Big Thompson Elementary
Principal: Sarah Walgast
7702 Highway 34 Loveland, CO 80538
Phone: 970 613-5600
Vision: Big T provides a unique learning environment by integrating S.T.E.M., nature, and wellness through an inclusive, collaborative community of students, staff, parents, and local partnerships. We are committed to excellence using 21st century skills emphasizing inquiry-based, hands-on, and student-focused learning.
PBiS Slogan: RAMS: Responsible, Attitude to Achieve, Manners and Safety
Colors: Green and white
Offering Many Before and After School Activities
Our School: Big T is a great school with a strong sense of community. We are a small mountain school with a unique campus, in a beautiful setting, with a focus on nature and S.T.E.M.; we have elk in our backyard, original paintings of nature and surroundings, and posters of advice from the mountains, rivers and a moose.
Bonus Points: We have a beautiful 7 acre Outdoor Education Center and are very environmentally focused. We average about 2,800 pounds of waste kept out of landfills each school year through worm composting. We have experiential learning with the composting, working bee hive, weather station, and outdoor classroom spaces. We also have many strong community-school partnerships, including our local dairy farmers and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program - sponsored by the NFL & Western Dairy Association, Sylvandale Guest Ranch, GOCO (our new playscape), Rocky Mountain National Parks, CSU, and more.
Special Programs: Science field trips, observation beehive, Outdoor Education Center. We have Buddies, where older students are buddies to younger students. We also have an outdoor garden, weather station, and our historic annual chili supper! We offer classroom projects including Junior Rangers, Sims Settlers, and worm composting (3rd-5th grades). Our annual PTA sponsored Festival is unique – outdoors with hay rides, interactive games, S.T.E.M. focused activities, and more. We provide preschool field trips to our school and also host other schools for our Flume study field trips, which provide students with an interactive, hands-on study of various environmental impacts of water. We also have Bully Blockers, Peace Keepers, and teach a weekly social skill.
Extracurricular: In addition to what is mentioned above, we have chess, yoga, gardening, Legos, jump roping, pottery, Science Matters, two Odyssey of the Mind teams, and spelling bee – based on student and instructor/volunteer interest, usually three running at a time. We also have 100 Mile Club running club and other Wellness activities to get involved in throughout the school year.
School Climate: We have a trusting environment where we are all in this together. We are family friendly, have a great community climate and center for our rural neighbors. At Big T, it feels like home!
Accomplishments/Partnerships: Composting featured in Scholastic News; multiple Creativity Grants; many grants to fund unique nature and science programs; partnerships with CSU, Larimer County, Rocky Mountain National Park and Naturalist Perry Conway; support from area businesses. The Colorado Association for Environmental Education wants to visit the school on a field trip!
Parent/Volunteer: Incredible PTA and SAC – Big T's family community is very supportive. They conduct fundraisers, including our historical annual Chili Supper that began in 1950! Parents provide teachers and staff with gift baskets and meals during conferences; PTA supports classroom teachers with funding and grant opportunities for classroom supplies and special needs.
For school history and facility information: See the district's Master Plan.