Essentials Program

Our Essentials Program offers performance-based courses that continue to build leadership, confidence and pride for each student. We realize world language, performing arts, visual arts, technology and fitness, along with the academic content classes, create a space for students to grow and learn in all areas of their school life as well as discover their individual passions and gifts.

Middle School students in Grades 5-8 have the opportunity to build their schedule and create a customized learning experience by selecting their own essentials course offerings. Students are encouraged to dive into their passions as well as select classes that expose them to new adventures in learning.

Things look a little different this year, but here's a glimpse of a typical year: 

Download the 2019-2020 school year essential catalog. 


Teaching Music In Person During COVID-19 [VIDEO]
Chris Holtzem

A global pandemic created an interesting challenge for music teachers during COVID. Learn more from Mr. Holtzem about how he and Aspen Academy students have navigated music education and the gifts this time has created for him as an educator and for the students.

  • Essentials
  • Music Education
8th Graders Create Self-Portraits and Explore Their Story
Octavia Betz

At Aspen Academy, in each grade, students are asked to do some form of a self-portrait. This is beneficial for developing the skill of drawing but more importantly it re-enforces the importance of encountering ourselves. Eighth graders were asked to encounter themselves by finding a part of their body they are proud of, examining the story behind that part of themselves, creating a final image which includes the Double Exposure Technique using Pixlr or Photoshop Software, and writing an artist statement to capture their thoughts and explorations

  • art
  • Essentials
  • visual arts
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion community
Brita Gaeddert & Dr, Rich Resendez

In many schools, their programs for art, dance music, theater, fitness, language, and STEAM are considered “specials.” At Aspen Academy, Our programs are “Essentials” because we believe they are Essential ingredients in a life well-lived. Given their significance in our student’s lives, they are also crucial programs for integrating our commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JED/DEI).

  • DEI
  • Diversity
  • Essentials
  • JEDI
AMP'd: Teacher Take-Over
Aspen Academy Contributors

Each month, our 8th Grade Students in the Bear's Student Enterprises Broadcast cohort create our Aspen Morning Programs. On occasion, we have the opportunity to shake things up. In December, our talented teachers ran one production of AMP'd.

  • AMP'd
  • Essentials
Taking a Trip Through History to Celebrate the Ute & Technology
Aspen Academy Contributors

Our fourth grade class, alongside STEAM instructor, Katie Behrmann, recently used the architectural contributions of Colorado’s indigenous peoples to explore the engineering design cycle. Using traditional materials, the students researched how Ute people historically engineered their shelters. Then, students performed rigorous testing on these tipis by putting them outside for the night and measuring how well insulated/ventilated the tents were through temperature data. 

  • Arts
  • Diversity
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Engineering
  • Essentials
  • History
  • Math
  • Science
  • STEM
  • Technology