Our Approach

Our Program

Denver Academy is designed to be different. Denver Academy’s program has been evolving and developing since 1972, drawing on a synthesis of the best educational practices and research. The delivery of our program and our teacher development and training play significant parts in making Denver Academy a unique place of teaching and learning.

List of 4 items.

  • Honoring a Diverse Group of Learners

    Denver Academy teachers have a sophisticated understanding of students’ unique learning profiles. This is developed through a partnership model between students, parents, and teachers, along with collected observations, artifacts, and cognitive and achievement tests.
  • Student-centered focus

    At the center of learning is the student; their readiness level, interests, and learning profile are all critical variables in the formula for successful learning. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their learning through multiple avenues/pathways, modalities, and forms of expression.
  • Relationship-based development

    We are committed to the development of people, inspiring students through a relationship-based approach to be curious, to be self-advocates, and to be lifelong learners.
  • Differentiated curriculum

    Our curriculum, borrowing from the Latin, is used as the “course to be run;” we make adjustments as needed to challenge and remediate.

Carol Anne Tomlinson, University of Virginia

Teaching a room full of learners the same thing in the same way over the same time span with the same supports and expecting good results from all students has never happened and never will.”

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum, borrowing from Latin, is used as the “course to be run;” we make adjustments as needed to challenge and remediate. 

List of 6 items.

  • Arts & Media

    Our Arts & Media department provides each Elementary and 6th Grade student with a quarter of drama, art, and music. Students then choose their own elective class during the fourth quarter. Arts & Media courses are available as electives for Middle School (Grades 7-8) and High School (Grades 9-12) students. Find out more about Arts & Media at DA here.  
  • Experiential Education

    The Experiential Education Program is an integral part of the Denver Academy curriculum designed to provide students with a wide range of academic, personal, physical, community, and social challenges outside the regular classroom.

    An on-campus Experiential Education Immersive (EEI) is provided the week before Spring Break each year for Elementary/6th Grade students. Beginning in 7th Grade, students have the opportunity to select what EEI unit they would like to participate in the week before Spring Break; these happen both on and off campus. 
  • Health Education

    Health courses at Denver Academy are structured to inform and help students lead a healthy and happy life. We offer physical education classes to our elementary students that are infused with a health curriculum. For Middle School and High School students, nutrition, fitness, healthy choices, and effective communication are just some of the topics covered. When students reach adolescence they learn about anatomy, age-appropriate adolescent growth topics, and the physiological effects of drugs and alcohol, all within the context of their courses.
  • Physical Education

    Denver Academy’s Physical Education Department strives to provide opportunities for the diverse Denver Academy community to develop healthy lifestyles by creating a safe and challenging environment that meets physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs of the individual.
  • STEM

    Currently, the Campos EPC SMART Lab is available for Elementary/6th Grade and Middle School students with hopes to also expand this program to high school. The lab provides our students with the opportunity to pursue project-based learning in the areas of science, math, art, and technology. Middle School and High School students participate in a STEM week during the spring where they also participate in projects and hands-on learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Technology

    Technology is integrated into the classroom through the use of personal devices and a Mac lab. Students are welcome to bring in their own device, however, we have a set of iPads loaded with educational apps that students may check out. Technology and online etiquette are taught through our character education course, utilizing programs such as Common Sense Media.

Meet the Program Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Philippe Ernewein

    Philippe Ernewein 

    Director of Education
  • Photo of Mindy Adair

    Mindy Adair 

    Director of Mathematics & Technology Integration Specialist
  • Photo of Jessica Bodden

    Jessica Bodden 

    Instructional Coach & Literacy Specialist
  • Photo of Casie Myers

    Casie Myers 

    ACT Special Testing & Accommodations Coordinator, Program Development Assistant, 11th Exec Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is Orton-Gillingham?

    Orton-Gillingham employs a phonetics-based approach to teaching reading instruction. It is widely considered to be among the best reading programs for dyslexic students. All Denver Academy Lower School teachers and Literacy Specialists (who work throughout the school) are trained to use Orton-Gillingham methods.
  • What is Lindamood-Bell?

    Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes are designed to help students learn to read and comprehend. DA teachers are trained in Visualizing/Verbalizing, a specific Lindamood-Bell program.
  • How/when will my student meet with a Literacy Specialist?

    All Lower School teachers are fully trained in all our literacy programs. If students need additional help, they will be referred to our literacy specialists by their homeroom teacher.
  • What is the “Partnership Model?”

    When Denver Academy talks about the Partnership Model, we are referring to the joint partnership among teachers, students, and parents to ensure the success and development of the student.