Springs News

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence, October Edition

A note from Executive Principal, Mr. Knoche

Each year I am fascinated at how one day it feels like summer and almost instantly it feels like fall the next. All of our skiers know that snow can come at any time and we can see them getting a little more excited each day. For those of us who love to golf, we see the green grass fading and start counting the days until spring. There are similarities to the changing season and our cycles in education. We are now approaching the end of our first quarter of the academic season, and it is time for reflection and honesty. Some students have been working very hard and are ready for an October break to enjoy. Some (excitedly, very few) now begin to dread the break because they know that they will have to work (because they already took some time off) to get caught up. So whether the change in academic season is comparable to the skier who moves forward with excitement and anticipation or if the change in academic season is similar to the golfer who dreads and wishes away the winter; remember that with any change, attitude means everything. If students have struggled or are behind, they must take the attitude that our calendar and structure provide hope to change their situation and refocus the upcoming months, knowing that in brick and mortar school they may not have an opportunity catch up and might have created a situation they cannot get out of. Some students who have worked very hard and stayed on track can use the upcoming break to relax and prepare for the coming months and knowing that the journey is in their control. Whichever side of the equation a student falls on, we will be here to help and support them no matter how they feel about the upcoming change in season. Please reach out for support.


October Count is how schools in the state of Colorado receive their per-pupil funding. Unlike traditional high schools, the process is a bit different for Springs Studio given the online components nature of our school.

October 3rd is the statewide official count day. To receive full funding for our students, we must have our students do the following tasks:

All students must log in to their online curriculum (Edgenuity) and submit an assignment

  • Accepted assignments can be a quiz, a test or work submission.

  • Simply logging in is not enough.

  • Teachers will ensure students have an assignment due.

  • It must be completed on that day not just align with a due date.

Students who are not working, as usual, will be contacted and may be asked to come into the building to complete/submit assignments.

We will be relentless with our communications that day to ensure we are funded for all students. Without funding, we can’t offer the opportunities at SSAE. If you are new and have only been in a brick and mortar school, this may be a new process, so we want to be sure we over communicate our needs and expectations.

October Count Spirit Week

Let's have some fun for October Count! October 1st-4th Middle School Student Council will be hosting Spirit Week.

Monday/Tuesday - PJ Day

Wednesday/Thursday - Sports Attire Day

Parent Teacher Conferences

Emails were sent out from your students teacher with a link to set up a time for Parent Teacher Conferences. Make sure you sign up because there will be no drop ins.

MS P/T Conferences (Parents to sign up via emailed link)

October 3rd, 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm

October 5th, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

HS P/T Conference ( Parents to sign up via emailed link)

October 4th, 3:30 - 7:00 pm

October 5th, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Fall Break

Fall Break is October 8th-19th. Enjoy your time off from school. See you back the week of October 22nd.

Campus Life - Class Happenings


Introduction to Engineering has been working hard on learning technical sketches, an important skill to help engineers communicate their ideas. In the next few lessons, students will begin learning how to bring their ideas to life using modeling software.

Principles of Engineering is in a very challenging unit on statics. They have already learned how to calculate the weight of a person standing on a board from measuring how far the board deflects. Next, they'll be taking on truss structures. They'll design and test how strong their model trusses can be in an exciting destructive test.

Student Council has just hosted a very successful Mid-summer Night's Dream dance. The turnout was great, and the venue was beautiful. They will begin selling Butterbraids on September 27, which helps to raise funds for activities the rest of the school year.

All students are invited to an upcoming field trip to the Space Foundation Discovery Center. In this trip, students will be sent on a mission of discovery and walk on the simulated surface of Mars. The field trip is Friday, November 2. The sign-up will be sent to all students via email.

Science - High School

Biology- Students have been learning about Cell Theory, structures, and processes as well as practicing their microscope skills. Students were recently asked the question "Why do leaves change colors in the Fall?" Students then used the chromatography method to separate the pigments of chlorophyll of a few different types of leaves (spinach and red cabbage). From that, they determined that each leaf has multiple pigments, which get degraded during the cold weather, so the other pigments start to show!

Chemistry- Students have been studying the structure of the atom as well as the different types of bonds that can form between different types of atoms. Students used their knowledge of the properties of ionic and covalent compounds to identify whether the substance provided to them was ionic or covalent compound. They based this on the physical properties of the substance, crystal/grain size, dissolvability, and if it conducts electricity in a solution. Students also learned about the different energy levels that electrons are found in and conducted a flame test to demonstrate what happens when electrons get enough energy to jump from one level to another.

Physical Science- Students used their knowledge of the properties of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids to determine the identity of several unknown compounds. They were asked to test the conductivity and chemical reactivity to identify whether the sample was a metal, nonmetal, or metalloid.

Science - Middle School

What an exciting time in science class. The students are learning about atoms, the periodic table, and atomic theory. Determining how many electrons should be in each orbital of an atom has been quite challenging for the 6th graders. The 7th graders have been studying the earth and the fossils that are contained within its layers. The 8th graders are still trying to master scientific technique as they design experiments and devices that can withstand various types of chemical reactions.

Math - High School

Algebra has been learning about Functions and Function Notation. Students demonstrated mastery by using their math knowledge as we solved a murder mystery called the "Function Notation Mystery." Students were given clues that were solved mathematically, and those clues identified the guilty person! Who says math isn't fun?!?

Geometry has been learning about parallel lines and transversals as well as the angles formed by this intersection. Students have spent some time making conjectures about Triangles and proving theorems they didn't know existed and actually finding the reason for "Why do we need to know this?"

Math - Middle School

Middle school math students are learning to apply the math they are learning in class to concepts used outside the math classroom. Friday math classes in September and October are focused on building scale models of pinball machines, foosball tables, and golf holes. Once completed, students will have built a mini arcade and golf course for others to play. The basis of the builds will be cardboard, but students have already started some of their 3D printing and have asked for items such as springs, sand, ping pong balls, dinosaurs, a motor, and a Raspberry Pi computer. We can't wait to see our miniatures come to life!

English - High School

This month we have been finishing up our online safety lessons as well as diving into an amazing writing curriculum.

Students have been working on Common Sense Media lessons. They have learned how to be safe online with their, behaviors, and password. It's a great way to set up good habits for a year of blended learning!

Our district has invested in ThinkCERCA as our writing curriculum. It is well researched and developed to help students develop comprehension and writing skills that will help them in higher education, the workforce, as well as on standardized testing. We finished up the introduction section t this model and will start writing our first essay this week!

English - Middle School

In Middle School Language Arts, we are finishing up our exploration of the Think CERCA model. Each step has been shown, discussed, and have our own examples made. Next, we will be looking into creating a fully fledged CERCA essay and how it develops and improves our writing. Thus allowing students to create stronger arguments.

Social Studies - High School

After exploring 9/11 events, American Government students are formulating their opinions on the purpose of government by writing an argumentative essay using a presidential quote of their choosing to support their opinions. Meanwhile, US History partook in learning more about 9/11 by comparing and contrasting the 9/11 attacks and the Pearl Harbor attacks. The culmination project was a partnership effort to design and answer questions to further the students' knowledge of both attacks while sharing presentations with the class. They now venture into the world of teaching by becoming experts in either Homesteading, Transcontinental Railroad, American Indians, or New Immigration and then will teach the class about their valuable findings. World History wrapped up their projects on getting to know Napoleon and Josephine better by researching and creating websites, blogs, newspapers, posters, booklets, biographies, or dramas relating the information to present day life. Now the students are working through the Industrial Revolution where they are exploring details of this ever-changing event and then will be working in groups to market an invention from that time period.

World History: Napoleon and Josephine projects.

Social Studies - Middle School

In Social Studies this week, we've been studying three different types of arguments concerning Gun Control. The students have been working in small groups to critically assess and analyze the validity of the articles' argument. After reviewing the article, each group will compile and transfer their information to a poster sheet. We will do a "Gallery Walk" where students will review the other group's posters so they can understand the varying arguments. Lastly, each student will take a position on the subject and write an argumentative essay. I am excited to see the final product.

Bouncing into fall with the Pumpkin Patch

Elementary took some time on Friday, September 21st to enjoy some sunshine and pumpkins at Wishing Star Farm. The students and teachers had a blast jumping on the bounce pillow, taking hay rides, petting an assortment of animals and getting big orange pumpkins.

1st and 2nd Grade

In First and Second grade we are studying Wild and Endangered Animals and Bugs in their Ecosystems. We’ve finished our first chapter and are working on our second chapter to finish up before Fall break.

Grades 3-5 Have Been Sharing Their Presentations in Science Class

The third graders have been working on Plants. Their presentation’s focus on the use of plants in our everyday lives.
Fourth grade shared their knowledge on the layers of the Earth.
5th Grade learned the parts of a cell, as well as the difference between plant and animal cells.

Counselors Corner

Senior Information:

*Senior Meeting- Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30 p.m. *Important information about graduation and caps and gowns will be discussed.

*Seniors need to be working on college applications at this time. Early applications are typically due Nov. 1st, and regular applications are usually due by February 1st at most schools. Also, start filling out scholarships and complete the FAFSA for financial aid. The FAFSA opens on October 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov. I highly suggest that you make an on-campus visit to schools you are considering applying to.

*College Visit Days *These events are held at the college and are free. Please contact them directly to register. You can register on the college websites.

  • CU Boulder Explore: Oct. 8, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, Oct. 29
  • Western State Fall Preview Day: November 10th
  • University of Northern CO: October 5th, November 16th
  • CSU Explore: October 5th
  • Colorado School Of Mines Preview Day: October 20th

Deciding What YOU Want in a College. Ask yourself what’s important to you, where you want to be and who you want to become. Then, you can figure out what types of colleges will allow you to reach your goals.

Here are some aspects to consider:

 Size  Location  Distance from home  Available majors and classes  Housing options  Makeup of the student body  Available extracurricular activities  Campus atmosphere

Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors Information:

*Are you interested in job shadowing or an internship? D49 has an excellent resource called Workplace Learning with tons of opportunities.

Check it out at: https://www.d49.org/Page/7139

If you have any questions, please reach out to the counselors for help.

*D49 Career Expo- 9th and 10th graders- October 11th from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Check it out and register for the event at the link on this website:

*Helpful Links:

Middle School Information:

*D49 Career Expo- 6th, 7th, & 8th graders- October 11th from 9:00-12:00 p.m.

Check it out and register for the event at the link on this website:

*Following fall break, the middle school will be participating in a kindness campaign. Creating a safe, happy and productive environment is important to our student's academic learning and emotional well-being. What better way to help to support this than teaching and encouraging kindness and gratitude. This will be a fun and productive way to challenge our kids to be kind to one another, to perform random (and frequent) acts of kindness and to lead by example.

*We have received some inquiries from some of our Falcon families who may be interested in carpooling. If you have interest carpooling, please email Katy Swann at kswann@d49.org with the student's name and grade, parents name, and contact information so we can help connect families who can discuss and arrange for carpool opportunities.

Springs Studio Clubs

Community Service Club - Mrs. Olson (jolson@d49.org)

First and Third Tuesday each month

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Recycling Club - Mrs. McClain (smcclain@d49.org) and Mrs. Aubain (jaubain@d49.org)

1st meeting Thursday, October 25th at lunchtime

Meetings 1st and 3rd Thursday's


ACE Maker's (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Club - Mr. Wixom (jwixom@d49.org)


3:15 to 4:30

HS Student Council - Mr. Wixom (jwixom@d49.org)

Meeting Thursday's


Apply Here

MS Student Council - Mrs. Mooney (cmooney@d49.org)

Meeting every Wednesday

11:20 am - 12:10 pm

National Honors Society - Mr. Mogensen (kmogensen@d49.org)

Meeting Monthly at Lunch

11:45 am - 12:30 pm

President - Haley Edwards

Vice-President - Hunter Edwards

Secretary - Cameron Fajardo

National Juniors Honor Society - Mr. Guest (mguest@d49.org)

Meeting dates/times - TBD

President - Jazz myn McKenzie

Vice-President - Daniel Leon

Treasurer - Toban Mallo

National Art Honor Society - Mrs. Wichman (kwichman@d49.org)

Meet Quarterly - September 25th

Time: 11:45 am

Members were picked at the end of last school year for this year. In April, there will be emails and announcements about joining for next year.

Skate City

Middle School Student Council hosted their first event on September 19th. Bronco Spirit Day at SSAE was a huge success! The student wore orange and blue to show their school spirit. The fun was continued into the evening at SKATE CITY! The students, families, and staff rolled the night away sporting their Bronco gear. Thanks so much to all who participated!

"Pull for the House"

Middle School Student Council will be collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado annual fundraising campaign, Mountain of Love. This will run

from now until April 15th.

Why pop tabs? The tab is made of pure, high-grade aluminum. Don't forget about the tabs from soup cans, broth cans, pet food cans, and even tennis/racquetball balls!

Recycling these pop tabs helps families of critically ill children. Proceeds raised will support programs that last year served over 3,000 area children and their families.

Box Tops

As you are shopping/cooking/eating, be sure to look for Box Tops! Each box top equals 10 cents for our school - collect as many as you can. Recruit friends and family to collect for you as well!

Upcoming Events

Don't forget to check our website calendar for detailed information.

October 2nd - Important Senior Meeting from 6:30 pm-7:30 pm

October 1st-4th - October Count Spirit Week

Monday/Tuesday - PJ Day

Wednesday/Thursday - Sports Attire Day

October 4th and 5th - Parent Teacher Conferences - Sign up via emailed link

October 11th - D49 Career Expo - 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders from 9:00 am-12:00 pm and 9th and 10th graders from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm at Sand Creek High School

October 25th - Seniors, turn in order with Herff Jones from 11:45 am-12:30 pm

October 30th - Coffee with the Principal. We will have monthly meetings, so this way we can have a new group of people each month. An invite will be sent out monthly to sign up.