Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle

October 9, 2020

A Message from your Principal, Katie Johnson

As we begin our Fall Break, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you. I am so proud of our staff, students and community. It is because of everyone's commitment to staying safe that we have been able to stay in-person. It is my greatest hope that we will continue to keep the safety of our staff, students and community a focus over this fall break.

I want to reiterate our superintendent's message from last Friday: I encourage you to continue to be vigilant as we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from the virus. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Get your flu shot. Ask your health care provider where you can get flu shots for you and your family, or visit this webpage to get information about low- or no-cost flu shots at school-based clinics hosted by CCSD and STRIDE Community Health Centers. While the flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, it will help ensure you do not get sick with both viruses at the same time.
  2. As you begin to finalize your plans for fall break, be thoughtful about travel plans if you go away. If you think that you or someone in your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you have not been able to practice appropriate physical distancing during your travels, do not send your student to school and consider getting a COVID-19 test after you return.
  3. If anyone in your household is awaiting test results for a COVID-19 test, or scheduling a COVID-19 test due to current symptoms or exposure, please keep any school-aged siblings home, and if parents are staff members, please remain home until the individual's test result is received.
  4. Keep up the daily habits of wearing a mask in public places, washing hands frequently, practicing physical distancing and avoiding large crowds. We have gotten this far as a community by keeping up best practices. Let’s keep up the good work.

I wish you and your families a wonderful fall break, and thank you for helping keep our staff, students and community safe.

Much Appreciation,

Katie Johnson


Cottonwood Creek Spirit Week

October 26-30 marks that last week of the first trimester! Let's celebrate and have some fun!

Monday, October 26: Crazy Sock Day

Tuesday, October 27: Hat Day

Wednesday, October 28: Crazy Hair Day

Thursday, October 29: Jersey Day

Friday, October 30: Pajama Day

4A and 4B

I encourage you to take a moment to educate yourself on 4A and 4B by visiting prior to voting this fall.

4A at a Glance

Operational Expenses – $35 million

Due to continued drastic underfunding by the state of Colorado, CCSD is facing a shortfall of more than $60 million over the next two years. To ensure that every student succeeds, we must provide safe and supportive classrooms with excellent teachers, nurses on hand every day, mental health supports, and the technology tools necessary to learn. Revenue would be collected at a rate of $1.65 per $100,000 of home value, a small price for a huge investment.

4B at a Glance

Without imposing any new taxes, 4B allows for Cherry Creek School District No 5 debt to be increased by $150 million. This would allow for:

  • $7 million to build a mental health/day treatment center to support students.
  • $26 million for new and improved safety and security measures to include a new intercom system, push-button deadbolt locks for all classroom doors, secure double vestibules at elementary and middle schools, camera upgrades, and a new fire alarm system throughout the district.
  • $12 million to ensure all students have access to technology during periods of remote learning at a one device per student ratio and update core facilities such as Data Center, wireless network, web filtering, and firewall.
  • $9 million to provide funding for every high school to renovate space to create innovative environments that transform learning.
  • $5 million for Cherry Creek Innovation Campus Expansion, including expanding programming options and creating new pathways for in-demand careers and expanding nursing and mental health certification programs.
  • $88 million for major maintenance and a possible new elementary school in southeast Aurora. Repairs include asphalt/concrete, doors/hardware/keys, glazing, carpet/floors, mechanical/electrical/plumbing, fire protection, roofing, and utility/special infrastructure.
  • $3 million for a renovation of the cafeteria space at Village East Elementary School.

Upcoming Community Meeting

All are invited to join me on October 22nd at 8:30am via Microsoft Teams (link is below). During this meeting, I will provide an overview of our return to school and our school goals for the 2020-21 School Year. In addition, Karen Fisher, our CCSD School Board President, will be joining us. She will provide information related to 4A and 4B and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. We hope to "see" you there!

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 720-443-6769 United States, Denver (Toll)

Conference ID: 119 120 775#

Local numbers | Reset PIN | Learn more about Teams | Meeting options


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CCSD has updated our COVID Tracker Metrics for Safely Opening Schools!

The Cherry Creek School District will use six metrics (with data specific to Arapahoe County) to determine if it is safe to open schools and under what conditions we must shift from In-Person learning to Remote learning.

These metrics are based on science, facts and the best interests of our students and staff. They are NOT based on politics, perception, popularity or what other school districts are doing.

These metrics are:

  1. Arapahoe County COVID-19 Positivity Rate
  2. Arapahoe County 14-Day COVID-19 Incidence Rates per 100,000
  3. Araphoe County Daily COVID-19 case count
  4. Arapahoe County Daily COVID-19 Hospitalizations
  5. CCSD Staff Incident Rate
  6. CCSD Student Incident Rate

Please visit to see our current COVID tracker metrics.

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District P.A.S.S Meeting

District P.A.S.S Meeting – Wednesday, October 21st, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Twice yearly meeting combining District Accountability Committee and District PASS for an informative and enlightening discussion regarding district goals and student achievement data.

Please register in advance for this meeting:

Learn More about CCSD Parent Technology Resources

To log into Schoology as a CCSD parent, you must log in through using the same email address you used for Parent Forms. Then visit the CCSD Parent Technology Resources tile to learn more about Schoology, SeeSaw, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom and so much more!

Rich Morrow Math Competition

While we do have a Cottonwood Math Team, the space on the team was limited to the 5 students in each grade who scored highest on the preliminary Rich Morrow exam. However, since the Rich Morrow Math Competition is going to be an online event this year, they have opened the registration to all students in 3rd-5th grades.

If your student would like to participate, please complete the registration. To register, go to this link: If you decide to register, you and your student will be responsible for preparing for the Math Challenge.

For more information: Or for more information, go to our website:

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COVID-19 Symptom Checker

All students and staff members are expected to do their part to protect the health and well-being of our school communities by using the COVID Symptom Checker before they come to school each day. We are in this together, and I believe this is one expectation that we need to adhere to to help keep our staff, students and community safe.

To access the COVID Symptom Checker Tile:

  1. Log in to mycherrycreek and click on the COVID Symptom Checker tile
  2. Use the QR code to the right
  3. Or click on this link -
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Meet our 1st Grade Team

Shana Eilers

Hello! My name is Shana Eilers and I am a first grade teacher here at Cottonwood. This is my second year as a Cougar and I have loved every minute of it! Before becoming a Cougar I taught kindergarten for two years. I love spending time outside with family and friends, seeing live music and trying new food! I am looking forward to the winter months and am hoping to spend some weekends snowboarding in the mountains. I love teaching and am so happy to be here at Cottonwood with all of the wonderful students, staff and families!

Emily Gayle

My name is Emily Gayle and I am excited to be teaching first grade at Cottonwood Creek again this year. This will be my sixth year teaching and fifth year teaching first grade at Cottonwood. I was on a parenting leave last year and stayed home with my daughter who is now one and half. It was a wonderful year off, but I'm happy to be back this year! I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your families.

Hannah Frick

Hello! My name is Hannah Frick, and I am thrilled to be a first grade teacher at Cottonwood Creek! This is my second year here at Cottonwood and in the Cherry Creek School District. I taught many different grade levels in Douglas County. I have lived in Colorado my entire life, and I love it here! I live in Highlands Ranch with my husband and three children. I love to spend time with my family, read, be outdoors, and watch sporting events (Go Rockies and Broncos!)

Nicole Hargreaves

HI. My name is Nicole Hargreaves, and I am so excited to be entering into my 9th year of teaching and my third year here at Cottonwood.

I am a Colorado native, and I love all the beauty and adventure Colorado has to offer. I enjoy bike riding, yoga-ing, camping, hiking, water sports, and cooking. My husband, Travis, and I are both educators and love to spend as much time as we can with our friends and family, near and far. We have two very spunky daughters (who are 3 and 1) that always keep us on our toes. On top of that, we have two fur babies that add to our busy household. I have a love for learning and am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing school.

Michele O'Brien

My name is Michele O’Brien and this is my 30th year of teaching. I am originally from MN. (Go Vikings!) I taught 2nd grade in Las Vegas, Nevada for 9 years and 20 years ago I was lucky enough to be offered a first grade position at Cottonwood Creek. When I’m not in the classroom I’m spending time with my husband, spending time with friends, watching football, traveling, and enjoying the beautiful state of Colorado. I’m excited for another awesome year in first grade!
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Support in your Native Language

English:Please contact (name of liaison) at (email) for support with this resource in your language.

Amharic: እነዝህን መረጃዎችን በተመለከተ በቋንቋዎ ዕገዛን ለማግኘት ከፈለጉ እባክዎን ተሊሌን በዝህ እሜይል ያግኙዋት

Arabic:يرجى الاتصال بـ (جميعة صباحي أو جاودة العلمي) على ( أو للحصول على الدعم مع هذا المورد باللغة العربية.

Chinese: 如有需要,请经由,与韩馥联系,以您的语言获得此资源的支持。

Korean: 귀하의 언어로 이 자원에 대한 지원을 원하시면 (리아 리) 에게 ( 로 문의하십시오.

Russian: Пожалуйста, обращайтесь к Ларисе Бака по адресу: для получения поддержки с помощью этого ресурса на своём языке.

Somali: Fadlan la xiriir Omar Nur cinwaanka si aad u hesho macluumaad ku qoran luqadaada.

Spanish: Si necesita ayuda con este recurso en su idioma, póngase en contacto con Ilse Chavez Maldonado en, Rosa Han en, Helena Gognat en o Milagro Nuanes en

Vietnamese: Vui lòng liên hệ với Thuý Ngọc tại để được hỗ trợ về tài nguyên này bằng tiếng Việt.

Please note the changes in the 2020-21 school year calendar.

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