Our Philosophy

Vision

Our vision is to sustain a positive, strong, and diverse learning community where students grow as people and as learners. SKCEE is a place where staff and parents work together for the development of the whole child, fostering a love of learning and global citizenship in our students.

Mission

We are a learning community committed to ensuring each child reaches their potential through rigorous and differentiated learning. We value relationships between staff, students, and families.

 

Our Educational Philosophy:

Our educational philosophy is built on a strong foundation of the best practices established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.    We balance child-initiated 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 are of equal importance.

Our Beautiful, Child-Friendly Facility:

The location and building for the Center could not be more ideal.  We are located in Southeast Denver at 3245 E. Exposition Ave. All our classrooms are immaculate and the majority of our ECE classrooms have their own private bathroom facilities and/or share a jack-and-jill type bathroom between only two classrooms. The grounds of the school underwent a complete renovation the summer of 2011 – known in Denver Public Schools as a “Learning Landscape” renovation.  The 7 acres we sit on are now completely tailored to meet the needs of 3, 4 and 5 year old children.  The grounds are also complete with a student garden, and are completely fenced in to provide maximum safety for our youngest learners.  We serve a family-style lunch program that is not only developmentally appropriate in terms of space and physical proportion, but is also an living example of best practice in food service for our youngest learners.  The building has a dedicated space as a children’s library – again geared specifically to young children and their families.

Our Highly-Qualified Staff: 

All staff at the Stephen Knight Center for Early Education boast exceptional qualifications.  All of our certified teachers are federally qualified to teach in the State of Colorado.  Each ECE classroom is staffed with a full-time teacher and full-time paraeducator.  We also have two specials teachers who were hand-picked to teach Integrated Arts to all full-day classrooms at the Center.  The four kindergarten classrooms are staffed with veteran kindergarten teachers and each classroom has a 5 hour per day paraeducator to assist with teaching each morning into early afternoon.

Upon completion of our recent Colorado Shines evaluation in the Spring of 2015, we received four out of five points, one of the highest ratings given from this agency.    According to our past ratings, “The program shows an emphasis on quality education and training for their staff.  This is evident in the interactions between staff and children. We function as Professional Learning Community and staff members meet weekly to engage in conversations about student data in order to plan aligned instruction to meet the needs of all students and support end of year proficiency on grade level standards.  Our staff’s first and foremost priority is ensuring that we not only keep up with understanding best practices for Early Childhood, but that we are implementing these practices weekly to enhance teaching and learning strategies.

 

Our Outstanding Program: 

The Stephen Knight Center for Early Education proudly opened its doors in August, 2009.  We were the first Center for Early Education in Denver Public Schools.  We offer programming for 3 and 4-year-olds, both full- and half-day, and have 4 Kindergarten classrooms, one of which is classified as “Advanced Kindergarten” in which placement occurs through a skills based testing process through the district’s Gifted and Talented Department.   The other Kindergartens serve the Cory neighborhood with the students in those rooms transitioning to Cory Elementary upon completion of their Kindergarten program here.

The success of our program  has been attributed to the climate and culture of the school, the support and involvement of the community and our undeniable devotion to children.  In our Kindergarten program, we utilize a standards-based balanced literacy approach to drive our reading, writing and oral language development and Bridges Math for all children combined with the best of developmentally appropriate methods to ensure the best educational experiences for every student.  Our Preschool Classrooms use the Creative Curriculum, which boasts developmentally appropriate and Common Core aligned instruction for our youngest learners.  We use Handwriting Without Tears as a resource for fine-motor and handwriting development.  We are especially proud to offer an Integrated Arts program that focuses on the visual, movement and music arts.  This enrichment is offered every day, for every full-day child by two specials teachers who utilize the DPS Arts Curriculum for Visual Arts instruction and regularly plans for movement and music utilizing the new Colorado Academic Standards and the Common Core State Standards for each of these domains to plan with the end goal of proficiency to state standard in mind.

 

What our parents are saying…

“What a special place! We love that this is a preschool (ECE 3 and ECE 4) and Kindergarten only school, so our little kids feel comfortable and secure. The staff and teachers have been wonderful. The principal is responsive to any concerns brought to her attention. The front office staff is warm and helpful. Their is a strong PTA and a good sense of community. Many fundraisers and events are planned throughout the year. As a former teacher, I am very picky about the quality of the preschool and Kinder programs. I have been very impressed with the play-based, arts, and academic components. The Kindergarten teachers have been excellent. My daughter’s teacher is able to differentiate the curriculum to meet her academic needs. My daughter loves attending school. There is structure, but also creativity. We have been very happy attending our neighborhood preschool and Kindergarten at the Stephen Knight Center.”

 

“This is a safe, fun, and engaging school full of professionals who are passionate about early education and giving kids the tools they need to succeed as they prepare for elementary education. We are so happy our daughter is able to attend this wonderful school.”