Frequently Asked Questions
Does this school have a particular educational philosophy or mission?
Mountain Peak strives for excellence in academics enhanced by a strong commitment to physical education. Our curriculum balances traditional learning with exciting interactive activities, using programs like Zoo-Phonics with the younger students, and games and simulations with the older students. Explorations in all disciplines create an effective atmosphere for students to grow and flourish. All of our classes are taught by licensed teachers. And because studies have shown that large class sizes adversely affect learning, we are committed to keeping our classes small. We recognize that each child is unique and can be at a different developmental stage than his/her peers. Mountain Peak feels that it is the responsibility of the teacher to present a large variety of information and then to individualize activities based on each child’s needs and capabilities. Mountain Peak also promotes a sense of pride in one’s work, personal responsibility, learning how to learn, and a sheer joy of learning. Daily physical education classes encourage children to adopt lifelong healthy lifestyle practices.
Why are we so committed to small class size?
Research supports the lasting benefits of small class size for children in the primary grades. Although many classrooms have added aides in an attempt to improve student performance by decreasing student/teacher ratios, it is the overall class size that makes the difference.
We offer small class sizes of 12 or less students in Kindergarten, 16 or less for 1st-6th grade. And our preschool classes are even smaller(12 or less).
The National Education Association supports supports smaller class sizes because they lead to higher student achievement levels….click here to read article.
Following is a summary of the Tennessee Project STAR study that supports our commitment. The Tennessee Project Star Report
What is this school's approach to student discipline and safety?
Mountain Peak School recognizes the need for behavioral boundaries to ensure the safety and well being of all our students and staff. Procedural rules must also be followed to create an optimal learning and working environment. Clear rules will be developed within each classroom in addition to standing school rules. Warnings and clear consequences must be communicated to those breaking the rules. Bullying is not tolerated and can be monitored more easily with our small class environment. Documented habitual offenders may be subject to dismissal. Under no circumstances will corporal punishment be used.
How does this school encourage and monitor students' progress toward meeting grade-level standards?
Students in Kindergarten-6th grade will be given placement tests at the beginning of the school year to help determine the proper curriculum and educational goals. Nationally recognized achievement testing (Brigance) will take place in April for all students, including preschoolers. Our goal is to teach each child at or above grade level standards.
What criteria are used to determine student placement in classes?
Students in Kindergarten-6th grade will be given placement tests at the beginning of the school year to help determine the proper curriculum and educational goals. Nationally recognized achievement testing will take place in April for all students, including preschoolers.
What types of students attend Mountain Peak?
Kids of all academic ability attend Mountain Peak. Whether your gifted and talented child needs more of a challenge or your struggling child needs more attention, our individualized curriculum meets the needs of all students. We take great pride in taking all students to higher levels.
What are some highlights of this school's curriculum in reading, math, science and social studies?
Mountain Peak School combines tradition and innovation to deliver a top quality learning experience. Using a wide range of instructional materials, Mountain Peak delivers a “Balanced Curriculum” that encompasses core curriculum as well as the arts and healthful living. Based on the knowledge of how children learn and develop, our curriculum is designed with the flexibility necessary for our staff to educate the whole child, based on individual needs. Our program features curriculum developed by leading educational professionals such as Excel Math and Spectrum Phonics. By combining these well researched programs and materials with the innovative lessons, projects, and community activities designed by our trained staff, we offer a program that is truly first class. At Mountain Peak, students master the core subjects of reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies through a comprehensive curriculum that correlates to the Colorado state academic standards. Additionally, daily physical education, experiences in music, theater, visual arts, and technology provide an enriched environment essential to the development of well-rounded citizens.
How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
Mountain Peak School has a fully networked computer lab. Students from Pre-K through 6th grade participate in computer classes. The activities range from games that strengthen classroom skills for the younger children to researching topics on the Internet for the older children. Beginning keyboarding skills are included for 1st through 6th grade students as well as typing reports for the upper elementary students. Other technology tools such as laptop computers, Kindles, and tablets are integrated into the classrooms as part of an interdisciplinary curriculum.
Are foreign language classes offered to students?
French, recognized as one of the principal languages of diplomacy and important international organizations, is taught to our Kindergarten through 6th graders using a variety of interactive teaching methods. In class we concentrate on everyday conversational phrases and concrete words with a healthy dose of world cultures and customs, games, children’s books, and geography. Studies have shown that foreign language knowledge leads to improved self-esteem, better performance in math, logic, complex problem solving, and creativity. Foreign language students also score higher on standardized and college entrance examinations.
How do the arts fit into the curriculum?
In addition to classroom art projects, formal art instruction is provided for our Kindergarten through 6th grade students. Our focus is on the exploration of great artists of the past and present through hands-on activities. The child’s development of artistic perception and creative expression is nurtured through the study of famous art pieces and participating in engaging 2- and 3-dimensional activities. Emphasis is placed on using different media, exploring the uses of shapes and space, color theory, uses of texture and design, and appreciating the work of others. Year round hallway displays and a spring art fair showcase student achievements. Music is provided for all of our students. The preschoolers explore rhythm through songs, body movements and simple instruments. They learn a wide variety of songs from around the world allowing them to learn about different cultures. For our other students, five major areas of study and performance are used to heighten awareness and understanding of musical concepts, encourage the children’s natural love of music making, as well as providing a means of self-expression and enjoyment: Singing, notation, listening, movement and playing instruments. Two all-school musical performances give the children an opportunity to display their musical talents.
Why does Mountain Peak's elementary program go through 6th grade?
Academic research overwhelmingly finds that 6th grade students are better off staying in elementary school. Academic institutions such as Duke University, Columbia University, Harvard University, University of California and others have all produced independent empirical research examining the impact of grade configuration on student achievement. These studies have found that moving 6th graders to middle school results in overall poorer outcomes for the students. Academic researchers find 6th graders at middle schools perform worse on tests and experience more behavioral and self‐esteem problems when compared to 6th graders in elementary school. Researchers also believe the earlier the transition to middle school the greater impact it has on the children (i.e. moving children in 6th grade is worse than moving them in 7th grade).
How does this school support students who have academic, social or emotional difficulties?
Mountain Peak School does not have a special services team. Parents of children needing supplementary support or therapy will need to arrange and pay for this on their own. In addition, paperwork must be on file with the school allowing staff to obtain records from and communicate with any specialist currently working with the student or who has been seen in the past three years. All information will remain confidential and will be used solely to improve the child’s educational experience. Because of our individualized curriculum and small class sizes, children with academic, social or emotional difficulties often thrive here without special services.
What sets Mountain Peak's preschool program apart from others?
Our Preschool Program is designed to provide a strong foundation of learning and individual development to prepare each child for the future. An inspired, balanced curriculum is created by our degreed educators to meet the needs of each class and challenge each child at his/her own level. When you enter our colorful preschool classroom you might see the children enthusiastically acting out the animals of our Zoo-phonics reading program, blending sounds, or reading with their elementary school “reading buddy”. If the monthly theme is India, the children might be dressing up in saris, applying a bindi, and sampling Indian treats. Look in the dramatic play area to see children playing cooperatively in the pizza parlor or the western barn. Check down in the “Big Room” to see them learning a forward roll or kicking balls in their daily P.E. class. During circle time, songs, rhymes, and stories encourage lively discussions. And tucked into each cubby is a young “Picasso’s” art project waiting to be admired by a proud family member. Together, all of these activities promote your child’s cognitive, social, and physical development. Our small class size further enables us to offer enriching experiences to help develop each child’s self-confidence and love of learning.
Is child care available before or after school?
All students are welcome to utilize our extended day option on a full time or “as needed” basis: Before school care is available from 7:15-8:15 a.m. (until 8:30am for preschoolers) After school care is available from 3:15-5:15 p.m Half day morning students may stay until 12:30 p.m. provided that they bring their lunch. Half day afternoon students can come at 11:30 a.m. provided that they bring their lunch. Extended day options are available during non-school hours for enrolled students on class days only.
What are some of the school's greatest accomplishments?
Now in our 14th year we are proud of the many students who have gone on to reach academic heights after attending Mountain Peak School. Of the alumni who have graduated high school 75% of them have received academic scholarships. Most recently, our students that have gone on to highly regarded public middle schools, are thriving both academically and socially thanks to the foundation they received here. Our students leave as caring, responsible learners, with a sense of community, respectfulness, and open-mindedness, ready to take on the world.
How does this school keep parents informed of school information and activities?
At Mountain Peak School, we communicate in many ways to keep parents up to date on school activities. Utilizing technology, the school informs via it’s website, e-mail and social media. In addition, notes are sent home with the children when needed as well as information posted in the school lobby.
Is there an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA)? What other types of parent involvement take place at this school?
Mountain Peak School has a Parent Group that meets once per month and is involved in planning fundraising activities, school functions, and community service projects throughout the school year. At Mountain Peak, we appreciate that parents are important partners in their child’s education. Therefore, our staff forms close relationships with students and their parents, creating an open atmosphere. By working together, a balance learning environment is achieved, allowing children to thrive. Classroom volunteering and field trip chaperoning opportunities abound throughout the year.
Does MPPS participate in any community activities?
Mountain Peak is committed to community involvement. We strive to be leaders and role models in this community by getting involved and making a difference. Our children are taught the importance of volunteering, and donating to help those less fortunate. We also stress the importance of being “Green” by recycling and conserving here at school and at home. We want to teach them values and morals that they can apply throughout their lives.
Every year Mountain Peak staff and students are involved in:
- Adopt a Pond
- Clean-Up Green-Up
- School Recycling Programs
- Food & Clothing Drives
- Holiday Giving Tree