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Chaparral Elementary School
2451 Avenida Chaparral
Santa Fe, NM 87505


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Chaparral Elementary School
A Message from our Principal

Our vision is to maintain an academic focus in a nurturing, caring and respectful community. Our dedicated staff provides dynamic education, including intervention and extension curricula, along with a strong arts foundation, for our diverse population of approximately 400 students in Kindergarten - 6th grade.

We offer numerous extracurricular activities. Clubs include dance, guitar, choir, art, Student Leadership and Safety, and the Battle of the Books reading club. Additional activities include Student Council, cheer-leading, band, athletic teams, and the Green (recycling) Team. 21st Century Grant funding will enhance our after-school learning opportunities. Our YMCA after-school program will continue to be available Monday-Friday.

Our focus is on academics, while always embracing the importance of emotional learning and positive attitude. We are educating the future leaders of the world!

Chaparral Flubber Photo.jpg

Chaparral Elementary’s K-3+ Program puts science in the hands of summer students

Santa Fe, N.M. July 14, 2016
The project involved several boxes of Borax, many bottles of School Glue, a few mystery ingredients, and a classroom laboratory full of excited second-graders. The hands-on experiment was directed by teacher Debbie Gallegos, supervised by teachers Roberta Encinias and Carrie Gebbie, and taught by 6th grade volunteers Dante, Demitri, Alyssa, Emily, and Lydia. The faces of the 2nd grade scientists showed curiosity, then skepticism, then: “Ewwww! Ohhhh!”-- delight-- as the cool, bouncy substance took shape in their hands.

But it’s July! Why are these kids in school?

Chaparral Elementary is one of the K-3 Plus summer program sites in Santa Fe. Students entering Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades who enroll in the program get a 5-week jump-start on the upcoming school year. Besides reading, writing, and math, students enjoy P.E. every morning and Technology or Art in the afternoons. Staffed by Chaparral faculty, the K-3+ program’s principal is Dolores Montano-Pena.

In addition to co-teaching the 3rd grade summer class, teacher Debbie Gallegos organized a series of science explorations in which each grade participated. Using the precept that student learning is solidified by learners teaching other learners, her team of 6th grade volunteers served as teachers (supervised by real teachers) when the hands-on science activities were shared with each of the K-3 classes. In addition to Flubber, science activities included planting corn and observing and recording the effects of water, vinegar, and soda pop on Gummy Bears.

How do students feel about spending part of their summer in school? Said a gleeful 3rd grader, as she dug (“for dinosaur bones”) during recess, “We are scientists!”