Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle

April 20, 2020

Together We Can!

Across the Cherry Creek School District’s 108 square miles, students, staff, parents and families are coming together while staying apart to overcome obstacles and make a positive impact in many ways during the COVID-19 closure. Enjoy the video below.

In This Together

A Message from your Principal, Mrs. Johnson

Dear Cottonwood Creek Families,

While we continue to grow and innovate during this remote learning experience, we also begin to prepare for the 2020-21 school year. I have been working hard to finalize our staffing plan. We have been conducting virtual interviews and are almost finished with the hiring process. Below you will find a note from Alison Berner, our Assistant to the Principal. We will be saying farewell to at the end of this school year. Alison has been a wonderful addition to our Cottonwood Creek family. Please join me in wishing her the best.

In addition to finalizing our staffing, we will begin to generate our class lists for next year. Generating class lists is one of the most important things we do to create the foundation for continued success in the upcoming school year. The process of generating class lists is collaborative in nature and involves input from staff members from all aspects of our school. The integrity and professionalism of our staff is the foundation of our wonderful school. We know each of our students well. We know their learning styles, relationships with peers, academic strengths and challenges. Our intention is to create groups of children who reflect heterogeneity and cohesiveness. Student placement is based upon many considerations. Some of the influencing factors in this process include:

  • Balance of male and female students

  • A heterogeneous range of reading, writing, and math in each room

  • Consideration of emotional needs, giftedness, and other special needs

  • Separation of social conflicts

  • Balance of students with strong leadership qualities

  • Balance of students with good study habits

Due to the complexity of the class placement process, we are not able to honor specific requests for a classroom teacher or requests to have the same teacher as an older sibling. I understand the value of relationships and the consistency that this offers. However, this factor does not supersede the overall goal of creating groups of children who reflect heterogeneity and cohesiveness.

If you would like to add to our knowledge of your child’s social, emotional, or academic needs, you may do so via email to the principal no later than 4:00pm on Monday, April 27th. Emails received after this date/time, may not be included in the class list process. The needs you share will be treated as part of the process in making assignments for next year. Requests for specific teachers will not be granted and should not be part of the information you share. Please respect the integrity of this process.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation! I am excited about next year and look forward to your partnership as we work together for the success of your child.

Thank you,

Katie Johnson


A Message from our Assistant to the Principal, Alison Berner

Big picture

Puzzle of the Week

Congrats to all of you clever thinkers who solved last week’s brain teaser.

How can a pocket be empty and still have something in it?

Answer: the pocket can have a hole in it!

Here’s a new puzzle for you to ponder this week:

I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?

Think you know the answer? Submit your best guess here.

Specials update

Just a reminder that students would typically have one of the specials teachers every 4 days during their school week. Based on this, your children can pick a special for the week and “try” to complete an activity for that special and then move on to another special the following week. All of the Specials teachers are posting curriculum every Monday and are encouraging everyone to have fun and reach out to them if you have any questions.

Directions for accessing the Specials Google Classrooms by Grade Level

Big picture

From our Art Teacher, Mrs. Thompson

Hello Cottonwood Artists and Parents,

Please find this week’s art lessons attached and directions on how to access the folder on Goggle Classroom.

Fourth Grade Artists- Join Ms. Thompson this Wednesday on Zoom! Share a piece of art you have made and be ready for a color scavenger hunt. I look forward to hanging out with you from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm. I am also available to answer questions and to catch up. Do you have an art lesson you would like to do next?

Art - Ms. Thompson

Meeting ID: 915 449 621

Password: 9Hznfz

From our STEM Teacher, Mr. Rogers

Hello Cottonwood students and families. Welcome to Week 4 of online learning!!! I hope you are doing well, staying safe and adapting to learning from home. Do you know what this Wednesday, April 22nd is??? It’s Earth Day!!! Our learning focus in STEM this week will take a closer look at Earth Day. See Google Classroom for activities for STEM. Also, I look forward to chatting with 4th graders this Thursday on ZOOM!!

Take Care!!!

Mr. Rogers (

PE Post It

Hello Cottonwood Families,

Our week four online learning is going to be fun and challenging for all students! During this time of year, we would be doing Fitness Gram Testing for grades 3-5. There is part of this lesson that includes a few of those fitness tests.

Students will be able to explore three fun, interactive activities this week. They are definitely ideas for the whole family to enjoy. I have included some online links to help with some of the activities. The healthy recipe for this week will be a great treat for all! Have fun!

PE Chat with Ms. Jehn for 4th grade- 12:00-12:30 this Friday, April 24!

Meeting ID: 381 465 032

Password: 0hcv0Y


Ms. Jehn

From our Music Teacher, Mr. Pedregon

Hello Cottonwood!

Thank you again for everyone who has been sharing their work. It has been a delight to see your musical brains working! And again, I’m doing my best to comment on everyone’s work. My apologies if I haven’t gotten to yours yet! As you may know, this Wednesday is Earth Day. And so I have a song to share with you called, “This Pretty Planet”. Depending on your grade level, there are several options with what students can do with the song once it’s learned. And younger students (K, 1st, 2nd ) I’ve added a bonus Earth Day themed read aloud to share with you! Check out the assignment in your Google Classroom for more details and I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Also, Fourth Graders will get to check in with one of us Specials Teachers on a ZOOM meeting each day this week. This is a great time where students get to see each other, we talk about what everyone’s been up to, and really just hang out with one of the specials teachers. I’ll be hosting a ZOOM at noon on TUESDAY. Here are the details:

Topic: Fourth Grade Hang Out with Mr. Pedregon

Time: Apr 21, 2020 12:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 980 0667 8537

Password: music

I’m excited to see you there, Fourth Graders! Hope everyone is safe and doing well.

Miss you, Cougars!

-Mr. Pedregon

From our Digital Media Teacher, Ms. Hammershaimb

Hello Cottonwood students and families,

I hope you all have been able to enjoy some of the sunshine we’ve been having lately. I have been walking lots throughout my neighborhood. My feet have been tired! What activities have you been enjoying outside?

Please visit the digital media website to see the activities for this week, or previous weeks. You can find it here:, or in the Specials Google Classroom.

Read - Listen to a podcast and let us know what you learned or what you think by filling out a graphic organizer.

Create - In honor of Earth Day, use materials from your family’s recycling to create something entirely new. What will you make? Maybe a game? Maybe an instrument? Maybe a sculpture?

Technology - Use Adobe Spark Post, or a different digital drawing tool, to create a poster, flier or meme celebrating Earth Day.

I hope that you have fun with these activities. You can share your creations with me through google classroom, google drive or email.

Hope you have a good week,

Ms. Hammershaimb


Thank you to everyone who submitted a joke of the week entry last week. This week’s selected joke comes from Irene Wang in Mr. Dennstedt's fifth grade class.

Why do we tell actors to "break a leg"?

Scroll down for the answer.

Do you have a great joke that you think other Cottonwood Creek Cougars would enjoy hearing? Follow this link to submit your entry for the Joke of the Week. One joke will be chosen, and will appear in next week’s CCCC. Choose carefully because you can only submit one joke each week. Bring on the laughs!

Answer to Kai Kai's joke: because every play needs a cast!

From our Mental Health Team

April 20, 2020

Hello Cottonwood Creek Community!

We hope you are doing well and enjoying some time with your family in this springtime weather. We have found that when the sun is shining it makes our stay at home time much happier! There are certainly days when life has been challenging during this time, and we want to remind you that we are available if you need to talk or need any guidance on finding any support you or your family may need. Our emails are or .

Included is a sheet from the World Health Organization with ideas on Helping Children Cope with Stress During the 2019-nCOv Outbreak. Remember, when your kids look back on this time, we hope they see it as a time when they felt safe and loved. Connection during this time is more important than anything.

With Respect,

Kori Shaiman, School Social Worker,

Lauren Alpert, School Psychologist,

Big picture

From our School Nurse

From the Nurse:

As we approach the end of April, we hope the winter weather is behind us. Spring means more kids will be getting some exercise on their bicycles. Some information from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Bicycle Safety: Myths and Facts

Myth: My child doesn’t need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood.

Fact: The majority of bike crashes happen near home. Wearing a helmet at all times helps develop good habits.

Myth: Any helmet will work just as well as a bicycle helmet.

Fact: Only a bicycle helmet is made specifically to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking.

Myth: I should buy a bicycle that my child will grow into.

Fact: Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. Your child does not have the skills and coordination needed to handle a bigger bike and may lose control.

Myth: It’s safer for my child to ride facing traffic.

Fact: Your child should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers.

Myth: Children shouldn’t use hand signals, because signaling may cause them to lose control of their bikes.

Fact: Hand signals are an important part of the rules of the road. Children should be taught before they begin to ride.

Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.

Fact: It’s never safe for your child to ride a bike at night.

*Courtesy of American Academy of Pediatrics

To learn more about tipp: The Injury Prevention Program:

Big picture