Friday, May 31, 2013

Highlights of the Year
Reflections on My First Year
It is hard to believe that my first year at Gold Rush is quickly coming to a close.  I guess the phrase - time flies when you’re having fun – really is true!  In looking back on the year,  I can tell you that I was honored to have had the opportunity to serve your family and our school community!  The children who attend Gold Rush continued to amaze me with their ability to think critically, demonstrate caring and compassion and solve problems creatively.  I was equally impressed with our teachers’ commitment to our students and their desire to better their professional practice.  Your contributions to our school were also clearly evident in your willingness to volunteer in the classroom, serve on school committees and participate in PTO sponsored events.  I truly believe that students, families and staff members’ collaborative efforts make Gold Rush the incredible school that it is!

There are so many things to celebrate this year.  As a staff we worked together to define what we want students to know and be able to do in the area of reading across grades K-5.  We worked with national reading expert Stephanie Harvey, studied best reading practices, developed common reading assessments and implemented common terminology and reading comprehension strategies across all grade levels. 

We also provided additional intervention and enrichment opportunities to students across grades K-5, especially in the areas of reading and math.  Teachers did this by having students apply reading strategies in texts that were at students’ individual reading levels.  We did this as a school by expanding our small group reading and math intervention groups into the intermediate grades.  It has been exciting to watch teachers’ implement these meaningful instructional strategies in the classroom and see the impact these practices have had on students’ academic achievement.

I am also proud of the social and emotional support that was provided to all students.  As a school we continued to encourage positive behavior by naming and reiterating what it looks like to “Go for the Gold” in all areas of the school.  We proactively discussed wellness and anti bullying efforts in student assemblies and carried out positive school traditions such as the Digger Dash, Sock Hop and Field Day.  These experiences are memorable and support students’ social, emotional and physical development.

The end of a school year always marks a transition for some staff members, whether that be retirement, staying home with a new baby or starting a new venture outside of education.  We wish the following staff members the best of luck in their new endeavors next year: Mrs. Conrad, Ms. Alvey, Ms. Shulte, Ms. Jones and Mrs. Billings.  While we will miss each one of these staff members greatly, we look forward to welcoming several new staff members next school year.  We have hired extremely talented educators with many years of experience.  I look forward to sharing more about each of our new staff members in our fall blogs!

Goals for the 2013-2014
Next year we look forward to several new initiatives that will support student learning.  Here are a few of the highlights…

·      We will be reducing class size by adding classroom teachers in grades 3-5!

·      We will implement new reading and math assessments three times a year that will track student growth and provide teachers with instructional goals for individual students!

·      We will discuss what we want students to know and be able to do in the area of writing next school year and how we know when a student has mastered certain writing concepts!

·      We will continue to monitor student growth and provide individualized enrichment and intervention!

Class Placement Process
We thank you for your input regarding your child’s classroom placement for next year.  You will receive an email the middle of  July directing you to your Parent Portal for information regarding your child’s new classroom. The email will also include a link to Canyon Creek online conference scheduling. Once you receive this information you will be able to sign up for your child’s Goal Setting conference, which will be held on either August 12th or 13th.

Report Cards & Top Dog
You can view your child’s report card on your parent portal on June 5 @ 4:00PM.  In addition to your child’s report card, he/she may receive a “Top Dog” certificate.  “Top Dog” certificates are awarded to only those students who go above and beyond to demonstrate what it looks like to “Go for the Gold”.  You may click here to see positive behavior that those receiving this honor must display in all areas of the school each and every day. 

Kindergarten Registration
If you have a child or know of a child who will be attending kindergarten at Gold Rush this fall and he/she is not registered for school yet, please contact our registrar, Anita Rudman, at 303 387-7707 as soon as possible.

Mark Your Calendar
·      Wednesday, June 5th – Last Day of School
·      Click here for the 2013-2014 Modified Split School Xalendar

Field Day
Students enjoyed participating in our annual field day!  See pictures of students participating in this honored school tradition below.  We thank your physical education teacher, Mrs. Oday, for making field day possible!  Our kindergarten students look forward to their field day on Monday, June 3rd.

Lost & Found
Please check the Lost & Found which is displayed on the stairs overlooking the library. All items will be donated to charity on June 5th.

School Supply Pre Packs On Sale!
GRE PTO has arranged for us to offer prepackaged school supplies as a convenience to you. Go to, type “Gold Rush Elementary” into the “Find Your School” field. Pay online through Edukit’s secure website. Order by June 10 for best pricing. A full color flyer went home in your student’s backpack today.

GRE Summer Office Hours
June 6- July 5             CLOSED
July 8- Aug 2              9:00AM- 12:00PM Mon & Wed
Aug 5- Aug 8              8:30AM- 11:30AM and 12:30- 3:30PM Mon- Thurs
CLOSED Fri, Aug 9, 2013
August 12 & 13                      Goal Setting Conferences-
regular office hours 8:30AM- 4:30PM

ONLINE CONFERENCE SCHEDULING: July 17 through Aug 1, 2013

ONLINE CHECK IN: July 17- Aug 1, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Highlight of the Week
Coins For Change: PJ Day
Fifth grade student, Tes Scott, organized a school spirit day to raise money for mosquito nets to help prevent malaria in Africa.  Students and staff (and administrators!) who brought in loose change were able to wear their PJs all day.  We all certainly enjoyed being comfortable and supporting a great cause!  I am proud to share that we raised $672.00, which will purchase 14 nets! We thank Tes for organizing this fun and worthy event!

Kindergartners Test Gravity
Kindergarten students put the laws of gravity to the test on Friday when they did an egg drop.  The children were determined to protect their eggs and “not make them like humpty dumpty” by creating creative contractions that protected their eggs when dropped from the roof.  I was proud to see that thanks to our students, several eggs survived!

Mark Your Calendar
·      Tuesday, May 28th – Volunteer Appreciation Brunch
·      Friday, May 31st -Field Day@9:15-12:15 Grades 3 & 5, 1:00-3:30 Grades 1 & 2
·      Monday, June 3rd – K Field Day @ 9:30-11:15
·      Wednesday, June 5th – Last Day of School

Thinking Ahead
·      Click here for the 2013-2014 school calendar

Kindergarten Registration
If you have a child or know of a child who will be attending kindergarten at Gold Rush this fall and he/she is not registered for school yet, please contact our registrar, Anita Rudman, at 303 387-7707 as soon as possible.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Highlight of the Week
Kindergarten Orientation
We were excited to welcome our future Gold Rush students to school on Thursday evening for kindergarten orientation. We introduced our future students to key adults in the building, including the kindergarten teachers. They also had the opportunity to tour the building and explore their new classrooms. We look forward to officially welcoming our new class of kindergarteners in August.

Student Recognition
The Douglas County Federation of Teacher recognized fifth grader, Andrew Lapoint, as being an outstanding student. Andrew was celebrated for continually demonstrating what it looks like to Go For the G.O.L.D., or Give Respect, Own Your Actions, Listen and Learn and Do Your Best. We thank Andrew for being a humble leader who always listens to others and faces new challenges!

School Recognition

· The District recognized our cafeteria for their overall operations!

Benefits of Participating in Summer Reading Programs

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science and Dominican University found the following in a recent study:

· Students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who did not participate.

· Students who participated in the public library summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of third grade and scored higher on standardized tests than those who did not participate.

· While students who reported that they did not participate in the public library summer reading program also improved reading scores, they did not reach the reading level the students who did participate.

Gold Rush was the lucky recipient of a grant from the Susie Royer Syke Literacy Fellowship, which was established to honor the memory of a phenomenal teacher and mentor, Susie Royer Syke. The grant provides scholarships to certified teachers who wish to access workshops, course work and learning opportunities to advance their understandings of best practices and their effectiveness as teachers. The funds awarded to Gold Rush were used to purchase professional books for book studies that would enhance literacy instruction. Teachers participated in studies with the books Choice Words, Assessment in Perspective: Focusing on the Reader Behind the Numbers, and Informal Assessment Strategies. We thank the Susie Royer Syke Literacy Fellowship for providing this great opportunity!

Mark Your Calendar

Field Day: Grades 1-5 - Friday, May 31st
· Grades 3 & 5 @ 9:15AM -12:15PM
· Grades 1 & 2 @ 1:00PM-3:30PM

Field Day: Kindergarten – Monday, June 3
· 9:30- 11:15AM

Feeder High School Graduations: 
Please note that Graduation will impact traffic and therefore drop off
· May 21, Ponderosa @ 8:00AM
· May 22, Legend @ 9:00AM
· May 23 Chaparral @ 9:00AM
· May 24 Thunder Ridge @ 9:00AM
· Click here for additional information

Friday, May 10, 2013

Highlights of the Week
Third Graders Study Economics
Third graders explored economic concepts this week when they created their own
currency, created products and sold them for a competitive price. The children
then determined which products made the most money and why. The children’s
creativity in creating products for their peers and their thinking was amazing!

Coins for Crazy Hair & a Cause
Students who brought in change on Friday were able to wear crazy hair and give
back. The proceeds of the spirit day went towards purchasing water wells India.
We thank our third graders for organizing this fun and charitable event.

Severe Weather Impacting Dismissal
Judging on the amount of rain that we had this week, Spring must be here. Please
know that we will not dismiss students from the building when we have severe
weather (i.e. torrential rains and/or lightening). Parents will be notified that we
are doing an alternative dismissal due to severe weather through an email and a
red flag on the flagpole. If you receive this notification, we ask that parents come
into the building and sign their child out from his/her classroom. We may also wait
to have children board the school bus until it is safe for them to leave the building.
We appreciate your patience during such a dismissal and please remember that the
children’s safety is always our primary concern.

We thank the PTO for honoring the teachers this week for teacher appreciation.
Everyone was thrilled with the food, chair massages and hand rubs that we
received. Thank you again for making us all feel special this week!

2013-2014 News
As you recall all schools in the Legend Feeder decided to move to the split fall break modified calendar next year. Click here for the 2013-2014 school calendar.

PTO Presidents
I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Tennyson and Michelle Goz will serve
as the PTO co-presidents for the next two years! Both Suzanne and Michelle have been
actively involved in the PTO this year and we are certain that they will continue the
traditions in the years to come. We also thank Courtney Townley for all of her hard
work as PTO president this year. She was instrumental in facilitating our honored
fundraisers and the spirit events.

Mark Your Calendar
* May 10th – Golden Ticket Theater Presents Aladdin - 6:30 @ Gold Rush Gym
* May 11th – Golden Ticket Theater Presents Aladdin - 1:00 & 6:30 @Gold Rush Gym

* May 14th – PTO Meeting - 6:30-8:00 @ Gold Mine Room
* May 16th - Kindergarten Orientation - 6:30- 7:30 @ Gold Rush Gym
* May 31st – Field Day Grades 1-5- volunteer sign up outside the office
* June 3rd – Field Day Kindergarten

Friday, May 3, 2013

Highlights of the Week
Talent Show
Our students showcased their many talents today during the whole school talent show.  Our children were amazing!  We were all so impressed with their ability to sing, dance and cup stack.  We were also proud of them for taking a risk and performing in front of their teachers and peers.  The show clearly demonstrated that Gold Rush has talent!

School Culture Survey Results
This week the school leadership team reviewed our school’s results from the state culture survey.  The T.E.L.L. survey, or Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning Survey, is administered to all certified staff every two years and it measures the following areas:  time, facilities and resources, community support, student conduct, teacher leadership, school leadership, professional development and instructional practices. We were excited about our school’s many celebrations!  Here is what teachers believe are some of our many accomplishments:

At Gold Rush….
·      Students have access to sufficient amounts of instructional technology!
·      The community is supportive of our schools!
·      Students understand the expectations for student conduct!
·      We take steps to problem solve!
·      Teachers are held to high professional expectations for delivering instruction!
·      We use data to improve instruction!
·      We offer professional development that allows teachers to implement instructional strategies that
    meet the needs of diverse student groups.
·      We offer professional development that enhances teachers’ ability to improve student learning and
    deepen their own knowledge!

Mark Your Calendar
·      May 9th - School Advisory Council Meeting  @ 5:30-6:30
·      May  10th & 11th – Golden Ticket Theatre Presents Aladdin, Jr. @ 6:30PM Fri & Sat, 1:00PM Sat. 
·      May 14th – PTO Meeting @ 6:30
·      May 16th – Kindergarten Orientation @ 6:30

Safety Tips
Drop Off & Pick Up
·      Please remember to pull all the way forward to the first staff member
·      Please remain in your car and allow staff to assist your child
·      Please ensure that your child is ready to exit your car when you pull forward

Contact the PTO in you are interested in serving on any of the open board seats next year.  The following positions are available: vice president, treasurer and secretary.