Cougar Community Connection
A weekly newsletter from your principal, Shannon McPherson
Welcome to the 23-24 School Year Here at Cougar Run 7/29/23
This newsletter is going to be a bit long as we want to make sure we share the necessary information that you need to get the year started out great. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom as the important dates will always be at the bottom of this weekly newsletter. Please carve out some time to peruse each section to ensure you and your kiddos are all set and ready to kick off an awesome year here at Cougar Run.
Mrs. Dimino has a STRONG passion for gardening. She dedicates time every summer to keep it thriving. Her boys help, but it is a big project!
This mountain of mulch contains the trees that were hit by the tornado in CRUN Park. The Kurach and Hasid kids worked hard to collect it for our CRUN garden.
A Note From PTA
The PTA is looking for new members to join our team. We are down one Restaurant Night Chairman. Our out-going chairman is working hard to set up all of the dates for the school year, but we need someone to make flyers and have great communication skills. Does this sound like you? Email us at email@example.com.
We are going back to morning meetings for this school year. We meet on the second Friday of each month, except for our first meeting. It will be Friday, August 18th from 8:45-10am. There will be a Zoom option, so you can log in from work. We can't wait to see you there!
New Staff Announcements
We are so excited about all of the new members to our CRUN Family! One thing we value most at Cougar Run is ensuring that we have fantastic HUMAN RESOURCES to support our students. Getting creative with the budget allowed us to figure out how to add people to our staff as we believe people are who make the difference in the growth and progress of our students. So take a look at all of our new family members below and join us in welcoming them to our sweet, CRUN Family!!!EA 1
Jennifer Struck Additional 1st Grade Classroom
Emily Joines Art
Erin Garcia-Director of Pre-K
Start/ End Times & Entry/ Exit Doors
- The entry doors open at 8:25 for students to be welcomed into school. Adult supervision outside begins at that time, so please drop your kiddos no earlier than 8:25 to ensure they are supervised and safe.
Front Door Entrance (west side of school)-Grades Kindy and 1st
Lower Playground Doors-Grades 2nd and 3rd
Venneford Ranch Rd Entrance (North Side of school) 4th Grade
Bus Loop Doors (East Side of school) 5th and 6th
Most kids exit out the doors they entered. We escort K and 1 to busses and to after school care. 1st and 2nd grade teachers walk their kids out to the lower playground at dismissal, so plan to pick your child up there as they release when they see your face. Please plan your pickup and drop off based on the doors that your student will enter/exit in all other cases, based on what grade they are in. Staff are at those doors welcoming and saying goodbye to our kids daily.
Express Check in
Express Check-In is now open. Please click on the Express Check-In link and complete the check in process for each of your students before August 8th.
Log in using your Parent Portal username and password.
The Express Check-In process confirms that your student will be attending Cougar Run this school year. It also allows you to verify and update any contact information, pay school fees, view volunteer opportunities, apply for free and reduced lunches if needed, buy a bus pass and more.
Thank you in advance for taking care of this before school starts. Go to the Cougar Run website for start dates and more information.
If you are having problems getting into your Parent Portal account or using the Express Check in tool, please contact our IT department on 303-387-0001 and choose option #1 twice.
Free Lunches in DCSD 23-24 School Year/ Free & Reduced Fees Information
While all Meals are now free in DCSD, we still highly encourage families to complete a Free and Reduced Application if your family meets the criteria linked HERE.. Families must apply EACH YEAR for this designation. Qualification in previous years is not applied to the current year. If your family qualifies for this designation, there are additional fees that are waived on your child's behalf. You can find the official letter from Nutrition Services and the Applications HERE. Applications are accepted ONLINE ONLY.
Free Meals for All! We know there are many questions regarding the passage of the Healthy School Meals for All program (Proposition FF) in Colorado.
Douglas County School District RE-1 opted into the Healthy School Meals for All program for the school year 2023-24. Starting July 1, 2023, all students will have access to reimbursable meals at their school at no cost.
A la carte purchases will continue to be offered for a fee. These purchases will be charged to the student’s meal account if they have money in their account, or the student may pay for the food items with cash. We anticipate an increase in participation this school year.
The link above contains more information and the related application to provide your household income information. Please note that, while the following pages may reference eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals, but breakfast and lunch will be provided free to all students in the 2023-24 school year regardless of your household income.
If you have other questions or need help, contact Susan Babineau at Susan.Babineau@dcsdk12.org or 303-387-0368.
Bus Transportation Information
- Students who are eligible for transportation are required to scan their SMART tag bus pass on and off the bus each time they ride. Eligibility information can be found at the DCSD bus route information page
- If you do not have a bus pass and are eligible for transportation services, passes can be requested at engaged.dcsdk12.org under the "Manage Transportation" link. If you do not see a link under your student's profile or need to request a replacement card reach out to us via Let's Talk
- DO NOT PUNCH HOLES IN THE BUS PASS. You can place the bus pass in a clear plastic sleeve attached to a lanyard if needed. If a card is damaged or lost, a replacement bus pass can be requested at engaged.dcsdk12.org.
- Only students that are eligible for transportation can ride the bus. We are unable to accommodate one day bus passes for students to ride home with other students on the bus
- Students who receive specialized transportation services do not need to request a SMART tag bus pass. Your student's card will be distributed to their bus driver directly
- Bus passes for general education students will be distributed to students by their bus driver after an application has been submitted at engaged.dcsdk12.org. Students may ride in the interim while waiting for their bus pass
- Transportation fees are approved by the Board of Education. Rides are $1.00 each way per student. These charges will be billed on a quarterly basis to your student's MySchoolBucks account. Students who receive specialized transportation services or qualify for the free or reduced lunch program will have their fees waived
If you have questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity to address them via the Let’s Talk feedback tool.
Click here for Bus Pass Questions
Upcoming Dates to Remember
August 7th-School Supply Drop Off/ Meet Teachers
- Session 1 8:00-9:30
- Session 2 12:00-1:30
*Families are encouraged to stop by at one of the sessions to drop off supplies, meet your child's new teacher & get important Back to School classroom information.
August 7th-Picture Day for Students & Parent Volunteer Badges
August 7th- Little Cougars CLOSED
August 8-First Day of School Grades 1-6 (Soft start doors open at 8:25, late bell is at 8:40)
August 8 & 9- Kindergarten Balanced Beginnings (Appointments will be emailed to kindy families)
August 10- Kindy ONLY, no school
August 11-First Day of School Kindergarten (Kindies line up by teacher on the front entryway sidewalk)
August 16- 9:00 New Parent Orientation in the Learning Commons
August 17 Back to School Night-4:30-6:30 with PTA Food Truck Event for Dinner!!!