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:

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 ( 

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! 

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