Friday, August 31, 2012

Highlight of the Week

Teachers define reading beliefs
This week teachers across grades K through 5 defined our beliefs about reading.  Our work, which occurred at our weekly staff development meeting and continued during our faculty meeting, targeted what we believe is at the heart of reading.  Our beliefs are the following:

·      All students can read and think deeply.
·      Strategy instruction should be explicitly modeled and practiced and an authentic way.
·      Choice in text gives students ownership and creates engagement.
·      Reading is about making meaning and thinking deeply.
·      Kids need to see themselves as readers who are building and thinking strategies for life.
·      Varying texts to individual students allows all students to develop as readers.
·      Students need time to practice and reflect on their thinking.
·      Reading need to integrate strategies and use them across content areas.

Teachers also had the opportunity to share what it looks like to implement these beliefs in all classrooms.  As a staff we look forward to continuing our conversations about best reading practices throughout the year.

Anti - Bullying Program
This week in your Thursday folder you received a letter detailing our school wide anti bullying plan.  You also received an article that outlined terminology and strategies used at school that can also be used at home.  The school’s bullying task force will continue to keep you updated on work towards promoting a bullying free school each month.

Upcoming Events

Digger Dash
We are looking forward to kicking off one of Gold Rush’s most honored traditions next week– the Digger Dash!  On Friday, September 7th, students will attend an assembly to get them excited for this annual running event, which will be held on September 27th.  Students will also receive their pledge folders that day which will allow them to raise money for each lap they run.  We hope you too get in the spirit of the dash with them!

Picture Retake Day
Picture retakes are scheduled for Friday, September 14. You should have gotten information regarding ordering online yesterday in Thursday folders. Click here for the Lifetouch link.  You will receive an order form that allows you to pay with a check next Thursday.

Friendly Reminders
·         All medications, prescription and over the counter, must be checked in at the office.  Appropriate paperwork must accompany each medication (i.e. a medical release form and physician’s orders). If you have any questions, please contact or 303 387-7709.

Student Opportunities
·         Click here for information on Spanish Enrichment classes at Gold Rush.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

Highlights of the Week
Orchestra Visit
Students from the high school visited our fourth and fifth graders this week.  Our visitors played a wide variety of instruments and shared with them the benefits of playing in the band and orchestra.  They also explained how our fourth and fifth graders can start now by participating in the Legend music feeder program.  Click here for more information on an upcoming parent information night detailing this program.

Teachers Talk Reading
Gold Rush teachers reviewed our goals for the year at our weekly Wednesday grade level meetings.  As a faculty we hope to answer the following three essential questions this school year.   

How will the Gold Rush staff work collaboratively to support all students and further their learning?

What does reading instruction look like across grades K-5 that best prepares students for the 21st century?

How can K-5 reading outcomes be interpreted and instructed in a way that prepares students for the 21st century?

We believe that these questions are important because they allow teachers to articulate their work in one of the most important content areas–reading.  After spending several years focusing on math, we believe that it is essential that we delve into rich discussions around how to teach students to understand and apply what they read.  I look forward to continuing to share our progress with you as we collectively answer these questions.

What a G.R.E.A.T. Meeting
I really enjoyed participating in the first G.R.E.A.T. (Gold Rush Educational Assistance Team) meeting of the year on Wednesday evening.  I shared with G.R.E.A.T. how their contributions to the school last year have already impacted student learning.  Last year G.R.E.A.T. provided the school with numerous technological tools, including 60 iPads, 5 Mimio Boards, iPad Applications and much more.  I shared how students are using these tools each day to enhance their learning.  In my visits to classrooms I see students using voice recording options and online communication tools, such as Edmodo, to share their thinking with others.  I also see students using apps to practice essential skills, the internet to find the answers to their own research questions and online reading sites to engage in literature. I thank all of our parents for helping us enhance our work in our classrooms through your generous contributions.  We believe that technology is an essential tool that allows us to teach 21st century skills in an engaging way.  The video below shows our students putting the new iPads to great use.

Give Back to Gold Rush
Click here for an additional opportunity to give back to Gold Rush.  Target will provide our school funding if we receive enough votes on facebook.

Points from the PTO
Parent Survey
The PTO is in the process of planning for this school year. Your opinions are important! Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey. Your responses will help shape PTO activities to best meet the needs of all families. Click here for the survey.

Digger Dash
The Gold Rush PTO is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Digger Dash Jog-a-thon! The Digger Dash is the school's primary fundraiser for the year.  It was created to promote healthy exercise, while having fun and raising money. On the day of the event, students and staff run, jog and walk laps on an outdoor field in an effort to raise money for Gold Rush. More information on this event will follow. Email if you are interested in helping out at this amazing event. 

Upcoming Events
Legend High School 3rd Annual Home coming Parade - September 5 @ 5:00PM

Floats, candy, great Music and BBQ to follow for $5.00

Friday, August 17, 2012

Highlights of the Week

The students did a wonderful job during their first full week of school!  It was clearly evident that the children in all grades were settling into classroom and school routines.  The students were even charged with practicing safety routines this week with our first fire drill.

Teachers value these first few weeks of school because they are a wonderful opportunity to explicitly model expected behaviors throughout the school.  This social skills instruction is done in many different ways.  As stated in last week’s newsletter, new teachers modeled what it looked like to Go for the Gold during our opening assembly; or Give respect, Own our actions, Listen and learn and Do our best everyday! Teachers also engaged the children in conversations about what it looks like to demonstrate Going for the Gold in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria, on the playground and in specials.   Children’s literature is another wonderful resource for discussing positive behaviors. 

Gold Rush staff uses a behavior matrix that collectively defines expected behaviors for each of the areas of the school.  Click here to see our school’s positive behavior matrix.  This is important so that all adults consistently reinforce the same positive behaviors.  Gold Rush students are also recognized and rewarded for demonstrative positive behavior by being presented with a golden ticket.  The names of students who receive golden tickets are placed in a drawing.  The most coveted prize you wonder….a weekly pass to use our school elevator! See our golden ticket winners for this week below. 

Coffee Chat

I enjoyed meeting with parents this week for our first coffee chat of the year.  It was wonderful to share our many celebrations from the start of the year with the families that were able to attend.  I was also able to share my values, which include educating the whole child, or fostering their social, emotional and physical development in addition to their academic growth.  I also shared my style of visiting students in their classrooms as much as I can.  I reassured parents that I will call if I were to talk with children for any reasons other than discuss their learning or interests.  The coffee chat was also a great opportunity for me to hear what parents valued most about the school.  I proudly report that the unanimous response was our dedicated, compassionate and talented staff! 

Several topics were raised that I hope to continue to talk about further in monthly coffee chats.  One of the issues raised that I wanted to draw your attention to was the safety of the cross walk on Chambers Road.  I have contacted the town of Parker to see if they can increase the safety of the road for our students.  Please note that that traffic is traveling at a high speed on this road.  It is highly recommended that you accompany your child across that street to ensure their safety.

Weather Impact on Dismissal Procedures
Being new to the state I have quickly learned that the weather can change instantly in Colorado and it typically does around dismissal time.  In the event of unsafe weather conditions during dismissal (lightning, torrential rains or the threat of a tornado) I may decide to delay dismissal at the end of the day until it is safe.  A red flag will be raised on the flagpole to designate that we are holding the students indoors due to unsafe conditions. In the event that a red flag is raised all parents must come into the building and sign their child out of school if they wish to do so before the all clear announcement has been made.

Friendly Safety Reminders
·         In accordance with Douglas County School District Policy dogs are not allowed on school grounds.

·        Students should walk their bikes and scooters on school grounds.

·        Supervision is only provided at 8:55am-4:10pm.

Student Activities/ Events

Thursday Folders
·         Please check your child’s Thursday folders each week for additional school information. School-wide information will be sent home only with students who are the youngest in their family or an only child.  Please contact your child’s teacher if you did not receive one.

Gold Rush Running Club
·         Starts August 27th Click here for more information.

Calling all Dads and Kids for Bowling
·         Our Dad’s club is hosting a Bowling event Saturday, August 25, from 1-4pm $17.95 for shoes and fun! RSVP to Keith Lundquist by August 22
Gold Rush Web Store
·          Click here to order a yearbook, student directory or magazine

4th & 5th Grade Band & Orchestra
·         Students from the high school will visit our fourth and fifth graders on Monday to share more about feeder opportunities. Additional information will be sent home on how to enroll next week.

Fifth Grade Girls Basketball
·         Cimarron Middle School - Mondays @ 6:00-7:40 starting August 13th 5th grade students - cost $100

Calling For Seconds!
We have a program your children may know as “Seconds”….If your child wants an additional entrée he/she may pay an additional $1.50 for a second entrée serving and $.50 for milk. We understand that not all families want their child to have this option. Click here to access a form that will prevent your child from receiving seconds.

·      Help kick off the year at the first PTO meeting on Tuesday, August 21st, from 6:30-8:00pm in Gold Rush’s Gold Mine Room.

Friday, August 10, 2012

First week of School Highlights

We had a wonderful first week with students.! They enjoyed getting to know their new teachers at Goal Setting Conferences on Monday and Tuesday.  The children also liked meeting their new classmates and learning routines for the classroom and the school.

We ended a great week with an all school assembly on Friday.  The assembly was an opportunity for us to introduce our new staff and model what it looks like to go for the GOLD throughout the school, or Give Respect, Own Your Actions, Listen and Learn and Do your best everyday!  Students also had an opportunity to share with our newest members of our school what they love most about Gold Rush and their hopes and dreams for the year.

I also had the opportunity to read one of my favorite stories, How Full Is Your Bucket, to many classes.  The story speaks about how our actions either fill others' buckets, or make others feel good, or empty others’ buckets and make them feel sad.  I look forward to sharing this story with the remainder of our students next week.

Thank you!

Thank you Gold Rush Cub Scouts for keeping our school clean!  On Thursday evening the Cub Scouts picked up trash, swept rocks and moved wood chips.  We thank our Cub Scouts for their hard work!

Drop Off and Pick Up Reminders

Please remember to follow our school drop off and pick up procedures each day.  Please pull all the way to the front of the drop off loop prior to dropping off or picking up your child.  Click here for additional information. We ask that you follow these procedures so that we can ensure that all students arrive and dismiss in a safe manner.  As always your cooperation is appreciated!

Lunch Links

·      Click here for information about paying for student lunches.
·      Click here for information regarding how to apply for lunch.
    Click here for information on how to prevent your child from getting second lunches.

Upcoming Events

  • Principal Informal Coffee with Parents
    • Wednesday, August 15th, from 9:15-10:15AM or 6:30-7:30PM @ Gold Mine Room
  • Dad’s club bowling event on Saturday, August 25. More information to come.

Meet Our Office Staff

The GRE Office Staff, Mrs. Janis Liccardello, Administrative Assistant, Penny Jackman, Registra, and  Susan Gruenthal, Health Assistant/Office Clerk are happy to work with you and your children everyday!  Their main focus is managing the safety and wellbeing of your children.  A typical day in the office will find the office staff interacting with children, monitoring their attendance and tending to health issues that range from tummy aches to diabetic needs.  They are here to give out TLC and offer words of encouragement. In return, the office staff are rewarded with smiles and often funny stories and exchanges.  Read about the ways the office staff ensures children’s safety each day.

GRE Attendance Line- 303 387-7702- The office staff asks that you call this number to report absences 24 hours a day. They check messages in the morning and they will call you if your child is absent and we didn’t receive a call from you.

Visitor Monitoring- Our main office opens at 8:30AM. The school’s main doors are closed at that time.  All visitors need to come through the office, sign in and wear a visitor’s tag. The office staff monitors everyone coming in and checks individuals’ identification.

Health Room Visits- The office administers general first aid and gives Tylenol if your child has permission on file. They always check with parents within the first 4 hours of school to be sure he/she hasn’t had a dose within that timeframe.

Dismissal- The office staff are in the office on walkie talkies at the end of the day making sure each child is where he/she needs to be.  They ask that you please remind your child to follow your pick up procedures and ask a staff member wearing an orange vest outside or the office staff inside if they have any questions about what they are supposed to do.

The office staff thanks you for understanding that the beginning and end of the day are busy.  They ask that you call in special instructions before 3:40PM (the earlier the better) and wait to pick up your children for appointments before 3:50PM each day.  As always, your cooperation is appreciated!

Thank you for helping the office staff in ensuring the safety and care of our children. Please let them know if you have any questions or concerns.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome Back Teachers

The building was full of excitement and energy this week as teachers officially returned to Gold Rush on Wednesday.  We had an action packed week getting to know our new staff and meeting as teams.  The staff also engaged in a training called Emergenetics that allowed us to learn about each others’ learning preferences, behaviors and styles.  Our initial time together helped us understand how we can continue honored traditions and cultural elements present at Gold Rush and work collaboratively throughout the year.  We look forward to continuing the excitement for the new year next week when we officially welcome your family!  Click here to access your teachers’ classroom webpage.  You will find a welcome back to school letter.

Libby Bergner Appointed Gold Rush’s New Assistant Principal

I am proud to announce that former second grade teacher Libby Bergner was appointed Gold Rush’s new Assistant Principal this week.  Mrs. Bergner has taught in Douglas County for thirteen years, the last four at Gold Rush.  She has experience in both a primary and intermediate classrooms and she served on the core team that opened our school. Mrs. Bergner’s knowledge of our students, school and community make her a perfect match for the position.  Please help me congratulate Mrs. Bergner on her new appointment!

Student Goal Setting Conferences

We look forward to seeing your family at Student Goal Setting Conferences on either August 6th or 7th.  Student Goal Setting Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for your family to meet your child’s new teacher and discuss your hopes and dreams for the coming year.  This is also a time for your child to settle into his/her new classroom and unpack his/her school supplies.  To make sure that all families have enough time with their teacher we ask that you be on time for your scheduled conference. 

This is also a time for you to complete your child’s registration.  Please remember that if you still need to pay fees, that you can only pay by check at school.  Please also make sure that you bring the following documents so that you can complete the registration process in a timely manner:

·      Medications to be delivered to the health room
·      Updated immunization records (only if any new shots were administered)
·      Proof of residence if you have changed addresses
·      Emergency Dismissal Form
·      Student Directory Form

Bus Transportation

* Click here for information regarding bus routes and stop locations
* Click here for Zpass information or call (303) 387-0447
* Click here for a Zpass application

·      Make sure to stop by the PTO information table on August 6th and 7th during Student Goal Setting Conferences
·      Gold Rush Spirit Wear will be available for purchase Monday and Tuesday
·      Check out the 2012-2013 PTO board members, event dates and volunteer information here