From The Director
Dear PCK Parents,
I sat at my desk this morning wondering how best to encourage all of you in the midst of our present situation. In that time, I found myself focused on three truths that have been hallmarks of the PCK community for as long as I can remember:
- We are strongest when we work together
- We are all committed to helping our students succeed
- We know how to beat the odds, withstand pressure, and rise to any challenge.
Yesterday’s news about the extension of our school closure period and remote learning arrangement no doubt hit many of you hard. Clearly, we are facing an unprecedented challenge, the likes of which none of us has ever experienced,and the hardest pill to swallow is that we are not in control. Boy, do I hate that feeling! Nevertheless, in spite of everything happening around us, I find it helpful to look around for what I can control. And, not surprisingly, the three truths I mentioned above do offer us a level of control if we apply them to our present remote learning situation. Will it be easy? Not always, but I do believe it will get easier for all of us the longer we work at it. Adjustments take time, so let’s give ourselves that time as we allow new home-based routines to emerge and, ultimately, lessen the pressure we are currently experiencing.
I hope Week #2 of remote learning has gone a bit smoother for everyone, and I encourage you to stay in touch with your child’s teacher as we all work to refine our methods and processes. In fact, watch for communication from classroom teachers in the coming week asking for your feedback on remote learning. They will consider your ideas and suggestions as they make adjustments in order to best serve their students.
Something that gives me hope during this time of remote learning is that I trust our students will continue to grow as they achieve a new level of independence and confidence in their abilities, and a stronger sense of ownership over their education. I do not see our present situation as a stumbling block, but rather a stepping stone that will lead to stronger, more capable students who have dealt with a significant challenge and learned how to overcome it. Remember, challenge + perseverance = GRIT.
I love this quote by Henry Kissinger:
A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.
The PCK community, with our truly remarkable and dedicated teachers, students, and parents, will continue to work together to help our students succeed and overcome the pressures of this current challenge. I have no doubt we will continue to shine like a diamond through this trial.
Keep on shining,
P.S. – Lessons learned after Week #2:
- Students are engaging well online with their classroom and resource teachers.
- Having a daily schedule provides structure and routine for students. This isn’t a new concept, but it does also apply to remote learning at home.
- Schoolwork assigned will typically not exceed 2-4 hours per day, depending on the age of your student, with middle schoolers averaging 4-6 hours. There is no additional work or ‘homework’ being assigned. 🙂
- Teachers will extend grace with due dates and grading – parents, please do not worry.
- Art, Music, PE, and Library teachers have some exceptional ‘optional’ resources/lessons available via their classroom websites and weekly in the Thursday newsletter.
- Spanish and Tech lessons for students in grades 6-8 are not optional. These lessons are optional ONLY for students in grades K-5.
PCK In The News
We are very proud to be recognized as a 9News Cool School for our music theater program. Watch the story here. Congratulations to Mrs. Myers and all of the students in our music theater program.
We are PCKProud of all we continue to accomplish!
You can check out past PCK news stories on the In The News page on our website.
No CMAS This Year
From DCSD: Administration of the CMAS (all content areas) and the CoAlt (science and social studies) assessments has been paused for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the extensive school closures throughout Colorado to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Updates From The Specials Teachers
Art lessons and enrichment activities can be accessed through the art teachers’ website and Google Classroom. Weekly art lessons are now optional. We hope you will encourage your child to be creative with these lessons.
Art lessons for the week of April 6th:
Kindergarten: Joan Miro line drawing
1st-3rd: Rousseau rainforest and tropical bird
4th: Taj Mahal
5th: The Great Wave, Hokusai
6th: Pantheon and drawing in two-point perspective
Also, when you visit our teacher website be sure to click on the art gallery blog to see highlights of art being created at home by our amazing PCK artists.
The longer we are all at home, the more imperative it becomes to treat each other respectfully with our words, tone of voice, and actions. The house starts feeling very small when arguments become the norm. This week’s character lesson features discussion questions, a daily activity, and a game to help practice respect.
A note from librarian Mrs. Wright: Hello library students! I have created a library website to help you from home. It includes reading tips and book recommendations. Please email me if you need any other help.
Music (links shared on 3/26)
Spanish (link to letter from 3/26)
From Our School Psychologist
The stay-at-home order provides a unique opportunity for intentional one-on-one time with our children. Here are tips and ideas for making the most of the time together.
Also, FOCUS On the Go! is a free app that has videos on how to have family meetings, handle tantrums, help emotional regulation at home, and more. It also includes games to help kids express their feelings, solve problems, and manage stress. Download it in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
When You’ve Read All The Books You Have At Home…
The National Emergency Library has temporarily removed their wait list procedure so students (and parents) can easily access digital versions of books they need for school. Books for pleasure reading are also available in digital format without a wait.
Tips For Online Schoolwork
A new, free online resource is available through Common Sense to support families and educators who are transitioning to remote learning. Wide Open School is designed to give parents a place to quickly find high-quality resources to support their child’s educational, emotional, and physical development. Wide Open School features a free collection of learning experiences and activities for kids, organized by grade and subject. You will also find daily schedules with creative breaks and recommendations to keep kids engaged and exploring.
Additionally, now more than ever, it is important to set boundaries for screen-free times of day and areas of the house. Otherwise, between online school work, recreational gaming, and Netflix, we can all get sucked into a virtual vortex! Read this article from Screenagers on setting limits for technology in order to increase face-to-face engagement with your family.
Looking For A Link?
Many of the resources shared in our weekly newsletter are also listed at the top of the right-hand column on the Parent Resources page of our website under COVID-19 Resources. You don’t have to go through past newsletters to find what you need, just head to our website. To find the Parent Resources page, go to ckcs.net, click on Community, then select Resources.
No Boredom Allowed – Check Here For New Ideas Each Week
Although this article was written before the stay-at-home order, it contains useful information on the value of teaching kids to entertain themselves and strategies for helping them find things to do.
6th grader Ryan Guilbeaux stayed busy by accepting a challenge from the art teachers to use items that would otherwise be thrown away to create recycled art. His masterpiece is titled, “Repurposed Scarecrow.” Nice work, Ryan!
Get Ready For A Robotic Summer
There may be snow in the forecast for today, but at PCK we are getting ready for summer! We have two amazing robotics summer camps planned to help kids have fun while learning useful design and programming skills. Get the details here. You can register through our Web Store by June 1.
Some Moments of Remote Learning Are Better Than Others
This second grader loves wearing her favorite cloak and eating snacks while learning.
If you have a funny, encouraging, or inspiring story about your time at home that you’d like to share with the PCK community while we are apart, feel free to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some stories/photos might appear in future issues of our newsletter!
We Love Our Safety Dads
Thank you to the Giardini family for making this fun video of a Safety Dad checking the perimeter and making sure all doors are secure, just like he would at school. We miss you, Safety Dads!