Freedom Falcon Parent Newsletter
Letter from Principal Williams – Attendance is important
Did you know that students who are chronically absent from school often read below grade level and struggle to understand math concepts? Children who are absent even a day or two, every few weeks often fall behind their peers. A student who is considered chronically absent from school misses 10% of the school year or 18 days. In the current school year 2022-2023, 27% of our children at Freedom Elementary are considered chronically absent from school. Freedom’s year-to-date attendance rate is 91.86%. This is a very concerning statistic, and we must do something about it. As a school community, we must spread the word that attendance is important!!
When do absences become a problem:
Chronic Absence – 18 or more days
Warning Signs – 10-17 days
Satisfactory – 9 or fewer absences
We ask that you don’t let your child stay home unless he or she is truly sick. Please keep in mind that complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. If your child seems anxious about coming to school please contact your child’s teacher, Ms. Blankenship (counselor), Ms. Emeis (psychologist), or myself for some tips and advice.
Getting back into the habit of daily attendance matters more than ever as we recover from the pandemic. Going to school is an opportunity for your student to:
● Build routines that help reduce stress.
● Connect to their friends and teachers.
● Engage in learning.
Together we will start to brainstorm and discuss strategies to make sure your child gets to school regularly so that they do not start falling behind. Starting Monday, we will begin an Attendance challenge. For every day your child's class has perfect attendance by 8:00 AM, the teacher will color in a letter; complete all letters that spell out “attendance”, and win a party for the entire class!
As a parent myself, I fully understand how hectic and busy our lives are. I also understand how difficult it is to raise a child and there are situations where your child may not be able to attend school. As an educator and a parent, I know the best thing you can do for your child is to ensure they have the very best education and that means they must attend school regularly.
If you have any questions about your child’s absences or you want to brainstorm some strategies with me, please do not hesitate to contact me at the Freedom office. Together we have the same goal – to provide the very best education for your child.
What's Happening at Freedom (Looking ahead)
March 24th-Booster Dance-A-Thon-more information to come!
March 27th-March 31st-No School Spring Break
April 5th-Art & Stem Night @ 5:30-7:00-See flyer below!
April 10th -April 17th-3rd-5th Grade State Testing (CMAS)
April 10th-PTA Panera Fundraiser 4-8 PM-See flyer below!
April 13th-Kinder Round-Up @ 4:00-5:000-See flyer below!
April 27th-Parent Listening Circles @ 5:00-7:00
May 1st-May 5th-Teacher Appreciation
May 4th-Freedom Cafe @ 3:15-5:00-See flyer below!
Parents are invited to attend!
May 5th-Field Day
May 22nd-5th Grade Graduation @ 6:00 pm.
May 23rd-Last Day of School!
22-23 CRYSTAL APPLE AWARDS
The Crystal Apple Awards Program wishes to honor all District 11 teachers for their efforts to provide meaningful education to students in District 11.
Please send your teacher’s story in written form or video to CrystalApple@d11.org that incorporates these 3 questions:
1. In the classroom, how does this teacher meet the needs of all students?
2. How does this teacher demonstrate professional collaboration?
3. How does this teacher contribute to a positive school/parent/community partnership?
The District 11 Media Services will create a program featuring some of the stories to air during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May. All stories and videos will be available to the community on a 2023 Crystal Apple Awards website.
Please submit your stories by March 31.
What's for lunch?
SAVE THE DATE!
APRIL 5TH ART & STEM NIGHT-SAVE THE DATE!
CMAS Testing Schedule
ATTENTION 3RD-5TH GRADE PARENTS-STATE ASSESSMENT: THE WHY, THE HOW, AND THE WHAT
We can see how a child is performing relative to other students at Freedom School, within the district, and state.
It prepares students for standardized assessments that they will take in high school, college (SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, etc.), or other vocational programs.
We can make informed decisions and choices for our students. Test data is used by administration and staff to drive instruction/curriculum and professional development choices.
Test data may identify learning gaps that can be addressed.
Identification of districts and schools that have struggling students, so help can be provided.
We want to provide a Balanced Assessment System that includes a variety of formative, interim, and summative assessments
How are the results used?
As part of a BODY of EVIDENCE, state assessments are used to:
drive instruction for a student,
identify targeted interventions,
place students in appropriate classes at the middle school level as well as high school,
identify gifted and talented students during the identification process, and
determine effectiveness in regard to instruction and determine whether Mesa’s instructional practices are effective.
What happens with the data?
CDE is committed to ensuring that data on individual students are secure. CDE does not report individual student data to the federal government; the department has strict policies and procedures in place to maintain data security. For more information on data privacy and security please go to: http://www.cde.state.co.us/dataprivacyandsecurity
The results of CMAS are the backbone of the state’s accountability system. The state uses CMAS data to populate the annual school and district performance frameworks which is result in accreditation ratings for each school and district. If schools do poorly on the state exam there is an impact on the building.
Excerpts are taken from this CDE link: http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/stateassessmentsandacademicachievement
YEAR BOOKS FOR SALE!
OLDER INFORMATION, BUT GOOD TO KNOW!
School Recess-When is it too cold to go outside for recess?
Please be sure that your children are dressed to play outside, with hats, coats, mittens or gloves, and appropriate footwear.
We love our students and know that they do best with their learning when they attend school consistently. That being said, we do recognize that illness, appointments, etc. will occur.
As we approach the end of the first month of school, here are some clarifying reminders about our attendance policies.
The following are excused absences:
• Personal illness (if illness exceeds three consecutive days, a doctor’s note is required)
• Death of a relative
• Observance of a religious holiday
• Doctor, dental, and therapy appointments with proper documentation (If possible, please schedule such appointments after school hours) These are marked unexcused until the note is provided to our front office staff.
• Emergency situations- such cases may be approved by the administration on an individualized basis
Please note that all absences beyond those listed above are considered unexcused.
If you have any questions/concerns about your child's health and whether they should attend school, please don't hesitate to reach out to the office.
Being Present to Be Prepared – Why Attendance Matters
Truancy vs. Chronic Absenteeism
Truancy counts only unexcused absences and relies on administration and the legal system to force compliance.
Chronic Absenteeism counts all absences (excused and unexcused) and focuses on the impact of lost instruction utilizing a collaborative effort for attendance from school, home, and the community.
The impact of chronically absenteeism (missing 10%, or more, of school days)
- Difficulty learning to read
- Low achievement in intermediate grades (4/5) and through middle and high school
- Lowered graduation rates
We are committed to helping all our students succeed emotionally, socially, and academically and our attendance team is here to support and provide resources. Our focus on all absence types is because we know kids learn best with their teachers and peers and we love having them at Freedom.
Deliveries to students
Please help your student plan ahead. Make sure they have everything they need PRIOR to leaving home. This includes items such as lunch, homework, jackets, water bottles, etc.
If they forget their lunch, they need to eat the school lunch that day. ALL food deliveries, except in emergencies, will be turned away. This includes fast food or restaurant food that you bring to them.
Our main office is protected for school operational tasks, not deliveries of items or food.
Picking up Student Early
Freedom Clinic Protocol
- Reminder your child has to stay home without medicine for fever free, free from throwing up, and no diarrhea for at least 24 hours.
Register to become a volunteer at Freedom
Click the registration link below and set up a username and password. Once you are registered you can log in and view your volunteer hours as well as search for available volunteer opportunities at all D11 schools.
Already a registered volunteer? No need to re-register every year. If updates are needed the system will notify you via email. If you need your username or password you can request it through the website.
Request a volunteer badge
Save time when you arrive. Your badge will be in the plastic bin under the sign-in desk. Scan your badge and wear it while you’re in the building. Scan again when you leave. Your hours will be logged on the Engage website.
Click on the blue registration link to register online, fill out the forms, print, sign, and bring them by the school office with your identification.
For questions or to request a badge contact Freedom’s F.I.T. Volunteer Coach Jonna Ward at 719-641-3964 or Jonna.email@example.com
Dogs are not allowed on school grounds.
With the exception of service animals, dogs are not allowed on school grounds, playgrounds, or sports fields at any time throughout the calendar year during the school day.
This is for the health and safety of our students and staff members.
When there are no students (after hours, on weekends, and on holidays), dog owners may walk their pets on a leash along the school property borders, such as on sidewalks/school roads. Please clean up and properly dispose of pet waste.
Positions that are still vacant.
If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of these positions qualify for a hiring bonus ($2,500)!
- Various grade-level TA's
- Full-time building tech.
If you know of anyone looking for employment, please have them apply!
NEW ENTRY TIME FOR STUDENTS:
Freedom Office Hours: 7:15-3:30
Freedom School Hours: 7:50-2:50
Students will be allowed in the building at 7:40 am
Duty teachers do not start duty until 7:40 am
Tardy bell rings at 7:55
Food & Nutrition Services Information SY 2022-2023
District 11 Food & Nutrition Services is pleased to offer reasonably priced, great-tasting, freshly prepared, safe, and nutritionally sound food that will help students perform their best in the classroom. Meals served in D11 schools are free of dyes, MSG, and trans fats. Every student who purchases lunch is welcome to go back for seconds at the salad bar at no additional cost.
Meal payment Online-Mobile-Fast! Convenient! Friendly!
All parents are invited to register at myschoolbucks.com From here meal histories may be reviewed and email notifications can be set up, regardless of prepayment participation. Parents are also welcome to send checks or cash payments to the school site. Http://www.myschoolbucks.com
Lunch Prices for Regular Priced Lunch
$2.95 in elementary
$3.10 in middle school
A Special Note about Lunch service
Reduced Price lunch is now free for all students in D11 schools. The Colorado State Legislature passed laws that eliminated the “reduced price” for lunch making this meal free for all students who qualify for “reduced price”.
CSSD11 does not allow meal charges beyond September 1, 2022 Any charges accrued during that time must be repaid. Elementary students may charge up to the value of 2 breakfasts and two lunches. Secondary students may charge up to the value of one breakfast and one lunch. After September 1, 2022 students having insufficient funds for meal service will be offered an alternate meal. Slips will be sent home with the student informing parents of the alternate meal served along with payment information for future meals.
Free and Reduced Meal Applications are now available online
The simple application may be easily and quickly completed at: https://www.MySchoolApps.com
Parking Lot Switch/Traffic Flow/Kiss & Go/Bus/Drop Off Information
*****If your child's dismissal changes, please call the office by 2:30. *****
A message from our Freedom Elementary's School Accountability Committee (S.A.C.)
At Freedom Elementary, we care about your children's developmental needs! That is why our mission is to ensure that each and every student has access to the learning tools and programs they need to succeed in school, and in life. We strive for a higher standard of excellence and take the time to focus on those who need extra support. Joining our S.A.C. is a fantastic way to keep up to date with the initiatives our school has put in place to better our learners, and to also voice your opinions and concerns!
We look forward to the bright and brilliant future under the leadership of Rochelle Williams, and welcome her to the Freedom Family!
If you are interested in joining Freedom's SAC committee, please reach out to Justin Edmisson @ 719-332-3615 or email@example.com.
Looking for a way to connect and get involved at Freedom?
Contact Justin Edmission at 719-332-3615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested. Come be a member and have a voice in Freedom's PTA.