Friday, April 8, 2016

Students across grade K-5 are doing an exceptional job expressing their knowledge and opinions in writing! Third grade students, for example, are proposing possible changes at school, in the community and across the nation as a part of their persuasive writing unit.  Students are supporting a topic that is of importance to them, such as instituting a clean up club at Gold Rush and getting bike racks installed in their neighborhood.  They are supporting their opinions with detailed reasons and addressing potential counter claims.  

Second graders are writing like scientists as a part of their informational writing unit.  They are detailing the steps of the scientific method that they are following as they complete force and motion experiments.  Our second graders are recording their guiding question, hypothesis, procedures and results with enough detail that others are able to replicate their experiment.  We are excited to learn from our writers!     

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.  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 provide feedback.

· 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 classes remain balanced. 

· Class lists are finalized in August to reflect the addition of 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 classes 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 as 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, April 29th.  While we welcome your input,
we cannot honor 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 available.

Intermediate students enjoyed listening to Young Voices preform this week.  Young Voices is a children's choir that shared their passion of music with our students.  Thank you Mrs. Petty for arranging this opportunity!

Students in grades three and five will complete state assessments in April.  As you recall, students in grades 3 through 5 are assessed in reading and math using the PARCC assessment, which stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers.  Click here for additional information.  Fifth grade students take an additional science assessment called CMAS.  We ask that you schedule appointments outside of your child’s testing window.  We also recommend that your child gets a good night sleep and eats a healthy breakfast each day.

April 11 - 13
Grade 3 - Math @ 9:20-10:45 AM
Grade 5 - Science@ 1:45-3:45 PM
April 18 - 21
Grade 4 - Math @ 10:00-11:45 AM
Grade 5 - Math @ 1:45-3:45 PM

April 20th- SAC Meeting- 5:30- 6:30PM
April 29th- Spirit Day- Twin Day 
April 29th- Talent Show- 6:30PM
May 7th- DCSD Healthy Schools Mother's Day 5K- click here for flyer 
May 15th- Rockies Appreciation Day for DC Schools- click here for flyer


Lego Club
April 13th - May 25th
April 11th- May 16th