University Schools

Elementary Curriculum

The elementary curriculum and instruction focuses on basic skills taught in conjunction with integrated, interdisciplinary units. The student experience is enhanced at all elementary grade levels with coursework in Spanish, art, music, physical education, and sign language.

Core Subjects


We incorporate the “Big 5” of reading in everything we do:

  • Phonemic awareness—the knowledge and manipulation of sounds in spoken words
  • Phonics—the relationship between written and spoken letters and sounds
  • Reading fluency, including oral reading skills—the ability to read with accuracy and with appropriate rate, expression, and phrasing
  • Vocabulary development—the knowledge of words, definitions, and context
  • Reading comprehension strategies—the understanding of meaning in text

K–2 has adopted Wonders reader's workshop curriculum, and all of our students maintain reading logs and participate in regular teacher-student conferencing.


Students at US receive writing instruction and have the opportunity to collaborate with UNC professors, authors, and other writing consultants for enhanced writing instruction. For more information about these programs, please refer to the side of the page to visit these sites.


We utilize curriculum developed by enVisionMATH, a math program designed to help students “see the math.” Through interactive and visual learning methods, the program assesses and supports all learners through differentiation—whether they need a bit more practice or are ready to apply and extend their math skills. We supplement instruction with online resources and expose the students to various math methods. We also incorporate Mad Minutes to ensure basic math fact mastery.

Social Studies and Science:

University Schools instructs students in programs developed to incorporate units of study to meet the Common Core State Standards. We also schedule field trips to enhance units of study.

Handwriting and Spelling:

We utilize various spelling curriculum and the Universal Handwriting Program to help students develop these critical language skills.


We offer our elementary students courses in art, physical education, music, sign language, and Spanish following the Colorado State Standards. In addition, US students have the opportunity to participate in the following programs:

  • Battle of the Books
  • Outdoor Club
  • Honor Choir
  • Sign Club
  • Student Council    
  • Homework Help
  • Drama Dogs
  • Young Chautauqua
  • Art Club
  • Zoo Club
  • Running Club