Cougar Community Connection
A weekly newsletter from your principal, Shannon McPherson
Week Of 8/11/23
It was a great first week back with our CRUNFamily. We are so excited to welcome in all of our new CRUN Family members and hope your kids are feeling the love from this fabulous community. We got to welcome our new kindies today, so for the first time this school year, our Cougar Run Family was all together. Please take a few minutes to read through the Newsletter this week as all of the first sections are the new pieces of information. We always leave "old" information in the newsletter for a couple of weeks to serve as reminders of prior information shared with our community. Pay particular attention to the PTA section, the Back to School Night section and the calendar at the bottom. We have not done a formal Back to School night for quite a few years so this event is probably new to many of you.
We wish you a fantastic weekend!
A Note From PTA
Next week, we will have the Back to School Night on Thursday, August 17th with food trucks, a bounce house, and face painting! Once your BTSN session is over, go get your kids and come to the fun!!
- Back to School Night starts at 4:30pm in the gym.
- The first round of classroom presentations ends at 5:30pm
- The second round of classroom presentations ends at 6:30pm
- The bounce house and face painting are FREE! These run until 7:30pm.
- Our 2 food trucks will be Umai Express who is working on a special kid-friendly menu, and Taco Bliss. (Note: The food trucks are NOT free, but they are delicious!) They will be serving dinner until 7:30pm.
- Andy's Frozen Custard will be handing out FREE ice cream! Yum! This will be served until all of the samples have been handed out.
- We still need help with high school students signing up for set-up and running of the event. Please pass along our link: https://signup.com/go/ZkXkhSR
Our first PTA meeting of the year is next Friday, August 18th at 8:45am in the Learning Commons or by Zoom. If you have signed up for our email list, then I will send out the agenda and Zoom link. If you would like to be adding to the PTA email list, then please contact us at email@example.com. The first meeting usually runs long, but please attend for as long as you can. We try to end meetings by 10am. We hope you can join us! Younger siblings are welcome to come. We will have donuts!
Spotlight on~ Erin Garcia, Little Cougars Director
Back to School Night/ Cougar Run Cafe by PTA Thursday, 8/17/23
We are so excited to welcome you to a great school year at our Back to School Night Parent Night next Thursday, August 17th from 4:30-6:30 PM here at Cougar Run. We will start all together in the gym with a welcome message at 4:30 and then we will head down to the teacher classrooms immediately following our welcome right around 5:00. We will have 2 sessions in teacher classrooms, giving you an opportunity to hear from your child/children's teachers about the ins and outs of their day while with us here at Cougar Run. We will notify you over the PA when session one is over and it is time to move on to session two. Please consider if you have more than two kiddos, how you will divide and conquer to attend sessions for each of your children. If there are two parents, often times our parents split up and attend different sessions ensuring they hear the messaging for all of their children's teachers. You are also welcome to pop in and out of sessions in order to at least hear part of the messaging from your children's teachers. We haven't had a formal Back to School Night event in many years. This event is built for our adults, so we encourage you to come without your children. You can imagine how crowded our little classrooms can get if we have both parents and students in these sessions. If it prevents you from attending Back to School Night however, please bring them along.
Our PTA has made this night even better by organizing our "Cougar Run Cafe" that evening, inviting two dinner food trucks and a dessert truck. Please stop by and grab dinner for your family and we will even have tables set up outside for you to sit down and eat with others in our Cougar Run Family. The food trucks will be ready following Session 1 of Back to School night classroom presentations. 5:30-7:30 food trucks will be open for business. You are welcomed to run home and grab your kiddos after BTSN if you don't bring them, to join in the Cougar Cafe Food Truck.
Memos From McEachen~Your Volunteer Coordinator at Cougar Run
Parents and Volunteers!
Are you ready to jump right in and start volunteering at school?! The first opportunity is right around the corner with Vision and Hearing Screenings on August 16, 2023.. You do NOT need to have prior experience and will be provided training for your shift. Please sign up HERE and reach out to Beckie McEachen with any questions about this opportunity!
Volunteers like YOU help to make Cougar Run the AWESOME school that it is!!
QMan Classic 5K HRHS
Start/ End Times & Entry/ Exit Doors
- The entry doors open at 8:25 for students to be welcomed into school. Adult supervision outside begins at that time, so please drop your kiddos no earlier than 8:25 to ensure they are supervised and safe.
Front Door Entrance (west side of school)-Grades Kindy and 1st
Lower Playground Doors-Grades 2nd and 3rd
Venneford Ranch Rd Entrance (North Side of school) 4th Grade
Bus Loop Doors (East Side of school) 5th and 6th
Most kids exit out the doors they entered. We escort K and 1 to busses and to after school care. 1st and 2nd grade teachers walk their kids out to the lower playground at dismissal, so plan to pick your child up there as they release when they see your face. Please plan your pickup and drop off based on the doors that your student will enter/exit in all other cases, based on what grade they are in. Staff are at those doors welcoming and saying goodbye to our kids daily.
Express Check in
Express Check-In is now open. Please click on the Express Check-In link and complete the check in process for each of your students before August 8th.
Log in using your Parent Portal username and password.
The Express Check-In process confirms that your student will be attending Cougar Run this school year. It also allows you to verify and update any contact information, pay school fees, view volunteer opportunities, apply for free and reduced lunches if needed, buy a bus pass and more.
Thank you in advance for taking care of this before school starts. Go to the Cougar Run website for start dates and more information.
If you are having problems getting into your Parent Portal account or using the Express Check in tool, please contact our IT department on 303-387-0001 and choose option #1 twice.
Free Lunches in DCSD 23-24 School Year/ Free & Reduced Fees Information
While all Meals are now free in DCSD, we still highly encourage families to complete a Free and Reduced Application if your family meets the criteria linked HERE.. Families must apply EACH YEAR for this designation. Qualification in previous years is not applied to the current year. If your family qualifies for this designation, there are additional fees that are waived on your child's behalf. You can find the official letter from Nutrition Services and the Applications HERE. Applications are accepted ONLINE ONLY.
Free Meals for All! We know there are many questions regarding the passage of the Healthy School Meals for All program (Proposition FF) in Colorado.
Douglas County School District RE-1 opted into the Healthy School Meals for All program for the school year 2023-24. Starting July 1, 2023, all students will have access to reimbursable meals at their school at no cost.
A la carte purchases will continue to be offered for a fee. These purchases will be charged to the student’s meal account if they have money in their account, or the student may pay for the food items with cash. We anticipate an increase in participation this school year.
The link above contains more information and the related application to provide your household income information. Please note that, while the following pages may reference eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals, but breakfast and lunch will be provided free to all students in the 2023-24 school year regardless of your household income.
If you have other questions or need help, contact Susan Babineau at Susan.Babineau@dcsdk12.org or 303-387-0368.
Bus Transportation Information
- Students who are eligible for transportation are required to scan their SMART tag bus pass on and off the bus each time they ride. Eligibility information can be found at the DCSD bus route information page
- If you do not have a bus pass and are eligible for transportation services, passes can be requested at engaged.dcsdk12.org under the "Manage Transportation" link. If you do not see a link under your student's profile or need to request a replacement card reach out to us via Let's Talk
- DO NOT PUNCH HOLES IN THE BUS PASS. You can place the bus pass in a clear plastic sleeve attached to a lanyard if needed. If a card is damaged or lost, a replacement bus pass can be requested at engaged.dcsdk12.org.
- Only students that are eligible for transportation can ride the bus. We are unable to accommodate one day bus passes for students to ride home with other students on the bus
- Students who receive specialized transportation services do not need to request a SMART tag bus pass. Your student's card will be distributed to their bus driver directly
- Bus passes for general education students will be distributed to students by their bus driver after an application has been submitted at engaged.dcsdk12.org. Students may ride in the interim while waiting for their bus pass
- Transportation fees are approved by the Board of Education. Rides are $1.00 each way per student. These charges will be billed on a quarterly basis to your student's MySchoolBucks account. Students who receive specialized transportation services or qualify for the free or reduced lunch program will have their fees waived
If you have questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity to address them via the Let’s Talk feedback tool.
Click here for Bus Pass Questions
Upcoming Dates to Remember
August 12- QMan Classic 9Am at Cresthill MS
August 16- 9:00 New Parent Orientation in the Learning Commons
August 17 Back to School Night-4:30-6:30
- 5:30-7:30 PTA Food Truck Event for Dinner!!
August 18-8:45 PTA Meeting in the Learning Commons
September 4-District Closed Labor Day, No School
September 8- 8:45 PTA Meeting in the Learning Commons
September 12th- CRUN Restaurant Night
September 13-15th- 6th Grade is at Outdoor Ed
September 18-21-Conferences will occur all week, but two designated nights for those who need nights.
September 18-4:00-6:30 Parent/Teacher Conference Night
September 21st-4:00-6:30 Parent/Teacher Conference Night
September 22- NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS- District Staff Professional Development Day
September 29th- SCHOOL WIDE FUN RUN FUNDRAISER EVENT