mobile menu

Columbine Culture

Columbine culture proactively and intentionally cultivates academic mindsets. We are crew.

What are academic mindsets?

Academic mindsets refer to the motivational components that influence a student’s desire and will to engage in learning. The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research released a pivotal report in 2012. The research shows that academic mindsets are a better predictor of student success than any other determining factor.

“Academic Mindsets are the psycho-social attitudes or beliefs one has about oneself in relation to academic work. Positive academic mindsets motivate students to persist at school work (i.e., they give rise to academic perseverance), which manifests itself through better academic behaviors, which lead to improved performance. There is also a reciprocal relationship among mindsets, perseverance, behaviors, and performance. Strong academic performance ‘validates’ positive mindsets, increases perseverance, and reinforces strong academic behaviors. Note that this reciprocal, self-perpetuating system also works in a negative loop. Negative mindsets stifle perseverance and undermine academic behaviors, which results in poor academic performance. Poor performance in turn reinforces negative mindsets, perpetuating a self-defeating cycle.”

The Academic Mindsets Are:

  1. I belong in this academic community. (Inclusion & Belonging)
  2. I can succeed at this. (Self-Efficacy)
  3. My ability and competence grow with my effort. (Growth Mindset)
  4. This work has value for me. (Authenticity)

Farrington et al. (June 2012). Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners. The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance: A Critical Literature Review. Chicago: University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.


The Columbine Crew has been created to achieve this expectation, creating an environment where we consistently solidify our values and community while enhancing the joy we feel from being a scholar and staff member at Columbine Elementary. Our motto is we are crew, not passengers. Students spend a portion of their day in a circle discussing the importance of this  motto which builds student agency and community. 

Columbine’ s LEAP  targets  are discussed during these meeting as part of our goal to honor habits of character as dimension to student success. These targets are also integrated into academic lessons.

Columbine_LEAP Matrix_DRAFT_082518 Stars3


The Columbine Student of the Month recognizes students who are constantly showing LEAP. All teachers submit one student per month. Students have their picture hung in our main hallway, receive a certificate and have a luncheon with school leadership. It is super FUN!


Restorative Practices

We are teachers. Students are learners.

Systems and practices have been implemented at Columbine Elementary at the Universal Level to address misbehavior in a proactive and positive manner to ensure learning time is maximized. Teachers implement positive classroom strategies to redirect student behavior. There may be circumstances where a student needs to be removed from the learning environment due to overt or persistent behaviors that are detrimental to the learning of Columbine crews.

If a student needs to be removed from the learning environment for an Administration Managed issue, the classroom staff will call the office and state “I have a student who needs administrative support”. An administrator will come to the classroom and remove the student to the office. While in the office the administrator will use therapeutic, administrative, and/or restorative approaches to alter the behaviors in a manner that builds capacity and creates a genuine teachable moment.

In School Suspension (ISS), Out of School Suspension (OSS), or After-School Detention will be used only for situations which are direct safety concerns or when time is required to plan effective supports as determined by the Administrator handling the discipline in conjunction with DPS Board Policy JK-R.