The Eagle Update

The Excel Academy Weekly Newsletter: October 25, 2021

Greetings Excel Community

Welcome back from fall break. It was definitely a wonderful time to rejuvenate and reconnect with the people and the pastimes that fill our cups. It was fabulous to see students and staff return after the break. Many were excited to share adventures about their down time or travels to see or spend time with family and friends and there was a lightness and excitement in the air as everyone came back together.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in family-teacher conferences. These are important times for staff to share with you where students are now, where they are headed, and to celebrate effort and growth. If you did not get that opportunity yet, or left early for break, be sure to reach out to staff and set up a time now to conference. You are the experts on your children and we need your partnership in this important work.

Our second MSPC meeting is coming up on Friday, November 5th and those students are already asking about it. That same day will begin with our second Leadership Coffee Chat with families. This month, Keri Lee, our new business manager will join us and share a little about herself, her experience, and our budget. As always, Marisa Anderson, our Dean of Culture, will also attend and share Excel culture updates, celebrate our building out of SOAR across the building, and highlight areas of her work. We all look forward to these times to connect and share information, ideas, and celebrate together. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts about our first meeting and provided input for our work here at Excel.

As we consider our next mindset from our social-emotional curriculum, we are reminded that our connectedness is all about the choices we make to support each other. A special shout out to Mr. Yanker, our fabulous facilities dude extraordinaire whose efforts support us all! Over the fall break, he was here testing the fire system components, the backflow system, and making sure we were ready for our fire inspection. We are always grateful for his work, which is often done while the rest of us are away.

Thank you also to our paras who support students and fellow staff. Thank you to teachers who support students and partner with families. Thank you to families who support teachers' efforts with students and who do so much for our school.

With deep appreciation for everyone's efforts to create a positive place of connectedness,

Dr. Susan-Marie Farmen

General Information

Furniture Available

As you may know, we replaced a lot of our older furniture this year: tables, chairs, teacher desks, and computer tables. This means we have a lot of items we no longer need. Since many schools have replaced such items, we have not yet found a home for these. If you know of anyone who needs them or if you want a study station for your student at home, or you have always wanted a teacher desk, please reach out to Vince Yanker by November 10th.

Picture Retakes are October 28th

Fall Parties

As we remain in "outbreak status" at this time, we ask that anyone who comes into the building show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test from within the past 24 hours to attend those events. Only two parent volunteers per classroom, please. In outbreak status we must continue to limit the number of people in small spaces. Some teachers may have their parties outdoors, and that means with masks, anyone may attend those events.

Save the Date: Student Award Assemblies

We are excited to acknowledge the efforts of our students and athletes. Please note, that anyone wishing to attend for their student must have a completed Covid test from the 24-hour period prior or be fully vaccinated. As with all in-building events, masks are required.

  • When: November 12th

  • Where: the Gym

  • When: In the morning at the following times:

Kinder and First Grades: 8:30-8:50

Second and Third Grades: 9:00-9:20

Fourth and Fifth Grades: 9:30-9:50

Sixth Grade: 10:00-10:20

Seventh and Eighth Grades: 10:30-10:50

We have divided up these times to provide some parking relief in between meetings. Thank you for allowing space for others to attend.

MORE Tik Tok Challenges

Please continue to speak to your students, specifically in middle school years, about the challenges on TikTok (a social media platform many students view) that encourages students to engage in inappropriate behaviors and document these things on social media. The latest challenge is to slap a teacher or school employee on the bottom. The next challenge on the published list is fairly graphic and could get students into a lot of trouble in any space they perform these acts. Please know that these challenges are all unsafe and/or completely inappropriate, and students who engage in such behavior could harm themselves or others and will face consequences that include suspension.

Middle School Students, Media, and Texting

We continue to have students keeping phones in pockets and spending a lot of time out of class to go to the restroom and text/post. This is a gentle reminder that all students must turn off and store all technological devices when at school. This was always a policy and we clarified by naming various devices. We have experienced a strong spike in phone/online exchanges between students that cause concern for families and often spill over into school. We strongly encourage families to monitor the content students access and view the chats students engage in on their phones. Some of the images, comments, language, and student sharing can be important discussion points for families. We ask that students not have cell phones of any sort turned on at school during the school day in an effort to protect them from conversations at school that can be potentially hurtful for themselves or others.

Excel Sports

Cross Country's Pack The Place Night

This cross country event will happen October 28th at 4:15pm at Woodrow Wilson Academy. The purpose is to cover the place in teal and black and show support for our hard working student athletes. Go Eagles!

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Classroom-Specific Information

Spirit Week Next Week

Show some spirit! All grades will get to do the following each day:

Monday-Pajama Day

Tuesday- Sports/Passion Day (What team is YOUR team? What are you passionate about?)

Wednesday- Pattern Day (polka dots, stripes, zig zag lines, etc.)

Thursday-Wacky Hair Day (Make that "do" super fun!)

Friday-School Spirit/School Colors Day (Wear your TEAL with pride Eagles!)

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a joyful holiday celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America. This holiday honors loved ones that have died. Ms. Ruiz is teaching a lesson on this holiday over this week. We acknowledge that the last two years have been a particularly painful time and many families may have experienced losses. If you feel this lesson might be difficult for your child and you wish to opt them out, please contact her at so she may plan accordingly. These lessons began Monday, October 25th, but she did include this message in the prior newsletter.

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Debate Bonus Learning-Starts November 2nd at 3:20-4:20 pm

We are ready to start doing our Debate League once again. Several students have expressed an interest in joining the debate team. This is considered a Bonus learning class and is open to students in grades 6-8. You will need to call the office and register your student. Please note that per Jeffco policy, students will need to give the office proof of vaccination and/or weekly Covid testing results to be able to participate.

There is a one-time fee of $15 to join the Charter Debate League. This covers League fees. We start Tuesday, Nov 2 from 3:20-4:20 pm and meet in the library. For the first few months, we will learn and practice debate skills. The actual tournament dates are not set yet, but usually run every other Tuesday starting in February and going through April.

Music News from Ms. Boyd

Grades 4 and 5:

Due to ongoing Covid guidance, we are switching the normally scheduled recorder unit with the ukulele unit. We hope to have the recorder unit after winter break. If Covid continues to be a concern, I will teach a modified recorder unit built upon Jeffco COVID guidelines. For the ukulele unit, students can bring their own ukulele or can be assigned a school uke. Students will be disinfecting hands before and after use of instruments.

PE: Martial Arts Fundraising Opportunity

Personal Achievement Martial Arts is offering a six-class, after school opportunity for students and all proceeds go to Excel Academy! Sign up linked here:

November 15, 17, and 29; and December 1, 6, and 8. They are also joining Ms. Pezzulo for PE classes on November 1-5. This is a wonderful chance to try out something new, practice discipline, and be fit. Contact for more details.

Action Items

Covid Testing Information

Please remember JCPH and Jeffco require weekly Covid testing for all unvaccinated students participating in any after school activities/bonus learning starting the week of October 25th. Please make a plan to work this into your schedule starting the week of October 25th to ensure student participation in these activities/sports. Please read this notice for details on the bonus learning testing requirements. Weekly test results (starting the week of October 25th) should be sent to:

Lost and Found Clean Out

Our lost and found is overflowing. Please stop by to claim items after break ASAP!
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Family Training Night Info and Survey

We are starting to plan some Family Training Nights to help support families with topics that are near and dear to your heart. Please take a moment to fill out this 2 question survey so we can meet your needs!

Optional School Directory

To participate in the school Directory please click on the Google form below. Please submit a different form for each child. Please submit your information to the link below. Two parent households can submit separate forms. School Directory Form

PTO October Events and Updates

Love for Excel Silent Auction and Gala

Tickets are available for purchase! Simply text the word "excel" to 843-606-5995 and follow the link to apply.

Can't attend the event in person? THAT'S OK! Text the number above, visit the link, and you will have an option to purchase an ONLINE BIDDING ticket. This will allow you to still bid on silent auction items the night of the event without actually being in attendance.

ALL BIDDING WILL BE DONE ELECTRONICALLY! That's rushing to the table to see if you've been outbid before the auction closes. You will receive a message from the site letting you know you've been outbid, giving you the option to raise your bid if you'd like. It's that easy! And NO WAITING in a checkout line at the end of the night! It's as easy as one click to checkout and then you pick up your item(s).

Tickets are limited and the event will sell out fast. Don't wait to purchase your tickets or table!

This is going to be a wonderful event and we are so excited to share it with you.


Due to staffing issues, Renegade Burrito has to reschedule our Excel Restaurant Night. Have no fear...we will still get our burrito fix...but stay tuned for the updated date and time!

November PTO Meeting

Join us VIRTUALLY for our November PTO Meeting on Tuesday, November 2nd from 6:30pm-7:30pm. All attendees will be entered into a $25 gift card drawing.

Change in Covid Athletic/Bonus Learning Starts NOW

Please read here about the changes to athlete testing and students enrolled in bonus learning here at Excel. All UNVACCINATED students in a sport or bonus learning must be tested weekly or they are not able to participate in these opportunities per JCPH guidance. Starting this week, Oct. 25th. See link here: Update for athletes and bonus learning.

  • Current game schedule-subject to change.
  • Testing: To participate in the free-testing option offered through the district, locations and schedules can be found on the COVID testing website. Parents can also choose to test at other locations and share results via email with the school. (
  • Vaccination Status: Students who have been vaccinated should confirm with the school that we have their correct vaccinated status. Many of you have shared your student's vaccination card with us already. We now have access to a statewide database so if you have not shared your student's vaccination card you can email and confirm we have the information. (

SOAR at Excel

Self-Discipline / Outstanding Effort / Accepting of Others / Resilient

Thank you to families who continue to send us stories, photos, and snippets about how this positive behavior support is enhancing your child's sense of self motivation, pride, joy about their contributions, and acknowledgements of their efforts each day. The teachers and other staff enjoy these exchanges and we love hearing how students are displaying their notes and how they feel about themselves, each other, school, and what it means to them and to you when they receive positive recognition.

Keep it coming!

(We announced our most recent recipients the week before break.)