Principal’s Message

Principal’s Message

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I am honored and excited to lead the Stephen Knight Early Education Center and to come to work at such an amazing learning community each day. For those I have not yet met, let me briefly introduce myself. I have been in Early Education for over 20 years, as a teacher, professor, and principal. I completed my Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

Stephen Knight Center for Early Education is a place where students succeed at high levels and where families are involved. It provides a perfect setting for children to grow.

The Stephen Knight Center for Early Education is the first of four Early Childhood Centers in Denver Public Schools. We are a public school within DPS, which means we have a rating from the Colorado Department of Education. We serve preschool and Kindergarten students in the neighborhoods of our home schools: Cory, Asbury, Slavens, Steele, and University Park. We also serve students from other neighborhoods through the Choice Process in Denver Public Schools.

We balance child-initiated and play-based learning with the academic focus of whole-group and small group instruction. Our philosophy is also rooted in the best practices of meaningful, active learning and individualizing teaching methods to each child. We believe in educating the whole child, and know that what we teach and how we teach.

One of our goals at Stephen Knight Center for Early Education is to serve and nurture all our students. We are committed to making every year an exceptional experience for all students. Our teachers work together interdependently in order to impact their practice in ways that would lead to better results for students, teams, and our school. Our goal is for teachers to engage in collective inquiry to identify essential student learning, create lesson plans, develop assessments, analyze scores and set achievement goals. Our focus is to ensure that our students receive the best instruction from an action oriented team of teachers.

It is my belief that parents are the first teachers of their children and they play a central role in their child’s education. I invite you to participate in open, honest and continuous communication with your child’s teachers to ensure a successful home-school partnership. I encourage you to tell our teachers about your child’s needs throughout the year so that he or she has “THE BEST” educational experience.
As principal, it is important for me that my staff, parents and students become partners in this journey that we have embarked upon. It is essential that all of us come to school every day happy and ready give it our best.

Our PTA is an amazing group of people who commit to focus their time, talents, energies and resources for our children’s education. For the school they support quality education by returning money from PTA sponsored fundraisers directly to the school for supplemental curriculum materials, student learning, staff professional development, projects, special school programs and workshops. I encourage you to become an active serving member of our PTA.

Thank you in advance for supporting your child’s success at school in the classroom and through our parent organizations.

We proudly offer:

  • 8 sections of full day 4 year old preschool
  • 1 section of 1/2 day 4 year old preschool
  • 3 sections of full day 3 year old preschool
  • 3 sections of 1/2 day 3 year old preschool
  • 3 full day, traditional Kindergarten classrooms (each of these feeds into Cory Elementary and serves predominantly students in the Cory boundary)
  • 1 classroom that has a mixed group of preschool and Kindergarten students with autism

All of our full day classrooms attend an Art or P.E. for 40 minutes every day. All staff at the Stephen Knight Center for Early Education have exceptional qualifications. All of our certified teachers are highly qualified to teach in the State of Colorado. Each ECE classroom is staffed with a full-time teacher and full-time para-educator. We also have two specials teachers who were hand-picked to teach Integrated Arts and P.E. to all full-day classrooms at our school. The three kindergarten classrooms are staffed with veteran kindergarten teachers and each classroom has a 5 hour per day para-educator to assist with teaching each morning into early afternoon.

Upon completion of our recent Colorado Shines rating, we are a high quality preschool program in Colorado, we received four stars, one of the highest ratings given from this agency. Our school serves as a model for high-quality instruction for Preschool and Kindergarten.

Sheila R. Deacon Ph.D.