improved summer learning program

Instead of the typical remediation, during the month of June, BVSD teachers worked ahead, previewing this school year’s curriculum, so kids who may have faced challenges are ready to learn alongside their

peers as everyone returns to school.

Universal Preschool launches this fall

Finally, we are thrilled that even more young learners will have the opportunity to receive the best early childhood instruction in the state, thanks to the launch of Colorado’s new Universal Preschool Program. The benefit is great when a child builds a strong foundation for learning early

It is not too late to enroll your child in the Boulder Valley School District, whether you’ve got a preschooler, kindergartener or first through twelfth graders Simply go to bvsd org/ enrollment learn more and begin the registration process I look forward to the school year ahead and the opportunity to share new ways students are excelling because of the work our educators are doing every day here at BVSD

When we work All Together, we can ensure All Students succeed.


Rob Anderson

Accelerating student achievement and success

We have much to celebrate in the St Vrain Valley community, and I want to extend my gratitude for your continued partnership and support in advancing our students and schools. As we prepare to return for the 2023-2024 school year, we’ve seen an unprecedented level of success across all of our schools.

Students within St Vrain Valley Schools have access to numerous high-quality programs and opportunities designed to provide a strong academic foundation and to advance their engagement and exploration in cutting-edge fields. These experiences will provide them with a strong competitive advantage in our complex, globalized world

In just the past year, our ontime four-year graduation rate has reached the highest level in our district’s history

approaching 94% while maintaining the most rigorous requirements in the state and

beyond – alongside increased student achievement at all levels PK-14. This includes reading and math accomplishments and significantly increased enrollment in collegelevel Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, concurrent enrollment, honors, and Pathways through Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) coursework

Further, our students have earned an unprecedented number of state, regional, national, and international

awards in various fields such as robotics, athletics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, visual and performing arts, business, debate, and many other areas of student excellence, both academic and co-curricular.

Additionally, every school in our system was buzzing with multiple high-quality activities this summer. This included advanced learning opportunities, robust cocurricular activities, and construction projects that support growth and enhance the quality and safety of our schools Additionally, thousands of students continued their learning through our Project Launch program, which provides four additional weeks of full-day instruction in math and language arts At the Innovation Center, hundreds of students participated in coursework and pursued advanced STEM opportunities in robotics, biomedical engineering, aeronautics, artificial intelligence, and music innovation While our students were highly engaged in rigorous summer programs, our teachers and staff focused on professional development designed to advance their knowledge and Thousands of teachers aff enrolled in St. Vrain over the summer,

with a focus on collaboration and accelerating student achievement through highquality instruction.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and dedication to our students, teachers, and staff Your continued commitment plays a pivotal role in the success and progress we celebrate each year, and it humbles me to witness the powerful impact we can achieve when we work together to elevate the success of our students, schools, and community. This fall, I’ll be scheduling our annual open forums in each of our areas to listen to our community’s questions and suggestions, share our many successes, and discuss our bold vision for continuing to build new schools as our student enrollment continues to climb I look forward to seeing everyone at one of our upcoming community meetings in order to personally thank you for everything that you do to support our students, teachers, and staff. Together, we are building a stronger future for our children, our community, and our world.


Fall Classes

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Thriving students lead to thriving futures

In Adams 12 Five Star Schools, we know if our students are thriving in school, they’re more likely to thrive after they graduate

ELEVATE, our strategic plan, serves as a road map for creating and sustaining an environment in which our students thrive. Three conditions are equally important to elevating student success in the Five Star District

• Raising achievement levels for all students.

• Taking pride in and feeling connected to the district’s positive culture

• Knowing every student by name, strength and need

I encourage you to take a look at this year’s Five Star FOCUS magazine (adams12 org/focus), which features personal stories of these goals coming to life in the Five Star District

Additionally, we’re making a number of investments for the 2023-2024 school year in support of these three priorities

World Class Staff

As one of the focus areas in the district’s strategic plan, World Class Staff includes the following priority: “We will improve our competitive market position for recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.”

To remain competitive and address significant inflationary pressures, Adams 12 Five Star Schools have addressed a number of compensation matters. The district raised

starting teacher salaries to $58,000 a year, an increase of more than $12,000 from the previous starting salary.

The compensation package for the 2023-2024 school year also ensures that all educators will earn at least a 6 percent total increase in pay

Additionally, all classified employees (support staff) will earn at least a 6 percent total increase in pay, and administrators will receive 6 percent

Expansion of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programming

The district will make additional investments in CTE programming, which is called FutureForward in Adams 12 Five Star Schools.

In response to student demand, the district will increase the number of classes offered in the following areas:

• Sports medicine

• Crime scene investigation

• Diesel

• Firefighting

• Behavioral and mental health

• Law enforcement

Additionally, given student interest, the district is adding a new program, veterinarian assistant, to FutureForward in 2023-2024

Safe Schools

At the beginning of 2023, the Five Star District made a commitment to invest in two additional school security liaisons. The district Safety and Security team now has a total of three school security liaisons

These safety and security team members work directly with school administrators, district security staff and our local law enforcement partners, including school resource officers, to ensure a safe and secure learning environment at all schools.

School Security Liaisons are required to have had or currently maintain a POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification, or similar certification necessary for firearms proficiency

Planning Beyond 2023-2024

In support of the continued implementation of ELEVATE, Adams 12 Five Star Schools is in the midst of developing Blueprint, a comprehensive long-range academic programming and facilities plan.

The district’s Long Range Planning Advisory Committee (LRPAC) leads the works on Blueprint.

Committee membership includes parents, staff and community members Within LRPAC, there are three

subcommittees focusing on different aspects of Blueprint.

• Relevant and Responsive Academic Programming prioritizes and designs academic and applied learning opportunities to ensure all students are prepared to successfully pursue and thrive in a future of their choosing

• Facility Renewal, Rebuild, Reimagine prioritize facility investments that support the district’s academic vision and that provide desirable and outstanding learning environments.

• Profiles of Thriving Schools identifies the enrollment and resource conditions that foster an equitable and extraordinary learning experience for all students

It’s anticipated that during the 2023-2024 school year, Blueprint will be finalized, including any funding plan necessary for its successful implementation

We’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our students this year and beyond We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the 20232024 school year See you soon!


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Private, Charter & Preschool Spotlight

Aspen Ridge Preparatory School

Aspen Ridge Preparatory School is a Kindergarten through 8th grade tuition-free charter school with a private preschool program The school was built BY the community to build UP the community It has small class sizes, highly skilled teachers, and a content-rich curriculum At Aspen Ridge Preparatory School, each student has a personalized education plan, updated annually, to reflect academic and behavioral goals focused on each student’s needs Students have daily opportunities to build confidence, academic success and positive character traits Email info@ aspenridgeprepschool org to learn more or schedule your tour!

Grades served: Preschool through 8th grade

Address: 705 Austin Ave , Erie Phone: (720) 242-6225

Website: aspenridgeprepschool org

Bixby School

Bixby School offers a progressive education where we know each student deeply and provide handson learning experiences in small classes with expert teachers who fuel and celebrate curiosity every day Our beautiful, inspiring three-acre campus includes natural play areas and an indoor pool We are a welcoming place for family and community, with year-round events and many social and volunteer opportunities

Grades served: Preschool through 5th grade

Address: 4760 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder

Phone: (303) 494-7508

Website: bixbyschool org

Sacred Heart of Jesus School

Boulder Country Day School

BCD is a top-rated preschool through middle school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover their own unique excellence We believe that students should be engaged through experiences offered in an atmosphere of encouragement, joy and high expectations We understand that children taught by inspiring and creative teachers, who care deeply about each child’s progress and development, are more likely to flourish

Grades served: Preschool through 8th grade

Address: 4820 Nautilus Court North, Boulder Phone: (303) 527-4931

Website: bouldercountryday org

Boulder Performing Arts Co.

Boulder Performing Arts Co specializes in musical theater for kids aged 5 to 14 years old Weekly classes teach acting, dancing and singing skills

Classes are fun and motivating while teaching kids the art of speaking, working as a group and shining as a star Performances are on stage with costumes provided at the end of the session Boulder Performing Arts’ Show will be Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr Teaching Boulder kids for more than 40 years For more information or to register visit boulderperformingarts com

Grades Served: Kindergarten through 8th grade

Address: 4847 E Pearl, Boulder

Phone: (303) 859-4195

Website: boulderperformingarts com

Friends School

Friends School values all learners. Our creative, academicallychallenging, safe environment allows every student to be seen, known and loved. Small class sizes allow us to meet each student where they are as learners, help them to know themselves, and set their own path. Our purpose and values influence everything we do, from how we teach math and the way we schedule classes to the kinds of activities students engage in and how we plan our engaging learning spaces. Friends students enter the world as prepared, thoughtful, kind, genuine, selfadvocating, confident and empathetic citizens. Friends School since 1987: Challenging minds, nurturing spirits and honoring individuality.

Grades Served: Preschool through 8th Grade

Address: SOUTH Campus (Preschool & Elementary) 5465 Pennsylvania Ave , Boulder; NORTH Campus (Middle School & Teacher Prep Program) 3800 Kalmia Ave , Boulder

Phone: (303) 499-1999

Website: friendsschoolboulder org

Holy Family High School

Through our exceptional academic program and extensive co-curricular opportunities Holy Family students are surrounded by a community that genuinely cares about them As a result, it is highly empowering, and our students thrive because they feel at home and at ease Every day our students work with a talented staff dedicated to helping them reach their full potential Together, they are a force that gives our students an unparalleled high school experience While we are a school grounded in Catholic traditions, we warmly welcome students and families of all faiths Schedule a time to tour our campus, and you will see what makes Holy Family an excellent choice for your family

Grades Served: 9-12

Address: 5195 W 144th Ave Broomfield

Phone: (303) 410-1411

Website: holyfamilyhs com

SHJ provides Intentional, Experiential Learning for Preschool through 8th Grade • Full and Part-Time Preschool Schedules for Ages 3 and Up • IEP, TAG and Learning Intervention Support • Tuition Assistance Available for Qualifying Families • After School-Care Admissions@shjboulder.org 303-447-2362 You will be known. You will be loved. SCHEDULE YOUR TOUR TODAY!

Private, Charter & Preschool Spotlight

Boulder Valley School District

Early Childhood Education

Boulder Valley School District’s integrated preschool program welcomes children who qualify for the Colorado Preschool Program, Special Education, or who pay tuition, all in one classroom Children learn through play Our classrooms are set up as centers of discovery, and the children’s curiosity directs their learning Teachers facilitate the children’s experiences while making sure they feel nurtured and safe

Grades Served: Preschool

Address: Most BVSD elementary schools

Phone: (720) 561 5075

Website: ece bvsd org

Boulder Valley Waldorf School

The 38-acre agricultural campus provides a peaceful yet stimulating environment for children from Preschool through 8th grade! For preschool and kindergarten, a play-based loving community is the perfect place for children to begin their educational journey Teachers in the elementary grades present as role models whom children will naturally want to follow, fostering rapport and nurturing curiosity, imagination, and creativity Students are active participants In middle school, children are now empowered to take that “front seat” in their learning, with discussion groups

Grades Served: Preschool through 8th Grade

Address: 6500 W Dry Creek Pkwy , Niwot

Phone: (303) 652-0130

Website: bvwaldorf org

Dawson School

Dawson School is the Boulder County region’s top independent K-12 school An inspiring campus nestled amongst 700 acres of open space Dawson is more than a school Dawson is a community A community of educators, faculty, and parents who believe education should not only prepare students for academic success - it should prepare them for life We recognize our students as individuals We value their abilities and prepare them to bring their best to the world This commitment is why Dawson students have 100% college acceptance

Grades Served: K-12

Address: 10455 Dawson Drive Lafayette Phone: (303) 665-6679

Website: dawsonschool org

Flagstaff Academy

Flagstaff Academy is an award-winning preschool through eighth grade public charter school located in Longmont The school offers an academically rigorous Core Knowledge-based curriculum with a strong focus on science and technology that includes inquiry-based science, robotics, computer sciences, integrated technology, and a greenhouse classroom Flagstaff Academy is also home to the leading Restorative Practices program in the region, providing a strong focus on character development and ethical leadership

Grades served: Preschool through 8th Grade

Address: 2040 Miller Drive, Longmont Phone: (303) 651-7900

Website: flagstaffacademy org

www.bixbyschool.org admissions@bixbyschool.org 303 494 7508 ext.6

Private, Charter & Preschool Spotlight

Mountain Shadows Montessori School

Nativity: Faith & Reason

Kohl St. Kids / United Church of Broomfield

Kohl Street Kids is located in the United Church of Broomfield. We care for children ages 2.5 through 12 years old. The preschool program is curriculum-based where we focus on socialemotional development, as well as academics to prepare young minds and hearts for Kindergarten and beyond. Our before-and after-school program cares for Kindergarten-5th grade students enrolled at Kohl Elementary. We are open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, schedule a tour call (303) 466-8355 x103 or email kohlstreetkids@gmail.com.

Grades served: Preschool through 5th grade

Address: 825 Kohl St., Broomfield Phone: (303) 466.8355

Website: broomfielducc.org/ kohl-street-kids

Mountain Shadows Montessori School was founded in 1976 as a private, non-profit school It has grown from a small classroom of 14 children operating in a rented church facility to a campus situated on 7-1/2 acres in beautiful Boulder The school offers a comprehensive, accredited Montessori education of the highest quality to students ages 12 months through 6th grade

Mountain Shadows is one of two Association Montessori International (AMI) schools accredited schools in the state of Colorado The AMI affiliation gives credibility to our school’s status within the educational community as a whole as well as the global Montessori community, and it confirms rigorous support of the Montessori principles that are put into practice at the school

Grades served: Preschool through 6th grade

Address: 4154 63rd St , Boulder

Phone: (303) 530 5353

Website: mountainshadows org

Nativity: Faith & Reason is a preschool, elementary and middle school that seeks to educate the whole person of the student in a loving, joyfilled, safe, and supportive environment Located in Broomfield, Nativity: Faith & Reason serves students and their families from across the area Unapologetically Catholic, Nativity proposes the fullness of faith within an integrated curriculum, striving for academic, spiritual, artistic, and athletic excellence Its goal is to develop scholars and saints who are not only well-prepared for high school and life but are fully equipped with the tools necessary for critical thinking, sound judgment and contributing to society in the 21st century

Grades served: Preschool through 8th grade

Address: 900 W Midway Blvd, Broomfield

Phone: (303) 466-4177

Website: School nool us

Sacred Heart of Jesus School

Sacred Heart of Jesus is just the right place for your family It’s about finding a school filled with quality faculty who bring a commitment to academic excellence It’s about an atmosphere that ignites a love of learning; a culture that is welcoming and supportive; a community that works together and a place where special traditions are celebrated SHJ is committed to providing a valuesbased education, ensuring that students have the foundation to be thoughtful moral and compassionate leaders It believes it isn’t just about being a great school –it’s about being the right school

Grades Served: Preschool through 8th Grade

Address: 1317 Mapleton Ave , Boulder

Phone: (303) 447-2362

Website: school shjboulder org


Our after school Climbing Club allows kids to get some physical exercise after a long day of school. We have passionate Instructors who love to climb and share climbing games and skills with kids
303.447.2804 boulderrockclub com
curriculum is specific to each age and skill level to motivate and challenge each climber. Our program runs in four 8-week sessions unless otherwise noted below.

Private, Charter & Preschool Spotlight

St. Vrain Valley Preschool Program

Shining Mountain Waldorf School

Shining Mountain Waldorf School, located on a beautiful 12-acre campus set against the foothills, is leading the world in rethinking what education is for in the 21st century It believes every student deserves an education that cultivates a lifelong love of learning, a strong sense of self, and the capacity to stand with confidence and courage in an ever-changing world Shining Mountain Waldorf School, with its is mission of learning to change the world, is celebrating 40 years

Grades Served: Preschool through 12th Grade

Address: 9998 Violet Ave , Boulder

Phone: (303) 444-7697

Website: shiningmountainwaldorf org

The St Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) offers a preschool program with locations available in Longmont, Niwot, Lyons Mead and Erie as well as the Spark! Discovery Preschool serves families in the Carbon Valley Area Registration continues for tuition-based programs with opportunities for tuition assistance through Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) and scholarships The program is free for children who qualify for Special Education Services “Families can rest assured that their children will be loved and cared for by educated teaching staff who work hard at helping each student reach their highest potential,” says Director Shela Blankinship

Grades served: Preschool

Address: Various locations

Phone: 303 702 7815

Website: svvsd org/preschool

Your child's education is one of the most important decisions you'll make Learn about the long-term benefits of a Friends School education at our open houses.

Summit Middle Charter School

Summit Middle School, founded in 1996 as the first charter school in the Boulder Valley School District, provides a rigorous, academic curriculum that promotes high levels of student effort and academic achievement Recognized as a four-time Blue Ribbon award winner, Summit values scholarship by providing a rigorous curriculum and academic challenge in a caring community that supports student development and instills a lifelong love of learning

Grades Served: 6th through 8th grade

Address: 4655 Hanover Ave

Boulder Phone: (720) 561-3925

Website: sum bvsd org

Tara Performing Arts High School

At Tara Performing Arts High School, students embark on a transformative journey where their sense of belonging is nurtured and their spirits ignited They are encouraged to embrace meaningful work and activities that fuel their passion for life itself Tara goes beyond the boundaries of a typical academic curriculum Through travel performance and immersive study our students become committed, compassionate citizens of the world, embracing the challenges of living in our complex age Tara beckons students to step into the light as individuals, take risks and embrace their humanity

Grades Served: 9th through 12th grade

Address: 4180 19th St , Boulder Phone: (802) 233-1935

Website: tarahighschool org

Holy Family High

Educating the Whole Person: Spirit, Mind & Body

49 Honors and AP Courses 21 Athletic Programs

736 Students


96 Class of

Preschool-8th Grade Middle School Elementary Gold Standard project-based learning
admissions@FriendsSchoolBoulder.org 303.499.1999
Scholarships & Personalized Affordable Tuition Preschool-8th Grade RSV P Joyful play-based learning Innovative inquiry-based learning Sep 21 Oct 19 Nov 16 Jan 11 Apr 18 Oct 16 Nov 6 Jan 10 Oct 18 Nov 8 Jan 9 - 9:00am - 9:00am - 4:15pm - 4:15pm - 9:00am – 5:00pm – 5:00pm – 5:00pm – 5:00pm – 5:00pm – 5:00pm
Catholic School that welcomes students of all faiths
Arts program includes visual arts, choir, band, orchestra, and theater. 5195 W. 144th Ave. Broomfield, CO 80023 303-410-1411 holyfamilyhs.com
2- or 4-
19 Average Class Size
85 Faculty with Advanced Degrees %

Private, Charter & Preschool Spotlight

Temple Grandin School

Temple Grandin School is more than just a school – it’s a community Temple Grandin School provides a dynamic, strengths-based learning environment for neurodiverse students in grades 6 to 12 Its comprehensive socio-academic program serves students who are intellectually curious and who benefit from small classes with integrated social and executive function support We provide a full academic program aligned with Colorado Academic Standards, a school-wide positive behavior support program, social communication coaching embedded throughout the school day, individualized enrichment activities and student-centered transition planning

Grades served: 6th through 12th grade

Address: 3131 Indian Road, Boulder Phone: (303) 554 7363

Website: templegrandinschool org

Thorne Nature Preschool

Thorne Nature Preschool is built on the simple belief that kids grow better in nature At Thorne Nature Preschool, young children learn, grow, and reach their full potential through daily immersion in nature with caring, attentive mentors With dual goals of fostering the development of the whole child and nature connection, Thorne Nature Preschool prepares young children to succeed in school and in life Thorne Nature Preschool in Boulder and Lafayette is for children ages 3-6 We have half and full-day options available, along with optional early care Thorne

Nature Preschool is a provider of Colorado’s Universal Preschool program Enrollment applications are accepted year-round

Grades Served: Preschool

ages 3-6

Address: 420 Courtney Way, Lafayette; 5660 Sioux Drive, Boulder

Phone: (303) 499-3647

Website: thornenaturepreschool org

TLC Learning Center

TLC is a Level Four Colorado Shines early childhood education and pediatric therapy center Its mission is to serve children in a fully inclusive, deliberately diverse environment that fosters compassion and critical thinking in all of our students TLC is a nonprofit organization that partners with the Colorado Preschool Program, the Colorado Childcare Assistance Program, and grant-giving foundations to provide free and low-cost options to qualifying families It provides year-round, high-quality, accredited infant and toddler care, preschool and pediatric therapy services and has served the families of Boulder County and Northern Colorado since 1956

Grades served: Six weeks until kindergarten-ready Address: 611 Korte Parkway, Longmont Phone: (720) 684-9659

Website: learningwithtlc org

Vista Ridge Academy

Vista Ridge Academy is a preschool through eighth grade private school located in Erie, Colorado Through its Christ-centered community and personally attentive teaching philosophy, it nurtures the unique talents of each student as learners and leaders aiming to grow confident minds, strong bodies, and loving spirits Vista Ridge Academy is part of the Adventist education system, one of the largest Christian educational systems in the world, which emphasizes a wholistic approach to educating students academically, physically, and spiritually according to our core values

Grades served: Preschool through 8th grade

Address: 3100 Ridge View Drive, Erie Phone: (303) 828-4944

Website: vistaridge org

Watershed School

A progressive independent school in Boulder, the Watershed School is committed to a program and school culture that inspires and educates students to become highly capable, healthy, wise and engaged citizens prepared to take on the world’s great challenges Our students engage in work that matters work that is important to the student and has a positive impact beyond the walls of the school

Grades Served: 6th to 12th grade

Address: 1661 Alpine Ave , Boulder Phone: (303) 440-7520

Website: watershedschool org

Treehouse Learning

Treehouse Learning provides quality care, responsive learning experiences and whole-child development opportunities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners Familyowned and independently operated since 1997, we exist to help human beings thrive and co-create the world we want to see Treehouse Learning’s mission is to provide a safe, stimulating environment to foster optimal, intentional early learning experiences, healthy social-emotional growth, and nurture the whole child Our relationship-based and culturally-competent curriculum is rooted in play, creative arts, movement

Grades served: Infant through Kindergarten

Address: 175 N 96th St


Phone: (303) 666-1950

Website: treehouselearning com

YMCA Inspire Preschool

The YMCA of Northern Colorado provides programs and offerings that help children learn, grow and thrive. From preschools to after-school care, we expand young minds, focus on developing character, help foster positive friendships, create a lifelong love for learning and have ridiculous amounts of fun. The Y has preschools located in Longmont and Johnstown and offers after-school care and school day-off camps in four school districts. Find more information at YMCAnoco.org

Grades served: Preschool through 5th

Grade; options for teens

Address: 2800 Dagny Way, Lafayette

Phone: (303) 664-5455

Website: ymcanoco org


More than a school.

Visit Our Open House October 27 & 28, 2023

Tour the campus, meet our educators, and learn more about the Dawson experience from students and parents.

Dawson is community. A community of K-12 educators, faculty, and parents who believe education should not only prepare students for academic success - it should prepare them for life. We recognize our students as individuals. We value their abilities and prepare them to bring their best to the world This commitment is why Dawson students have 100% college acceptance. DawsonSchool.org


The St. Vrain Advantage


Our on-time four-year graduation rate has reached the highest level in our district’s history, approaching 94%, while maintaining some of the most rigorous requirements in the state and beyond


We are home to Colorado’s first Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program, now offered at four district high schools P-TECH brings together the best elements of high school, college, and the professional world, allowing students to earn a high school diploma as well as an Associate degree at no cost to the student

With over 70 focus programs to choose from, ranging from aerospace to visual and performing arts, students graduate prepared for success in the complex, globalized world

Our music programs continue to perform at the highest levels, with over 230 different music ensembles offered. The district recently received the 2023 Best Communities for Music Education recognition, the highest honor for music education nationally


St Vrain has been awarded $42 million in competitive grants for advancing innovation and student learning since 2018

Learn more about our nationally recognized school district and read our stories at


230 1st
Throughout the state, across the nation, and around the globe our students are driving innovation and achievement in a world of infinite possibility.

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