Apr 23, 2014

Provo Peaks Elementary School


What about the elementary school in Joaquin Neighborhood? I have a kindergartner that goes to Provo Peaks, and it was very hard to find any information about it. Add to that trying to figure out the whole school thing for the first time and you get one stressed out mom. I figured it out, but it took a while.

This week I talked to the principal, Alex Judd, and got some interesting information about the school to share here. Hopefully I wrote everything down correctly, but of course if you have questions you can ask the neighborhood on Facebook, email me, or go visit and chat with him yourself!

Provo Peaks hosts the most gifted students in the district  and the most severely disabled students in the district. Starting this year, all the gifted students from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades will come to a CAS (Center for Accelerated Studies) at Provo Peaks. Added to that, the special programs and classrooms for disabled students are really amazing.

There is a lot of diversity in our school, both economically and culturally. Over half my daughter's classmates are Hispanic, and school-wide about 40 percent are English language learners. This diversity is probably my favorite thing about the school.

I asked the principal about bringing a dual immersion program to the school--so many of the moms I talk to really want that for their kids. The problem is, there are two teachers for each grade right now, and with a dual immersion program one of them has to be English and the other one Spanish (or whatever language). This means that if they switched to a dual immersion program, every child would have to do it. I'm okay with that, but I can see that a parent might want their child in an English-only classroom. So until there are more students at the school, it won't support a dual immersion program. And it's going to be hard to get more parents to send their students here unless there is a dual immersion program. I think it's an interesting problem.

I feel like there needs to be something extra here to draw parents in. That's why I was excited when Principal Judd talked about his goal to become a STEM school. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In May, he and a few other school administrators in the district are going to Denver to check out some successful STEM schools. I know that to become a STEM school there is a lot of teacher training that has to go on first, so it might be a ways down the road, but I think it would be a good choice for Provo Peaks.

Provo Peaks is a Title 1 school, which means there are a lot of lower-income families that live within the boundaries. The school gets extra funding to make up for this and has done some neat things with it, including hiring 7 support para-professionals that are there to help kids that need some one-on-one attention with a particular subject.

Attached to the elementary school is Sunrise Preschool, which is for developmentally delayed students or students from lower income families. It looks really amazing.

Also, FYI, kindergarten has a full day and a half day class. (The half day class was really important to me).

Feel free to email me with any questions, or visit the Provo Peaks website.


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