Stove Prairie Elementary
- How the Mountain Schools Work
- Recess and Preparing for all Weather Conditions
- Valuables and Digital Devices at School
- Emergency Information
- Personal Party Invitations
- School History
How the Mountain Schools Work
The Poudre School District’s Mountain Schools are considered ‘one school’ with three campuses that are situated in the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado. These campuses are Livermore Elementary, Red Feather Lakes Elementary, and Stove Prairie Elementary and are one of the most unique school’s in Colorado.
Every campus features a multi-graded learning environment. At each campus there are three certified teachers with combined classrooms. Each classroom has a small student/teacher ratio and is divided into the following grades:
- Kindergarten/1st Grade (K-1)
- 2nd Grade/3rd Grade (2-3)
- 4th Grade/5th Grade (4-5)
The intimate atmosphere ensures staff members know every student and encourages the highest level of instruction and learning opportunities. Our multi-age classrooms support differentiated instruction and deliver a standards-based curriculum with 21st century technology.
The Mountain Schools offer a challenging math program and learning opportunities that focus on literacy instruction, including a rigorous reading series with a literature-based component and integration of reading and writing. Classroom laptops and a media center complement all instructional areas. Art, music, media and technology, STEM, and physical education are rotated through each week for specials.
Since we are such a unique school our staff excel at differentiating curriculum to meet individual student’s needs and offers a rich selection of programs to education “the whole child.”
- We develop autonomous, inquisitive, and empowered learners.
- We will meet the individual needs of every student.
- We will empower students to take ownership of their learning path.
- We will facilitate student experiences that develop communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity
Recess and Preparing for all Weather Conditions
All students go to recess and should dress appropriately for all types of weather. Since we are in the unique situation of living in the mountains, we ask that you help your child prepare for all weather conditions. We encourage all students to dress in layers so they can be ready for the rapidly changing weather conditions in the mountains.
Students are encouraged to participate in all games safely, respectful, caring and responsible for each other. If your child has a problem with another student on the playground, the students will be encouraged to solve the problem they have created. Adults are available, as necessary, to help in this process.
Valuables and Digital Devices at School
We request that students not bring valuables (e.g.toys, digital devices, etc.) to school, unless otherwise expressly authorized by the principal or his/her designee. If a problem arises with a digital device or valuable, a phone call will be made home to have them pick up the item from the office. As you discuss this with your children, please be aware Mountain School staff members can not be responsible for items that get lost, damaged or stolen.
Homework will be assigned at the discretion of the classroom teacher. Homework assignments will be reasonable in length and difficulty. The purposes of homework are to practice recently acquired skills, provide extended learning opportunities and develop the habit of academic rigor. Occasionally, students take work home because they have chosen to not use school time well. Parent/guardians, please help your child learn to budget time in order to complete assignments. Show an active interest and be supportive of quality work and homework completion. Provide a quiet place for your child to work. Students are responsible for the completion and return of homework. All students are encouraged to read or to be read to every night. Teachers will contact parent/guardians if a student shows a pattern of not completing homework. Adequate time will be given for students to complete homework resulting from absences.
Emergency information is kept on file in the school's office. Whomever you have designated as emergency contact people will be used in the event you cannot be reached. This information will be used for unexpected school closures during the day due to severe weather. It may also be used if your child becomes sick or injured during the day and needs to go home. Please let us know immediately if this information changes.
Personal Party Invitations
Please deliver invitations to personal parties for birthdays or other social functions away from school. This helps to avoid hurt feelings of children who are not invited. Thank you for your cooperation.
Opened in 1896, Stove Prairie School is the oldest operating “one-room” school in Colorado. Stove Prairie joined PSD in 1960. Now one of the three mountain schools, this little school “at the end of the rainbow” offers a multi-grade learning environment.
Written By Mrs. Rosemary Vannorsdel
Originally published in the Stove Prairie Cookbook.
The original one-room school house was constructed in 1896-1897, by Mr. Emanul Vannorsdel and Mr. Harlen Bosworth. The Bosworths arrived in Stove Prairie from Bellvue in the fall of 1894 with two school-age boys. The Vannorsdels arrived in early Spring of 1895 with five sons and five daughters from Beaver City, Nebraska.
Mr Vannorsdel, who lived one mile south of the crossroads, sawed the lumber for the school at his sawmill. He and Mr. Bosworth, who lived two miles west of the crossroads on the county road know as the Flowers Wagon Road, built the school with occasional help of other neighbors in the area. That same little one-room school still stands as part of the present Stove Prairie School at the crossroads.
The school house had a belfry at first, but was removed after the first year because snow sifted down into the classroom when the wind blew. The school was heated with a wood stove that stood in the middle of the room. On cold days the children froze on one side and baked on the other side.
It was one of the many duties of the school children to carry wood in for the stove. The wood was furnished by the parents, who where usually also the school board. This was still the policy in the late 1940s and 1950s. It was a happy day for children, parents, and the teacher when a gas stove was fianlly bought for the school about 1955.
Water was not available at the school house then. Families living near the school brought water each morning. Later, water was piped to the school from a spring one-fourth mile east. This was very good water.
In 1904, thirty-seven pupils attended this little one-room school, and with just one teacher. Soon after that, three other schools were started in District 18. One was in a small log cabin on Buckhorn Mountain, known as the Welch Park School. Another school was started on Kimball Hill, about three miles south of Stove Prairie School. A third was started on Buckhorn Creek. That school house still stands on the Wertz Ranch.
With the new school starting, there were only two students left near the Stove Prairie School, Blanche and Dana Vannorsdel. It was decided to close Stove Prairie the year, and Blanche and Dana drove a horse and buggy to Kimball Hill School for one year. By the time school opened in the fall of the next year, two new families had moved in near the school. The school reopened and has not been closed since.
School board meetings could get a little rought back then, too. Our school board might think their meetings get a little hot now, but all the old-timers remember on school board election when several people from the district's outer edges came to the school with guns strapped on, and in a very ugly mood. It seems they were getting pretty tired of all the school board being from right around the school, but when all the votes were counted, the same ones still had the most votes. They went away without anyone getting shot.
The first teacher was Miss Belle Thompson. Teachers in the early days of the school had to board with the families in the community. Keeping a teacher was a problem in those days. Many of the teachers married young men in the community and a new teacher would have to be found. More often than not, teachers that came to teach in the mountain shcools are very special people. They very often give much more to the community than just teaching. Children at Stove Prairie School are each treated as a special person instead of a face in a large crowd.
In 1964, a new classroom was added -- and with inside restrooms for the first time in 67 years. In 1972, we finally got our long hoped for multi-purpose room, a new classroom, and an office.