Monday, June 5, 2017

Special Edition: End of Year Wrap Up

Dear Iron Horse Families:

Thank you for an amazing year! There is so much to celebrate and I wanted to take this time to share with you our celebrations for this year, our plans for next year, and our goodbyes to staff.

This year, staff has worked hard in the area of literacy. Iron Horse was selected as part of a pilot program to be a model lab school in literacy. Iron Horse was the only elementary school in Parker to earn this honor. Teachers focused intensely on research-based literacy approaches. Teachers met weekly with Janet Merrill, a professional development specialist from DCSD, to receive individualized support. Teachers also worked at each PLC day refining their practice. Finally, teachers were trained in the Thinking Maps and utilized these during the last quarter of school. It has been amazing to see the growth in all of our teachers and the wonderful work that students are doing.

Looking at next year, staff will focus on writing and the implementation of Write from the Beginning, as well as character education for our students. This training will align and extend the literacy training that teachers have already received. Janet Merrill will continue to work with teachers, focusing on individual coaching based upon each teacher's needs. We will also be the model school for others in the Parker area that are focusing on literacy, with staff observing our teachers and working collaboratively with them to improve their practice. Staff will also focus on different character traits each month with all staff encouraging and reinforcing these traits throughout the day through our character education plan.

Our Learning Commons will see a significant change with a complete overhaul over the summer and into the early school year. This area will now be called The Junction and will feature a combination of library and technology that extends the literacy learning that takes place in the classroom. Pods will also see a change with renaming based upon different train lines (i.e. Union Pacific), and our office will be named the Iron Horse Depot. We are truly embracing our mascot, the train!

Staff worked collaboratively this year to create new behavior expectations and homework guidelines that will be implemented next year. You will be receiving a parent/student handbook that defines these expectations and guidelines, as well as providing other valuable information,  for your reference.

As the year comes to an end, we are sadly saying goodbye to some of our colleagues. I'd like to thank the following staff members for their service to Iron Horse. They will be greatly missed!

Sarah O'Rourke (1st) will be staying home with her daughter, Penelope, next year. Amy Svitak (2nd) has accepted a position at a school closer to her home but within the district. Cindy Fazio-Cramer (3rd) has accepted a position at another school within the district. Luke Willis (Art) is pursuing other opportunities in the area of art. Jordan Craig (Music) has accepted a full time position at another school in the district, moving from a 4 day/week position to a 5 day/week position. Lisa de la Pena (Tech) has accepted an Assistant Principal position at another school in the district. Charlie Ghidotti (PE), Ann Dickman (SSN Educational Assistant), and Claire Shadow (Instructional Assistant - Library) are retiring this year. I will be sharing information about our new staff members in our July PTO newsletter.

It has been a tremendous year of learning and growing, both for staff and students! We are so excited to continue this learning next year with our students, both new and returning. Take time to enjoy your summer - we will see you on August 10th for our Meet and Greet Day. Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Kirsten Bloomfield
Principal

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Week of May 29, 2017

Thursday Folders:


Thank You:
Thank you for sharing your children with us this year! This will be the last blog of the school year. This weekly blog will resume again in August. It has been a fantastic year-enjoy your summer! We will see you again in August! 


Boosterthon:
We are welcoming the Boosterthon team back to Iron Horse next year! They will be joining us on August 16-25. Our Fun Run will be held on August 25th in the morning. Please look for more information coming over the summer. 

Meet and Greet Day 2017:
Please join us for an opportunity to meet your student's teacher on August 10th from 8:30-11:30am or 12:30-3:30pm. Students should bring their school supplies during this time. School photographs will also be taken on this day. This is a non-student contact day. Students should be accompanied by an adult or guardian over the age of 18. Our first day of school for students is August 11th

Rolling Entry for 2017-18 School Year:
Next year, Iron Horse will be implementing a Rolling Entry to our school day. The school doors will open at 8:20am and will remain open until 8:37am. Students may arrive at any time during this window. As students arrive, they will go directly to their classroom. There will be two entrances open to the building: the main entrance will be for students that are dropped off or walk from Hidden River, Preston Hill, etc., the other entrance will be near the bus loop for bus riders and students who walk from Turtle Creek or the apartments. Students will be supervised by their classroom teachers when they arrive in their classroom. 

As we are opening at 8:20am, there will not be supervision available surrounding the building before this time. Please DO NOT send or drop off your student before 8:20am. Parents are asked to say goodbye to students as they reach the doors. Additional information can be found here: Letter to Parents. Information will also be sent home over the summer. 

Classroom Assignments for 2017-18:
Classroom welcome letters will be sent home at the end of July. Information will also be included regarding rolling entry, parking lot rules, and calendar of events for next year. 

School Supply Orders
If you would like to order school supplies, you can still purchase them via online ordering. Orders are due by June 25th. 

PTO Board Member Needed:
We will have a vacant Vice-President position with PTO. If you are interested in joining as the Vice-President, please send an email to mmorgan@archconceptsllc.com. 

School Accountability Committee Recruitment:
We are looking for board members! If you are interested in providing feedback related to budget and instructional priorities, please send a paragraph sharing your information to kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org. Elections will be held at the beginning of next year. You do not have to be a board member to attend these meetings. 

District Accountability Committee Representatives Needed:
The District Accountability Committee is seeking representatives for 2017-18 school year. Please see the DCSD District Website for more information.

Summer Office Hours:
The office will be open from 8:00am until 3:00pm until June 9th. The office will reopen on July 18th. The office will be open from July 18th until August 9th from 8:00am until 3:00pm daily. Regular office hours of 8:00am until 4:00pm will begin on August 10th. 

Enrollment for 2017-2018:
For students who are currently enrolled at Iron Horse, parents only need to complete Express Check-In in late July. New families enrolling at Iron Horse will need to complete all registration paperwork and follow up with Express Check-In. 

Upcoming Events:
August 10: Meet and Greet Day - 8:30-11:30am or 12:30-3:30pm
August 11: First Day of School
August 24: Back to School Night  - more details to come
August 25: Fun Run - PreK-2 @ 8:50am, 3-5 @10:00am


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Week of May 22, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers

Lost and Found:
We will be donating all items not claimed in the Lost and Found area on June 2nd. Please come and find that lost hoodie, lunch bag, or water bottle before this date.


Rolling Entry for 2017-18 School Year:
Next year, Iron Horse will be implementing a Rolling Entry to our school day. The school doors will open at 8:20am and will remain open until 8:37am. Students may arrive at any time during this window. As students arrive, they will go directly to their classroom. There will be two entrances open to the building: the main entrance will be for students that are dropped off or walk from Hidden River, Preston Hill, etc., the other entrance will be near the bus loop for bus riders and students who walk from Turtle Creek or the apartments. Students will be supervised by their classroom teachers when they arrive in their classroom. 

As we are opening at 8:20am, there will not be supervision available surrounding the building before this time. Please DO NOT send or drop off your student before 8:20am. Parents are asked to say goodbye to students as they reach the doors. Additional information can be found here: Letter to Parents. Information will also be sent home over the summer. 

School Supply Orders
If you would like to order school supplies, you can purchase them via paper copy by May 24th. Online orders are due by June 25th. 

PTO Board Member Needed:
We will have a vacant Vice-President position with PTO. If you are interested in joining as the Vice-President, please send an email to mmorgan@archconceptsllc.com. 

School Accountability Committee Recruitment:
We are looking for board members! If you are interested in providing feedback related to budget and instructional priorities, please send a paragraph sharing your information to kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org. Elections will be held at the beginning of next year. You do not have to be a board member to attend these meetings. 

District Accountability Committee Representatives Needed:
The District Accountability Committee is seeking representatives for 2017-18 school year. Please see the DCSD District Website for more information.

Douglas County Elitch Gardens Days:
Elitch Gardens will be hosting Douglas County Schools on June 2-4th. Please see the following link for more information and discounted tickets. $4 of every ticket purchased will be given to the school of the purchaser's choice. 
https://www.elitchgardens.com/dcsd/

Upcoming Events:
May 29: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day
June 2: Field Day - Grades 3-5: 9:00am-11:15am, Grades K-2: 1:00pm-3:15pm
June 2: 5th Grade Clap Out - 3:15pm

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Week of May 15, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers


Rolling Entry for 2017-18 School Year:
Next year, Iron Horse will be implementing a Rolling Entry to our school day. The school doors will open at 8:20am and will remain open until 8:37am. Students may arrive at any time during this window. As students arrive, they will go directly to their classroom. There will be two entrances open to the building: the main entrance will be for students that are dropped off or walk from Hidden River, Preston Hill, etc., the other entrance will be near the bus loop for bus riders and students who walk from Turtle Creek or the apartments. Students will be supervised by their classroom teachers when they arrive in their classroom. 

As we are opening at 8:20am, there will not be supervision available surrounding the building before this time. Please DO NOT send or drop off your student before 8:20am. Parents are asked to say goodbye to students as they reach the doors. Additional information can be found here: Letter to Parents. Information will also be sent home over the summer. 


PTO Movie Night:
Please join us tomorrow night for the movie Sing. Doors will open at 5:30pm and the movie will begin promptly at 6:00pm in the Gym. Entrance to the movie is free. Students must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or sibling over the age of 18. Bring your own popcorn - lemonade and water will be available to drink. Candy is available for purchase for $1. We hope that you can join us! 

School Supply Orders
If you would like to order school supplies, you can purchase them via paper copy by May 24th. Online orders are due by June 25th. 

PTO Board Member Needed:
We will have a vacant Vice-President position with PTO. If you are interested in joining as the Vice-President, please send an email to mmorgan@archconceptsllc.com. 

School Accountability Committee Recruitment:
We are looking for board members! If you are interested in providing feedback related to budget and instructional priorities, please send a paragraph sharing your information to kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org. Elections will be held at the beginning of next year. You do not have to be a board member to attend these meetings. 

District Accountability Committee Representatives Needed:
The District Accountability Committee is seeking representatives for 2017-18 school year. Please see the DCSD District Website for more information.

Upcoming Events:
May 19: End of the Year Movie Night in the Gym - We will be watching SING - rated PG
May 26: Legend Graduation - Class of 2017
May 29: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day
June 2: Field Day - Grades 3-5: 9:00am-11:15am, Grades K-2: 1:00pm-3:15pm

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Week of May 8, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:


SSN Store:

The SSN room had a great time this week selling items to our students in preparation for Mother's Day. The students gained valuable skills in the areas of financial literacy, communication, and collaboration. The classroom was able to raise over $1200! This money will be put back into classrooms to support student learning. Thank you for your support of our students and their learning! 

Retirees:
We have two staff members retiring this year. Charlie Ghidotti, our physical education teacher, is retiring after 5 years of service with Douglas County. Claire Shadow, our librarian, is retiring after 24 years of service with Douglas County. Please wish them well as they begin a new journey. 

Rotary Club Grant:
Thank you to the Parker Rotary Club for donating $350 to our school for literacy purposes. This money will be used to support instruction in the area of reading. 

School Accountability Committee Recruitment:
We are looking for board members! If you are interested in providing feedback related to budget and instructional priorities, please send a paragraph sharing your information to kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org. Elections will be held at the beginning of next year. You do not have to be a board member to attend these meetings. 

District Accountability Committee Representatives Needed:
The District Accountability Committee is seeking representatives for 2017-18 school year. Please see the DCSD District Website for more information.

Learning Commons Update:
Thank you to our generous parents who have donated supplies for our transformation! We'd also like to thank the Douglas County Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Growth Department for donating $1800 in supplies. We are so grateful for everyone's support! We are still looking for donations of the following items:
  • School-aged board games

Upcoming Events:
May 17: PTO Meeting - 3:45-4:45pm in the Learning Commons
May 18: 3rd Grade Garage Sale - Bring your money to purchase items from 3rd grade students
May 19: End of the Year Movie Night in the Gym - We will be watching SING! - rated PG
May 26: Legend Graduation - Class of 2017
May 29: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day
June 2: Field Day and Last Day of School

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Week of May 1, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:

Field Day:
Our field day will be held on our last day of school, June 2nd. We are looking for volunteers to help make this a fabulous and successful day! Please sign up using this link

Iron Horse Student in the Spotlight:













Jude Ozaluk, a third grader at Iron Horse, recently raised over $11,000 for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Read the article chronicling her efforts here. Way to go Jude!

Thinking Maps:
We have successfully completed learning all 8 thinking maps. Students will now begin to use all of the maps as needed throughout the day. Maps will be re-introduced yearly at the beginning of each year. 

Learning Commons: 
We are beginning a transformation of our Learning Commons and are looking for donations of supplies. If you or your students have outgrown these items, we would love to take them off your hands! We are in need of the following items:
  • Legos - bricks, people, and assorted items
  • Lego boards to build on
  • Lincoln Logs
  • K'Nex sets
  • Plastic Gear Sets
  • Board Games - elementary aged games
If you are able to donate any items, please bring them to the office. Thank you for your support!

5th Grade Parents:
Colts Corral is a program to help transition to Cimarron Middle School – there are 3 sessions from which to choose beginning July 10.
Great Strides is a ten-day opportunity to get to know Cimarron Middle School through academic and elective programming designed to help students get the best start possible. This program runs July 10-21.
Please see Cimarron's website for specifics with the link to RevTrak for registration. Once you connect to RevTrak, you will need to set up an account in RevTrak if you do not already have one. If you have ever enrolled in a sport, club, or field study (field trip) you will already have an account. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the CiMS Counseling Office at 720-433-1365.  

Upcoming Events:
May 8: NO SCHOOL FOR 5th GRADE ONLY
May 8-12: Iron Horse Depot (SSN Store)
May 10: SAC Meeting - 4:00-5:00pm in the Learning Commons
May 10: Kindergarten Night for Incoming Kindergartners - 6:00-6:30pm in the Learning Commons
May 11: Muffins for Moms in the cafeteria 7:30-8:20am
May 17: PTO Meeting - 3:45-4:45pm in the Learning Commons
May 19: End of the Year Movie Night in the Gym - We will be watching SING! rated PG
May 29: NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day
June 2: Field Day and Last Day of School

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Week of April 24, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:
Parent Placement Requests:
As a reminder, all parent placement requests for the 2017-18 school year are due tomorrow. Please remember that we are seeking information regarding your student's specific needs. Specific teacher requests are not accepted. Please address all placement requests to kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org or via written letter. 

Staff Appreciation:
Next week is Staff Appreciation Week. We have postcards in the office that you can use to write a note of appreciation to any staff member at Iron Horse. Please stop in and write a note of thanks to your favorite staff members! 

Jay Day:
Students and staff are collecting canned and non-perishable items for the Parker Task Force to honor Jay Day. This community project will be sponsored by #TheJayDayProject which is a movement that started after the loss of Courtney Sidenar's (Iron Horse's EA) nine-year old son, Jaydon, two years ago.  As a means to commemorate his memory, Courtney started by setting aside every 16th of the month to celebrate “Jay Day.”  This month Iron Horse Elementary staff, students and families will assist in spreading that kindness beyond the walls of Iron Horse by collecting items for the Parker Task Force. We are having a friendly competition between Iron Horse and Cherokee Trail. Please bring your items to your classroom. The school with the most items will win a popsicle party. 

Thinking Maps:
This week's map is our final map, the bridge map. The Bridge Map focuses on identifying similarities between relationships. Here are some student samples of bridge maps:
3rd Grade Bridge Map

Kindergarten Bridge Map
5th Grade Bridge Map





















Here is a link to the parent memo

End of the Year Movie Night:
Please join us for a great night watching Sing! in the Gym. The doors will open at 5:30 and the movie will start at 6:00pm, completing around 7:45pm. Entrance to the event is free. PTO will be serving popcorn and drinks for a small fee (cash or checks only). Adults(over 18) must be in attendance with each student. 

Lightning Dismissal Protocols: 
Safety is the number one priority of the Douglas County School District. During severe weather, DCSD schools will take actions to ensure the wellbeing of student and staff. The following protocols have been developed by district personnel for lightning dismissals and will be used by Iron Horse effective immediately:
  • DCSD is following CHSAA's lightening guidelines, which state that outdoor activities will be suspended and personnel moved indoors when lightning is within a 6-mile radius. Activities will remain suspended until there is no longer lightning within a 6-mile radius for 15 minutes. 
  • Parents/Guardians or other adults over the age of 18, who have been given permission in Infinite Campus, may pick up their children/younger sibling during a lightning delay at their own risk.
  • Siblings under the age of 18 coming to pick up a younger sibling will be asked to stay in the building and will NOT be released until it is safe. 
  • Students who walk will be released when it is considered to be safe at the school site - when lightning is more that 6 miles away for 15 minutes. 
  • Parents/Guardians/Siblings over 18 will sign out their student in the classroom.
  • School Messenger will be used to inform parents/guardians of a delayed dismissal. Please make sure that your information is up-to-date in your Parent Portal, as this is where school messenger pulls your contact information from. This is also where we look for those people to whom you have given permission to pick up your student(s). 
Learning Commons: 
We are beginning a transformation of our Learning Commons and are looking for donations of supplies. If you or your students have outgrown these items, we would love to take them off your hands! We are in need of the following items:
  • Legos - bricks, people, and assorted items
  • Lego boards to build on
  • Lincoln Logs
  • K'Nex sets
  • Plastic Gear Sets
  • Golf Tees - all colors, wood or plastic
  • Pegboard
If you are able to donate any items, please bring them to the office. Thank you for your support!

Upcoming Events:
April 28: All Parent Placement Requests for 2017-18 are due - see above for details
May 3-5: Outdoor Ed for 5th Graders
May 8: NO SCHOOL FOR 5th GRADE ONLY
May 8-12: Iron Horse Depot (SSN Store)
May 10: SAC Meeting - 4:00-5:00pm in the Learning Commons
May 10: Kindergarten Night for Incoming Kindergartners - 6:00-6:30pm in the Learning Commons
May 11: Muffins for Moms in the cafeteria
May 17: PTO Meeting - 3:45-4:45pm in the Learning Commons
May 19: End of the Year Movie Night in the Gym - We will be watching SING! at PG movie
May 29: NO SCHOOL
June 2: Field Day and Last Day of School