September 2023

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Welcome to Thompson School District's September 2023 Newsletter

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A Message From Superintendent Dr. Marc Schaffer

It’s hard to believe that our first month of the new school year has already come and gone. These first few weeks of classes were filled with a huge number of events and activities on our campuses. While students were getting acquainted with their new teachers and class schedules, our district also hit several exciting milestones that I wanted to share with you.

This past week, we hosted two special events for our community. After months of planning and renovation, the redesigned and refreshed Peakview Academy at Conrad Ball campus officially opened for students on our first day of school. A special grand opening celebration was held at the campus on September 14, offering families a chance to check out the new spaces and participate in some special opening festivities. Two days earlier, we also hosted an event to celebrate the new expansion project that was completed this summer at High Plains School. The addition features classrooms, a new gymnasium and more space for programs within the school. Both of these projects are significant enhancements to the service and support that we can offer our students. Our project managers and contractors all did a wonderful job bringing them to fruition.

A few weeks ago, our transportation team received some wonderful news: The district has been selected by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a grant recipient through the Colorado Electric School Bus Grant Program. The award amount, which will be determined soon, will assist the district in converting a small number of buses in its fleet into battery or fuel-cell electric-powered vehicles. Much more information regarding this grant award will be available soon.

Every day, our staff members do an amazing job educating and supporting each of our students. Our team routinely goes above and beyond expectations, and we are always looking for unique ways to say “thanks” for everything that they do. Each month, one of my favorite activities is the opportunity to present our “Top of Thompson” award winners as part of our regular Board of Education meetings. The awards allow our staff members to nominate their peers for outstanding service to our students and families. I am pleased to announce that starting this month, we will be adding an additional category to the set - the “Community Champion Award.” Nominated by school and district employees, this monthly recognition will be extended to a community member, community organization or business entity that helps facilitate the work of our students and staff within our schools and district. We are so fortunate here in Thompson to have the steadfast support of so many businesses and entities across our community. It is my hope that this new award will serve as a fun way to recognize and spotlight these partnerships across the district.

As we head into the heart of the fall season, I would like to remind our community that we have so many activities and events that might be of interest to you. From football and volleyball games to fall music concerts and plays, the talents of our incredible students are on full display, and we invite you to be a spectator or an audience member. We are also always on the lookout for those who would like to serve as a substitute teacher, a bus driver, a nutrition services worker or even a volunteer within our schools. Please check out our website at to see how you can get involved or even apply for a part-time or volunteer position within our district.

As always, we are grateful for the support of our TSD community, and we thank you for your ongoing engagement and interest in the success of our students. Have a great September!

Safety & Security Team Hard at Work Protecting TSD Community

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Our Safety and Security team has greatly enjoyed seeing our students come back from summer vacation. Over the summer months, the team completed many tasks to increase safety within our TSD community, including the important work of conducting physical security assessments of each building within the district. During these assessments, the security team ensures the proper function of various security technologies, proper door functions and other physical security features.

We are also pleased to introduce Sergeant Bryan Bartnes of the Loveland Police Department to the School Resource Officer team. Sergeant Bartnes will provide director supervision and support the SRO team and district administration. Additionally, the Loveland Police Department is developing an additional Co-Responder Unit for the district. This will bring our total to three units that are directly assigned to support TSD!

Finally, our team partnered with Laurene Edmondson Elementary School to host "First Responder Day." This was a great event to help support our students feeling safe and to encourage positive relationships with first responders. The day was filled with smiles, hugs, and questions! A huge thank you goes out to the LEES staff, Loveland Police Department, Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Thompson Valley EMS, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, and UCHealth for making this day possible for our students and community.

Grand Opening Celebrations at Peakview Academy at Conrad Ball and High Plains School

This week, Thompson School District hosted grand opening ceremonies for the new Peakview Academy at Conrad Ball campus, as well as the new expansion project at High Plains School.

Peakview Academy at Conrad Ball opened last month as a full-service preschool-8th grade campus, consolidating the school communities of Conrad Ball Middle School, Mary Blair Elementary and Monroe Elementary schools. Renovations within the building include classroom and media center additions, an expansion of the auxiliary gymnasium, and other various improvements.

The expansion project at High Plains School includes new classroom space, plus an additional gymnasium, performance area and athletic fields. The new spaces offer the additional room that is needed to further enhance programs and activities at the school, while also providing additional capacity for future enrollment.

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TSD Alumni Spotlight: Andria Hautamaki

Thompson School District is proud to present its "Alumni Spotlight" feature, which focuses on individuals who have graduated from TSD schools. Each person in the feature is asked to answer 10 questions to share more about themselves and their time in Thompson.

This month's Spotlight article focuses on Andria Hautamaki, freelance photographer, writer and journalist, and Thompson Valley High School graduate. We hope you enjoy it! Click here or on the graphic below to read more.

National Suicide Prevention Month

September marks National Suicide Prevention Month –a time to acknowledge the individuals, families, and communities that have been impacted by suicide. It is also a time to raise awareness about suicide prevention and share messages of hope. (SAMHSA)

Protective Factors can help prevent suicide. Protective factors can include:

  • Family support

  • Positive friends

  • Mentors

  • Healthy activities

  • Medical access

  • Mental and physical health and wellness

  • Conflict resolution skills

  • Sense of belonging and success at school

Your school counselor is here to partner with you to increase protective factors for your student; reach out any time to see how they can help!

Everyone in our community can help prevent suicide by following these 5 steps:

1) Ask: Don't be afraid to ask the question 'Are you thinking of committing suicide?' and then LISTEN

2) Be there: Being present for the person and then following up

3) Help keep them safe: Finding out what their circumstances are and then helping them feel supported and safe

4) Help them connect: Developing a safety plan and connecting them with resources (988 is a valuable resource for those in crisis)

5) Follow-up: Checking back with them to see how they are

Call or text 988 for the national suicide prevention hotline. Since the July 2022 launch, 988 has received more than 5.5 million calls, texts, and chats. This past July, text and chat were made available in Spanish. The hotline now offers ASL support too.


I Matter Colorado (free counseling for Colorado youth!)

Promote National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month | SAMHSA

Suicide Prevention Month | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

SAMHSA Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County

Find a Therapist in Larimer County

In partnership, we CAN make a difference and save lives!

"ITS" Is Growing Career Pathways Through TSD'S College to Career Ready Program

The Innovative Technology Services high school students have been gaining valuable work experience through our College to Career Ready intern and apprentice program. This program has been so successful that the ITS Client Services team and student interns and apprentices shared their success with other leaders in Colorado. People were curious about our program, how students feel about it and how ITS staff collaborate with interns and apprentices, so they presented at the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) and Innovative Education Colorado (InnEdCO) conferences.

This program has created two new full-time ITS employees. Jessy Erkman is a graduate of Loveland High School, and Cole Hanks is a Berthoud High School graduate. Cole is enrolled at CSU Global to pursue his bachelors in Cybersecurity, and Jessy would like to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics at the Colorado School of Mines. Both Cole and Jessy are now full-time ITS technicians, proving our career pathways are alive and well in TSD.

“After getting a taste of what the IT field looked like, I was interested in learning more and pursued an apprenticeship in ITS. The apprenticeship wasn't just about getting hands-on experience; it sparked a real passion for technology and problem solving,” Jessy says.

According to Cole, the program has many benefits. “One of the nice things about being an apprentice before becoming a full-time tech was that I did not need as much training as a new hire would need, since most of the required skills were learned during my apprenticeship.”

This creative path allows the ITS division to grow their own leaders and employees while giving students hands-on, real world experiences.

Jessy sums up perfectly what the program has meant to our students and TSD. “The mentorship and friends I formed during my apprenticeship are still shaping how I grow professionally. They remind me that teamwork and sharing knowledge are important in the ever-changing world of IT. My apprenticeship was the foundation of my career, and I'm dedicated to using these skills to give top-notch IT support to the students and staff at Thompson School District.”

Kelly Sain, TSD Chief Technology Officer, says: "I'm incredibly proud of our student interns and apprentices. Intern programs at Berthoud, Loveland, Mountain View and Ferguson high schools give students course credit and valuable skills. They are a shining example of what can be achieved when IT, students, teachers, and school administrators work together to prepare students for college and their future careers."

If you want to learn more, or hear from additional apprentices, check out our apprentice website and watch the videos from other apprentices in ITS.

11th Annual District (K-12) Science Fair Submission Window Is Open

Attention all TSD students: The Science Fair project submission window has opened for 2023. Submissions will be accepted through October 12, and all interested students are encouraged to participate.

Please note: The science fair is open to all students kindergarten through 12th grade.

Flyers are here

Loveland’s Latine Heritage Month Celebration

Join us at the Foote Lagoon (500 E. 3rd St., Loveland) for Loveland's Latine Heritage Month Celebration on Saturday, September 16 from 2-6 PM! View the attached flier for more details. Stop by and say hello to TSD’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Department at their selfie station. Students and their family members who respond to a brief survey will get a free ice cream coupon from Rainbow Paleta Bar.

Celebrating Jovenes Latinos

The Loveland Latin Community Alliance is hosting a community event to celebrate TSD students: Celebrating Jovenes Latinos. This event will be held on Saturday, September 30 at Fairgrounds Park (700 S. Railroad Ave., Loveland) from 11 AM-2 PM. Please view the attached flier for more details and feel free to share! All are welcome!

Students: Apply Now for NoCoWyo Board

Is your high school student passionate about advancing inclusion and justice in their school and community? Encourage them to sign up to join the 2023-24 NoCoWyo Student Board!

Meetings will start in August 2023 and will likely take place at Rocky Mountain High School. Sign up now to be notified when we begin organizing for next year’s program!

Apply for the nocowyo student board

Clear Bag Policy For New School Year

Starting this school year, Thompson School District has adopted a "Clear Bag Policy" that will be in place for football games at Ray Patterson and Max Marr stadiums.

Approved bags subject to inspection:

Clear Tote:

Plastic, Vinyl or PVC

Not to exceed 12” X 12” X 6”

Small Clutch Bag:

No larger than

4.5” X 6.5”

Prohibited Items:


Camera cases


Weapons of any kind


Tobacco & e-cigarettes


Laser pointers

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TEF Fundraising Rockies Games Coming Soon

The Colorado Rockies TSD Fall Appreciation Series supports Thompson Education Foundation:

  • Friday, Sept. 29 – Sunday, Oct. 1, with fan appreciation fireworks on Sept. 29
  • Tickets start at $18 on Friday; $12 on Saturday & Sunday
  • $2 per ticket goes back to Thompson Education Foundation

Purchase tickets online at:

Thompson Clothing Closet Supports TSD Families

The TSD Clothing Closet has the following items available for TSD students and families:

  • Clothes
  • Coats
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Toiletries
  • Backpacks
  • Blankets
  • And More!

Families, please go to or use the QR code on the flyer to place your request.

Thompson School District

800 S. Taft Avenue

Loveland, CO 80537