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Life at Deer Creek

New Beginnings - Middle School Transition Program

New Beginnings is a middle school transition program in August offered to all incoming students. Designed to help students familiarize themselves with Deer Creek and the middle school experience, New Beginnings includes activities that help students meet classmates and make new friends, get to know the school layout, practice using their lockers, find their classrooms, and take some of the stress and anxiety out of the first day of school.

The fee is $25 for the two-day, 5-hour session and includes a Deer Creek T-shirt for each participant.  Session dates for the 2020-21 school year will be announced in the spring.

 

Schedule

The daily schedule at Deer Creek is built around a 6-period day. In addition to academic and exploratory/elective periods, STEM and Humanities students have a common 30-minute lunch period that includes the opportunity to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. At the end of the day is Access, a 27-minute flex period where students can get started on homework, get extra help from teachers, make up work, and participate in team-building activities.

On Fridays, in place of Access, students participate in Clubs. With over 50 clubs for students to choose from, Clubs bring students together from all grades and programs around a common interest. Clubs meet every other week during the semester, and students select a new club for the second semester to enjoy a new activity and meet new students.

Team Structure

Grade levels are organized in "teams" to create a smaller family environment within the school and the grade. Each team represents a grade level and a program - i.e. Longs Peak is the 7th grade Humanities team - and is identified by a group of students and teachers who stay together for the core subject classes. The team structure not only breaks the larger school into smaller, more student-focused parts, but it allows teachers to work collaboratively in providing for the needs of their common students. Common team expectations and practices provide a level of consistency on each team and ease the transition of students to a middle school model of separate teachers for each class.

Passing Periods and Lockers

Lockers

The four minutes between classes is called a passing period. The passing period gives students time to move from room to room, visit the restroom, get supplies from lockers, and socialize with others. Each student is assigned a locker for the school year with a unique combination lock, with ample room to store backpacks, coats, books, and supplies.

Grading and Infinite Campus

Deer Creek uses a standard-based grading system to assess student progress in both content understanding and work habits development. For more information about grading policies, please visit our forms and documents page. Student grades are recorded in Infinite Campus, which students and parents can access through the Campus Portal. The portal allows viewers to see the teacher gradebook entries for the student for each class, including scores for assignments and assessments, as well as missing work. Updated weekly, the portal is the easiest and quickest way to keep up-to-date on student academic progress.

1:1 Chromebook Initiative

Research

The Jeffco 1:1 Chromebook Initiative supports a learning environment where every student has access to technology every day, at school and at home.  Students will need reliable home access to the internet for research, communication, and homework.

For 2020-21, incoming 6th graders from Jeffco schools will keep the Chromebook they were assigned in 5th grade; students new to Jeffco will be assigned a device to use while at Deer Creek.  An annual fee of $50 is charged to all families to cover the costs of software, support, and infrastructure.  A device warranty is also available for an additional fee.  Under the initiative, students will receive a new device upon entering 9th grade at a Jeffco school.  Privately owned laptops, chromebooks, and other devices may be used at home, but are not allowed at school, as they do not have access to the networks, apps, software, and assessments that district devices use.

6th Grade

6th graders have 5 core classes – English/Language Arts, Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Math. Their remaining period is for exploratory classes, which alternate days each trimester, giving students six different exploratories for the year. 6th graders also have the option of choosing band, orchestra, or choir during their exploratory period for the year, in exchange for other exploratory classes. As with 6th graders throughout Jeffco, Deer Creek 6th graders attend Outdoor Education Lab each year. In order to accommodate our large number of 6th graders, we will be assigned to multiple weeks at both Windy Peak and Mt. Evans OELS sites.

7th Grade

7th graders have 4 core classes – English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies – and two elective classes. STEM students have a year-long Pre-Engineering class in one of their elective periods. In addition to more than a dozen trimester-long electives, 7th graders can also choose from several year-long electives, including choir, band, orchestra, Spanish, and French. As an extension of their English/Language Arts class, 7th graders choose from three writing classes as part of their electives time:  Creative Writing, Short Stories, and Literature & Film.  While some electives are only open to 7th graders, many are shared with 8th grade, providing opportunities for students to mix across grade levels.

8th Grade

8th graders also have 4 core classes and 2 electives. In addition to year-long electives such as band, orchestra, choir, Spanish 1 & 2, and French 1 & 2, students can choose from more than 25 trimester-long electives. As the oldest grade at Deer Creek, 8th graders are looked upon to provide guidance and leadership in the school. Many electives are open only to 8th graders, including the opportunity to be a teacher aide or a student mentor in our Significant Support Needs program.

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