Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Will art, music and PE be offered at Red Hawk Elementary


    Art, Music and PE will be offered in both curriculum strands and will play an integral role in supporting the work of classroom teachers. The arts offer a wonderful way to pique student interests and to reinforce curriculum content. Additionally, the arts provide an alternative forum for students to make connections, demonstrate their knowledge, and gain access to academic content. Afterschool enrichment activities in the arts will also be offered at Red Hawk Elementary.

    Q: What is Core Knowledge?


    Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr. developed Core Knowledge in the 1980s as a method for insuring a common knowledge base is developed in schools which is clearly articulated and builds on itself from year to year. Standards often identify the skills needing to be taught, but are silent on which content should be used to teach these skills. Core Knowledge works to develop a strong universal knowledge base combined with a robust vocabulary by offering solid fundamental skills, sequenced material, specific content, and shared educational experiences.

    For a more detailed description, visit the Core Knowledge section of our website Here you will find a general overview as well as several documents highlighting the key components of the program.

    Q: What are Core Knowledge and St. Vrain curriculum strands?


    The word strand refers to the curriculum being taught. Red Hawk Elementary will offer Core Knowledge and St. Vrain Valley curriculums; hence there will be two curriculum strands in the school.

    Q: How will the number of Core Knowledge and St. Vrain Valley curriculum strands be determined?


    Each grade level at Red Hawk Elementary will have the capacity for four classes. However, since we don't know the number of students to be enrolled in the Core Knowledge or the St. Vrain Valley strands, we will start by having one Core Knowledge and one St. Vrain Valley curriculum class per grade level. Additional classes will be added to either or both strands based on interest.

    In late January/early February, registration packets for Red Hawk Elementary will be available.  In this packet there will be a section for parents to indentify which curriculum strand they prefer.

    Q: If my child has not been in Core Knowledge, can they join this strand in the later grades? Will this put them at a noticeable disadvantage?


    While the Core Knowledge Sequence is carefully designed to build upon itself, it does not preclude a child from starting the program in the later grades. As content is introduced, the teacher will assess student prior knowledge and review key concepts previously covered in the sequence. The new content is then taught in its own right.

    For example, students study the Maya, Inca, and Aztec cultures in 1st and 5th grade. Students learn of the existence of ancient peoples and some of their general characteristics in 1st grade, and then study in great detail these cultures in 5th grade. In this way, you can see how the Core Knowledge Sequence builds upon itself, but is not a required prerequisite to join the Core Knowledge curriculum strand.

    Q: How will the Core Knowledge program at Red Hawk Elementary work when moving onto middle school?


    Core Knowledge complements the pre-AP program offered at Erie Middle School. By developing a broad knowledge base including strong skills in mathematics, science, and language arts, Core Knowledge will prepare students to take part in the pre-AP courses at the middle school.

    The pre-AP courses are designed to insure students are poised to take such classes as algebra and geometry in middle school, which will then springboard them into AP classes once in high school. The foundation established in elementary school by Core Knowledge sets the stage for the success of your child in college and beyond.

    Additionally, many of the components of Core Knowledge like the character development pieces and a spiraling curriculum are continued at the middle school.

    Q: Is it possible to attend Red Hawk Elementary if we live outside of the school's boundaries?


    Through open enrollment it is possible to attend Red Hawk Elementary if you live outside of the school's boundaries or live outside of the St. Vrain Valley School District. Open Enrollment Forms should be completed in advance to save time and will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

    Q: Is full day kindergarten available? What is the process?


    Two classes of full-day kindergarten (fee based) will be offered along with two classes of regular half-day kindergarten. Kindergarten registration begins in December/January each year. Registration packets can be picked up at Red HAwk Elementary. If full day kindergarten fills up, a lottery system will be used to determine who gets in.

    Q: Is preschool available? What kinds of programming will be offered?


    Preschool will be offered at Red Hawk Elementary. The exact nature of the preschool program has not been determined; however, we are planning on offering preschool for both three and four year olds. Typically programming of this kind might look like:

    • Mon/Wed/Fri (mornings for three and four year olds)
    • Tues/Thurs (mornings for three year olds
    • Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs (afternoons for four year olds)

    Q: Will there be support for gifted and talented students?


    Red Hawk Elementary and its teachers will offer many opportunities to challenge students at their inpidual level. We are committed to meeting the needs of all of our students, including our GT students. We will have a GT teacher to support student learning both in and outside of the classroom. Whether the teacher is full or part time is dependent upon enrollment and student need. Students will be grouped according to need. This may look different depending on the grade level; however, we will always find ways to insure your child is challenged.

    Q: Safety - what kinds of safeguards will be in place to insure my child is safe? Both in the school as well as while traveling - specifically, the crossing of Erie Parkway.


    The safety of our students is always our top priority. The building itself is equipped with many safety measures such as controlled entrances (visitors will have to walk through the main office before gaining access to the school) and fencing around the play areas. Special care will be taken to make sure there is ample supervision at recess and in the lunchroom. School-wide policies and procedures will be written in kid friendly language to insure students are easily able to understand expectations. Bullying behavior will not be tolerated.

    The Transportation Department is evaluating the bus and walking routes for each of the three boundary scenarios. Chief Operating Officer, Rick Ring, has begun talks with Erie town officials about crossing guards and putting up school zone lights at the Erie Parkway and Meller intersection as well as on Telleen.

    Q: My child has severe allergies. What sort of precautions can the school take? How does this process work?


    Together we will collaboratively develop a detailed plan outlining the precautions necessary to keep your child safe. The first step in this process is to communicate early with the school about your child's specific needs. From here, we will include one of the district nurses who will help to assemble all of the pertinent medical information into a healthcare plan. The nurse will also help to train teachers and staff.

    In some instances the health care plan is attached to a 504 plan, which looks directly at the impact allergies have on your child's learning. Once we have a written plan, we will meet periodically to assess the effectiveness of the plan and look at any possible changes. You can always request a meeting at anytime.

    Q: What kinds of before and after school programming will be offered?


    We will be partnering with Community Schools to provide licensed before and after school child care. Additionally, we will offer a variety of enrichment activities based on interest of the parents and students. Some examples of possible offerings include: math club, science club, chess club, foreign language, robotics, Discovery Imagination, running club, art classes, and computer club.

    Q: What will be unique about Red Hawk Elementary's library?


    The library at Red Hawk Elementary will use the "book store" model to catalog all of its books. This involves categorizing books by genre and topic much like one finds in a bookstore. The rationale behind using this model is to empower students using a word search much like Internet keyword searches. Non-fiction books are labeled and categorized by words. A child can browse the shelves for topics from animals through transportation.

    Libraries grouping fiction books by genre experience significant increase in book check-out statistics. By using this new configuration, a student who likes to read only Harry Potter books can discover a host of other fantasy books from which to choose.

    Q: How will Red Hawk Elementary insure a positive school climate?


    Special attention will be given to the creation of a caring school community where inpidual differences are honored and respected. Classroom teachers will schedule regular community meetings where monthly topics will be the point of departure for conversations on how to build a caring community along with addressing specific issues as they arise.

    The school promise will be reinforced with a school-wide system for reinforcing positive behavior. Students will take an active role in recognizing the accomplishments of others through morning announcements and student council. Clear behavior guidelines and a strict no bullying policy will be established from the start. Service projects in combination with community speakers and volunteers will help to add an additional layer of support towards continually building a positive school climate.