Aspen Valley Middle School has a variety of clubs and activities that enrich the school experiences of our students. After lunch, students participate in enrichment classes, a variety of activities that engage students physically and mentally. Students earn one of those enrichment classes for the week by consistently completing homework expectations for the previous week. Students also have the opportunity to earn Friday Afternoon Activities, a choice of rewards for those students who complete their weekly goal.
The enrichment courses during the afternoon start with engaging requirements for all students. We strongly believe that physically active students are much better prepared for the rigors of the classroom, so for two or three days every week, students spend the first enrichment hiking through the greenbelts, neighborhoods, and parks of the area. We also strongly believe that students must have a strong foundation in basic technology skills, so we spend the other two or three days every week learning to create and manage digital content.
During the second enrichment class, students have choices, depending on their homework performance for the previous week. Typical choices are Art Projects, Outdoor Activities, and Strategy Games. For those students who don't adequately complete their homework, they participate in a Learning Lab for the week, a class that targets the development of Self-Regulated Learning skills and core academic skills like literacy and numeracy.
All students at Aspen set a weekly goal, monitor their performance towards meeting that goal, and conference daily with their mentor. Goals can focus on classroom engagement, homework completion, organization, social interaction, or other areas. Students who successfully meet their goal for the week can participate in Friday Afternoon Activities. Typical activities include Art Projects, Sporting Events, Trips to the Mall or Sonic, Strategy Games, Movies, Extreme Science Projects, and others. Those students who don't meet their goal for the week participate in a Learning Lab.
After school on Fridays, Ms. Doerr hosts the Writing Club until 3:30. Students gather together to write in their diaries, write their personal stories, enter writing contests, talk about writing, and eat snacks.
After school on Fridays until 5:00 pm, Mr. Flesher hosts a Strategy Game Club that teaches a variety of games. Students can learn war games, constructible card games, roleplaying games, collaborative games, and a variety of other types of games. These gaming activities foster basic numeracy, literacy, abstract reasoning, complex sequencing, and various social skills.
Aspen also believes that students should have a rich exposure to the community, so the staff frequently brings in guest speakers, hosts career days, and organizes fields trips. The Aspen team also arranges for every student to have an adult pen pal with whom the student frequently communicates through written letters.