Pikes Peak Early College, April Edition
A Note from Rochelle Kolhouse, Principal
Greetings, students, and families from my home office! We hope this message finds you all well and, above all, healthy! This first week in April, we are transitioning to our full virtual model. Our school has an advantage because we are designed to be a hybrid learning model, so transitioning to full virtual has been relatively easy. I would like to take a minute to applaud all of our students and teachers who have helped to make this transition seamless! Even though we are not physically in the building like we were prior to Spring Break, it has been wonderful to see our students online via various Zoom sessions.
As the landscape for this national health crisis changes by the hour, please know, we strive to provide our families with the most up-to-date information possible with regard to school happens in a timely manner. Many of our previously scheduled face-to-face events in April will transition to virtual events or rescheduled for May. Invitations to our virtual events will be forthcoming. Families, please check your emails daily and check out our website for updates. We have also added a Full Virtual page to our website, which you can access through this link.
We wish you all well during these difficult times, and please remember...
“Be strong because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever” -Evan Carmichael
What a year this has been, so many great successes and some big challenges too. All years have their highs and lows that must be navigated; however, this year's unique events have called for all of our students, parents, and staff to traverse unknown land. The beauty of a PPEC Yeti is how they take those problems and turn them into opportunities to seek new paths. Our students are building character, grit, and resiliency that they will take with them on their life journey long after this year's health crisis is a distant memory. It is not always easy (for any of us), but we are all better for our ability (and willingness) to rise above it.
It is bittersweet to see the final stretch of the year begin. This year science has revealed fun new discoveries, exciting experiments, and so much student growth. Though our science classes may not be working in the physical laboratory at this time, however, our students will continue to grow in their science knowledge and understanding. They will continue to develop their curiosity and problem-solving skills, and in the end, that is the goal of our PPEC science classes. I am so lucky to have such a curious group of dedicated science students. We have some tremendous scientists at PPEC! Biology students have finished their Anatomy/Body system problem/solution design challenges and are working on presentations of their project design solutions. Soon they will be jumping into the Ecology Unit and exploring some topics related to the environment that has been in the news recently. Chemistry students are working on wrapping up their organic chemistry unit and will then be exploding into our final unit on Nuclear Energy. Honors Chemistry is exploring chemical reaction rates and equilibrium, but will soon enter their final unit on energy in chemical reactions. Our students have not only demonstrated in multiple ways how important their community is to them but also how science is deeply rooted in all of our lives.
There are many routines that we had in the building that will continue but may look a little different. All students will continue to take science unit tests; however, tests will either need to be parent proctored (no websites or notes beyond a 3x5 notecard), or students may arrange to have me proctor their test through a Zoom session. Though I am not able to meet with my students at the PPEC building, I am available Monday through Friday via Zoom, email, and phone to support our students from 8 am – 3 pm. If a student wants to meet via zoom, they just need to send me an email or text, and I'll jump on zoom and get them squared away! Our virtual Zoom sessions are an opportunity to meet with students, check in with them, address any needs, questions, or problems they are having, as well as just to give them another outlet of support and interaction. As they say, we will get through this together. Yeti's are strong and determined!
April has come quickly, and soon the end of school will here. We are so blessed to have the technology and the caliber of students to deal with this health crisis. Personally, I appreciate each and every PPEC student as they navigate this new world of social distancing. Most students have leaped right into zoom sessions and shown the grit and determination of a Yeti. Math zoom sessions will be held on Mondays during two sessions. One activity will be done during this session, and all students are expected to finish these. Most students are at 75% in Aleks; they need to be at 85% to receive credit for their courses. I am available on zoom, or students can email me questions, and I will get back with a show me video that is uniquely theirs. I am dedicated to making this all work in this virtual world. Students should never think they are bothering me by asking questions or asking for help. Thank you all for helping your son or daughter in getting to 85% in Aleks. I appreciate all families, parents, and guardians as they go through the struggles with their children.
First, take a deep breath! This has been a crazy few weeks and my hope is that you haven’t been too impacted during this time. We care about our students as humans first, and then we focus on academics. We want you to know that we are here for you and would love to support you and your family however we can!
Each Wednesday afternoon, students can drop into my Zoom sessions for help with any writing and then some fun English time (yes, English can be fun! hehehe…). My goal during our sessions is to give kids a break from Edgenuity, allow them time to interact with their classmates, and hopefully, get some good laughs in to help alleviate any stress they have! I am so proud of how our students have transitioned and are continuing to shine!
So, take another deep breath and know that our PPEC family will rock this whole quarantine thing!
We have returned to classes with a significant change that is both challenging for both teachers and students. But we must take these circumstances in the best possible way. Now that we are all home, it is a great time for family time. We must mix learning activities, physical activities, and recreational activities. Dust off the board game, cook together, tell stories, crafts, exercise together. Raise your hands, use your imagination, and play. Practice thinking skills at home…
On Wednesday mornings, students can attend help sessions via zoom. Every week I will send them the topics they will see, and there they will be able to clear any doubts they may have. In addition, students can virtually visit some museums in the countries that speak the language studied that by this time have opened this option. It will be very interesting.
I am so proud of all that our students have accomplished so far, and I hope that together we continue to do our best to end our school year successfully.
YETI’S, we are ALL here for you with whatever you may need. Please reach out and let us know how we can support you in these unprecedented times. Luckily, our transition to online learning is not very steep, and we all have the tools to connect and succeed. Every Wednesday, Teen Leadership students will meet virtually 8:30-9:30 am, and I will have virtual support for other elective courses from 9:30-11:30 am. If you need any other virtual support, please reach out. I am here for you and can be flexible for any support you need. For coding, videos will be available weekly, and please reach out if you need help in any way.
Keep working hard in Edgenuity, Schoology, or TechSmart for your elective courses. Reach out by phone, text, email, or zoom. My number is 719-297-1515. We are here for you!!!
Spotlight Yeti of the Month
This past month, we are pleased to announce our Yeti for the month of March is Jacob Ruecker! Thankfully, we were able to formally announce our Yeti prior to Spring Break and the "Shelter in Place" order. Meet our amazing Yeti, Jacob!
My name is Jacob Ruecker, and in my free time, I practice hockey. I am not sure what degree I am seeking, but I wanted to do something involving computers. I am glad I am Yeti of the month and was noticed by my peers and teachers. I feel like I've mastered studying by taking a large number of notes for classes and leading by example by showing that I don't care what others think, I am still going to do what I believe is right.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
What a way to enter our last quarter of school this year, but what a story to tell your children and grandchildren in the future! We are so fortunate at PPEC and as a YETI that we are prepared to make a smooth transition to full on-line & virtual learning. With that said, socializing is still so important for everyone, as is getting outside for some fresh air and vitamin D! I know that hiking my dogs everyday has certainly helped keep me sane, and the dogs are loving it! Teachers are holding regular Zoom’s for lunch so everyone can gather, and they are holding classes via Zoom. We also have upped our Social Media presence through our webpage, Instagram page, and Facebook page. Please go out to those pages and follow us so that you can participate and see what we are all doing.
To echo Mrs. Kolhouse, many of our previously scheduled face-to-face events in April will transition to virtual events or get rescheduled for May. Invitations to our virtual events will be forthcoming. Families, please check your emails daily and check out our website for updates. We have also added a Full Virtual page to our website, which you can access through this link.
Please keep up with college classes and be sure to communicate with your Professors. Don’t wait for them to help you, but advocate for yourself and reach out to them. If you want help via a Zoom or Web-ex, please communicate that need to the professor. Let me know how I can help out here.
Please let me know how I can be of assistance to any of you during this strange time. You can reach me at 719-499-6467 and/or schedule an appointment with me using my appointment link. I would love to just visit with you to say hello, or help in any way I can! Stay safe, sane, and healthy!
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Please be sure to check the website calendar for information
April 20th-Virtual Senior 3.75 Academic Award Night
April 27th- Final FEC meeting for the school year (moved to virtual) 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm