Find out what these Colorado schools have to offer to students.
Set in the midst of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, it's no wonder that there are several Colorado schools that take advantage of the environment and other aspects of Colorado life to provide quality primary and secondary education. Five schools that stand out include the Classical Academy, the Denver International School, the Lowell Whiteman School, the Shining Mountain Waldorf School and the Alexander Dawson School.
The Classical Academy, located in Colorado Springs, is currently the largest kindergarten to 12th grade charter school in the state of Colorado. The school has won several awards and honors, including being named a National School of Distinction by the Kennedy Center and winning the John J. Irwin award for academic excellence on multiple occasions. The Classical Academy is based on three philosophical principles -- training in analytical thinking, passion for learning and character education. Various interactive teaching techniques are used to help children build a foundation of knowledge and create a permanent passion for learning. Parents play an active role in the school's success. The school also offers a unique homeschool option, which permits students to attend school part-time as part of their homeschool curriculum.
The Denver International School is ideal for students and parents who are looking for bilingual and foreign language immersion programs. This school serves students from pre-kindergarten to the fifth grade. In addition to a rigorous curriculum, students learn one of three foreign languages -- Mandarin Chinese, Spanish or French. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes are full immersion, with approximately 80 percent of the day spent immersed in the foreign language. Students in grades one through five receive bilingual education, spending from 50 to 70 percent of the day speaking the foreign language. The school also offers the unique Wednesday Workshop, which provides students with the opportunity to explore various extracurricular activities, such as Chinese calligraphy, French cooking, yoga, soccer and basketball.
The Lowell Whiteman School, a rigorous college preparatory school, is located in Steamboat Springs. This unique school, in the mountains of Colorado, provides students with a college preparatory curriculum, wilderness experiences and international educational opportunities. The core curriculum includes math, science, social studies, English, foreign language, computer science and arts. There are also advanced placement and honors classes, such as calculus, physics, English, French and Spanish. Unique advanced classes include environmental geography and environmental science.
Lowell Whiteman offers an exceptional experiential education program that is a required part of the school's curriculum. This program includes outdoor experiences, foreign travel and other activities like kayaking, student government, chorus, drama, outdoor climbing, culinary arts, martial arts, photography, backcountry survival, political science, basketball and crafts. There are also community service opportunities that promote social and environmental responsibility.
Parents with younger children may want to consider the Lowell Whiteman Primary School, also located in Steamboat Springs. This school offers students the opportunity to learn in multi-age classrooms, where students fall within an age range of two to four years. A distinctive part of the curriculum is "Music with Strings." As part of this program, all students start playing the violin in kindergarten. Like the secondary school, the primary school incorporates outdoor learning in activities like winter survival trips. All upper primary students are exposed to transcendental meditation in hopes of reducing stress and increasing brain function.
The Shining Mountain Waldorf School is located in Boulder, Colo. This school follows the philosophy and methodology put forth by Rudolph Steiner. Teachers help students maintain balance in the three ways children relate to the world -- through thinking, through the life of the emotions and through physical activity. Their program integrates the arts, movement, a strong teacher-student relationship and an educational community. Unlike most traditional schools, the teachers in the Shining Mountain Waldorf School travel with students from one year to the next. The purpose of this concept is to bring continuity to the class and establish solid relationships between the teacher and the student.
The Alexander Dawson School, located in Lafayette, serves students from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The college preparatory program strives to build a student by addressing character, mind and body development. In addition to traditional academic programs, this school emphasizes experiential learning. High school students spend two weeks of each year engaged in experiential learning. The arts program at Dawson incorporates visual arts, which include sculpture, ceramics and drawing; and dramatic arts, which include chorus, improvisational troupes, theater, music theory and composition, and concert band. The school also has a stellar athletics program as well as 13 sports for boys and girls. The After School Academy offers opportunities to explore additional areas of interest, including sign language, flute and filmmaking.