The Eagle Update
The Excel Academy Weekly Newsletter: November 8, 2021
Greetings Excel Community
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our spirit week. The creative outfits and hairdos were absolutely awesome! We are so fortunate to have staff that really get into the spirit too. It is always inspiring that we create so many opportunities for joy. Even though we continue to work in the shadow of the pandemic, we are moving forward with laughter and we connect with care in spite of the necessary distance we must keep. We are excited to share that vaccines are now available for students age 5 and up and that information is linked here. Some families have already started taking advantage of this opportunity. Keep in mind that students who are vaccinated do not have to be quarantined when they are exposed or if there is a suspected exposure. This helps everyone stay in school and continue learning.
Here are some other exciting updates:
- Mr. J. Lopez starts tomorrow as our new middle school social studies teacher. He brings a wealth of experience serving our country in a variety of ways and lots of teaching experience. Please be sure to welcome him.
- Mr. David Cardenas, a parent of a kindergartener and second-grade student, has joined the staff to support as a para in middle school. He is a licensed teacher with multiple years of experience teaching middle school and brings with him a love of teaching.
- We have some former para subs who are able to rejoin our community and are excited to support again now that their work and home lives provide that flexibility!
As I shared last week, we continue to interview for a few key para and para sub roles to increase our support of all students as we enjoy in-person learning this year but continue to navigate Covid concerns.
This month is often a time when we take stock and think about all we have that enriches our lives. I am deeply grateful for the time I spend with students and families and the opportunity to learn together as we engage in this sacred work. This past week, two third-grade students came by to say, "We didn't have anything we had to do here but we missed seeing you and wanted to come by and say hi." Another student stopped by and said, "Dr. Farmen, you seem really super busy. Maybe you just need to leave today and take a vacation day. I think that is good for you to do and I worry about you being so busy!" Friday I walked to the playground and was greeted with a ton of fifth-grade hugs. These are wonderful things that leave me grateful daily.
Yes, some days are busy, but these sweet moments with such caring and kind kiddos really cause my heart to overflow with joy. Thank you for raising such thoughtful kiddos and for trusting us with them each day. When I take stock of all I have that enriches my life, the students and families I serve are an essential part of those blessings.
Enjoy the week ahead,
Dr. Susan-Marie Farmen
Veteran's Day Events
National Junior Honor Society is facilitating the collection of letters and cards from our student body in all grade levels to sent to veterans at the Veteran's Hospital.
A note from Ms. Williams' second-grade class:
This past week we wrote and decorated postcards for Veterans. I give them to my sister at Green Ridge Memory Care Facility, to deliver to her residents. On November 11th at 10:20am we have a Google Meet with her residents where we will thank them for their service and sing the Star-Spangled Banner. We did this last year and it was special for these residents that haven't seen their families due to Covid limitations or due to not having family in the area, it brought a light to their day.
Information for Lunches Moving Inside for Winter
Leadership Coffee Chat
Middle School Principal Council 2nd Meeting
Basketball Practice Days/Times
B Team: Practice Mon-Thurs from 3:30-4:30
A Team: Homework/Study Table from 3:30-4:30/ Practice Mon-Thurs from 4:30-5:30
- Parents can pick up their students in the carpool line after practice.
- The basketball fee is $75: The fee will appear in Jeffco Connect sometime next week.
- 21/22 Basketball Schedule
- Please note there may be changes to the schedule due to weather or Covid health issues. We will do our best to inform families of these changes in a timely manner.
- Covid testing and vaccination requirements
- WEEKLY TESTING WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ALL UNVACCINATED ATHLETES:
- Please email test results to Andrea Gansen: email@example.com
If you have not signed up please follow the below steps:
The sign-up for basketball can be found on the website. Hover over "programs" tab at the top of the page; hover over "clubs & activities"; then click on "bonus learning". You will see the google form to register on the page.
Proper PE Attire
Debate Bonus Learning-Started 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.
PE: Martial Arts Fundraising Opportunity
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Dean of Culture Corner
Message from Ms. Anderson
SOAR at Excel
Kinder- William Jeffcoat
First- Caleb Lopez
Second- Amelia Anderson
Third- Paityn Downing
Fourth- Soren Green
Fifth- Christian Martin
Sixth- Ella Heintz
Seventh- Gavin F.
Eighth- Julian Vigil
Self-Discipline / Outstanding Effort / Accepting of Others / Resilient
Students who were announced on November 29th. Congratulations! Keep up the wonderful effort Eagles!
Brooklyn McGary-Grade 2
Sawyer Bolejack and Noah K.- Grade3
Maddie Trenchev-Grade 4
Nona Thompson-Grade 5
Cara Foster-Grade 6
Leo C.-Grade 7
Jadyn Keith-Grade 8
Trimester 1 Student Award Ceremonies
Because we want to celebrate our student successes as much as possible, this year we will have short award ceremonies at the end of each trimester! Our elementary and middle school students will receive awards for high academic achievement, a certificate for those who were weekly SOAR winners, high achievement in Specials for K-5, Sportsmanship in sports for 6-8, and a special Eagle Ambassador award selected by classroom teachers for individuals who exemplify each of Excel’s values: self-discipline, outstanding effort, accepting of others, resilience, on a regular basis. Of course we know that not all students receive academic awards and this can be difficult. We still want to honor our high achievers. Additionally, teachers work hard to engage their class in conversations about the importance of progress and working hard. Parents will be notified if their child will be receiving awards by classroom teachers. Parents are welcome to come to the award ceremonies, hosted in the gym, with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past week.
8:30-8:50 grades K and 1
9:00-9:20 grades 2 and 3
9:30-9:50 grades 4 and 5
10:00-10:20 grade 6
10:30-10:50 grades 7 and 8
Excel’s cross age Reading Buddies Program is starting Trimester 2! This is a cooperative learning model that pairs younger-student classrooms with older-student classrooms with reading time. Younger students practice reading their leveled reading with older students who assist and ask questions. Older students can also read some higher leveled reading books with reading comprehension questions.
Benefits of a Reading Buddies Program:
Younger students get peer modeling of fluency, expression, and phrasing.
Younger students get a positive role model.
Interactions can improve oral language skills like vocabulary.
Older students develop important social-emotional skills like empathy & patience.
Older students who struggle to read at grade level develop confidence.
Promotes and strengthens responsibility and leadership skills.
Can incentivize both younger and older students.
Builds community in the school.
Community, Care, and Belonging Shout Outs
- Wonderful participation from staff and students in Spirit Week! #belonging
- Staff helping with coverage! #community
Family Learning Nights
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 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 harmful for themselves or others.
Masks for Students
Parking/Drop Off/Pick Up
- Please only park in designated spots. If picking up a student during the school day, please do not park in the fire lane/front door and please do not leave vehicles running.
- Please only drop off students in the morning drop off line, please do not use the parking lot or the street near the trash cans/playground. These are not drop off areas.
Covid Testing Information
PTO October Events and Updates
Jack's Jams Fundraiser
Candy for Troops
The PTO will be collecting all your leftover Halloween candy from Nov 9-12 for Soldiers Angels Organization which sends these treats to service member overseas. Any sealed/prepackaged candy is acceptable. A green can by the front office will be the collection point. We'll be delivering the candy over the weekend, so all donations need to be at school no later than 3pm on Friday the 12th. Thanks!
PTO Board Update
We want to let everyone know that Bel Scroghram has decided to step down from her role as PTO President due to personal reasons. We appreciate the many contributions and hours she has given to our Excel Community and we wish her the best as she continues to be a part of the Excel family. John Lovell will serve as the acting president. The PTO Board would also like to remind everyone in our community that we will always support a happy and healthy environment for our children to learn and grow. We support the Excel teachers, staff, administration and families both in and out of the school with a goal to build a better community together.
Love for Excel Silent Auction and Gala
Tickets are available for purchase!
- It's not too late to get your tickets for our silent auction gala! We have sold 64 tickets so far and there are only a few left. 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 right...no 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).
- You can also sponsor an educator. Our staff works so incredibly hard and we would love for all to be able to attend at no cost. Please choose the “Sponsor An Educator” option when you purchase you tickets. Please note, we cannot guarantee which staff member will receive your ticket, but it will be gifted with a note that it was purchased by your family.
Change in Covid Testing for Athletic/Bonus Learning Started Last Week
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. (email@example.com).
- 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. (firstname.lastname@example.org