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!

Kirsten Bloomfield

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! 

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 

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 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