Cougar Community Connection
A weekly newsletter from your principal, Shannon McPherson
What a great end to our week. Fun Run was a HUGE success and we can't thank you enough for your efforts to support our school. Some MAJOR shout outs are needed as the event could not have happened without the incredible ideas, organization and communication from our PTA. Katie Busch spearheaded this effort and turned it in to something that Cougar Run has never seen. Megan Noraddin was her right hand gal and was instrumental in communication and hype. To take this on without the help of an outside company, like we have done in the past, was a tremendous feat, but the vision was to ensure that ALL funds came back to the school, not just a percentage. The work that went into this event was immeasurable and we thank Katie and Megan for their selfless efforts to put on an incredible event for our school. There were a slew of other volunteers that are listed in the PTA section of the newsletter and we are so grateful for the "all hands on deck" approach that our folks took to make this year's Fun Run a great success. Our CRUNFamily truly showed that our school matters, what we do matters and you poured your hearts into our beautiful family. We have raised 65,148.00 surpassing our stretch goal!!! Our hearts are full and we can't wait to begin sharing all of the fantastic things we are going to be able to do for our kids even in a budget crisis. All we can say is THANK YOU for just being you. We are blessed and feel your love!
A Note From PTA
The PTA would like to wrap our arms around you in a big hug! We haven't finished with the totals yet, but we have broken $60,000 and are on the way even higher. The outpouring of love and support has been fantastic!!
Thank you to Katie Busch for organizing this amazing event! Your vision guided the way. Thank you to Nate Biggs and Christine Garcia for being our awesome Emcees! Thank you to Rick Garcia, Holly Quick, and Andy Quirk for providing all of the DJing equipment and Rick for making the music never stop. Thank you to Lu Lu Gao for the fantastic photography she captured throughout the event. Thank you to Beckie McEachen for handling all of the volunteers and so many of the jobs along the way. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this event a reality! Bib markers, water station, and popsicle cutters, we couldn't have done it without you. Thank you to all the fans who cheered on these sweet kids, whether at school today or from the office. A final thank you to the school! The staff, teachers, and students were a wealth of positive energy that made my heart feel so full.
We did it, Cougar Run! We came together as a CRUN Family to make sure our students have all of the materials they need for an amazing education this year.
Thank you for your support.
Spotlight on~ The EA 1 Team
Facts About the Upcoming Bond/MLO Measure
Dear Cougar Run Elementary Community,
On August 8, the Douglas County School District Board of Education unanimously voted 7-0 to place a $66 million Mill Levy Override (MLO) and $484 million Bond on the November 2023 ballot.
If passed by voters, these new funds would be used at our school to:
Increase teacher and staff pay
Enhance safety and security
Addition of Campus Security Specialist
Refresh student and staff technology
Make much needed repairs and upgrades to our building
Replace restroom countertops
Install new intercom system
Upgrade sound system
Teachers in the Douglas County School District earn, on average, $19,000 less compared to a neighboring school district. Additional MLO funding, if passed by voters, would enable DCSD to pay teachers and staff more competitively and to increase security staffing support for our schools.
DCSD teachers, on average, would receive a 9% pay increase, as reflected in these salary schedules
Support staff, such as bus drivers, educational assistants, custodians, etc., would receive a 9% pay increase
Other staff would receive a 7% pay increase
A $484 million Bond, if passed by voters, would be used to expand trade, career and technical education opportunities; perform safety and security upgrades; and ensure safe and adequate learning environments for students and staff. The Bond would provide for three new elementary schools in growing areas of our county, as well as the expansion of two middle schools.
If the MLO and Bond are approved by voters, Douglas County homeowners can expect to pay approximately $200 per year for a home valued at $1,000,000.
You can read more about DCSD’s funding challenges and arguments for and against the ballot initiatives on our website. Thank you for being an engaged and informed member of our school community!
Cougar Run Elementary School
A Note From the Office Team
Have you completed your Express Check In? This is the best way to ensure that your contact information, emergency contacts and your child’s health concerns are up to date for school staff.
Through Express Check In, you will be guided to My School Bucks, where you can pay your student’s yearly school fees which were assessed to each child’s account in July or has been added for new students soon after enrollment. Every student will have a $30 “Instructional Materials Fee” which is initiated by the district “To recover part of cost of textbooks, supplies and materials”. Grades 3-5 receive a planner, which is optional only in 6th grade. Please note that as field trips and other activities occur through the year, these will be added prior to those activities and are not reflected currently as a fee. Mrs. McNamara will send a link to the grade level specific to each field trip to pay the fee. You will also see any fees that are past due.
We continue to encourage all families to fill out their FREE and REDUCED applications as it allows them to get school/bus fees waived and ties directly to our school/District funding.
This benefit is so much more than a free lunch.
Halloween At Cougar Run October 31st
The Harlem Wizards at CRUN and HRHS
October is National Bullying Prevention Month
Here are the spirit/dress up days for National Bullying Prevention Month:
Monday, October 2nd - Wear blue for World Day Of Bullying Prevention.
Monday, October 9th: Color the world with kindness - wear tie-dye clothes, socks, etc.
Tuesday, October 10th: Power of One-sies - Wear your favorite onesie, overalls, or jumpsuits.
Wednesday, October 11th: Spirit Day - Wear Cougar Run gear/colors to show that together we are strong.
Thursday, October 12th: Celebrate differences - Wear your best mix-match clothes.
Friday, October 13th: Be Unique/Shine Your Light - Wear sparkles, glitter, sequins, or neon colors.
Enrichment topics/lessons this week (Silver 10/2 - 10/6)
3: Growth Mindset / Goal Setting
4: Executive Functioning / Goal Setting
5: Grit / Problem Solving
6: Executive Functioning / Goal Setting
Helping Hands for the Holidays is an Integrated Family Community Service enrichment program that provides children aged newborn to 10 years old with holiday gifts through the generosity of community sponsors and donors. Please have your families use this site to apply.
Advanced/Gifted Programming Information
DCSD is committed to implementing equitable practices to increase access to advanced/gifted learning opportunities. Based on state and national recommendations and requirements, we implement Universal Screening for students in 2nd grade (February) and 5th or 6th grade--a student's final year of elementary school (November).
6th Grade Universal Screen
As part of this process, ALL students in Cougar Run not identified for gifted programming will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) on November 7 & 8. This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates. These general reasoning abilities, which start developing at birth and continue through early adulthood, are influenced by experiences gained both in and out of school.
If your child is already identified for gifted programming, they will not participate in this universal screen testing. Your Gifted Education Facilitator will contact you directly with information about this process.
Gifted Identification Referral Testing
If your child is in grades 3, 4, 5, and you believe they need evaluation for Gifted Identification and Services, you may refer your child for testing by initiating the Gifted Identification Process.
NOTE: Requesting this assessment automatically initiates the process to evaluate for Gifted Identification.
Please request CogAT testing for your child by completing the Referral for Gifted Identification linked HERE
Upon receipt of this form the Gifted Education Facilitator will connect with you to discuss next steps in the gifted identification process.
Why Does Attendance Matter?
HRHS Haunted House Event
HRHS Relay For Life
Upcoming Dates to Remember
September 30-HRHS Haunted School Event
October 9-13 Spirit Week (More info to come.)
October 10-CRUN Restaurant Night
October 13- 9:00 PTA Meeting (Welcome to all parents!!)
October 16-20- Fall Break-No School
October 23- 6:30 Harlem Wizards Event at HRHS
October 27-Donuts with Grownups
October 30-November 3- CRUN Bus Canceled
October 31-9:00 Halloween Parade/Celebrations
November 3-Staff Development Day- NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
November 7-Election Day
November 10-9:00 PTA Meeting (Welcome to all parents!!)
November 13-17- Fall Book Fair
November 20-24- Thanksgiving Break-No School
November 28- 9:00 Cougar Run SAC Meeting
November 30-5:00-7:30pm Art and Cultural Celebration Night
December 8-9:00 PTA Meeting (Welcome to all parents)
December 11-15 Holiday Shoppe
December 11-15- CRUN Bus Canceled
December 15- ROCKS Assemblies 9:00 prek-3rd/ 2:15 4th-6th (ROCKS Invites will come home in Friday Folders the week of December 4 for any student who was chosen for ROCKS this first semester. )
December 22-January 8-Winter Break No School
January 9-Classes Resume at CRUN