From The Director
Starting last August, PCK introduced a new temporary home education option (THEO) as a key strategy in our plan to keep students and staff safe and healthy this school year. It was designed to allow parents and students peace of mind when students were ill, quarantined, or, out of an abundance of caution, kept home to monitor minor health symptoms. Parents have been strong partners with us this year in our efforts to keep the entire PCK community safe, and have readily accessed THEO when needed. Our collective efforts are working beautifully…thank you!
On the surface, THEO seems relatively easy to implement, but behind the scenes there is a fair amount of manpower required, as well as some logistical challenges involving student materials and, in some cases, computers. We can clearly see the benefits of THEO from a health, safety, and peace of mind standpoint, and we may explore ways to continue a more limited form of THEO (THEO 2.0) beyond the current school year. However, at this juncture I need to respectfully reiterate the original intent of THEO… to be a temporary home education option for students who are sick or quarantining only. THEO is not, nor was it ever intended to be, an option used for elective travel scheduled during normal school days or for other scheduling challenges parents may encounter. Our Special Request Absence policy applies specifically to these ‘elective’ absences for travel or special events in the lives of our students and families. THEO is a very resource-intensive process and we simply cannot sustain it for purposes other than in support of non-elective illnesses, injuries, or (this year) quarantines, now and into the future; serving our ill and quarantined students continues to be our priority. I know this has become a bit murky lately, hence the clarification.
In summary, please continue to use THEO for:
- Illnesses lasting more than three (3) days (we will begin THEO on day #4);
- Quarantines due to outside exposure to Covid (we will begin THEO immediately once we are notified of the exposure);
- Medical issues involving longer recovery periods.
Our normal absence policy of 2 make-up days for every 1 day of absence still governs the first 1-3 days of student illness (monitoring of symptoms, etc.). Teachers will gladly assist students and provide missed materials upon their healthy return to school.
Special Request Absences are for ALL ‘elective’ absences (more than three days). THEO is not an option for these absences, and families are encouraged to schedule longer trips during regular school breaks when there is no pressure to have to make up missed work.
Thank you for understanding each of these three options related to student absences. Our goal is always to have students here at school as long as they are healthy and able to fully participate. Covid has gotten us a bit off-course in terms of how absences are managed, and in our efforts to accommodate absent students this year, we may have confused some families. This was never our intent and I hope this Director Letter brings some clarity.
As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.
From The Vice-Director
Dear parents of PCK,
I will have the tremendous honor and privilege of leading PCK for the next two school years. My goals will be to not only stay the course and maintain and continue to improve what we have all worked so hard to achieve, but also to start a transition to a leadership team that will have the responsibility of stepping PCK into the future.
Next year will also be a year of recovery. As our country and community move back into regular life after the pandemic, we need to plan to recover aspects of our regular program that have been paused.
One of our priorities will be to re-energize our parent community, which has been diminished in the wake of the pandemic. We will welcome parents back into our midst, and infuse new energy and purpose to parent groups that are vital in building community and support for the school. I am excited and looking forward to working closely with our community of parents!
We must reinstate school programs that allow the student experience to be joyous, wide, and varied, from math and tech clubs to lockers and dances, and a full range of sports and electives. Our children benefit from being exposed to different kinds of opportunities so they can discover their strengths and likes.
As a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, we will continue to nurture and grow our academic program so it continues to be the very best for each one of our students. We will keep a watchful eye on students coming back into our in-person program from REO to ensure they feel welcomed in their new classes and are assimilated academically.
Working together on these and many other continuous improvement goals will give our new administrative staff the opportunity to learn who we are as a community, and to develop those ties and relationships that bring love and commitment to our school and our children.
We will miss Teri, nobody more than me. I will continue to work on initiatives that have been important for her and for our school. At the end of this school year, let’s plan to give her the love- and appreciation-filled farewell she deserves.
I love our PCK community and I am looking forward to serving you in the role of school director. As usual, you know where to find me!
Johanna M. Harth
Lockdown With The District
Today we had our annual District lockdown drill, however, due to social distancing protocols, students remained at their desks while their teachers showed them where they would go in their classroom in the event of an actual lockdown. Members of the Douglas County Security Team visited each classroom for a review of safety procedures. The process took about 15 minutes, which is quite a bit longer than a regular lockdown drill, but students were comfortably seated at their desks while they waited to hear from the security team.
One-Stop Carpool Line
When dropping your students off in the morning in the south carpool loop, please pull as far forward as you are able, then let your student out of the car when you stop. You should only stop once in the carpool line. Drivers who wait until they are close to a door to let their students out not only back up the line, but also cause a safety hazard since other drivers expect all cars to move with the flow of the line and not make sudden stops. Thanks for your help in keeping our carpool process moving smoothly and safely.
Put On Your Dancing Shoes
In just four weeks, the Foundation will kick off our Parker Core Knowledge Dance Fit on March 22nd. Dance Fit is replacing the FundRun this year.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 for additional student and teacher laptops, and continued support for the THEO and REO programs. We also hope to strengthen our school community. This year more than ever, we need additional funds to provide an excellent educational experience for all of our students. We completely understand if your family is not in a position to financially support the school right now. You can still be involved by simply SHARING about our fundraiser with friends and extended family online at funrun.com. Sharing IS supporting!
All students will participate in Dance Fit, regardless of financial participation. We will follow our health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone.
We appreciate your support more than you know. Watch for more details to come as we get closer to our kickoff.
Key dates to remember:
Donating opens on funrun.com – 3/8
Kickoff Day- 3/22
Event Day – 3/31
News From The PTA
Our February Spirit Night is Thursday, February 25th from 3:00-6:00pm at Berry Blendz Mainstreet, in the Safeway shopping center. Twenty percent of net sales will be donated to PCK! Please click here for more details.
Adobe Creative Cloud
The Adobe licenses from the PTA are distributed weekly. If you submitted your request and have not gotten your invitation email, please check your SPAM folder. The email will come directly from Adobe. It is not too late to request your license – one per PCK K-8 family and PCK Staff Member. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with any questions.
You can request your license using this Google Form: https://forms.gle/nzYZDVwFEXzfpowu7
Get Warmed Up for Volleyball and Soccer Tryouts
Girls in grades 6 – 8 can try out for PCK’s volleyball team on Monday, March 1 and Friday, March 5 from 3:15 – 5:00pm. Details about tryouts and volleyball open gym are available here. See Ms. Brownell for more information.
Open turf sessions for those interested in trying out for the 6th – 8th grade boys or girls soccer teams start February 25. Students must be registered on MySchoolBucks before attending an open turf session, though there is no charge to participate. Get details on the open turf sessions and soccer tryouts here.
Jump Into Dress Down Fun
Next Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, students in grades K-8 may dress down for a $2 donation to the American Heart Association as we wrap up our Kids Heart Challenge. The $2 donation may be brought on Wednesday and covers both days.
Friday, February 26 is the last Friday of the month so it is our regular all-school dress down day. Please remind your student to follow our dress down day dress code all three days.
Google Classroom and Infinite Campus for Parents
You’ve no doubt heard your student talk about Google Classroom, and when your child learned remotely this year you probably saw it. But are you comfortable helping your child navigate this virtual space? Do you know where your child needs to go to find assignments and turn them in? How do you know if your student is missing an assignment? When should you check Google Classroom and when should you log into Infinite Campus? At PCK, we use both Google Classroom and Infinite Campus, but they serve different purposes. Join us at 6:30pm on Thursday, February 25 for a virtual parent education session on the ins and outs of these tools and how parents can use them to keep track of their students’ progress. This session will be led by Drew Robbins, one of our middle school math teachers who has also taught 5th grade and technology at PCK.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Google Meet link. You will need to log in with your student’s PCK account in order to access the meeting. This is the same login you used for parent-teacher conferences.
Our Yearbook Needs Your Photos
Our yearbook editor needs any pictures you have taken of your kiddos this school year. She is accepting photos from all grade levels, but especially needs candids from grades 3 – 6. You may also upload photos of your student participating in remote learning.
Here’s how to upload your photos so they can be used in the yearbook. Uploading from your mobile device is easy !
STEP 1: Choose the One Drive app from the App Store and download onto your mobile device.
STEP 2: At the app sign in page, type: email@example.com
STEP 3: Enter the password: cougars80138
NOTE: You can click the box “Keep me signed in” to prevent having to login each time.
STEP 4: To upload photos, select the appropriate folder and press the folder to open it. Then, click the plus button on the upper right blue menu bar. Select upload from the menu and then click photos and videos. You will then be prompted to select from your photo library on your mobile device to select the pictures to upload.
We need all photos by February 28. If you need assistance, please feel free to contact our parent schoolbook editor, Sarah Gustashaw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 972-670-8716. Thanks for your assistance!
Celebrating 100 Days of School
Yesterday, our kindergarten classes celebrated our 100th day of school. As part of the celebration, students had a friendly cup stacking competition. Each table had 100 cups to make one continuous structure in 10 minutes. The objective was to work together to complete their structure. Everyone did an amazing job, and we are proud to have been in school for 100 days!
Share Your Well-Wishes
We are planning a special bulletin board to say thank you to Mrs. Aplin for her 19 years of leadership and service to our school. If you and/or your student would like to give her a card, share a special memory, send in a photograph, or otherwise share your appreciation for her, please drop it off at the front desk of the school and we will add it to our board. Thanks for helping us send Mrs. Aplin off in style as we let her know how much she means to us all.
Connecting With Character
You can find out what your student is learning in Character Coaching using the Home Links below. These make it easy for you to talk about character with your student and reinforce lessons at home. These do not need to be signed or returned to school.
Mental Strength Training For Parents
Do you feel burnt out and fed up with parenting? You’re not alone. Maybe you feel like you’re working double-time and still not seeing the academic results and social-emotional skills you want for your child. From 6:00 – 7:30pm on March 10, DCSD is hosting a free virtual event where parents will learn how to give children the skills to deal with challenges by becoming a mental strength trainer. Get the details and register here.
Help Support Colorado Charter Schools
The ACT Advocacy Network is an action-oriented group of public charter school families, staff, and community supporters working to strengthen and support charter schools throughout Colorado. Across our state there are 261 public charter schools serving over 130,000 students, or approximately 15% of all public school students in Colorado. The changing environment in Colorado and across the country requires us to grow and strengthen our community of charter school advocates. Efforts will be focused on state policy, district initiatives, and on electing school board members and state legislators who agree that ALL Colorado children deserve access to high-quality public school options, including charter schools.
Please see this article on what ACT is doing in Colorado. If you are already a member, please click the link in the article to update your communication preferences. If you are not yet a member, you can select the link to join today.
News From Our Littlest Learners
Enrollment for the 2021/2022 school year is open, so let your friends and family know. We have less than 15 preschool spots still available; 3 in our Monday-Wednesday-Friday afternoon class, 8 in our Tuesday-Thursday afternoon class, and 3 in our Tuesday-Thursday morning class. Anyone interested can simply email email@example.com and we’ll walk them through the enrollment process. Thanks for helping us spread the word!
Thank You To Our Safety Dads
Thank you to Lokesh Thakkalapatti and Clint Morgan for being this week’s Safety Dads. We appreciate you taking the time to be an extra set of eyes and ears around our school.
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.
A big thank you goes to Tania Thaddaeus, Austin and Cameron Eravelly’s mom, for bringing our staff individually wrapped Crumbl cookies. They were a big hit and we appreciate your thoughtfulness!