October 23, 2018
Altitude Elementary School is open and ready for education!
The brand new Cherry Creek school, located in the master-planned community of Southshore, opened its doors this week to more than 500 students, and Principal Scott Schleich was standing at the curb welcoming all of them to the mighty Moose Nation.
We were on site to witness the excitement and hand out water bottles to the students, who have been temporarily “schooling” in a nearby middle school until construction was completed. The school mascot – a moose — is on proud display inside and outside of the school, and everyone, including Principal Scott Schleich, is thrilled to finally be in this amazing, new state-of-the-art building.
An Innovative Approach to Education
The new school has adopted underlying principles from an innovative program called Launch written by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani, Schleich says. “It’s basically a research process of teaching kids how to be more independent thinkers and it’s a very collaborative process. It’s something we’re going to emphasize in all of our curriculum.”
Insight into the program appears on The Launch Cycle website: “Something happens in students when they define themselves as makers and inventors and creators. They discover powerful skills—problem-solving, critical thinking, and imagination—that will help them shape the world’s future …our future.”
Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Learning
As the newest addition to the Cherry Creek School District, Altitude Elementary School is on the leading edge of learning. “On Fridays we have a Genius Hour,” Schleich says. “It’s a more inquiry-based learning experience, very hands-on, where kids are able to self-direct their own learning based on what they’re interested in and passionate about.”
Gone are the days of individual desks in rows. Altitude Elementary School has tables with five different kinds of seating and team-oriented learning spaces so students can break into groups and brainstorm.
“I call it the Google-izing of education. You see those folks at Microsoft and Google getting together to collaborate to solve problems and we want to give kids an opportunity to do that,” Schleich says.
A Model for the Future
“We also have a Maker Space Garage” with a pegboard of tools and not just 3-D printers, but also laser cutters so we can fabricate whatever the kids come up with,” Schleich says. “And we’re going to expose them to the patent process and who knows, we may have elementary school children coming up with solutions to bigger kinds of problems that need solving for the rest of us!”
A Time for Play
And while academics are important to both Schleich and his staff, the district also pulled out all the stops when it came to the playground. “It’s just insane,” Schleich says, “three stories tall with slides, a climbing rock – in the shape of a moose, of course — and a ninja warrior obstacle course,” he added. “From day one our kids will have had the best of the best!”
To follow the progress of Altitude Elementary School, visit and follow the school’s Facebook page.
Outstanding Schools near Southshore
Southshore families with school-age children are thrilled to belong to the highly-rated Cherry Creek School District where students perform above average on tests and college-readiness metrics. Tour the beautiful selection of model homes from Toll Brothers, Richmond American Homes and Century Communities, each with a variety of styles and floor plans. Southshore offers access to great schools and lakeside living at its best — priced from the upper $300s to the $700s!