August 5, 2015
Dear Columbine Families and Friends,
2015-2016 is going to be a fantastic school year at Columbine Elementary. I am so excited to see you that I had to take a picture with my new glasses.
Please take a minute to review our shared vision.
Columbine’s vision is to provide a bilingual learning community that nurtures academic excellence for all students and encourages each of them to achieve their full potential as emerging responsible citizens with the strength of character to take on the challenges of the 21st century.
Together we will take the next steps towards realizing our highest potential as a thriving learning community!
On behalf of the Columbine Elementary faculty and staff, I thank you for trusting us with your amazing children. In return, we promise to do our very best to teach them and keep them safe. Columbine Rocks!
Following is enough information to get us started:
School Hours: Monday- Friday 8:15-3:00
Preschool Hours: Tuesday-Friday from 8:15-11:00 or 12:15-3:00
Morning Homework Club 7:30-8:15 (Library)
Supervision during arrival 8:00-8:15
Supervision during dismissal 3:00-3:15
Breakfast served from: 8:15-8:25
Clean Up/Announcements: 8:30-8:35
Tardy Bell: 8:20 (Students considered tardy. Important: 4 tardies = 1 absence)
Main Office Hours Monday-Friday 7:45-3:30
Teacher Office Hours Wednesdays from 3:00-3:30
Attendance Line 720-561-2502
Main Office Phone 720-561-2500
Family Resource Coordinator 720-561-2576
School Website http://www.columbineelementary.org/
Calendar (Quick Reference):
August 10 ● Office opens for school year
August 14 ● August Student Check in from 3:00 pm until 5:30- Turn in registration packets
August 18 ● Class lists and bus schedules emailed home by 3:30 (explained below)
August 19 ● Drop off supplies and meet the teachers from 3:30-4:30
August 20 ● First day of school for 1st- 5th grade students
August 20-21 ● Kindergarten Assessment Days- (school staff will call incoming kindergartner families to make individual appointments)
August 24-25 ● Staggered start for Kindergartners by first letter of last name
- A-L on August 24
- M-Z on August 25
August 27 ● Required back to School Night
- 5:00-5:45 First Session
- 6:00-6:45 Second Session
August 28 ● Preschool Open House (10:00 for the AM session and 11:00 for the PM session)
September 1 ● 1st day of school for Preschool students
September 3 ● PTA- Welcome Back to School Picnic 5:00- 6:30 (Rain Date- September 11)
September 7 ● NO SCHOOL – Labor Day
We have some new members joining our learning community or changing jobs.
o Amanda Holden– will be our Assistant Principal on duty Wednesday and Thursday. Amanda has worked as a pre kinder and kinder teacher in Washington D.C., English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Centennial Middle school, and as an Assistant Principal at Angevine Middle School. Amanda will be an excellent example for our students learning Spanish as a World Language. Her Spanish is great! FYI- The staffing for Amanda comes in addition to what is allocated based on our student count.
o Ana Arroyo– Ana will cover a one year leave for Lisa Altamira in 1st grade. She is highly qualified and has many years of experience working with first graders in the Denver Public Schools.
o Carlota Loya Hernandez– Carlota will now serve as a part time Talented and Gifted Teacher (TAG) and part time biliteracy teacher in 5th grade. Carlota is an excellent educator and understands the intricacies of identifying and serving TAG students in a diverse community such as ours. If you know Carlota, you will join me in forecasting that she will be exceptional working with our fifth graders.
o Gerard Dillehay– Gerardo loved so much working at Columbine that he went and got himself a master degree in one year. He is back as the new third grade teacher.
o Hilary Barthel– Hilary will be our new 5th grade teacher. Hilary comes highly recommended! She is very bilingual and highly trained.
o Danneyi Gorbold– Danneyi will be one of our Spanish as a World Language tutors. Danneyi is a Native Spanish speaker and holds a Colorado license to teach Spanish and Linguistically Diverse Education. Danneyi will be an outstanding new member of the SWL team.
o Tim Chavez– Tim is the new PE teacher. When I advertised the PE teacher position I received several references for Tim even before I interviewed. He has great energy, expertise, is highly qualified and is easy to tell that our students will enjoy him tremendously.
o Diana Malacalza– Diana will be our new Music Teacher. To mix things up a bit, Diana worked two years as a music teacher in Hawaii. So I expect to see a lot of hula music and dance at Columbine! She has received International Baccalaureate (IB training), El Sistema training, and has taken her choirs to competitions! She also came to us highly recommended.
o Michelle Dubois– Michelle is now in a district-wide TAG coordinator position. Although we are happy for her, we will sorely miss her and her expertise!
o Kate Guthrie– Kate retired after many years serving our learning community. We wish her all the best!
• Arrival: In order to meet the required number of instructional minutes during the school year, school will start at 8:15 am sharp. Students will be considered tardy at 8:20. We are also required to take attendance as soon as possible to ensure that all students arrived at school safely. To that end, attendance needs to be taken immediately after the tardy bell rings. To minimize waste of instructional time, universal breakfast will be served from 8:15 until 8:35 during integrated homerooms. Students who are not eating breakfast will use this time to catch up with their independent reading. Parents, please talk to your child’s teacher if you are available to help with breakfast, read a book aloud to the students, check in homework, or any other task to support instruction. A gentle reminder, please remember that this is not a time to conference with your child’s teacher. Teachers are on duty the moment the first student walks in their classroom. If you want more information on why we need to protect instructional time please check out this resource from the National Center on Time and Learning by following this link: http://www.timeandlearning.org/make-every-minute-count-0.
• Class lists and bus information: In order to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), BVSD schools will no longer be able to post class lists and bus information in front of buildings. Instead, class lists will be emailed using the main email provided by families by August 18 at 3:30pm. If you do not have access to a computer please feel free to come to the office to get your child’s classroom assignment and bus information. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for not making specific teacher requests last year. You provided me in writing important information to be factored in when last year teachers were creating this year’s homerooms. Remember that most Columbine students have more than one teacher. Being able to work with different teachers and make new friends is an important skill and a necessary developmental stage for all our 21st Century learners. As you well know, you have great influence in how successful your child is emotionally and academically in the school year to come. You are our greatest ally! I am attaching our Class Placement policy for the convenience of new families joining our school:
“Creating balanced classes each year is a collaborative process that the Columbine teachers and staff begin working on during a spring in-service day and continue refining in August. Teachers and staff consider academic strengths and needs, gender, social-emotional concerns, and peer dynamics as they work to create balanced classes. If you would like to provide additional information on your child’s learning and/or social development needs, please do so in writing to the principal. Letters should not be sent directly to classroom teachers. Your written input will be shared only with those teachers and staff members who are involved in creating new class lists. Columbine does not consider requests for a specific teacher.”
• Student check in: Student check in will be held on August 14 from 3:00 to 5:30 pm. You will be able to turn in the required forms included in this letter. These forms are available on our website. The direct link is: http://columbineelementary.org/enrollment/august-registration/. Other information will be available during student check in.
• Arrival: Please remember that we only have student supervision 15 minutes before the first bell rings. School doors will automatically close after the tardy bell at 8:20 am. Knowing that many parents are rushing on their way to work, the Hug and Go lane is designed precisely for that purpose, to have parents Hug and Go and get on their way. If you are planning on staying, or need more time to say goodbye, please use the parking lots. Please do not drop students on 22nd street. This is extremely dangerous since this area is not supervised and buses load and unload students in this area.
• Dismissal– Buses will load students at 3:00 pm on 22nd street. Please do not pick up students on 22nd street. All students scheduled to be picked up will be ushered to the front of the building where staff will adequately supervise students. In the beginning pick up will take a little bit longer, but as the year progresses, it gets much easier. Last year, we were able to dismiss students in as little as 12 minutes! Important, unless it is an emergency, if you change dismissal plans for your child, we need to know before 2:30 pm on the day of the change. You can call us at 720-561-2500 or write us a note.
We can’t dismiss students to other adults or allow students to walk home without written permission from the parents or guardians. Also, it helps tremendously to have accurate and current information, particularly phone numbers, address, and who is or isn’t allowed to pick up the student. Please make sure to call our Registrar, Angie Mediavilla at 720-561-2504, with any needed updates. The Library court yard is for the dismissal of students that are picked up by parents on foot. Please do not park on the parking spots designated for drivers with disabilities. Finally, please help us by walking bikes, skateboards, etc. while on school grounds. Everyone’s safety is our greatest priority!
• Parking– we encourage families, volunteers, and visitors to use the parking lots on Repplier Drive on the west side of the building. Please drive slowly and observe the parking signals for the obvious safety reasons but also because we are always modeling for our students. Please try to not park on the neighboring streets, we are trying to be good neighbors. Parking in the Hug and Go loop is restricted during drop off from 8:00-8:45 am and dismissal from 2:45 and 3:15 pm.
• YMCA-after school and childcare program for days when school is out will be provided by the YMCA of Boulder. This year we have only a few students registered so care will be provided at Foothills Elementary. The good news is that the YMCA has purchased a 14 passenger minibus that will be dedicated for the 5 to 10 minutes shuttle required to get to students to Foothills. For more information please contact Tasia Krause at 303-443-4474 ext.4291 or by email at Tasia.Krause@ymcabv.org.
• Volunteers– We need your help to cover all the bases. Last year we have tremendous parent support. Thank you! Without exception, regular volunteers must complete all the district requirements including a background screening on a yearly basis. Level 1 volunteers are able to work with students while supervised by a teacher as long as they are not on the Colorado Sex Offender Registry. Level 2 and 3 volunteers are able to work with students while not supervised directly by a teacher as long as they meet the requirements outlined in the following district link: http://bvsd.org/volunteer/Pages/default.aspx. If you need help with any of the requirements, we will be glad to help in the office. Mariana de la Cruz is an expert in this area. You can reach her at 720-561-2507.
• Visitors– Without exception, all parents, volunteers, and visitors need to check in at the front office and get a volunteer or visitor sticker. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our students safe while at our school. Please let’s remind each other if this expectation is not met. If you see an adult at our school without a badge, please remind them to check in at the office. Our students’ safety is a job that we share at Columbine!
• Handbook– the Columbine Policy Handbook has been posted on the school website. Our goal is to have it translated this year.
• Cell Phones– please remind students that cell phones in school are for emergency use only and need to be kept in their backpacks and silenced. We encourage parents to help us by not sending the students to school with expensive phones. The school is unable to take responsibility for items damaged or stolen. Other Electronics like IPods and Nintendo are not allowed in school.
• Toys and Other Items that Don’t Belong in School– It will help tremendously when parents remind students to keep their toys at home. Believe it or not, many of the issues that we had to mediate in the office where related to toys. Please support us by having a conversation about things that can or cannot come to school. Particularly items that even unintentionally can hurt someone else (lighters, pocket knives, etc.)
• Bus– If your student rides the bus to school, please reminds him or her that they are as accountable for their behavior on the bus as when they are home or at school. This is also true at the bus stop. Driving a bus with 75 students is challenging if students are misbehaving. Typically Columbine students do a great job on the bus. However, please know that if a student gets a referral on the bus, he or she will need to fill out a “Stop and Think” at school. However, a second referral within a month will result on the suspension of bus privileges for a day. Each repeated offense will add a day to the suspension. We know that this will ultimately inconvenience the families but bus safety is essential. Please help me by talking to your child about our shared expectations while riding the district bus.
In order to reduce the number of students riding on the buses dedicated to the Valmont corridor, we will have kindergarteners and first graders living in this area ride the preschool buses. Older siblings will be allowed to ride with the little ones one a space available basis.