BVSD Open Enrollment Deadline Is Almost Here

Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of Boulder families who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.

So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many Boulderites choose to open enroll their children in an attempt to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.

BVSD Open Enrollment Dates:

November 7, 2016 through January 9, 2017

Finding the BVSD school that is the right fit – School Tours:

All BVSD schools offer school tours during the open enrollment process. To tour a school you need to go during their scheduled school tours. To find open enrollment school tours dates/times – BVSD Open Enrollment Tours

There are two main types of BVSD schools:

Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are NOT in the designated boundary.

Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools. 

To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart [the one they have up is from last year, so the dates are incorrect, but the content is good otherwise]:

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Preschools: For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful.

Other Open Enrollment Considerations: Likewise, the award winning Peak to Peak Charter School has open enrollment policies that favor those who have applied many times. They are all a bit different, so it is best to do your research!

Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child by January 9, 2017 to get into the lottery. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!

I am always happy to answer questions from my personal experience with kids in #BVSD and the Open Enrollment process. Email me at amanda@boulderfamilies.com

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ALL Colorado K-5th Grade Kids Get 16 days of FREE Skiing! Find out how…

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Elementary kids in Colorado – It’s your lucky day! Colorado elementary school kids don’t have to wait until they are in 5th/6th grade to get their own ski pass – Vail Resorts’ Epic School Kids now offers FREE skiing to ALL elementary school children.

The catch? Get your kids registered by October 8, 2016!

Q: WHAT IS THE EPIC SCHOOL KIDS?

Epic School Kids is a FREE program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides skiing and riding at some of Colorado’s best areas – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. That means 4 days of FREE Skiing at each area or 16 days in all.

The pass also includes one FREE first-timer ski or ride lesson with equipment rental.

Q: ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS?

The following are blackout dates: 11/25/16-11/26/16, 12/26/16-12/31/16, 1/14/17 and 2/18/17-2/19/17

Q. HOW CAN PARENTS ENROLL THEIR CHILDREN IN EPIC SCHOOL KIDS?

Parents can take their children to a participating Front Range Colorado Ski & Golf, or Boulder Ski Deals location to register their child in person. In Boulder – just head to Boulder Ski Deals. Take a look at what you need to bring below.

Want more details? Epic School Kids

Enjoy Family Fun – All Summer Long With Meadow Music

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Hey Boulder Families – Don’t miss out on live, educational, engaging music at Chautauqua this summer! Meadow Music is an award winning environmental education program offered for free in Boulder, Colorado. Join Jeff & Paige for FREE concerts and a hike throughout the summer at Chautauqua. Meadow Music happens most Monday evenings in the summer from June-August.

This event is free to the public thanks to the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Division!Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.24.25 AM

Meadow Music Details: Meet at 5:30pm to start a short hike that’s friendly to all ages – Map Here.  The hike takes about 30 minutes because of all the little legs that join it, but all ages should be able to accomplish the task. Along the way we’ll look for our color of the week and at the end our hike we’ll sing a song to bring out our animal of the week–Coyote Bob, Ranger Paula, or The Black Bear…

After the hike you will return to the Chautauqua Green for a concert full of Jeff & Paige’s original nature and science-based music. The concert starts around 6:00pm and ends by about 7:00. Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic and some silliness.

Read more about Meadow Music here.

For a full concert calendar and to plan your next visit to Meadow Music visit the calendar.

#Boulder #Colorado #Getoutdoors

Why I Am Getting My Kids Outdoors This Summer!

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Boulder County is a mecca of outdoor activities. Why is it that we parents find ourselves begging our kids to get off technology on a regular basis? At least I do. I love getting my kids out the door and into the backyard, on a hike, on their mountain bikes, or anywhere other than indoors as often as possible!

The summer is a great time to get the kids outside and engaged in authentic learning opportunities – the kind that present themselves all the time in the outdoors. I get the brochures for STEM and engineering focused camps and these all look amazing, but I say summer is a time to get outside, leave the traditional classroom behind, and explore a more authentic and engaging “classroom” in the outdoors. This summer I’m getting my kids out the door and learning more about themselves through outdoor experiences! It is time to get our kids out the door and into the outdoors this summer!

Authentic outdoor education programs offer our kids incredible opportunities to push themselves and develop the whole person by allowing them to:

  • Be without technology and fully engage!
  • Build confidence and grit doing things things that are fun but tough!
  • Be bold and try new things! 
  • Engage in healthy risk taking – the activities have high perceived risk, but low real danger!

The outdoors is a seriously powerful tool for personal growth and empowerment for our kids! I want my kids to face challenges and learn that they can push through them. I want my kids to have to engage fully by leaving all the distractions of technology behind. I also know with two boys they need outlets for taking risks in a healthy environment. I believe these are all best accomplished through purposeful engagement in outdoor adventures. This is why I’m turning to some engaging outdoor opportunities for my kids this summer. Let the outdoors be their teacher!

There are so many ways to get our kids going – even at really young ages! Think of the options: Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Biking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Hiking, Mountaineering, and many many more! Get the kids out there however you do it – on your own or with a camp program this summer. Of course it depends on how old your kids are and their innate interests, but you can find so many opportunities for authentic learning in the outdoors around Boulder County!

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Photo Credit to Avid4 Adventure

I did some research and I found Avid4 Adventure. I knew they were around but I had not really looked at outdoor camps until now. This summer my 12 year old will be rock climbing with Avid 4 – scaling walls and meeting new friends. He will be scaling walls and pushing himself beyond the limits he currently perceives. He will be getting out of his comfort zone. He will be getting scraped up. He will be exhausted when he gets home after long hikes to climbing spots. I believe he will come back each day with his cup full of life and ready for more adventures. Here’s to summer outdoor adventures! 

More details about Avid4 Adventure in case you think your kids are ready for an outdoor challenge this summer. They offer really professional programs and believe in authentic education through outdoor adventures. Avid4 offers day and overnight programs for all outdoor enthusiast kids and those who just want to dip their toes in the water so to speak. I love Avid4’s philosophy and professionalism! Check out their great general [kids try a little of everything] and sport specific outdoor programs for kids pre-K through 11th grade at their two Boulder County bases of operation:

Avid4 Adventure offers camps out of two local locations that may be interesting for Boulder Families – Boulder Camps and Lafayette Camps @ Avid4 Adventure

Are your kids going to camp this summer? Any great outdoor learning experiences to share with the rest of us?

#Kids #SummerCamp #Summer #Boulder #GetOutdoors

BVSD Open Enrollment Time Is Just Around the Corner

Open Enrollment. These two words bring strong emotions to the parents of Boulder. For some who chose to enroll their kids in their neighborhood school, open enrollment in the Boulder Valley School District [BVSD] is not a big deal. Phew! For the 40% of us who do open enroll our children it can be stressful.

So what is open enrollment in BVSD? Any child can go to any school based on availability by entering their child into the lottery system called, Open Enrollment. All families in BVSD can look at all schools to see which one seems to meet their child[ren]’s needs best. There are many choices [charter schools, focus schools, and neighborhood schools] and each has it’s benefits and drawbacks. But ultimately many Boulderites choose to open enroll their children in an attempt to try and find the best fit. For more details on open enrollment click here.

BVSD Open Enrollment Dates:

December 1, 2014 through January 16, 2015

Finding the BVSD school that is the right fit – School Tours:

All BVSD schools offer school tours during the open enrollment process. To tour a school you need to go during their scheduled school tours. To find open enrollment school tours dates/times – BVSD Open Enrollment Tours

There are two main types of BVSD schools:

Neighborhood Schools: These are the schools that are designated for your neighborhood. Your child can always get into these schools if you live within the boundaries. You DO NOT need to open enroll to these schools if you are in the neighborhood, but you CAN if you want your child to go to the school, but you are NOT in the designated boundary.

Focus/Charter Schools: These are open enrollment schools that serve ALL of BVSD. There are NO designated neighborhood boundaries for Focus and Charter schools. You MUST open enroll to these schools. 

To help you visualize the open enrollment process here is the BVDS open enrollment flow chart [the one they have up is from last year, so the dates are incorrect, but the content is good otherwise]:

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For Boulder Families with younger children there are a few schools that have open enrollment options for preschool, such as Community Montessori. For these schools, open enrolling at preschool age is the best way to secure a slot for your child. So even if your child is too young for elementary schools, taking a look at the open enrollment process can be really helpful. Likewise, the award winning Peak to Peak Charter School has open enrollment policies that favor those who have applied many times. They are all a bit different, so it is best to do your research!

Open enrollment happens for a limited time. You MUST apply to open enroll your child between December 1, 2013 and January 16, 2014 to get into the lottery. To get an open enrollment application head to the BVSD website. Good luck to everyone open enrolling a child this year!

Hiking and Learning and Exploring – Oh My! Natural Selections Offers Family-Friendly Hikes and Educational Opportunities!

IMG_2813Love hiking? Enjoy learning? Want to connect your kids to nature? The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department offers ongoing nature hikes and educational opportunities throughout the year. These are well run, engaging programs that offer something for everyone – some of their programs are even wheelchair accessible. These programs are family-friendly and so engaging for Boulder Families!

Here is a list of their upcoming August programs:

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These are always free and open to the public. Sometimes you do need to make a reservation, but that is the exception. I have seen many of those programs fill up, so if you like something you see reserve it! You can subscribe to Natural Selections and receive email updates on upcoming events weekly – here. Just go to the pull down menu and select – Natural Selections – and you will be in the know!

Read more about how Natural-Terrain Schoolyards Reduce Children’s Stress Levels – here. This is a great CU study!

Kid-Friendly Bicycle Classics Are Coming Our Way In Boulder!

Boulder is a cycling mecca. Yup, we love our two wheeled friends. If your kids are into cycling then here are two upcoming events you will want to know about- Kids Challenge and Little Buffs. These are both the kids’ version of larger cycling events in Boulder this summer. These both look super fun, so get your kids registered and psyched to get on their bikes! 

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1. Kids Challenge [part of the USA Boulder Pro Challenge] – This one is for kids 11 & under. They meet pros, eat Ben & Jerry’s, get t-shirts and other swag, and have a great time biking around East Pearl. $5 donation suggested. Register here!  Date: August 24, 2014

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2. Little Buffs [Buffalo Bicycle Challenge] – This one is longer. 14 miles around East Boulder. Not sure about swag options – the kids always love the stuff – but I’m sure there will be some! Take a look at the Little Buff course – here. Date: September 7, 2014

I am super excited about these two fun events. Any time we get our kids involved in the community, outdoors, and doing something positive it’s a good thing! Enjoy, Boulder Families!

Spring Heritage Days at Walker Ranch: Well Worth the Trip for the Whole Family!

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I was not going to do a special post on Spring Heritage Days, but it such a fun event that I decided I needed to go ahead and do it. This is such a treasured Boulder event I wanted to ensure everyone got the message: Go! It’s a great family event! And it’s happening today!

A few times a year volunteers dress up and teach us about what it was like to be a homesteading, pioneering family. Today is that day! Here is what’s happening just up above Flagstaff from 10 to 3 today.

Spring is the beginning of so many new things–garden planting, repairing buildings, bringing baby animals into the world– and that was true for ranch families in the Victorian days also. Join the volunteers at Walker Ranch homestead for a peek into pioneer living in springtime. Smell what’s cooking in the log house, chat with the blacksmith, and do hands-on old-fashioned activities. 

On-Going Activities
Blacksmithing Demonstration Blacksmith Shop
Calf-Roping East of Log House
Children’s Games Field Across from Log House
Laundry West of Granary
Log Hewing and Wood Cutting South of Wagon Barn
Log House Meal Preparation Log House
Butter Churning North of Granary
Field Plowing Field southeast of White House
Live Music Barn Dance Singalong Machine Barn

Special Activities 
Guided Tours 11am; 12pm; 1pm; 2pm In front of Granary
One Room School Session 12noon; 2pm Wheat Barn
Wool Washing 10am-12pm Wheat Barn

Details:

  • 4/28/2013
  • 10:00am to 3:00pm
  • Walker Ranch:  7701 Flagstaff Rd, about 7 miles west of Boulder
  • Free!
  • More details here.

Boulder Family Events: April 19 to April 25, 2013

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Friday, April 19

  • Kids 4 Kids Charity Event. Kids 4 Kids is a committee of middle school students dedicated to supporting organizations who help kids. This is the 2nd year the group has organized a music event featuring middle and high school musicians. The group’s purpose is to empower kids! This event raises money for the Children’s Hospital Colorado. eTown Hall, Boulder. Doors open at 5:30pm.
  • Friday Children’s Storytime at the Main Library. 10:15 to 11:00am. Free. Ongoing activity.

Saturday, April 20

Sunday, April 21

  • Marsh Songs Earth Day Celebration. Visit a local marsh with naturalist Dave Sutherland to listen for our local birds, and get a sneak preview of the orchestral work. Meet at Sawhill Ponds, on 75th Street about 0.6 miles north of Valmont Road, for this easy hike. Beginning bird watchers strongly encouraged! Bring binoculars if you have them. Please do not bring dogs. Free. 8am to 10:30am.
  • Magicians of the Mountain Parks – a magic show for the whole family. In celebration of Earth Day, come meet some of the astonishing magicians who live in our wild backyard – the rabbit, the skunk, the weasel and more. Magician Paul Norton and Naturalist Lynne Sullivan will reveal the amazing survival strategies of our wild neighbors. Meet at the Bluebell Shelter for this stationary nature magic show. In the case of very cold or snowy weather, it will be held in the Ranger Cottage at Chautauqua. Call 720 564-2058 the day of the program for the location. Click on this link for a map to the Shelter; there is a 0.8 mile walk from the Ranger Cottage at Chautauqua to the shelter along a dirt road, so give yourself and your family plenty of time to get there and enjoy the stroll along the way. 11am to 11:45am [arrive by 10:30 to walk to the shelter]
  • Comic Book Release Party Concert! A live performance by Paige and Jeff and the usual frivolity. Be the first on your block to get the NEW Coyote Bob & Ranger Paula Comic Book- Return to the Flatirons. In this issue, Coyote Bob moves away from his Boulder home. Plus- games, and tips on having nature fun. Meet at Settlers’ Park trailhead in Boulder. Free. 3:00 to 5:00pm.
  • Giddyup Kitty Bluegrass Band. This is a four-piece, high-energy, all-female bluegrass band. The Denver Post says they are “the finest bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.” Weaving fine melodies with rich harmony, these award winning musicians create a show that leaves an audience joyful, and asking for more! Classy, sweet, and smooth, you’ll be a believer, once you catch Giddyup Kitty fever! Free. All ages. 3:00pm at the Meadows Branch Library.
  • Go Club for Kids & Teens at the Main Boulder Library. 2:00 to 5:30pm. Ages 5 and up. Free. “Learn to play the ancient and mysterious game of Go.”

Monday, April 22

Tuesday, April 23

Wednesday, April 24

Thursday, April 25

Please let me know of any upcoming events that should be listed here. I am happy to include your free, low cost or unusual event in Boulder Family listing of weekly events. You can reach Boulder Families here or visit us on Facebook.

#families #free #Boulder #events #boulderfamilies #getoutside #April

Boulder Family Events: April 12 to April 18, 2013

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The Dinosaur Lady will be at the Boulder Public Library!

Friday, April 12

Saturday, April 13

  • Awesome Arctic Family Day at the CU Museum of Natural History. The Arctic is a cold and wondrous place! Learn about the peoples and animals that call this snow and ice world home. Explore how YOU are connected to the animals, cultures, and environment of the Arctic. Try on the blubber mitt; look up close at furred and feathered creatures. Build a totem pole, make finger masks to enliven the long, dark winter and make snow goggles to protect from the bright arctic sun. Free event. All ages. 10:00am to 4:00pm.
  • FREE Day at the Longmont Museum.
  • The Dinosaur Lady Presentation. Connie Burton Burkhart, aka The Dinosaur Lady, has created a unique blend of entertainment and education as she shares information and stories about dinosaurs, fossils, rocks, and digging in a dinosaur quarry. Weaving together facts and stories using fossils, puppets and props, the Dinosaur Lady has captured the interest of various museums, the Geologic Society of America, as well as many school and outdoor adventure groups throughout the southwestern United States. 2 Times: 11:00am George Reynolds Branch. 3:00pm Meadows Branch. Free. All ages.
  • Saturday Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. 10:15am.
  • BMoCA [Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts] FREE Day. This is a surprisingly kid friendly space! We loved the one where you threw cups against the wall. See what’s happening at this local Boulder museum.
  • Be Well Mama event at BMoCA. Join health and wellness practitioners to learn about local Boulder resources for new and expectant mamas. Free. 1:00 to 4:00pm.

Sunday, April 14

Monday, April 15

Tuesday, April 16

Wednesday, April 17

Thursday, April 18

Please let me know of any upcoming events that should be listed here. I am happy to include your free, low cost or unusual event in Boulder Family listing of weekly events. You can reach Boulder Families here or visit us on Facebook.

#families #free #Boulder #events #boulderfamilies #getoutside #April