GT Family Fun Night flyer:
September 1, 2017
We are certainly off to a great start! Thank you for coming to the Meet and Greet and to Curriculum Night. Our partnership with you is critical to our success in helping students grow and learn and, in my opinion, we could not have better families with whom to partner! I’m looking forward to seeing you at the grade level parent socials coming up this month. It’s a great time to learn more about our school and how you can help. It’s also a great time to socialize with other parents. Keep your eyes out for an evite with more details!
- First Grade: Sept 14 (Worrell’s)
- Second Grade: Sept 27 (Sawyer’s)
- Third Grade: Sept 28 (Freedman’s)
- Fourth Grade: Sept 28 (Rasmussen-Baack’s)
- Fifth Grade: Sept 14 (Kirkland’s)
The beginning of the school year is one full of adjustments. This year, getting kids home at the end of the day has been challenging. I am aware of issues regarding the afternoon buses and am working with transportation to solve them. Thank you for your patience.
Another concern is afterschool pick up. I hope that in a week or so, when the buses are running smoothly, some of you will consider sending your children on the bus. When after school enrichments begin, that will also alleviate some of the congestion at Glenarm. In addition, you are welcome to park in the surrounding area and walk over. Here are some other guidelines that can help us ensure a safe afternoon pick up.
- We let the first graders out a few minutes early, hoping to help them get to their rides first if they are single riders, so if you are only picking up a first grader, come at about 3:20 and we’ll try to get you in and out.
- If you have more than one child, or if your children are older, please consider coming between 3:40 and 3:45. The loading area (kiss and drop) on Glenarm is almost empty then.
- Please do not leave your car. Staff members try to help kids get to their cars so parents don’t have to wait. If a staff member asks what child you are waiting for, please tell them. We will help locate them and get them to your car.
- Please do not double park. The traffic behind you backs up past 22nd and no one can go around.
- Once your children are safely buckled in, please move on to your next activity to open the space for someone else.
- Walking parents. Thank you! It’s great to socialize at school but, please do not congregate at the foot of the stairs. Staff are working diligently to watch for parents and get students safely to cars, and the more crowded it is, the more difficult their task.
- Please use the crossing guard at Glenarm and 22nd. There’s lots of activity and it’s easy to miss people walking across at various points. People are usually more careful to look for pedestrians at the crosswalk.
Thanks again for all your support and for entrusting your children to our care!
Anne Sterrett, Principal
February 21, 2017 2017 PARCC Schedule
Dear Polaris Families:
We will begin the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessments on March 14, 2017. These assessments focus on the knowledge and skills our kids need for success in our global economy, including skills such as analytical thinking and the ability to solve complex problems. The CMAS assessments focus on four different content areas depending upon the grade your child is in: English Language Arts (ELA) and Math – 3rd, 4th, 5th grade, Social Studies – 4th grade, and Science – 5th grade.
These assessments give our teachers critical information to help our students be on track for college and career readiness. They also help us ensure that our students have the necessary skills to succeed after high school. Additionally, here at Polaris we use these scores to differentiate instruction, place in advanced curriculum, and identify for gifted, including additional strength areas.
Calendar: Please see the attached calendar for testing dates and times. We ask parents and families to ensure their children get plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast every day, but especially on assessment days. If there are doctor’s appointments or other appointments that need to be made, we hope this calendar will help you to make those appointments on non-assessment days and during non-assessment times.
Volunteers: Please also note the days in which we cannot allow volunteers in certain floors of our building. This is to adhere to the ethics and other policies set forth by DPS and the State of Colorado to maintain a secure testing environment.
Attendance: We also want to communicate that all students should be in school on-time, all day and every day, regardless of whether assessments are occurring or not. Important teaching and learning happens in between testing, so it is imperative that students are here. Our expectations remain around vacations and we expect parents to continue to plan vacations around the DPS calendar.
Make-Ups: Students do best when they are in their classroom environment for testing. In the event that your child has to miss a test session, they will have to make up the test during other instructional time. In addition, because our teachers are teaching during all non-testing days, our paraprofessionals are used to give make-ups, which takes them from supporting the classroom. To prevent disruption to your child’s and other student’s day, please make every effort to ensure that your child is at school every day and limit their absences to only when they are sick.
We appreciate your support during this time. Assessments, including CMAS as well as those taken throughout the year, are vital tools for teachers to support student success. There are online resources to help parents and families support their student during CMAS testing, located at standards.dpsk12.org If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Anne Sterrett, Principal
Denver Public Schools
Superintendent Parent Forum &
ELA District Advisory Committee (ELA DAC)
Thursday, December 8, 2016
9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
I am amazed at how the days have suddenly gotten shorter! As I was saying goodbye to the children on Halloween, I was struck by how much darker it was and how long the shadows were. Even though we’ve had great weather, the cold is sure to come soon! Here at Polaris, we believe that unstructured playtime outside is critical to the development of our children– just as much as reading and math! Therefore, students will go outside to play whenever possible. Please be sure to send kids with warm clothing. Our weather can change in a flash!
Denver has completed their tabulation of scores for our DPS School Performance Framework (SPF). We were one of the schools whose overall rating declined, and yet, we have much to celebrate. We continue to “Exceed Expectations” in the areas of academic status (the number of students who scored in advanced and proficient ranges) and parent and student engagement. According to many school rating sites, our academic status is number one in Colorado! Unfortunately we were “Approaching Expectations” in student growth. We only receive growth scores for fourth and fifth graders. Our fourth grade growth scores were amazing! We were disappointed with our fifth grade growth scores, and we have already put improvements in place to ensure that we do better in 2017. I will present our SPF in greater detail at CSC on Monday, November 7th at 4:00pm. All are welcome.
Halloween parties were amazing! Thanks to all who organized, helped, and attended! In my opinion, the perfect balance was struck between healthy and sugar! The pumpkin cuties with celery stems were my personal favorite. Our parents did a great job providing creative, healthy and fun treats!
I can’t wait to see you all for our Thanksgiving Feast on November 17th! If you did not purchase tickets for a guest meal, you are still welcome to come and sit with your student. Some lunch times are adjusted slightly, see the website for lunch times. I look forward to seeing you there!
The lost and found is getting full! Please stop and take a look to see if anything there belongs to your family. All unclaimed items will be donated on November 18th. (The last day of school before Thanksgiving Break).
It was great seeing all of you at conferences as well. I know you all agree with me that our teachers do a great job planning learning experiences that encourage our students, help each child grow, and establish a love of learning. When a teacher does something that you notice as exceptional, it would be very special if you could take a minute to let them know.
It’s hard to believe that this is the time to start considering schools for next year. If you have a student leaving Polaris, the Denver Great Schools Expo is a wonderful place to get information on many schools in order to narrow your choices. It takes place at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 9th from 6:00 to 8:00.
We are still working with the GT office and the Choice Department regarding admissions to first grade. CSC has formally requested that any kindergarteners who qualify as highly gifted be allowed priority to attend Polaris for first grade. The GT and Choice Departments will host a kindergarten parent meeting here at Polaris on November 16th at 5:30 p.m.
There are many fulfilling aspects to my job, and when I think about what they have in common, they all revolve around helping and being with people. I love seeing you and your children at drop off and pick up. Your warm greetings in the morning set a happy tone for my day! I am available to you at other times, though. If you have questions or need something, please don’t hesitate to call me.
Anne Sterrett, Principal
Polaris at Ebert
All Visitors to Polaris outside of pick up and drop off times will need to use the new main entrance on Park Avenue West. The entrance has a camera and push button to request entry. The large blue gates to the playground will remain locked except when school busses are loading and unloading. Large deliveries or handicapped persons may phone the main office (posted on gate) to request entry. We will also be getting signage for a handicap space and loading area on the north end of Tremont.
Kara Chitwood and I, your 2014-2015 Volunteer Coordinators, would like to welcome you to the “Step Up For Polaris” section of the weekly Epost. This column will include all of our current school wide volunteer needs and is meant to be a clearinghouse to consolidate our volunteer needs. That said, if you have volunteer needs for a group you are chairing or for anything at all, please pass those needs to us and we will include them in the next column. This tool also helps us avoid the need to send out panicky last minute requests for help, which I think everyone can appreciate!
The tool really only works well, though, if you each take a moment to scan the list every week to see if there is a volunteer need that meets your interests and time available! Our mantra remains “We all do what we can” and no matter how small or big each contribution is, it all adds up to an amazingly supportive community for our children, teachers and staff and is what makes Polaris the special place that it is. Thank you and we look forward to volunteering with many of you this year!
Tammy Chamberlain & Kara Chitwood
firstname.lastname@example.org (303) 831-951
Open Volunteer Positions for the 2013-2014 School Year
Please peruse this list of needs and contact one of us if you have questions about the position:
- PTO Chair Elect to serve with our current PTO Chair and prepare to take the reins next year
- Community Dinners Coordinator – Coordinate fundraising dinners at local restaurants
- Love of the Arts Coordinator – Coordinate with Art and Music Teachers for Set Up of event
- Chili Cook Off Coordinator – Event runs concurrently with Love of the Arts in April 2015
- Community Garden Manager(s) – Oversee the management of this wonderful asset to our school
- Reading Buddies Program Coordinator – Work with teachers to provide volunteers for one on one reading help with children who would benefit from additional reading support
- Room Parents Needed! Now that we have a few days under our belt with the school routine, take a moment to sign up to be a Room Parent in your child’s classroom. Room Parents play an important role in supporting your child’s teacher, facilitating communication with parents and building community among your class and grade. We need at least one Room Parent per classroom. Grab a friend to share the job if you’d like. For more information, feel free to contact Carmen Mix at email@example.com (new email). Sign up here!
- Electives Help Needed! We also need volunteers to help teach, assistant, fund or sub in the electives program on Fridays. If you would like to teach or help in any way, please let Sherry Beardshear know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-293-2780. For more information about the Electives, please keep reading!
Thank you to the following parents who have already stepped up for the 2014-2015 school year!
- Leta Sharpe & Cristina Muldoon will once again co-chair the Staff Appreciation Lunch Committee.
- Jay Hilty will continue to keep our website current and relevant.
- Christie Gosch & Alex Kwan will publish our school directory.
- Alenka Han agreed to manage the popular Polaris T-shirt sales for another year.
- Jay Vasconcellos & Megan Webber Rosenzweig have signed on again to produce the yearbook and manage the sales – a big and important job indeed!
- New Polaris parent Carmen Mix will take over as the Room Parent Coordinator.
- The always energetic Molly Kirschling will continue to head up Grocery Card Sales, Lost and Found, Box Tops and Electronics Recycling, and Kristee Paschall-Johnson will assist with Lost and Found.
- Jennifer Faris & Erica Kushihashi will head up the Original Works Fundraiser.
- Steph Friday is already actively working to train our children and expand the Compost and Recycling programs.
- Mark Herlinger will continue as our Safety Chair.
- Eve Cohen-Porter will continue to chair our exciting Art/Science Program.
- Margaret Batchelor agreed to serve again as the parent liaison for the Salute to Scientists.
- Katie Weber & Gwen Kerby will kick off the first fundraiser of the year with the Chinook Coupon Books.
Kat Rains & Jennifer Zuniga for joining the Epost team and for all the returning Epost contributors. Please see bottom of Epost for a complete listing.