Woodland Park School District’s Columbine Elementary School Offers New Master Classes

Students Get the Chance to Learn About Subjects Like Spanish, Yoga, Dance and Dinosaurs

On September 24, the Columbine Elementary school kicked off their new master classes that are only offered at Columbine. The classes run every Friday and go on for six weeks.

The first session of classes are offered to first and second graders. The second session in about six weeks will include third and fourth graders. And, the third session (happening after winter break) will involve fifth graders and kindergarteners.

According to Columbine Principal Ginger Slocum, the classes give a chance for the students to connect with former teachers and parents within the community. The school used to offer similar programs, but they have been unable to bring community members from the outside in for the last several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Master classes are part of our unique offerings for Columbine,” Principal Slocum said. “Part of our vision and mission is that Columbine is a place for community. Part of our master classes is bringing that community and those parents in. And, they also give our students an opportunity to expand their horizons.

They can even think in the big picture like, ‘Is this something I am really interested in? I am going to take a mini-class on it and see.’ That could someday turn into a career for that child if that is truly a passion of theirs. This year is especially exciting because we haven’t been able to bring parents and community members in for the last 15 months. And, it’s such a big part of our school that we are very excited to have them back.”

First graders have the option of taking master classes such as Brainy Games with Mrs. Messner, Yoga with Mrs. Simms, Early Spanish with Mr. Gonzalez, Crafts Galore! with Mrs. Davis, Australian Animals with Mrs. Davidson, and a dinosaur class taught by a teacher from the Dinosaur Resource Center.

The master classes offered to second graders include Wildlife and Birds with Mrs. Miller, Performing Arts with Mrs. Richardson, Early Spanish with Mr. Gonzalez, Crafts Galore! with Mrs. Whiteman, Digital Storytelling with LEGOS with Ms. Studwell, and Friendship Bracelets with Mrs. Stone-Dvorak.

According to Slocum, some of the instructors of the master classes are former teachers and parents at Columbine. The school also collaborates with businesses in the community such as the Dinosaur Resource Center and Dana’s Dance Studio for help with the classes.

“For our Australian animals’ class, one of our teachers that used to work here who is retired has a video feed from Australia from a former Columbine parent,” Principal Slocum said. “She is a veterinarian in Australia. We did a lot of work with her a couple of years ago when the fire was happening, and we raised money for the koala bears. So, that is a pretty cool one.”

The second graders also get a unique chance to learn more about wildlife in the Wildlife and Birds master class. “We have Wildlife Birds with Mrs. Miller coming and she is also a retired teacher,” Principal Slocum said. “A couple of years ago she did a different class called wildlife ambassadors. If you are ever driving around town and see the ‘Watch out for deer’ signs, those were made by our Columbine kids two years ago. So, this year, she is going to focus on wildlife and birds and they are going to make little platform bird feeders to take home and stuff like that.”

Starting in October, Columbine Elementary will also be offering an after-school golf program put on by Jon Husby who is a Columbine parent, a PGA Golf Professional, and an instructor with the UCCS PCA Golf Management Program. The after-school golf program will be offered to students free of charge through a grant by the PGA.

Husby, with assistance from Columbine’s Physical Educator Ms. Goldberg and other volunteer instructors, will be teaching any fourth and fifth grade students who are interested the basic skills of golf at the Columbine Gym and Shining Mountain Golf Course. The classes will take place Oct. 4th, 18th, 25, and Nov.1st from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

About Columbine Elementary School:
School Vision: Columbine is a place to celebrate community, nurture a love of learning, and cultivate a sense of responsibility. School Mission: Together, we create opportunities for all children to grow in intellectual, emotional, and social character to fulfill their innate desire to mature in relationships with self, one another, and the world. More at: https://wpsdk12.org/ces/

About Woodland Park School District Re-2:
A Place of Becoming. Mission: Together, we embrace a culture where all learners are empowered to pursue intellectual, personal, and collective excellence.
Woodland Park School District Re-2, 155 Panther Way, Woodland Park, CO 80863. Phone: (719) 686-2000. Learn more at wpsdk12.org.