The School Scoop

The New East Elementary Newsletter - February 2016

From the Principal's Office

Dear Parents and Families,

As the end of the 2nd trimester comes there is much to celebrate. Students and teachers are working hard and experiencing multiple levels of success.

Mid-year reading benchmark assessments are complete and showed positive change in every grade level, increasing the number of students getting closer to scoring at or above grade level in reading. As is the case every year, a few new students will be identified to be eligible for READ plans, thus providing them with the necessary supports in reading.

The FLOODING MODEL of reading is a new approach to support our struggling readers. The model connects and aligns reading intervention to core classroom reading instruction in the classroom. The literacy coordinators and intervention staff "flood" the classroom to support reading for all kids in the classroom. This looks different in each grade level as it is based upon the number of students and type of need. Generally during small group reading instruction in each grade level, one would see 3 - 4 additional adults in the grade level providing additional support and instruction in reading. Tiffany Trevenen, our Literacy Coordinator and Reading Specialist, is leading this shift in our approach to supporting students that struggle in reading.

Our INSTRUCTIONAL COACH, Kristin Allen, continues to support teachers during co-planning and coaching cycles. She is instrumental in helping them provide appropriate instruction to students of all levels in each classroom. By helping teachers become more proficient in best practices, Kristin helps teachers create student-centered goals that help increase student achievement. She also supports teachers in integrating technology, such that students can access highly engaging learning in digital way.

The SCHOOL LIBRARY has a new feel this year. The library is a center for students to gather and work. As resources become available we hope that we can expand the functionality of the library. One library tech, Jonathan Waters, is providing his own brand of 21st century learning through a concept called “Makerspaces”. Makerspace is a do-it-yourself space where students gather to use tools and materials to create, invent and learn together. This hands-on learning experience provides students the opportunity to try innovative learning activities involving technology, creative arts, math and science concepts.

Please don't hesitate to give us feedback. We want to know how your student is doing with their learning. Please share with us your questions, compliments and concerns. We want to know how things are going. If you'd like to meet with me feel free to call the school secretary to schedule a meeting. She has access to my calendar and schedule an appointment. Classroom teachers are available via email or their classroom phone extensions. Or you may also text or call me on my cell phone at 970-326-8110. I am happy to visit with you anytime.

Thank you for entrusting us with your children everyday. We love working with your students. It is an honor and privilege.

~ Sarah Hepworth, Principal



What's Happening This Month? - Mark Your Calendars

  • Valentine Candy Gram Sales until Feb 12th
  • Feb. 9th - PAC Meeting at 5:20
  • Feb. 11th - "Cherish the Little Things" Children's Art Show at the Center of Craig from 3 - 6pm
  • Feb. 12th - Children's Art Show from 2-6pm
  • Feb. 12th - Valentine's Day Parties at 1:10 pm
  • Feb 13th - Children's Art Show 10am - 8pm
  • Feb 15th - No School, President's Day
  • Feb 18th - Parent iPad Night at CMS 6:00 - 7:00pm
  • Feb. 18th - School Board Meeting 4:00pm & 6:30pm
  • Feb 19th - No School, Elementary Work Day
  • Feb. 22nd - Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 - 7:00pm
  • Feb 23rd - After School Tech Camp (Session 2) 3:30 - 5:00p,m
  • Feb 24th - Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 - 7:00pm

CMAS Standardized Testing in March


Colorado is a governing member of a multi-state assessment consortium called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Involvement in this consortium allows the Colorado Department of Education staff, along with staff from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Colorado educators, to collaborate with individuals from across the U.S. to develop assessments for English language arts and mathematics.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the new computer-based assessments were administered, in two separate windows, in grades 3-11 for English language arts (ELA) and math in grades 3-8 with three high school assessments for math. In an effort to reduce the amount of time students spend testing, the 2015-2016 PARCC assessment has been redesigned to fit into one window. This year, students in grades 3-9 will take ELA and math assessments beginning in March. These assessments are designed to measure our students’ attainment of the Colorado Academic Standards. a


New state science and social studies assessments measuring the Colorado Academic Standards were administered online in Colorado for the first time in the 2013-14 school year. This year, students in grades 5th, 8th and 11th grade will take the science assessment in April. This year for social studies, schools across the state in each district were randomly selected by Colorado Department of Education. East was NOT selected to participate in the social studies assessment.


In 2015, the state legislature passed a law requiring districts to develop policies allowing parents to excuse their students from participating in one or more state assessments.

Parents in Moffat County may choose to opt their students out of state testing. To do so, MCSD policy requires parents to contact their child's principal and request to complete the required parent refusal form. Without completion of this form, students will be scheduled to complete the assessments.

It is important to give our school time to plan for these assessments by initiate these conversations well before the testing window begins. An important part of the discussion with the principal is to decide if your child will attend school while his/her peers are testing.

CMAS PARCC Testing Times for 2015-2016

PARCC estimates that students will spend the approximate lengths of time below to complete all the sessions, or timed components, of the PARCC assessments in ELA and math:

  • 8.25 hours in 3rd grade
  • 8.5 hours in grades 4–5

Specific unit times and scheduling considerations can be found here.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Monday, Feb 22 and Wednesday, Feb 24 are designated as the 2nd Trimester Parent Teacher Conferences. Parents have the opportunity to have one-on-one time with their child's teacher and get an overall report of student achievement. In order to fit all students in two days, conferences are generally only 15 minutes long. If you feel you need additional time with your child's teacher, please contact her to make arrangements for a different day and time. Please be prompt as conferences are scheduled back-to-back and being late could cause other parents not to have their allocated time. Interpreters will be provided for parents that do not speak English.

5th Grade Students will be selling baked goods during conferences. Please take a moment to check out their sales stand and consider a donation.

Little By Little, Violent Video Games Make Us More Aggressive

New research suggests that hours of exposure to violent media like video games can make kids react in more hostile ways compared to ones who don't spend lots of time controller-in-hand, reigniting the debate about children and gaming

Ever since Columbine, in which two students went on a deadly rampage at their high school, television, movies and video games have been a popular target for senseless acts of violence.

Nearly 15 years later, that hasn't discouraged kids from playing video games, especially of the violent type. Approximately 90% of children in the US play video games, and more than 90% of those games involve mature content that often includes violence. The connection between violent media and aggression has also spawned a body of research that has gone back and forth on the issue.

Worries about how violence in virtual reality might play out in real life have led legislators to propose everything from taxing violent video games to proposing age restrictions on who can buy them. An ever growing body of research does actually support that violent games can make kids act more aggressively in their real-world relationships.

A recent study looked closely at 3,035 boys and girls who played multiple hours of violent video games per week. The study revealed an increase in aggressive behavior and violent tendencies for those that played violent video games high number of hours per week, compared to those who played fewer hours per week. When asked if it was okay for a boy to strike a peer if that peer said something negative about him, for example, these kids were more likely to say yes. they also scored higher on measures of hostility, answering that they would to respond with aggressive action when provoked even accidentally. The more long-term gamers were also more likely to fantasize about hitting someone they didn't like.

This article was an abridged version from

Texas Avenue is the Place for Dropping Off and Picking Up

Please do not drop off your students in the bus zone. With icy streets and a down hill slop to our bus zone, busses cannot stop abruptly for cars that are parked in the bus zone. It is not safe for cars to be in the bus zone. It is extremely dangerous for students to be walking across the bus zone. Students are expected to be dropped off where there is supervision by a staff member. That supervision is available on Texas Avenue on the West side of the school. The only traffic coming and going there is for students coming and going to school in a vehicle. The preschool and visitor's parking lot are not drop off areas either.