Explorer Express

Happenings Around Dry Creek Elementary

No School - Monday September 6, 2021

Reminder: There will be no school on Monday, September 6th due to Labor Day. We hope that you enjoy the three-day weekend!
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School Photos - September 7th and 8th

School Pictures will be taken on Tuesday, September 7th and Wednesday, September 8th. Families can order photos by returning the order form that was sent home this week or order online by visiting: https://studio5schoolportraitsinc.onlinephotocart.com/prepay/28926944?code=DCES2021F

Picture Schedule by Teacher

Tuesday, September 7, 2021:

Goldsberry (K)

Whalen (1)

Friedman (1)
Salario (2)

Zuiker (2)

Pellett (2)

Hager (3)

Turner (3)

Collette (3)

Flores (4)

Kufeldt (4)

Wednesday, September 8, 2021:
AM and PM Preschool

Karr (K)

Rasmussen (4)

Brown (5)

Jennings (5)

Moorhead (5)

PTCO General Meeting - Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 6:30pm

The Dry Creek PTCO will host the first general meeting of the year on Wednesday September 8th at 6:30pm. This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. To join the meeting, please click the button below. All parents are welcome to attend.

Lockdown Drill - September 9th

The safety of our students and staff is a top priority at Dry Creek and across Cherry Creek Schools. As a way to continue to promote the physical safety of our students and staff, we hold emergency drills periodically throughout the school year. These drills help us practice our emergency responses and prepare students for what to do in crisis situations. The four drills that we practice throughout the year are; Evacuation (Fire Drills), Shelter-in-Place, Secure Perimeter, and Lockdown.

We share this information with you because on Septemeber 9th we will be conducting a lockdown drill with the assistance of our District Security team. A lockdown is designed to secure the school building and safely shelter all students, staff and visitors inside the building. The purpose of this drill is to keep the students safe and away from threats or dangerous activity inside the building. During a “lockdown drill” all of the exterior and interior doors will be locked and will remain locked until the drill is complete. To enable everyone to remain safe, no one will be allowed to enter or leave the building until the drill is completed.

Please take a moment to speak with your student about the importance of practicing emergency drills. Teachers will also be preparing students for the drill by explaining the procedures specific to classrooms and answering any questions students may have about lockdowns. If you have questions or would like more information about Dry Creek's safety protocols, please reach out to Mr. Watanabe at kwatanabe@cherrycreekschools.org.

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Mask Update as of 8/31/2021

Letter from Superintendent Christopher Smith on 8/31/2021:

Dear Cherry Creek Schools Community,

On Monday evening, Tri-County Health Department issued a new public health order that requires the wearing of a mask by all people age 2 years and older in all school and child care settings.

Due to this new order, the Cherry Creek School District will now require ALL students and staff inside ALL school buildings to wear a mask. This universal mask requirement is for all students, adults and visitors to school buildings and applies to all grades – PreK, elementary, middle and high school. The order goes into effect Wednesday, Sept. 1.

The following is a statement by Tri-County Health Executive Director Dr. John Douglas regarding the new public health order:

“We have reached a point where transmission has increased significantly and is putting our communities at risk. We must now take the statutory responsibility and authority given to us by the Colorado Legislature to reduce the spread of communicable diseases and keep our communities safe. The new mask order will help to protect those who cannot get vaccinated and allow children to continue in-person learning.”

You can read the full Tri-County Health Department press release here.

Thank you for your partnership in following public health requirements that will help keep schools open for In-Person learning. We will continue our focus on supporting the mental health and social-emotional needs of students while providing rigorous learning experiences for all.

I am confident we can continue on a positive path for our students.


Christopher Smith


Additional Layered Strategies

CCSD will use a series of overlapping prevention strategies to protect student and staff health this year. The district will:

  • Promote vaccination and offer access to vaccines for families who choose to have their eligible students receive it – more information here;
  • Ongoing no-cost COVID-19 testing for students, staff and community;
  • Communicate known positive COVID-19 cases to Tri County Health Department so that they can contact trace with families appropriately;
  • Sustain positive airflow through ventilation systems in schools;
  • Continue high-touch cleanings in buses and high-traffic areas of schools;
  • Reinforce handwashing with students and staff; and
  • Reinforce the importance of students and staff staying home if sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Early Dismissal on Wednesdays

Two years ago, Cherry Creek Schools and the Cherry Creek Education Association agreed to dismiss all elementary schools one hour earlier every Wednesday in order to enhance professional development and training opportunities for our elementary teachers. That change was not implemented during the 2020-21 school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be implemented starting in August. By having this specific time set aside, there will be less of a need to pull teachers out of the classroom during the day, which creates continuity for students and less of a reliance on substitute teachers. With this change, our elementary schools will still exceed the class time required by the Colorado Department of Education.

Elementary schools will dismiss at 1:45 p.m. every Wednesday. For families who participate in after-school child care, the after-school program will be extended every Wednesday at no additional cost. For families who need care, you can register with our Explorer Club Before and After School Program. Please contact our Director, Julie Cottorone, at jcottorone@cherrycreekschools.org for more information.

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What's for Lunch this Week?

Use the drop down menu and select "Dry Creek"

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KidStage Theater - Begins September 20th

KidStage is a theatre and acting class for kids! The curriculum includes concentration, teamwork, improvisation, movement, voice and basic theatre terminology. At the end of the class, KidStage kids will perform for peers and parents. All classes are taught by trained instructors, whose goal it is to teach your child about the excitement of theatre, improve your child’s self-confidence, and provide a safe, fun and interesting environment. KidStage will strengthen your child’s confidence as well as build teamwork, leadership, reading, and vocabulary!

Flyer can be downloaded below for more information.

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September P.A.S.S. Committee Meeting

Wednesday, Sep. 15th, 6-7pm

7686 East Hinsdale Avenue

Centennial, CO

We are looking for parents to join our PASS Committee. Our first meeting of the year will be on September 15th at 6:00 pm. The topic for the September meeting will be

The purpose of PASS is:

  • To create opportunities to hear parent and student voices/perspectives/narratives as they relate to experiences at Dry Creek Elementary

  • To strengthen communication channels with Dry Creek parents and families

  • To increase the presence and engagement of families of color at Dry Creek to create new, positive and accurate narratives for students and staff and work to support all students.

If you are interested in joining our PASS committee please RSVP below.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Dry Creek Accountability Committee Meeting

Wednesday, Sep. 29th, 6-8pm

This is an online event.

The School Accountability Committee is a parent group that works in collaboration with the principal in the areas of school achievement, unified improvement planning, school policies, and planning, budget decisions, and staffing considerations with the focus on the improvement of Dry Creek Elementary. The committee welcomes participation from all members of the community.

The topic for the September meeting will include Back to School Updates and the plans for the Early Release Wednesday time with teachers.

These meetings will alternate between virtual and in-person. The first meeting on September 29th will be virtual via Zoom. A link will be sent out the week prior to the meeting date. Please RSVP if you would like to attend!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Parent, Teacher, and Community Organization (PTCO)

General Meeting Dates:

  • September 8, 2021 at 6:30pm
  • November 10, 2021 at 8:30am
  • January 12, 2022 at 6:30pm
  • March 9, 2022 at 8:30am
  • May 11, 2022 at 6:30pm

Coffee with the Principal

Coffee with the principal begins at 8:00 am right after drop-off in the library on the following dates:

  • September 28, 2021
  • October 26, 2021
  • November 30, 2021
  • January 25, 2022
  • March 29, 2022
  • April 26, 2022
  • May 24, 2022

District Level Parent Engagement Opportunities

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Language Translation Resources

Families who need Dry Creek Elementary communication translated, please contact the liaison listed:


Please contact Kati Brinks at kbrinks@cherrycreekschools.org for support with this resource in your language.


እነዝህን መረጃዎችን በተመለከተ በቋንቋዎ ዕገዛን ለማግኘት ከፈለጉ እባክዎን ተሊሌን በዝህ እሜይል ያግኙዋት thirpa@cherrycreekschools.org


يرجى الاتصال بـ (جميعة صباحي أو جاودة العلمي) على (jsebbahi@cherrycreekschools.org أو

jdajanialami@cherrycreekschools.org للحصول على الدعم مع هذا المورد باللغة العربية.




귀하의 언어로 이 자원에 대한 지원을 원하시면 (리아 리) 에게 (llee6@cherrycreekschools.org) 로 문의하십시오.


Пожалуйста, обращайтесь к Ларисе Бака по адресу: lbaca3@cherrycreekschools.org для получения поддержки с помощью этого ресурса на своём языке.


Fadlan la xiriir Omar Nur cinwaanka emaylka-onur2@cherrycreekschools.org si aad u hesho macluumaad ku qoran luqadaada.


Si necesita ayuda con este recurso en su idioma, póngase en contacto con Ilse Chavez Maldonado en ichavezmaldonado@cherrycreekschools.org, Rosa Han en rhan4@cherrycreekschools.org, Helena Gognat en hgognat@cherrycreekschools.org o Milagro Nuanes en mnuanes@cherrycreekschools.org


Vui lòng liên hệ với Thuý Ngọc tại Lchung2@cherrycreekschools.org để được hỗ trợ về tài nguyên này bằng tiếng Việt.