Friday, September 15, 2017

As a school we are committed to promoting critical thinking.  We strive to create reflective classrooms that foster a culture of thinking.  We explicitly instruct the following seven thinking strategies in grades K-5 in order to develop critical thinking:

Monitoring for Meaning
Utilizing Background Knowledge
Asking Questions
Drawing Instruction 
Determining Importance
Creating Sensory Images 
Synthesizing Information

We believe strongly in teaching these thinking strategies that are widely supported by research.  We know that we routinely use these strategies as adult readers to create meaning as we read, write and do math.  We believe that by modeling these strategies for students in the content areas we will develop their ability to think at a deeper level.

Research shows that the messages parents send about math directly impacts students' achievement.
One study showed that parents' math anxiety communicated while helping with homework reduced students' performance (Maloney, Ramirez, Gunderson, Levine, & Beilock, 2015).  Another showed that mothers' negative statements resulted in decreases in their daughters' achievement (Eccles & Jacobs, 1986). These studies affirm that sending positive messages about math is more important than knowledge of math content.  Click here for the full article.

We are looking forward to our all school fun run on September 29.  We hope that you will come and cheer us on.  Please see our running schedule below.

8:45 – 9:00            Stretching (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:00 – 9:15            Race  (Preschool and Kindergarten)
9:10 – 9:25            Stretching (1st and 2nd grades)
9:25 – 9:55            Race  (1st and 2nd grades)
9:50 – 10:00         Stretching (3rd and 4th grades)
10:00 – 10:45       Race  (3rd and 4th grades)
10:40 – 10:50       Stretching (5th grade)
10:50 – 11:35       Race  (5th grade)

Students are using their artwork to promote kindness and school spirit.  These are two examples of signs displayed throughout the building.  We appreciate students' messages and creativity!

Fall conferences will be held on Wednesday, September 27th, and Thursday, October 5th , 2017. Click here to schedule your conference using the online scheduler
.  The password is digger.  Click here for information on how to use the conference scheduler.

* September 15: Western Night @ 5:00-7:00
* September 21: SAC Mtg @ 4:30-5:30
* September 22: No School - Teacher Training
* September 27: Parent Teacher Conferences
* September 29:  Digger Dash
* October 5:  Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gold Rush teachers are committed to creating critical thinkers who take risks.  Research affirms that making mistakes furthers students' cognitive development.  Jo Boaler, professor at Stanford, defines a mathematical mindset as a belief that anyone can learn math and be a strong mathematician. She contrasts a mathematical mindset with a fixed mindset that suggests only some people are born with the ability to do math well.

Boaler argues that all children are capable.  She cites brain research that shows brains are constantly evolving.  She refers to research that notes that individuals develop synapses by making mistakes and those that have a mathematical mindset learn more from mistakes than those with a fixed mindset.  Boaler encourages teachers and parents to explicitly promote a growth mindset.  She states, "if we believe that we can learn, and that mistakes are valuable, our brains grow to a greater extent when we make a mistake."

GRE teachers believe all students need rigorous tasks that provide them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.  We also talked about the importance of valuing mistakes in the classroom.  In addition, teachers reflected on their ability to communicate and celebrate their own mistakes.

Listen to fifth grade students talk about the importance of a Growth Mindset.


First graders reflect on when they grew from a mistake.

Stanford professor, Jo Boaler, talks about the impact of having a growth mindset in math.


Fourth and fifth graders interested in serving as Student Council officers participated in grade level elections this week.  Students shared reasons why they would best represent their classmates and their ideas for improving our school.  We are proud of all of the students that expressed an interested in serving others.  We thank Ms. Holtzer and Ms. Lautenbach for facilitating Student Council this year.

Gold Rush students and teachers rock!  To show our school pride students and staff are coloring rocks for our school garden.  We are excited to beautify our grounds and show our spirit.

Fourth and fifth grade students who participate in running club marched in Legend High School's homecoming parade Wednesday.  We thank them for their enthusiasm and spirit!  We also thank Mrs. Warner, Ms. Lautenbach and Mrs. Holtzer for participating!

* September 8: Legend High School Homecoming Game (See Electronic Thursday Folder)
* September 12:  PTO Mtg @ 8:45-10:00
* September 15: Western Night
* September 21: SAC Mtg @ 4:30-5:30
* September 22: No School - Teacher Training
* September 27: Parent Teacher Conferences
* September 29:  Digger Dash
* October 5:  Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, September 1, 2017

We kicked off one of our favorite school traditions today - the Digger Dash!  GRE's annual fun run is enjoyed by students and staff alike because it is fun and it supports our school.  This year we are continuing to raise money for our S.T.E.A.M. lab.  Students began working collaboratively on integrated science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics projects in this lab when it opened last year. Some of the students' favorite projects included creating and coding robots and exploring science concepts, such as force and motion, using Legos.    

This year we are looking forward to expanding the resources we use in the lab and supporting our commitment to providing each student with his/her own device.  This year we will be purchasing more kits that so that students can build and create in even smaller groups.  We are also looking forward to adding a new robot to our collection - the EV3.  Click here for a video demonstration of one of the many things he can do.

This week students began collecting unopened, prepackaged food from their lunch that they would have otherwise thrown in the trash.  Gold Rush is partnering with the Parker Task Force to reuse what would have otherwise been waste.  We assured students that their first priority is to take care of themselves by eating their lunch and saving their uneaten food.  We know that the simple acts of reflecting and repurposing unwanted food will make a big difference in our community.

District Security and our Parker Police Liaison Officer have observed unsafe traffic behavior on Swift Fox Way during arrival and provided recommendations.  We were advised that all cars must wait to turn into the parking lot, including those only wanting to park in the parking lot.  District Security and our Parker Police Liaison Officer stated that cars should not move into oncoming traffic at any time.  We were advised to place cones at the entrance of the parking lot to ensure compliance.  We also ask that cars pull all the way around the loop to accommodate more vehicles.  We will move supervision further down to ensure the safety of all students.  We ask for your patience and compliance.

In art students expressed their personality and interests in their drawings.  Students communicates their hobbies and style to their classmates and teacher through their self portraits.  We are proud of their creativity and willingness to share.

The 2017-2018 Student Directory is now available.  The directory can be found on the Gold Rush website under Parent Resources.  Contact the office if you need the password.

* September 4: No School - Labor Day
* September 6: Legend High School Homecoming Parade @ 4:45 (See Electronic Thursday Folder)
* September 12:  PTO Mtg @ 8:45-10:00
* September 15: Western Night
* September 21: SAC Mtg @ 4:30-5:30
* September 22: No School - Teacher Training
* September 28: Parent Teacher Conferences
* September 29:  Digger Dash

Friday, August 25, 2017

Teachers had the opportunity to define our values prior to the start of this school year.   We are all committed to creating critical thinkers who take risks, honor differences and care for others.  We all believe in fostering students' academic, social and emotional development.  The Back to School presentation featured in the blog last week describes how these values are seen throughout our school.

Click here to hear students talk about what our school values mean to them.

Suspicious Suspect in the Neighborhood
I know that you received an email from the District regarding a student who was approached by a stranger while walking home from school yesterday.  As was stated in the release, the Parker Police Department has increased patrols in our neighborhood before and after school.  All Gold Rush staff have been made aware of the event.  Our school has also increased our supervision at arrival and dismissal and during recess periods. 

Here are a few additional safety procedures we follow to keep kids safe:

* All building entrances are locked during the school day.
* All parents and visitors are only allowed to enter using the main entrance.
* The school has interior and exterior video cameras.
* All students are actively supervised while outside. 
* A police liaison officer patrols the interior and exterior of the building twice a day.

As was stated in the email, this may be a good time to talk about stranger danger with your child. Here are a few talking points:

* Use the buddy system and walk in groups
* Stay on your planned route and avoid taking shortcuts
* Be aware of your surroundings and any suspicious people or vehicles
* Report any concerns immediately to a parent, teacher or other trusted adult

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  Please know we are all committed to creating a safe community for your child. 

Improving Traffic Into Parking Lot
We consulted District Security and our police liaison officer regarding the flow of traffic leading into our parking lot during arrival and dismissal.  We were advised that all cars must wait to turn into the parking lot, including those wanting to park in the lot and not use the car loop.  Starting next week we will place cones at our entrance to ensure that all cars are following this safety procedure.

8:20AM drop off will resume next week

Students and teachers alike enjoyed watching the solar eclipse on Monday!  Everyone enjoyed experiencing this scientific feat as a school community.

Each student at Gold Rush has his/her own technology device provided by the school.  Students in grades K-2 have their own ipad and students in grades 3-5 have either a chrome book or laptop.  These devices enhance teachers' direct instruction.  This week we kicked off the year with a spirit week that highlighted how we can be responsible and safe digital citizens.  Common Sense Media is a great resource for parents, educators and students.  Click here to view this cite.

Crazy Sock Day: Digital Footprints & Reputations
Consciously managing students' own privacy and the privacy of others

Twin Day: Creative Credit & Copyright
Respecting the hard work and creativity of others

Superheros: Internet Safety
 Trusting your "gut" feeling while online and logging off from uncomfortable situations

* September 4:  No School Labor Day
* September 12:  PTO Mtg @ 8:45-10:00
* September 15: Western Night
* September 21: SAC Mtg @ 4:30-5:30
* September 22: No School - Teacher Training
* September 28: Parent Teacher Conferences
* September 29:  Digger Dash


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It was wonderful to see many of you at Back to School night!  You are able to view the principal's presentation below. 


You can click on the image above or click here to view the principal's Back to School presentation.

We are excited to watch the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.  We will provide protect eye wear so that students are able to view this rare event safely.  If you purchased glasses that you want your child to wear, the glasses must have the following ISO number clearly visible (ISO 12312-2 International Standard).   We are looking forward to this incredible event!

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) will be administered to all 3rd and 5th grade students on September 6 - 8.  This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates.  The result of these tests will serve two functions.  First and foremost, the scores will be used to inform instructional practices in the classroom.  The scores will also be used as ONE component to determine gifted programming.  

Testing will take place in the morning, and we ask that you avoid scheduling appointments during the testing window.    

Elective testing for students can be done at grades 1, 2 and 4.  If your child demonstrates the need for advanced programming, you can request he/she be tested on those same dates. This is the only time during the year that this testing is offered.  Please contact Kristi Barta, our Gifted and Talented Facilitator, by August 25th, if you would like more information or if you would like to request testing (303-387-7711 or

We are fortunate that each student at Gold Rush has his/her own device.  In grades K-2 students have their own ipad and in students in grades 3-5 have lap tops and chrome books.  Teachers are committed to using their devices to enhance direct instruction.  Part of having a device is learning how to be digital citizens.  Students in all grade levels will learn how to use their tool safely and responsibly.  Students and teachers will dress in spirit wear that aligns to the daily theme.

This week we donated vegetables from the school garden to the Parker Task Force.  Next week students will begin saving unopened, prepackaged food that would have otherwise gone in the trash.  This otherwise wasted food will be donated to the Task Force on a weekly basis.

Upcoming Events
* August 21-25: Digital Citizenship Week
* September 4:  No School Labor Day
* September 15: Western Night
* September 22: No School - Teacher Training
* September 28: Parent Teacher Conferences
* September 29:  Digger Dash

Link To Our Electronic Thursday Folder

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Days Of School
We had a wonderful first two days of school!  We were excited to come together as a school community for our opening flag ceremony.  We thank Mr. Eagan and the Marines for presenting the colors, our Brownie troop for saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the following students for their leadership:  Nick Farley, Ryan Zayaz, and Jack Nottingham.

Wednesday, August 16th – Back to School Night for Parents Only
Classroom teachers will provide parents with an overview of the school year on Wednesday, August 16th, during the following two Back to School Night sessions: 6:05-6:35 PM & 6:40-7:10 PM.  The principal will share school celebrations, upcoming goals and tips for helping your child at home from 5:45-6:00 PM in the gym .  We hope you will join us for these informative sessions.

Going For the GOLD in Parker
We kick off each school year with student assemblies that teach students what it looks like to "Go for the G.O.L.D." (Give respect, Own your action, Listen and learn and Do your best). This year we are excited to demonstrate these character traits in our community. Gold Rush is partnering with the Parker Task Force, which currently serves over 400 families in need. In the coming weeks we will collect unopened, prepackaged food (cheese sticks, milk, yogurt, fruit, chips etc.) that students did not eat and did not want to take home or save for snack. This food, that would have otherwise been thrown away, will be donated to the Parker Task Force on a weekly basis. We know that our young kids can make a big difference and that this small act will greatly impact local families.

Click here for our student presentation.

Don't Forget to Sign Up For Our App!

Drop Off & Pick Up Reminders
Thank you for keeping our drop off and pick procedures safe for all students by adhering to the following:

*Supervision does not begin until 8:20 AM.  Do not drop off students before then.
* Only drop off in our car loop or park and escort your child through the cross walk.
* Only cross at the crosswalk (parents and students).
* Pull all the way forward.
* Have students ready to exit your car.
* Have students exit at curb side only.
* Remain in your car and allow staff to assist students.
* Refrain from using your cell phone while in the car loop.
* Remember pets are not permitted on school grounds (even cute ones).

Thank You!
We thank the Armstrong family and our boy scouts for sorting and delivering our Edukits!  

Upcoming Events
* August 15: PTO Mtg. @ 8:45 AM

* August 16: Back to School Night - Parents Only
                     5:45-6:00 PM Pointers form the Principal
                     6:05-6:35 PM  Teacher Session 1
                     6:40-7:10 PM Teacher Session 2

* August 17: SAC Meeting @ 4:30-5:30 PM

* August 17 & 18: Assessment Hour

Link To Our Electronic Thursday Folder

Friday, August 4, 2017

Welcome Back!

We are excited for school to start next week!

August 2017

Monday, August 7th - Meet Your Teacher
We believe that it is essential for students to have the opportunity to meet their teacher and visit their classroom prior to the first day of school.  Families are welcome to visit their classroom on Monday, August 7, and drop off school supplies.  We want to ensure that families are able to spend time with the teacher in a small group setting so we ask that you sign up for one of the times shown below by clicking here for our online scheduler.  The online scheduler is now open and the password is digger.  Each time slot is reserved for a maximum of six students.  The sign up is first come first serve, so please sign up as soon as possible if you have a preferred time or wish to align siblings’ times.  If you ordered an Edukit, it will be delivered to your child’s classroom.  Click here for a map of teachers’ classrooms.
Sign Up For One of The Following Times on Monday, August 7th


Please don't forget to bring your emergency dismissal and student directory forms.

Thursday, August 10th -  First Full Day of School
The first full day of school for students in grades K-5 is Thursday, August 10th.  Students will meet their teachers on the front blacktop on the first day of school for an opening flag ceremony.  Each teacher will have a sign with her name on it.  

On the second day of school, students will enter the building through the front door on their own between 8:20-8:30 and walk directly to their classrooms.  Teachers and older students will be available to assist younger students.  This rolling start will ensure a smooth start to the day.  Parents of preschool students will need to walk their children into the building using the west entrance and sign their child in.  School will be in session from 8:30AM-3:30PM.    
Click here for the 2017 2018 Conventional Calendar

Student Medications

Please bring your child's medications and doctor's order directly to office on either Meet Teacher or the first day of school. Click here for the medical authorization form.

Rolling Start to the School Day 8:20 AM-8:30 AM

We would like to continue a rolling start to the school day next year.  Instead of having students line up outside of the building each morning, students will enter the building from the main entrance between 8:20-8:30 AM and report directly to their classroom.  Teachers will supervise students in the classroom as they begin their morning routine.  We believe that this new routine will allow for a more natural transition to the start of the school day.

During Meet Your Teacher, parents will have an opportunity to show their child how to walk to his/her new classroom.  Students will meet their teacher in their line outside of school on the first day of school where they will participate in a flag ceremony with their class.  Classroom teachers will then review how students will walk to their classroom on the second day of school.  On Friday, August 11, students will enter the school between 8:20 AM and 8:30 AM.  Staff members will escort students to their classrooms that need additional assistance.  To ensure all students’ safety, we ask that parents:

1) DO NOT drop off their child before 8:20 AM
2) Say good-bye to their children outside of the building.

Supervision, including cross walk supervision, will not be provided prior to 8:20 AM so it is essential that students do not arrive prior to that time.

General Drop Off & Pick Up Procedures

ALL students should be dropped off and picked up in the parking loop in the front of the school.
In order to ensure students’ safety, please do not use Summit Fox as a drop off or pick up location. When entering the parking loop please pull as far forward as possible and have students exit or enter your vehicle curbside as soon as traffic stops.  Adults in orange vests will unload or load students along the curb (see the map above) and monitor crosswalks.  Please be courteous of other drivers and indicate when you are exiting the lane.  The parking loop is a moving lane so cars are not able to park on the loop.  If your children require extra time exiting your car please park in the parking lot.
At dismissal ALL students that are being picked up in the car loop wait by the wood fence near the front playground.  Adults supervise students and assist them into their cars.  Please do not leave your car unattended at this time.  
Safety in our parking lot is our number one priority. Please remember that we are welcoming and dismissing over 600 students.  Your patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 16th – Back to School Night for Parents Only
Classroom teachers will provide parents with an overview of the school year on Wednesday, August 16th, during the following two Back to School Night sessions: 6:05-6:35 PM & 6:40-7:10 PM.  I will share school celebrations and upcoming goals for the year in the gym from 5:45-6:00 PM.  We hope you will join us for these informative sessions.
Thursday, August 17th or Friday, August 18st – 1 Assessment Hour
In an attempt to gain more targeted information regarding your child’s academic strengths and needs, each child will come to school for one hour only on either August 17th or August 18th to complete reading and math assessments.  Having students complete assessments with their teacher at the end of the second week of school allows students to adjust to classroom practices and procedures.  The assessments administered will allow educators to alter their instruction to meet your child’s individual needs and learning style.

Click here for the online conference scheduler between July 17th – July 31st to select your assessment day and time.  The password is digger.  Because we value the information we obtain on these days, it is mandatory that all children complete their assessments on either August 17th or August 18th.  Please bring your child to the front vestibule and teachers will escort him/her to his/her testing location.  Students will conclude their assessment day in the gym where your child take his/her school picture.  Our Before and After School Enrichment program (B.A.S.E.) will be available on both August 17th and 18th.  Please contact B.A.S.E. as soon as possible as spaces are limited.

Don't Forget to Sign Up For Our App!

Upcoming Events
* August 7: Meet Your Teacher
* August 10: First Day of School & Opening Flag Ceremony @ 8:30
* August 16: Back to School Night
* August 17: SAC Meeting @ 4:30-5:30
* August 17 & 18: Assessment Hour

Link To Our Electronic Thursday Folder