Wow! It’s hard to believe that we are almost through the first trimester of the year. I am very thankful to our dedicated staff, who have been working very diligently since August.
Assessments and School Goals
Great news! We have received our students’ CMAS data from last year, and their achievement continues to lead the area, district, and state in almost all content areas and in all grades. In fact, our students scored in the top 7% of Colorado schools for English Language Arts and the top 2% for Math! Congratulations to our students, staff, and families for such great learning results!
For this new year, teachers have spent the first few weeks of the year getting to know all of our students and gathering assessment data so that effective instruction can be planned. All of this information will be shared with parents at our October conferences. If you have not signed up for an appointment, please contact your child’s teacher.
We have two school goals this year in reading. One is to increase student growth as measured by MAP data, and the other is to increase the number of K–3rd grade students who reach benchmark on the DIBELS assessments by the end of the year. Teachers who teach reading will set their Individual Educator Goals around reading instruction for their students. Other staff members, such as our school psychologist and art, music, and PE teachers, will set goals that best represent their work with students. Goals for Mrs. Maestas, our assistant principal, Mrs. Nickerson, our instructional coach, and me are directly tied to the teachers’ goals.
Class of 2030
Our kindergarteners are the Class of 2030! We participated in the Arvada Harvest Parade with the other Arvada West elementary schools. It was a beautiful day, and our kiddos made it the whole route! They had a wonderful time passing out candy to the spectators, and perhaps keeping a piece or two for themselves! Thanks to all the parents who joined us.
As always, if you have a question, comment, or suggestion, please call the office, stop by, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS FROM THE LMC
(Library Media Center)
The Scholastic Book Fair is Coming!
October 6 – 12
Book Fair Hours
Friday, Oct. 6 and Monday, Oct. 9: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 10–11: 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. (open late during conferences)
Thursday, Oct. 12: 8:00 a.m.-–12:00 p.m.
All students will visit the book fair and complete a wish list on Friday or Monday. We will be open during conferences Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so please stop by! Parents are under no obligation to purchase the books on the wish list or otherwise.
We can use your help! If you are interested in volunteering to help during this week, please sign up here or email me at email@example.com.
Bring Your Own Device—BYOD
for 5th and 6th Graders
Students in 5th or 6th grade may bring their own devices—laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or cell phone—to school to use for educational purposes. Both parents and students need to first log in to Jeffco Connect and agree to the terms to opt in to our Jeffco Wi-Fi. The directions can be found here and also on the Fairmount Library web page:
Thanks to the Fairmount PTA and our school technology budget, we now have 120 Chromebooks on 4 carts shared among 1st through 6th grades. Grades 3–6 also each have their own cart of 30 Chromebooks, and 2nd grade has 6 Chromebooks in each classroom plus 20 on a cart to share among their classrooms. Grades 3–6 also have 2 Chromebooks in every classroom. That puts us at 314 Chromebooks!!! If you haven’t heard, Chromebooks are like laptops but faster, sleeker, and cheaper—all good things! Students know how to use Google Drive to create their documents, and some are learning how to create spreadsheets and presentations according to their learning needs. These documents can be accessed from home or school on any device with internet access. Your students can show you how to get to Google Drive at home from the Fairmount Library website, which is a tab on the Fairmount Elementary home page under Classrooms.
The Fairmount Library is sponsoring a Robotics Club. This after-school club open to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders meets on Mondays beginning October 2 and will run through a competition to be held at a Denver metro area location, date to be determined. We had 36 students complete an introductory Robotics Club course this past spring, and we’re excited about taking this club to the next level! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Author Justin Matott @ Fairmount!
Author Justin Matott visited all students at Fairmount on Thursday, September 28. He is a local author of picture, chapter, and poetry books. He gave an engaging presentation that also included his anti-bullying message. Many, many thanks to our generous PTA for funding this incredible and impacting visit! Pictures will be included in next month’s newsletter.
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum Opens New STEM Exhibit
A new interactive astronaut exhibit is opening soon at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum. From their website: "Opening on October 1st, Be the Astronaut is an engaging and interactive pod-based exhibit that teaches visitors STEM-based content via a fusion of technology and traditional exhibitry." For more information, including hours and admission fees, go to htttp://wingsmuseum.org/portfolio/astronaut/.
Fall is officially here, and it’s been a fun and exciting start to the school year!
The LEARNING GARDEN is flourishing and so are our children
ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS have already begun; there are some old favorites and some new ones too; all are fun and engaging.
It was a lovely time at the BBQ/Fall Festival, and everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Read more details below.
Our SILENT AUCTION was a huge success again this year, and was also quite a lot of fun. Over 1,000 bids on 135 great donations resulted in $17,385 being raised! Thanks to everyone who donated, volunteered, and bid!
Visit www.fairmountpta.org today!
—The Fairmount PTA Board
Programs & Events
to Watch For
PTA Meeting: Our next PTA meeting is Tuesday, October 3rd in the library at 6:00 p.m. We will have a special guest speaker from the Colorado Education Network, who will give an informative thirty-minute presentation on how education is funded in the state. Free child care is provided. Please join us; we would love to see you there!
Book Cart: The PTA-sponsored Book Cart Program has started. Please be on the lookout for books coming home with your kindergartner, 1st grader, or 2nd grader. This is a daily program run by parent volunteers to help support your child's reading success. If you have questions or would like to volunteer your time with this awesome program, please contact Maria King at email@example.com.
Learning Garden: We had a very productive yield from the garden this season. Last spring our students planted lots of fun varieties of fruits and veggies, and during the Fall Festival were invited into the garden to explore and do some tasting. The children were very excited to show their parents around. New this year two of our committee members have started an after-school garden club! Very exciting! Unfortunately, the Jefferson County School Board has put a pause on Garden to Cafeteria programs due to so many new staff. Hopefully next fall we will be serving our students' harvests in the cafeteria. Stay tuned.
Reflections Celebration of Art: The PTA-sponsored art contest has already begun. Students will have until October 16th to complete their pieces and turn them in. We will be celebrating all Reflections participants’ art in a ceremony in the Fairmount cafeteria on October 27th at 6:00 p.m. Then many of our talented students will have their pieces displayed in the Reflections Art Show at Red Rocks Community College on December 4th.
Halloween Parade and Classroom Parties: Classroom parties will be held from 9:00–10:20 a.m. on October 31st. If the weather is good, we will have a costume parade around the outdoor track beginning around 9:00 a.m. Parents can come and view all the ghosts, goblins, and other fun costumes from the soccer field. If you intend to send in treats, remember that NO NUTS of any kind are allowed. If parents do come into the building, please remember to check in at the office and receive a visitor’s badge.
A BIG THANK-YOU TO . . .
All the room parents who created classroom auction baskets for the Silent Auction.
The BBQ/Fall Festival and Silent Auction committee—Heather Reynolds, Jessica Nauslar, Becky Asbury, Kristina Klug, Emily Cranford, Angie Parsons, Laura Warren & Kelly Boeckman. You all did an amazing job!
The BBQ/Fall Festival & Silent Auction volunteers—Thank you for all of your dedication and hard work this year to make the BBQ and Silent Auction such a success! It is such a fun time for Fairmount families, and we appreciate everything you did to pull this night together.
All of the Fairmount staff—for all your help, patience, and support with PTA activities. We could not do anything without your help—thank you!
—The PTA Board
The BBQ/FALL FESTIVAL was September 22nd, and we totally lucked out on the weather as it turned cold and wet the rest of the weekend. There were over 800 people in attendance, and we are very grateful to all who supported this event! The attractions this year were Hawaiian luau–inspired, such as Ring the Pineapple (Sprouts Market was good enough to donate the pineapples), the Boat Regatta (thank you to Cub Scouts Pack 582 for loaning us their track), the lollipop palm tree, a sand art craft, flower balloon pop, and Kona Ice.
We also had some favorites back this year such as The Laughing Photo Booth. We so appreciate Tandi Donaldson and Sugar Bugs Pediatric Dentistry who once again sponsored the photo booth. Also back were Rose’s Creamery, the cake walk (THANK YOU to all parents who baked something for this and to King Soopers for donating baked goods), cotton candy, Rachel’s Creations for face painting, and the Giant Dice game. Thank you to Laura Konegni, Jake’s Toy Box, and Fairmount Stables who provided prizes for the giant dice game.
The choir led by Mr. DeWinkle even joined the luau spirit, and they sounded fantastic! The Mango Brothers Band provided the rest of the entertainment with their fun Bob Marley sound. Thank you to Clear Creek Trucking Company for sponsoring the band! Other donors to the festival included Jumpstreet, McDonald’s, Malone’s, Massage Envy, Marco’s Pizza, Goozell, Golden Goods Toy Store, Woody’s Pizza, Blend, Anthony’s Pizza, Avenue Gifts, Wal-Mart, Golden Sweets—all donations were much appreciated!
Thank you SO much to all the parents who volunteered. We could not make this event work without you!! And congrats to Mrs. Thomas’s kindergarten class, who won the contest for the class with the most parent volunteers.
Last, a HUGE thank-you to the fall festival committee: Jess Nauslar, Emily Cranford, Angie Parsons, Laura Warren, JoAnna Wagner, and Kelly Boeckman!
If anyone has any questions or feedback on the event, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Heather Reynolds, @ Hreynolds315@hotmail.com.
THANK YOU to 1ST BANK of Arvada at Westwoods for their continued support of Fairmount!
Welcome to the 2017–18 school year!
1. Jefferson County — School Board elections will be conducted by mail in ballot this November. Please make sure you and yours are registered to vote and participate in this important election. Click HEREto see a list of forums and informational events this fall.
2. Colorado — There are always issues percolating around the state on education. Below is a quick insight into the next legislative session. The interview is from the Jeffco PTA Legislative Chair, Katie Winner, with the Jeffco Schools lobbyist, Ed Bowditch.
Shifting Gears: Issues to Legislation
With election season again upon us, and a gubernatorial race next year, let’s get to know Jeffco Schools lobbyist Ed Bowditch who has some perspective to offer on what is going on inside and outside the Gold Dome, why it is important to Jeffco, and how parents can be the best advocates not just for their own children and schools but also Jeffco as a whole.
Question: Hi Ed, thanks for taking the time to meet. How would you describe what you do for Jeffco Schools?
Ed Bowditch: During the legislative session I’m a conduit between Jeffco Schools to the capitol. I report to the Board and gather feedback from the Superintendent and District staff about any K–12 issue or bill. With this information I talk to the Jeffco delegation (Jeffco legislators in both the House and Senate) about how the proposed legislation could impact all Jeffco schools and students.
Question: Let’s review a few of the issues and legislation from last year and your preview of what could be ahead when the legislature starts up in January.
EB: Sure, there are a few areas to keep an eye on in 2018.
School Finance—There is a two-year interim committee that may or may not propose legislation either this year or next.
Student Discipline—A bill to address this issue was proposed last session but was not passed. Finding a solution across the state will be tricky, but there is almost certain to be legislation on this sometime soon.
Teacher Licensure/Certification—The real question here is whether school districts should be given the flexibility to hire unlicensed teachers in their schools. Right now in Colorado only charter schools are permitted to do so, but there have been discussions about expanding this to include school districts as well. This issue may come up in 2018.
PERA—The last major review was in 2010, but stay tuned in 2018 to see if employer/employee contribution rates or benefit packages will change.
Question: Any other insider’s advice or things to know?
EB: Three things, first check out the Lieutenant Governor's Education Leadership Council. The work of this group is focused on K–12 and Higher Education, and could always propose legislation. Next, try to keep up with who is running for Governor of Colorado in 2018. The field is crowded now but it’s worth keeping tabs on. Lastly, and as always, remember the Colorado legislature will pass a budget; they will pass a school finance act. They always have and they always will, and they should be thanked for that.
Question: Anything else you’d want to tell Jeffco PTA members?
EB: Legislators are people and Jeffco residents too. They want to hear from you on any issues that matter to you, our county, and our state. I’m always in favor of citizens being involved in the legislative process and hope to meet you in the Jeffco Board room or see you giving testimony here on Colfax Avenue. This is your capitol, come see it.
3. CEN Meeting—Please join us as we welcome the Colorado Education Network (CEN) to Fairmount on October 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Our children are our greatest natural resource! An integral part of our children’s education is funding. How does the state determine how much each student at Fairmount receives? Does it deserve to be more? Please join us for a short dive into the deep end of the pool for this thirty-minute presentation and time for questions following. Any questions or comments, please contact Molly Given at (303) 808-1615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.