Thursday, April 24, 2014

Highlight of the Week
Students enjoyed celebrating Earth Day on Tuesday.  Firemen talked with students during recess about preventing forest fires and bike safety.  Our students also drew pictures on recycled paper that promoted protecting the earth.  Students also collected pennies for a new tree at Gold Rush.  We thank the PTO, especially Mrs. Armstrong, for organizing this event!

* Open Enrollment applications can be found on our school webpage.  Completed applications should be turned into the school office.  We will be accepting applications until August 15.
* Please be mindful of the no left turn sign at the exit of our parking lot as police are issuing tickets.
* Parent input regarding class placement should be emailed to the principal by May 1st.  Parents are welcome to provide information regarding their child's academic strengths and peer relationships.  While we welcome input regarding the learning environment that best meets each child's needs, we are unable to accommodate specific teacher requests as it prevents us from creating balanced classes.  If you have any questions please contact Jenny Brown.

Mark Your Calendar!
* Golden Ticket Theater is presenting The Little Mermaid on May 2nd at 6:30PM and May 3rd at
   1:00PM & 6:30PM.  Come and see our talented students.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Highlights of the Week
Students Write Their Opinions
Teachers are busy planning for their next Lucy Calkin’s writing unit on opinion (grades K-2) / argument (grades 3-5) writing.  This unit will require students to state their opinion and defend it with reasons and supporting examples.  Some students have already begun drafting pieces.  Third graders, for example, are writing on topics that they are passionate about.  Some of them are identifying a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling, or the community who they believe needs to be recognized.  Others are offering suggestions on how we can improve our school.  They are attempting to convince me on a wide variety of ideas from adding an additional recess, reinstating health class and getting a swimming pool!  While some of these ideas are more feasible than others, they are working hard to provide solid reasons and examples to support their opinion.  I look forward to sharing students’ work in coming weeks!  

Gold Rush Send Off
Gold Rush students and staff sent Mrs. Holtzer off to the Boston Marathon with a round of applause.  Mrs. Holtzer is headed back to Boston after being unable to complete the race last year.  We wish her the best of luck!

Colorado Measures of Academic Standards (CMAS)
Our fourth grade students completed the Colorado Measures of Academic Standards assessments in the area of social studies this week.  Fifth grade students will complete the science version of the assessment next week.  See your child’s classroom communication for specific testing sessions. 

Earth Day
Our PTO has organized several activities for Earth Day.  Your child can participate in a poster contest using recycled boxes.  Students will also receive stickers from firemen during lunch/recess and they will collect change for trees for the school grounds. 

Volunteer Opportunities
Field Day
Field Day is an opportunity for students to participate in a variety of activities and sports.  This year the theme is the Adventures of Lewis and Clark.  Please contact our physical education teacher, Mrs. O’Day, if you are willing and able to help on May 29th.

April 22- Earth Day Celebrations

April 25- No School

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Class Placement Information
Creating balanced class lists that meet the needs of all students is a difficult endeavor.  This process involves hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators, and other additional staff members. We take this responsibility very seriously. The process for creating class lists is as follows:

· Teachers identify the social and academic needs of each student.  They refer to existing data and record pertinent information to assist them in their decision-making.

· Teachers then meet as grade level teams to form class lists that are balanced.  Balanced classrooms meet each student’s academic, social and emotional needs.  Teachers consider each child’s personality, academic strengths and needs, as well as friendships, when they place each child. Learning specialists and the specials’ team also collaborate with classroom teachers and share their insights.

· Each grade level team types a draft of their class list which is then submitted to me.  I review each child’s placement and ensure that all parent input shared with me has been considered. Classroom teachers approve any additional changes to ensure balanced classes are maintained.

· Class lists are finalized in August to reflect all new students.

This process is consistent across grades K-4.  In addition to working with Gold Rush faculty, our 5th grade team collaborates with teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure students’ success in 6th grade.

We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students. It is a delicate balancing act that takes tremendous thought by professionals who know and care about your child. Please remember that our ultimate goal is always to create balanced class lists that promote the success of each child. Please also know that your child is placed in a classroom for very specific reasons and that our process benefits all students.  Because of the input and thought given by teachers, parents, and administrators, we are reluctant to make changes once this process is complete.  While it may seem difficult to imagine, moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire classroom.

We do value parent input and welcome any insight you wish to share about your child’s strengths, needs, and learning style.  We will take into consideration all pertinent information that you share with me either on or before THURSDAY, May 1st . While we welcome your input,
we cannot take specific teacher requests. Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me (Jenny Brown).  I will accept either a hard copy letter or email (

I cannot express enough how important it is that your thoughts are in writing. As you can imagine, we receive a great deal of parent input and verbal information is nearly impossible to track. Further, please direct all of this communication to me as I am ultimately responsible for reviewing final class lists in July when teachers are not working.

CMAS - Colorado Measures of Academic Standards
CMAS is an online standardized assessment for 4th and 5th graders.  4th graders will take Social Studies and 5th graders will take Science.  Assessments are composed of selected response, constructed response, simulations (Science) and performance events (Social Studies).  4th graders will be tested April 14 - 18.  5th graders will be assessed April 21 - 28.

Community Events
The District is offering three regional forums for parents about students safety.  These sessions will cover efforts made to improve physical safety and psychological wellness.  If you were unable to attend the session in Parker this past Wednesday please consider attending on April 16 at ThunderRidge High School or April 23 at Castle View High School. 

DCSD Art Show (click for the flyer)
The District's Art Show will be held on April 10-13 at the Outlets at Castle Rock. Come and celebrate our students' amazing talent!