Parent Post – 9.3.15

September 3, 2015

This weekly Parent Post REPLACES the Cory Connection from years past…

Principal Update

We are in Week 2 already- hard to believe!  The students have done a great job acclimating back to school life and are getting used to the rituals and routines needed to perform their best (how to walk in line, where to put your lunch box, what to do when you have a question, etc).  Our teachers have also been getting to know each other better through team building activities and professional development around all of our curriculum and instructional strategies.

Two of our DPS Shared Core Values are Accountability and Collaboration.  I wanted to take a moment to highlight how all of our team members are supported here at Cory through the lens of these two values.

  • Collaboration- Together as a team, we think, we work, and we create in order to reach our goals.  At Cory, our classroom teams are given 45 minutes of Common Planning Time (CPT) each week.  Most teams meet for many more hours throughout the week, but our CPT Time is designed to provided focused planning time around student learning and instruction.  These teams are facilitated by our in-house Teacher Leaders who are also on our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT).  Our ILT is responsible for not only facilitating the CPT Time but also facilitating our Professional Development time every Wednesday for an additional 45 minutes.  During this PD time, all of our certified staff are digging into the school focus for the year (our focus this year is around the Speaking and Listening Standards).

 

  • Accountability- We take responsibility for our individual and collective commitments; we grow from success; we learn from failure.  All of our certified staff are held to high standards through our Leading Effective Academic Practice (LEAP) growth and evaluation system.  Through LEAP, every teacher has multiple observations by their evaluator (myself) and many have Peer Observers who give additional observations and feedback.  Our novice teachers (new to the field of teaching, not necessarily new to Cory) automatically receive a Peer Observer.  In addition, our novice teachers AND new to Cory teachers go through our in-house mentorship program, highlighted in this document:  New Teacher Onboarding Guide.  In addition to the classroom observations under LEAP, all teachers are given support through participating in Bite-Sized Observations and Feedback Session cycles throughout the year with their evaluator (myself) and the Instructional Superintendent for our region, Alona Hastings. As a school leader, I am held accountable to following the School Leader Growth and Performance indicators as highlighted in the LEAD Handbook.

I hope the above gives you continued confidence and assurance that we in fact have the VERY BEST teachers here at Cory and that we work hard to ensure our novice and new to Cory teachers receive the supports they need to succeed!  In addition to teachers receiving supports, we also are launching additional paraprofessional supports through monthly paraprofessional huddles and professional development, as well as monthly “All Staff Huddles” in which our entire team celebrates our “wins” and work on our DPS Shared Core Value goals.

Our PTA also makes sure to keep our team happy and healthy through the yearly distribution of extra classroom supply money and food to feed our bellies on special occasions (back to school days, parent teacher conference days and other days throughout the year).  Thank you PTA!

Thank you for your partnership and support for all of our teachers!

~Jennifer Harris, Principal

 

Walking/Biking/Scooting Safety Update

With the beginning of the school year comes a reminder about our children’s and families’ safety when walking, biking or scooting to school. As many of you have noticed, there has been a change at the stoplight at Steele & Florida. This stoplight has been programmed with pedestrian signal buttons as well as a feature that turns the vehicle signal to red in all directions when pedestrians are crossing. We realize that this is taking some getting used to by pedestrians and drivers as well. Whether you walk or drive through this intersection during school drop-off or pick-up times, here are a few quick tips to help make this intersection as safe as possible:

  1. As a pedestrian, only cross when the white-walking pedestrian signal is illuminated NOT when the vehicle signal is green. This may take up to 2 signal changes, but it is the safest time to cross.
  2. As a biker or scooter, walk your bike/scooter through the pedestrian crosswalk. This will decrease any accidents with walkers in the middle of the intersection.
  3. As a driver, please turn only on a green signal and respect the 20mph speed limit during school zone hours and 25mph all other times. DPD is heavily monitoring this area for us.

Along with the City of Denver and the DPD, we are working hard to make our travel to and from school as safe as possible for our families. The City is continuing to monitor the new stoplight and is planning to make adjustments as needed.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for National Walk to School Day : THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7!

Collaborative School Committee (CSC) News

TONIGHT - Thursday, Sept. 3 from 4:00-6:00pm in the Cory Library:  Please join us for our first Collaborative School Committee meeting of the year!  The CSC is made up of parents, teachers and community members who work with school leaders to provide feedback on important school decisions.  Throughout the year, the CSC provides guidance and recommendations on ways to improve academic performance and advice on achieving the goals of Cory’s Unified Improvement Plan, budgets and priorities for spending school moneys, staffing allocations, increasing parent engagement, and enhancing school culture. The CSC is also responsible for evaluating our principal on leadership and collaboration.

Tonight’s meeting agenda can be found on the Agendas & Minutes link on the Cory CSC page, along with background about the Collaborative School Committee’s mission, members and past activities.  For questions or further information, please contact any of the 2015-2016 CSC members.  We hope to see you at a meeting soon!

 

Library/Technology News

Welcome to the new school year!  It has been great to see all of the students in the library and lab the past couple of weeks.  We are already quite busy!

Please check out the library/lab wiki for all of the latest news and information concerning our activities.

There are many resources on my wiki for students to use at home.  I also update it regularly with grade level news, and information about book club.

-Dawn Miller (Teacher Librarian/Technology Teacher)

 

PTA News

The PTA is a great way to get involved, support our community, and help make decisions regarding our school.  We hope you found the membership form in last week’s Friday Folder and have had the time to return it and the $10 fee to the PTA mailbox in the front office.
There are many ways to volunteer this year, so please let us know what you would be interested in helping with by circling the various activities listed on the membership form.  We are offering our volunteers a preloaded $5 grocery card for their help, so sign up today!
PTA meetings will be held the first Friday of each month from 8:45-9:30 in the Cafeteria.  We hope to see you tomorrow, September 4th from 8:45-9:30, for our first meeting of the year!
Cindy Giullian, President
Karen Levine, Vice-President
Pam Wandry, Treasurer
Kristi Lindwall, Secretary

 

Garden News

Cory’s Garden Committee will be holding our first Farmers Market of the season this Friday, September 4th, at 3:30pm!  We will have our stand outside by the Cory playground.  Please pick up your kids and stop by for fresh produce from our garden, as well as Colorado peaches, green chilis, and other yummy items. All money raised will benefit the beautiful Cory Garden.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Anastasia Glennie & Briana Gonzales – Garden Co-Chairs

 

Cory Carnival

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE 2015 CORY CARNIVAL

Sunday, September 27th, 12:00-3:00pm

The 2015 Cory Carnival is just about three weeks away and we are excited about what should be another fun, community event!   

We are in the midst of planning and still need more assistance to make the carnival a success!  Here are some WAYS YOU CAN HELP:

Volunteers: Thanks to all of you who have already signed up to volunteer at the carnival through the back to school registration. We will be contacting you soon.  We are still looking for volunteers to help out.  You can sign up directly here .  We also need coolers and shade tents for the day of so let us know if you have one to lend!

Food donations: We are looking for cupcakes and cookies for the cake walk and we would also love any donations for lunch served that day (along with serving pizza, we plan to grill hot dogs and would love any donations to help with that, as well as chips and/or drinks).  As in the past, we will also need some help with the actual grilling (including borrowing some grills).

Cash donations: Always a big help!  There will be a drop box in the office.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this great event. More details and Ticket forms will be in next week’s Friday folder.  

Please email Christina Imamura or Michelle Hoskins at corycarnival@gmail.com with how you would like to get involved!