Maria Mitchell Elementary School

  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Web site: www.denver.k12.co.us/schools/e/Elementary/255.shtml
  • Principal: Reginald Robinson
  • Featured teacher: Penny Suazo, fourth- and fifth-grade teacher
  • Grades: PreK–5
  • Number of students: 544
  • Number of faculty: 85
  • Demographic information: More than 93 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Almost 51 percent are English-language learners. The student population is 75.2 percent Hispanic, 23.3 percent African-American, 0.7 percent Native American, 0.6 percent Caucasian, and 0.2 percent Asian.

In the center of the Cole section of Denver, Maria Mitchell Elementary opened its doors as a newly configured neighborhood school in the fall of 1996. The school is named after the 19th-century scientist, educator, and advocate who became the first recognized female astronomer in the United States.

Mitchell teachers work collaboratively through Critical Friends Groups, which provide a supportive environment for educators to share challenges, expertise, and constructive criticism. The school’s instructional program includes native-language, mainstream, and traditional options for children. Students also receive daily instruction in enrichment classes, which include music, science, wellness, and technology and library skills.

Mitchell is innovative in promoting school success. To assist children with transitioning into their teen years, Mitchell offers gender-separate classrooms for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Also, to give children a “head start,” the school year begins in late July, and all kindergarten classes offer a full 6.5-hour day of developmentally appropriate activities.

Information provided by Maria Mitchell Elementary School. Current as of February 2002.