VCS East Hawk Talk

January 2021

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Thank you to those who donated to our Giving Tree!

Thank you to those who provided constructive feedback through our survey!

3rd Quarter Plans

  • Based on recent COVID-19 trends, VCS will continue to utilize our remote teaching model for ALL grade levels at both VCS East and VCS West through February 5, 2021. (Our hope is that we can safely begin our hybrid teaching model on February 8th).

  • On January 20th, we will issue our next update regarding the remainder of the 3rd quarter.

Click the button below for more details.

We got our 5 Year Charter Renewal!

We are excited to share with you that on Tuesday, 12/15, the APS Board voted unanimously to approve our 5 YEAR CHARTER RENEWAL!
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Congratulations to our VERY FIRST NHS Inductees!

10th Grade:
  • Jazmyne
  • Ximena
  • Jaime

11th Grade:

  • Bailey
  • Egla

12th Grade:

  • Abdelsam'l
  • Joshua
  • Ryley
  • Yarely
  • Nancy
  • Irving
  • Hannah

Student Social Groups

VCS HAWKS...Are you missing your friends and wanting a social outlet? Are you struggling with mental health due to lack of socialization? Consider joining the school's mental health team for a fun and relaxed time to get to know other peers and ensure that you are receiving much needed social interactions. No reservations are required, links will be sent to your school email weekly, so just pop in if you can--all are welcome!

If you need any support, or have any concerns for your child please feel free to reach out to the mental health worker.

Nicole Nina


ACCESS Testing

If your child is currently in the ELD program, please read the attached letter regarding ACCESS testing from Ashlee Saddler, the CLDE director for APS. We will hold a virtual informational session for families of ELD students to discuss our plans for scheduling, testing safely within the building, and answer any questions that you may have. This will occur in early January, so be on the lookout for more information.

Core Virtue of the Month: Courage

  • Courage is doing what is right in the face of fear.
  • Courage is moving beyond fear.
  • Courage is finding the strength to venture and persevere.


Attendance in every class every day is essential for your child's academic growth. Please make sure to call the front desk at 303-338-4110 when your child will be or has been absent from class. You will receive an automated phone call in the evening if your child was absent from any classes throughout the day if you do not call in to notify us of the absence. You may email teachers to get make up work, but call the front desk, as well.


We ask that you encourage your child to turn on his/her camera when the teacher requests. There are many moments throughout the lesson where the teacher is checking in with students non-verbally to ensure they understand. When our teachers can't see your student they can't be sure your child understands. We are also finding that when the camera is off the child seems to not be there as they often aren't responding at all. Please also try to remove or turn off other electronics, TVs and video games, from the work area. We appreciate your support on this matter.

Have you moved or changed your phone number?

Please contact our front desk when there is a change in your personal information so that we may update it in our system.

Front Desk: 303-338-4110

Resources from the School Health Professionals

COVID Update

Scientists have developed several possible vaccines to provide possible immunity to COVID-19. The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have applied for an Emergency Use Authorization with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use on December 11, and Colorado received the vaccine on December 14. The companies report that both vaccines are around 95% effective.

The Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines are mRNA Vaccines.

  • mRNA vaccines help our bodies build an immune response to the COVID-19 virus. The mRNA vaccine teaches our cells how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. After our cells make copies of the protein, our immune system recognizes that the protein should not be in our body and builds antibodies to remember how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future.

  • An antibody is a protein produced by your immune system that can recognize a specific type of virus in your body. When you get infected, your body’s antibodies are able to recognize proteins on the surface of the COVID-19 virus to attack and stop it from replicating in your body.

  • For a visual explanation of how mRNA vaccines work, watch Stat’s video “What are mRNA vaccines?”

  • To learn more, visit CDC’s Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Phase 1A - Winter

Highest-risk health care workers and individuals:

  • People who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  • Long-term care facility staff and residents.

Phase 1B - Winter

Moderate-risk health care workers and responders:

  • Health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

  • Workers in home health/hospice and dental settings.

  • EMS, firefighters, police, correctional workers, dispatchers, funeral services, other first responders, and COVID-19 response personnel.

Phase 2 - Spring

Higher-risk individuals and essential workers:

  • People age 65 or older.

  • People of any age with obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease, significant heart disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, or are immunocompromised.

  • People who interact directly with the public at work, such as grocery store workers and school and child care staff.

  • People who work in high density settings like farms and meat-packing plants.

  • Workers serving people that live in high-density settings.

  • Health care workers not included in Phase 1.

  • Adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

Phase 3 - Summer

General public:

  • Anyone age 18-64 without high risk conditions.

*Timeline subject to change based on supply chain. Prioritization subject to change based on data, science, availability.

Covid-19 Vaccine frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Who is going to get the first round of vaccines?

A:The first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine will provide 46,800 vaccine doses. These vaccines will go to health care workers who are treating COVID-19 patients. These workers have been on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic and are directly exposed to COVID-19 as part of their job. Protecting the people who care for COVID-19 patients will help us save lives until the vaccine becomes widely available.

Q:What types of Covid-19 vaccine(s) are available? Will I get to choose?

A:There are multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must authorize any vaccine before it will be available to Coloradans. The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna applied for authorization through an Emergency Use Authorization.The FDA authorized the Pfizer vaccine on December 11 and is expected to authorize the Moderna vaccine soon. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be the first to be distributed in the state. Other companies are still going through the clinical research process. Pfizer and Moderna report that both vaccines are around 95% effective.

Q:How many doses or shots is the Covid-19 Vaccine?

A:Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine will require two doses 21 days apart; the Moderna vaccine will require two doses 28 days apart. COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine must be completed with the same vaccine product as the first dose.

Q:When can my family and I get the vaccine?

  • After the FDA authorizes a vaccine and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes recommendations for its use, we expect it will take several months before everyone who wants one can get one because of limited availability. Prioritizing health care workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic and are directly exposed to COVID-19 as part of their jobs will help us save lives in the next few months.

  • Until the vaccine is widely available and used, it is important to continue taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus, like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.

  • At least initially, we expect that the COVID-19 vaccines will only be authorized for use in adults. Safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials is still needed before the vaccine is available for children or pregnant adults.

  • Stay up to date about vaccine distribution in Colorado at

Q:How much will the vaccine cost?

A:Cost will not be an obstacle to getting the vaccine for Coloradans. Medicare, Medicaid, CHP+ and private insurance are required to cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, uninsured Coloradans will have access to free vaccines.

Q: What are the side effects of the vaccine?

A:The most commonly reported side effects for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are pain and redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever for 1-2 days after receiving the vaccine. Side effects may differ among other COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The process of building immunity can cause symptoms. These symptoms are normal and show that your body’s immune system is responding to a vaccine. Other routine vaccines, like the flu vaccine, have similar side effects.

  • Clinical trial participants for COVID-19 vaccine reported that the discomfort from side effects went away after a day, sometimes sooner. The discomfort can be more pronounced after the second dose of the vaccine.

  • If you experience discomfort after the first dose of the vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for full protection.

  • For in-depth information about the side effects of the Pfizer vaccines, see the FDA’s briefing materials on the vaccine’s clinical trials.

Q:Are there any serious side effects to receiving the vaccine?

A:Decades of vaccine research demonstrates that most serious side effects generally occur within six weeks of administering a vaccine. For the COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA has required clinical trials to provide data from eight weeks of safety monitoring following the second dose before considering the authorization of a vaccine for public use.

  • Because this is a new vaccine, researchers will be learning more about rare side effects, if any, over the next year. To identify side effects that happen only very rarely (e.g., once in 50,000 doses), hundreds of thousands of people need to be vaccinated and followed over time.

  • The FDA and CDC will continue to closely monitor vaccine safety as the public begins using a new vaccine. Both agencies have both longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more about the vaccine safety monitoring systems.

Q:Do I need to be a U.S Citizen to receive the vaccine?

A:You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, and you will not need to prove lawful presence to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado. Further, public health will never share your information with any immigration or law enforcement agency.

Q:How can I start to make a vaccine plan for me and my family?

COVID Testing

Recently, COVIDCheck Colorado (CCC) announced a partnership with the State of Colorado that allows all Colorado residents to access COVID-19 testing free of charge at any CCC site, including the APS Professional Learning and Conference Center (PLCC) north parking lot location.

With the increases in testing at the PLCC, we ask that all community members show up promptly for their registered appointments to minimize wait times. Additionally, CCC will be updating the testing process at the PLCC for more efficient service, including additional testing lanes, increased testing appointments and longer testing hours.

Community members, and others who would like to access tests at the PLCC should register here by clicking the button below.

Mindfulness Club

The week we return from winter break, Ms. Buckman will start a Mindfulness Club for all of our students and staff! The club will be on three separate days for different grades. Staff are welcome to join the Mindful Monday Club!

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware and involved in the present moment. In the mindfulness club students will learn to relax and focus so that their thoughts and awareness are completely in the present and not trapped worrying about the past or future. Practicing mindfulness helps to improve this awareness and can take many forms, including breath awareness, slow and mindful eating/drinking, or focusing deeply on music or an engaging activity.

Scientific studies have heavily praised the benefits mindfulness has to both our physical and mental health. Mindfulness brings awareness to ourselves, increases focus, reduces stress, and increases empathy and understanding of others!

Mindfulness Club is completely open and students can join at any time through the school year! Meetings will be held virtually until we return to in person learning.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Winter Break!

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Safe2Tell Colorado gives YOU a safe, anonymous way to help someone who is struggling or hurting. Learn what to look for, what to listen for, and what to report.

Quick Links

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Submit tickets to

Our team will work to resolve your issues in a timely manner.

Infinite Campus Parent Portal

Log in to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal to access student course schedules and to check grades and attendance.

Contact Ms. Torres, Ms. Zewdu, or Ms. Holtz for assistance at 303-338-4110.

Pay School Fees Online

You can now pay your school fees through our online platform of RevTrak. You can go to our website or click here to pay any school fees your child may have. We will only be accepting online payments for school fees at this time.

VCS East Events

NO SCHOOL ~ Professional Development Week

Monday, Jan. 4th 2021 at 7am to Friday, Jan. 8th 2021 at 3:45pm


3rd Quarter Remote Materials Pick-Up Day

Friday, Jan. 8th 2021 at 8am-4pm

VCS East

3rd Quarter Begins

Monday, Jan. 11th 2021 at 7:30am


NO SCHOOL ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, Jan. 18th 2021 at 7:15am-3:45pm