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. 


John Woodward

To elaborate on the announcement Kristina Scala shared in the Town Hall in November, we are excited to share some transitions on our Essentials Team. 

  • Essentials
8th Grade students prepping elements of a Rube Goldberg machine for their STEAM project.
Aspen Academy Collaborators

As students wrapped up the culmination of their learning for the 2020-2021 school year, 8th grade students showcased the marvel of their STEAM education with sophisticated Rube Goldberg machines, inspired by our STEAM instructor, Katie Behrmann! Check out their videos below.

  • Essentials
  • middle school
  • STEM
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