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Elementary Specials


The Elementary arts program at Headwaters provides children with opportunities to apply their imagination and explore their creative instincts while learning a wide variety of techniques.  The program is broadly based, and includes instruction in drawing, painting, printmaking, clay, collage, sculpture, and crafts.

Our art teacher, Brannon Via, guides the children through projects uniquely designed to develop their skills in:

  • personal expression through art production
  • critical thinking
  • creative problem solving
  • the technical process
  • identifying the role and importance of art and artists in society, culture, and history
  • critically assessing works of art from aesthetic and cultural perspectives

These projects become more complex from grade to grade, but are adapted to the children as they grow in order to further inspire their interests and empower them in their own abilities.


Every elementary student attends gardening class once per week, which are led by our on-staff Gardening Teacher, Lucille Berrones. Her gardening classes focus on cultivating ecoliteracy, good nutrition, mindfulness, and persistence. These classes maintain our garden classroom and children receive hands-on lessons with sustainability, nutrition, botany, weather, and ecology. The majority of the garden space is allocated to annual vegetables and cut flowers, which are either eaten during class or sold by students at a makeshift farm-stand to raise money for the garden.


Music at Headwaters, taught by Beth Berman, is a lively and immersive experience. Using the renowned Orff-Schulwerk curriculum and processes, students in all grades are exposed to a variety of instruments and percussion techniques designed to help children gain independence as musicians and composers. Recorders and ukuleles will be introduced in the upper elementary program to expose students to music reading, composing, and improvisation. Structured play, dynamic movement and rhythmical speech and song are designed to create a high level of engagement and fun. A musical community evolves as students feel the joy of singing, dancing, and playing music together.

Physical Education

The goal of our Physical Education program is to show each child how to possess the healthiest body, spirit, and mind possible, taking into account that what’s right for one child might not be right for another. Modeling values, ethics, and character-building are a big part of this learning experience. Elementary students have PE classes three times per week, and are challenged with cooperative and team building games, as well as basic individual skills that involve gross motor movement, ball handling and hand-eye coordination. Our PE teacher is Jennie Glass.


In the Headwaters Elementary Spanish program, language is our tool to excitement!

With Spanish acting as a tool to explode a volcano, make ice cream, or play a game with friends, not only do the children acquire fluidity naturally and holistically, but they also build a solid confidence in further using and learning the language. From their positive and dynamic experience, children consistently desire more; they ask for grammar, they discover cultural-linguistic differences, they are motivated to read and write.

For Headwaters Elementary students, learning Spanish is not an end goal. Speaking, reading, and writing Spanish is a tool to understand and connect with the world around us. From an educator’s and, more significantly, from a global citizen’s perspective, Headwaters Elementary students are undertaking a giant step in preparing to interact globally with respect and understanding. And they have tremendous fun in the process!

Erin Sheppard teaches our Elementary Spanish classes.

Outdoor Leadership (After-School Extracurricular)

Our Outdoor Leadership (ODL) Program is designed to provide outdoor experiences that help children build confidence, practice cooperation, learn leadership skills, and develop an appreciation and respect for nature. Our sessions includes initiatives, games, discussions, evaluations, journaling, mapping, service projects, and learning from field guides. The lessons are based on the Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, and Leave No Trace ethics.

Elementary students ages 6 and up who register for this program meet with the Outdoor Leadership Guide once a week for 45-60 minute activity sessions in the Bird’s Nest, which will include initiatives, games, discussions, evaluations, and low ropes elements.

Here is a map of the Birds Nest, as well as an overview of our ropes course and its elements.

Life Ki-do Partnership

We are delighted to partner with Life Ki-do Martial Arts, Parenting & Life Education, whose life skills program empowers children to become their personal best from the inside out. Through simple, kid-friendly tools, children develop focus and mindfulness, self-confidence and resilience, relaxation skills to deal with stress and anxiety, and social/emotional intelligence for healthy relationships. Our teachers receive training in this life skills philosophy and integrate that training into our classrooms and our PE program.