Program Options

With over 80 schools offering ECE programs across the city, Denver Public Schools (DPS) offers a wide variety of high-quality programs that are conveniently located. In addition to offering programs for both 3 and 4 year-olds, DPS offers full- and half-day programs, and traditional as well as Montessori curricula.

4 Year-Olds

The majority of the district’s preschool offerings are for 4 year-olds, or children in their last year before Kindergarten. Children must be 4 years-old on or before October 1 of the year of enrollment.

All programs offer:

  • Adult to child ratio of 1:8 or 1:10, depending on the funding source
  • Highly trained, certified teachers and paraprofessionals in every classroom
  • Qualistar rated classrooms
  • A safe, nurturing environment
  • A curriculum that focuses on play and school-readiness
  • Classrooms equipped with state of the art play materials and modern furniture
  • Snacks and lunch (depending on full-day or half-day offering)

Full-Day

Full-day programs offer children abundant opportunities for learning, play, and exploration. Children will be expected to develop their cognitive, social and emotional skills and learn by doing. Each child will emerge from the program enthusiastic about learning and ready to enter Kindergarten. Each day provides time for structured play as well as oral language development, thematic instruction (instruction that combines skills like drawing and reading to focus on one theme, like the family), cognitive and social development. Children will be able to work and play in small and large groups, both inside the classroom and outdoors. Children will have a rest period during the afternoon, snacks and a nutritious lunch.

The full-day program follows the school day and the DPS Board of Education approved calendar, Monday through Friday except for predetermined days for Parent Meetings and Professional Development. Specific hours of operation are determined by the individual school. Holidays and District Planning Days are determined by the district calendar.

Half-Day

Half-day programs offer the same opportunities for learning and play as full-day programs. As with full-day, children will begin to develop a life-long love of learning, get ready for Kindergarten, and build their cognitive, emotional and social skills. Each day provides the same types of instruction as full-day. Classroom activities will focus on language development, thematic instruction (instruction that combines skills like drawing and reading to focus on one theme, like the family), cognitive and social development. Children can expect to work and play in both small and large groups, both inside the classroom and outdoors. Children will have a rest period during the day.

Half-day Early Childhood Education (ECE) classes follow the DPS Board of Education approved calendar and are 2 hours/40 minutes per day Monday through Friday except for predetermined days for Parent Meetings and Professional Development. Specific hours of operation are determined by the individual school. Holidays and District Planning Days are determined by the district calendar.

3 Year-Olds

Denver Public schools offers full-day and half-day programs for 3 year-olds at certain schools. In most of these programs, 3 year-olds are together in a classroom with 4 year-olds.

All programs offer:

  • Adult to child ratio of 1:8 or 1:10, depending on funding source (ratios my differ for Montessori)
  • Highly trained, certified teachers and paraprofessionals in every classroom
  • Qualistar rated classrooms
  • A safe, nurturing environment
  • A curriculum that focuses on play and school-readiness
  • Classrooms equipped with state of the art play materials and modern furniture
  • Snacks and lunch (depending on full-day or half day offering).

Montessori

Five DPS schools offer a Montessori program whose multi-age classrooms include 3, 4 and 5 year-olds. Montessori programs for 3 and 4 year-olds are half-day and follow the Maria Montessori Model. For children this age, this model focuses on introducing children to activities that instill care for themselves, others and their environment, allow them to explore their relationship to the physical environment, build language, gain knowledge of cultures and mathematics.

The following schools in DPS offer a Montessori program for 3 and 4 year-olds:

Here are links to additional information about Montessori Education:

 

Spanish Only Classrooms

Many schools across DPS offer preschool classes with instruction primarily in Spanish. These classrooms offer the same curriculum as English language classrooms, but are taught by a teacher who is certified to teach in Spanish.

 

Special Needs

Services for children with special needs ages 3-5 are available in DPS. For more information contact Child Find at 720-423-1410.

*NEW* DPS Child Find Referral link