Mesa, Beartastic!!!!!!

February/March 2022

Principal's Message

Dear Mesa Families,

Over the last two months, we have had a number of activities, events, award ceremonies and other celebrations. We hope to capture a small piece of what has been taking place at Mesa in this newsletter.

This year schools will fully resume state testing after two years of some modifications due to COVID. Each year schools receive a School Performance Framework with an overall rating based on state test scores. These ratings are intended to hold districts and schools accountable for performance on the same single set of academic achievement and growth indicators and measures.

The last time this report was released Mesa Middle School was on a Performance Plan (this was for the 2019-2020 school year: the highest rating possible). To be identified as a Performance school the overall SPF needs to be at or above 53.0. Mesa's score was at 71.0. While we recognize there are various opinions and views regarding state testing, we thank everyone for their support around this rating.

We believe that Mesa is an amazing school and we look to create an environment where students feel safe and cared for, and as a result, can grow academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition, we have a supportive community where parents/guardians recognize the positive school experience their students receive at Mesa Middle School.

We will need everyone's help with our upcoming testing season as well. Please contact me with any questions.


Tony Jackowski


State Assessment: The Why, The How, and The What


  • We can see how a child is performing relative to other students at Mesa Middle School, within the district, and state.

  • It prepares students for standardized assessments that they will take in high school, college (SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) or other vocational programs.

  • We can make informed decisions and choices for our students. Test data is used by administration and staff to drive instruction/curriculum and professional development choices.

  • Test data may identify learning gaps that can be addressed.

  • Identification of districts and schools that have struggling students, so help can be provided.

  • There is a correlation of state test scores and property value.

How are the results used?

As part of a BODY of EVIDENCE, state assessments are used to:

  • drive instruction for a student,

  • identify targeted interventions,

  • place students in appropriate classes at the middle school level as well as high school,

  • identify gifted and talented students during the identification process, and

  • determine effectiveness in regards to instruction and determine whether Mesa’s instructional practices are effective.

What happens with the data?

  • CDE is committed to ensuring that data on individual students are secure. CDE does not report individual student data to the federal government; the department has strict policies and procedures in place to maintain data security. For more information on data privacy and security please go to:

  • The results of CMAS are the backbone of the state’s accountability system. The state uses CMAS data to populate the annual school and district performance frameworks which is the result in accreditation ratings for each school and district. If schools do poorly on the state exam there is an impact to the building.

Excerpts taken from this CDE link:

Maria Haas, Mesa's Certified Apple Nominee

My name is Maria Haas, and I am a 7th grade Language and Literature teacher for Team Glacier. I was raised in Centennial, Colorado, along with my four siblings. I attended the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where I studied English and played basketball. After graduating in 2019, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa for eight months. While serving, I taught English to children in kindergarten through third grade at Kgopodi Primary School and joined a local dance group with some older ladies in my rural community, Mpone. After eight months of teaching in South Africa, I was evacuated due to COVID. Although I was sad to leave my community, this was a blessing in disguise because I was hired at Mesa Middle School! This is now my second year teaching, and I also coach flag football and basketball. I couldn't be more blessed to work with Mesa's team of inspirational, creative, and encouraging staff members. Most of all, I am grateful for the students who bring joy into my life and challenge me to become the best version of myself every day. Thank you, Mesa community, for supporting me!
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Claudia Johnson, Mesa's Classified Apple Nominee

My name is Claudia Johnson, I am Mesa's Cultural & Family Community Liaison for the DCSD and I work with all the schools located in Castle Rock. My home office is located at Mesa Middle school. I was born in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and moved to Colorado in 1999. I graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Mexico (Autonomous University of Coahuila, Mexico) with a Human Resources degree and a minor in Psychology. I love spending time with my family, my husband and my two daughters, who are my world. I moved from Boulder County to Castle Rock last year, and I have had the opportunity to work in many different schools in Colorado. I am really excited about working in DCSD. I am looking forward to having a great school year and connecting with students, parents and the community.

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Girl Powered Engine Build at Mesa Middle School

Students at Mesa had a chance to dissemble and rebuild an engine, Innovation and Design teacher, Jason Kasper worked with community partners to create a girl only event.

Because of a partnership with Christian Brothers Automotive in Castle Rock, Mesa Middle School girls had the opportunity to be guided through the process by master mechanics Eric Waterbury and Tori Ortiz.

Mesa Middle School is thankful for the partnership with Christian Brothers that has resulted in events for both our boys and girls.

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Students on a field trip to Colorado School of Mines!!!!!

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Former Mesa Student

During a recent Mesa field trip to the Colorado School of Mines, Erin Gilbert, Mesa's professional learning specialist ran into a former student, Diana Torres class of 2016.
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Students of the Month!

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January Students of the month-(RISK-TAKERS)

Atlas – Keira Lenz, Isidro Avila Flores

Polar – Lilly Lucas, Landon Villalta

Glacier- Megan Thorne, Ian Corcoran

Kodiak – Rhylan Wibbens, Holden Green

Grizzly – Lexi Cairy, Brandon Thomas

Sun - Aubrey Mitchem, Brady Noakes

Panda - Mya Anderson, Jensen Edwards

Mr. Bretsch's Classes: Escape Game Pictures! It was a fun day!

Middle School Basketball Tournament

Polar Cell Models!

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Mesa Middle School students worked voraciously to assemble food bags for recipients of SECOR, a food bank located in Parker. Students in Jason Kasper's Advanced Social Entrepreneur class worked to assemble over 150 bags of food for families in our area.

Thanking our Counselors and Mental Health Team for their Work!!!!

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Thank you!!!!!

Thank you to the Wiskus Family for supporting our Mesa teachers.
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Celebrating the Olympics in Ms. West's Class!!!

Conferences at Mesa!!!!

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A Bronco at Mesa, what? Thank you Dalton Risner.

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Art is Fun with Ms. Pizzano and Ms. Tschumper!!!

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Building Catapults with Ms. Hilton!!!

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Ms.Hilton’s science classroom during the Birdman experiment.

8th Grade Families:

If your student is attending DCHS in the fall, please complete this survey to provide your input.

Thank you!


3/9/22- Mesa SAC Meeting - 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm (Mesa Library)

3/10/22-Mesa MS PTO Meeting 6:00 pm Location TBD

3/14- 3/18- NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

3/29 - 6th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

3/30 - 6th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

3/31-6th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

4/1 - End of Second 6 Week Grading Period for 2nd Semester

4/1- Musical Performance @ 6:00 pm

4/2 - Musical Performance @ 2:00 pm and 6:00pm

4/5/22- 7th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

4/6/22-7th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

4/7/22-7th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA & Math

4/12/22- 8th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA, Math & Science

4/13/22- 8th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA, Math & Science

4/14/22- 8th Grade CMAS Testing - ELA, Math & Science

4/14/22- Mesa MS PTO Meeting 6:00 pm Location TBD