The Pulse

Pikes Peak Early College, February Edition

A Note from Rochelle Kolhouse, Principal

February is here, and that means the start of our enrollment season at Pikes Peak Early College! On January 28th, we held our first informational meeting with outstanding participation. Our next informational meeting will be Tuesday, February 18th, from 5:00 pm-6:30 pm. If you or anyone you know might be interested in the exciting opportunities that Pikes Peak Early College has to offer high school students, please feel free to share information about our school as well as details about our upcoming informational nights. We also have enrollment and informational meeting details on our website.

The best compliment we can receive would be a referral from you! Thank you for all that you do to help make Pikes Peak Early College an amazing school and learning opportunity for students!

Student-Led Conferences

Here at PPEC, we believe in empowering students to take responsibility for their education. In light of that, we run parent conferences differently than most schools. Instead of teachers talking, your student will walk you through their progress, assignments, and life at school. You are welcome to sign up for a 15-minute time slot to meet with your student’s teachers. You can sign up for a meeting on Wednesday, February 12th, from 3:00-6:00 pm or you can stop by for an open house on Friday, February 14th, from 7:30-9:30 am. CLICK HERE to sign up!


Wow! January was a “reactive” month sprinkled with “augmented reality” in the Science Lab! Science students have been provided an opportunity to explore Science through an immersive experience on District 49’s Ignite Bus. This bus is home to our virtual learning lab. The Ignite bus is a converted school bus equipped as a mobile learning lab with 14 work stations that provide students with an immersive, 3D, virtual environment. Students will have opportunities throughout this semester to explore Science topics in a new and immersive way.

Honors Chemistry students have been very busy discovering the properties of chemical reactions through experimentation and exploratory labs. They have been challenged to balance chemical equations and identify types of chemical reactions. Many were challenged by stoichiometry problems, but all have found a deep appreciation for the importance of a “balanced” equation.

January was no less exciting for Chemistry students as they tested their knowledge and skills of calorimetry and thermodynamics designing a chemically activated Cold Pack. Students will present their designs to their peers and defend their design with evidence and reasoning. We have some serious future engineers in our classroom, that’s a fact! February will be filled with the study of acids and bases for Chemistry students.

January was also an exciting month for Biology students. They have been exploring Darwin’s work on evolution. Students have explored natural selection through deep text dives, Socratic seminars, and lively debates supported by evidence and reasoning. It’s been impressive to see our bright young scientists defend their claims with textual evidence. I see some future lawyers in our Science lab!

English 1

We have a lot going on in the Land of Reading and Writing! In English 1, students have jumped into ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and are having some fun with Shakespeare’s style of writing. As we read each scene, we watch the play to see how the words play out in action. They are also translating the old English to text lingo by creating text conversations between Romeo and Juliet. We shared quite a few laughs! They took a break from reading by creating replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

English 2

English 2 is designing a project for Spring Studio elementary students- kids will design and create a new toy! They are building the lessons, identifying the skills elementary students are learning, and are working side-by-side with the kids to make sure they are successful. I am so proud of how kind and fun our PPEC students are!


January has flown by, and students have settled into classes well. A few students have finished Algebra I and Algebra II during the first semester and have moved seamlessly into their new classes. Algebra I is learning the X-method approach of factoring of polynomials, which allows students ways of mastering the material without the frustrating traditional ways of “Guess and Check.” Algebra II has been working with exponentials and making connections between growth and decay.

PreCalculus focused on Trig concepts, Exponential, and Logarithms. We push them hard to understand why we learn logarithms and how we can utilize them to solve exponential equations, including exponential growth and decay.

Students continue to work hard, pushing their ALEKS percentages up towards 75% by Spring Break. All students have been completing writing mathematics assignments in ThinkCERCA. Being able to write and communicate mathematically utilizing mathematical terminology is a skill that all students need to have as they enter college or the workforce.

Tech Electives

Teen Leadership students worked on collaborative presentations focusing on different essential skills ie: time management, note-taking, communication, self-awareness, self-direction, perseverance, and flexibility. Students were tasked with creating an engaging lesson for the class with an activity for students to work on. Very impressed with the creativity of the presentations and activities.

The Makerspace is open for any PPEC student to 3D print, code, tinker with Arduinos, digital cameras, podcasts, and video editing. Stop by to work on a new passion project. This semester we will continue our focus on leadership and academic skills to increase career and college readiness for the freshman class.

Students will also continue their work on coding games for computer science courses.

Coding 4 students will work with grids and pixel coordinates to create different maps and images based on-screen locations. Later this month, we will start adding sound to our programs. Coding 3 students are creating programs with animations and learning the syntax and drawing with code.

Elective courses are up and running in Edgenuity and Schoology! If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

World Language

The world language students have given their best and have deepened their knowledge about how verbs really work in their target language of study. This is a huge component for creating a strong foundation in their acquisition of the language. To reinforce this, at this time and until the end of our semester, we will concentrate on improving oral communication skills. Students will have a field trip to a Mexican and German restaurant; this experience will help them communicate in the language they study and allow them to gain confidence in the use of this language in an authentic way.

Spotlight Yeti of the Month

This past month, we are pleased to announce our Yeti for the month of January! This student has been making a big impact with Equestrian Therapy through her amazing community service project in science and is in the process of organizing a benefit dinner with the mayor of Colorado Springs in April! Let us introduce you to Jordyn Maisano! Congratulations, Jordyn!

Jordyn Maisano

Hey! My name is Jordyn Maisano, and I am a freshman at PPEC. I am hoping to earn my Associate’s degree by the time I finish high school. I am considering being a trauma nurse (RN to be specific) or a N.I.C.U. Nurse. This career would enable me to help people and to spend most of my time doing volunteer work. In my free time, I like hanging out with family and friends, cooking, baking, and hiking. I am so honored that my peers and teachers have picked me to be Yeti of the Month. They have made it much easier to transition from homeschool (that I have done my whole life) to public school. Although last semester was stressful at times (FINALS!!), they helped me to get through it. One yeti trait that I think I show is never to quit. Whether at school or in my personal life, when faced with something hard, instead of giving up, I figure out a way to get through it. For example, school is hard; however, instead of trying to avoid it or giving up, I take a deep breath and get it done. I may not do everything perfectly, but I always try my best.

PPEC Yearbook!

The PPEC yearbook is up for sale! It is $20 if you purchase it by February 28th! CLICK HERE to purchase a yearbook online. You can also purchase one at the front desk. Please make checks payable to ‘PPEC.’

Student dedications in the yearbook are available for purchase. You can purchase ¼ page for $5 and ½ page for $10. Please email Mrs. Ryland at for details!

Parent Climate Survey

The climate survey is a useful tool for administrators to hear from students, parents, and staff regarding important topics like safety, bullying/harassment and mental health. The climate survey will be open Feb. 3 - Feb 14. Our goal is to reach at least 85%, so D49 leaders have solid data to help us learn how to enhance the culture and climate in all D49 schools.

Parent Survey Link

Counselor's Corner

Batten down the hatches and get ready for the remainder of the school year! College advising is in full swing for every student who is currently taking college courses, and we currently have 93 students taking college classes in the Fall 2020.

‘Tis the season to apply for scholarships for all of our graduating students. Each year, millions of dollars go unclaimed because students simply don’t apply for scholarships. A best practice would be to apply for at least one scholarship a week. Why pay over $30,000 potentially, when you can receive free money? I send out regular text messages to students regarding potential scholarships.

Also, I will be meeting with all current 9th-11th grade students to plan out courses for next year. Students should be on the lookout for emails regarding course registration sometime within the next few weeks. For current sophomores and juniors, it is a good time to start creating their college wish list so that we can explore program requirements as we meet to pick classes.

This Friday, we have six students visiting Pikes Peak Community College to tour their Career Start programs. Students will visit programs such as Health, Early Childhood Education, Criminal Justice, and Zoology. These programs are designed to guide students toward their chosen pathway.

Please let me know how I can help navigate these items for you!

Check out the links below for some great information!

UNIGO Scholarships

They have a variety of scholarships that are easy to apply for. Search their website and get $$$$ for college!

Going Merry Scholarship Website

Easy to apply for scholarships that are matched to YOU! They do the work for you. Create an account today!

REMIND Text Messaging for College Classes

Sign up to receive updates and reminders for college courses and concurrent enrollment. Follow the prompts.

Upcoming Events

Please be sure to check the website calendar for information

February 7th: Field Trip to Mexican Restaurant

February 7th: Field Trip to PPCC Career Start Programs

February 10th: Family Engagement Council (SAC) Meeting

February 12th: Parent-Teacher Conferences 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm (invite only)

February 14th: Student-Led Conferences - 7:30 am - 10:00 am Open House

February 17th: No School Presidents Day

February 18th: Meet & Greet for New Enrollments

February 22nd: Mental Health Awareness Event

February 24th: Field trip to German Restaurant

Important Testing Dates

All PSAT/SAT testing sessions will be held at Creekside Success Center 3850 Pony Tracks Dr.

All 9th grade PSAT: April 16, 2020

All 10th grade PSAT: April 15, 2020

All 11th grade SAT: April 14, 2020

11th grade CMAS Science - April 10th

(please contact PPEC for alternative testing just for CMAS)

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