School Profile

History

We provide preschool families and children with a comprehensive early learning program with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  As a result of construction of Frederick High School, and the remodel of Thunder Valley K-8 in Frederick (at the former Frederick High School site), our school was remodeled and opened during the 2013-2014 school year to serve children and families in the Carbon Valley area of our school district.  We serve nearly 350 preschoolers in the Frederick High School Feeder, including those that will later attend Centennial Elementary, Legacy Elementary, Prairie Ridge Elementary, and Thunder Valley K-8. 

Mission and Vision

Mission Statement: Spark! Discovery Preschool engages students in early learning experiences, in partnership with families and the community, that develop a strong foundation, enrich the whole child, and inspire lifelong learning.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to be an early childhood model of excellence which inspires and promotes…

…approaches to learning that invite exploration, play, and real-world learning.

…experiences which include integrated STEM approaches to problem solving throughout the learning environment.

…programming to meet the developmental needs of each unique child.

…social learning opportunities to develop self-control, confidence, cooperation, and appreciation of others

…an engaged and connected community, families, and partners.

...a highly qualified staff who deliver quality instruction for all children.

Our Commitments

Our Beliefs about Children:  While it is difficult to encapsulate all we believe about children and their development into a few sentences, we...

•   Commit to and value the active engagement of children, as we believe all children must have opportunities to collaborate, grow, play, and explore.

•   Commit to and value the development of life-long attitudes, necessary for responsible citizenship, such as: empathy, enthusiasm, respect, open-mindedness, curiosity, risk-taking, creativity, ccoperation, responsibility, and reflectiveness.

•   Commit to and value the notion that each child, with their unique talents and gifts, has the potential to positively impact the world.

•   Commit to and value the use of research-based instructional strategies as we make decisions as adults in the school community.

Our Beliefs about Innovation:  Spark! Discovery Preschool is a place where creativity and risk-taking are encouraged, modeled, and celebrated. We understand that risk-taking and failure are signs of progress, and that new ideas are signs of life and growth. We teach children to use creativity to solve tomorrow’s problems, using both sides of their brains, to successfully face the challenges of the 21st century. Children use the Design Thinking Process to frame problems, generate solutions, refine ideas, engage with others, and share results. As children acquire an innovator’s mindset they learn to apply these problem-solving strategies across contexts.

Our Beliefs about our Parent Community:  Parents and families are welcome collaborators in school and encouraged to participate in many ways, for example: volunteering, support their child’s development, conferencing, family education trainings, and the like. School staff members strive to assist parents in the development and support of skills that are conducive to learning. There is a strong link between parents and teachers in partnering and organizing for learning. Together, parents and educators participate in effective and on-going communication with regarding preschool and child learning. Finally, parents are valued and included in the decision-making process for the school.

Our Beliefs about Educators:  We collaborate as a team to establish trust, take risks, and disperse a wide net of leadership in order to meet school goals and stay true to our values and commitments.  This is achieved through open communication, a collaborative culture, and involvement in decision-making processes. Additionally, we are engaged in learning and professional development, which promotes research-based and effective instruction for all children, and we engage in collaborative inquiry, action research, and experimentation to effectively implement high-quality programming for children. We respond, in planning and in action, to all learners.

Our Beliefs about Partnerships:  Because we understand that people who know innovation share with others, we seek not only to partner with those who can help us, but also those whom we can help.  We realize that we can’t reach our goals alone, so we believe in developing meaningful partnerships with parents, businesses, universities, our community, and other diverse partners to create a culture of innovation.

Grants/Awards

Mission Nutrition Grant with the Chef Ann Foundation:  During the 2015-2016, our school, in partnership with Nutrition Services of SVVSD wrote and implemented a successful grant with the purpose of exposing preschoolers to an increased variety of Colorado-grown vegetables and fruits.  This incorporated a Colorado Proud School Meal celebration in October, monthly specialized snacks, and a Jumpin Juices event in May 2016.  

Education BluePrints Association:  During the summer of 2013, we applied for and received an Education BluePrints Grant, funded by LEGO Education. The EBA provides learning resources that deliver education solutions for individuals, teachers, and students. They provide programs that engage students/learners. They provide learning tools and courses that challenge learners to achieve excellence in education and life. By providing resources and programs for teachers, we will increase their skills through transformative learning experiences for their students.This grant funded over $1000 in Lego products to be used in preschool classrooms.

Encana Oil & Gas:  Encana has supported Spark! Discovery Preschool with a $20,000 and a $15,000 donation (in 2013-2014 and again in 2015-2016 school years), through the Encana Community Investment program, to The Discovery Center for Make/Hack/Play which will be located in our facility. Encana is a leading North American energy producer that is focused on growing its strong portfolio of diverse resource plays producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids. By partnering with employees, community organizations and other businesses, Encana contributes to the strength and sustainability of the communities where it operates.

American Furniture Warehouse: We would like to formally thank American Furniture Warehouse for granting our school nearly $2,500 in new furniture for our parent and community waiting areas at our school's entrance and at our Child Find entrance. This provides a comfortable place for parents and children to wait to be screened or to fill out enrollment paperwork.

Under the direction of president and CEO Jake Jabs, American Furniture Warehouse has been actively involved with the Colorado community for more than 30 years. For AFW, giving back is a top priority. As such, American Furniture contributes more than $2 million as well as time and in-kind donations to hundreds of worthwhile organizations each year,Colorado is home to American Furniture Warehouse, and we are happy to do our part to help our friends and neighbors who need it most. Thank you Jake Jabs and American Furniture Warehouse!

Partnerships

IBM, Boulder: IBM and the St. Vrain Valley School District have maintained a strong partnership over the years. Currently, the two have joined forced in numerous ongoing efforts: IBM donated more than $660,000 in products as part of the district's successful Investing in Innovation (i3) federal grant application; The 2013 version of IBM and St. Vrain's Innovation Academy for a Smarter Planet in June will include 150 SVVSD students interacting with IBMers for two weeks at the corporation's Boulder site; IBMers now serve as eMentors in 14 SVVSD schools, with the district being one of the first to join the longtime program in 1998; SVVSD students comprise the majority of more than 1,000 students who participate in IBM's annual National Engineers' Week (EWeek) activities; Three IBM executives are serving on the district's Spark! Discovery Preschool design team; SVVSD's partnership with IBM played a key role in its recently earning the $16.5 million Race to the Top federal grant.

Additionally, IBM graciously funded over $21,000 in Young Explorer Computer systems--one system per preschool classroom and in our Wrap Around Childcare at Spark!--during the fall of 2013. We are so excited for the opportunity for our children to use the new software and programs available at this new center. Also, IBM has maintained a positive and productive partnership with our school, with representation as our Business Partner on our School Accountability Committee. 

Foraged Feast: During the summer of 2014 we were contacted by Foraged Feast, an organization out of Denver, Colorado. Foraged Feast is a Denver-based non-profit that collects locally grown food that would otherwise go unused or wasted and connects those nutritional food sources with the underserved of our community. This includes gleaning fruit trees in private and public spaces and recovering excess produce from farmer’s markets, local farms, and wholesale distributors. Foraged Feast believes that by coming together and sharing resources, we can reach underserved populations and connect local food sources with local needs.

During the summer, they assisted any Spark! Discovery Preschool families with produce once a week. Produce was arranged in a family box, dropped off near our childcare entrance (which will be open throughout the summer) on Monday mornings, and families could come pick up their produce for free.

As Foraged Feast says, “We do this because we care, and because sharing feels good."

Cardboard City Challenge, 2013 Partners:

  • Home Depot, 10858 Jake Jabs Blvd., Firestone, CO:  Provided us many truck-loads of cardboard!  Thank you!
  • R L Morton & Associates PC Architecture & Planning, 6140 Saddleback Ave., Firestone, CO 80504: Mr. Rick Morton helped us talk to students and parents
  • Gerald Crumpton, St. Vrain Valley Schools, Architect Mr. Crumpton helped explain the role of architects in construction