Parent Post – February 9, 2018

February 18, 2018

Dear Cory Parents,

What an exciting week! Art Night on Tuesday was a tremendous success, it was great to see so many families here creating art to benefit a variety of non-profits. The murals, dog and cat toys and valentine’s day cards will all be very appreciated by the organizations receiving them. Thank you so much to the Art Night committee and to our amazing art teacher Angela Alexander for organizing such a great community event!
On Wednesday and Thursday the Principal Selection Committee convened, for two late evenings, to review candidates’ resumes, develop interview questions based on the community feedback forms and the district’s LEAD principal evaluation criteria, and select the top choices to interview. Thursday evening, the committee interviewed the top five candidates. At the end of the evening, the committee recommended moving three of those candidates forward to the next phase of the process.
Next week, these three candidates will participate in a full day of scenario based experiences.  The candidates will be scored, based on criteria aligned to the district’s LEAD framework, by a panel that includes school principals, instructional superintendents and the Chief of Staff of Elementary Education. After candidates are evaluated on their performance in these scenarios, the Principal Selection Committee will re-convene to determine which candidates will move forward to the next phase of the selection process. I would like to extend another huge thank you to the parents and staff serving on this committee. The work has been incredibly intense and required much of this committee. Thank you to all of you for your dedication to Cory and for ensuring a strong process to find a great leader.
On Feb. 15, the selected candidates will complete a learning walk at a similar school during the daytime. That evening, from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m., these same candidates will participate in a community forum here in the Cory auditorium. Child care will be provided and we hope to see you all there. This is your opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on the finalists. On Feb. 21 two finalists (or potentially 1) will have an interview with Tom Boasberg, who will make the final decision, considering all of the  committee’s input, on who will be the next Cory Principal.
During the initial review of all applicants, we found that there was not a candidate who had experience as a Principal. All candidates have strong leadership experience as an Assistant Principal or Principal Resident, but not as the sole leader of a school. In order to ensure a smooth transition next year, the district has agreed to support a transition plan for the coming year. I will be remaining at Cory next year as a mentor to the new principal four days a week. This will allow the new leader time to develop relationships within the community and learn about the work we have begun this year. There is much happening at Cory that will need time to transition and time to further develop and refine including our math compacting model, our backwards design planning approach, the inquiry-based work we are starting to build, the mindfulness work we are piloting as well as several other areas aligned to our school mission and vision. This is a unique opportunity to build a smooth, seamless transition in leadership for our community. I look forward to the next two weeks as we narrow down our candidates to find Cory’s next leader.
For student fun this week, we launched the Olympics with great fanfare and true USA team spirit! And finally, on Friday, we ended our week at school in pajamas and donations- supporting the very important work to find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma.
Thank you all for your support!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Calling all families!  

Please turn in Box Tops through February 23rd.  We are half way to our goal of $1000.00 for the school year and we need your help to reach it.  We are collecting box tops in the office or you can turn them into your Teachers.
This is an easy way to participate in extra funding for our school.  Look in your pantry today and see if there are any you can cut off cereal boxes, etc and turn in to give Cory that extra support.

Merrill Middle’s keynote Speaker Community Event

We are excited to announce Kim Bevill, a highly respected Keynote Speaker from Gray Matters, will be coming to Merrill Middle School on Wednesday 2/28/18 from 6:00 – 7:30.
Kim trains educators and parents on the applicable neuroscience and the instructional strategies that work for anyone with a brain! She will be highlighting the following topics and will provide strategies for parents, teachers and kids to get the most out of our amazing brains:

  • Relationships and Academic Achievement
  • Health & Wellness/Stress and the impact on Academic Performance
  • Happiness & Gratitude – How and Why It Improves Academic Behavior

Parents, Kids and Teachers are all invited for this free event! We encourage you to bring a $5 or $10 gift card (e.g. Starbucks, Chipotle, Target) per attendee as a donation towards the “Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies” Program at Merrill.

Cory Dines Out

Dine Out at Four Friends Kitchen: February 19 and 20, 7 am – 2:30 pm

Mark your calendars for a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch on Monday and Tuesday, February 19-20, 7 am – 2:30 pm (Cory no school days!). Four Friends Kitchen is a new restaurant near DU (2070 S. University Blvd.) serving southern-inspired comfort food. They have a great kids menu and lots of games for kids as well. Four Friends will be giving 20% of sales to Cory when you mention our school! 

Thank you to everyone who came out to our recent event at Viale. We raised over $1,200 for Cory!

Cory Elementary PTA Presents the 2018 Annual Auction
The Price is Right!
Friday, April 20
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Silent Auction
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. Live Auction, Heads or Tails and Paddle Raise
9:00 – 10:30 p.m.  Live Entertainment and Dancing
The Cable Center
2000 Buchtel Blvd S.
Denver, CO 80210
$50 Per Person for Early Bird Pricing (Through March 15)

Heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by Three Tomatoes Catering
COME ON DOWN for the 2018 Auction. Don’t miss your chance to compete in the Showcase Showdown to win incredible prizes! This is Cory PTA’s most important fundraiser of the year and an event you won’t want to miss.  Enjoy an evening of live entertainment, food from local restaurants and spending time with other members of Cory’s extraordinary community while we raise MUCH needed funds for our children’s education.

To make this event a successful fundraiser for our kids:
Be a Star Family for Cory Elementary with your $125 Family Sponsorship-family sponsors will receive a digital image for social media use, recognition on the auction’s Facebook event listing and entrance in a VIP drawing at the auction on April 20th.
Donate wine-at our Stock the Cellar Party (More details to follow)
Donate auction items-Cory needs your timeshares, vacation homes, chef’s dinners and other experiences!  Get other families together to create Buy-A-Shares and Live Auction items!
The parent-led auction committee is looking for Live Auction items, Silent Auction items, Corporate Sponsorships, Swag Bag and Buy-A-Share items:
If you have a mountain residence, vacation, chef dinner, experience or other big ticket item you would like to donate to the Live Auction, contact Leisa Sollenberger  
If you have silent auction items you would like to donate-gift certificates, wine, spirits, services-contact Lindsey Trees

If you have a business and would like to sponsor, granting your brand access to 200+ households in the Cory Merrill-Belcaro-Bonnie Brae demographic, contact Leisa Sollenberger
If you have a business or work for a company that hands out logo items, product samples or coupons that you think would be great for Swag Bags, contact Jaala Sheldon.
If you would like to host a Buy-A-Share party or experience, contact Holly Carpenter.