A new school called Inspire Elementary will open for the 2016-17 school year and be included in DPS Choice, where families list school preferences, starting January 5. The school, originally referred to as Stapleton Elementary VI, will have 150 students K-2 its first year and share a building with Northfield High School (NHS) at the Paul Sandoval Campus.
Inspire Principal Marisol Enriquez has been hosting meetings for interested parents where approximately 50 families have been attending. The school has developed the motto “Inspire, Innovate, Impact.”
Inspire Elementary cannot be compared to any other elementary schools in the Stapleton boundary and is a hybrid, according to Principal Enriquez. It will use teaching elements of expeditionary learning and the Stanley British Primary at 350 Quebec, where students K-8 have strong relationships with their teachers, participate in hands-on activities, and learn by working on their own, rather than just being given information. Inspire Elementary will be a part of the Stanley Teacher Preparation Program, where intern teachers work full-time in the classroom alongside mentor teachers throughout Denver.
A main priority is small class sizes for more personalized learning, according to Enriquez. Every classroom will have one teacher and one intern.
The school will share a building with Northfield High School for one year and then move to a permanent location somewhere within a one-mile radius of NHS. Inspire will use the south wing of the first floor, which currently has the engineering, martial arts, and art classes, as well as a smaller library. Those classes will move to the north wing of the building, and a barrier will be placed at the bottom of a stairwell to separate the young students from the high school. NHS students are currently brainstorming ways to mentor the Inspire students next year.
There will be no playground the first year, but Enriquez is working on getting karate and physical education, and she plans to have lots of structured play in the classroom.
Enriquez worked as a math specialist for 35 schools in northeast Denver and then assistant principal at Martin Luther King. She went on to Vista PEAK P-20 in Aurora, where she helped turn around the school in one year.
Interested teachers or parents can contact Marisol at Marisol_Enriquez@dpsk12.org.