The University Park Touchstone:
At University Park we are a caring community of learners who are respectful and responsible. We share a love of discovery and take joy in our journey.
At University Park we are a caring community of learners. . .
. . . who are respectful and responsible. . .
- Our neighborhood school enjoys a working partnership with our neighbor the University of Denver
- We value cultural and linguistic diversity, and are proud to have students from around the world
- About 30% of our students “choice in” to our school
- Our committed parents and community members participate in all levels of our childrens’ education, from the classroom to helping to make executive decisions through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Collaborative School Committee (CSC)
We share a love of discovery. . .
- Older students mentor younger students in reading, art and other programs
- Character education through Brainwise is part of our curriculum
. . . and take joy in our journey.
- Kaleidoscope Corner: Tuition-based before- and after-school licensed childcare for school-aged kids
- English Language Acquisition program: Our ELA families speak 15 different languages!
- Gifted and Talented: Our GT teacher works with teachers to develop high-quality differentiated instruction and a challenge program
- Instrumental music for 4th and 5th grades
- Integrated arts — students learn visual arts, drama and dance
- Librarian supports a love of reading and the learning of research skills
- Inquiry-based science: Our resident scientist provides students with hands-on science and assists with staff development
- Full-time physical education
- After-school tutoring provided by University of Denver (DU) student volunteers and additional in school tutoring for students reading below grade level.
- Destination Imagination: an after-school program that encourages divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, and teamwork, sponsored in part by DU.
- Before- and after-school enrichment: Classes include drama, art, cooking, chess, karate, Spanish, French, Technology, Garden club, Hip-Hop and science.
- Technical literacy through our computer lab
- Our PTA augments the principal’s budget as needed to enable smaller class sizes
- Festivities include back-to-school watermelon socials, international potluck celebrations, fall fun run, math night, art night, monthly teacher appreciation lunches and much more!
- We celebrate student achievement monthly by honoring students from every class at UP
Our Educational Philosophy
At University Park, we are committed to nurturing the whole child. Our teachers are lifelong learners with training to differentiate their instruction, challenging gifted students while ensuring success for all. Our instructional team collaborates to identify student strengths and needs, and then works together to ensure a comprehensive, targeted approach to teaching and learning. Physical fitness, wellness, the arts and technology are an integral and valued part of our educational experience. At University Park, we love learning and foster a caring community built on respect, responsibility and cooperation.
Reading and Writing
Each classroom implements a Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop in which students receive direct instruction as a whole group as well as in small groups and one on one. This targeted instruction model allows teachers to meet each student’s individual needs in order to reach or surpass grade level expectations. Students read and write a variety of genres each year. We nurture a love of reading and writing through modeling and providing authentic opportunities for students to express themselves.
We use the comprehensive Everyday Math program developed by the University of Chicago. This program emphasizes the application of mathematics to real world situations. Numbers, skills and mathematical concepts are not presented in isolation, but are linked to situations and contexts that are relevant to everyday lives. Each lesson includes time for whole-group instruction as well as small group, partner, or individual activities. These activities balance teacher-directed instruction with opportunities for open-ended, hands-on explorations, long-term projects and on-going practice. Throughout the curriculum students are encouraged to explain and discuss their mathematical thinking, in their own words.
Students become engaged in the process of scientific inquiry and technological design by asking questions, conducting investigations, using tools, finding evidence, keeping reflective journals, and sharing their evidence and ideas. Students learn to work together as reliable members of a scientific team--a great way to make sure everybody in the group is involved and successful. The experiment-based modules also encourage independent inquiry through which students find answers to their own questions. Within each lesson, students check their own understanding individually or with their team and are engaged in hands-on learning.
Social Studies Alive
This K-5 program integrates hands-on active learning, achieving a consistent pattern of high quality social studies instruction while being mindful of standards.
Assignments, involving multiple intelligences and higher-order thinking skills, challenge students to apply what they’ve learned. Students have opportunities to synthesize and apply the information they have learned in a variety of creative ways.
Gifted and Talented Program
At University Park we have a half time Gifted and Talented teacher who works with classroom teachers and small groups of students to ensure our gifted and high achieving students continue to be challenged. In cooperation with classroom teachers, the Gifted and Talented teacher develops an individualized Advanced Learning Plan for each identified gifted student. Gifted and high achieving students have the opportunity to participate in four unique cross-school challenges throughout the year. We also have several teams of students participate in Destination Imagination each year.
Reading and Math Intervention
Students who are achieving below grade level in reading or math receive an additional small group instruction during an intervention block that does not interfere with core instruction. This additional support helps us bring all students to proficiency.
English as a Second Language
We have a full-time teacher who provides small group language instruction as an intervention for students learning English as a second language. This instruction supports the students who bring a wonderful cultural diversity to our school.
At University Park, all students grades K (all day) through 5th have Physical Education, Integrated Arts, Music, Library and Technology classes in addition to their core academics. These creative and physical outlets support our meeting the needs of the whole child. Band is offered to 4th and 5th graders in woodwinds, brass and percussion. Over 60 students receive instruction before school two times per week. Both beginning and intermediate band are offered. University of Denver Lamont School of Music and Metro State College students provide sectionals for each instrument section throughout the year. School wide performances are held several times each year.
- Students become readers with small group and one on one instruction targeting individual needs
- Literature rich environment with opportunities to reread and dramatize quality books and express connections through art
- Students become authors, exploring their own lives and experiences through writing
- Explicit instruction and modeling allow students to write frequently in a variety of genres
- Math instruction and exploration through games and the use of real world materials
- Science Units of animals, properties and weather
- Emphasis on building friendships and community
- Zoo field trip connected to life science unit
- Use of technology to publish research online
- Ice Skating and Swimming trips
- Community service project to collect stuffed animals for the Child Rescue Foundation
- Reading Buddies with UP 3s
- Environmentally friendly Geography Balloon Launch
- Heritage Projects
- Community walking field trips
- Bunk with the Beasts at the Denver Zoo
- Denver History
- Hatch chicks and observe meal worms in life science study
- Study of ecosystems – field trip to Museums/IMAX
- Young Ameritown
- Develop PowerPoint presentations
- Annual Egg Drop challenge – create containers to safely transport an egg from a 2nd floor window
If you are looking for a caring learning community where students come first, join us at University Park Elementary School!
- Shakespeare Festival
- Young Ameritown
- Create own math board games
- Write letters to high school seniors encouraging them to vote
- Run the business of the school store