Izzy B recently announced big news—beginning August 2014, they will be an ECE-5 elementary. “To be able to extend Isabella Bird to the older grades is wonderful,” Jeff Bushnell said after learning the news. As Lead Teacher, Bushnell is part of a 3-person leadership team at Isabella Bird that includes his wife and Co-lead Teacher Traci and Lead Administrator Sonny Zinn.
“This year we’ve been able to establish the culture of the school. It was a really important first step, and now it makes sense to grow.”
The school will have two classes for 4-years-olds, four kindergartens, three first grades, and they are projecting one class of second, third, fourth and fifth grades with 25 students per class.
The school is expecting to move into their brand new building at 2701 N. Lima in July 2014.
While there have been challenges being in a small shared space this year, Isabella Bird has warmly embraced having a small school since “you can’t reach the mind until you first reach the heart.” Teachers know every student’s name and family. Fearing losing that intimacy in the big new building, Bushnell says, “We will have to be mindful of it. The goal is to maintain that same level of intimacy—it’s key to who we are philosophically.”
Bushnell says the school is adding grades to serve the families moving into the new homes being built in Stapleton.
Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, DPS Chief of Innovation and Reform, says DPS will provide plenty of resources as staff builds the curriculum for the additional grades.