Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Dani Hemmat

Flagstaff Academy Preschool achieves highest Colorado Shines rating


October 12, 2018

Photo courtesy of Flagstaff Academy

Flagstaff preschoolers play hide-and-seek in their playground pumpkin patch.

September 2018 was a big month for Flagstaff Academy Preschool. The program reached its 10th anniversary, and it also achieved a level five quality rating from Colorado Shines.

Colorado Shines, a Colorado Department of Human Services and Department of Education free resource, enables families to find licensed programs in their communities that are committed to offering quality services. Using a comprehensive approach to evaluate early learning programs, the organization looks at health and safety, positive learning environment, training and teacher effectiveness, and continuing education and leadership.

The preschool staff at Flagstaff Academy worked hard to achieve the rating, which is the highest Colorado Shines awards. It also is the only preschool in St. Vrain Valley School District and the Boulder Valley School District to attain that designation.

Patty Quinn, Flagstaff’s preschool director and creator of the preschool program, said, “Reaching the level five rating was a total team effort. We couldn’t of done it without this staff. We’ve worked together a long time, getting to know each other and learning what our strengths are.”

Quinn credited the dedicated efforts of the other preschool teachers, Regina Morrison and Melissa Campbell. “It wouldn’t have happened without them.”

She also expressed appreciation for Colorado Shines, crediting it with supporting the school’s efforts so that they could achieve the rating.

“Lots of people don’t know this, but it’s not a competition. Colorado Shines wants schools to strive for a high rating. They gave us grant money to buy things to improve our classroom, and they really helped us reach that level five.”

Flagstaff Academy, located at 2040 Miller Road in Longmont, is a pre-K through e grade public charter school that has been teaching children since 2005. With an overall enrollment of approximately 900 students, the school boasts a library, greenhouse, and a garden.

“I think we’re really fortunate. I like working in a big school, because we have all that,” Quinn said. “We have a nutrition teacher, because we work on wellness a lot, and also a music and a Spanish teacher. We get to work on those extra things.”

Quinn added, “I think we have dedicated families. We have a great PTO, which is really supportive. It makes a huge difference, because our parents are so good to us.”

Quinn has a long history of teaching in early education. Before starting the preschool program at Flagstaff ten years ago, she spent 17 years at the Neighborhood Learning Center in Niwot.

“I’ve always loved working with kids. They’re so honest, they’re like little sponges,” said Quinn.

When asked what the level five rating will mean for the school in the future, she said,”Hopefully, it will help keep enrollment up, and encourage other schools to strive for a high rating so Colorado can have better quality child care and preschool.”


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