What are the start end times?
Regular school day will start the day at 8:15am and end at 3:15pm. AM PreK will start at 8:15 and end at 11:15. PM PreK will start at 12:15 and end at 3:15. We are still working through the half day and full day options for Kindergarten. We will know more by Kindergarten Round-Up on February 15th.
How will you balance basic traditional learning vs PBL?
Honestly, Legacy Peak Elementary will not look to balance traditional learning as much as it will be shifting the paradigm of traditional learning. Project Based Learning (PBL) ushers in an engaging methodology that establishes a desire to learn and honors an atmosphere that allows student voice and choice alongside the amazing guidance and thoughtful planning of skilled teachers. As humans we need to learn by doing and engaging with things that matter to us in a place that values each person's contributions and unique intellect, allowing mistakes, developing independence, creating original thought, and so much more. You won't see rows of desks. Rather, you will notice variable seating arrangements and areas to work that are both singular and group focused. Students will be valued as thought partners that have something to contribute through their own unique perspective. In traditional settings, students face the front of the room, wait for the teacher to ask a question (usually a low level question that has only one answer) and raise their hands while waiting to be called on. That does not challenge or create a culture of high level thinkers that are nimble in sharing perspectives and ideas. We must foster a community of learners that recognize the contributions and thoughts of individuals within teams while valuing multiple ideas posed to high level questions and problems. Our teachers will build highly engaged and productive communities. A teacher standing at the front of the room telling kids what to think or do will be replaced by a teacher expertly weaving in times of guided discussion, direct instruction, group work, and thoughtful inquiry.
Traditional learning environments are based out of a need from the industrial age of factory workers with neat rows of desks and quiet kids raising hands to speak. Children are seen as mere followers and sponges meant to absorb what they are told and regurgitate it on a test by Friday. Our economy and culture now requires a change. Through PBL we will provide an education that matches the needs of the 21st Century.
In the elementary level we still need to establish foundational and fundamental skills that can't always be met within the scope of a project. In those cases we will engage our children with lessons that are "along-side" a project. For example, as our PreK through 2nd graders are learning to read, we must provide solid research based phonic instruction that gives them the tools they need to apply the phonic line to their reading. There are also specific math skills that must be taught regardless of the project being developed. We will not sacrifice foundational and fundamental skills our early learners need for the sake of a project. In the same sense, we won't water down an authentic project in order to squeeze in a foundational skill.
Is Legacy Peak Elementary aligned with a Montessori education?
No. Legacy Peak Elementary will use Project Based Learning (PBL) as the methodology. PBL and Montessori education share a degree of hands-on learning and collaboration ideals but differ significantly in some key areas (especially as a public school in District 20). While Montessori is based on self-directed activities, PBL requires student voice and choice in projects that masterful and creative teachers take and weave in with standards, pacing, and rigor needed to challenge our students to the next level. While there is autonomous learning and work happening for each student, a project incorporates the individual with the group as a class working together. Valuing the perspectives of all thinkers to truly collaborate and build something unique and original that heightens the contributions of the individual takes a masterful teacher and culture to create. There is a complexity in PBL that requires the design of a project to be built from authentic student ideas while incorporating all the age appropriate standards of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, not to mention the significant social emotional areas that are revealed as a class builds their community.
What percentage of the day will require kids to do work assignments, homework, projects with the use of technology (laptops, I-pads, etc...)?
Technology is a wonderful tool. There needs to be a healthy balance and expectation around technology. Our work will use technology where it makes sense and adds to the process of learning. Digital Literacy is a genre within education that we know is a part of a typical 21st Century school. Preparing our students for digital citizenship and responsibility is a major part of our job as teachers and parents. We know that we will need to model and demonstrate the correct use of such a powerful and innovative tool. Project Based Learning (PBL) schools typically have a strong technology presence. We will always consider the social/emotional impact of technology throughout our day. It is hard to give a percentage due to the fact that some work will require no technology, while other types of learning will require a good amount of device use. It will vary with the assignment and project. It will ALWAYS be approached with a reflective healthy balance and appropriateness. We need our kids active, engaged, using multiple venues to learn, and proficient with technology.
I'm having some difficulty with understanding "Project Based Learning." Can you give me specific examples on how a project would be applied to a math or English lesson?
The beauty of Project Based Learning (PBL) is that it gives purposeful and authentic platforms to learn and apply mathematics, reading, writing, science, and social studies concepts. For example, students aren't just learning about acute, obtuse, and right angles from a workbook and drawing them because it asks them to. In PBL, the teacher is crafting the standards of geometry angles within a student driven project. So as the student learns about angles, they directly apply it to a structure they are building or a trajectory they are calculating to know how an object will react within their project through hands-on trial and error. It gives the information purpose and a reason to be known, manipulated, played with, and experienced in a format that is of direct student interest.
Will there be individual projects or will most of it be group projects?
Within any project, big or small, there will be the need to collaborate with classmates and work on your own. Some projects will be very group driven with the team contributing to the work together. Other projects will have solo components that then require a partner/team to validate a direction or work a student is doing. For example, when I have to work on my car (project) it is a very solo thing. There are times where I need to be sure I am doing the right thing or finding advice on how to fix something I just broke. Having colleagues to run ideas off of and process my steps is critical. PBL aims to mimic life and the reason we work together and still process things on our own. Projects will have a group approach while honoring the individual and his/her learning needs and contributions to the project.
Will there be fun events such as fall parties, field day etc...?
Oh my goodness we will have fun! The energy with projects alone will be awesome and yes we aim to have field days, class parties, and assemblies that highlight our kids and endorse and engaged community. Recently I was talking with our Planning Team about traditions and events that bring the culture to life. We are working on those ideas. Also, this is an area that will really utilize our community/parent members. Once our PTA/PTO is established I'm sure even more great things will come up. Speaking of PTA/PTO, I hope to get this important group started before the school opens. In March I will have a good idea of how many families are going to attend Legacy Peak Elementary. I would like to start communicating PTA/PTO requirements and start-up conversations around mid to late March.
Will Legacy Peak Elementary teach cursive?
We will offer cursive as a form of writing and penmanship in 3rd grade. Once they have learned the skill of cursive it will be up to the student to use the writing form that is most legible and easy to use.
Will there be Language Immersion?
No. Students at LPE will have a Spanish class to learn a world language while engaging with a Project Based Learning (PBL) methodology. Out of respect for the requirements it takes to implement Language Immersion well, we will focus on PBL while offering an opportunity to learn Spanish once or twice a week.
What is the purpose of the Challenger Learning Center?
The Challenger Learning Center (CLC) is a part of the Center for Modern Learning (CML) building that is attached to our school. The CLC offers field trips that simulate a space shuttle launch. This program is typically targeted to 8th grade students. Our school will have a unique relationship to the resources that the CLC has available.
Along with the CLC, the CML has many district programs housed in its walls. It contains the Home School Academy (HSA), Academy Calvert K-8 Online, Academy Online High School (The Village), Cyber Security & Coding which is a part of the College & Career Services department of the district, and the Robotics Club (high school). Previously these programs were held at many different sites throughout the district.
Will your school be wanting Parent input/suggestions regarding Projects?
Legacy Peak Elementary will need input from the parent community. In fact, meaningful Project Based Learning (PBL) thrives on the experts in the community to work with our kids and help shape the essential background knowledge necessary to learn through a project. Parent partnerships will be absolutely necessary for our school.
Are you able to accommodate kids that are gifted, above/below grade level?
Absolutely! The greatest charge public schools have is to meet the needs of every child. Through Project Based Learning (PBL) every child will have ways to access what they need to be successful. There will be built in lessons to shore up foundational content for students below grade level. Students that require greater challenge will also have unique goals established in each project to maximize areas for growth. PBL allows a learning atmosphere that differentiates learning needs and experiences while allowing all kids to learn from each other.
How will you assure that my kid is participating in group projects?
This is an awesome question. The nature of Project Based Learning (PBL) values each person contributing to the learning within the project. Students are a part of identifying the needs of a successful project learning environment. Every person has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working in groups and working independently while still being accountable for a group's success. Assuring that a child is participating in group projects will be established through rubrics and goals that students have set up for themselves. A culture valuing participation is key to PBL success. A student struggling to participate offers an opportunity for conversation and support that helps that student progress.
A Typical Day at Legacy Peak Elementary…
As an elementary school that is focused on Project Based Learning (PBL), our days are going to be very engaging. My planning team and I are developing the look and feel of PBL specifically for Legacy Peak Elementary. We will have significant literacy blocks at the primary level to build the capacity and automaticity of our readers. Those blocks of literacy along with all the other standards (in math, social studies, science, etc.) will be thoughtfully woven within projects. We also know that consistent time needs to be given for additional strategies and concepts that students may need. Our students will have a dynamic curriculum that will most likely vary from day to day depending on where the learning takes them. Please know that their day will be thoughtfully crafted and designed to reach their needs. Please understand that I give the "60,000ft" answer to honor the process of the planning team as we build our PBL curriculum. It is exciting and honoring of our learners. We will hit all the foundational/fundamental concepts and handle them in a way that values the growth of our kiddos.
How will bullying be handled?
Bullying is such an important issue. First of all, it is not tolerated. Through our school wide behavior alignment and *RULER we will empower kids to identify what bullying is, strategies to deal with it, and the safety to tell. The first thing our kids must feel is safety. Talking about it as soon as it occurs with the teacher, the principal, or any adult in the school is so important. We will then be able to investigate what occurred and follow up with the students/families involved in the incident. We will also have our counselor involved in teaching/coaching staff and students on identifying and dealing with bullying. Our students are at critical times in developing their social awareness and feelings. Many of my conversations with students have revolved around friendship conflict and bullying. So many times those two ideas can be misunderstood. Either way, these are critical times to teach and empower our kiddos to understand who they are and confront problems. Issues of bullying and dealing with conflict will occur even in a new school. We will continue to work together to deal with it.
*RULER is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools. RULER applies "hard science" to the teaching of what have historically been called "soft skills." RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence — those associated with recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion. Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.
RULER creates schools that are true safe harbors for our children. It does this by developing emotional intelligence in students from preschool to high school and in all adults involved in their education: school administrators, teachers, and support staff. Parents also participate in training so that they can reinforce the emotional skills that students learn at school. Our approach gives a unique depth and consistency to social and emotional learning that empowers school leaders and teachers to create a genuinely safe space for students to learn and grow.
The district recently adopted this program district-wide. LPE will implement this program throughout the school. We believe that this type of work helps to create a safe environment that knows how to confront and deal with bullying situations. For more information go to: http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/faqs/
Legacy Peak, as all District 20 schools, is connected with Safe2Tell. You or your child can also anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family or your community.
Will you hire Project Based Learning (PBL) teachers?
If I find highly capable, qualified, collaborative and engaging teachers that have a background in PBL I will be sure to look closely at their applications. More importantly is the mindset and capacity of the candidates that apply. A PBL school will demand greatness and collaboration. We will be partnering with the district and Buck Institute to train our staff.
Can you tell me what curriculum the school will be using for specific subjects such as math/language arts etc...?
The overarching curriculum methodology that we will use is Project Based Learning (PBL). With that as the main stream, we will be utilizing district approved math and literacy curriculums (which are research based and incorporate state standards) to aid PBL. I will be going through that list of curriculums and options with the Planning Team and we will select the best fit for our school.
Do you know how often the kids will be tested at Legacy for the school standards as well as ASD20 standards?
At Legacy Peak Elementary we will create a different paradigm to view testing and assessments. Typically there are beginning, middle, and end of year assessments that are given by the school for local use and feedback on growth. The beginning and end of the school year can feel a little tough and overwhelming when testing is happening. The culture I encourage around this is twofold. First, I want students to know the purpose behind testing/assessment while working through the emotion/expectation they place on themselves. Secondly, what I am most looking forward to is teaching our students to use feedback as a springboard to know themselves, make goals, and develop a growth mindset. The negative anticipation of testing loses its power when students have a balanced understanding of its purpose. We will be using formative and summative assessments at key moments throughout projects to allow the right kind of feedback and goal setting. Students will learn to own their understanding and seek to honor their progress while tackling areas for growth.
Because we are a public school we are also held accountable to the state in reaching the standards and benchmarks they have identified. Every spring we have testing that shows the state we are meeting and exceeding our charge of educating our children. The data from these assessments is used for Site Planning, large scale curricular feedback, and Unified Improvement Plans that the state requires yearly from schools. Participation in these assessments is very important. It shows your support of what we are doing as a school. We will also create a relaxed and intentional environment around this event. I want students to smile and do their best. Creating the right culture around this through other assessments we have throughout our learning experience will yield happy and engaged kids that know how to balance the feedback.
*The Role of State Assessments
Colorado has a series of educational standards known as the Colorado Academic Standards that outline academic objectives for students in every grade across 10 content areas. Fully implemented in the 2013-14 school year, the standards are designed to ensure students are prepared to succeed in their path of choice upon high school graduation. Colorado has implemented a set of common assessments known as the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) and PSAT/SAT. Academy District 20 publishes the assessment calendar each fall based on the CDE guidelines. The 2017-2018 CMAS assessments will be administered in April 2018. Each school will communicate their testing schedule on or before March 1, 2018.
*Purpose and Value of State Assessments
CMAS and PSAT/SAT are the only common measuring tools for Colorado students. Measuring real-world skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, the tests are aligned to classroom work so teachers do not have to "teach to the test." Instruction based on the standards is the best preparation.
While state assessments are only one measure of student learning, having all Colorado students take this set of assessments provides parents with answers to these important questions:
- Did my child meet the state standards on CMAS?
- How well is my child doing compared to other students?
- Which schools and districts perform best in preparing students for academic success?
Additionally, state assessment results provide:
- Data and information districts can use, in combination with other district information, to evaluate programs.
- Data and information educators need to help improve instruction.
- Data and information regarding districts and schools that have struggling students, so help can be provided.
- Recognition from the state regarding high performing systems so others may learn from them.
*Fewer Tests, Faster Results
Since CMAS exams were first administered in the 2014-15 school year, we applaud the legislature and the State Board of Education as they have made several changes to decrease the number of tests student take and to shorten the tests.
- High school students no longer take CMAS ELA and math, and instead take the PSAT and SAT college entrance assessments, which are also aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards.
- CMAS social studies tests are given to only a third of students in fourth and seventh grades. Social studies will not be administered in 2017-18 to 11th grade students.
- The State Board of Education and CDE are committed to continuing to look for ways to provide test results to districts faster.
Will LPE have a Before and After School Care Program?
Yes! Legacy Peak Elementary recently went under contract with Champions as our before and after school care provider.
Will the cafeteria house its own food?
No. We will have a warming kitchen. Cafeteria service for schools begins the first day of school. The daily costs for a school lunch or breakfast, including milk, are:
Call the free and reduced meal registrar at 234-1416
What middle school will LPE feed into?
LPE kids will feed into Chinook Trail Middle School, followed by Liberty High School.
Will you have a speech therapist? (SSN/SPED)
We will be assigned itinerants (speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and psychologist) from the district to support our student needs.
What will the student to teacher ratio be for the new school?
This is a tough one to answer. It really depends on where the numbers fall as students register. The growth of a new school in a developing area in the district make these things hard to predict. As much as I wish there was a magical source of funding to provide a teacher for every 12 students, we will work to stay within the district/state class size guidelines.
Can my kid ride the bus?
If you are within 1.5 miles from the school you are considered in the "Walk Zone," unless you are located in the Cumbre Vista neighborhood; they will be bused as there is no safe walking zone.
Outside of 1.5 mils you are eligible to be bused. $50 per semester
Learn more at www.asd20.org/info/transportation or call 234-1410
Those children who ride the bus will be notified by the D20 Transportation Department when and where their child will be picked up. Not all children are eligible for bus transportation. Contact the Transportation Department at 719-234-1410.
Will there be a before/after school program offered?
Yes, we will be using the same company, Champions, that many other schools use. You can contact them with questions at their website.