A-School Profile: Cotton Creek Elementary

In this Q & A, Principal William Kempsell of Cotton Creek Elementary shares some details about his A-school in Westminster, Colorado.

Describe your school’s mission and illustrate it with an example from the classroom.

Cotton Creek Elementary

Cotton Creek Elementary is dedicated to the educational success of each individual through a partnership among students, staff, and the community. We live this mission on a daily basis through the unique relationships fostered within our school. Our highly successful Special Education programs provide support for students in a manner that promotes least restrictive environment. We are also fortunate to have an extremely supportive Parent Teacher Association. Thanks to their fundraising efforts and collaboration with our school community, we have greatly increased the technology at Cotton Creek. Students now have new and innovative ways to access the curriculum throughout their day.

Each year, the school community develops a school-wide theme to promote a singular focus for the year and build community. Our theme for the 2014-15 school year is “Building Minds, Building Futures,” a message that students and staff chant and celebrate at the start of every morning.

KinderTechnology CCEWhat are one or two ways that the team at your school meets students’ academic needs?

At Cotton Creek, we offer ongoing, collaborative planning for teachers, closely looking at student data to monitor their progress. During weekly professional development trainings, teachers continue to learn and grow in their instructional practice. We carefully examine the Colorado Academic Standards to ensure that our units of study are closely aligned and meeting the needs of students in Kindergarten through Fifth grade.

Pumpkin Run CCEName one or two characteristics, programs, or other detail about your school that makes it a special place.

Cotton Creek is a neighborhood school that proudly serves students with a wide range of needs and abilities. We support students with significant needs through our structured learning programs. Students in these programs receive specialized instruction to increase their communication and social skills and their ability to access relevant standards based instruction.

We also have exceptional Music, Physical Education, Art, and Computer classes for all students. The specials team collaborates with classroom teachers on a regular basis to provide unique opportunities for students.

Cotton Creek offers two options for kindergarten to ensure students are learning foundational skills to prepare them for first grade. We have half day programs, as well as tuition-based, full day kindergarten.

What’s the most frequently asked question from parents visiting the school – and how do you respond to it?

We tend to get a lot of questions about the kinds of opportunities and learning experiences that we offer to meet the needs of students with a wide range of ability levels. In addition to the differentiated instruction occurring in the classroom, we have a variety of intramural clubs for students. From choir and art club to Lego Robotics and a variety of sports clubs, students are learning, socializing, and developing important skills both in and beyond the general classroom.

Where can parents go to learn more?