Our K-8 School Design

Frontier K-8 School Design

High Expectations:

Growth data for Aurora Frontier indicates that our students are making more than average growth in a year's time. This holds true for our struggling learners as well as our accelerated students.

Kindergarten through eighth grade, our instruction and grading are standards based. In order for a student to be proficient, he/she must be able to demonstrate what he/she knows and is able to do in relation to that content standard.

Rather than giving grades based on how students compare to one another, their progress is measured in relation to reaching a standard. All students are held accountable to reach the same standards.

Student achievement is celebrated at each semester as they reach proficiency and beyond.

"Expectations are high, so the students' will to learn is more focused."- Calvin Lovato, Student

"The teachers' most important goal is to be dedicated to their students, and make sure they understand the concepts."- Emily Johnson, Student

Seamless Experience:

The K-8 experience is unique as it offers students smaller learning communities with fewer transitions. Our students have the opportunity to build relationships with our staff over a course of 9 years. They can maintain relationships with past teachers they feel most connected with, and seek them out when they need advice or support.

Our teachers collaborate and articulate within and across the grade levels, thereby increasing internal accountability through a seamless experience.

Parents of multiple children find it easier to attend school functions at one location and become increasingly connected with our school. Our middle grade students take on roles as protectors, tutors, and role models.

Staff members are able to see their influence as our students grow from small children into young adults.

"Students in the K-8 environment have a greater sense of community and collective responsibility. By the time each student has left 8th grade at our school, they will have made learning alliances with their teachers and lasting friendships with their peers."- Nicole Melaku, Parent

"We love the K-8 school experience. It has allowed both my kids and I to develop a real community of friends, support and mentors. The consistency allows my kids to be in a familiar environment as they grow so that they can focus on learning."- Amber Kinney, Parent

Collaborative Learning:

We believe all members of our school are learners, students as well as adults. Staff members are involved in 7 week Professional Learning Cycles with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement. Professional Learning Cycles include:

  • Data Teams to analyze student work/assessments in making instructional decisions
  • Collaborative Coaching and Learning groups planning lessons together and observing instruction in one another's classrooms
  • Backwards Planning across the grade levels, designed around the content standards and intended to clarify what students should know and be able to do at the end of each unit of study
  • Proficiency Boards designed to make proficient work transparent for students, staff and parents

Students benefit from the focus of adult learning as we become increasingly stronger in our knowledge of best practices and how to utilize them in our classrooms.

"Frontier is a unique environment where the staff and students not only learn side by side with another, but they learn from each other." - Rebecca Conk-Wonder, Teacher

Strategic Alignment:

Through the work we are doing in Backwards Planning, content standards are aligned to our instruction. We begin with the end goal, identify desired results, determine acceptable evidence, and then plan learning experiences and instruction to meet the standards.

This is accomplished through identifying strategies that are best suited to help students achieve the expected performance. Students are clear on learning targets as we provide models of proficiency for them.

As our teachers monitor their progress along the way and adjust instruction to meet their needs, students receive feedback. District pacing guides provide a curriculum framework to ensure alignment in our instruction.

"The challenge we face is to rise above the current state and think 3-5 years down the road. It is only through a constant eye on alignment of our vision, standards, instruction, curriculum, assessment, leadership and professional learning that we can make a profound impact on the future achievement of each of our learners." - Cassie Parra, Principal 2006-2009

Page last updated on May 31, 2016

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