Cougar Community Connection

A Newsletter From Your Principal, Shannon McPherson

Welcome Back Wonderful Cougar Run Families!

How can it already be the end of July? Well, it is, so it is time to start getting excited about another fantastic year at Cougar Run. We hope you all had an enjoyable summer and are ready to hand those babies of yours off to us to get back to work and have a lot of fun creating their new classroom families. We couldn't be more excited to welcome our kids back into their Cougar Run Family and kick off 22-23

Over the summer, "Jason the Great", our building engineer, refreshed our atrium into a more colorful and inviting space. We are excited for you all to see it as you are visiting our school this year.

As most of you are aware, we have adopted a new literacy curriculum Wonders, and are about to embark upon the journey of being trained in the new resource. We are excited about this new opportunity as we spent last year focused on professional development in the area of literacy. All of our K-3 teachers are certified and licensed in the Science of Reading and our 4-6 teachers completed their upper grades coursework in the Science of Reading. We are excited to dig into all of the materials that we will be using to continue to move our readers and writers forward this year.

Our staff is busily preparing to welcome our kids back to their CRUN Family. August 8th is right around the corner for our 1st-6th graders and August 11th for our sweet new kindies. We can't wait to see you all soon!!

There is a lot of information that families need in order to be prepared for the start of the school year. Please carve out time to read through this newsletter in its entirety so you are ready to go on August 8th.

New Staff

We are excited to announce new members to our Cougar Run Family. We have been busy this summer finding the best possible people to join our team. You are going to LOVE our new folks so please help us welcome them to our staff.

Stephanie Hinkle- Physical Education

We are so excited to welcome Mrs. Hinkle to our specials team. Stephanie comes to us from Oregon and most recently Arizona. She was a very dynamic teacher on her staff, building programs that supported students through a multitiered system of supports as an interventionist as well as having years of experience as a classroom teacher. All the while teaching, Stephanie was also the head coach of the women's varsity soccer team at the local high school. Stephanie's passion has always been health and wellness with a focus on physical education and sports. She is very excited to join our team and continue to develop and grow our PE program at CRUN.
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Christine Baird- Music

Christine is certainly not a new staff member, but she is definitely a "Jack of all Trades". Christine has been an EA as well as a Health Assistante and Attendance Clerk in sub status. Christine also got her Colorado substitute teacher license and served in the capacity of guest classroom teacher many times last year. She is a registered nurse and as we found out this past year, plays many musical instruments and sings like an angel. We couldn't be more excited to welcome her to her new position and watch her grow our music program with her voracious talents as a musician.

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Mari Diaz- Kindy EA

We are so happy to be welcoming this gem of a human to our CRUN Kindy Team. Mari comes to us with a wealth of skills as a former teacher, PTA member and amazing parent volunteer at our school for many years. Mari specializes in working with kids who are neurodivergent and possesses a gift of patience, kindness and love when it comes to working with all kids. She will be a great addition to our team.
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Alissa Scheussler- EA

Alissa has previously been a parent volunteer, working with kids in the area of reading. She partnered with our first grade team last year, making great things happen for kids each week in the reading groups that she taught. Alissa has a background in social work, having experience working with kids of all ages. We are over the moon that she said yes to joining our team as a staff member this year.
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Mary Becker- Behavior Technician Specialist

Mary has been a member of the Cougar Run Family for many years. Most recently she has been a Kindy EA working closely with our Kindy team to support and grow our kindies. Her background as a former classroom teacher as well as a specialist degree in Human Growth and Development. Mary will be working along side our counselor, Mrs. Boisson, and our school psychologist, Tracey Bowman as a specialist in our Cougar Den to help kids who need some extra love and support as they navigate a tough day. We are excited to see her work her magic in this new role.
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DCSD Nutrition Services

The waivers that the USDA issued during COVID to allow schools to provide free meals to all students will not continue into the 2022-2023 school year, so all school meals will be paid beginning in August 2022. Please note that students who are approved for Free and Reduced Meal benefits will still receive free meals this school year.

2022-2023 DCSD School Meal Prices:

Breakfast 2.00

Lunch 3.25

Free and Reduced Lunch Application

Free/Reduced School Meals: Meal benefit applications for free and reduced priced meals must be filled out each year - APPLY HERE. All families must submit an application in order to receive free meals (if applicable) for the 2022-2023 school year. Current meal benefit applications are crucial to ensure that eligible students continue to have access to free meals. These applications also provide additional benefits to students and schools, including waived transportation and school fees, and additional school funding. See additional benefits HERE.

We are looking forward to having your student(s) back in August!

Bus Transportation Information

Bus Transportation/SMARTag Cards

Families who are eligible for DCSD bus transportation (student has a valid AM and/or PM route in our systems) will be presented with an opportunity to apply for a bus pass. Eligible families who received a bus pass in the past few school years just need to select a billing option in the tool. The annual billing option is available until September 30, 2022 at which time all billing will revert to quarterly billing on a per-ride basis. We encourage parents to sign up for SMARTag notifications via the SMARTag Parent Portal.

Express Check In

Dear DCSD Families,

The Express Check-In registration process for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year is now open for most Douglas County Schools. Cougar Run's Express Check in assigned date is Monday July 25th.

We encourage all parents to complete the registration process by the first week in August to coincide with the beginning of the academic year.

EngagED Parent Portal Link -

All families must check in through the link above using their Infinite Campus (IC) Parent Portal login and password. Once logged in, you will be presented with information for each of your students. Please complete the check-in process for each of your students individually.

Problems logging in? Please view our FAQ’s for Parent Accounts:

Quick Reference for Express Check-In:

Tool Available in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Russian

The Express Check-In tool is available in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Russian versions. Parents should see the option to translate the tool in the upper right hand corner.

Payment of Fees for 22-23

After completing Express Check-In for all of your students, you will click through to MySchoolBucks to select optional fees and to pay all required/optional fees. Instructions on how to access the system are linked below. If you have previously paid for school lunches you should already have an account for this system. If not, please follow these instructions to create an account.

Link to MySchoolBucks Payment System -

Quick Reference for MySchoolBucks Payment System

For MySchoolBucks payment processing system help, please call the MySchoolBucks parent support line at 855-832-5226 x2048.

Upcoming Important Dates

August 5th-School Supply Drop Off/ Back to School Sessions to 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 5th-Picture Day for Students & Parent Volunteer Badges

August 5th-Cougar Club and 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)

Kindy/ 1st grade entrance at the front doors/ west entrance of the school

2nd/3rd Grades enter on the blacktop doors entrance (southwest entrance)

4th Grade enters at the Venneford Ranch North Doors

5th/6th Grades enter at the bus loop doors, east entrance.

August 8 & 9- Kindergarten Balanced Beginnings (Appointments will be emailed to kindy families)

August 10- KG ONLY, no school

August 11-First Day of School Kindergarten (Kindies line up by teacher on the front entryway sidewalk)

August 17- 9:00 New Parent Orientation in the Learning Commons