Polaris PTO is a parent-run, volunteer organization whose mission is to provide financial and volunteer support to Polaris Elementary School.
Polaris is an elementary school in the Denver Public School district that supports highly gifted and high achieving students reach 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 experimentally and enthusiastically, Polaris students become thoughtful, confident and responsible citizens of our world.
Located on the northeast edge of downtown Denver, at 410 Park Avenue West, the Polaris Program is the home of Northeast Denver's award-winning Highly Gifted Program. Serving grades K-5, the Polaris Program is the first and only program in the Denver Public School district to operate in an independent site and be solely dedicated to meeting the needs of highly gifted and high achieving students. It has been recognized as one of the best elementary schools in the State of Colorado by the Department of Education.
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. The Denver Public Schools Gifted and Talented Department determines qualification for admission to Polaris, and the district's School Choice Office manages the admission process.
Polaris Elementary is both an exciting learning community and a safe haven where parents are supported in nurturing the development of their gifted children. An enriched and rigorous curriculum provides the foundation for learning experiences in which students are encouraged to achieve excellence in areas of strength and supported to make continuous improvement in weaker academic areas. Students are grouped and regrouped flexibly on the basis of demonstrated educational need rather than by age or other limiting data. The individual academic needs of students determine their pace through the curriculum. Students with individual passions are offered the opportunity to explore those interests with the guidance of a teacher and or mentors.
The Polaris Program weaves the arts into all curricular units, and grants frequently fund work with artists-in-residence (visual, theatre, photography and dance). 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, and students frequently access the cultural centers and events of central Denver to enhance their learning.
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 Alphasmart keyboards, a computer lab and to wired classroom computers.
Come join us, and see our model school designed specifically to serve the needs of gifted students in an inner city setting!