From The Director
Every now and then there are odds and ends I feel need to be covered in the news, so here are a few for January:
- It’s been a few months since Douglas County voters approved the district’s 5A & 5B ballot measures. As a school leader, I can’t tell you how critical this was for the long-term health and viability of all schools in Douglas County, including ours. Thank you to those who expressed support for our school by voting ‘yes’ on 5A & 5B. The infusion of new funds will allow us to continue our excellent academic programs, maintain a safe, secure, and functional building, provide competitive salaries for our outstanding staff, and even consider additional staffing where needed. Since all of these decisions are interrelated, the PCK board is currently evaluating all options and contingencies with the big picture in mind. As you can imagine, this is no easy task, and progress is always slower than we’d like given the myriad of factors to evaluate and consider. However, once the board has finalized plans, we will share them with the PCK community.
- Raptor implementation is underway. Our soft launch began on January 8th and will be ongoing for the remainder of this year. The initial input process is taking a bit longer than anticipated, and we very much appreciate your patience. During our registration event next fall, all parents will be entered into the Raptor system at the start of the year, and we will officially engage the Volunteer Module for enhanced visibility of volunteer opportunities, background checks, and tracking of volunteer hours. This enhanced security measure is just one more layer in our efforts to maintain a safe and secure school environment for all.
- GRIT – we all want our kids to be gritty and capable of handling life’s challenges and disappointments. However, sometimes we inadvertently rob them of valuable learning opportunities that would actually help them develop more grit. For example, every day we have parents stopping by to drop off this, that or the other thing that their child has forgotten at home. As a parent who’s been there myself, I totally get it — we love our children and want to do whatever we can to help them or save them from a negative consequence, so we drop what we’re doing and run the forgotten item to them whenever they call. Our love for our child is our rationale for this inconvenience, and we often overlook the down side of our helpfulness. Whether we like it or not, we are reinforcing our child’s dependence on us to ‘rescue’ them for any negative consequence. As long as we’re there providing a safety net of sorts, they don’t have to worry…and that’s the problem. The missed opportunity to experience the natural consequence of not being organized or responsible doesn’t build grit, in fact, it undermines a child’s confidence in their own ability to manage low level responsibilities. Without a growing confidence in themselves, our kiddos will struggle to successfully navigate the bumps in the road of life…unless, of course, you plan to always be there when they have a need. So, the next time your child calls you in a panic because they forgot something (homework, extra clothes, library book, etc.) at home…will you rush to the rescue, or simply assure them that you are confident they can work it out with someone at school? Which response will best help them become strong, responsible, and gritty?
- Finally, just a word of caution about winter conditions: Our snow removal service, along with our facility staff, work hard to keep our sidewalks and parking lot free and clear of snow and ice. However, with Colorado’s constantly changing weather, this can sometimes be easier said than done. Please exercise care when driving and walking through our parking lot and along our building walkways. Some of the shadier spots can be icy and we’d hate for anyone to slip and fall. Thank you.
Don’t Miss “Helping Your Daughter Manage Girl Drama” Tonight
Our next Parent Education Series session is on Helping Your Daughter Manage Girl Drama, presented by PCK Character Coach, Dianne Daniels. If you would like to learn how to guide your daughter through social ups and downs at any age, you won’t want to miss this tonight, Thursday, January 24 at 6:30. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dress Down Day Tomorrow
Since tomorrow is the last Friday of the month, it is a dress down day! Please remind your student to follow the dress down day dress code.
Tomorrow Is The Last Day For The Coin Drive
Our Middle School Student Council is holding a coin drive to help raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our drive runs until Friday, January 25. Each classroom has a pizza box students can put their donations in, and if we raise at least $1,500 the class that collects the most money will get a pizza party thrown by Student Council. You can also click here to donate online. This video will help your student understand the importance of this effort.
We Need Volunteers For “Dinner And Darts”
Our students are really looking forward to this Saturday’s “Dinner ‘N Darts.” There will be a professionally designed Nerf dart arena, along with an obstacle course, games, and dinner. This fun mother/son event is at PCK this Saturday, January 26th from 4:00-7:00 pm.
However, we need volunteers to help make this night the best it can be. Many hands make light work, so please check the following Sign Up Geniuses to see how you can pitch in. Dads, we’d love to have you volunteer so this mother/son event can be a success.
Board Game Donations
Tickets are on sale now at the PTA Web Store for $20/couple and $5 for each additional child. Tickets must be purchased in advance – they will not be available at the door.
If mom is not available that night, kids are welcome to bring a grandmother, aunt, or family friend to enjoy the fun. If you have any questions about the event, please e-mail the PTA.
Watch Those Street Signs
Residents of the Lincoln Creek neighborhood behind the school have notified us of PCK parents going the wrong way on Centerpark Loop. This is a one-way street. Please pay attention to, and follow, all posted traffic signs. We want to be good, law-abiding neighbors. Please also mention this to grandparents, nannies, friends, and relatives who may drive your child to/from school or may visit PCK for special events. Thanks for your help!
New Mad Science Class Starts Next Month
Students in kindergarten through 5th grade can learn about circuits, conductors, currents, and much more in this energizing after-school club. Get the details and registration information here.
Please Check Your My School Bucks Account Today
We have several families with unpaid school fees. Please make sure you are up-to-date with your payment by logging in to My School Bucks and verifying your account balance today. If you have a middle school student, all elective fees must be paid. Get instructions for logging in to My School Bucks here.
Middle School Book Fair Volunteers Needed
Our Middle School Book Fair is coming up on February 11-14. We need some enthusiastic parent volunteers to keep things running smoothly. You can get the details and sign up here.
Last Saturday our middle school students volunteered for the Parker Task Force by collecting food donations at two King Soopers locations. They helped collect 378 boxes of food, $3,500 in cash, and $1,200 in gift cards. Also, due to a high level of need, the Parker Task Force asked for special donations of milk and cheese. 133 gallons of milk and 255 packages of cheese were collected. Great job serving our community, Middle School!
Tech Talk With Mr. Robbins
Learn about two apps your child may be using (or would like to use) here. One helps with learning foreign languages and one you’ll want to discuss with your student.
Great Donations Make The Gala Auction A Hit
We are currently collecting donated items for our annual Gala auction. If you already have something to donate, please bring it to the front desk of the school. If you are out savoring a great dinner, enjoying a special shop, or thrilling to a new adventure, ask if that business would be willing to donate a gift card or item to our auction. Click here for more information and themes for each grade level. All donations need to be turned in by March 8. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Mockus at email@example.com.
Parent Travelers Wanted
PCK has an exciting Middle School elective called Around the World. Students in this elective will “travel the world” by exploring the cultures of different countries. We are looking for guest speakers who can share personal experiences and insights from other countries. Presentations can vary from 15-50 minutes. If you have a connection to another country and would like to be a guest speaker in this class, please contact Mrs. Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
…And We Still Need Volunteers For “Dinner And Darts”
Volunteering is fun! Find out how you can get involved, meet other PCK parents, and show your child the value of contributing to our school community. Check out the volunteer opportunities here:
Board Game Donations
Brassical Adventures Is Coming To PCK
Denver Brass will be at the PCK Preschool on February 2 presenting Brassical Adventures. This is a fun, interactive, no-need-to-sit-still event designed to inspire a love of music in children ages preschool through 2nd grade. Get the details here.
The Art Department is planning a few collaborative art projects for Earth Day and will need plastic water bottles and various colors of bottle caps. Please take off the label and send only clean bottles. Start collecting these at home to send to school the week of February 25. Thank you for your help!
Robots Make Tech Class Even More Fun
Our 4th graders learned how to program robots to go through mazes. This was a great hands-on experience that our students loved. Be sure to ask your child about all the cool things happening in tech class!
Did You Know…
A new report shows Colorado ranks number 2 in the country for pro-charter school laws. This means students in Colorado have better access to higher quality charter schools than those in other states. Colorado still has some work to do in equalizing capital funding for charters and in strengthening accountability for full-time virtual charter schools, but we are leading the pack when it comes to best practices. You can read what the Colorado League of Charter Schools says about the report here.