Active Rec – Organized games and activities during recess and other times during the day.

Academic Lab – A scheduled time for students to learn and practice skills, not a study hall

Adventure Days – When Horizons is closed (i.e. Conference Days) and BVSD is open, we offer fee-based Adventure days for students whose parents need/want child care.  This includes at-school activities and field trips.

After Care – Fee-based after school activities offered daily until 5:30.

Aperture – Year long self-directed, choice based, passion driven projects conducted by each 8th grade student

A&S – Arts and sciences are a range of classes based on student and teacher interests offered as electives throughout the year.

Artastic Fair – Pre-holiday craft bazaar

Auction- Horizons’ biggest fundraiser of the year, including food, drinks, items for bidding on and camaraderie.


BEST Grant –  A $5 million grant obtained to increase health and safety features at the school. It resulted in our new school construction.

Bike or Walk to School Days – Focusing on other ways to transport to school besides driving, this day allows students to sign in on a large board and be recognized for helping the environment by using alternative transportation.

Horizons Board – The Board consists of six elected parent members, two administrators and four elected teachers, who must have been part of the Horizons community for at least two previous years.

Buddies– our older students mentor our younger students in their classrooms, assisting them with studies and bonding across age levels


Community, Homeroom and Advisory – Mixed age groups of students with a focus on social and emotional learning (SEL) and the whole child. (K, 1/2, 3/4 are in homerooms, 5/6 are in Community and 7/8 are in Advisory)

Communication Agreements – A guide to interpersonal communication at our school for adults and students.

Council – Horizons Council consists of any and all members of the Horizons community who attend council meetings.  All members of the Horizons community have the right and the privilege to be part of the decision-making process at Council meetings. Parents are asked to attend at least one meeting per year and are encouraged to attend monthly.

Community table – at our neighboring church, Mountain View, students prepare and serve meals to the homeless community

Charter school – a publicly funded independent school established by teachers, parents, or community groups under the terms of a charter with a local or national authority.  Horizons is a charter school under the authority of the Boulder Valley School District.

Conferences– see student-led conferences


Dream homework – Projects of 3rd-6th grade students to begin to develop skills for project based, self-directed learning opportunities.


8th Grade Graduation– an evening set aside to honor our 8th grade graduates.

8th Grade Retreat – a sleepover event for 8th graders to reflect on their time at Horizons and prepare themselves for the next level of education and life.

8th grade Video – a slide show/video created by and focused on the 8th grade students each year.  It is shown at graduation.

Expeditions– consist of elective classes for 7th and 8th grade students on Friday’s with central focus on Art, Media and Design and Movement.

End of Year (EOY) Picnic – on the last day of school we join together to end the year in celebration.


Fall Dance – A community building event held each October in the gym.  Wear a family friendly costume.


Giraffe talk – a term to describe the teaching and supportive use of Non Violent/Positive Communication with young children (giraffes have the biggest heart of any mammal )

GOCO/Burke Park – Horizons was awarded a 100K grant to improve our playground and integrate our place spaces with Burke Park.  This resulted in a school and city park!

Google World – using Google drive, docs, drive and calendar to all be in the same page in an organized and efficient manner


Homework Policy – The work that students are expected to complete at home is designed to be developmentally appropriate and to extend current classroom curriculum. Homework is given to develop study habits, personal responsibility, and organization, and to foster the home-school connection.  Each team has specific expectations.


Intensives – “Content area” classes (Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Spanish, and Academic Lab)

Instrumental Music – Music lessons after school on Fridays hosted by Community Schools.

iReady – K-5 developmental reading assessment given 3 times per year.


Kindergarten Enrichment – Horizons is state licensed as a Kinder Care facility offering Kindergarten Enrichment for current K students M-Th until 3:30.


Learning challenge – an opportunity for 5th-7th grade students to choose, plan, and execute a project in order to challenge themselves in new areas of their lives and continue to build on self directed learning skills.

Liaisons – volunteer parents who assist teachers with communication and organization duties and activities.


MAD – Make a Difference Students participate in an Arts and Sciences class focused on serving others.  They learn about a need in a local or world-wide community then take steps to serve that need.  At the end of several weeks of class, Making-A-Difference Night is held at Horizons.  This is an evening presentation from the students who showcase their learning and service to the community.

Moo-lah Drive – The annual school fundraiser that supports music, art and other curriculum and operations at Horizons.  This is our most comprehensive fundraising campaign where we strive for 100% participation.

Morning Movement inspired by research on the brain and body connection.


Open Enrollment– All students attending Horizons K-8 go through the BVSD open enrollment process. Prospective parents attend open enrollment presentations at Horizons; we also provide opportunity for student visitation in grades 5-8. Applications are found on the BVSD website. Students are offered a place in Horizons via a random computerized lottery drawing.

Outdoor Ed. – Annual grade-appropriate excursions (including overnights) where students and teachers have an opportunity to bond through outdoor-education teamwork and risk taking in settings that also provide learning opportunities in ecology, geology, biology, physical fitness, and native cultures and traditions.


Pancake Breakfast – a community building event including shopping, preparing,  and serving breakfast to all who attend.  Students and parents cook, serve and eat together.

Pre Labor Day Labor Day – An all community work day designed to have fun, meet new families, and beautify the school and school grounds.

Peer Mediators – A group of students trained to help others solve social problems at school.

Peer Ambassadors – A chance for our older students to support good study and academic skill development for our younger students


Sacred Coffee– teaching teams provide snacks and goodies allowing staff to begin a Friday connecting socially before the school day begins.

Service Learning/Community Contributors –  A founding principle of the school.  Much of classroom work, particularly at the middle level has an increasing focus on how to be of service to the larger community.  Specific service requirements are a part of the middle level curriculum and experience.

Snack drawer – A drawer full of snacks in the Health Room for kids who need a little nourishment.

Spirit Wear –  Clothing and hats with the Horizons logo.

Skylines – Stay up to date with all of the latest news happening at Horizons via our website or electronically with the Skylines email digest.

Student Family Handbook – Your guide to all things Horizons, including communication agreements.

Student Led Conferences–  Rather than use traditional forms of grading students, Horizons features student led conferences twice a year.  At this time, parents participate in a moving picture of where the student initially presented, where they are and what are their academic as well as social and emotional goals.  Portfolio assessments and work samples are proudly shared.


UMS – Uniting Middle Schoolers, a leadership opportunity for 5th-8th graders


Way of Council (the classroom practice) – The basic practice of Council is simple: a group of people sit in a circle. Drawing on indigenous traditions of using a talking piece, an object is passed from person to person in a group sitting in a circle which grants the holder solid permission to speak. Each one has a voice, speaks from their heart and all the others listen.  The Way of Council invites active participation in the learning process.

Website– Our website address is www.horizonsk8school.org.  This is the go-to place for All Things Horizons.

Winter Sports –  Students in every grade participate once a week for 3-4 weeks of winter sports including ice skating, snow boarding, snow shoeing, downhill and cross country skiing.  In addition to being a vital part of our PE program, Winter Sports support community building,out of school learning and appropriate risk taking.