Thursday, March 16, 2017

Week of March 13, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:

Please view the PTO Newsletter for March HERE.
If you would like to order school supplies for next year, please see the flyer

Extreme Fire Danger: 
Currently, the Parker area is under Stage 2 fire restrictions. This means that open burning of any kind, fireworks, campfires or fires in chimineas, portable fireplaces or pits are prohibited. Fines for violation of this restriction are up to $1000.00. For more information, please visit: www.dcsheriff.net

Thinking Maps:
This week students and staff focused on the Tree Map. A tree map is used to show visual thinking in relation to classifying and grouping items. Here are some examples of student maps from this week:


2nd Grade Class Tree Map on Transition Words
4th Grade Tree Map with Beanie Babies
5th Grade Tree Map on Equal Fractions


















Kindergarten Tree Map on Shapes




5th Grade Tree Map on the Food Pyramid
3rd Grade Map on The Miraculous
Journey of Edward Tulane


















Here is the parent memo regarding Tree Maps

Parking Lot:
In an effort to continue to create a safe environment for students, families, and staff in our parking lot, the gravel parking lot south entrance will be blocked at approximately 3:25 every day with a chain and cones. This means that traffic will not be able to enter or exit the lot from 3:25-3:45pm. All traffic will exit at the north side where a staff member is available to direct traffic.

Class Placement Process for 2017-18 School Year:
Creating balanced class lists that meet the needs of all students is a difficult endeavor. This process involves hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators, and other staff members. We take this responsibility very seriously. The process for creating class lists is as follows:

  • Teachers identify the social and academic needs of every student. They refer to existing data and record pertinent information to assist them in their decision-making. 
  • Teachers then meet as a grade level to form class lists that are balanced. Balanced classrooms meet each student's academic, social, and emotional needs. Teachers consider each child's personality, academic strengths and needs, as well as friendships, when they place each child. Each classroom will be configured to allow for a balance of boys to girls, different academic and social needs, as well as behavioral and work habit needs. Learning specialists and the specials team also collaborate with classroom teachers to provide feedback. 
  • Class lists are submitted to administration for review. Administration reviews each child's placement and ensures that all parent input shared with administration has been considered. 
  • Class lists are finalized in August to reflect the addition of new students. 
  • Placement letters will be sent to families in August before school starts. 
This process is consistent across grades K-4. In addition to working with Iron Horse faculty, our 5th grade team collaborates with teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure student success in 6th grade. 

We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students. It is a delicate balancing act that takes tremendous thought by professionals who know and care about your child. Please remember that our ultimate goal is always to create balanced classes that promote the success of each child. Please also know that your child is placed in a classroom for very specific reasons and that our process benefits all students. Because of the input and thought given by teachers, parents, and administrators, we are reluctant to make changes once this process is complete as moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire classroom. 

We do value parent input and welcome any insight you wish to share about your child's strengths, needs, and learning style. We will take into consideration all pertinent information that you share with me either on or before Friday, April 28th. While we welcome your input, we cannot honor specific teacher requests. Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me (Kirsten Bloomfield). I will accept either a hard copy letter or email (kirsten.bloomfield@dcsdk12.org). 

I cannot express how important it is that your thoughts are in writing. As you can imagine, I receive a great deal of parent input and verbal information is nearly impossible to track. Further, please direct all communication to me, as I am ultimately responsible for reviewing the final class lists in late July when teachers are not available. 

Chipotle Night - TONIGHT:
Chipotle night is tonight from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Just show them the flier you've printed, from your phone, or simply tell them you are there for Iron Horse at check out. Chipotle generously donates 50% of our total sales back to the school, so this can be a great and easy fundraiser. Hope to see you there!

Children's Hospital Drive:
Student Leadership Council would like to thank everyone for their generous donations. We collected 482 items and filled the back of two SUVs.  We are so excited that we are able to help so many children. Thank you for your generosity! 

PARCC/CMAS:
Students in grades 3-5 will be taking the state assessments after spring break. You can find the schedule for testing and other information on the IHE website. This is a very important assessment that provides valuable information in regards to school/student growth and achievement. We use this data to support the development of our school programming and resources. 

Upcoming Events:
March 17-April 2: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
April 4-20: PARCC Testing - Grades 3, 4, 5 - See Specific Schedules on the IHE Website
April 7: Daddy/Daughter Dance - 7:00-8:00pm in the Gym
April 12: SAC Meeting - 4:00-5:00pm in the Learning Commons
April 19: PTO Meeting - 3:45-4:45pm in the Learning Commons
April 20: McTeacher Night at McDonalds on Main Street - 5:00-8:00pm
April 21: NO SCHOOL
May 10: Kindergarten Night - 6:00-6:45pm in the Learning Commons for Incoming Kindergarten parents

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Week of March 6, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:

PARCC Testing:
Students in grades 3-5 will be taking the state assessments after spring break. You can find the schedule for testing and other information on the IHE website. This is a very important assessment that provides valuable information in regards to school/student growth and achievement. We use this data to support the development of our school programming and resources. 

Thinking Maps:
This week, students and teachers focused on Double Bubble Maps. Here are some examples of double bubble maps from our students:
5th Grade Map on Body Systems
Kindergarten Map on Past and Present
3rd Grade Map on Parallelograms and Triangles





















Here is the parent memo regarding Double Bubble Maps and their purpose. 

Conferences:
Conferences will be held next week. Teachers will be sharing information regarding student growth and current levels. Please use the Online Scheduler to schedule a time to meet with your student's teacher. The school password is "engineer".  The scheduler will close Sunday, March 12th. 

Thank you!:
Iron Horse Elementary mom, Becki Santangelo, has been cooking lunches for the staff at Iron Horse on a regular basis over the past several years.  She has even been recognized as a 7 Everyday Hero for her generosity!  Becki welcomes food (especially meat) or gift card donations to help offset the cost of providing the meals.  If you would like to help Becki, please give her a call or text at 602-625-8149.   You can also reach Becki at blondjeep@gmail.com.  Thank you Becki for all you do!

Personalized Learning Fair:
We are excited to announce that we are having our second annual Personalized Learning Resource Fair next month!  This is a great event for parents and families to access many different resources in personalized learning including gifted education.  See flyers above for details.  The flyer has also been translated in Mandarin and Spanish.

When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: Chaparral High School

PTO Events:
We are continuing to sell Texas Roadhouse rolls until March 16th. You can find the order form at the top of this post. Chipotle Night is next Thursday, March 16th from 4-8:00pm. Have dinner at Chipotle, mention Iron Horse or bring the flyer at the top of this post, and we will receive 50% of the proceeds from every purchase. 

Upcoming Events:
March 6-16: Student Council's Children's Hospital Drive 
March 6-16: Texas Roadhouse Rolls Sales - Flyer/Order Form is attached above
March 10-16: Book Fair in the Learning Commons
March 13-16: Conferences - sign up with online scheduler
March 16: Pajama Day for students who donated to the Children's Hospital Drive
March 16: Chipotle Night
March 17-April 2: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
April 4-20: PARCC Testing - Grades 3, 4, 5 - See Specific Schedules on the IHE Website
April 7: Daddy/Daughter Dance - 7:00-8:00pm in the Gym
April 12: SAC Meeting - 4:00-5:00pm in the Learning Commons
April 19: PTO Meeting - 3:45-4:45pm in the Learning Commons
April 20: McTeacher Night at McDonalds on Main Street - 5:00-8:00pm
April 21: NO SCHOOL
May 10: Kindergarten Night - 6:00-6:30pm in the Learning Commons for Incoming Kindergarten parents



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Week of February 27, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:

Assessment Day Information:
As you come for assessment day on Friday, please use the following procedures to ensure that students are able to complete the assessment in a quiet and calm atmosphere:

  • Please drop off your student at the assigned time in their classroom
  • Parents/Guardians and siblings are asked to wait in the Learning Commons. We will have chairs set up to accommodate everyone. Please do not wait in the hallway pods as the noise level can be disruptive to the assessment process. 
  • Students will meet parents/guardians in the Learning Commons at the completion of their assessment. 
  • Assessment information will be shared with you at your student's upcoming conference. 

Thinking Maps Week 2: Bubble Maps
This week, students and teachers focused on Bubble Maps. Here are some examples of bubble maps from our students:
Map from 4th grade
2nd Grade Map
5th Grade Map







Kindergarten Map










Dr. Seuss Bubble Map













Attached is the Parent Memo on Bubble Maps

Student Leadership Council - Drive for Children's Hospital:
Student Leadership Council is sponsoring a drive to help kids at Children't Hospital. We are collecting items from March 2-March 16. Children's Hospital is in need of: crayons (4-8 per pack), Nerf basketball hoops, infant/toddler rattles, markers, new release DVDs for all ages (no rated R please) in both English and Spanish, popular Disney DVDs (Bolt, Cars, Princess and the Frog, etc), gift cars to Target/Wal-Mart/movie theaters/restaurants/iTunes/Michaels/Hobby Lobby in any amount, button batteries, playing cards, card games, light up toys, matchbox cars, and/or press and say books. All items must be new. Every student that brings in an item will earn pajama day on March 16th. Collection boxes will be in each of the pod areas. Thank you in advance for your support! 

PTO Events:
We will be selling Texas Roadhouse Rolls from March 6-March 16th. Each dozen pack of frozen rolls costs $6.00 and will be available for pick up on April 12th from 3:30-6:30pm. The order form is available above in the Thursday Folder Fliers. 

On March 16th, we will have Chipotle Night. Visit Chipotle for dinner between 4:00 and 8:00pm, mention Iron Horse, and our school will receive 50% of the proceeds. More information is available in the flyer at the top of the blog. 

Upcoming Events:
March 3: Tomorrow - Assessment Day/NO SCHOOL: Students come with a parent/guardian at their assigned time (see above for more information)
March 3-16: Children's Hospital Drive
March 6-16: Texas Roadhouse Roll Sales
March 8: SAC Meeting in the Learning Commons from 4:00-5:00pm
March 10-16: Book Fair in the Learning Commons
March 14-16: Conferences
March 16: Pajama Day for students who bring an Item for Children's Hospital
March 17-April 2: Spring Break - NO SCHOOL
April 12: Roadhouse Roll Pick-up
April 12: SAC meeting - 4-5pm in the Learning Commons
April 12: Choir Concert in the Gym


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Week of February 20, 2017


Thursday Folder Fliers


Thinking Maps:

Teachers spent our Professional Development Day last Friday learning about Thinking Maps. Teachers are excited about this learning and have begun to implement them in the classroom. Please see the Parent Letter below for the implementation timeline and the Circle Map Memo for Families for more information about circle maps. 
Thinking Maps Parent Letter
Circle Map Memo for Families 

Here are some examples of Circle Maps from our students this week:
Kindergarten Map on the Past

4th Grade Map on Electromagnetism
2nd Grade Class Map on Christian the Lion

Students Map from Literacy
1st Grade Map About Me
5th Grade Map for Social Studies













3rd Grade Map in Math










Assessment Day Information - March 3rd:
On March 3rd, we will have our second assessment day. Students will not have school on this day. Instead, you will schedule a time for your child to come in and complete an assessment with their teacher. The portal to sign up for a time will be open from February 23rd until March 1. 
To access the portal:
Go to Iron Horse's Website and click on the Parent drop down menu:

Then click on "On Line Scheduler". 
You will be directed to this screen:
Choose Iron Horse from the elementary school dropdown menu. 
Enter the school password "Engineer". 
Enter your student's ID number and verify their birth date. 

From that point, a list of teachers will be displayed. Check the box next to each teacher you would like to meet with. If you have more than one student, you can answer Yes to the question, "Do you want to schedule a conference for another student?". This will allow you to see the schedules for all of your students' teachers at once. Finally, you will be able to choose a time that works for your family. 

Please contact your student's teacher if you have questions about times. If you have questions about the scheduling system, please contact Janet Nolan, our registrar. 

PARCC/CMAS Assessment:
Students in grades 3-5 will be taking the state assessments after spring break. You can find the schedule for testing and other information on the IHE website. This is a very important assessment that provides valuable information in regards to school/student growth and achievement. We use this data to support the development of our school programming and resources. 

Upcoming Events:
March 3: Assessment Day - NO SCHOOL/Students come during their assigned time
March 8: SAC Meeting - 4:00-5:00pm in the Learning Commons
March 10-16: Book Fair
March 14-16: Conferences
March 17-April 2: Spring Break - NO SCHOOL
April 4-April 18: PARCC/CMAS Assessment

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Week of February 13, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:


Red House Update:
Thank you so much for donating textiles to our Little Red House. We have currently raised $80.00 for our SSN program. We are continuing to accept textiles until the end of the year. Please drop off your items - remember that we are looking for towels, bedding, clothing, etc. We cannot accept electronics, TVs, etc. 

Physical Education Update:
Iron Horse students are Jumping Rope this rotation in Physical Education in preparation for our annual Jump Rope for Heart Event.  The students love this unit and improve each day with instruction and practice of their skills.  Our annual event will take place on Friday, February 24th, during the student’s specials time.

Not only is jumping rope a very good cardio endurance activity and a lifelong skill that we continue to develop in making our students aware of the 21st Century Skill of Health and Wellness, it has many more benefits.  Jumping rope requires motor planning and motor sequencing.  Some studies have shown that the ability to develop rhythm and timing can only improve the early reader’s skills  and greatly impact literacy abilities.  Jumping rope integrates many parts of the body and helps to solidify maturing motor skills. Ask your student to show you their favorite trick.
Upcoming Events:
February 16: PTO Spirit Night at Chick Fil-A TONIGHT!
February 17: No School - Teacher Work Day
February 20: No School - Holiday
February 24: Jump Rope for Heart
March 2: PTO Spirit Night at Chipotle
March 3: Assessment Day - Sign Up Information Coming Next Week
March 8: SAC Meeting - 4-5pm in the Learning Commons
March 10-16: PTO Book Fair
March 13-16: Conferences
March 17-April 2: No School - Spring Break

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Week of February 6, 2017


Thursday Folder Fliers:




Parking Lot:
As a reminder, when you exit the gravel lot, please pull forward and exit through the main parking lot. See above. Please do not turn left to exit. This will ensure that students, parents, and other cars are safe. 

We are also revamping the morning drop off. Cones will be placed in the middle of the road leading to the school. Please use one lane only. You have the option of parking in the gravel lot, the front lot, or dropping students off in the drop off lane. Students should not be dropped off in any of the parking lots for safety purposes. 

Kindergarten Update:
We have garnered enough enrollments to have 2 full day classes next year. We are still accepting enrollments for our full day classes, as well as our 1/2 day option. 


Literacy Funds:
We are excited to announce that we have received a grant in the amount of $4,300.00 from Safeway to use towards our book room. This will allow us to purchase 150 sets of different leveled book titles and 18 Big Books to use for teaching reading to our students. We are beyond excited to increase the amount of books in our resource library. Thank you Safeway! 

Upcoming Events:
February 15: PTO Meeting in the Learning Commons - 6:00-7:00pm
February 16: Chick Fil A Night - Proceeds benefit Iron Horse 
February 16: District Site Based Budget Discussion - 6:00-8pm at Mesa Middle School
February 17: NO SCHOOL - Teacher Professional Learning
February 20: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
February 28: District Accountability Winter Forum - 6:30-8:30pm at Rocky Heights Middle School
March 3: NO SCHOOL - Student Assessment Day (Use Online Scheduler to Make an Appointment)
March 13-16: Conferences
March 17-April 2: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Week of January 30, 2017

Thursday Folder Fliers:


Clean the World Soap Drive:
We are continuing to collect new, unused soap for our soap drive. All soap collected will go to either homeless shelters in the US or overseas to countries where hygienic conditions are difficult. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. 

Kindergarten Update:
We are continuing to accept enrollment for our Kindergarten classes. As we previously stated, we are hoping to open 2 full day classes next year with a monthly cost of $260. At this time, we need an additional 5 students to make this a reality. If you know of a family who is looking for full day Kindergarten, please share this information with them. 

Literacy Update:
Teachers are continuing to work hard at implementing new strategies for literacy in their classrooms. On Wednesday, staff worked with DCSD professional development to discover new ideas for high quality individual activities that engage students while the teacher is meeting with groups. On our upcoming PLC day, staff will learn about Thinking Maps. Thinking Maps are visual representations of student thinking. Be on the lookout for information from your student's teacher about each of the 8 maps and their purpose. 

Battle of the Books:
Our Battle of the Books teams are battling at the Parker Library. Our 3/4 team won their first battle against Cherokee Trail Elementary. 

Here are our upcoming battles:
Feb. 7: 3/4 battles at 5:30pm
Feb. 8: 5th battles at 5:30pm
Feb. 14: 3/4 battles at 6:00pm
Feb. 15: 5th battles at 6:00pm
Feb. 21: 3/4 battles at 6:30pm
Feb. 22: 5th battles at 6:30pm
Feb. 28: 3/4 battles at 4:00pm
March 1: 5th battles at 4:00pm

Fire Lane:
Please do not park in our fire lane to drop off or pick up students. Thank you! 

Upcoming Events:
Now through February 10: Clean the World Soap Drive
February 8: SAC Meeting - 4-5pm in the Learning Commons
February 15: PTO Meeting - 6-7pm in the Learning Commons
February 17: NO SCHOOL - Teacher Professional Learning Day
February 20: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
March 3: NO SCHOOL - Iron Horse Assessment Day (stay tuned for more information)