Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle

September 4, 2018

The CCCC and what to expect

It has been wonderful meeting so many of you and getting to know your children. Thank you for such a warm welcome. It's a honor to be a part of the Cougar Family.

Cottonwood Creek has a positive reputation for parental involvement, and I want to ensure we continue this tradition. Our partnership is an extremely important part of your child's school year, and it is always my goal to provide you with current information in a timely manner. One way I will accomplish this goal this school year is through the Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle (CCCC). The CCCC will come out at the beginning of each month and will include Cherry Creek School District information, school-wide information, updates from our Specials Team, and important dates.

In addition to hearing from me, you should also be receiving communication from your child's teacher. Teachers use a variety of means to communicate information about your child's classroom. At a minimum, teachers are expected to send a monthly communication home to families. In addition to phone calls and monthly communication, many teachers use websites, apps, and emails to share more frequent information. If you have questions about communication from your child's teacher, please contact them.

I hope you find this useful and informative, and as always I appreciate your partnership.


Katie Johnson


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Getting your children to and from school safely is a top priority. Please take a moment to read the information below.

Parent Drop-Off/Pick Up Lane

In order to help ensure that safety I'd like to ask for your help in our parent drop-off and pick-up lane. For those of you new to Cottonwood Creek, we have a drop-off and pick-up lane directly in front of our building. This is a double lane that runs between the parking lot and our school. You will notice that this lane has a red curb and there are no parking signs along the the curb. Therefore, you must remain in your car at all times. If you need to get out of your car, please utilize our parking lot or available street parking. When using the drop-off/pick-up lane, please pull all the way forward before dropping off and/or picking up your children. We have staff each morning (starting at 7:45) and afternoon (ending at 3:00) outside helping make sure students head directly to their line up area. All students are to do to their grade level doors if they arrive before 7:55. At 7:55, we will allow all students to enter through the front entrance. At 8:00 students will be considered tardy.

School Day (Start and End Times)

School starts at 8:00 AM and ends at 2:45 PM. Outside morning supervision begins at 7:45 AM. Our first bell rings at 7:55 AM and students are escorted into the building at that time. The second bell rings at 8:00 AM, and instruction begins at that time. At the end of the day, our staff dismisses students at 2:45 PM, and students are escorted outside. If you are picking your child up from school (not using the pick-up lane), please plan to meet your child at 2:45 PM. We do have staff in the parent pick-up lane until 3:00 PM. If you are scheduled to meet your child at 2:45 PM, and you are not there, students will be escorted to the front office to wait. Please also remember that school grounds are closed to the public from 8:00 AM to 2:45 PM.

Safety Drills

Once your children arrive to school safely, it is our top priority to ensure a safe and caring environment where all students can learn. To ensure our staff and students know the procedures in the event of an emergency, we conduct safety drills throughout the school year. These drills also give us the opportunity to constantly evaluate our procedures to ensure in the event of an emergency we are able to keep our staff and students safe. We conduct evacuation/fire drills, tornado drills, and bus evacuation drills throughout the year. In addition, we also practice the procedures for a secure perimeter and a lockdown. Along with our security coordinator, we practiced our first evaluation drill. Since this was our first drill of the school year, we provided advanced notice. However, we want our staff and students to practice in a real environment which involves not having advance notification. We believe it takes all staff, students, and parents to help create a safe school environment and these safety procedures we have put in place will help keep our students safe. Thank you for your support in helping us ensure a safe learning environment.

Delayed Dismissal due to Weather

In the event of a delayed dismissal due to bad weather, (ie. lightening in the area) we will use Blackboard to notify you that we are holding the students. If you are at the school to pick up your child, please come in the front doors. We will have you go to your child's classroom and sign them out from the teachers. At 3:00, students who are still in the classroom will come to the gym to be supervised and dismissed from there. If your child is a bike rider or walker, we will hold them until we decide it is safe to let them go home.

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Transportation Changes

If you have a student who usually doesn’t ride the bus but is going home with a friend on the bus, you need to send in written permission. This note must be signed by someone in the front office and then given to the bus driver when they get on the bus. Thank you.

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Cottonwood Creek Grade Level Schedules Coming Soon

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The PE Post-It

Hello Cottonwood Family! My name is Ms. Jehn, the new PE Teacher coming to you from Houston, TX. I have been teaching Health and Physical Education for 8 years. I am originally from Wisconsin! Go Packers! I enjoy the outdoors and training for triathlons. I look forward to creating events and activities for all families to enjoy. Let’s get fit together and have fun doing it!

August-September- Team Building games and activities while working in groups and with partners. It has been great hearing our Cougars cheer and ROAR in the gym. At the end of each week, PE students will have ‘Friday Fitness Day’ and we will celebrate our PE Super Star Cougars for the week!

September- Sports Club TBA! Starting soon!

Next units: Fitness Stations: working on agility, balance, and coordination. Students in grades 3-5 will begin Fitness Gram testing in October. Also, be on the look out for upcoming fitness nights for families.

Thank you!

The ART Room

Have you been to our art museum yet???

Be sure to check it out at

Artsonia is the world's largest kids' art museum. Our dream is that every child will have a special art gallery online, reflecting their masterpieces from pre-school through high-school, preserved for all time!

Be sure to watch for new art being added this year and registration if you are new to Cottonwood! Thank you to all of you who have made purchases from Artsonia! We receive 20% of all orders and we are able purchase exciting and interesting materials for the Art Room thanks to parents, grandparents, and Cottonwood Creek art fans. Thank you! Thank you!

Art Room Volunteers

Sign up Genius link for volunteer slots is coming ----be sure to watch for it in the next few weeks. Everyone is welcome and you do not have to have artistic talents! Stick people drawing expertise is wonderful!

Thank you for always supporting the art room at Cottonwood Creek!

Dawn Thompson


Starting the week of September 17th, classes will be starting their second rotation in STEM where students will be making a creation out of cardboard and other recycled materials. Students will work individually or in small teams to plan and design games, models and other creative cardboard items. They will share what they have designed and built in class the Friday of each rotation. Students are also encouraged to participate in the Cherry Creek Cardboard Challenge on October 10th at Smoky Hill High School.

Scott Rogers

From the Music Room

Hello Cottonwood families and friends! Though I have met several of you in person, I’d like to share a little about myself in this first issue of the CCCC. My name is Matthew Pedregón and I am very excited to serve as your new music teacher! I come to you after teaching six years at Sunrise Elementary and two years at Dry Creek Elementary before that. Prior to moving to Colorado, I taught in Las Cruces, New Mexico and grew up in El Paso, Texas. I’m currently in the final stages of getting my thesis approved as the last step toward earning my masters from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN where I’ve gained some amazing tools that I can’t wait to use here at Cottonwood Creek!

Here is a little bit of what to expect from the music program this year. In my philosophy of music education, we learn music by doing music; by singing, playing instruments, using chants and rhythmic speech, dancing, and utilizing creative movement. Music at the elementary level should be an immersive experience where students are developing a sensitivity to sound and sense of creativity. This year students will have the opportunity to be innovative and create music through the use of a variety of media, using the elements of music as building blocks. This will mostly be done in groups, and so students will also develop their social-emotional skills as they negotiate through this creative process within small groups of their peers.

Music is also a great way to learn about another culture. Students will learn music from other cultures that is as specific and authentic as possible. By providing as much cultural context as we can, we can avoid tokenizing or generalizing a culture. As someone that is part Hispanic and part White, my introduction to your children was used as a first example of how to discuss cultural heritage in a way that was specific and meaningful. By looking at music from other cultures we are provided with “mirrors and windows”. We will seek to find aspects of a culture that reflect elements of our own, and aspects that provide a window to the diversity of ways people live and exist.

I know this year there are a lot of changes here at Cottonwood and I know I am one of those changes. If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at I look forward to getting to know your children and the community here at Cottonwood and can’t wait to start making music!

Matthew Pedregón

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As part of CCSD’s Safe Routes to School grant, we encourage you to consider the many benefits of safe, active transportation to and from school for you, your children and our community!

Students who walk, bike or roll to school

  • Exhibit increased concentration on academics after getting physical activity
  • Help reduce traffic congestion, pollution and stress during school drop off and pick up times
  • Are more likely to get the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Develop a better sense of direction and connection to their community
  • Gain confidence and independence when old enough to travel alone or with friends
  • Spend quality time with a parent or caregiver when accompanied by an adult

What can you do to support safe, active transportation to and from school?

  • Teach children rules of the road, use crosswalks and practice safety at all times
  • Always wear a helmet when biking, riding a scooter or skateboarding
  • Organize a walking school bus ( where a group of students meet and walk together with adult supervision
  • If you live far away, park a distance from school and walk the rest of the way
  • Walk, bike or roll to school at least one day a week with your child or encourage them to go with friends
  • Learn more by checking out the links below

For research summaries and more information visit

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Important Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, September 5: Picture Day
  • Friday, September 7: Run4Fund$ Run - You are encouraged to come and support your child.


5th Grade 8:10-8:55

AM Kindergarten 9:00-9:45

3rd Grade 9:50-10:35

4th Grade 11:25-12:10

2nd Grade 12:15-1:00

PM Kindergarten 1:05-1:50

1st Grade 1:55-2:40

  • Tuesday, September 11: School Board Meeting, 7:00 Institute of Science and Technology
  • Friday, September 14: Broncos Home Game 9/16 - Wear your blue and orange, or not...the choice is yours :)
  • Friday, September 14th: Run4Fund$ Pledge Deadline
  • Friday, September 21: School Spirit Day - Wear your green and blue
  • Friday, September 28: School Spirit Day - Wear your green and blue


Remember you can also find a full list of upcoming events and other helpful information on our Cottonwood PTO Webiste