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Innovation at The Juniper School: Electives-based Specials!



TJS Electives

We have several partnerships for very interesting electives at The Juniper School!

We are proud and excited to introduce our newest partnerships:

Stillwater Music:

This phenomenally talented staff of musicians will be offering electives in Orff, Percussion, Ukulele, String, Stomp, Singing, and various Bands throughout the school year. Your child will LOVE music the minute they start exploring with Stillwater!

Seed Studio:

Heidi and Kathryn share a common vision of kids experiencing the process of artistic expression and mindful self-management through authentic and fun art classes.  Seed Studio will tailor electives to a K-2 Mindful Art course and a 3rd-5th concept-themed art medium class.  They will also be integrated into making our school beautiful with beginning of the year, collaborative projects and year-long projects that focus on Juniper and our school community.  

Nifty Nanny:

As you all know, Vivienne Yeagy, is a truly exceptional child care provider and active curriculum designer in our community.  She will be offering a K-2 and an intensive 3rd-5th mountain biking experience in the fall and spring.  *Students in this elective need to have basic bike riding skills in order to sign up.


Stay tuned as we add even more excellent partnerships!

If you or someone you know wants to offer instruction in an area of Art, Movement or Music, please contact us at


Our mission is clear in everything we do...especially in our innovative electives model.

We believe that TJS students should have a choice in how they experience opportunities in Art, Movement and Music.  And that that choice should be free through their public school.

We are offering 7 sessions, throughout the school year, of 4-6 week long electives courses.  For each session, TJS students will choose which course in Art, Movement and Music they are most interested in exploring.  2 times per week for 45 minutes each time, TJS students will be immersed in their 3 electives-choice courses.  

Our goal is to provide high-quality, effective, authentic and diverse choices that are free in our public, charter school.  We believe that education and knowing yourself as a learner includes the arts and movement. The intention is that TJS students find talents and areas of interest that they didn’t know they had...and create a life-long love for these areas of interest!

 Nia Logo



Dear Juniper Families,


We are thoroughly enjoying working with your children this year. They are bright-eyed, lots of fun and have wonderful imaginations! We have covered a lot of territory in our first three weeks of school. Each class designed and painted their own tree house mural on the outside of their classroom doors. This was a fun way to meet your children and to introduce your them to our program. If you havent had a chance to stop in and see their work, please do. We feel it is important for them to be acknowledged for their creativity and this was no small feet.


We have also introduced them to the idea of what it means to collaborate on an art project. Exploring the themes of change, growth and new beginnings each class class created a collaborative art piece to be auctioned off this week at the Juniper Gramercy event. We hope you will all take the time to attend this important event to not only support The Juniper School but to also see and connect with what they have been creating in our Mindful & Concept Art Programs.


This week are talking about how lines, shapes and color are tied into our changing seasons.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


All the best,


Kathryn Samaltanos & Heidi Craw







Nia Logo


The purpose of Nia for Kids is to inspire children to move freely in their body's way and to enhance physical and mental abilities through movement, music, and play. Combining music and movement we create magic through dance. I believe there is no right way to move only each persons unique body's way and that is perfect. I want to gift each child with encouragement and support to trust their body's way of moving and dancing as well as introduce new ways to cultivate new pathways. We will play with free movement, movement on the floor, learning Nia moves and combining moves for creative play and choreography. 

Breakdown of the class:


Part 1 : 10 min. Name Game , in a circle, each child says their name and does a move with their body at the same time. The class then copies their move and says their name, and we repeat and add on as we move around the circle.

Part 2 , 15 min. 5 Stages on the Floor , This practice is to get each child to move through the 5 stages of developmental anatomy, namely, embryonic, creeping, crawling, standing and walking. I won’t go into the power of this practice except that it triggers neurons and cellular function for developing babies, children and adults as well who might have missed or skipped over a stage. Beginning on the floor we start in Embroyonic , rolling on the back, sides and front, like a baby, we say cooking all 4 sides. I don’t interfere or tell kids how to do it, I let them explore and play using the imagination, giving them images to play with, like being a seed. Then we move to Creeping , lizard-like, Crawling , bear-like, Standing , monkey-like. And finally Walking , human.

Part 3, 15-20 min. The last part of class we incorporate music and dance playing with freeze dance, new Nia move of the week, creative choreography, follow the leader and moving across the floor. 


Evonne Tocco
Nia Black Belt Instructor
Durango, CO
If you are interested in working with us here at Juniper as an Electives instructor, we encourage you to take the time to fill out the letter of intent to participate. We would love to hear from you.