Principal's Corner #24

February 28, 2020

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Lunch with the Principal

Thank you all for your time today. I really enjoyed celebrating, laughing and hearing your concerns; today filled my bucket. THANK YOU! So...let's do it again. Join me for lunch on Thursday, March 2nd during your lunch time. This is not mandatory/required. I'll be in the collaboration room with light snacks available, so do you have something on your mind? Are there celebrations you want to share? Do you have ideas you want to be heard? Or do you just want to talk? If so, bring your lunch and let's chat.


  • To Michele O'Brien, Rebecca Buell ,Brooke Hall, Darren Gaine, Nicole Hargreaves & Lisa Gelwick for being flexible with your conference schedules so that we could have interpreters present.

From Glenda Cole

  • To the PBIS/Safety Committee (Brooke, Erin, Patti, Kori, Natalie, Susan, Hannah, Scott, Lauren, and Andrea), for all of your thoughtful contributions to creating a school-wide minor/major behavior matrix and minor documentation system. A special thanks to those who volunteered to present this hard work at our staff meeting Wednesday.
  • To Rebecca Buell for eagerly and enthusiastically agreeing to help support a former student with check in/check out.
  • To Kori Shaiman for always being ready and willing to problem solve and come up with new ideas to set our students up for success.

From Alison Berner

  • To Rebecca Buell, Being flexible with your conference schedules so that we could have interpreters present.


  • To Scott Rogers for helping look at our technology for Joan and Melissa and help determine ways to help them work more efficiently with technology! Some things were out dated...thank you!
  • To Angela Lang, Michele O'Brien, Kathy Jansen, Brooke Hall, Heidi Burris, Darren Dennstedt, Sally Wuthrich, and Dawn Thompson for being a part of the 2020-21 Planning Committee. I appreciate your thinking and grace. We are fortunate to have courageous colleagues to advocate for the needs of our students.
  • To Gretchen Wilkinson for all of her efforts around helping prepare lunches each and every day for our students. It isn't a task that goes unnoticed. I appreciate your dedication to our students and staff.
  • To Kori Shaiman, you go above and beyond to support the needs of our students, families and staff. We are all fortunate to have you here to help take care of us....but remember, you have to take care of you too.
  • To the Kindergarten team for making me laugh. THANK YOU. “Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” -Veronica Roth
  • To Darren Gaines for his willingness to have a Courageous Conversation.
  • To Kathy Jansen, Ann Litschewski, Alison Berner, Lisa Incitti, Jessica Neal, Kelli Minatta, Lois Vaughan, and Kori Shaiman for helping brainstorm ways to support a students academic and social/emotional needs. During our MTSS meeting, it was clear that everyone had the student's best interest at heart.

From Katie Johnson

  • To Kate Howard, I always know I can come and bounce ideas (and my anxiety) off you. You always have a listening ear and help me problem solve. I appreciate you!
  • To Kathy Jansen, you are so good at keeping things in order and organized. I want to be like you but until I figure that part of me out, I will just appreciate you always being on top of scheduling, emailing, and following up. Thank you!

From Kori Shaiman

Cougar Staff Shout Out: CLICK HERE

Has it been awhile since you gave a SHOUT OUT? It's just a click away.

Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle

If you have something you want to include in the March CCCC, please email me by 4:00pm on Monday, March 2nd.

A message from the desk of Alison Berner Regarding CMAS

Important CMAS Information

  • State testing season is rapidly approaching. We will be conducting CMAS testing from 3/30 through 4/24. Our schedule can be found here. A letter will be going out soon to families of students in third through fifth grade. It will contain the schedule and important tips/info for families.

  • CMAS proctor training will take place from 3:00-3:40 PM on Monday, March 9th in Lisa Gelwick’s classroom. All classroom teachers in grades 3-5 as well as those who will be helping with small group and 1:1 accommodations should plan to attend. I hope to have a small group schedule together early next week. If you are unsure about whether or not you need to attend proctor training, please ask Alison.

  • As in previous years, it is possible for parents to opt their child(ren) out of testing. We cannot promote opting out, but if a parent asks you what they need to do to opt out, you can: Let them know that opting out is done through a tile in and pass along these directions.


I’ve updated the new minor/major behavior matrix and the minor documentation forms. They now include a distinction between minor nonviolent threats and major violent threats. I also fixed a few formatting issues and added a place for the referring teacher or para to include their name on the minor form. All of these forms can now be found in the PBIS folder on the COT Team Drive.

Space Around the Building

As you know, we use every classroom, office, and/or closet in our building. Please know that the Collaboration room is available for that... Collaboration. While Lois has a personal space in there, we worked together to create a space that you can all use. I've recently added several of my professional library books. You are welcome to borrow them, but please return them to the shelf when you are finished.

Also keep in mind that Kameron Riley and Sarah Campbell share a classroom. Therefore, Sarah meets with students in the OT room on Thursday and Friday; please plan accordingly.

If you have any questions/concerns, please come see me.

Evaluation Reminders

Non-Probationary Teachers:

Final conferences should be scheduled on or before May 1st. Please see Joan (Katie) OR Melissa (Alison) before 4:00pm on March 27th to schedule this conference.

Probationary Teachers:

Final conferences should be scheduled on or before April 15th. Please see Joan before 4:00pm on March 27th to schedule this conference. Please also remember that I must conduct two full observation cycles: one each semester. If you have not scheduled your second observation cycle, please see Joan before 4:00pm on March 13th to schedule your observation cycle.

Classified Staff:

Please see Melissa to schedule your summative evaluation meeting with Alison sometime between April 27th and May 8th.

Literacy Notes from Lois

We are at the end of the first week of our first conferring cycle! Our data continues to show that we are conferring with our students. Our average conference time for our students is 7.9 days!

One way to ensure equitable conferring is to create a schedule that works for you. There are three key points to remember when creating an equitable conferring schedule:

  1. Intentionally designed-students are grouped by appropriate power goals, not levels
  2. Flexible-things happen!!
  3. Visible to all-this is tied to accountability for students

If you would like to plan a time to create a schedule that works for you and your students, please let me know.

“What we must do is give our approval when students make their own reading choices, no matter what books they choose, because this is far preferable to their deciding not to read at all.” Donalyn Miller

Cherry Creek School District: Looking to the Future Forum

On Tuesday, CCSD held a Looking to the Future Forum for our entire district (community and staff). Darren D, Matthew, Alison B, Kori and I attended along with a few of our parents. Below are just a couple of the resources shared to help learn more about the future of Cherry Creek School District. These links will be in our March CCCC for the community to access. You may want to familiarize yourself with them in case parents ask you questions.

  • CCSD Legislative Update: Updates on proposed legislation before the Colorado General Assembly that could have an impact on public schools and your child’s education

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  • March 1st: Deadline to submit letters of certified retirement and application for retirement service bonus to HR
  • Monday, March 2-Friday, March 6: Conference Week
  • Monday, March 2: Katie Out in the AM, Literacy Leadership
  • Tuesday, March 3: Lock Down Drill @ 1:20pm
  • Wednesday, March 4: Late Night Conference, PTO will provide dinner
  • Thursday, March 5: Non-Contact Day, Conference Day
  • Friday, March 6: Non-Contact Day, Conference Day, Comp day for late night conferences
  • Monday, March 9: 2020-21 Planning Committee 7:00am Conference Room
  • Tuesday, March 10: Katie Out, ADCO
  • Wednesday, March 11: Katie Out in the AM, Parent Council
  • Wednesday, March 11: Staff Meeting, Staffing and Scope and Sequence
  • Thursday, March 12: Multi Cultural Festival, come Tour the Cottonwood Creek World, 6:00-8:00pm
  • Friday, March 13: 1st-5th Supply Lists due to Katie
  • Friday, March 13: SLIME Assembly, PM Assembly Schedule
  • Monday, March 16-Friday, March 20: SPRING BREAK
  • Thursday, April 2: Collaborative Team Day, 2nd (AM), 3rd (PM)
  • Thursday, April 9: Collaborative Team Day, 1st (AM), 4th (PM)
  • Thursday, April 16: Collaborative Team Day, K (AM), 5th (PM)