From the Desk of Sean Dorsey

Community Newsletter. February 2019

Our zone is on a continuous journey to make our schools the best places for students to learn, staff to work, and parents to send their children for a good education. In this effort, we appreciate your support. It is important to gather feedback from you to celebrate successes and identify areas for growth. Please take a few minutes and complete this Parent Satisfaction Survey to help provide this feedback.

Once the survey is complete, the results will be analyzed by an outside organization. The data from the survey will be sent to each school and the Superintendent. Then, the results of the survey will be shared with parents and the community.

The survey can be accessed online at: Parent Satisfaction Survey.

The survey will be open from 02/11 – 03/11.

Thank you for interest in and support of your child’s education with us. Please contact me if you have any questions concerning the survey.

- Sean Dorsey


Social and Emotional Wellness

Social & Emotional Wellness: Parents, Teachers and Staff from District 49 joined local community experts on 12/3 at SCHS to learn more about social and emotional wellness for themselves and their students. Five breakout sessions were offered which included Love and Logic, Signs of Suicide, Cyber Bullying, Coping Skills, and Yoga. Sand Creek High Schools NHS, FBLA and Student Council offered Free childcare and Jersey Mike's provided dinner for all attendees. Vendors in the lobby offered outpatient resources, D49 services and in-house massages. Check out more pictures from the event here!

Diet & Nutrition: The 2nd Parent Academy of the 2018-2019 school year took place on 2/7 at RES for parents and community members of D49. 4 breakout sessions were offered on Mindful Eating, Dieting Myths, Food Allergies and Picky Eaters. Vendors included Care & Share's Snap Program and Cooking Matters, the YMCA, Dream Dinners, and Profile by Sanford. The Zone provided Jersey Mike's for dinner for the event and SCHS Student Council and FBLA students hosted kids in the gym for free childcare.

The Sand Creek Zone will offer 1 more parent academy on April 4th based off of topics that Zone Parents suggested in a survey from the fall.

SWAT Students Keynote at El Paso County Tobacco-Free Alliance Meeting

Juniors and Co-Presidents, Alex Anspach and Isaac King, of the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) presented along with Emma Cook, Community Health Educator for El Paso County Public Health, on the dangers, signs of use, and how companies promote new tobacco items to students on 2/7. Ms. Cook brought in samples of the latest "vapes" as well as introduced the teachers of SCHS on the ways students can hide them in their clothing and in everyday items. The students presented to a coalition of health professionals, educators, government officials and community. You can access the presentation here.


Paul Beyer - Zone Pillar Recognition

Congratulations to Paul Beyer, senior at SCHS, for displaying the Zone pillar of Service!

Paul went out of his way to ensure that community members had what they needed when visiting the building, being kind to those in need, and going above and beyond his duties as a student. Community member, Margaret Waldie, wrote a letter to our administration sharing "Paul was so kind to keep checking during the day to make sure everything worked and to ask if we needed anything. What a wonderful young man!".

HMS Local Foster Family Carnival

As a member of the HMS Junior Optimist International club, Camryn Penny, HMS 8th grader, helped organize the annual JOI Christmas party to support the Fostering Hope Foundation, a Colorado Springs non-profit for foster families. On Dec. 8, the JOI Club transformed the HMS gym into a Christmas wonderland for their group of special guests. As the HMS orchestra played Christmas music, the HMS JOI Club of 6th, 7th and 8th graders, some dressed in festive pajamas, supervised a carnival of games and activities. Around the gym, a team of volunteers showed guests where to create their own ornaments, visit Santa Claus, or get a bite to eat.

Harvest of Love in the Zone

STEM Night at SRES

On Tuesday, December 11th, each grade level of SRES created multiple activities for students to build, invent, and play that tied back to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Springs Ranch had over 20 hands-on activities that students were able to use their innovative thinking and creativity. One station required students to use their breath as energy on the Huff & Puff Cars to see how far they could go. Approximately 400 parents and students attended the event with high levels of engagement and excitement!

EIES Students Give the Gift of Giving

Evans International Elementary School students collected donations from families and friends during the school’s annual ‘Week of Thanks’ culminating in several donation drop offs to local organizations on Nov. 15-16.

Students chose to donate food and non-perishable items this year to the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Penrose-St. Francis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Peterson Air Force Base, The Ronald McDonald House and the Cimarron Hills Fire Department.

Students from each grade level collected items the week before the designated donation drop off and watched their respective chosen groups accept donations via a live video feed in the school’s library. Check out the full story here.

Student Success

Misty O'Connor - Zone Pillar Recognition

Misty has joined the Visible Learning Team this year. She has conduct an impact cycle around helping students understand various levels of performance. She presented to the staff about her impact cycle so that we could broaden the scope of conducting impact cycles around writing. In addition, she does an out standing job in the area of teacher clarity as she presents lessons to kids. She is a teacher leader at Springs Ranch!

Renaissance Qualifiers at HMS

Horizon is kicking off third quarter with new renaissance numbers to celebrate. A total of 425 students finished 2nd quarter with a 3.0 or higher GPA. 2nd quarter this year was the highest number of students HMS has ever had qualify. Also, this year's 8th graders have had the highest numbers of students who achieved this level of any grade this year, both quarters. This is the first years 8th grade has had the highest amount of students qualify for all grades! These students all received kindness bracelets and will get to enjoy many perks throughout the quarter including special hat days, early to lunch and fun raffles.

Cooking Club Meets at RES

On Monday, December 17th, Remington Elementary hosted their Cooking Club meeting. The group included K-2 students as well as their parents. "We had so much fun making snowman popcorn cups and holiday hot cocoa" said Jessica Fawcett, coordinator of the Cooking Club and Reading Specialist at Remington. "They're REAL chefs now!" Cooking club meets every Monday and is usually just students but at this event, parents were invited so that their little chefs could demonstrate what they do! Students use visual recipes for each cooking club and the kids were able to take home their own visual cook books at the December meeting. Recipes included Pumpkin Patch Dirt cups, Pumpkin Cheese and Crackers, Thanksgiving Morning Pumpkin Waffles, Harvest Trail Mix, Caramel Apple Nachos, Snowman Pizzas, Snowman Popcorn cups, Santa Shakes, Santa's Favorite Peppermint Playdoh and Holiday Hot Chocolate.

EIES Students Selected as Principled Pals

In December, a student was selected by each teacher to be a “Principled Pal!” These students have done a great job showing that they are principled and showing Wildcat Pride! They were invited to a hot cocoa party with Principal Michelle Slyter!

League Champs for HMS Boys Basketball

Jaidyn Hobdy and Colin Hawkins returned for their third year on Horizon A team to lead the charge during an undefeated 15-0 season and second consecutive league championship. The team got key contributions from Joseph Garnett and Sumo Alexandre as well as first season players Aiden Dailey and 6th grader Robert Davis. Donovan Hill, Brandon Hills, Auston Nash, and Robert Gagau rounded out the deep and competitive roster.

Coach Todd Maher said, "We had a great group of players that worked their tails off in the offseason to improve their skills and it was fun to see them get rewarded with the title" Joseph Garnett credits their success to "working really hard, practicing a lot and iimproving on our skills each day."

Horizon won the final Tri-County League title last year and the Inaugural South Metro league Championship this year.

League Champs for HMS Girls Basketball

Congratulations to our Girls Basketball team for winning the South Metro League Championship.

This is the first year participating in the South Metro League against schools from: Fountain Fort Carson, Widefield, Harrison, Cheyenne Mountain, and our other two District 49 middle schools.

Our girls finished the season undefeated at 15-0, winning the league championship with a victory over Skyview on Friday, 2/15.

Growth and Innovation

Alyssa Nicholson - Zone Pillar Recognition

Congratulations to Aly Nicholson, Social Studies teacher and Teacher Leader, for embodying the Zone identity of Growth Mindset!

Aly presented at the Schoology NOW! Conference last week to dozens of D49 employees. Her session on Blended Learning was packed. In the exit survey, when asked "What did you learn tonight that you can use tomorrow?" Aly's session was mentioned over fourteen times. Some of the responses included:
"Student-centered blended learning strategies and tools"
"I learned I can use observational grading."
"Using hyperdocs in Schoology"
"A PearDeck integration for checks for understanding"

“While doing all of the above, she was also coaching the cheer squad to get them ready for state. On top of it all, I never saw her without a smile on her face. How lucky you are to have her on staff!” - Melissa Riggs, Education Technology Specialist for D49

Davey Muise Speaks to HMS About Acts of Kindness

On Nov. 27th, HMS students had the rare opportunity to listen to punk rock musician, motivational speaker and kindness promoter, Davey Muise.

Muise’s powerful message about finding yourself, opening up to your friends and family, and overcoming hardships resonated with the young audience. He demonstrated with small stories how small acts of kindness and care can change your life or another’s life. “Really inspiring, everyone goes through these things,” said Reagan Tooley, eighth-grader. “He relates to the kids.”

Muise was brought to HMS after leaders saw him present at the annual Renaissance conference last summer. “Knowing that our Renaissance theme this year centered around kindness, the entire team at the conference wanted to bring Davey here to speak with students,” said Dustin Horras, principal. “Through his message and story, Davey was able to share how one phone call, one act of kindness to someone can change a person's trajectory or path for the better.”

Upcoming Zone Events

2/28: SRES 2nd Grade Musical and RES 1st Grade Program

3/4: NHS Induction

3/8: No Students; PD Day

3/11-3/12: VL Coaching Day

3/18-3/29: Spring Break

4/3: Academic Lettering at SCHS

4/4: Parent Academy: Drug Panel

4/18: Health & Wellness Expo and Art & Design Expo