Friday, April 17, 2015

The Colorado Symphony Comes to Gold Rush
Members of the Colorado Symphony performed at Gold Rush this week.   Performers took us on a musical journey that stimulated our interest in music.  They highlighted every instrument in the orchestra.  We listened to several classical pieces and pop ones as well.  Student favorites included the themes from several Disney Films and Star Wars.  We hope that this performance will motivate our students to participate in our orchestra and band programs in the future.  We thank our music teacher, Mrs. Petty, for bringing this opportunity to our school.

CMAS Testing
Students in grades 4 and 5 will be given the CMAS assessment, or the Colorado Measures of Academic Success: Social Studies and Science, on April 20, 21 and 22nd.   Students in fourth grade will be assessed only in Social Studies at 1:45 to 3:15 on each of the identified days.  Fifth grade students will be assessed only in Science at 10:30-12:00 each day.  Please ensure your child’s success by having him/her get a good night sleep and healthy breakfast.  We would also appreciate it if you would refrain from scheduling appointments during your child’s testing window.

District Text Message
Douglas County School District provides parents with emergency information via text message. Parents need to opt-in in order to receive emergency communication this way.  Click here for instructions to set up your text messaging preferences.

Class Placement Process
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 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.  Teachers 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 when creating initial lists.
  • Each grade level team types a draft of their class list, which is then submitted to me.  I review each child’s placement to 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 students who enroll in the summer.
This process is consistent across grades K-4.  Our fifth grade team collaborates with teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure student success in 6th grade.

We strongly believe that this 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 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 FRIDAY, 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, I 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 in session.

Calendar of Events
·      CMAS Testing – April 20, 21 and 22nd
·      Friday, April 24 – No School

Thank you!
·       Thank you PTO and Mrs. Golish for an amazing spring book fair!

·       Please have your child look through the lost and found by Wednesday, April 22.  We will be donating remaining materials on Thursday, April 23.