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 Stepping Stones, a math program that is an innovative new program from ORIGO Education that combines rigorous problem-solving activities and interactive digital games with engaging print materials to enhance students' thinking and reasoning skills.

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:

  • After-School Music
  • Art Club
  • Battle of the Books
  • Homework Help
  • Outdoor Club
  • Running Club
  • Sign Club
  • Student Council    
  • Ukulele Club
  • Young Chautauqua
  • Zoo Club