THORNTON — Brantner Elementary School, Brighton 27J School District’s newest facility, will be near capacity when it opens this fall.
There are approximately 225 students enrolled at the new elementary school, Principal Michele Saller said, however the school is still accepting new students ahead of the Aug. 20 start of classes.
“Honestly, I would be very satisfied if we were to open with 275 (students). Realistically, I’d like to hit 250,” she said, adding the building is going to be open for two community events that could possibly generate more student enrollment.
Community members will have a chance to tour the school and ask questions at a community barbecue from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 12 and again at a movie night/open gym from 6 to 8 p.m. July 24. Saller hopes the events will allow parents and children to make a connection with the school.
“Where you send your child to school is an emotional decision, (parents) don’t have a connection with us,” she said. “It’s easier to go with what you know than what you don’t know, so they need to get to know us.”
Brantner is the district’s 11th elementary school and was designed to hold about 300 students in grades K-5. There are 11 classrooms for students in the building and an additional four classrooms in modular units outside the school.
Saller said class sizes average between 19 to 25 students with the current enrollment. She also said there are currently two classes of every grade level.
According to Saller, there have been problems with equipment such as desks and appliances for the kitchen arriving as scheduled. District spokesman Kevin Denke said the delays shouldn’t have an impact on the school’s scheduled opening.
Brantner will have three levels of security for parents and visitors entering the school, according to Saller. Visitors will walk through the main doors that will always be open, but the set of doors in the entryway will be locked. She said visitors will have to use the PA system or be buzzed in by school staff. The guest will then have to walk through the office before they will be let into the school.
“Safety and security, I can promise you, is a passion of mine and we’re going to make sure we do everything possible to keep the students safe,” she said.
The elementary school also has a state of the art media center and computer lab. Office Manager Leslie Baca said approximately 20 percent of the library will consist of electronic books. The books have yet to be set up in the library which Baca said will be done next week.
The school’s teachers will have the use of an eBeam, a portable electronic device that attaches to a whiteboard then turns it into an interactive whiteboard.
Another feature that’s unique to the school is its gymnasium. The gymnasium is spacious and colorful and has a stage for performances and assemblies. There are also sectionals that can separate the stage from the gym and turn it into a music classroom.
Saller said she wants to foster an environment of safety and love at the school but especially growth. She said the school motto is “learning as we grow and growing as we learn.” She also said the school was designed to be intentionally colorful and believes the more attractive a building is, the more people will want to come.
“I think kids are colorful, I think color stimulates thinking and I am very happy to have this much color in the building. It’s attractive, it’s welcoming,” she said.
Superintendent Chris Fiedler said he’s very excited about the school’s opening.
“Michele is doing a fabulous job. She’s very excited, she’s hired a wonderful staff and I think she’s exactly right, it’s a kid’s school,” he said.
He said he was also pleased with the actual school building which has a little bit different design than the district’s other elementary school.
The grand opening for Brantner Elementary School, 7800 E. 133rd Ave. in Thornton, is set for 11 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 1.
Upcoming events at Brantner Elementary:
5:30-7:30 p.m. July 12: Community BBQ
6-8 p.m. July 24: Movie night/open gym
11-11:30 a.m. Aug. 1: Grand Opening
Aug. 20: First day of school for grades 1-5
Aug. 23: First day of school for kindergarten
Contact Crystal Nelson at 303-659-2522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.