- Community Schools
The Race to the Top-District 2012 competition sponsored by the United States Department of Education is a grant opportunity for districts demonstrating how they can personalize education for all students in their schools. The Race to the Top-District program is aimed squarely at classrooms and the all-important relationship between educators and students. The Race to the Top-District grantees will receive four-year awards that range from $10 million to $40 million, depending on the number of students served through their plan. The winning applicants were the top scorers among the 372 applications the Department received in November, which were evaluated and scored by independent peer reviewers.
St. Vrain Valley Schools was selected for a Race to the Top-District award for $16,589,553.00 in December 2012. We are focusing on the Skyline feeder with an emphasis on STEM integration at all of the Skyline feeder schools, an augmented school year, and the development of an Innovation Center for high school students to be used as a pipeline for application of STEM learning in an environment that encourages creative thinking and entrepreneurial skill development. The Race to the Top schools in St. Vrain will provide teachers the information, tools, and supports that enable them to meet the needs of each student and substantially accelerate and deepen each student's learning. This initiative will create opportunities for students to identify and pursue areas of personal academic interest—all while ensuring that each student masters critical areas identified in college- and career-ready standards or college- and career-ready high school graduation requirements. The goal of the SVVSD Race to the Top plan is to replicate what we learn in other district feeders freeing up resources district wide for additional innovative programming to be developed and implemented.
In July 2014 Dede Frothingham (principal), Amber Marsolek (Dean/IB Coordinator), Axel Reitzig (STEM Coordinator), and Jennifer Tatham (PE), traveled to Washington DC to present at the International Baccalaureate Organization Conference of the Americas. They hosted a breakout session for the conference titled Engineering a Better Future: How Human Centered Design Thinking Connects with Units of Inquiry. The session focused on the STEM design thinking process and how it could be used to facilitate student action and serve as inquiry-based learning and assessment in a PYP school.
At the regional VEX IQ competion held in the spring of 2014, four Alpine Teams qualified for the state robotics competition based on top scores and awards. The four teams attended the event in Pueblo, Colorado, expertly representing the school. At the competition, one team, Battery Charged Blue, received the Excellence Award and qualified for the world competition. Along with their parents and mentor, Axel Reitzig, four girls from the team attended worlds in Aneheim, California, meeting international competitors and putting their robot through various tasks and tests.
Alpine Elementary Students took 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place in the Stock Market Game last spring! The 4th and 5th grade Math Enrichment/Gifted and Talented classes competed online against other students state-wide from 4th grade all the way up to 12th grade! Students teams are given $100,000 of virtual money to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Students are required to research different companies listed on the NASDAQ and calculate gains and losses throughout the 12 week virtual game. Last spring we had over 12 teams competing and three of those teams placed in the top three places for our region!
The Colorado Health Foundation recently awarded SVVSD a Physical Activity Grant in the amount of $1.4 million. The Physical Activity Grant is designed to support SVVSD in increasing the amount of student participation in daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Specifically, all 31 elementary and K-8 schools will receive funding and support to: implement opportunities for movement before (or after) school, incorporate movement breaks into classroom instruction time, and provide more opportunities for movement during recess.
As a school scheduled for first year imlementation, Alpine is taking advantage of the three main components of the grant; 100 Mile Club, teacher professional development devoted toward providing physical movement breaks in the classroom, and recess equipment.