Lone Tree Elementary remains true to our original vision:

We are a nurturing learning environment preparing future leaders for a globally connected, interdependent world.

The American educational system is currently deconstructing its structures and systems of old and educational reform is moving at a faster pace than ever before in history. The exponential growth of new technologies has opened up a world of learning possibilities, and we have the exciting opportunity to embrace, support, and validate new and powerful ideas for sustainable learning. Merging the best of all that has defined Lone Tree Elementary with current definitions of a World Class Education, we are taking the lead in implementing systems and practices to protect and grow the most valuable resource in our country…our youth.
    • We will help our students develop a deep understanding of self, the world, current opportunities to impact positive change, and future career possibilities that align with strengths and passions.
    • We will engage students in learning and creating across the day as they develop important skills–leadership, initiative, innovation–all skills that align with entrepreneurial thinking.
    • We will meet the unique needs of each child as we personalize learning and collaboratively set goals and create action plans with students based on personal data, interest, and learning styles.

Growing Students as our Most Valuable Resource

Learning is Personalized and Sustainable!

How We Blossom
Develop leadership skills in students and staff
Learner-driven curriculum using real world inquiry on a global stage

Leafing Out...

ENGAGE students in real world observation, experiences, and connections
ENCOURAGE students to be creative and innovative
EMPOWER students to take ownership of their learning with personalized inquiry
EMBRACE new frameworks for learning giving students the skills and freedom to initiate for change

Our STEM of Strength
Personalize Learning - Real-World Inquiry - Global Stage

Our Foundation
Reading - Writing - Math - Lifelong Guidelines

Implementing World Class Learning at Lone Tree Elementary

Personalization and Student Autonomy

We want students to have a greater voice in what and how they learn as well as more choice in how to demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills. Whether they are setting goals for personalized real-world inquiry projects, or math and literacy skills, a one-to-one conversation between student and teacher is the forum for students to understand where they are, where they want go, and what they need to do in order to reach their goals. We implement systems and practices that empower students with the tools and processes to be successful in a more self-directed, flexible learning environment. Our practice allows for modeling in the early grades with a gradual release toward student autonomy. In all grade levels we want our students to collaboratively create their learning pathways with teachers as they align their interests, strengths, and learning styles.

Link here for a description of Personalization and Student Autonomy in Math

Real World Inquiry

"Engaging students in real world learning" has been the goal of Lone Tree Elementary since we opened our doors in 2008. It remains at the core of what we do and our philosophy is to grow these opportunities for our students. Student-driven inquiry is a research-proven method for sustainable learning (learning that lasts) and our yearlong real-world inquiry projects serve this purpose. Students collaborate with teachers and other adult mentors to build a personal learning pathway that integrates content with purposeful inquiry allowing them to dig deeper into issues that are of personal interest to them.

Global Experiences and Connections

In order to "...prepare future leaders for a globally connected, interdependent world" we want learning and student involvement go beyond the physical space of our school to a greater community.  We will look for and/or create opportunities for students to engage in projects on a local or global scale. Students will be empowered to connect to, create for, and/or collaborate with others outside our building and possibly around the world. Virtual spaces expand our educational setting to help students develop global perspectives and global competencies.

Setting the Stage for Learning

We begin our school year (first 4-6 weeks) by using the The iApproach. This helps set the stage for a year of inquiry, learning, and action based on grade level standards and a guaranteed and viable curriculum as defined by Douglas County School District.  
  • We immerse the students in a context for learning
  • We set the stage for inquiry with journals and questioning
  • We give students time for ideation in their journals as they think about solving problems
  • We talk about the integration of content and concepts in real world scenarios
  • We implement systems and strategies in order to provide a consistent framework to manage and showcase student learning.
    • Student e-portfolios
    • Student project/inquiry journals for ideas, questions, reflections, connections, etc.    

Being There Experiences
These are basically field trips that promote real world observations, expose all students to the same experiences, and spark questioning as the first step in the inquiry process. Students then are able to dig deeper into issues and ideas that are important to them.  

Offsite Student Inquiry Experiences (OSIE)
We encourage individual students, or small groups of students, to connect to experts outside of our building in order to gain understanding and empathy around current local or global issues. Sometimes the experts come to our building, but students also have the freedom to arrange their own offsite experience in order to connect to experts or potential customers at their location.

Digital Tools/Applications
Every classroom is equipped with a variety of current digital tools. Students use MacBooks, iMacs, iPads/iPods, chromebooks, digital cameras, and personally owned devices as they build knowledge, connect to others, and create innovative solutions to real world problems.
All students have digital portfolios where real-world inquiry projects are posted every year. Included in the digital portfolio, each student has the opportunity to create a resume, a personal learning pathway, and a personal learning network with guidance. Digital tools and applications combine to enhance personalized learning, and we use adaptive technologies such as iStation for reading and writing, and Tynker for coding.

The WHAT...
  • Learning is personalized and promotes student autonomy.
  • Systems are put in place that empower students with the tools and processes to be successful in a self-directed, flexible learning environment.
  • Students collaboratively create their learning pathways with teachers as they align their interests, strengths, and learning styles.

The HOW...
  • Product-oriented learning provides the framework for student-driven inquiry.
  • Students see needs in the world as opportunities to create innovative products or services.
  • Opportunities are provided to spark curiosity and immerse students in a context for learning.
  • Students acquire important processes, skills, and knowledge using a consistent process.

The WHERE...
  • Learning and involvement goes beyond the physical space of a school to a greater community as students engage in projects on a local or global scale.
  • Virtual spaces expand the educational setting and opportunities are provided to help students develop global perspectives and global competencies.
  • Students connect to, create for, and/or collaborate with others around the world.