About Us

Welcome to Lively Arts Homeschool, where our unique campus mirrors the vibrancy of our educational approach. Nestled in a beautiful, exclusive building, our school is a haven for learning, creativity, and community.

Our exceptional facility boasts beautiful classrooms and a commercial kitchen that transforms into a classroom for cooking sessions. With a full gymnasium for indoor play during inclement weather or for producing plays and performances, our facilities are designed to enhance the educational experience. The small Family Lounge and library offers a space for parents and caregivers to connect, share insights, and unwind with a cup of coffee, or to pursue educational materials for homeschoolers..

Step outside, and you’ll discover our expansive playground surrounded by shade trees, featuring a sand play area, climbing structures, various swings, an obstacle course, a slack line area, and even a GaGa Ball pit crafted by our creative middle school students. The large playfield is perfect for games and gatherings, while shaded grassy areas and benches serve as ideal spots for outdoor classes, lunch, and parent gatherings at picnic tables.

At Lively Arts Homeschool, we intentionally keep class sizes small, ranging from 10-20 students, to ensure that each child can easily make friends and teachers can build strong connections. We believe in keeping age groups together for a majority of the day, allowing students to experience learning more fluidly and make lasting friendships.

In our pursuit of security and continuity, each age group has its own homeroom teacher and dedicated classroom. This approach reduces anxiety, eases the transition from home to school, and fosters a sense of community among classmates. Our Student Support Coordinator is a valuable resource, providing assistance to students with 504 accommodations, connecting families with resources, and offering coaching on emotional regulation.

At Lively Arts Homeschool, our unique campus and supportive environment lay the foundation for a holistic and enriching educational journey. Join us in cultivating a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom, where every student is empowered to thrive in a community that feels like a second home.

Faculty

Sassi, Brooke (Verticle)

Brooke Sassi

Lively Arts Homeschool Director

I have been involved in the public Waldorf movement for a decade, with my three children moving back and forth between homeschooling and “regular” school as our needs fluctuated through the years at Mountain Song Community School in Colorado Springs. I have many years as a Waldorf homeschooling parent under my belt and am happy to be a support to other families who have chosen this beautiful journey as well. 
My formal training is in education, having served several years as the reading interventionist at a rural K-12 school east of Colorado Springs, and providing dyslexia assessment and services to local students. I am currently completing my Ph.D. in education leadership at the University of Denver, and presently serve as the president of the Board of Directors at Mountain Song. 
In my free time, I love to dance, sing, garden, and look at the stars!
MPCS Curriculum & Instructional Support, Alissa Minatta

Alissa Minatta

Administrative Assistant

Alissa is so excited to join the Lively Arts community! For the past seven years, she has taught 1st-5th grade on MPCS’ main campus. Throughout this experience, she was continuously reminded of how compassionate, welcoming, and engaged Mountain Phoenix families are. Over the years, she has heard about how the home school is such a special place where families can form meaningful relationships and access public Waldorf education in a way that fits their needs. She is thrilled to be a part of this! 
Alissa lives with her husband and cat in Georgetown where they take advantage of the beautiful scenery by hiking, paddle boarding, and skiing/snowboarding. She also loves to spend time with family, including her adorable 2.5yr old nephew! 
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Erica Knox

Program Director for Early Childhood

Ms. Erica is a Colorado native, growing up and currently living just down the road in Lakewood, Colorado. She graduated from The University of Colorado Denver with a Bachelor’s Degree in French with the intention of going on to teach high school. However, after having her own children (two of which are current MPCS students and one MPCS alumnus who will graduate high school in the 2021-2022 school year) she fell in love with the wonder of early childhood. Ms. Erica is ECT certified by the state of Colorado and thrives in continuing her education by attending numerous trainings in subjects ranging from “The Potentials of Cardboard” to
“Environment Design”.
 
Ms. Erica has worked in an early childhood school setting for 15 years in many capacities including; teacher, trainer, and administrator. She has been a member of the MPCS faculty since 2018. She is excited to be joining the Lively Arts Homeschool program as a member of the Kindergarten teaching team. Seeing each moment of discovery as an opportunity for learning, she believes that children hold newness, wonder, creativity and hope. She believes that healthy, whole individuals make happy collaborators and she recognizes education as a collaboration between caretakers, a teaching community, the child, and their classmates. Above all, Ms. Erica regards listening as the greatest act of love, therefore working to create a safe classroom space where all members feel heard!
Dennehy, Ann (Verticle)

Ann Dennehy

Early Childhood Teacher

Ann has been in early childhood education for 20 years. She began as an assistant at a Montessori school in Conifer in 2001. As a single mom it seemed a natural course of action to study child development and pursue an occupation that would support the growth of her daughter, Juniper. In 2003, Ann received her primary teaching certification from The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. She taught at the Montessori School of Evergreen and then for 10 years at Cornerstone Montessori in Golden. 
 
Ann took a hiatus in 2017 and began working at a local organic farm. There she developed curriculum and lead a farm camp for children 7-10. During this time, she began volunteering with Jeffco Public library at a local pre-school as a “story-time lady.” Ann also began working as a substitute teacher at Mountain Phoenix Community School where her daughter Lyla started first grade. Pre-COVID, Ann taught as an assistant in the Dandelion classroom in the ECE department of MPCS. The last year and her experience with the Waldorf philosophy lead Ann to a greater appreciation of a rhythmic home-based life as a global citizen and she is thrilled to be part of the Lively Arts Homeschool.
 
Ann is an amateur naturalist and bird watcher. She recently had her poem, Magdalena Lagoon, published in the Spring/Summer issue of the Cold Mountain Review.
OFriel, Stephanie (Verticle)

Stephanie O'Friel

Grades 1 & 2 Teacher

Stephanie O’Friel is the first and second-grade teacher at Lively Arts Homeschool A Colorado native from Littleton, she enjoys being in nature, gardening, cooking healthy food, and traveling! She is married, has three children (2 current and 1 MPCS alumni), and an Australian Shepard named Leia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Biology, a master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition, and has also completed the Explorations Course in the foundational studies of Waldorf education. 
Staphanie has worked at Mountain Phoenix Community School since 2019 as the Aftercare Program Manager & School Enrichment Coordinator. Being a long-time MPCS parent and employee, she has deep roots within our community and looks forward to continuing her growth and sharing her experiences with her class. Stephanie says “it is such a blessing to have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with you and your children!”. 
MPCS School Assistant, Eliza Bethany

Eliza Bethany

Grades 3 & 4 Teacher

Eliza Bethany holds the 3rd and 4th-grade class. She is a Waldorf-certified teacher and has taught grades 1-5 on the Mountain Phoenix main campus (plus a few repeats!). The homeschool movement has intrigued her for many years, and she has been impressed with how the Lively Arts program has developed and thrived. She is honored to be part of the Lively Arts team and to continue this journey with your children’s well-being and creative growth as her guide. Other aspects of her background include the visual arts, outdoor education, and bookselling. She has two grown children and a cat named HaHa.

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Melanie Vigil

Grades 5 - 8 Teacher

Melanie Vigil is excited to join the Lively Arts Home School community. She was raised in a large musical family and brings with her over 20 years of experience teaching and loving music. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, and spoiling her grandchildren

Aikman, Megan (Verticle)

Megan Aikman

Practical Arts Teacher

Megan came to Colorado nearly 20 years ago when she and her husband heard the siren song from the East Coast. She grew up in Maine, received her BA in Latin and Classical Studies from Brandeis University, and later earned her Masters from CU Boulder in Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology. After working in museums for numerous years, her original plan to teach through exhibit programming took a different turn after the birth of her two children, both Mountain Phoenix students.
 
The love of fiber arts runs strong in Megan’s blood. Both grandmothers were craftswomen; one was a Home Economics teacher in the 1950s, and the other taught Megan the nearly lost art of tatting when she was 2-years-old. Megan taught herself to knit when she was 10 and hasn’t stopped since. She is adept at knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, embroidery, and hand sewing.
 
Megan is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the Homeschool Practical Arts program, as well as assist with the full-time grades students.
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Karen Eberle-Smith

ART TEACHER GRADES 1-8

Karen has more than 20 years of experience teaching art to children of all ages. Much of that time was working with students in non-profit organizations. Karen believes art helps students to become life-long lovers of learning.
Karen is a multimedia artist who periodically shows her art in the Denver metro area. As an artist, she is constantly learning new materials and styles for creating her art. 
Her undergraduate studies were in sculpture and modern dance. She graduated from SUNY Potsdam in New York State, and she spent a year studying at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston and a semester abroad in England. Karen recently completed her Masters of Arts in Arts Education at University of Northern Colorado. Her thesis explored what curriculum best creates questioning learners.
When she is not making art or sharing her love of art with others, Karen can be found spending time with her husband and two children. She also loves gardening and plans someday to learn to play the guitar.
Rohnke, Nicole (Verticle)

Nicole Rohnke

Student Support

Nicole grew up in Castle Rock, Colorado back in the days when it was mainly open fields and roaming cattle. She then went on to college at the University of Montana in Missoula where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis in public administration. After becoming a mother, Nicole began assistant teaching in a private Montessori school in Evergreen. Eventually she ventured on to receive her Upper Elementary Montessori Training at the Center for Montessori Training in NY. 
Her educational journey eventually brought her to Mountain Phoenix where she developed a rich background in student support, social and emotional learning, and the federal civil rights law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Nicole will share her time building relationships and connections at both the MPCS main campus and the Lively Arts Homeschool Program.
In her personal time, Nicole enjoys time with her family, as well as hiking with her dogs, reading, horseback riding, gardening, traveling, snowboarding and any kind of home fix-it and design projects.

FAQs

The Steiner-Waldorf philosophy of education is that there is no end to human knowledge, or to what a learner can discover. In this context, Waldorf-inspired learning does not focus on potential, because potential is actually a limiting factor in student growth and achievement. The Steiner-Waldorf philosophy of education focuses on the whole child. It strives to facilitate the spiritual and artistic development of students. Most importantly, the Steiner-Waldorf philosophy of education considers both logic and emotion to be integral components of learner development.

The intimate communal nature of our program allows us to effectively implement some important facets of Waldorf inspiration. All the specialties can be guided and inspired by the Steiner-Waldorf philosophy of education, particularly the components that are most universal, including: Regular learning in the out of doors; Gardening; Seasonal celebrations; A focus on the arts at all ages and across the curriculum; All-school gatherings and celebrations including parents/caregivers and siblings; Cooking, sewing, knitting, building, and gardening; A focus on core values that tie directly into daily activities; A particular focus on gratitude; Nurturing Imagination through folk and fairy tales, fables, and legends are integrated throughout the Waldorf curriculum, emphasizing development of creativity and imagination.

For the 2024-2025 school year. Students in grades PK-8 will attend on either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. PK students will also attend a half day on Thursdays. Our Bridge class (second-year Kindergarten) will meet on Thursdays

In the 2024-2025 school year we will meet from 8:45am-3:00pm. Half-day preschool on Thursdays will meet from 8:45am-12:00pm

Students are grouped based on age and grade. Typically, we have Kindergarten, Grade 1/2, Grade 3/4, and Grades 5-8 grouped but this is subject to change based on the enrollment.

Students must have reached the age of 5 by October 1st of the current school year to attend our kindergarten classes.

Students must be 6 years old by October 1st of the current year to attend 1st grade in the fall.

For the 2023-24 school year, the program starts on August 14th, 2023, and ends on May 24, 2024.

Students have the opportunity to attend several field trips throughout the school year. Past destinations have included plays and musicals, museums, arts workshops, and urban adventures.

The program is tuition-free for grades K-8. The 2023-2024 tuition for PreK is $1000 for the year, or $100 a month over 10 months. Lively Arts will take part in Universal Pre-K beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, so there will be no preschool tuition billed to families. over 10 months. All families pay a $75 materials fee per student.

Yes, any student living in Colorado may participate.

If the other program is funded by the state of Colorado, no. Students may only be enrolled in one state-funded program.

Yes. Unless you request otherwise, all students in your family will be placed on the same day of attendance.

Yes! This is one of the many benefits of homeschooling. We simply ask that you inform us of your plans and call in any unexpected absences for attendance tracking purposes.

After one year in the Lively Arts program, students are given priority over other Jeffco residents if they would like to apply to the regular school during the Enroll Jeffco lottery process.

Yes, Lively Arts celebrates all Waldorf Festivals in community. We offer other seasonal activities throughout the year for families (like holiday caroling), special workshops and education nights, and a book club for caregivers.

Under our charter with Jeffco Public schools, as a supplemental Homeschool enrichment program, we are unable to provide intervention support for our students who have Individual Education Plans (IEP) and need support with reading and math intervention, counseling, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.

We can provide resources and contact information to parents who are seeking these services outside of the school. For families with children from birth to age five, you can find information on the Colorado Department of Education website section – Child Find. www.cde.state.co.us/early/childfind.

As a Jefferson County charter school guided by the Core Principles of Public Waldorf Education and in acknowledgment of our school’s explicit value of diversity and access, we at Lively Arts Homeschool accept the difficult truth that Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, expressed beliefs that, by the standards of equity we strive for today, can be considered discriminatory. Our school formally denounces any such beliefs and statements made by Rudolf Steiner. It is imperative that we seek to understand why such statements were historically part of our educational philosophy. We believe it is necessary to fundamentally question Steiner’s teachings to determine how they have negatively affected the development of Public Waldorf education, especially with regards to questions of discrimination on the basis of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, culture and religious beliefs. Our school community believes public Waldorf education should be based on the idea that all human beings have the right to be treated equally and respected when they raise their voices against discrimination.

NOW ENROLLING
Preschool - Grade 8

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