Principal's Corner #28

April 17, 2020

I just want to begin this PC with a sincere THANK YOU. I know these times are difficult and it brings multiple challenges to us all, both professionally and personally. However, I have seen you all grow as individuals and as a team. In addition, I appreciate the grace so many of you have given me during this time. I know we are all doing our very best to take care of remote learning, but taking care of you is so important, especially right now. For me, that is a challenge right now, but I find comfort when I "see" you all and talk with you all. I continue to feel humbled and honored to be your principal. Thank you for being you, and thank you for being a Cougar!


  • To Kameron Riley for collaborating at all hours and days, sharing resources and ideas, brainstorming strategies and providing much-needed humor during this time. I appreciate you!
  • To Kindergarten, 1st Grade & 2nd Grade Teams, thank you for your openness to working with me all year long, providing feedback during our team meetings and just being kind. I enjoy working with you all and appreciate your dedication to education and fun personalities!

From Sarah Campbell

  • To Kindie Team, thank you to Angela, Jessica, Susan, and Megan for making me laugh each day. I could not do this "remote learning thing" without you. You each bring unique qualities, talents, and stories to each of our ZOOM meetings...and for that I am truly thankful!! I love you all!!

From Tiffany Steinmetz

  • To Kristina Layman, Andrea Aibner, Alison Berner, Patti Rojec, and Kori Shaiman for their professionalism and dedication to students. You were concise and professional throughout an entire 504 meeting. Cottonwood students and families are fortunate to have you.
  • To Dawn Thompson, Matthew Pedregon, Alison Berner, Kelli Minatta, Royce Wiersma, Joan Salinger, Rebecca Buell, Lois Vaughan, Glenda Cole, Sally Wuthrich, Sarah Campbell, Nicole Hargreaves, Shana Eilers, and Michele O'Brien for their time and support with interviews. We had some strong candidates and I appreciate your insight, perspective and time.

From Katie Johnson

Cougar Staff Shout Out: CLICK HERE

Has it been awhile since you gave a SHOUT OUT? It's just a click away.

Mandatory Reporting

Please remember we continue to function as mandatory reporters and we must keep an eye and ear out for possible issues as we check in on students. If you see or hear anything, please let me know. Also, please alert me if you see/hear any suicidal ideation concerns about a student.

Benefits Open Enrollment

Nothing is more important than your health! Cherry Creek Schools’ Benefits Open Enrollment takes place April 27 – May 15. During this time you can enroll in, add or remove dependents from medical, dental, and vision plans; determine contributions to health savings and flexible spending accounts; elect voluntary benefits; and update personal and beneficiary information. Elections you make during Open Enrollment will become effective July 1, 2020.

Look for information coming to your email soon including a benefits education webinar schedule, new rate structure, and enrollment instructions.

Want to check your current elections? Go to Employee Self Service by logging into:

I-Ready Diagnostic Assessments: Please read the memo below.

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FOSS Kit Protocols: What do I need to know?

Update on FOSS kit protocols for the remainder of this year and moving into the 2020-2021 School Year.

If I still have a FOSS kit in my building, what do I do with it?

We are asking that all FOSS kits that were in your school prior to building closures remain in your building. Teachers who were in the midst of teaching a FOSS unit, and those who had just packed up their kits to return to the Science Resource Center, please hold on to everything. You will be asked to keep those kits and begin the year teaching that unit. We will be sending out more information on how to order additional consumable items you may need.

What if I have a FOSS kit in my classroom and I am not planning to return to the same position next year?

When you are able to re-enter your current classroom to pack up your belongings, please plan to clean and pack up the FOSS materials. Organize the materials and return them into the correct FOSS boxes. If your position will be filled, leave the kit in your classroom or ensure one of your teammates can keep it safe for the incoming teacher. If your grade level is losing the position and the kit will not be needed next year, please have your building engineer place it on a pallet so it can be returned to the Science Resource Center. Also, email Mary Brunetti at and let her know that the kit needs to be returned so that she can notify the warehouse.

Will we still be teaching FOSS during the 2020-2021 school year?

Yes! During the 2020-2021 school year we will be utilizing all of the current FOSS units and the 2009 Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for Science. We will begin implementation of the 2020 CAS for Science during the 2021-2022 school year. Be on the lookout for more information and professional learning opportunities.

How do I request FOSS kits for next year?

We will follow the same protocol to request kits as a team using this request form. If you currently have a FOSS kit in your building, you will begin the year using this kit. When requesting kits, please ensure you request this kit as your first rotation. Then, check the box on the form that you currently have a kit. We will send out additional information on how to order more consumable materials from the Science Resource Center. If you do not currently have a kit in your building, please request kits as done in previous years. Please submit your team’s request by May 22, 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Have questions? Please contact:

Sarah Polzin

Please include the following message in your Monday message to families.

Just a reminder that our principal, Katie Johnson, has increased our Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle (CCCC) to once a week for the remainder of the school year. The CCCC will be shared via text and email each Monday. You can also access the Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle Archive by visiting the link below. We hope you find the CCCC another way to connect during this time.

Literacy Notes from Lois

Quick reminder from Carrie Serio (Literacy Coordinator). This is in regard to sharing IRLA resources with families.

Direct links to Power Words and Tricky Words can be found in the CCSD Learning Resources Schoology course in the Daily Schedule Folder.

You can also access IRLA resources through School Pace, Irla Resource Center. You will need to download the PDF and then upload to your Google Drive. Be sure to modify the share settings to "anyone with the link can view".

Here is a link to tips on video lessons from a blog titled Two Writing Teachers.

COVID-19 Reporting Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed either by a test or by a provider but are NOT hospitalized please call Tri County Health Department at 303-220-9200 to report your diagnosis. This is for two reasons: so an epidemiologist can talk with you about possible exposures and communicating with people you came in contact with AND so there is more accurate overall reporting for our county and state.