From The Director
Who remembers Spring Break 2020? For most of us, it’s a blur. In the U.S., we were growing increasingly concerned about the spread of COVID-19, and many of your Spring Break plans were cancelled due to closures across the country and world. We also knew that our return to school following Spring Break would be delayed an additional week. Well, that was then, just two and a half months ago, and look at where we are now. Not one of us ever imagined we would not return to school after the break, or that we would spend the final quarter of our school year doing remote learning…but we did, and WE MADE IT!
Tomorrow marks the final day of classes for our students. Everyone…and I mean EVERYONE…will breathe a collective sigh of relief as we look forward to summer break, and our state and country reopening. What a journey this has been! It’s also hard not to let the past quarter overshadow the rest of the 2019-20 school year. I want to take this opportunity, in my final Director Letter for the year, to thank the entire PCK community for a job well done! As difficult (or even impossible) as it seemed at the outset, we accomplished something pretty remarkable together. And, at the risk of being repetitive, I want you to know how much your support has meant to me, and to the entire PCK staff. Thank you for taking the hand-off…I know you didn’t have much choice in the matter, but you took it nonetheless. Thank you for staying in touch with teachers and staff throughout the weeks that turned into months, and thank you for going the extra mile to send encouraging messages, pictures, and videos of your adventures with remote learning at home. Finally, thank you for everything else you did prior to COVID-19 and the shutdown. We were in the midst of another hard-charging PCK year before we were forced into a hard right turn that last quarter.
As I have seen over my many years at PCK, our staff, students, parents, and, frankly, our entire community, did not miss a beat. We flex, we bend, we adjust, and we persevere…no matter what the obstacle or challenge in our path. For this, and so many, many other reasons, I am always immensely proud and humbled at the end of each school year by what our team…the Core Team…accomplished. This is a term I introduced back in 2002 when I first started at PCK, and from what I have just seen, and based on what we all have just come through, the Core Team is alive and well at PCK! #PCKproud!
Next Tuesday, the 26th, we are graduating our 8th graders. Traditionally, their last week at PCK is filled with special events, surprises, and a fair number of tears as they (and we) come to terms with the fact that they have reached the end of their time at PCK and are leaving. Whether they started with us in Kindergarten, or joined us somewhere else along the way, 8th grade graduation is an important milestone for our students and their families. The students have worked hard and accomplished much during their time with us, and this year’s class has been especially strong in so many ways.
Additionally, their parents have invested heavily in both their child’s education and our school community. Graduation is always bittersweet because it means that we not only say goodbye to our students, but in this year’s class alone, we also say goodbye to twenty-seven long-time PCK families. Please know that we are all so very sorry your time at PCK is ending under remote learning and social-distancing restrictions. As a staff, we are sad to see them leave, but at the same time, we are so very proud of their accomplishments and thankful for their time with us over the years. We couldn’t be more excited for their future, and we wish them much success in high school, college, and beyond. So, to our graduates and parents of graduates, the entire PCK family salutes you, we thank you, we love you, and we wish you well.
As we all turn our thoughts towards summer, and the wonderful respite it will provide, I want you to know that we will continue to monitor developments related to school start-up in the fall and we will keep you updated. Now that we’ve worked out the technical issues (lol, and thank you for your patience during last week’s Town Hall meeting), I will plan to host another Town Hall this summer when we have a clearer idea of what the start of school will look like. For now, that Town Hall will tentatively be at the end of June or early July…well before we return to school the week of August 10th. By then, we should have answers to many of your most pressing questions related to health and safety changes that may be in place upon our return in August.
In closing, I know I speak for the entire staff when I say we have missed you all terribly! The school is simply not the same without our students and our community. We are cautiously optimistic and hopeful that we will be able to welcome our precious students back home to school at PCK this fall. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful, wonderful summer break. Thank you for another fantastic (albeit eventful) year at PCK!
We are so proud of our graduating 8th graders! They represent many wonderful years of academics, theater, athletics, Battle of the Books, NJHS, Fund Run, Kids Heart Challenge, and much more. We will miss this great group of kids and wish them all the best in high school.
Send Photos Of Your Art To Those Who Need A Smile
Students can use their art to make someone’s day! 5th grader Grace Carroll is collecting photos of art, cards, letters, or other things students create to cheer up the residents and employees at Senior Care Center. Her dad works there, and can share the photos students send in through a slide show in the facility’s main lobby. Due to COVID-19, we can not send items directly to the building. Please encourage your student to take some time to draw or paint a picture and write some words of hope and encouragement to this portion of our community that is the hardest hit by the virus. Take a photo of the work and send it to email@example.com by tomorrow, May 22.
Our 5th graders are a great example of the difference students can make in the lives of others. During remote learning, they wrote kind letters of encouragement to people living in care facilities in the Denver metro area. They worked with Volunteers in Action to deliver these student letters that were filled with funny stories, poems, kindness, and encouragement. We received a letter of appreciation from the organization, saying in part, “I want to make sure you know how you positively impacted this community! The residents have not been able to leave their rooms, even for meals, since March 13. They cannot have visitors or visit with anyone else in their building. So you can imagine how they felt when they received a note, a story, a letter, or a poem from a person who cares! You helped open up their world to give them a bit of joy.” You can read the full letter here. 5th grade, your compassion makes us PCKProud!
Summer Is For Reading
We encourage all students to read throughout the summer, and we have a fun challenge for those in grades K – 4. Get the details here, and have fun reading!
Don’t Miss 5th Grade’s Virtual Science Fair
Our 5th Graders have been engaged in virtual science experiments ranging from life science, earth and space science, to physical science. You can see their Virtual Science Fair Projects here. Their Google Slides are an accumulation of multiple assignments over the past month, specifically organized into a testable question, hypothesis, research, data collection, and conclusion. Their goal was to become scientists themselves, which meant to think and do as a scientist would. Feel free to check out what these incredible scientists learned and leave a note in the Comment Box.
Only 9 Spots Available For Robotics Camp
Don’t miss your chance to sign up for summer robotics camp. The deadline to register is June 1. Students in grades 1 – 4 will have fun with Dash and Dot robots, while those in grades 5 – 8 will design and build LEGO Mindstorms robots. You can register through our Web Store by June 1. Click here to register students in grades 1 – 4, and click here to register students in grades 5 – 8.
Student Art Keeps Kids Safe
Congratulations to Sienna Zoz for winning the IREA Safety Poster Contest for 5th grade! Students in grades 1 – 5 submitted original, hand-drawn artwork that included an electrical safety slogan. There was one winner per grade level. Sienna will receive a cash prize, and her artwork will be displayed in the lobby of IREA’s Sedalia headquarters, located at 5496 N. U.S. Highway 85. Way to go, Sienna! We are PCKProud of you!
Use Safe-2-Tell To Report Concerns
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has ended their Text-A-Tip program because it serves the same purpose as Safe-2-Tell. Please advise your student to use Safe-2-Tell to anonymously report any serious concerns for the health and safety of themselves or another person. They can download the Safe-2-Tell app, use the website at safe2tell.org, or call 877-542-7233.
An Update On School Toolbox Orders
We have received questions from parents about School Toolboxes and what happens if school is delayed or online in the fall. The deadline for ordering a School Toolbox that is shipped to the school in time for our August Open House is June 7. Orders can not be canceled or returned after that date. However, if the start of the school year is delayed or we have to continue with remote learning, curbside pick-up of your Toolbox will be available at the school.
You may also order a Toolbox later in the summer for delivery to your house through the Ship To Home program. The deadline for using the Ship To Home service is September 30 (though this date could change if the start of the school year is delayed). These boxes are partially or completely returnable within 30 days with free return shipping, but the price of the box will increase significantly due to the individual packing cost.
Our Family-Owned Businesses Need Your Support
Many PCK families own businesses in our community. We want to help them by shopping local whenever we can. Please check the PTA Facebook page often for profiles on businesses owned by our families. Also, use our PCK Business Directory to find providers within our school family.
Great Things Are Happening At Home
Have a wonderful summer!