Polaris at Ebert supports highly gifted and high achieving students in reaching their maximum potential as young learners. Collaboration of students, parents and teachers assures an innovative, culturally rich learning environment where differences are supported and celebrated. Engaging integrated curricula offers rigorous challenges that nurture curiosity, skill development, knowledge and the courage needed to imagine and achieve. Personal, academic and artistic excellence is an everyday standard of our school. Learning experientially and enthusiastically, Polaris students become thoughtful, confident and responsible citizens of our world.
Designed to serve highly gifted and high achieving children in NE Denver, Polaris opened September 5, 2000 at Crofton Elementary with 98 students and grew to 196 students in four years. Having reached capacity at the Crofton building, The Polaris Program moved to Ebert Elementary, a much larger building nearby, in the fall of 2004. It is now a K-5 school of 345 students. Children who qualify and live in northeast Denver are bused to the school. Students who qualify but live outside this area are transported by parents. Before and after school care is provided by the Kaleidoscope program.
The Polaris Program is both an exciting learning community and a safe haven where parents are supported in nurturing the development of their gifted children. The school has an attractive and inviting library with an expanding collection selected specifically to serve the literacy, affective and research needs of advanced learners. In addition to technology in the library, the students have access to a Dell laptop computer lab and to wired classroom computers. Each child in grades 2-5 has his/her own desk, with those of older students having a large desktop with easily accessed side compartments for books and belongings.
A wonderful array of musical instruments from around the world has been purchased to enhance vocal music instruction, and the children perform outstanding music performances through the year. Visual art products fill our halls and are on display during the scheduled music performances. An amazing celebration of the arts culminates the year in May. Instrumental music (band and string) is taught before and after school. The school actively seeks grants to benefit the learning of students, and each year involves students with amazing artists-in-residence. We frequently access the cultural centers and events of central Denver to enhance the learning of our students.
Polaris at Ebert is staffed for single grade classrooms, K-5, PE, Music (vocal and instrumental), Art, Library, Technology and Special Education. There is one Advanced Kindergarten class, two classes each of first through third grades and three classes each of fourth and fifth grades. Classes determine their scheduling of literacy and math on the basis of their specials schedules. Mornings are often devoted to rigorous language arts and integrated thematic studies. Many math blocks are taught after lunch. Experiential science instruction based on inquiry is ongoing through the year, culminating in a marvelous science fair celebration. The arts are both woven into classroom thematic units and taught by arts specialists during weekly specials classes: art, creative movement, drama, library, technology and vocal music.
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