Winter SCZ Newsletter

From the Desk of Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek Zone Leader

A Message From Mr. Dorsey

I wanted to thank our parents and families for taking the time to participate in the Parent Satisfaction Survey. We had 980 parents and guardians participate this year!

For the Sand Creek Zone as a whole, our areas working well:

1. Our schools are clean and well maintained

2. My family is treated with respect in Sand Creek Zone schools

3. My child's learning is a priority in their school

Our areas for improvement:

1. I regularly receive feedback from school staff on how well my child is learning

2. The principal at my child's school is approachable and reachable

3. I receive positive phone calls, emails, or notes about my child from the school

Thank you all for your involvement in our schools and your students' journey through the Sand Creek Zone. I hope you have a great winter break, spend time with family, and get some much needed relaxation. See you in 2020!

- Sean Dorsey, Zone Leader

Student Spot Light: Orion Niemeyer

Orion Niemeyer, 4th grader at Springs Ranch Elementary, is soaring to the top of his class through his coding skills. 3rd-5th graders have an "Hour of Code" where they work with to produce music videos, design games, and compete on different levels. Check out my interview with Orion as he explains how he created his masterpiece.

Orion excelled at writing code and decided to take time at home to create a full length animated music video. He coded almost every second of the production, complete with back ground colors, graphics, dance moves, slow motion and appearing and reappearing characters. Use this link to view Orion's video and to access his code!

Cheer Finishes Top 5 at State

Congratulations to the Sand Creek High School Cheer Team for finishing in 5th place for the 2019 Cheer State Competition on December 7th for 4A All Girl!

RES Girls on the Run

Girls on the run is a program that works to build confidence and other life skills through physical activity and interactive lessons. This program encourages girls to make connections with their peers, to cheer each other on, and shows the girls the payoff of hard work and perseverance.

Remington had a team of 18 girls, 4 coaches (Coach Padilla, Coach Vosberg, Coach Howe, and Coach Scarscelli), and 1 Jr coach Jayleen Castellanos (a student from Sand Creek High School) that has been meeting twice a week since the beginning of September as we worked toward this culminating event, a 5k run in Monument Valley Park on Saturday November 9th with all of the Girls on the Run programs in the Pikes Peak Region.

At the end of this race the girls' excitement was palpable, many of them saying, "I can't believe I actually did it!" Most of the girls also turned around to cheer their teammates on as soon as they had crossed the finish line.

SCHS AFJROTC Exceeds Expectations

Last week, the AFJROTC program at SCHS was evaluated by Chief (ret) Wayne Barron from Maxwell AFB, Alabama, a process that occurs every 3 years. The cadets earned the highest rating possible, Exceeds Standards. We could not be more proud of the cadets, program, and our instructors, Chief (ret) Brown and Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Pontius! Congratulations!

HMS Orchestra

The HMS Holiday Chamber Orchestra was invited to play before the Pikes Peak Philharmonic Concert. This was their first time playing somewhere as professional as the ENT Center for the Arts and they did a phenomenal job. Thank you Mrs. Leonhardt for giving our students these exciting opportunities!

RES Brings Learning to Life

Siemieniec and Yerger Honored for Top 7

Erika Siemieniec was recognized by the Colorado Department of Education for being selected as one of the 7 finalists for the 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year. There are 56,000 teachers in the state of Colorado and Erika was chosen because of her hard work, innovation, and her impact on students and student achievement.

Patti Gleason, CDE Director of Special Grants and Achievements, and John Condie, Field Services Manager for CDE, came down from Denver to present Erika with an award and a check for $1,200. In addition, Richard Saum, from Blue Bell Creameries, presented Erika with her own stash of Blue Bell ice cream and enough to hand out to every student in the entire school. 

Representatives from CDE visited Horizon Middle School next to honor William Yerger for his place in the top 7 as well. Yerger was presented a crystal plaque, a check for $1,200 for his classroom as well as ice cream for all Horizon Students too! William was chosen because of his impact on student achievement and innovative instruction in the classroom.

It is an honor to have two of the top seven teachers in the state be a part of the Sand Creek Zone! Congratulations Erika and William!

Support Stars

D49 Thankful for Shining Stars Across District

The week before Thanksgiving set the stage as the perfect time for the District 49 family to express gratitude for the inaugural group of Support and Service Stars. The distinguished honorees were celebrated during Fantastic 49 festivities before the regular monthly board of education work session Nov. 20.


Harvest of Love in the Sand Creek Zone

HMS Girl Scout Donation

HMS students on Troop 42533 collected gently used and new stuffed animals to donate to The Child Rescue Foundation, Inc. The Foundation recently sponsored an Annual Teddy Bear Project Drive. This project accepts any kind of blankets (homemade or store bought), stuffed animals or another symbol of comfort and love for kids in crisis. The Troop collected 482 stuffed animals and donated them to this great cause!

We are proud of the work our students do in the community and their dedication to service!

EIES Thanks Local Community Members

Evans International Elementary Staff, students and community members put together donations throughout the month of November for local organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, the NICU nurses at St. Francis and Children’s, El Paso County Sheriff and Cimmaron Hills Fire Department.

Lisa Hartman, counselor and coordinator of their Week of Thanks, dropped off donations to the Stetson Hills division of the COS police! 2ND graders donated items for the police officers who work so hard to keep our local area safe! Staff delivers the items in person while the students, who brought donations for the group, FaceTime to thank the men and women of our community for their hard work!

Veteran's Day in the Sand Creek Zone

Remington Box Top Donation

Community member, Robin Mathews, turned in her box tops for education and was able to donate $404 to Remington Elementary school! Thank you so much Robin for supporting your local Sand Creek Zone schools!

Evans Community Member Pays Off Lunch Debt

Last week Evans received a generous donation from Brandon & Sarah Bryant - a family that lives in the EIES neighborhood that wanted to help pay down lunch debt and also are owners of Mountain View Cafe, a small restaurant in Black Forest. We appreciate you supporting our students!

Colorado College Brings STEM Opportunity to Girls at HMS

11 Girls from Horizon Middle School were given the opportunity to work with Cynthia Chapple, a chemist and keynote for the upcoming FemSTEM symposium at Colorado College. Chapple is the founder of the non profit organization Black Girls Do STEM (BGDS). BGDS aims to “provide middle school aged black girls opportunity to learn, create, and build confidence in their abilities to become STEM professionals. In doing this we will be closing the gap between black woman scientist and engineers and the rest of the STEM world. Opening black girls eyes to the possibilities in STEM while they are still curious and excited to learn new things, giving black girls the opportunity to be on the forefront of the next scientific discovery.” You can find out more here:

On December 10th, HMS students worked with Cynthia to extract DNA from strawberries and create a DNA bracelet. Thank you Cynthia and Colorado College for providing this exciting workshop for our students!

SRES Students' Hour of Code

Springs Ranch Elementary provides grades 3-5 with an opportunity to participate in an “Hour of Code”. Students work with and other coding programs, coordinated by Mrs. Erin Bedell in the library, to write code in games, puzzles and applications.

This week, students were creating animated music videos to a song of their choice. They could design the character, background, dance moves and speed! Thank you Mrs. Bedell for bringing this opportunity to our kiddos!

Upcoming Events

1/6: Teacher Work Day. NO STUDENTS

1/15: Sand Creek Zone Partners Meeting @SRES 5:30pm


1/28: 8th Grade Night SCHS

1/30: RES Literacy/Math Night. SRES Musical

1/31: SRES One School, One Book Performance

2/5: EIES Project Exhibition



2/20: RES STI Math Night. SRES Reading Night

2/27-2/28: SRES 2nd Grade Musical

What is a Zone Leader?

Zones are an important and sometimes misunderstood component of the board directed innovation philosophy of District 49. Student populations across our district's large geographic area have different educational needs, learning styles, political values and social structures. To meet the needs of our students and families across the district, a one size fits all approach doesn't make sense.

Zones allow our three different geographic regions and non-traditional learning community to have flexibility in executing our strategic plan. Educational philosophies, areas of study that are emphasized, and how financial resources are allocated are all different between our autonomous zones.

The Sand Creek Zone is overseen by Mr. Sean Dorsey. Evans International, Remington, Springs Ranch, Horizon and Sand Creek are the schools that make up the Sand Creek Zone. Typically, a school district would call their Zone Leader an Assistant Superintendent with Peter Hilts, Cheif Educaton Officer, being the Superintendent of all Schools.

If you every have questions or concerns about the Sand Creek Zone, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Dorsey by emailing