Friday, November 30, 2012

Highlight of the Week
Assessment Gains Are Cause for Celebration!
The School Advisory Committee approved the school’s unified improvement plan (UIP) this week.  Each school in the District is required to create a UIP each year based on the school’s state assessment results for the previous year.  I was happy to report that Gold Rush students made tremendous gains last year on the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)!  Student achievement, or the percent of students scoring proficient or advanced on the state assessment, rose substantially in reading and math last year. For example, 89% of third graders and 90% of fifth graders last year scored proficient or advanced on the state assessment in reading.  Wow!  The data also show that more students are making typical and high growth from one year to the next in both reading and math.  The percentage of students making typical and high growth in reading grew 12 percentage points from fourth to fifth grade in reading and 13 percentage points in math.  Cimarron Middle School Principal, Mrs. Tarbell, recently affirmed that our students are prepared for middle school math.  She shared that 84% of current students are receiving either an A or B in math this year.  I could not be prouder of Gold Rush students, faculty and parents for their hard work and collaboration.  I believe that our collective efforts are responsible for the school’s gains.  I also believe that we have many reasons to celebrate!

Restorative Practices
Gold Rush’s educational assistants were recently trained on restorative practices during their last monthly meeting.  Restorative practices are a way to restore peer relationships that have been damaged as a result of peer conflict.  This approach allows students who were wronged to have a voice by allowing them to share  how they felt and what they believe will allow them to move forward.  It also ensures that the individual that harmed another realizes the implications of his/her actions on others and teaches them a way to create a new plan for responding to a similar event in the future.

 Those mediating conflict using restorative practices ask those who are demonstrating challenging behaviors questions such as the following:

·      What happened?
·      What were you thinking at the time?
·      What have you thought about since?
·      Who has been affected by what you have done and in what ways?
·      What do you think you need to do to make things right with those you have hurt?

The mediator also helps those harmed by asking…
·      What did you think when you realized what happened?
·      What impact has this incident had on you and others?
·      What has been the hardest thing for you?
·      What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

The educational assistants, teachers and administrators will use restorative practices to address student conflicts to ensure that individual relationships are mended.

Mark Your Calendar!
* 2013-2014 Feeder Calendar Community Meeting
        Tuesday, December 4 at 6:30 PM @ Cimmeron Middle School
        Topic: The pros and cons of all feeder schools moving to the split fall break
        modified calendar

* Kindergarten Registration
   Wednesday, December 5 at 6:30-8:00PM @ Gold Rush
   In addition to your registration forms please remember to bring a copy of your
   child’ birth certificate, immunization record and proof of residency

* Preschool Registration
   Click here for additional information.

Winter Reminders
As I am learning, the Colorado weather can change drastically over the course of the day!  Please make sure to send your child to school with a warm coat so he/she is comfortable.  Please also remember that students are required to have a doctor’s note if they need to stay indoors during the winter months due to an illness or prior condition.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Highlights of the Week
Students enjoyed learning about Thanksgiving and sharing how they celebrate the holiday.  

Fifth grade student Julianna's poem about Pie.


It’s sitting there

Waiting for someone to eat it.

It’s the delicious cherry pie my mama makes every year for Thanksgiving

Just take a bite
                                    Mama won’t know . . .

Just a little nibble

But Mama says it’s only for family

But whenever she explains it
                                                      It goes in one ear,
                                                                        And out the other.

So I just watch it,

Sitting there
                                    Waiting for someone to eat it.

But I realize the pie’s not waiting . . .
                                                      I am.

2013-2014 Calendar 
We are inviting the Legend High School feeder families to Cimarron Middle School on Tuesday, December 4th from 6:00-7:00pm to discuss the pros and cons of a different calendar for next school year.  All schools in the feeder (elementary, middle and high school) are discussing the possibility of all moving to the split fall break modified calendar next year. Click here for more information regarding the possible calendar change.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Highlights of the Week
Thanksgiving Feast
We all really enjoyed hosting our families on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving Feast.  The students were excited to share a special meal with their loved ones and classmates.  It was also great to hear how your family is going to celebrate the upcoming holiday.  I thank our wonderful kitchen staff, instructional assistants and parent volunteers for making this annual event possible.  Gold Rush wishes your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

PTO Book Fair
The fall PTO book fair was a tremendous success!  The students enjoyed purchasing new stories and favorite titles.  Students also loved celebrating Clifford’s birthday and getting a doughnut.  Thank you to our Dad’s Club and Walton Doughnuts for their generous donation of over 300 doughnuts! I also thank our many parent volunteers for making the book fair possible.  A special thanks must also be sent to Michelle Goz, Courtney Townley, Alice Ciaccio for organizing the event! 

2013 Apple Awards

Didn't have a chance to nominate an excellent teacher or staff member? There is still time! The Douglas County Educational Foundation has extended the nomination window and will now accept 2013 Apple Awards nominations for teachers and staff members until Midnight, November 30, 2012. 

For seven years, the Apple Awards have provided an opportunity to recognize and celebrate excellent and innovative teachers and staff members in Douglas County School District. Help us continue the tradition by nominating your choice today! Click here to nominate now!

* School will not be in session on Wednesday, November 21, through Friday, November
   23 due to Thanksgiving.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and
   friends!  Safe travels to those of you who are celebrating out of town.

* The next parent coffee will be held on Thursday, December 6th, at 9:30-10:30AM in  
   the Gold Mine Room.

Student Directories
Families that ordered directories received them in Thursday folders this week.  If you did not receive one and think you ordered one, please contact the office after you checked your parent portal and Revtrak accounts.  If you didn’t order a directory and want one, it is not too late!  Directories can still be purchased for $3.00 in the office.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Highlights of the Week
Book Fair
Students were excited to welcome Clifford on Thursday morning!  Clifford was at Gold Rush to help kick off our book fair.  The children’s excitement continued as they visited the book fair throughout the remainder of the week.  We thank the PTO for making the book fair possible!  We also hope to see you on Monday for Clifford’s birthday from 4:30-7:00PM.  The book fair will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30-7:00PM as well.  Students who bring in a receipt from the fair next week will also receive a doughnut from our Dad’s Club.

Teacher Learning on Tuesday
While the students were off on Election Day, the teachers were busy collaborating on best literacy practices.  We were fortunate to listen to reading expert Stephanie Harvey speak about how we can help create strategic readers, or readers who use a variety of strategies automatically and deliberately to understand text.  We are excited to have Stephanie return in February for another professional development day!  

Thanksgiving Family Feast
We are excited to honor the Thanksgiving holiday next Wednesday with our own Gold Rush family feast during students’ lunch times.  Parents are invited to join their children for this Thanksgiving lunch. 
Times indicate when each class will enter the cafeteria.
2nd Grade
11:05   Schulte, Steckler & Murray-Close
11:15    Hoff & Woolums

1st Grade
11:30   Billings, McMillan & Aldridge
11:40    Martino & Rossi

5th Grade
12:05   Conrad & Dalcerri
12:15   Fleet & Jones

11:55 Graham & Enrichment/B.A.S.E.

3rd Grade
12:30   Brownley,& Hayes
12:40 Nelson & Castro

4th Grade
12:55   Holtzer, Hawk, Menk & Kramer
Visitors who plan to eat with their child(ren) must sign in and purchase a ticket in the lobby.  The price for a ticket is $3.75 for adults and additional siblings. Students will use their lunch accounts as usual (student lunch $2.75). Visiting parents will meet their children at the entrance to the cafeteria.  We hope to see you for the feast next week!  Please also see the volunteer sign up in the vestibule or call Mrs. Rudman at 303-387-7709 if you would like to help out that day.

Math Olympiad
We're thrilled to have more than 60 students participating in Math Olympiad this year!  After a couple weeks of practice, our students will partake in their first of five tests on November 14.  If your child is participating please make sure that he/she arrives on time as they will begin right at 8:15AM.  Students will celebrate with hot chocolate or cider.

Annual Food Drive
The Gold Rush Dad’s Club is holding its annual Food Drive from November 12 – November 20th.   All donations will go to Parker Task Force.  Please help us support this wonderful cause!

Denver Nuggets Tickets
Click here to order community night tickets with the Denver Nuggets on January 26th at 7:00PM at the Pepsi Center.  $3.00 of each ticket goes to Gold Rush!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Highlight of the Week
Halloween was certainly the highlight of the week!  The children enjoyed playing games with their classmates and parading around the school in their costumes.  The creativity displayed on Wednesday was amazing!  I thank our parents for organizing classroom parties and watching our parade.  The children were thrilled to have you here.  Many of the students chose to write about their Halloween later in the week. 

Correction on GRE Base Program
During a delayed start, Gold Rush before and after school program called BASE will open at 8:00am.  Base does accept drop ins on late start days. You must be enrolled in the BASE Program for the 2012-13 school year in order to use the childcare service.  If you think you will need the BASE Program- Please turn in enrollment documentation now, so we can accept your child on those hectic days.

Upcoming Events
Gold Rush Family Feast
Join us on Wednesday, November 14, for our annual family feast.  You may purchase a delicious meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, milk and pumpkin cookies for $3.75 (adults and siblings).Students will pay with their lunch accounts ($2.75).  More information regarding your child’s specific lunchtime will follow.

PTO Book Fair

Calling all Gold Rush Elementary All-Stars!
The Book Fair is coming!

Thursday, November 8, from 8:30AM-8:00PM
Friday, November 9, from 8:30AM-5:00PM
Monday, November 12, from 8:30AM-7:00PM
Tuesday, November 13, from 8:30AM-7:00PM
Wednesday, November 14, from 8:30AM-7:00PM

Kids, bring in your book fair receipt before school on Monday (11/12), Tuesday (11/13) or Wednesday (11/14) and get a free doughnut courtesy of the Dads Club! 
Mark your calendar…
PTO Meeting Tuesday November 13th at 6:30-8:00PM @ Gold Mine Room
We are also looking for parents to volunteer and participate in committees and PTO events that help our children and the school. For any interest please contact Hope to see you there!

5th Grade Middle School Transition
The middle school will host a parent orientation night for the parents of 5th grade students on January 17th at 5:30-6:15 PM.

Preschool fundraiser at Chili’s – Monday, November 5th
Click here for more information on how to participate.

Calling All Photographers
Click here to read how you can submit your school pictures for the 2012-2013 yearbook.