From The Director
The upcoming spring assessment period, and the valuable data it will provide, is like a lighthouse in the storm. Just as the light from a lighthouse guides ships safely into a harbor or past a rocky shore, student achievement and growth data provided by assessments is the ‘light’ PCK teachers need in order to meet our students’ academic needs and deliver critical instruction that will effectively address any gaps. At the risk of mixing my metaphors, without both the macro (CMAS) and micro (MAP and Dibels) data, we are throwing darts in the dark! It’s hard to hit the bullseye when you cannot ’see’ exactly where it is.
Data is essential to our success, and I’m proud to say PCK has always had a great track record when it comes to strong student participation levels on state assessments. The data is then used to inform decisions about curriculum, instructional strategies, and other interventions. We need good data! So, whether we like the tests or not (and we can debate the pros and cons all day), the data produced is invaluable to us if we are to effectively…accurately… serve our students at their point of need. Data is neutral, meaning the point of data should be to understand…to inform. For us, it is a bright light that illuminates a path for teachers and support staff so that they know exactly what needs to be done to ‘move the needle’ for each and every student. Data is not something we should ever fear; it simply paints a picture, tells a story, or informs a decision.
The PCK staff is data savvy and data-driven. They are trained and know how to use student data to adjust instructional strategies throughout the year, and they do so regularly. However, after the year we’ve all had, filled with a school closure, quarantines, and other Covid-related interruptions in the learning process, student performance data is even more critical than ever to our academic effort and plans for recovery! We need the good, accurate, end-of-year data that CMAS, MAP, and Dibels provide so that we know precisely where the bullseye really is, and what we need to do to hit it for every student. To that end, the PCK Board recently approved an additional staff work day on May 14th. This will be our second data day this year, and the staff will focus on end-of-year MAP and Dibels data. The goal will be twofold:
1) To understand where students are academically coming off this crazy Covid year; what, if any, gaps in learning do we see?
2) To share the data with the next grade level team so the new team knows exactly where they will need to start in the fall, and what, if any, gaps they must prepare to address early on.
The extra data day on May 14th will allow our teachers the gift of time to contemplate and prepare for next year in a way we’ve never needed to prepare in the past. Then in September, we will have another data day to review our 2021 CMAS data and beginning-of-year MAP and Dibels data, continuing our on-going macro and micro improvement efforts. We cannot afford to waste any time shooting darts in the dark.
Mark Your Calendar
The PCK Board approved an extra teacher in-service day on Friday, May 14 to allow teachers additional time to review testing data and make plans for next year using this information. Students will not have school on this day. Enjoy the day off!
Dress Down Day Tomorrow
Our “last Friday of the month” all-school dress down day is tomorrow. Please make sure your student follows the dress down day dress code.
Don’t Miss Cougar Cast
Check out this episode of Cougar Cast to learn about Martin Luther King Day, this month’s character trait of obedience, Lego Day, and Boom’s supersonic planes.
Thanks to the following students for all of their hard work on this project:
Mrs. Jenkins’ 5th/6th grade research team:
|Aanya S. (6th)||Alex M. (6th)||Eamonn L. (6th)|
|Kaylan H. (6th)||Maddie A. (5th)||Sean C. (6th)|
|Siona G. (6th)||William B. (6th)|
Mrs. Henderson’s 8th grade production team:
|Aidan B.||Audrey W.||Connor B.|
|Elizabeth P.||Grace S.||Henry B.|
|Kunj A.||Lizzy M.||Peyton K.|
|Ruth S.||Yash J.||Zoe W.|
Starting in November, our second graders participated in a Winter Reading Passport reading challenge. Each student received a passport and earned stamps by completing a variety of 30-minute reading challenges. Thirty-six students filled their passports, meaning they read for 1,080 minutes or more. Ethan C. earned first place for reading the most minutes, Catalina L. came in second, and Jackson T. won third place. These three top readers each earned an Amazon gift card, and all 36 students who filled their passports enjoyed a pizza party at lunch. Great job, and keep reading!
Get Adobe Creative Cloud From The PTA
Thank you to our PTA, and particularly to Randy Lastar, for finding a great deal on the Adobe Creative Cloud that all PCK families can enjoy. Simply submit this form and the PTA will send you the license key and the information to sign up for your free one-year subscription that includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and much more. All K-8 families are eligible for one subscription.
Bump, Set, Open Gym
Girls in grades 6 – 8 can enjoy a volleyball open gym on Friday afternoons until 4:30pm from February 5 through March 5. All participants must have a waiver submitted here before attending open gym. Get more details here.
Connecting With Character
This week in Character Coaching, students are continuing to learn different applications of empathy and compassion The following Home Links will give you a glimpse of what your student is learning in Character Coaching, and will help reinforce the lessons at home. They do not need to be signed or returned to school.
Don’t Miss Your Chance To Order A Yearbook
The last day to order a yearbook for your student is March 15. Yearbooks were automatically ordered for all students in the past, but this year each family must place their own order. Yearbooks are $19.65 plus tax, and can be ordered here.
Snacks = Happy Testers
CMAS testing can work up quite an appetite, and our students love getting special snacks during test week. This year we will start testing after spring break, so it is time to start collecting snacks to feed our hungry students. If you can donate snacks, please sign up here. Thanks in advance for your help!
Kids Heart Challenge Starts Next Week
Kids Heart Challenge is almost here! We use this fun annual event to educate our students on how and why they need to take care of their hearts.
On February 1, Agent KHC will kick things off by taking students on a mission to find the missing Heart Heroes, fight heart disease, and help others. When they are done, they will be official Heart Heroes!
Your student can get a head start by watching the official trailer. Visit www.heart.org/khc to register under our school. Be sure to check out the KHC Mission Experience and complete the daily missions!
We know not every family may be able to donate, however, as part of Kids Heart Challenge, every student will benefit from the daily and weekly missions that will teach them about how and why they need to take care of their hearts. If you can help raise funds, the American Heart Association will put those dollars to work saving lives. Every dollar makes a difference.
Our school is proud to help the AHA as they are supporting our community in many ways during this pandemic. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, and right now 40% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 have heart disease or have had a stroke. Learn more about the AHA’s COVID-19 response here.
Annual Giving Campaign Ends Sunday
There is still time to contribute to the Annual Giving Campaign before it ends on Sunday, January 31. Go to PCKgiving.com to make your donation. Thank you for your support!
Scan Your Box Tops and Send In Your Milk Caps
Our PTA has two very easy ways to raise money for the events they hold to support our community and our teachers. If you drink milk from Longmont Dairy, please send in your clean bottle caps for the Milk Caps For Moola program. There is a collection box near the front office at PCK, and we earn 10 cents per cap.
You can also scan Box Tops and easily earn money for the school! Simply download the Box Tops For Education app, look up our school by the name Core Knowledge Charter School, and scan your box tops.
Thanks for supporting our PTA!
Thank You For Choosing PCK
This is National School Choice Week, and we are proud you chose PCK. There are many great education options, and we are thankful that families can select the best fit for their students. You can learn more about school choice with this “School Choice In Colorado Snapshot.”
News From Our Littlest Learners
During the winter, it can be hard to get outside. Being in the sun and breathing the fresh air is beneficial for all of us. While kiddos can usually be outside longer than parents or teachers, there are fun things you can do that are creative and make the time pass quickly. Did you know kids can paint with snow? Take a paintbrush outside, dip it in the snow and let your child paint on the sidewalk or your driveway. You can also use sidewalk chalk. Just dip a piece of chalk in the snow and the moisture will make the chalk more like paint. Children love to see brilliant colors as wet chalk is brighter than dry chalk. You can also color the snow with the chalk. All of these are fun ways to add creativity to your time outside.
Thank You To Our Safety Dad
Thank you to Steve Wald for being this week’s Safety Dad. We are so grateful to you for spending two days with us. We appreciate you more than you know.
We have lots of openings for Safety Dads this semester. Feel free to sign up for multiple shifts! Get more information and sign up to volunteer here.
Thank you to the Wald family for bringing our staff delicious pumpkin bread. What a nice treat on a chilly morning!