Early Childhood Education (ECE):
Children who are three or four years old before October 1 each year may apply for our ECE program. We have half day programs (a.m./p.m.) for three year old children and full day programs for our four year old children. This helps to ensure an excellent transition from home or group care into the school environment. There is a small student – teacher ratio with a strong focus on oral language development in the student’s primary language. Literacy through stories and experiences is an important part of the curriculum and math activities that are interactive and “hands-on” teach very beginning skills. Social interactions and structured play help students learn to become friends and help one another.
We have two full day kindergarten programs, although families who choose only a half day may do so. Half day students will attend mornings only. Kindergarten teachers focus on oral language, phonics instruction and beginning reading skills, writing practice – through illustrations and words, and basic math skills using Everyday Mathematics and Engage New York strategies. Students receive instruction in their primary language and special services are provided as required (Special Education, Speech, OT/PT.) Content is taught throughout the day and students also participate in art, music, physical education and library/technology classes each week.
Students receive three hours of literacy instruction and practice daily. Time is divided into direct instruction, small group and individual conferences, independent reading and writing, and sharing among group members. Students read and write in a variety of genres and for authentic purposes. Many have opportunities to publicize their achievements during venues such as school assemblies, performances, and our annual Authors’ Tea in the spring.
Library Media Center:
Our library has been an area of significant resource to our students through various supports. We have had some “boosts” in our library through the Bell Grant and the Carmel Hill Foundation and Accelerated Reader. We received many new books in the library (and in classrooms). Students who are read to or read independently take AR on-line quizzes that assess comprehension. The program provides a wonderful incentive for all readers to progress and read more! Students read and test at their own independent level – so all students can progress and feel confident about their success!
Ben Carson Reading Room:
During the 2012-2013 school year, Columbian was a recipient of a Ben Carson Reading Room from the Carson Scholars Fund. Different from our library, students are granted individual opportunities to visit and choose books and stories contained within the reading room that was created as ” a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills”.
Columbian uses the newest edition of the EveryDay Mathematics program (EDM) and strategies from Engage New York to teach mathematical standards. EDM provides an enhanced and balanced curriculum that is consistent throughout the grades and spirals from grade to grade. The instructional design is built on student interest and maximizes learning through a variety of activities.
Students have the excitement of science through the district’s BSCS Science Tracks curriculum for hands-on experiences and interactive learning. All grade levels explore units of learning through the lenses of Physical, Earth, and Life Sciences to support students’ proficiency in the Colorado Academic Standards.
The DPS social studies program was introduced to staff and students during the 2009-2010 school year. Grade level specific, the program uses a variety of teaching and learning strategies to address Colorado State Standards. Reading and Writing are integrated into the program as are field trip experiences and guest speakers.