CFL March Family Newsletter


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A Note from Mrs. Frees

Dear Families,

Happy March! Thanks to all families that attended your child's Student Led Conference. It was great seeing so many of our families. This is a great way for our students to show agency in their learning and for families to connect with our teachers. Your support in your child's education is a vital piece in their success. Please stop by or reach out if you ever have any questions or need anything!

I hope you are as excited as I am about the spring weather on the way. It is a great time to be outside and get fresh air. Outside exercise such as, taking a walk, playing with friends, siblings or pets, going to the park are great activities for your child to engage in. I have also reminded students that another way to be ready for the school day is to get a good night's sleep.

Research shows that elementary students need 9-12 hours of sleep a night. As a parent and educator, I am concerned about how vulnerable our children are when it comes to the internet and social media. Many of our children are becoming very knowledgeable about ALL the new social media programs available, some which are not safe or appropriate. I have heard about some very concerning sites and Apps. Common Sense Media is a great resource for you to stay knowledgeable.

All children need guidance about being cyber safe. We teach it at school and I would encourage parents to talk about cyber safety at home and periodically browse histories on phones, computers and tablets. It's so inmportant to monitor what our children are watching and be influenced on.

It's never too early to start supporting organizational skills at home...

1. With your child, check your child’s Tuesday Folder for important information.

2. Ask your child everyday what they learned today. Don't let them off the hook when they say nothing.😊

2. Set up a place at home for papers you need to check or return to school.

3. Talk to your child about keeping his/her desk orderly in school and at home.

4. Teach your child to check their backpacks for work they can show you from school.

Kim Frees


2023-2024 School Year Calendar

The Garfield 16 school calendar has been restructured for the 2023-2024 school year. The new calendar is attached. The major changes are:

  1. One school week (4 days) was added to the beginning of the school year.

    1. The first day for K-12 students is now August 15, 2023.

    2. The first day for preschool students is now August 22, 2023.

  2. One school week (4 days) was added to the end of the school year.

    1. The last day for preschool and K-12 students is now May 30, 2024.

    2. The last day for GVHS Seniors is now May 23, 2024.

  3. The student day was decreased by an average of 36 minutes.

  4. The instructional day was decreased by an average of 41 minutes (instructional time does not include recess).

  5. BUE and CFL will start their day before GVHS and GVMS. Specific start and end times will be announced when bus routes are established.

  6. Parent/teacher conferences will now be held at all schools.

  7. Before and after-school childcare for elementary students, along with morning supervision for secondary students, will be developed. Surveys to collect data about the needs of our families will be released soon.

Why did Garfield 16 implement these changes?

These changes were developed to increase effective instructional time for all students.

A major concern raised by parents and staff was that the length of the student day was a challenge for most students. In order to decrease the student day, additional student days were added to the school year calendar.

Another concern was the structure of conferences. Parents wanted an opportunity to talk with teachers in a parent/teacher conference setting. The new calendar includes both parent/teacher conferences and student-led conferences.

The new calendar meets CDE’s instructional hour requirements. It also allows for flexibility when inclement weather necessitates a school closure or two-hour delay.

What was the process of developing these changes?

Our Superintendent heard concerns from parents and staff during committee meetings. These committees were established at the beginning of the school year, and open to all staff members, parents, and community members. Feedback from all constituents were taken into consideration. Four drafts of proposed calendar changes were developed throughout the process, in order to incorporate feedback from all stakeholders. Once representatives from all parties agreed on a final calendar, a cost analysis was performed. The proposed calendar changes were then discussed with staff at all the schools. The calendar changes were then presented to the Board of Education and the proposed changes were approved.

What if my student has a previously planned trip, camp, or other obligation based on the previous version of the school calendar?

If you and your family have already planned around the previous 2023-2024 school calendar and your student(s) will be absent at the beginning and/or end of next school year, we will take those previously planned absences into consideration and they will be excused.

We know this will be an adjustment, and we thank you all for your cooperation and patience.

Change is a challenge for everyone, and it takes time to adjust. We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we move forward in implementing these changes. We are confident that our students, parents, and staff members can work together to ensure “students will be successfully prepared for life in a safe and nurturing environment.”

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Updated Snow Day Protocols

We have recently updated our snow day protocols and established protocols for a delayed start to the school day. These changes will be implemented beginning March 1, 2023.

School Closing/Snow Day

If there is inclement weather, the District will decide to close school by 5:15 a.m., based on the conditions at 5:00 a.m.. Parents will be notified by 6:00 a.m. if there is a snow day or delayed start.

If weather conditions improve and there are scheduled athletic events or high school athletic practices, the District will notify coaches, players, and staff as to whether these activities will be held by 12:00 pm. All other activities are canceled if school is closed.

After School Activities

If school is in-session, but weather conditions worsen throughout the day, the District may cancel after school activities. The cancellation of all after school activities for inclement weather is a district-wide decision. The District will evaluate which activities are scheduled and assess the current and anticipated road conditions.

The District will notify staff, students, and families of after school activity cancellations by 1:00 pm.

Two-Hour Delay

A two-hour delay will be used when the road conditions are not suitable for travel at 5:00 a.m., but are expected to improve throughout the day. The District will decide to call a delayed start by 5:15 a.m.. This will allow snow plows additional time to clear the roads.

On a two-hour delayed schedule, buses will begin their routes two hours late, and all classes will begin two hours late.

Schools will operate on a modified schedule. Start times will simply be pushed back by two hours. Students will have breakfast and lunch. Students will be dismissed at the regular time. In the event that the District has a two-hour delay and the road conditions do not improve, the District may decide to close schools for the day. The District will make this decision by 7:30 a.m. based on the conditions at 7:15 a.m..


All families will be notified of a school closing through the district messaging system, media outlets, and social media as soon as possible. Please be sure that your contact information is current by checking in with the secretaries at your child's school so that in the event of school closures, Garfield 16 is able to contact you.

Alternatively, you can login to your Infinite Campus account to ensure your contact information is correct.

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April 7th - Spring Picture/Class Picture

Information will be coming home soon!

After School Club Update

Our afterschool programs are coming to a close for this year. The kids have had a great time learning new skills and making new friends. We were fortunate to have 10 programs running this time and had around 100 kids participate!

Our showcase for this round of programs will be on March 14th. There will be a flyer coming home soon with details. Please plan to attend so your child can show you all the exciting things that they have done. We will have buses running for those whose parents are unable to attend. We will not have another session this year due to time constraints.

We look forward to starting up programs again next year. Thank you to all who participated in these programs and we hope your children enjoyed them! If you have any comments to share from your children about the programs, feel free to email them to me at

We always love to hear feedback! Mrs. Jablonsky

Student Goal Setting Update

CFL Goal Setting Update

At CFL students set individual literacy goals. When they meet their goal they sign their name on a gumball and put it up on our Goalball Machines. In February, students put up a pink gumball if they met their goal. We have had many students meet their literacy goals this month.

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Intervention News

March can be one of the longest months of the year, especially when it is still snowy and cold. There are however a few activities that can make it more enjoyable. As you know, I love reading, and promote it every chance I can. March is the perfect month to enjoy reading. When the weather is cold and yucky outside it is the perfect time to stay in and read. If you enjoy reading yourself, one of the best activities you can do to encourage your child to read is to read yourself. When kids see you reading, they recognize that it can be an enjoyable experience. Here are a few other ideas you can participate in in the month of March, or any time.

  • Look at books about St. Patrick’s Day. There are many at the library, or you can watch this fun one on Youtube.

  • After watching the video you can help your child make a Leprechaun Trap. Encourage him or her to make a list of the materials they might need.

  • Try making sight words more fun. Have kids write them on shamrock shaped paper, then practice them. (You can use a cookie cutter to create shamrock shaped paper)

  • Make some green pancakes together, having your child read the recipe with you as you go.

  • Breakfast cereal is so fun on a cold morning. Try having your child spell simple words using cereal like Alphabits, or you can try using the new Scrabble Cheez Its.

These are just a few ideas to think about. If you have any other ideas I would love to hear them. As always, keep reading.

Melissa Bradley

Reading Interventionist CFL

ELL Update

March 2023 ELL Families

Happy (almost) Spring!

March is here and I feel very lucky 🍀 to be learning and growing with your children! We are continuing to work on our speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Some of our groups and times might change after spring break to adjust to students' needs and goals.

Melanie Kerrigan ELL CFL

What's Happening in PE at CFL

Hello CFL Families,

Last month we worked on kicking with control and power. The kiddos should have a better understanding of soccer and teamwork. Students will continue to have the opportunity to work as a team in a variety of games and activities. We will progress our skills into striking with objects. Please remember that your kid needs a pair of tennis shoes to be safe in the gym everyday. I have a few shoes that can be borrowed during class if they need them. As always, thank you for sending your kiddos to school everyday and reach out to me with any questions.

-Mr. Cora

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Pre-School News

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please stop by the office.

Meri Nofzinger~Director of Preschool