The Eagle Update

The Excel Academy Weekly Newsletter: September 26, 2022

Greetings Excel Community,

Each year around this time, Mr. Farmen likes to walk outside, take a deep, deep breath, pull me close, and say, "Feel that in the air? Oh yeah. It is the feeling of football season starting!" As a building leader, I would say the same, but for schools, it is the start of ENROLLMENT season!

As a public school, our student enrollment numbers determine the funds we receive from the state. These monies fund everything we do. Student attendance at this time of year is essential to our school's ability to fund enriching and engaging experiences for students, pay our hard-working staff a more competitive wage, and keep up the maintenance for our beautiful building. As a charter, we are authorized by the school district and funded with a percentage of the per-pupil rate paid by the state of Colorado to Jefferson County Public Schools.

The State determines our student attendance by a process called the October Count, which records how many students are in attendance during a specific range of dates. The “count window” the state observes is from Monday, September 26 through Monday, October 10, and the most important student count day is Monday, October 3, 2022. Please ensure an accurate count by having your student participate in learning that day. Daily attendance is always an important driver of individual student learning and achievement, but it is especially important during this time because attendance impacts our whole school community.

Please make every effort to make sure your student is present these next two weeks. Classes will be competing for perfect attendance to make it fun for them!

Thank you for your support and partnership during this critical time period and for making sure all of the unique learning and enrichment opportunities we provide can continue!

Dr. Susan-Marie Farmen

Executive Director

Important Updates

Updated 22/23 School Year Calendar

Excel Academy 2022-23 Updated Calendar here. We apologize for any confusion. The 22/23 calendar changed before the start of the school year. Please let us know if you have a family conflict with the dates below.

Below are the days that changed.

October 13th- This is now a school day.

February 9th- This is now a school day.

May 26th- This is now the last day of school.

General Information

Excel Academy Awarded ESSER Grant Funds for Literacy

Last spring, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) published a call for proposals for grant funding from ESSER funds to support the purchase of literacy curricula aligned with the Colorado READ Act. Excel Academy is one of 28 charter schools to receive funding. The $47,221 covered the purchase of our K-3 materials from the new Wonders (K-5) and StudySync (6-8) comprehensive literacy curriculum. You can find more information on the CDE website here. Many thanks to Dr. Farmen for writing a strong grant application and Business Manager Keri Lee for her work on developing the budget proposal.

School Breakfast and Lunch Reminders

Please remember that meals are not free for students. This means that if you want students to have breakfast and/or lunch orders must be placed on the links below. If you place orders for breakfast and/or lunch, you will be charged. If you order food and the student is absent, those orders cannot be canceled and your account is charged. Please make selections with the understanding the school cannot absorb those costs.

Classroom and Grade Level Information

Elementary Grades K-5

Fall Conferences

Conferences are an important time for teachers and families to connect and communicate about students. We take the preparation of this seriously and want to be sure we connect with every family. Please watch for the Sign Up Genius links to come soon from teachers to help schedule time to share helpful supports for students. We will send out a robo call when the email with the Sign Up Genius information is sent.

Music Performances


Music Performances are back. Please join us for some wonderful entertainment by some amazing students.

K/1 Music Program: A Time For Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the gym

2/3 Music Program: Winter Celebrations Around the World

Thursday, December 15th at 6:00 p.m. in the gym

Show Choir Performance: Have a Happy, Happy Holiday

Monday, December 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the gym

Music Enrichment Activities

Ms. Boyd, our music teacher, would like to invite students to participate in additional music enrichment activities at home during the month. Please refer to the links below for some interactive music fun. She will change out the activities at the beginning of each month. Please heck back for more opportunities to explore, listen, create and share the joy of music.

K-2nd Grades Music Enrichment Activity

Recognize Music in Daily Life

Music Enrichment Activity Kindergarten - 2nd Recognize Music In Daily Life OBJECTIVE: Students will use the choice board to expand their interest in music. MATERIALS: Music Choice Board Activity Choices Click on the choice board link above and become familiar with the options within.

3rd - 5th Grades Music Enrichment Activity

STOMP Introduction

STOMP Introduction *Links work best if you view in Present mode!

NED's Mindset Mission Assembly was a hit!

Excel hosted an all-school assembly called NED’s Mindset Mission, an in-person program focused on the importance of having a positive Mindset for learning and life! Be sure to ask your student about YET the Yeti, Captain Kindly and NED’s visit on the spaceship!

Mindset Mission yo-yos are still available for purchase to support the free show and its message. Yo-yos will be available to purchase after school on Monday and Tuesday. If your student has already purchased a yoyo, here is an important link to help them get off to a good start with proper string length adjustment, click here. Additionally, here are a couple of our favorite follow up home resources from the Mindset Mission website. You may want to use these with your child as they are designed to go hand-in-hand with the program.

NED Coloring Face Masks
Parent Encouragement Notes

If you'd like additional resources, they are available here. Please check in with your student about their takeaways from the show and the importance of having a growth mindset.

Middle School Grades 6-8

6th Grade Field Studies at Excel Academy

REMINDER for 6th Grade Families - Register for the California trip today!

We are so excited for our upcoming trip to San Diego and Dana Point, California in May 2023! This trip is going to be a wonderful educational opportunity for our students! Here are a couple of important reminders:

  • Register for the trip by Wednesday, Sept 28th
  • Use the voucher code Smith23 to get the $100 discount
  • Register online at or by phone at 888.310.7121
  • Pay only a $50 deposit!
  • The remaining balance is spread out into smaller amounts and paid monthly prior to the trip.
  • Financial assistance is available (please reach out to Shelley Smith at for more information)

These hands-on, authentic experiences are so exciting for our students and an important part of our mission here. In addition to opening their eyes to possibilities and opportunities that they did not previously see as real for themselves, students also become more self-sufficient and confident, forge stronger relationships, and make learning connections that they cannot replicate in a classroom alone.

Fall Conferences Coming Soon

Hello Middle School Parents and Guardians! Our middle school teachers are in the process of setting up meeting times for conferences. Each teacher is setting up their own schedule, but conferences will begin the week of October 3 and conclude by Friday, October 14, just in time for fall break. Each conference will be scheduled in 10-minute blocks of time, and will be conducted virtually. Please keep an eye out for an email from your child's middle school teachers, and for a Conference Reflection Form that will be brought home this Friday. Stay tuned for more information!

Culture Corner

SOAR at Excel

Self Discipline

Outstanding Effort

Acceptance of Others


SOAR at Excel is a way for all staff to recognize the ways students exemplify important student values and behaviors that contribute to a safe, positive, and impactful learning environment for everyone! Here are our drawing winners from this week:

K-Penny Rensburger

1-Slyvia Nguyen

2-Michaela Swanson

3-Boden Transgrud

4-Ellie Swainson

5-Haleigh Stott

6-Kathryn Payne

7-Erina Pantina

8-Mason Flournoy

Each week, we recognize a class winner because an entire class was noticed exemplifying one or more of our SOAR values. This week, Mrs. Zerr's Kindergarten class was recognized. Way to go Kindergarten!

For these students, and for every student who earns SOAR tickets, congratulations! Showing all the ways students exemplify these values makes us such an amazing place to learn and grow each day. Super job Excel Eagles!

Volunteer Opportunity: Share Your Knowledge

We are looking for parent and community volunteers to come in and share their knowledge and expertise related to their work, hobbies, and/or passions with our students. We would like to incorporate this in the regular classroom, in our mixed-grade Explorations classes, in our elective classes, and by grade level when applicable. Please take a moment to complete the following survey: Guest Speaker Volunteer Opportunity


Newsletter & Events

The PTO has lots of exciting information to share with you! Check out our September Newsletter, see our upcoming Restaurant Night information, RSVP to our upcoming events and Save the Date for both school and family events!

PTO Eagle Eye September Newsletter! Click Here

Volunteer Opportunity! Twisted Penny will run from September 26th to October 7th. We need three volunteers each afternoon for about an hour after school to help out. Sign up to help us with this fantastic fundraiser that benefits our Field Studies and Specials Departments! Twisted Penny Volunteer Signup:

Dad’s Night Out Evite: Join John and Bill at Resolute Brewing Company on Friday, September 30th at 6pm for a cornhole tournament! RSVP at
Address: Resolute Brewing Company 18148 W 92nd Ln Unit 100 Arvada, CO 80007

Mom’s Night Out Evite: Calling all Excel Family Moms, Grandmoms, Caretakers, and anyone who loves a good girl’s night out, it's time for us to take a night off and have some fun! Let's get together to make new friends, meet up with old friends, and for some well-deserved, good old fashioned, no-kids-are-around-so-let's-be-grown-ups time. We're meeting at Flights Wine Cafe in Olde Town on October 5th from 5:30 until 8:30 then we'll head over to Arvada Tavern for more fun. RSVP at

Excel Academy Outreach Committee

Serving on the Outreach Committee is an opportunity to celebrate and offer assistance right in your own backyard. Join us in providing gifts for teachers and staff celebrating momentous life occasions such as a wedding or birth of a child. Help us offer dinner or rides home to Excel Academy families experiencing life altering events such as a new baby, death in the family or serious illness. Let's stand in the gap when a school family is struggling to put food on the table or provide holiday gifts for their children. Contact Amy Keleman at 720-343-6173 or to be added to the Outreach Committee list. As a need arises, you will be contacted via SignUp Genius with an explanation of how you might be of assistance. You are also encouraged to contact Amy Keleman if your family or someone you know may benefit from our care. We are discreet in our communication and respect the confidentiality of the families we support.

September Load the Lounge Initiative: 7th Grade

September is 7th-grade families opportunity to show their Love by Loading the Staff lounge with goodies. Here is the link for 7th grade families to sign up for items!

Board of Directors

Board Meetings

The next BOD meeting is a workshop at 6 pm, Tuesday, September 27th. Here is the link to the Board Tab on the website with additional meeting information.

Enriching Activities Outside of School

Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts is for all boys and girls, grades KG - 5th grade. Our next Pack Meeting is Tuesday Oct 11th at 6:15pm at Arvada United Methodist Church. Den meetings (grade-level meetings) will be held monthly. Cub Scout Flyer