A Leader in Me School

A Leader in Me School

About Lopez


Lopez Elementary School is Northern Colorado's first Leader in Me school, and earned Lighthouse recognition in Spring 2014.  Our building is a PK-5 facility that serves approximately 400 students, and is a neighborhood school of choice.  We are proud of our rigorous academics and high test scores.  Lopez was again named as a recipient of the Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award for 2013.  Spring 2011 CSAP scores in 3rd grade reading indicated 93% proficient...one of the highest scores in all of PSD.  The success of our school is due to the participation, talent, and hard work of our students, staff, parents, and community.  Our school is committed to developing and delivering a well-rounded educational program for all its students using the Leader in Me model. We believe this includes rigorous academics, varied co-curricular programs, and an effective partnership between home and school.

Mission and Vision


Leaders Today...Leading Tomorrow.


Lopez Elementary is a Leader in Me community providing high quality educational opportunities for ALL. Together we create a safe and nurturing environment where:

  • knowledgeable and collaborative professionals focus on learning.
  • challenged, motivated and engaged students achieve to the best of their abilities.
  • an actively involved and informed community contributes to the on-going educational success of children.

School Unified Improvement Plan


We are honored to have such a distinguished leader, and local Fort Collins public servant as our namesake.  William Lopez graduated from Colorado A&M in 1950 with distinction, holding majors in history, sociology, economics, and a minor in Spanish.  He began his professional career the following year when he was hired as the first Mexican American educator in Poudre School District.  Citing his "unusual perception and understanding of children," the General Federation of Women's Club in 1958 awarded Bill an "Oscar" and recognized him as the nation's outstanding teacher with less than 10 years of experience.  In 1963, he was awarded the coveted Fort Collins Community Builder Award.  He culminated his teaching years developing a model foreign language program for the school district. 

To challenge himself further, Bill sought and was elected to the Fort Collins City Council, serving between 1968 and 1972.  This began a period of active involvement with local Hispanic groups in civic affairs.  In 1974, he was selected by the governor to serve as a Larimer County Commissioner.  While serving as chairman, he was intensively involved with the Larimer County Social Services and local recovery from the Big Thompson Flood.

Leader in Me

Lopez Elementary is on its journey as a Leader in Me School, and well on the way to becoming a Lighthouse school.  Students are taught, and practice, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Leader in Me program empowers young people to make positive, effective, and responsible choices by introducing and reinforcing the 7 Habits, a set of leadership and life skills from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. These habits are:

1.  Be Proactive - take responsibility and initiative.

2.  Begin With the End in Mind – plan and set goals.

3.  Put First Things First – set priorities and practice discipline.

4.  Think Win-Win – consider others and seek alternatives to conflict.

5.  Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – listen to others, learn from their views.

6.  Synergize – value others’ strengths and team with others to solve problems.

7.  Sharpen the Saw – taking care of the self, learning, and finding meaning outside of school.


Check out how our 4th Grade Leaders use several of the Habits for our annual Hearts for Respite Care Luncheon:



Learning Culture

The staff of Lopez has made the commitment to model and implement the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in order to provide a caring and nurturing learning environment for our students. Teaching students and developing leaders is what we do! Through the teaching of the 7 habits, our staff is working together with students to create a school that maintains the dignity of children through productive interactions, while fostering positive relationships with parents and other community members.

Academic Environment

When taught and practiced in a K-12 school environment, these 7 Habits have been proven to improve academic engagement, comprehension, and performance by strengthening individual work habits and improving social interactions. They help improve student performance and support school success by helping to foster the qualities of independence (goal-setting, organization, time management, and planning); interdependence (teamwork, conflict management, creativity, and analytical skills); and renewal (fun, desire to learn, and good health and hygiene).

Instructional & Enrichment Programs

Lopez Elementary meets or exceeds all state standards in every subject.  Everyday Math is used in all grades, with grade acceleration in math, for those who qualify (grades 3–5).  Macmillan/McGraw-Hill's comprehensive reading/language arts program, Treasures, offers proven tools and strategies for helping teachers give students the resources they need to succeed. High-quality literature, coupled with explicit instruction and ample practice, ensures all students have what they need to learn and grow as lifelong readers and writers.  Explore our website to learn more about Social Studies and Science curriculum.  We also value our specialist courses of PE, Music, Art, and Technology.  Please visit our Classrooms page to learn more about all our teachers.  A reading specialist and gifted and talented teacher work with those requiring additional interventions.

Before and after school enrichment clubs change every year, but typical opportunities include Chess Club, Minecraft, Tennis, choir, guitar, science clubs, student ambassadors, and more. BASE Camp offers before and after school care from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Opportunities for Parents

We have a very active Parent Teacher Association that supports all aspects of our school. This support ranges from financing many of our events, to organizing parent volunteers throughout the school.  Parents play an active role in Lopez’s success with our students!  Please visit the Parents section of our website to learn more.

Lopez Feeder Schools

Webber Middle School

Rocky Mountain High School

PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.