The Eagle Update

The Excel Academy Weekly Newsletter: January 23, 2023

Greetings Excel Community,

We have had our first snow day of the year! The excitement ringing in the air before that day was simply magical. Students talked about putting ice in bathrooms, crayons in freezers, snowballs under pillows, and wearing pajamas backwards....none of these made any sense, but students may now believe these all worked!

Just a reminder that when we have snow days, we do follow Jeffco's guidance. However, if Mr. Yanker ever finds the conditions are not safe around the school, we do reserve the right as a charter to create a delay even if Jeffco does not have a delay. We will always communicate as soon as possible when we feel we need to take additional precautions.

Teachers are reaching out to share mid-trimester information: Dibels and MAP data. We want to be sure families have information about their student's progress at this time and before we get closer to report card time. Please note that student-led conferences are coming and we want to be sure students have their work turned in and projects completed to feel confident going into those conversations. There is always time to take stock, make adjustments, and continue moving forward.

As we continue with the trimester and we move into planning for next year, please watch for opportunities to share your feedback. (Thank you to everyone who submitted responses for the latest SAC survey.) So much goes into planning the school year, and there are so many ideas, opinions, insights, and perspectives that can contribute to the work; we value all of them. We know that it has been a challenging year-and-a-half as we manage external challenges and internal changes, and adjust to the updates of our identity, mission, vision in preparation for the charter renewal we submitted in the fall. Our goal continues to be finding ways to harness the best of what we have been, and move forward to serve the needs of 21st-century learners. I am reminded of the quote by Arianna Huffington---

"We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes―understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

As our staff reflects and works together to consider important next steps with our systems, structures, and scheduling, please know that everyone's intent is to do the very best possible to support student academic and social emotional growth. Our SAC committee unpacked our recent survey data and we took time to savor the things that are working well, and now we are working on some next steps in response to that information. Our staff also unpacked some of their staff survey data and our Instructional Leadership Team, which is comprised of mostly teaching staff, is planning some next steps from that work.

Change can be hard, but we also know that it leads to great things. There is a lot of positive energy flowing through the spaces here and everyone here is working hard to ensure that every student can have the best experiences possible at Excel. We have one-half of our year left and there is great potential for joy and learning.

With deep belief in the work and the people,

Dr. Susan-Marie Farmen

Executive Director

Important Updates

Scripps National Spelling Bee Logo

Scripps Spelling Bee for 4th - 8th Graders

Excel Academy's 4th through 8th grade students will participate in classroom-level spelling bees this week. Students in 4th and 5th grade will participate in their homeroom, while students in 6th - 8th grade will participate in their Language Arts class. The top speller from each class will proceed to the Excel Academy School Spelling Bee, which will be held on Wednesday, February 8th. The winner of the Excel Academy School Spelling Bee will go on to compete at the Denver Post Colorado State Spelling Bee on March 11th. Students can get study lists from their homeroom (4th & 5th graders) or Language Arts (6th - 8th graders) teacher.

Notes from the Clinic

Dear parents/guardians of students attending Colorado kindergarten – 12 th grade schools for the 2023-24 school year: We know you’re thinking of all the things you need to do to make sure your student is ready for school. Getting vaccinated is an important part of their school readiness and keeps children from catching and spreading diseases that can make them sick and potentially disrupt in-person learning.

Required and recommended vaccines

Family exercise tips

General Information

Seeking Photographer and/or Videographer for Marketing Materials

We are updating and refreshing our school's branding and marketing materials! We are seeking a photographer who can come to the school to capture students, teachers, and volunteers as they interact and engage here at Excel. Please contact Kresta Vuolo at extension 107 or if interested.

ACCESS Testing Underway

The ACCESS for our emergent bilingual students is an assessment that measures a student's English language proficiency to date.

ACCESS for ELLs provides educators and parents proficiency levels and information that is used to enhance instruction and learning for students in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It is administered annually to kindergarten through twelfth-graders who have been identified. Please review our ACCESS for ELLs Family Information Flyer:

English Spanish Russian Vietnamese Nepali Chinese Polish German French Arabic


Kindergarten - 8th grade students our quest has begun! We have kicked off American Heart Association’s KIDS HEART CHALLENGE. Students saw a video last week and learned that our campus goal is to have 100% of families learn hands-only CPR and raise $9,000.00 in donations to fight heart diseases and stroke!

Click HERE to see Updated Information.

Click HERE to sign-up.

January & February Breakfast and Lunch Order Forms

Click HERE to sign up for breakfast & lunches.

Classroom and Grade Level Information

Elementary Grades K-5

Share Day

Each student will be asked to share an interest, passion or talent they have with their classmates during music class. This performance is not for parents however you may want to practice with your child so they are prepared to share. Students can talk about, do, or show something that is unique or important to them.

Friday, February 3rd - Criswell, Adams

Friday, February 9th - Williams, Zerr, McDaniel

Middle School Grades 6-8

Pomona Arts and Humanities

Do you know a student who is passionate about the arts? Would they benefit from an arts-integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum that is artistically and academically rigorous, fosters critical thinking and encourages energetic collaboration with their peers? Pomona Arts and Humanities (PAH), a special program within Pomona High School in Arvada, CO, is currently auditioning students who would thrive in such an environment. PAH fires students’ passion for learning by engaging the creative talents of young artists, while encouraging their critical and creative thinking, all in a diverse and positive environment. PAH exists to inspire & support high school students as they develop a lifelong love for both the arts and for learning. We currently offer the following fine arts focus areas: 2D & 3D visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, theater, culinary arts, and creative writing.

Auditions will be held Monday, January 30th at Pomona High School at 3:30pm. Please visit our website . For more information about the audition process & program requirements, as well as reserve an audition slot, click on the “Get Started” tab. We would love to have you be a part of the PAH community!

Culture Corner

SOAR at Excel

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! Every day, at 2:30 PM, students come to the office and Dr. Farmen, Cate Vermeer, and Kresta Vuolo celebrate every student who has earned recognition for their efforts throughout the day.

K- Rohen Green

1-Evelyn Fonte

2-Sonya Mentry

3-Boston Ratcliffe

4-Jaxson Williams

5-Jeremiah Lopez

6-Michael Herrera

7-Ella Heintz

8-Melia Girard

The Class Winner is Mr. Burns class.

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!


Love for Excel Silent Auction and Gala

Buy your tickets to the Love for Excel Silent Auction and Gala on February 11th, 2023! Secure your seats and take advantage of the early bird pricing.

EARLY BIRD PRICING: $52 per person - includes dinner
To buy your tickets, text the word “excelgala” to 843-606-5995
and follow the link in the reply or visit

Show your love for Excel Academy by joining us for this incredible night! Our annual adult only event will feature a live auction, a silent auction, a plated three course sit-down dinner, cash bar and MUCH more! Grab your Valentine's date and join us for a night of laughter and fun. This event sold out last time, so don't miss your chance to attend. It will be a night to remember and we can't wait to spend it with you! BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY

Are you a business owner or a parent with something special to share? Please consider donating or sponsoring our auction! We are excited to share your generosity with our community through event signage and accolades, a listing on the PTO website, and more!

Teacher and Staff Sponsor tickets, Business Sponsorship Tables and Friends Tables are available. Teachers and staff of Excel Academy will have discounted tickets available.

PTO Call for Volunteers

The Silent Auction and Gala is happening in February 11, 2023 and we are building a team to host this exciting event! We will be meeting later in October to get started on all the planning. Come join us! Email to join us! Parent involvement is one of the most important factors in your child's academic success and all your time spent on these endeavors counts as engagement volunteer hours!

Board of Directors

Board Meetings

The next BOD meeting will be a workshop meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 Here is the link to the Board tab on the website with additional meeting information.

2022-2023 Excel BOD Committee List

2022-23 Excel BOD Committee List is linked HERE.

Enriching Activities Outside of School

Machine Pitch Baseball

Machine Pitch Baseball for 6-8 year old children. Click HERE for details.
Please contact Julie Smith or Sandy Hinojosa in the office if you know of opportunities for students after school that would like to post information in our Eagle Update.