From The Director
Dear PCK Parents,
Hello…hello…hello, is anyone here? That should have been my morning announcement today at school. In a strange turn of events, we have five unrelated grade-level quarantines going on, and our primary students are out today and tomorrow for planned Dibels testing. That leaves third grade as the only grade here in the building for the next two days! The third graders love it! We let them have a little fun too, being that they are the only ones in the building. This morning they ran through the hallways laughing and screaming, with staff cheering them on from the sidelines. I think there’s a video…
On a more serious note, I want to give you all another update on our current situation. As of today, MS, 6th, 5th, 4th and 1st are all under quarantine, but all groups (except 6th grade) will return on Monday, May 3. Each positive case that triggered the quarantine was separate from the others, thus we do not have an outbreak here at PCK. Our school nurse has been in touch with Tri-County, and there is no thought or threat of shutting us down; Tri-County agrees with our contact tracing that all situations at PCK are unrelated. Additionally, we do not see any spread within each quarantined group, so that is good news.
Yesterday, I reached out to Tri-County (through our nurse) regarding the continued use of quarantines because I can see they are not working as intended. The virus is infecting younger students, but the symptoms are mild and short-lived, often 24-48 hours. In the meantime, while under quarantine, kids are going everywhere else…except school. This not only results in new exposures, it may also drive further quarantines here at school; our community’s confidence in the need for and effectiveness of quarantines has eroded (likely due to fatigue associated with frequent and/or protracted quarantines). Parents have told me they are frustrated that healthy students are prevented from attending school. I want you to know that I understand and share this frustration. The response I received back from Tri-County essentially stated they cannot release us from CDPHE’s required Covid protocols for schools.
Today, twelve Denver-area school superintendents submitted a letter to CDPHE requesting relief for schools from the restrictive quarantine guidelines. They cited various factors including the low transmission rates within schools, the mitigation measures schools already have in place, and the fact that current state guidelines are outdated (last updated before mass vaccinations in mid-December). CDPHE has not yet responded. Perhaps it’s time for parents to add their collective voices…just saying. 🙂
Can we continue on this path? Absolutely, and we will. We have one more month to go before we all cross the finish line to summer break. This is doable…not necessarily pretty or easy, but certainly doable. Today, I respectfully ask once again for your continued patience with all of the layers we’ve put in place to protect our students and staff: health screenings before coming to school, temp checks, staying home to monitor symptoms, masks, cohorts, distancing, daily cleaning/disinfecting of common surfaces, ongoing communication, and quarantines. These precautions have worked well for us all year, and they will continue to work as long as we diligently maintain them through May.
Third grade enjoyed having the school to themselves today, and running wildly through the empty hallways was a rare opportunity we just couldn’t pass up. I ran with them, namely in celebration of the fact that we are still open for business.
Dress Down Tomorrow and Next Thursday
Tomorrow is the last Friday of the month so it is a dress down day! Next Thursday, May 6, we have a dress down fundraiser to support 8th grade graduation activities. Students may dress down next Thursday for a $1 donation. Please make sure your student follows the dress down day dress code.
Get Your Free Summer Math Materials
Help your student maintain sharp math skills over the summer. We have free review materials for incoming kindergarteners through fifth grade. Materials are near the front entrance, so stop by and pick up what you need based on your child’s level.
Our Writers Are Winners!
In February, 6th graders wrote expository essays about famous women scientists, then submitted those biographies to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 34th annual Great Women in Engineering and Science Essay Contest. Last Saturday, SWE hosted their virtual awards ceremony and announced the winners. Two PCK students were recognized for their exemplary work. Madeline Miller won 3rd place for her essay on Flossie Wong-Staal, and Austin Eravelly won 1st place for his essay on Tilly Edinger. Both students will receive a copy of 10 Minute Science Experiments by Steve Spangler and a National Geographic Science Magic Kit. Madeline will also receive a $25 cash prize, and Austin will receive a $75 cash prize. Congratulations to these two outstanding young writers!
Mrs. Aplin received the following message from a 6th grade parent:
We were at the Virtual Award Presentation yesterday and it was amazing to see how many awards were won by PCK. There were 172 essays submitted and 21 schools represented but yet PCK came out strong. 11 out of the top 18 awards went to PCK! Anyone who saw that would have been PCK Proud! It definitely goes to show how AMAZING ALL the 6th Grade teachers are and in this particular case, Mrs Puckett as an ELA teacher. It has been a crazy year with teaching both in school and online students but she still managed to bring out the best in them and in their writing. She has taught them so much this year. She even took 2 hours out of her Saturday to be there for the Award Presentation and for her students. That makes a huge difference to the kids knowing their teacher that got them here is there supporting them.
Mrs. Puckett and 6th grade, we are #PCKproud of you!
Congratulations Reading Olympians
Our third graders recently completed their Reading Olympics. The results are in and our top readers are Veronica Magay reading 4,284 minutes, Abby O’Connell reading 3,663 minutes, and Calvin Meacham reading 3,430 minutes. Fifty third graders received gold medals for reading over 875 minutes, six students received silver medals for reading between 700 and 874 minutes, and seven students received bronze medals for reading between 525 and 699 minutes. Keep up the great work third grade!
Thank you to Brian Blevins (Ms. Sitzmann’s brother) and his employer, Perficient, for supporting literacy by providing the funds for the gold, silver, and bronze medals, plus gift cards for the top three readers.
From the PTA
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week
The PTA is excited to share our Teacher Appreciation Week plans, and we encourage all PCK families to be involved and shower our teachers, staff, and administration with love and appreciation next week. Click here to see the schedule for the week.
There will be an outdoor decorating party this Sunday to prepare for Monday’s car parade; see this car parade flyer for more details. On Wednesday we are honoring PCK’s support staff. You can use this star template to celebrate these shining stars. On Thursday, the PTA is sponsoring a Chick-fil-a lunch for the staff, and we would like to invite families to contribute drinks and treats. You can get more details and sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0444a8a829a0fb6-drinks2
Thank you for all you do, parents – all of these celebrations are possible because you!
PTA Used Uniform Sale
The May 15th Used Uniform Sale has been postponed to Sunday, June 13th, 2:00 – 4:00pm. We hope this is early enough in the summer for families to shop used, and still have enough time to fill any gaps at Dennis before the new year starts in August.
Please direct any questions to email@example.com.
Do You Have Creativity To Share As An Art Teacher?
We are looking for a part-time elementary art teacher. Get the details here and apply on the PCK website. Additionally, we are looking for someone to teach a middle school art elective. If you are interested in learning more about the position, please contact Heather Newbrough.
Send Us Your Video Send-Off
We are creating a video for Mrs. Aplin with messages from our students and parents, past and present. We hope this will be a video she can cherish after she retires from PCK.
Please find a cozy spot with good lighting, uniforms are optional, and ask your child three questions about Mrs. Aplin. Feel free to send in well wishes and anything your child says that will make us all smile! We will be making a montage, so not everything that is submitted will be used.
Please record in LANDSCAPE (not portrait).
Possible questions to ask and answer on your video:
- What is something Mrs. Aplin always says?
- What will Mrs. Aplin do with her time once she is retired?
- What will you miss the most about Mrs. Aplin?
- What would you like to thank Mrs. Aplin for?
Please record your video and post it to the PCK Folder here.
User name to enter/Windows Live I.D.: PCKPhotos@hotmail.com
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for video submissions is May 17.
Does Your Student Have A White Uniform Shirt?
On Thursday, May 13, we will have a drone taking an overhead photo of our students out on the field. Everyone is asked to wear a white uniform shirt on May 13 for the photo. Thank you!
Gear Up For Summer Camp Fun
A summer of fun is quickly approaching! Core Care Club’s new summer camps are sure to be a hit with kids. See our new flyer with each week’s theme. With outdoor activities, water games, crafts, competitions, field trips, and more, there is something for every camper to enjoy.
Camp runs from 8:00am – 4:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Come for a day, a week, or all summer! Get the details and register here, or contact Vinny Ortega at email@example.com. Space is limited so sign up today! Camp is open to PCK students starting in kindergarten (incoming kindergarteners are welcome), and will accommodate students participating in summer school. The cost is $50/day, with a $25 registration fee that covers a camp t-shirt and a safety wrist band. Snacks are included, but campers will need to bring a lunch.
School Toolbox Time Is Here
It is hard to believe it is already time to order School Toolboxes for next year! If you would like to avoid the hassle of buying your student’s school supplies this summer, you can order a School Toolbox and have your supplies waiting for you at our Open House in August. See this flyer for details. Ordering is available now at schooltoolbox.com.
News From Our Littlest Learners
For all of you with little ones, the PCK Preschool is hosting a book fair next Monday, May 3rd through Friday, May 7th. Shopping times are 8:15 – 9:00am, 11:15 am – 12:00pm, 12:45 – 1:30pm, and 3:45 – 4:30pm all five days. The book fair will be located in the hallway by the Science Lab and the Events Gym. Come join us!
Thank you to Kelly Anderson for bringing delicious mini bundt cakes for our staff. What a tasty treat! We appreciate all the goodies you bring for us.