Principal's Corner #3

August 23, 2019

Our staff can really ROAR

  • To Lois Vaughan for coming out and helping at kindergarten recess and dismissal on the first day of school without being asked. She just wanted to help out!

From the Kindergarten Team

  • To Darren Gaines, Heidi Burris and Lisa Gelwick for welcoming me to the 4th grade team! The first couple weeks of school have been so positive and productive working with you. You all make me better!

From Erin Wehrle

  • To Glenda Cole, Debi Christensen, Dawn Thompson, Joan Salinger, Rebecca Buell, Kathy Jansen, Royce Wiersma, and Kate Howard for being amazingly supportive and helpful when I needed it most. THANK YOU!!

From Natalie Morris

  • To Katie Hooper, thank you for covering 2nd grade lunches so that we can have coverage in the front office. Your help is greatly appreciated!


  • To Erin Wehrle for helping take my class during the fire drill while I helped a student that was having a tough time.
  • To Sarah Hammershaimb for being willing to take on a special task (with such a positive attitude) with my class during Digital Media.

From Darren Gaines

  • To Allison Leggieri for being so flexible and working so hard to schedule group times to meet with our students. You went back to the drawing board many times...we really appreciate you!

From Erin Wehrle and Heidi Burris

  • To Katie Johnson, Alison Berner, and Lois Vaughan for freeing us from some of the stress of IRLA by communicating and collaborating to help us have half-day subs to administer assessments. Thank you!!!


  • To Katie Johnson, thank you so much for giving teachers a half day sub for IRLA testing! I really appreciate it!

From Michele O'Brien

  • To Allison Leggieri for being flexible in the scheduling process to maximize our schedules to benefit the kids.

From Kathy Jansen

  • To Melissa Adler for jumping in and learning the front desk so quickly. We are fortunate to have you in this role at Cottonwood Creek.
  • To Katie Hooper, Chris Koerber, Dana Schwartz, Stacey Shwayder, Lori Matsumoto, and Thessica Covato for working collaboratively to cover for teacher and for brainstorming ways to bring ROAR alive in the cafeteria. What a great team!
  • To Natalie Morris for remaining positive and collaborating with mental health to meet the needs of a student. He is lucky to have you!
  • To Angela Lang, Megan Schultz, Tiffany Steinmetz, Jessica Neal and Susan Stroeher for embracing full day kindergarten with such a positive attitude, and working collaboratively to ensure our kindies love coming to school each and every day.

From Katie Johnson

  • To Matthew Pedregon for taking on stand on tough issues in our district and having a voice for ALL students. Thank you for working directly with our district leaders and bringing change and awareness.

From Dawn Thompson

Evaluation Information

I've added an Evaluation folder to our COT Team Drive. This folder will contain COT specific documents and I will also pull some resources from the Evaluation Resources tile that you may want to reference more frequently.


Goal setting conferences are due October 15th. These conferences can be scheduled individually or as a team. I strongly encourage you to work smarter, not harder, by collaborating with your PLC to write your SLO goal and then scheduling your goal setting conference with Alison and I as a TEAM. There are SLO goal resources available on the Evaluation Resource Tile through As your write your SLO goals, I've provided you with the CCSD overview.

Overview: Student Learning Objective Process

Student Learning Objectives (SLO) measure a teacher’s impact on student learning using an instructional goal established for a specific group of students. This goal is teacher-developed, based on academic standards, and is monitored over a specific period of time. The period of time can be a single unit of study, a semester, school year, etc.

Three parts are involved in the rating of a SLO Goal: identification/development of the goal, progress monitoring, and final outcome and reflection.

A focus on student learning (SLO Goal) is an ongoing process, therefore, your SLO goal efforts may complement and align with PLC work. Consider ways to develop your SLO goal collaboratively and utilize Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) from your PLC work to monitor your SLO Goal.

Please note that in Cherry Creek our intention is to have all of our students achieve designated learning goals. However, educators will be evaluated (see SLO Goal Rubric) on whether or not they can reflect deeply on the SLO Goal process, not on the percentage of students who meet the goal.

Your SLO Goal should:

  • Be related to applicable Cherry Creek Academic Standards, 2020 Colorado Academic Standards
  • Have a Depth of Knowledge level of 3 or greater (K-2 may have a DOK level of 2),
  • Identify specific success criteria which will allow you to decide whether your students have met the goal or not,
  • Collect baseline evidence to indicate the starting point of each student, and
  • Utilize common formative assessments, which may have been developed as part of PLC work, to determine whether your students are progressing toward the goal.

To help with scheduling formal observation rounds, we've given each of you a scheduled month to schedule your first formal observation round. Please click here to view. This round consists of a pre-observation meeting (25 minutes), an observation, and a post-observation meeting (25 minutes. The length of any one observation may vary but should last ten (10) minutes or more in length. Taken together, all observations should last at least forty (40) minutes. Typically, teachers schedule one 40 minute observation; but you do have that option to schedule four 10 minute observations.

Please see Joan or Melissa to schedule your Goal setting meetings and all components of your Round 1 Formal Observation.

As always, if you have questions/concerns please let me know.

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A Message from Amber Sorg, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Quick Social Studies Update

We are entering the study year for Social Studies curriculum (19/20) so here are a few updates surrounding TCI:

  1. Our research has shown that only 15% of the total online student subscriptions have been used each of the last two years
  2. Teacher online subscriptions are also down in use – showing a more cost effective use in sharing per team instead of one per teacher
  3. We are past our initial 5 year contract with TCI so in order to renew subscriptions it has become very expensive for the little use we are seeing across the system

So here is what we will be supporting this year as we look to find more equitable and appropriate resources to support Elementary Social Studies:

  1. We will purchase one TCI teacher subscription per grade level team so teams can access the online curriculum supports needed
  2. We will not be purchasing student subscriptions due to the lack of use (if you want to purchase for your school that will be a school expense)
  3. We will be working to create crosswalk documents in the next month between the Social Studies standards and the Second Step curriculum in order to help teachers see that many of the Social Studies Standards are being taught through the Second Step curriculum.
  4. There are many free resources that are great supports so please have teachers reach out if they need suggestions

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I know the duty schedule has been off to a little bumpy start. We’ve all had to step up and help. I'm please to share that our systems/procedures in the drop off/pick up lane are working and our families are showing much improvement, so thank you for your help with waving families forward and reminding them to stay in their cars.

Regarding the crossing guard position, we had 3 applicants to I will be interviewing them all next week and hope to get that filled ASAP. In the meantime, I really need help getting that crosswalk duty covered. I need one person in the AM (7:40-8:00) and one person in the PM (2:45-3:00) to help fill that position. I don’t want to have to assign it to anyone, so I hope that we can pull together. Please let me know if you are willing to do it short term (1-2 more weeks).

For PM BUS duty, if you have or ever cover for PM bus duty, we really need to support our kindies getting on the bus. I need you to meet the kindie bus riders in the kindie hallway (inside). Then you will walk them through the halls, down the stairs and stop by the front office. We have a few kindies who ride daycare vans so please drop those students off at the office before you walk to the other students out. We will take care of the daycare van riders. Then you need to walk out, have the other grade level students line up behind the kindies and walk them to the bus.

Thank you.

Literacy Information from Lois

There is a lot of reading going on at Cottonwood! I have enjoyed getting to know you and your students as I’ve been in classrooms this week reading to students or working through IRLA. It is a lot to learn and to navigate but everyone has been so positive. Please continue to reach out with questions, comments, or concerns.

There is now an IRLA resource folder on our Cottonwood shared drive. I have placed some correlation charts and note catchers in the folder. I will add resources as I access them. Please let me know if there is anything you would like placed in the folder.

Thank you to Katie for the half day sub next week! I will be around to support in any way that I can.

Educator Initiative Grants

The Cherry Creek Schools Foundation office is excited to open the Educator Initiative Grants application process for the 2019-20 school year. Educator Initiative Grants (EIG) are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward creative and INNOVATIVE instructional approaches used to accomplish program objectives and enhance the learning experience of students.

The link can be found at: along with some helpful information.

  • Grant requests up to $1,000.00 will be considered.
  • Any requests for computer hardware or software will be reviewed for compatibility with existing district technology.
  • Grants are open to all district educators.
  • Deadline for submission will be Sunday, September 15th at 11:59 pm.

Grant writing workshops will be held on:

  • Thursday, August 22nd will be at ISF Room 102 4-5PM
  • Tuesday, August 27th will be at ESC Room 147 4-5PM

Questions, please call the Foundation office, 720-554-4429.

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SpEd Collaboration Day

Special Education collaboration meetings have been established to encourage and facilitate meaningful conversations that improve student level outcomes and to share a common commitment that students with a disability are college, career, and community ready.

Sped Collaboration Dates- 9/16, 11/18, 1/27, and 4/13 in the Main Office Conference Room

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Tuesday, August 27: Probationary 21st Century Partnership Meeting at 3:00

Thursday, August 29: Gifted and Talented Parent Night, 5:00 PM in the Gym

Friday, August 30: What I need to know training videos must be complete

Friday, August 30: Katie and Alison out all day

Monday, September 2: Labor Day, No School

Wednesday, September 4: Picture Day

Friday, September 6: Run 4 FundS during Specials

Cottonwood Creek Elementary School