Cougar Connection

February 2022

Cactus Valley Elementary

222 Grand Ave. Silt, CO 81652

Main Line: 970-665-7850

Attendance Line: 970-665-7874

Our vision is to develop happy, high achieving students and staff

A Message From The Principal and Assistant Principal

Dear Cactus Valley Families,

Hello February! “To be successful, the first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.” (Sister Mary Lauretta) Cactus Valley is a school where the staff truly loves what they do, our students love being with us at school, and we love that our parents continue to be instrumental in ensuring the best education for all children. We certainly couldn’t do this job without you!

Did you know….

  • CVE teachers participate in continuous learning opportunities including a Share and learn academy, data review professional development, and many pursue college classes to improve their talents. We are so proud of our staff.

  • CVE has a student council consisting of 5th grade leaders. They are working on recognizing positive student behavior as well as pursuing opportunities to lead other students in our school.

  • CVE is reviewing student data on a regular basis to support our learners individually. We have met with so many families to put extra support into place and see our learners succeed!

  • CVE has a vision to develop happy, high achieving students and staff.

  • CVE has a homework incentive for our learners? Kids get to celebrate with their principals’ monthly.

There are a couple dates we would like our families to be aware of throughout the month of February and into early March:

  • Monday, February 14th - Classroom Valentine Parties

(teachers will provide detailed information regarding parties)

  • Monday, February 21st - NO SCHOOL

  • Tuesday, March 1st - 100th Day of School

  • Wednesday, March 2nd - Dr. Suess Day

  • Tuesday, March 8th - Spring Pictures

Our school day begins at 8:00. We have noticed that more and more students are arriving at school later than 8:00. It’s hard for students to enter a classroom that’s already in the process of their learning day. It’s also disruptive to the students who are already present when a teacher has to stop and direct our learners who are late to school. We are hoping to encourage parents to ensure that our CVE learners are present and ON TIME every day. Our students’ academic day continues until dismissal at 3:40 each afternoon, and it’s important that students are not dismissed early unless an unavoidable appointment or emergency is involved as valuable instruction from the teacher is missed.

If you have any questions about your child’s learning, please call the front office at

(970)665-7850 and ask for Kelly Detlefsen or Simone Richardson. As always, thank you

for supporting the teaching and learning that is taking place here at Cactus Valley Elementary School!


Kelly Detlefsen, Principal

Simone Richardson, Assistant Principal

Counselor’s Corner

Happy Valentine’s month!

Here is what we’re learning in Character Education this month. We ended January with the start of our school-wide Kindness Challenge/Bucket Filler competition which ends on Valentine’s Day. Students are encouraged to do kind acts at school and when caught, they get to put their name in a “Kindness Bucket”. The grade level class with the highest number of tickets wins an extra 15 minute recess. The class that wins the most tickets in the entire school receives a Root Beer Float Party.

In 5th grade we are discussing the Safe2Tell resource, which is an anonymous tip line started by the Colorado State Government, for students, teachers and parents to let caring adults know when they hear information about someone who might be threatening harm to themselves, others or the school. Here is the link for more information: .

4th grade will be learning about Resiliency and why it’s an important skill to know.

1st, 2nd and 3rd will work on Responsibility.

In Kindergarten we will continue to review Kelso’s Choices, to reinforce problem solving strategies and then discuss what Responsibility means and how they can show it.

If you have a student in need of coats, hats, gloves or boots, please call or email me and I can help your student get what they need. Also, The River Center delivers 6-7 non perishable food items weekly to supplement food for families who need extra support. It is distributed on Wednesdays. If you are a family that could use the supplemental food, please contact me and I can get you signed up.

If your student needs mental health support, IMatter is a program that will provide 3 FREE counseling sessions for ANY Colorado youth. Visit the IMatter website ( to get your student connected with a therapist. For social/emotional or other types of assistance, please contact me, Amy Chabin, at 970-665-7764 or

*Please click on the link below to get information from the River Center regarding Community Out Reach Programs, Totes Of Hope, Meal Monkey, and much more:

Kindergarten News

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Ist Grade News


During reading block, we finished up learning about CVVC words such as Snail, boat, peach , bee, blue, and pie. We will then be learning about contractions and reviewing sound spelling w. Students are asked to read 70 minutes a week. Please help your child complete their nightly reading bookmark and sign the Reading Homework sheet. Help your child with handwriting practice as they fill out the sheet and get it signed by an adult.


Writing in The SuperKids program will include Personal Narrative writing and then on to “How To” Writing. During all writing work throughout the day, we continue to focus on correct sentence structure, spelling, grammar, capitalization,

punctuation and handwriting skills; all of these things make great writers in all areas of our school day. Thank you for your support with handwriting practice and correct pencil grip, correct letter formation, correct spacing between letters and words at home. It really helps to build proper habits.


Our first grade mathematicians are finding combinations on numbers up to 20 as they solve story problems and refining their understanding of addition and subtraction as they play math games. This is a great way to discuss and compare strategies to solve equations. This unit includes tasks that allow the students to use manipulatives to demonstrate and solve real world addition and subtraction story problems and to find the unknown or missing number. Continue to practice addition and subtraction math facts 0-20 at home to support First Grade fluency goals. Thank you for your support.

Important Dates


14 Valentine’s Day Party (Teacher needs or expectations will come home soon)

21 No School


1 100th Day of School

3 Dr Seuss Day

10 End of Quarter 3

21-25 Spring Break

Other News

Please remind your children to dress in warm clothes! We do go outside for fresh air and movement when the temperature is 21 degrees or warmer. Thank you

2nd Grade News

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3rd Grade News

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Fourth Grade News

Math: We just finished the fraction and decimal unit. Students will move into multiplication and division next. We will learn how to multiply and divide multi digit numbers by single digit numbers using a variety of techniques. If you have any questions about the strategies you are seeing come home, please reach out. We will be happy to explain the rationale behind them.

Science- Students finished up our vision and light unit last week, they enjoyed making models of animal eyes for their final exam. Students will transition into our earth science unit where they will learn about erosion, different types of land structures, and how fossils are formed.

Reading: We are finishing a unit on books about earthquakes with two legends of what causes earthquakes. Then we will move on to volcanoes! Students are working on skills focusing on main idea, synonyms and antonyms, structure, inferences, and finding details in the text.


In writing we are finishing up our informative writing project with an essay about explorers who came through Colorado. Then students will move on to having to analyze prompts to figure out what type of writing they need to choose. Then they will have to organize their information accordingly to write their essay. We really want them to be able to understand the three main types of writing and plan correctly for that specific type.

Important News/Dates:

2.14- Valentines Day Party (Information will be sent home soon)

2.15- Beaulieu/Krein Sunlight Field Trip

2.16- Nelson/Ritacco Sunlight Field Trip

Fifth Grade News

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PE News

Thanks for a great start to the 3rd quarter. We have been working on hitting and striking both with our hands and with implements. At the younger grades this includes hitting balloons and balls with our hands and paddles. At the older grades we are exploring hockey, badminton and wiffleball. There are some very exciting things coming for our 4th and 5th graders. We will be doing an archery unit. We were very fortunate to get a large grant to help pay for all of the equipment needed. This will be done through the National Archery in the Schools Program, NASP. I went to Denver last spring and completed training from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and NASP to be a certified archery instructor. I'm very excited to bring these new skills to the kids. The NASP is a national program that begins in 4th grade and goes through high school. I know there is a teacher at the middle school who does an archery unit as well. Please remember to bring PE shoes on the day you have PE, it helps with our activities in the gym.


Mr. Barth

February Lunch Menu

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Global School Play Day

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