Golden, CO (Oct. 24, 2019)
Jeffco Public Schools announced that Vivian Elementary in Lakewood will be transitioning to become the New Classical Academy at Vivian for the 2020-21 school year. The restructured elementary school will implement a modern version of the classical academy curriculum, blending the foundational elements of the classical model while elevating the
Jeffco Generations Skills
The program offered at New Classical Academy at Vivian will be designed to build character and develop academic potential through a highly-structured environment. With traditional programming focused around core knowledge, as well as content anchored in Greek and Latin roots, the PreK-5 elementary school aims to create 21st century philosophers. Students will combine the valuable lessons learned from history with Jeffco Public Schools
of content mastery, critical thinking and creativity, collaboration, agility and adaptability, civic and global engagement, and communication to become active, engaged members in their communities and successfully pursue their life goals.
“New Classical Academy at Vivian will be an exciting educational opportunity for our current families, community, and staff, as it will provide the classical philosophies with a modern twist. We are looking forward to welcoming new families who desire a classical education for their students,” said Principal Michael Zwiefel. “Being part of this transformation process for Vivian is a once in a lifetime experience for a school leader and I’m honored to continue to be the principal of this school.”
Vivian has weathered years of declining enrollment due to fewer families with elementary age students living in its boundary area, in addition to the impact of school choice. District and school leaders met in early fall 2019 to consider the viability of the school under its current structure. Recognizing that there is strong demand for the classical academy model within the community, district and school officials determined that creating a New Classical Academy at Vivian was the most viable option for the school and had the greatest appeal for both staff and families.
“Jeffco Public Schools has a tradition of supporting small neighborhood schools, but there is a real financial cost associated with keeping small schools open and subsidizing them so they can offer an equitable learning experience to what students in larger schools have. We experienced this impact directly with Vivian, yet realized that this school is also the social and emotional heart of its community,” said Dr. Jason Glass, Superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools. “We had to find a way to reinvigorate Vivian to appeal to families both within, and beyond, the school boundary area in order to sustain, and hopefully grow, enrollment. The classical academy model is a proven structure that appeals to our families and we have a determined school leader in Michael Zweifel to ensure the successful transformation of the school.”
Enrollment in New Classical Academy at Vivian will be available to any family living in the Vivan boundary area. Families living outside of the boundary area can utilize the choice enrollment process which opens in Jeffco Public Schools on December 10. School officials anticipate the restructured school will not only achieve higher enrollment, but also provide current Vivian students with an exciting educational opportunity and refreshed sense of community.
The transition to New Classical Academy at Vivian will include new school branding, student uniforms, building renovations including a new playground, as well as other developments as the programming is fully determined. The school is launching an internal design committee of staff and current Vivian families to engage in the development process. To learn more about the New Classical Academy at Vivian, please visit