Dear Columbine Families and Friends,
Happy March! I wanted to thank all of you for coming to your Parent Teacher conferences. Please click HERE if you would like to give us general feedback about your experience with our Spring Conferences so that we can continue to improve them.
Please help us by mailing your parent survey to the district. Your input is highly valued and it is the best way for you to let the district know how you feel about your school!
Hug and Go
Parents and friends, please continue to help us by making sure our students are safe when they are being dropped off and picked up. Typically it takes us only 12 to 15 minutes to dismiss 540 students and thankfully we have kept our students safe. This will help:
- Thank you in advance for your patience. Please avoid cutting in from of others unless there is a space in front of the school and you are the next in line. If someone does cut off, please don’t get mad.
- Important- Please do not drop off or pick up students on 22nd street. We do not have enough staff to supervise that side of the building, it is a narrow street and we have busses picking and dropping off students there. Although I can’t endorse this alternative as the principal, some families are using the south side of Glenwood Street and accompanying the students to school or coming to the library patio to pick up as an alternative to the Hug and Go. This is definitely a safer option.
- When approaching the Hug and Go, please pull up, have the students already sitting on the right passenger seat so that they don’t have to exit onto the road, don’t get out of the car (think drive thru at bank to make a deposit), blow them a kiss, and then do go (Remember Hug and GO J).
We will be giving state assessments to our third, fourth and fifth graders starting the week after Spring Break until the last week in April; believe it or not, thanks to last year’s parent feedback the total number of assessments have been cut in half. Like last year, I am asking our learning community to simply encourage the students to do their best and make this a part of the students’ learning experience. If we are successful, our students will learn to have a healthy relationship with these kinds of assessments, because as you all know, to be admitted to CU, get a job at Target, or get a driver’s license, one has to take a test (By the way, if you ask, I will deny that I failed the written test to get my license twice. Who does that?). We will use these state tests as part of a larger body of evidence to monitor our students’ learning. That is why coming to our parent Teacher conferences is so critical. We need all our parents to know how their child is developing academically and socially across a variety of measures.
A few last words on last year’s results for your consideration:
- Opting Out of the test– It is important for me that you know that we trust that you know what is best for your child! If you feel that opting out is the right choice for your child we will totally understand and support you! We will provide the students time to read in the library or an alternate activity. We are not able to advance learning for obvious reasons. As a result, if you choose to keep the students at home (only during the testing session), we will mark the student’s absence as excused for the time missed. IMPORTANT: My only request is that you let me know in writing as soon as possible if you want your child to opt out as I am currently in the process of creating the testing groups.
- Last year was a transition year from the TCAP tests to the PARCC tests (You can learn a lot about these tests from the Colorado Department of Education by clicking HERE)
- The tests were based on a set of new academic standards.
- Only about 30% of the students taking the test state-wide passed the tests.
- Many of our students were, in addition to taking the test in their second language, also taking for the first time in a digital format.
- Since educators are not allowed to study the tests, there is a mismatch between how we teach and how the state evaluates the students. We need to find a happy medium since as a faculty we truly don’t want to teach solely to the test.
- Many of the students taking the tests saw their peers that were opted out get up and go read in the library. They on the other hand had to take several hours’ worth of tests. I am personally not sure what I would have chosen for my own child. I just need our school community to have all the information when interpreting their child’s or the school’s state generated data. We, including our families and friends, are all working hard to have the most efficient and fun school to meet the needs of our Columbine students and the reality is that these state tests are ‘high stakes’ in the sense that a lot of people use these scores to make decisions about our school. Please, let’s use a holistic approach to evaluating our school based on many indicators.
- Schedule- Well rested students do better in all school related tasks. Here is a schedule of the assessments so that you can plan ahead.
- 29- AM–5th Math I
- 30- AM–5th Math II
- 31- AM–5th Math III
- 1- AM–5th Math IV
- 5-AM– 3rd Math I; PM– 4th Lit. I
- 6- AM– 3rd Math II; PM– 4th Lit. II
- 7- AM– 3rd Math III; PM– 4th Lit. III
- 8- AM– 3rd Math IV; PM– 4th Lit. IV (Spanish Only)
- 12- AM– 5th Lit I
- 13- AM– 5th Lit II
- 14- AM– 5th Lit III
- 19- AM– 4th Math I; PM– 3th Lit. I
- 20- AM– 4th Math II; PM 3rd Lit. II
- 21- AM– 4th Math III; PM 3rd Lit. III
- 22- AM– 4th Math IV; PM 3rd Lit. IV (Spanish Only)
- 25- AM- 5th Grade Science I
- 26- AM- 5th Grade Science II
- 27- AM- 5th Grade Science III
- 28- Make Ups
- 29- Make Ups
Ideal School Day
Please read the following letter explaining possible changes to the school day starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
The Ideal School Day Task Force – composed of teachers, administrators and parents – has made recommendations to Superintendent Bruce Messinger that support a more well-balanced day for our elementary school students and their teachers.
The goal is to provide a consistent length of day across the district for elementary students and ensure adequate instructional time in math, literacy, science and social studies while providing students with opportunities to experience art, music and physical education.
The district is considering the following recommendations for implementation in fall 2017:
- Establish a 7-hour day for elementary school students.
- Increase preschool and half-day kindergarten sessions to three hours.
- Develop a schedule for art, music and physical education that provides adequate instructional time in each content area and increases time for art education.
- Provide a minimum of 40 minutes of recess each day.
- Ensure lunch periods of at least 25 minutes.
- Provide universal breakfast (free breakfast to all children, where offered) within the school day.
- Allocate time for teachers to have ongoing professional learning outside of the instructional time for students and within time specified in the teachers’ contract.
The district is forming a representative work group, composed of teachers and parents, to continue studying an appropriate fifth grade music model. We will share the ideas with parents and the community as they are developed.
During the coming months, the district will study all of the proposed recommendations to determine potential budgetary implications. Our school will provide parents with regular updates as the work progresses.
Thank for your understanding and cooperation as we work through these important issues to ensure every child’s success.
Looking forward to seeing you around school,