St. Vrain Valley Schools offer focus programming
November 4, 2018
Communities within St. Vrain are thriving and leading the way as Colorado continues to build and attract the top workforce and companies who want to call our thriving state home.
St. Vrain Valley Schools is the educational home to more than 32,000 of Colorado’s students, with every school and feeder system committed to providing exemplary programming. While all schools share a high standard of excellence, as a district of choice, St. Vrain Valley Schools readily embraces a systemic approach to high-quality instruction and student engagement through diversity of focus programming.
“Strong schools are building and driving our local communities through rigorous academics,” said Dina Perfetti-Deany, Area 3 Assistant Superintendent for St. Vrain Valley Schools. “The education students receive is not only preparing them for postsecondary success, but empowering the next generation of the workforce to become entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders in our communities.”
Your School. Your Choice
In St. Vrain Valley Schools, students may attend a different school other than that dictated by their home address through the process known as Open Enrollment. Through this approach, families are invited to explore options. “Open Enrollment is an opportunity for families to make the decision around which school is the best fit for the individual child,” says Amber Muir, St. Vrain’s Student Data Manager who oversees the open enrollment process.
Schools in St. Vrain offer a variety of focus programs and sometimes the closest school doesn’t match the interests of the students, Muir says. All schools do provide rigorous academics and prepare students for postsecondary success in the globalized economy, but various feeder systems provide strong focuses.
Niwot’s feeder system, for example, features the area’s only International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years program at Sunset Middle School and Niwot High offers the exclusive IB Diploma Program.
“One thing I appreciate most about IB is that it is as much about the process as the product,” says Sunset Middle School Principal Anthony Barela. “Our curriculum is thought-provoking, challenging students to justify their answers and think critically. It’s about getting kids to tackle global problems, and to develop solutions.”
These threads run through the whole feeder, with kids working together to think about and create a better global community.The continuity Barela describes can be seen in projects such as the Niwot feeder system’s Mwebaza Club, in which students from the elementary level on upwards work together to create a mobile classroom that can be utilized in Uganda.
“Throughout all our schools, we work to implement nice crosswalks with one another,” Barela says. “Rich courses aren’t set up for a single class, but offer more of a community experience, from local to national and global levels.”
Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know Now
If you’re thinking about Open Enrolling your child, now is the time to investigate. This year’s window for Open Enrollment applications extends from December 3 – 17. Families will be notified of approvals on January 17 and are asked to submit their decisions by February 1.
New for 2018, the district is offering online open enrollment registration. The application is straightforward, mostly consisting of basic student and contact information. Families may apply to open enroll at multiple schools; however, it is important they choose one school by the February 1 deadline.
Many schools offer Open Houses, at which schools showcase the various programs they have to offer. Schools make great efforts to support one another in communicating information. Elementary schools inform fourth and fifth grade parents about middle school open houses, for example. Can’t make the Open House? No problem. “One-one tours are always within reach,” Barela says. “Just call the school you would like to visit.”
Once a student is accepted into a school through open enrollment, they retain a place progressing through the school, only open enrolling again when moving to middle and high school years.
Whatever they choose, families in St. Vrain Valley Schools can feel confident that their child will receive a caring, top learning experience. “I would stack St. Vrain against any district in the nation,” Barela says. “Schools get kids where they need to be, and most importantly, they get them excited about learning.”