Principal's Corner #33

April 19, 2019

Dear Cottonwood Staff,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to say THANK YOU. This has been a week full of ups and downs, but at the end of this week, I cannot help but reflect on how fortunate and humbled I am to be the Principal of Cottonwood Creek. We began our week with a wonderful learning experience. Our staff, students and community came together to experience a near space balloon launch. It was awesome to see the awe in our students, the future scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians and most of all, dreamers of the future. Then Tuesday and Wednesday brought unprecedented events. Throughout the course of those days, I am grateful for all of you. Everyone stepped up and helped escort parents, answer phones, check the playgrounds, check the doors etc. Student safety was our number one priority, and that in itself takes a village. Thursday, we returned to school and began our day with a staff meeting. As I looked around the library that morning, I felt proud to be your leader. It was clear you are vested in our students and their wellbeing. I appreciate you greeting our families in the morning and walking your students out at the end of the day. I appreciate the safety team meeting with me on short notice to debrief the events that have unfolded over the past few weeks. On to Friday...we had people pitching in to help around the building, from cross walk to covering for other classrooms – you all are truly amazing! I thank you for your commitment to our children and each other. Again, I am fortunate and humbled to serve you each day.

Most respect,


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Safety Committee Debrief and Action Steps

Our safety committee brought up a variety of questions/concerns. I was able to sit down with our local police officer and our executive director this morning to share some concerns and brainstorm solutions. I am committed to clarifying our protocols and communication. Our committee did determine there were some immediate steps we needed to take. Please read through the action steps below and if you have any questions, please see me, Ashley or any member of the safety committee.

  • You should have received a text message from me today. Please be sure to respond as directed in the text to my cell number. I want to make sure everyone receives the text. We will be able to use this method to communicate any immediate communications in the future.

  • Effective immediately:

    • All staff will walk outside at dismissal. If at 2:55 you still have students who have not been picked up or have not walked/biked home, please bring them to the front office.
    • When the morning bell rings to come in, all teacher will walk outside to greet their class and walk them into the building.
    • There were concerns about our bus riders shared; we have had students miss the bus and we have several students running around playing instead of lining up. As a grade level, please determine one teacher who will be responsible for walking your grade level bus riders to the bus line. The remaining teachers will help dismiss the students from that teacher’s class. The end goal is to increase supervision and visibility at dismissal.

Again, if you have any questions, please see me, Ashley or any member of the safety committee.

Thank you for helping ensure the safety of our staff, students and community.

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It’s the time of year when we are still working hard to finish out the 2018-19 school year, but we’ve also begun to plan for the 2019-20 school year. As I shared, I submitted two staffing plans: one for full day kindergarten and one for half day kindergarten. These plans outline the numbers and positions, but not the people behind the numbers. I also shared that we will have movement next year and that as soon as our staffing design is finalized I can finalize the people behind the numbers. I’ve started to have conversations with individuals whose positions are impacted by either staffing plan, and hope that we can finalize all of this sooner than later. However, I know many of you are starting to plan for the 2019-20 school year. In addition to the ½ day offered by the union, I will offer an additional ½ day for team planning. Please coordinate as a team when you want to use this time and email me and Joan the date/times. May 3rd is also a great opportunity to plan as a team. Other than meeting with Specials and Interventionists, there are no school wide meetings that day. I purposefully did this so you could use this day to plan with your current teams.

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I am really excited about the video being created by the PTO to kick off the school year. I have already volunteered to be involved. Please see the email below from Lyndee and Allison where they provide some additional details about what they need from us. I would love to see as many of us as possible supporting this important project.

Thank you!

Katie Johnson


Hello Teacher and Staff friends!

As you know, we are excited to create a video highlighting the impact of the PTO, and we would REALLY love your help. We want to reiterate this will be very low pressure! Our FINAL video will be about 2 – 3 minutes in total AND, we will only be using one short portion of an answer from each participant. We are asking that each participant answer 2 or 3 questions from a list that we will provide you well in advance.

Please use our sign up genius below. Once we get your confirmation of interest, we will reach out to you to schedule our time together and get you the sample questions (we won’t need more than a few minutes of your time).

We are trying to get as much involvement as possible and we would be forever grateful if we could include you!

Thank you so much!

Allison and Lyndee

Professional Learning Opportunities

Check out the great professional learning opportunities taking place this summer. The link to our Summer EdVentures website can be accessed from this email.

Our new registration link, PD Pro can also be accessed from our tile in myEmployee.


Printing Inventory

On Monday, May 13th, the district will be at COT to conduct a detailed inventory of all printing devices, including Xerox devices, desktop printers, fax machines and any other miscellaneous printers (wide format, 3D, etc.). This process will require a walk-through of every room. They are doing this at every school. The walk-through will be conducted by a small team from Lewan and a representative from Fiscal Services.


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Other Important Dates

  • April 22: Art Show 4:00-7:00
  • April 25: 3rd Grade Program 6:30
  • April 25: Katie Out in the AM
  • April 29-April 30: Katie Out (High Trails)
  • April 30-May 1: Ashley Out (High Trails)
  • May 2: Arnett Retirement @ Las Brisas 4:00-6:00
  • May 2: 2nd/3rd Grade Choir Concert
  • May 3: Non-Contact Day
  • 8:00-9:30 Specials and Admin review class lists, 9:30-10:30 Intervention and Admin review class lists
  • May 8: Retirement Recognition Dinner
  • May 9: 1st Grade Program 6:30
  • May 10: Katie and Ashley out ALL DAY
  • May 13: The Day the Kids Ran the School
  • May 14: Katie and Ashley out in the AM
  • May 14: School Accountability MEeting 6:00, STEM Room
  • May 17: FIELD DAY
  • May 21: Katie out in the AM
  • May 22: Katie out in the AM
  • May 22: Kindergarten Graduation 1:00
  • May 23: 5th Grade Continuation 8:30
  • May 24: Last Day of School, 11:00 Dismissal

Use the form below to sign up for a PST Pre-Referral Meeting