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‘We’re a school of innovation’

Jeffco’s first new school in 10 years opens in Arvada with STEM focus


In the weeks before the first day of school for Jefferson County students, teachers at Three Creeks K-8 in Arvada saw their classrooms for the first time. As construction workers put the finishing touches on the new school, technology was being installed and classroom furniture unpacked.

Teacher Jeremiah Mey organized non-traditional seating in his fifth-grade classroom and unpacked books for the classroom bookshelf. For Mey, the opening of the school is the beginning of a new era, as he previously taught at Pleasant View Elementary in Golden, which closed its doors permanently at the end on the 2016-17 school year.

“It’s pretty cool to close one down and then get to open one up,” Mey said.

The flexible seating in Mey’s classroom includes pogo stools, swivel chairs and chairs with exercise balls. There is also a standup desk and a special table that doubles as a whiteboard. This is the first year Mey is incorporating this kind of seating into his classroom. He hopes that it will create a collaborative, project-based and student-focused learning environment.

The flexible seating is something Three Creeks Principal Laura Wilson is excited to offer as a major part of the new school’s teaching philosophy along with one-to-one iPads for students, a digital curriculum, digital library books and a STEM focus.

“We’re really looking at 21 century learning,” Wilson said. “We’re a school of innovation — trying to prepare our kids for jobs that have not been created yet.”

Wilson, who was named Colorado Principal of the Year in 2012-13, came to Jeffco Public Schools from Douglas County, where she helped open Redstone Elementary in Highlands Ranch 13 years ago.

“It was a great opportunity to open a new school again,” Wilson said of taking the position at Three Creeks, at 19486 W. 94th Ave. “To create a new mission and visions, create a 21st century school with a STEM approach and be able to hand-select my own staff … build a legacy the second time around of building a great school.”

Arvada resident and parent Jenny Pergola said her first- and third-graders, who will attend Three Creeks are excited about their iPads and the STEM focus.

“I have an engineering background and my husband, math,” Pergola explained. “Knowing that their parents have a technical background and having the ability to utilize STEM resources in elementary school and middle school makes the kids feel like they’re relating more to their parents.”

Pergola is also a member of the school’s PTO board, which has been working with community partners to raise funds for student supplies and a marquee for the front of the school.

“For our kids and our friends to open a new school together and experience that through eighth grade is something our whole family is really excited about,” Pergola said. “We’re just really excited to have this piece of the community and to continue to grow. Opening a school is an awesome way to do that.”


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