Colorado’s Finest offers relevant and high-interest classes as well as post-secondary opportunities.
- The calendar is divided into six week sessions and a mini-session.
- Sessions range from 25-31 days.
- Students enroll in a minimum of 6 classes (plus Family) per session.
- Students choose classes with their Family teacher based on credit needs, ability level, interest, and career path.
- Mini-session is a single course taught over the final 3 days of the school year, covering a single topic in greater depth.
Scroll down to learn more about our class offerings.
- Courses/Classes/Units of Study
- Alignment to Standards
- Semester Long Courses
- Sequential Courses
- Class Topics
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
- Mini Session
Some courses offered at Finest are sequential (over multiple sessions) while others are units of study covered in a single session.
We call 6 week courses "classes," but we understand that people often associate the word "class" as meaning a semester long course, especially when referring to standards addressed. A standard class (or topic, unit of study, etc.) lasts for a single session and covers 1-3 core standards.
Most classes are stand-alone (with the exception of sequential courses described below) allowing students some input to when they want to take certain classes and allowing them to choose topics that they are interested in or align with their chosen career path. More about class topics can be found below under Classes.
Teachers use the Instructional Model for classroom instruction, along with AVID Reading strategies.
Students are regularly tested on these standards using a program called Illuminate. They are in the process of developing YAGs for other subject areas.
Classes are aligned to prioritized state and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are posted, along with daily goals in the classroom. Classes are aligned using prioritized standards designated in a “Year At A Glance” document detailing which and when standards should be addressed during the school year. These YAGS are regularly reviewed and updated as needed.
Students are enrolled in Writing, Reading, and Math classes based on their ability, not grade level. Novel selections will vary in Lexile Score and difficulty level. Novice readers can begin with Julius Caesar and work towards the more advanced level plays: Hamlet and Othello.
Semester Long Courses last for three consecutive sessions (1-3 or 4-6). Some meet daily while others only meet a few days week. Other courses meet for several class periods at a time. It is important for students to conference with the Family Teacher and Counselor to apply for Semester Long Courses and build a schedule around them. Only students in good academic standing are eligible for these courses. Students in these courses do not receive grades/credits until the end each semester.
Examples of in-district options: AP Calculus, Cosmetology, SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Green Energy), Digital Audio Production, Culinary Arts (located at EHS)
Examples of out-of-district options: Automotive (located at Sheridan HS), Co-Enrollment Courses (located at Finest or ACC)
Availability of options are dependent on course offerings and student interest.
Some courses are sequential over multiple sessions. For example, it isn't absolutely necessary to have read a particular novel before beginning the next, but scaffolding math and science concepts is often necessary for student mastery. While each six week class in the Algebra sequence receives and individual grade, the curriculum itself is divide into six 6-week sessions (Algebra A1- A6).
As part of our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (more explained below), students who struggle with a concept due to attendance or mastery may repeat a section in the following session. The structure also allows students who more easily master the material to move to a more challenging section of the material. Similarly, writing classes are divided into 4 units, based on student scores on the district writing test.
While there are required credit groups to meet graduation requirements, students do have some choice in the topics of the classes they take. To increase student interest in classes they choose, teachers are encouraged to “brand” their classes with interest generating names. Because most classes are not taught sequential, the classes can cover topics out of chronological order and combine subject areas and genres.
Following are examples of recent classes taught at Finest. Samples represent optional classes available. Not all classes are offered each session. For example, Art classes may only offer three options per sessions, repeated for different class periods.
Othello (World Lit)
Writing in the Twilight Zone (Comp)
Ready Player One (Am Lit)
Macbeth (World Lit)
Poetry Madness (Comp)
Linguistics (Am Lit)
Algebra 1 (Math)
Algebra Topics: Exponents (Math)
Geometry 1 (Math)
Geometry Topics: Transformations (Math)
Algebra II (Math)
Geometry Topics: Flatland (Math)
Darwin’s Studio (Biology)
Botanical Biology (Earth/Env Sci)
Dynamic DNA (Biology)
Physics of Superheroes (Phy Sci)
Earth's Changing Surface (Earth/Env Sci)
Microscopic Worlds (Biology)
Weather & Violent Storms (Earth/Env Sci)
Introduction to Agriculture (Biology)
Women’s Fitness (PE)
Team Sports (PE)
Food Affects Mood (Health)
Live to Be 100 (Health)
Healthy Lifestyles (Health)
Who’s the Boss: Labor/Mgmt (Econ)
Civil Rights Movement (USH)
History of Piracy (Geog)
History of Genocide (WH)
First Ladies of the 20th Century (USH)
Introduction to Sociology (Psych/Soc)
The Legislature Branch (Govt)
Making Monsters (FA)
3D Sculpture (FA)
Psychedelic Art (FA)
Music Production (Music)
Make Beats and Sounds (Music)
Painting Beyond the Canvas (FA)
Miniature Worlds (FA)
Think Like A Monk (Soc/Health)
Leonardo Da Vinci (FA/Phy Sci)
Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books (FA/Comp)
Our classes are designed to meet student needs at multiple levels. We intentionally keep our math and writing class sizes small and manageable, staff use proven teaching techniques such as the Instructional Model and AVID strategies, and students are regularly tested for growth and knowledge using interim assessments.
Most of our classes are based on ability level rather than being based on Grade Levels. Because our classes are six-week based, it provides us an opportunity to evaluate student progress and make adjustments accordingly.
Each student is also assigned a Family Teacher who regularly conferences with the student, tracks their academic progress, and offers other supports.
Additionally, we meet with students at the end of each session who have not made academic progress in their classes in a process called Appeals. This allows a team to create an academic success plan with the student for the following session.
Mini-session is usually the last three days of the school year. Teachers either design themselves, or work with colleagues, to create engaging educational experiences that they aren't always able to get to during the rest of the school year. Students register for one mini-session class to attend over the three days and receive high school credit in a pre-determined credit area. Here are some examples of recent Mini Session options and new ones are introduced each year.
Over three days students traveled to Red Rocks for light hiking and writing, Dinosaur Ridge to explore fossils, hike around the ridge, watch for birds, and write, and a walk to Belleview/Platte River park to test water samples and write about their experiences.
Students learned how to solve a murder mystery (with support from local law enforcement) using crime scene analysis, evidence identification, and forensics. Finally, students created an original murder mystery including story line, characteristics, motive, and evidence.
Students learned and studied children’s books before writing and creating their own. Students then visited Clayton Elementary to read their original stories to 2nd grade students.
Students explored the Japanese Culture and practiced patience and perseverance while participating in the fun and creative activity related to the art of paper folding.
Students collaborate with other artists to compose, record, and mix songs in the Digital Audio Production program.
Students learned about "leave no trace" and hiked North Table Mountain and Clear Creek Canyon.