The Eagle Update

The Excel Academy Weekly Newsletter: March 13, 2023

No School Next Week: Spring Break

Greetings Excel Community,

As we prepare for the week ahead, we go into it with our buckets full! So many smiles, and such encouragement around the awards for students who are working hard in reading, writing, math, music, PE, art, and other academic areas as well as thriving in the way they demonstrate SOAR values. So much recognition for all of the wonderful efforts and accomplishments. The best part of the day was watching students cheer for one another and seeing happy faces. Huge thanks to Cate Vermeer, Alana Mace, and the volunteers who supported the decorations and preparations. We appreciate you all coming together to make the event special.

As we think about things that make us special, our staff is at the top of that list. We want to welcome and introduce two amazing educators in our middle school. Mr. Dan Ainson, a masterful MS ELA teacher, and Ms. Barbara Copeland, an amazing MS Math teacher. See below for some information about each of them.

As we head into spring break, we hope that you and your student find time to connect with things that bring you joy. When we return, we will head into the CMAS season and we have some big overnight and some out-of-state trips happening for different groups. Lots left to do this year, and lots still to accomplish....after the break. Enjoy!

With deep appreciation for this place, our students and families, and this work,

Dr. Susan-Marie Farmen

Important Updates

Exciting Clinic News

Exciting News! We have been granted Carrier room air purifiers for all of our classrooms and rooms in our school for next school year through the Colorado Clean Air for Schools Program. The goal is to continue to increase indoor air quality in schools.

Our school will receive:

78 HEPA air cleaners - one for each classroom and office space

156 filters and replacement filters (a 3 year supply of filters)

78 extension cords and surge protectors

78 floor cord covers

More information can be found here:

CMAS Schedule for 3rd - 8th Graders

The time for Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) begins after spring break. These assessments align with the Colorado Academic Standards and provide teachers and our school information to determine areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

While the CMAS testing window in Jeffco is open from March 27th through April 28th, we at Excel Academy decided to focus on one content area per week, one test per day, in order to minimize the impact of testing on students and learning. We will be testing as follows:

  • English Language Arts (3rd - 8th grade) April 4th, 5th and 6th
  • Math (3rd - 8th grade) April 11th, 12th and 13th.
  • Science (5th and 8th grade only) April 18th, 19th and 20th.

Because students use their school-issued Chromebooks for testing, we ask that all Chromeboks and power cords be sent to school on March 27th following spring break so that we can assure they are ready for testing starting on April 4th.

We encourage all students to get plenty of rest and eat a nutritious breakfast each morning.

We do not have scheduled sessions on Mondays or Fridays or during the week of April 24th, though we will use these days and times as well as afternoons for makeup testing for those who are absent during the scheduled testing sessions above. Please see this document for more information and contact Kresta Vuolo if you have questions regarding CMAS.

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

Celebrating Students

We love opportunities to celebrate accomplishments of students outside of school. Here is one of our middle schoolers, Ceely Bateman, at the Colorado Sky Invitational Meet. Congrats for all of these amazing things you are accomplishing! Keep up the hard work!


Come check the lost and found before Spring Break. Lots of coats, lunch boxes, and water bottles to be connected to their owners. All items will be donated to charity on Friday, March 17th as we leave for spring break.

BBRacers at Excel Academy! Running Club for 3rd-8th Grade.

The Bolder Boulder race happens annually and this year is on May 29, 2023. The BBRacers is a program that gives students the opportunity to meet challenges, work towards goals, and feel a sense of pride in their school and individual accomplishments. BBRacers Club gets elementary and middle school students, their teachers/coaches and families excited about fitness by training for the BOLDERBoulder using fun activities as well as running/walking workouts. Guidance, support, and rewards are provided by the BOLDERBoulder to students, families, and schools throughout the program, culminating in the completion of the BOLDERBoulder 10K Race. In addition, schools compete for two awards in their division: fastest school and highest participation.

3rd-8th graders: Join Ms. Buske and Dr. Farmen to practice and prepare for this awesome opportunity to meet a goal! The practices start on Tuesday, March 28th. We will meet in Room 115 at 3:45 and walk, jog, run until 4:30. Practices will happen at school, on running locations near us, and across the street at Standley Lake.

The practice days and dates are:

Tuesday, March 28; Wednesday, March 29; Tuesday, April 4; Tuesday, April 11; Thursday, April 13; Tuesday, April 18; Tuesday, April 25; Tuesday, May 2; Thursday, May 4; Tuesday, May 9

Thursday, May 11; Tuesday, May 16; Saturday, May 20th for a full practice run

Tuesday, May 23.

Please note: This does NOT require middle school students to choose between cross country and the BBRacers. If you are in cross country and want to participate in the Bolder Boulder race as a student of Excel, you can simply register for the race and participate! More info coming soon on how to sign up for the race.

If your child would like to participate in the Excel Running Club to train for the BolderBoulder, see the Google Form attached HERE. The cost to participate in the Excel Running Club is $40. The fee will be added to your Infinite Campus account.

After Spring Break we will send students that are signed up for the running club a link to sign up with BBRacers. This will show that they will be running the BolderBoulder with Excel Academy. There is an additional fee with BBRacers.

ATTENTION--or PAWtention Families

Ruby Yanez, a student here at Excel, is working on a service project and hosting a donation drive for the Foothills Animal Shelter. Starting today and through March 31st, we ask that you consider bringing a non-perishable items for pets (see attached flyer) and drop them in one of the labeled bins in the school entry area or make a cash donation for the cause. Ruby will be out front each day to collect funds. The goal is to get 500 items donated by the end of the month. Help us make this goal "PAWSIBLE" for the Excel Team! Needed supplies

Let’s get some tails waggin' by bringing your donation items in during the school day!

School - Wide Spirit Week March 13-17

NJHS is planning our next Spirit Week for the week before Spring Break. We hope to get everyone's participation! Here's what we have in store for a fun week full of Excel Spirit!

Monday, March 13 - Excel Spirit Day - Wear your Excel shirts or school colors (teal, black, and silver) to show your school spirit and support our Girls Basketball Team for their game tonight.

Tuesday, March 14 - Wacky Pattern/Mix-Match Day - How many different patterns can you combine?

Wednesday, March 15 - Sports Team Day (In remembrance of middle school teacher, Dr.J, who was a HUGE Red Sox fan) - Wear your favorite sports team's shirt or jersey. BONUS: Bring $2 to wear your favorite BASEBALL CAP - funds raised will be donated to Red Sox Scholars in Dr. J's name.

Thursday, March 16 - Western Day - Throw on your cowboy boots and western clothes (only Cowboy Hats will be allowed at no charge).

Friday, March 17 - All Green for St. Patrick's Day - throw on as much green as you can find!

Let's have some fun and show our school spirit!

Enrichment Updates

Last week was busy here at Excel Academy!

Our 7th and 8th graders were invited to attend the production of Bright Star at Arvada West High School with a talk-to-the-cast experience following the musical. Students and chaperones were impressed with the talent of the high schoolers.

Mat Heagerty, author of graphic novels, LumberJackula, and Unplugged and Unpopular, came to visit our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. He spoke with the kids about Creative Collaboration in Comics and gave them the opportunity to give it a shot. The students had a lot of fun with him!

We ended the week with our 8th graders taking a full day's trip to the Challenger Learning Center in CO Springs. Students enjoyed learning about Mars with a simulation, planetarium lesson, and a team challenge in the Learning.

Order Class Picture: Deadline March 17th

On Wednesday, March 8th Class pictures were taken. Click on the link below if you would like to order a class picture. Deadline to order is March 17th. Click HERE to order a Class Picture

Explorations Donations Needed

Our spring round of Explorations is under way and students are diving into their chosen topics. As students begin to plan and visualize their final products, we will need supplies for their creative ideas. Please remember that any items purchased and donated will count towards your volunteer hours. Please see our wish list on this Sign-Up Genius with links. The students also need magazines. Especially kid -focused magazines or magazines centered on specific topics. Thanks for your support!

Buy a Yearbook

If you would like to purchase a yearbook then simply log into your Infinite Campus account and buy the yearbook for $25. Many families have already purchased the yearbook, but there is still time if you haven't.

If you are not sure if you have purchased the yearbook then you can log into your Infinite Campus account and view things you have paid for this year. After the deadline to order we will remove the charge from your account.

Deadline to order is Friday, March 17th.

Breakfast and Lunch Order Forms

Click HERE to sign up for breakfast & lunches.

April Menus available.

Grade Level Information

Elementary Grades K-5

Gigi's Glow Run: 5k

Support an Excel student and Gigi's Playhouse, an amazing resource center for people with Down Syndrome in our community!

Come GLOW with us at Belmar Park on April 29th!

Check out event details and register to join Team "Blake Cooper" here:

4/5 Music Program

Save the Date: 4/5 Music Program

Thursday, April 20th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Theme: Big Dreams

I encourage students to dress up for the occasion. It makes it special and fun.

Students should arrive at 5:45 to their classroom. Teachers will bring students onto risers at 5:55. The performance will start promptly at 6:00 and run approximately 45 minutes. Students will be dismissed to their classroom after the performance where parents can pick them up.

Many students will receive assignments in their Friday folders on 3/3/23. All assignments need to be memorized by 3/27/23.

Thank you, parents and students, for your support.

Middle School Grades 6-8

Welcome Teachers

Middle School English Language Arts

Dan grew up in coastal Connecticut, exploring the natural world with his family. It was this curiosity that led him to explore other parts of the country, specifically the west coast. After attending James Madison University in Virginia, Dan moved to Portland, Oregon to work at Trackers Earth, where he taught wilderness survival skills and wooden boat building to children and adults. In his early 20's, he already knew that education was the path for him. Shortly thereafter, he attended Concordia University where he earned his Masters of Arts in Education, and began teaching. Dan worked at an Environmental Science Charter School in Oregon City where he combined his passion for exploring the natural world with his skills in the classroom. Before moving to Colorado, Dan put his woodworking skills to the test and renovated his home in Portland, Oregon. When that sold, he moved to Denver, Colorado to join his long-time friends, and explore a new city. When he is not teaching, Dan loves to play disc golf and guitar, attends live music shows, and spends time with his friends and family.

Middle School Math

Barbara Copeland is in her 19th year working as an educator.She taught pre-K to high school seniors in the public school system. She holds a BA in History, an MAT in Education, an Ed.S in Curriculum and Instruction, and is working on a BS in Mathematics. She is a Colorado native, attended Denver Public Schools and completed her education at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She lives with her husband of 4 years and their cocker spaniel, Wheelie. They enjoy live sports like the Avalanche and Rockies, exploring the outdoors, movies, and reading.

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 we celebrate every student who has earned recognition for their efforts throughout the day.

K-Penny Rensberger

1-Lexi Niederhauser

2-Liam Callahan

3-Jade Aldred

4-Kai Goodman

5-Addison Fete

6-Andrew Daly

7-Eli Stonebreaker

8-Colin Quaratino

Classroom winner : Mrs. Williams 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!


PTO Meeting! March 29th from 6:30 to 8pm at the school! Child care provided.

  • "Ink Think" on Appreciation Week
  • Laps 4 Learning planning session
  • New Member/Officer election announcements
  • End of the Year party outline
  • Open forum for questions and ideas

PTO Elections are coming in April!

Are you looking for more ways you can become involved with the Excel school community? Excel PTO Board Elections are right around the corner! Come to the PTO Meeting at the school on March 29th from 6:30 to 8pm to learn more. We will be providing child care.

Laps 4 Learning Fundraiser and Kids Fitness Day is April 25th!

You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!

Get out your poster making skills, practice shaking those pom-poms and warm up those cheering voices, it is almost time to cheer on the students at Laps for Learning! Laps for Learning is an all-school event, in which every student participates. This fun marathon-style race promotes health and wellness while raising money that will go directly to the classroom by purchasing new educational tools and classroom materials. The Kinder and 1st will be running a 1/4 mile, 2nd and 3rd are running a 1/2 mile and 4th through 8th are running a whole mile! We will have an exciting inflatable arch starting line, chipped bibs, and a marked course! Get your whole "team" involved in supporting your student's health and wellness lifestyle by helping them meet fundraising goals which can be done online or in person.

I can feel the wind go by when I run. It feels good. It feels fast. ~Evelyn Ashford

Board of Directors

Letter from the Board of Directors

Here is a link to a letter from the BOD about our administrative structure for next year.

Board Election Announcement

The Excel Academy Board of Directors invites you to participate in our upcoming Excel Academy Board of Director Election process.

We have 3 terms open for the 2023-2024 school year. Please click on the attachment for details.

2023 Election Announcement.docx.pdf

Thank you in advance for your consideration in filling these critical roles that greatly impact our school!

Board Meetings

The next BOD meeting will be on March 14, 2023 Here is the link to the Board tab on the website with additional meeting information. Please join us! Also, please keep an eye out for upcoming Board elections information in the next few weeks.

2022-2023 Excel BOD Committee List

2022-23 Excel BOD Committee List is linked HERE.

Enriching Activities

Camp Invention

STEM Summer Camp: Click HERE for Details.

Youth Rugby

Youth Rugby Flyer

CU Wizards Presents!

CU Wizards Presents: Professor Mark Hoefer

CU Wizards Schedule

Machine Pitch Baseball

Machine Pitch Baseball for 6-8 year old children. Click HERE for details.

Summer Enrichment

Here is a link to some summer enrichment opportunities.
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.