Dear Columbine Families and Friends,
I hope that you are well and enjoying the nice fall weather. Coming from a country where the average temperature is 75 degrees, I never thought that I would say this… I am hoping for lots of snow during the rest of the season! This reminds me to share to please make sure to send the students to school dressed for the weather. Research and experience tells us that students don’t learn as much when they don’t get adequate opportunities to play outside. We also are required by Board Policy ADF-R to provide a minimum number of minutes of recess per day. As a result, we will take the students outside unless the temperature is below 18 degrees (Teachers sometimes take students around the building for a brisk walk), it is raining, or if the conditions outside seem in any way unsafe. Please remember that when the class goes out, all students have to go outside. We do not have the ability to simultaneously supervise students inside and outside.
Since this always happens in the fall, I am also going to ask in advance for your forgiveness regarding a very itchy subject… lice. This week I was talking with a few principals and we were comparing lice stories as if they were war wounds. You may ask yourself, why is he telling me this? I guess that I just need you to know that it happens everywhere in the district. I think that things like this come along with being part of a community. To stay informed, a great resource is the Colorado Department of Education guiding document “Infections Diseases in Child Care and School Settings.” If you go to page 45, you will have additional information from the proverbial “horse’s mouth.” District policy requires us to send home preschoolers once the students have been identified as having lice. For 1st through 5th graders, we inform the parents immediately and it is up to the parent to either pick up the student or wait until the student gets home for treatment. Students can come back to school after the first treatment. If the student continues to be identified as having lice, we may have to ask for proof of treatment. I think that things like this come along with being part of a community. By the way, my head is itching as I write this!
Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all of the many volunteers supporting learning at our school. This year I have signed more requests for clearance than ever! I appreciate our PTA for all the food during conferences and all that they do for us. Volunteers are truly critical to the health of our school. Particularly as we continue to accommodate budget cuts at all levels. Yesterday, in the governor’s proposed state budget, Governor Hikenlooper calls for an increase in the negative factor of an additional 45.4 million dollars. This will result in approximately an additional 6 million dollar cut to our district. The total negative factor since I started in BVSD 10 years ago is now well over 200 million dollars. It is thanks to you that Columbine is still a thriving school. In order to keep you informed, I want to share a couple of areas where we could use some help. We are short a couple of people during lunch between 11:15 and 1:00. It would be great if we could organize family and friends at every grade level to come to lunch, and stay for recess, with their children. I have to warn you, it gets pretty intense when you have a couple of grades eating together. Having even one additional adult will help tremendously. I also want to bring to your attention that while we have spent every additional dollar that we have to this end, we need to beef up our classroom libraries and our school libraries. I am going to bring this up at our next PTA meeting where I usually get good ideas and support. To end, schools that are making the greatest academic growth are intentional about pairing student readers with adult listeners. If you can, you’re your teachers if they need someone to read with students. It will be very gratifying and you may end up really changing someone’s life. The teacher may decline since it is sometimes hard to have students coming and going with so much curriculum to cover, but If you are willing, there may be another teacher that could use the help. When I was a second grade teacher I used to have grandparents come to read with my kids. It was awesome!
Thank you in advance for all your support as we continue to grow towards realizing our vision for our students.
From BVSD Food Services
Dear Columbine and Alicia Sanchez parents,
On October 4th and 5th, we kicked off the 2016-17 Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP). Through the end of May, students at Columbine can expect to see our bright red FFVP cart on the playground during lunch recess on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Alicia Sanchez students will see the cart on Wednesdays and Fridays.
During the first week of the program, students tried pichuberries and jicama. Pichuberries are small, orange fruits from South America. While they resemble tomatillos, their tart then sweet taste was described as a cross between citrus, strawberries and tomatoes. They would make a great salsa or a tasty addition to any salad. Jicama was more familiar to students, many of whom explained that they enjoy it at home with lemon, lime, chile powder or salt. While jicama somewhat resembles a coconut in its whole form, the taste was described as everything from an apple to a potato to peppers!
This week students will enjoy red dragonfruit and rainbow carrots. Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, good fatty acids, and several B vitamins, as well as carotene, protein, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Rainbow carrots also boast a variety of important nutrients with each color containing different beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Want to learn more about each of our FFVP produce items, including recipes, facts and more? Check out http://food.bvsd.org/programs/Pages/ffvp.aspx.
This month we encourage you to visit the local farmers market with your child and talk to the farmers about the different fruits and veggies available. Many are willing to give free samples to curious learners!
BVSD School Food Project