As an adjective, the word “dynamic” means “characterized by constant activity or progress.” As a noun, it is “a force that stimulates change.” Both forms of the word describe Colorado Academy.
We are a dynamic community, but also a force for progress through our work of educating children. You can see all of that in action by just spending a little time observing what happens each and every day on this campus. Here are just a few of my observations this week:
- There is nothing like being around the Lower School during morning drop-off. You see teachers getting their rooms prepared. The students jump out of their parents’ cars or skip off of the buses. This is a group that is EXCITED about coming to school. You see smiles and hear laughter and teachers happily greeting their students.
- I observe a few classes in action and just love what I witnessed. There is such a commitment to Socratic and Constructivist approaches to teaching and learning at this school. Learning is an active, experiential process at CA. I see teachers engaging students in collaborative ways and challenging them with real-world problems. I see amazing support and positive reinforcement, and I see classrooms where risk taking is encouraged.
- I sit in on an administrative meeting that was focused on how to support students facing various challenges. I witness administrators selflessly working towards solutions that will support students. I am so appreciative of how our school leaders and teachers look at issues from a student-centered perspective. Most importantly, I am struck by how much our administrators know and tend to the needs of each child. We are a place that goes all out to help students succeed.
- One evening, I lead the CA Parent Association Climbing Club for a session in our Climbing Center. About ten parents take part—a mixture of moms and dads. We have a great time. For me, it is always good to connect with parents and hear their stories and learn about their children.
- I meet with a number of prospective families, either more formally or just running into a family on a tour, and feel their excitement about what CA offers. For many who have been at CA for a while, one can sometimes lose sight of just how extraordinary our culture is and how strong our program is.
- I attend a Lower School choir concert and a Fourth Grade music performance and am blown away by the program. Seeing the joy on the faces of our students as they sing lifts my spirits.
- On Wednesday morning, I sit with parents in a SPEAK lecture about developing resilience in kids. I am so grateful for the community of parents—taking time away from work and other duties to come together for an hour and really focus on raising children in the best way possible. Thanks to Alex Yannacone of the CU Depression Center for her tips and enlightening talk.
- On Wednesday night, I am in the Library to see our Computer Science Festival organized by our amazing Computer Science Department. There, Upper School Computer Science students are working with Lower School students at a variety of stations and activities that help these younger kids learn about this exciting field. There was learning related to augmented reality, virtual reality, coding, and robotics. It is so exciting to see our students of all ages working together and learning from each other.
- Early morning on Thursday, I walk through the gym. Our Boys Basketball Team is finishing up practice. Our Hockey Team (who won their first Varsity game this past week) is returning from their practice at the University of Denver. Members of the climbing team are getting an additional workout with Wes Kirk, our strength and conditioning coach. And there are some kids just shooting hoops in the gym for fun before classes begin.
I am so grateful for CA. This is a place that is in constant motion. At the center of that motion is a commitment to children’s learning—both in a forward-thinking, dynamic school, driven by dynamics that we all value: growth and progress.