Educational Programs

At Discovery Trails Early Learning Academy we meet the individual learning needs of all preschool age children.

Students at Discovery Trails Early Learning Academy sitting in circle time on blue rug waving.

Preschool: Ages 3 to 4 Years

For most three-year-olds, preschool is their first school experience.  Children at this age are developing a sense of trust away from parents and learning self-help and problem-solving skills.  Our mixed aged groups are child-centered which includes extensive time to explore in a safe environment. Teachers create a curriculum of planned activities that support developmental milestones in social, language, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills. Whether in circle time, play or self-learning in planned, theme-based centers, preschoolers are encouraged to explore the world around them through positive experiences. 

Pre Kindergarten: Ages 4 to 5 Years

The Pre Kindergarten program at Discovery Trails is both developmentally appropriate and academic where a child’s interests and abilities drive his or her own curriculum as each learns through fascinating and enticing activities.  Our goal is to assist children to become self-learners while manipulating, experimenting, testing, predicting, estimating, cooperating and questioning the world around them.  Children learn best through play and our days are bursting with activities that fulfill this theory.  We teach to meet the child’s developmental needs, accentuating each child’s gifts and working on individual skills and readiness.  This supports the idea that children do not learn the same thing, the same way at the same time. We have a mixed age group and take each child where he or she is emotionally and academically and build a curriculum specific to individual needs.  Our curriculum aligns at or above state standards to support young children in their journey to elementary school.


Girl student at Discovery Trails Early Learning Academy looking through a magnifying glass.

Junior Kindergarten:  Ages 4 to 6 Years

Jr. Kindergarten is a Kindergarten-level curriculum that is intended for children who either just missed the Kindergarten cut off date because their birthday is too late in the year, who are four and exhibit accelerated academic skills or who are five but may need a little extra time before heading on to elementary school for developmental reasons. With our small student to teacher ratio, each child in Jr. Kindergarten will receive the academic and emotional curriculum he or she needs to be successful learners.  

A recent study showed that a typical half-day Kindergarten student receives just 32 minutes of instruction time per day with one teacher and 22 students. The Jr. Kindergarten program at Discovery Trails offers a full-day academic program that meets the individual academic needs of each child with a small class of nine students and one teacher.

Specials Programs:  A very unique aspect of Discovery Trails is our Specials Program which includes every grade level.  We arranged for positive experiences by outside teachers and experts.  Our specials include S.T.E.A.M., Art/Drama, Sign Language, Music, and Physical Education (P.E.). These Specials are offered at no additional cost.  See our Learning Themes for this year.

Specials Contribute to Enriching School Culture and are Valuable Enhancement to Learning, Evident in the Following Ways:

  • Art:  Increased reading, more likely to participate in social services, more likely to be good at math and science​
  • Music:  Increases listening skills, more self-disciplined and relieves stress​
  • PE:  Promotes lifelong fitness and health, stress self-management and helps children retain information longer​
  • Sign Language:  Improves communication skills, encourages motor skills, helps children remember words because there is muscle memory involved, and the more senses involved in learning, the greater memory retention the child will have ​
  • S.T.E.A.M.: Teaches kids how to think, not what to think, prepares children for solving global problems​

Special Visitors and Family Field Trips – Special Expert Visitors and Family Field Trips are also supporting aspects of our learning practices.  Discovery Trails hosts special guests such as the Millibo Art Theatre, Cheyenne Mountain ZooMobile, the Children’s Chorale, the Pike’s Peak Children’s Museum, and many others. Family Field Trips are typically scheduled on Saturdays and include opportunities to extend and share our learning with families.  Discovery Trails arranges experiences at the Space Foundation, Cave of the Winds, Solo’s Airplane Restaurant, Starsmore Discovery Center, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the Fine Arts Center and many more.