June Spotlight…Summer!

Posted June 5, 2015


Welcome to our summer issue of “The Spotlight”, your quick guide to current important topics taking place here at Cory.

We know how busy life gets and want to use this avenue to give you a deeper look into different topics happening right inside our building.

While the weekly Parent Post will continue to arrive in your in-box once a week (continuing in August) and include updates and important events, “The Spotlight” will focus on one topic aligned to our DPS Values to help inform and educate parents. This will be sent out monthly.


Principal’s Corner

As we close out the 2014/15 School Year, I wanted to be sure to highlight the accomplishments we have had this year, as well as take a sneak peek into the 2015/16 School Year.  Highlights from this year include:

  • Releasing our Family Handbook to ensure that our families are aware of our policies and procedures.  Click HERE to review this handbook that was given to all families this past August.
  • Streamlined our Marketing and Communication.  Throughout the year we were able to rebrand our logo, align our Cory Creed with the DPS Shared Core Values and release our new Cory Website and Facebook Page!  We want to make sure our parents and community have the most up to date information and receive timely communications.  We are also continuing to strengthen our internal communications and will be continuing Year 3 of our Leadership Huddles which bring together our School Leadership Team Chair, Principal, PTA President and CSC Co-Chairs on a monthly basis.  In these monthly huddles we update and discuss topics relevant to these three school advisory bodies to ensure transparent communication, goal setting and problem-solving.
  • Created our “Spotlight” communications in order to provide a deeper look into topics affecting our students and community.  Spotlight topics included “Budget 101” and “Standards Implementation and Assessment” and were released in February and March.  Future topics will include” Accountability: How we use Parent, Student and Staff Surveys”, so be on the look-out!
  • Continuing to strengthen Paraprofessional Support Roles– The School Leadership Team (SLT) and Para Team have been meeting and will continue the conversation this summer to discuss how to best use our talented para team to support our students.  Highlights of additional continued discussions include:
    • Para hours- These will remain the same throughout our school, with 1.5 hours added to the 1st Grade Team. We will be working with the PTA on the possibility of releasing funds for additional hours as fall draws closer.
    • Teacher Needs- Discussing teachers needs across grades and ensuring that we allocate para hours equitably depending on student need.
    • Para Responsibilities- Discussion will  include having a more defined schedule and break down of responsibilities to allow paras will continue to work with small groups of students in the classroom along with a variety of other responsibilities to assist the teachers.

2015/16 Cory Team!

1st Grade Team: Alex Keldin, Brendan Doyle and one new hire (TBD)

2ndGrade Team: Margaret Wing, Diana Golden, and Patty Kozma

3rd Grade Team:  Annie Guerrero, Lauren Vertrees and Sarah Clark

4th/5th Grade Team:

  • Math and Science- Debbie Stricker, Julie Keppler and Richard Ashburn
  • Literacy and Social Studies: Rainy LaVenture, Caleb Melamed and Andrew Osborn

Para Team: Betsy Sedig, Kara Fuchs, Jana Roush, Alison O’Connell, Cecilia Goergen, Marla Fine, Jane Hall, Lisa Schultz and Bliss Barela.

Support Staff: Angela Alexander (Visual Arts), new hire TBD (Music), Brent Conklin (PE) and Dawn Miller (Librarian/Tech Teacher). Jan Struharik (ESL), Julie Williamson (Special Education), Betsy Sturges (Intervention) and Julie Brooks (School Psychologist).

Class Placement Information: Your child’s class placement will be sent out today (Friday, June 5) at 4PM. If you are NEW to Cory (1st Grade SCKEE attendees excluded), please note that this placement is temporary and could be changed after the first 4-6 weeks of school, as we want to ensure that your child’s needs are met. This allows us to get to know your child and see if their placement is appropriate for their social and academic needs. Lastly, those that are current students at Cory (including 1st Grade SCKEE students), thank you for following our Change of Classroom Placement Policy for any classroom change requests. This is located in our Family Handbook.

Parent Portal Reminder:  Please remember that Report Cards are now on Parent Portal. You will also need a Parent Portal account to complete on-line verification for the 2015/16 school year.  Click on Parent Portal to sign in or create your account (this link is also on the bottom of our home page).  This has been something we have been reminding everyone about since August, so hopefully you were able to create your account.  If you are having difficulty, you will need to contact the hotline which is on the site.

Looking forward to a great year ahead…enjoy your summer!

Jennifer Harris, Proud Principal of the Cory Cougars



August 2015 Events*

*Keep an eye on the Google Calendar on the right for more details!

Monday, July 13th- On-line Verification Opens- Current Cory Families- On-line Verifications are Due (there will not be registration this year, as everything will be on-line.   Click HERE for more information!)

Wednesday, August 12th- Office opens for new registrations and school business. Office hours: 7:30-4:00.

Monday, August 17th- On-Line Verification Closes

Friday, August 21st,  4:00-5:30- Meet the Teacher and Popsicles with the Principal

Monday, August 24th- First Day of School!

Thursday, September 3rd- Back to School Night


Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

As we dive into our new school year, it is our pleasure to introduce to you our new PTA Officers for the 2015/16 School Year. Please welcome them to our team!

  • Cindy Giullian, PTA President
  • Karen Levine,  Vice-President
  • Kristi Lindwall, Secretary
  • Pam Wandry, Treasurer

The PTA is a type of forum where parents and teachers come together to discuss ways to promote quality education, strive to expand the arts, encourage community involvement, and work for a healthy environment and safe neighborhood. We value input from the community and we need your involvement to be successful meeting our goals.

With your help, the PTA was able to provide funds for salaries that allowed paraprofessionals to keep their same amount of hours in the classrooms as well. The paraprofessionals are instrumental in the classrooms to help work with small reading and math groups as well as supporting each of the teachers in many ways. The PTA was also able to purchase the beautiful new Mac computer lab that is located on the second floor. This year we raised funds to purchase a Dell charging cart filled with new Dell laptops. We couldn’t have done any of this without your support.

Throughout the school year, you will receive emails and flyers about ways to get involved and information regarding our two annual fundraisers. We need to ask for volunteers to be able to provide exciting events such as the fall carnival and art night. We need to ask for donations to continue to provide the level of support and enrichment as we have provided in previous years. You may give of your time and/or financial support throughout the year in many ways and by getting involved with the PTA, you will meet other great parents who are dedicated to the success of our great school.

We look forward to partnering with you to achieve our goals. We are always open to suggestions and hope you will complete a membership form to join the Cory PTA. Everyone is open to attend PTA meetings, but if you join the PTA, you can be more involved with the planning of events and how money raised will be used to directly benefit the school and the students. More information will be available at Meet the Teacher and Popsicles with the Principal prior to school start and the PTA Welcome Coffee in the cafeteria at 8:45am on the morning of the first day of school. We hope to see you there. Thank you for your support!

Cory PTA


Collaborative School Committee (CSC)

The Cory Collaborative School Committee (CSC) provides guidance, evaluation and recommendations to the Principal and/or the Instructional Superintendent regarding priorities for the school’s budget, monitoring of the school’s Unified Improvement Plan and progress toward associated goals, staffing allocations, school program design, school culture and other related topics. We are like the school’s board of directors. The CSC’s members include elected parent representatives, community members, teachers, staff members and the principal.

Monthly CSC meetings are public, open meetings held on the first Thursday of each month (or other publicized date), and parents are encouraged to attend! The CSC also develops and holds additional forums for parent engagement throughout the school year designed to offer opportunities for the diversity of the school’s community population to engage with school leadership. In all of its efforts, the CSC’s mission is to enhance student achievement and school climate by engaging the school community in supporting school and district goals.

Highlights from this year at the CSC include:

  • Exploring and offering guidance on new channels for parent engagement, including a “What’s On Your Mind?” comments section on Cory’s website (this link will be coming soon to our new site), “First Friday Walk Your Child to Class” Day and trying our first CSC ‘chat’ during Field Day this year.
  • Offering an opportunity for community conversation about our math groupings procedure in the grades 4 and 5, and reflecting on that experience at year-end via a 4th/5th team update,  available on the CSC website by clicking HERE.
  • Discussing ways to help our school address changes in curriculum models, testing and other policy changes that have and will come from the school district and the state of Colorado.
  • Advising on staffing for the coming year, including maintaining a full-time art teacher, a school psychologist position, maintaining paraprofessional hours at or above current levels, and more!

More information about the CSC and minutes from our meetings are available on the CSC tab of Cory’s website by clicking HERE.

One of our key goals for the 2015/2016 school year is to greatly increase our community engagement – we can only consider your feedback and opinions if you share them!  Our CSC meeting calendar will be posted in August. We hope to see you in the coming year!

2015/16 CSC Members- The CSC is made up of the principal, parents, teachers, support staff and community members. All members of the CSC are elected to two-year terms. 2015/2016 CSC members are as follows:

  • Jennifer Harris (Principal)
  • Sam Sturhahn, CSC Co- Chair (Parent Representative)
  • Dana Kang, CSC Co-Chair (Parent Representative)
  • Sue Weisenburger (Parent Representative)
  • Christian Schmidt (Parent Representative)
  • Brendan Doyle (1st Grade Teacher)
  • Patty Kozma (2nd GradeTeacher)
  • Lauren Vertrees (3rd Grade Teacher)
  • Rainy LaVenture (4th/5th Teacher)
  • Dawn Miller (Specials Teacher)
  • Betsy Sedig or TBD (if Betsy needs a break!) (Paraprofessional)
  • David Fowler (Community Member)