Springs News

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence, September Edition

A note from Executive Principal, Dave Knoche

How many time have you heard the phrase, “Back to school,” in the past two months? If you have stock in Target and Walmart, you see nothing but dollar signs when the phrase "Back to School" starts to reappear in the media. If you work at those locations you may a have a different response, as “Back to School” sales mean the best deal finders are out in full force scouring the aisles for amazing deals. The frenzy of “Back to School” shoppers leave aisleways looking like the day after mardi gras, and as fast as it is cleaned up, it is thrashed again. At SSAE we see “Back to School” as an opportunity, a time when students and families can reimagine their educational journey and join us for support and care. Every school year begins with hope and optimism. No matter what your thoughts are about “Back to School” at SSAE, it is a wonderful time of the year. Our mission is to make sure that we are collaborative and responsive to students needs to maintain that feeling of hope and optimism. We are excited about the 18-19 school and have started the first few weeks off with amazing student engagement and success. We are always here and ready to help, so please reach out to your teachers if you have any needs or support.
I am looking forward to a great year focused on fostering autonomy within students, providing rigorous learning environments and building a culture of support and care.

Campus Life - Class Happenings


Principles of Engineering Students are designing Compound Machines, which are ridiculously complex contraptions that accomplish a very simple task. In this project, they will be learning how to apply simple machines in unique and creative ways!

Intro to Engineering learned about the design process by doing several maker’s projects. One group built a 9 ft 5 in paper bridge using nothing but scissors and one sheet of paper. Next, students will be exploring professional practices of Engineering and learning foundational skills for more complex designs.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Dance will take place at the Platinum Room at the Mining Exchange. It’s a great chance for students to have fun and build community!

Student Council will be serving a pancake breakfast for all students on September 18. The members brainstormed ideas for team building activities and decided that serving their peers was the best way to come together and promote teamwork and servant leadership!

Science - High School

In Science class, the students are perfecting the functions of a microscope, learning how to about different types of laboratory equipment and practicing laboratory technique.

Physical Science experimented with homemade bouncy-balls to help demonstrate the scientific method and the importance of writing clear procedures.

Chemistry Class used the inquiry method and their knowledge of physical and chemical changes to test the physical and chemical properties of common household items.

Science - Middle School

This week the students are learning to take notes using the Cornell note-taking method. This method teaches the student to record, question and reflect over topics that are covered in class. Studies show that teaching students to take and assess notes effectively may drastically improve their retention of content knowledge. Also, the students are learning how to utilize various pieces of laboratory equipment to identify specific properties of matter. Students are enjoying themselves as they calculate the density of matter!

Math - High School

High school Math began the year by inviting parents in for an evening of ALEKS Training on August 29th. We answered questions, and demonstrations of how to use ALEKS were provided. If you missed the training, you can view the slideshow here.

Please contact teachers if you need additional training!

Math Activities this month have included Super Hero Drawings (Measurements), Jeopardy (Review of Equation Solutions), Interactive Notebooks, scavenger hunts, and task cards to review and explore the new algebraic material.

Math - Middle School

Celebrate what you value! In Springs Studio’s middle school, some of the things we value are hard work, determination, and perseverance. As students work through their ALEKS math curriculum, they complete clusters of standards and earn their “ALEKS Piece of the Pie Award” once they reach 100% in each cluster. Middle school math students are working hard, and in only the first three weeks of school have almost filled their 4x8 foot Wall of Fame. Way to go middle school math students! Keep up the amazing work!!

English - High School

We have started supporting each other in our work, growth, and goals. What an amazing way to build connections and community within the blended learning environment.

All classes have been doing a lot of preparation for the upcoming school year. One of the first steps was practicing some 21st Century Skills like the following:

English - Middle School

This week in English students have been working through the writing process. Currently, they are on the rough draft process. On Wednesday they looked at how an audience is impacted and changes depending on context. They will be reaching the next step of the process with editing and revising.

Social Studies - High School

High school, American Government class, is exploring the Constitution and relating it to how it affects the students today while the US History classes are delving deep into the effects of the Reconstruction Era and how that has shaped some of the civil rights and liberties citizens experience today. World History class jumped right into exploring the difference between war and revolution and applied those titles to the Seven Year’s War, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and Napoleon’s rise to the top. Each class continues to work on hands-on activities and relating history to our everyday lives.

Social Studies - Middle School

In Social Studies this week, we concluded our vast study of Maps. We have begun the lesson by analyzing different types of maps, identifying the similarities and differences, reading maps, and how they function.

Using the acronym D.O.G.T.A.I.L.S. as the rubric - Date, Orientation, Grid, Title, Author, Index, Legend, Scale - each student started creating their own map. More specifically, their route from home to school. In addition to solidifying the lesson by having the students create products, they are learning about location (absolute vs. relative) and their surroundings.

Elementary - ARC

Grades 1-5 are working on a new reading curriculum called ARC (American Reading Company). The curriculum blends project-based learning and language arts through the use of Research Units. All students are researching to become subject matter experts in their chosen topic. At the end of the unit, every student will be publishing a book to demonstrate their learning. Each grade has their own focus: first grade- wild and endangered animals, second grade- bugs in their ecosystems, third grade- weather and climate, fourth grade- animal adaptations, fifth grade- ecosystems. The Elementary teachers also had a Donors Choose project funded to get a bookbinding machine to help publish the students’ informational books.

Elementary - Reading Challenge

Back in May, the Elementary teachers sent out a challenge to all of the returning Elementary student families. It was a chance to read 1000+ minutes over the course of the summer to keep up those reading skills. These eight stellar students completed the challenge and got to have a pizza party with their teachers over lunch. Way to go, readers!
We are looking forward to doing another reading challenge during Fall Break.

Elementary - Living Science

Springs Studio had a little visitor recently. We were lucky enough to come across a “living science lesson.” The students really enjoyed looking at the baby bunnies in their burrow. Only one rabbit was brave to come outside!

Meet SSAE's New Staff Members

2017-2918 Teacher of the Year - Mrs. Jenn Aubain

"You are known to be bridge the gap between special education and general education by never settling for low expectations. It is evident you love your job as you always go above and beyond. Your work with students is relentless, and you never let their disabilities or challenges hold them back. The humble passion you show for student success is to be commended."

Family Engagement Council

Our Family Engagement Council is responsible for making recommendations to their principal concerning priorities for; spending school funds, making recommendations concerning the preparation of the school’s performance, improvement, priority improvement or turnaround plan (whichever is applicable), and meeting at least quarterly to discuss implementation of the school’s plan and other progress pertinent to the school’s accreditation contract with the local school board. The Educator Evaluation and Support Bill of 2010 (S.B. 10-191) also authorized School Accountability Committees to provide input and recommendations to District Accountability Committees and district administration concerning principal development plans and principal evaluations. To become a member, please fill out the FEC Nomination Form.

Family Engagement Council Meetings are held at SSAE from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm on:

September 11th

November 27th

February 12

April 30

June 4th

Counselor's Corner

Senior Info:

  • Now is the time to start solidifying your post-secondary plans whether that’s college, apprenticeships, military, etc. See Mrs. Pethtel if you want to talk about this.

  • If you weren’t happy with your SAT score, you can retake it or take the ACT. You will sign-up on with your parents at www.act.org or www.collegereadiness.collegeboard.org.

  • October 1st the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aide) will open. Parents, you will need your 2017 tax information for this. The earlier you fill it out, the better!

Junior Info:

  • This is a great year to start thinking more about your future! Search colleges and programs. Research careers or the military.

  • Bulk up your resume by getting a job or volunteering.

  • You’ll take the SAT in April, and it isn’t too early to start preparing now. There are free practice questions on www.collegeboard.org.

Freshmen and Sophomores Info:

  • It’s never too early to start exploring college, military, and other future options. www.CollegeInColorado.org has a lot of great resources.

  • Remember your grades matter in high school, so be on top of your work!

  • As you know the graduation requirements have changed for you. Instead of just earning 24 credits, you will also need to demonstrate mastery. To earn credit for your courses you need to earn a 70% or higher in all your courses.

Concurrent Enrollment Information:

  • 11th and 12th-grade students who are interested in taking PPCC classes in January and have not taken any before must fill out an application. Please see Mrs. Pethtel for the application which is due on Sept. 7th.

  • New and Current CE students will have an advising meeting scheduled with Mrs. Pethtel between Sept 10th - Oct. 5th to register for Spring classes.

Get a Life! Career Expo

Your future is in demand. Let us help you find the pathway to a career. All students who will be attending must Register at goo.gl/7LMNxa.


It’s important to make sure you type this in right because there are fake sites that want you to enter your credit card. The real FAFSA site will never ask for payment info.

Springs Studio Clubs

Community Service Club - Mrs. Olson (jolson@d49.org)

First and Third Tuesday each month - Starts September 4th

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Recycling Club - Mrs. McClain (smcclain@d49.org)

Every other Thursday - Starts September 20th

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

ACE Maker's (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Club - Mr. Wixom (jwixom@d49.org)

Tuesday/Thursday - Starts September 6th

3:15 to 4:30

HS Student Council - Mr. Wixom (jwixom@d49.org)

Meeting Thursday's


Apply Here

MS Student Council - Mrs. Mooney (cmooney@d49.org)

Meeting every Wednesday

11:20 am - 12:10 pm

National Honors Society - Mr. Mogensen (kmogensen@d49.org)

Meeting Monthly at Lunch - Starting August 30th

11:45 am - 12:30 pm

President - Haley Edwards

Vice-President - Hunter Edwards

Secretary - Cameron Fajardo

National Juniors Honor Society - Mr. Guest (mguest@d49.org)

Meeting dates/times - TBD

President - Jazz myn McKenzie

Vice-President - Daniel Leon

Treasurer - Toban Mallo

National Art Honor Society - Mrs. Wichman (kwichman@d49.org)

Meet Quarterly - Starting in September

Time: TBD

Members were picked at the end of last school year for this year. In April, there will be emails and announcements about joining for next year.

Upcoming Events

Don't forget to check our website calendar for detailed information.

September 11th - Family Engagement Council

September 12th - Middle School Parent University Training

September 19th - Skate City School Event

September 21st - Wishing Star Farm Pumpkin Patch (Elementary Students). See website for further information

September 22nd - Fall High School Dance - Midsummer's Night Dream

September 24th - Picture Retake Day

September 25th - Harvest Moongazing Night (High School)

September 28th - Living Wax Museum at 2:00 pm at SSAE