Explorer Express

Happenings Around Dry Creek Elementary

Greetings Dry Creek Families,

Happy New Year! We are off and running into 2022 already here at school. As we return from winter break, there have been updates regarding operational needs and isolation and quarantine guidance that was communicated earlier in the week. I have included those updates in this newsletter as well for your reference. I hope that you all have a good start to 2022, we are excited to see students back.

Have a great weekend!

-Mr. Watanabe

Reporting Absences

If your student is going to be absent from school, please call and leave a message on the attendance line. The attendance line is (720) 554-3398. The attendance line is constantly monitored and is the best way for us to know who is absent each morning. Thank you!
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Return to School Updates

Mask Mandate - Tri-County Health Department extended the mask mandate. All students and staff are required to wear a mask when inside of school or district buildings.

Staff Shortages – Due to the rise in COVID-19 omicron variant cases, we anticipate possible staff shortages that could impact our school. That could result in temporary closures of daycare, cancellation of activities, and/or moving to remote learning for individual classrooms or our entire school. We are doing everything we can to keep schools open for in-person learning, but if we must close for any period, we will communicate with you as soon as possible.

Class or School Outbreaks – We have strong measures in place to protect the health of our students and staff at our school, including universal mask-wearing and the availability of safe, effective vaccines for all people 5 years old and older. However, if an outbreak requires us to close a classroom or a grade, we will communicate with you as soon as possible.

So that you can be prepared in the event we go remote, please see the schedule below. We will communicate more detailed plans as needed.

Elementary Student’s School Day:

Synchronous (K-2) 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., (3-5) 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., 5 days a week

Asynchronous (K-2) 11:00 a.m. - 1:45 p.m., (3-5) 9:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 5 days a week

Bus Transportation – Bus transportation could be disrupted due to possible staff shortages. This may result in canceled bus routes or significant delays. Please have a plan in place if your child’s bus route is canceled. Consider carpooling if it is an option for your family. We will communicate any cancellations or delays as soon as possible. Please understand we may not know about canceled routes until that day.

School Meals – There may be times that students have reduced options or are served bagged lunches if there are not enough staff to prepare hot meals.

Thank you for your partnership in our ongoing efforts to keep students and staff healthy and schools open.

PTCO General Meeting - Wednesday January 12th at 6:30pm

The PTCO hold a general meeting on Wednesday 1/12 at 6:30pm via Zoom. Click the button below to join the meeting.

Volunteer Policy

If you are currently volunteering or plan to volunteer in the future, please complete the online volunteer form. It should only take a few minutes to complete. We want to thank you in advance and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.

New Colorado legislation has prompted a greater need to screen and document volunteers in our schools. Therefore, beginning January 2022, we must ensure that every volunteer completes a brief application to support activities in CCSD schools. This information will be automatically linked to the Raptor System. The good news is they only need to complete this form once per school year, and it will meet the requirement to volunteer in all CCSD buildings.

To access the form, please click on the following link: https://apps.raptortech.com/Apply/NzU0OmVuLVVT


  • Volunteers are guests who are supporting students, completing tasks, and under the immediate supervision and direction of District licensed personnel.

  • Visitors are guests who are solely entering the building to conduct business such as participate in a meeting, eat lunch with their student, or attend a school-sponsored activity.

The safety and security of our students and staff remain our top priority. Every person entering our buildings must have a District ID or a badge printed from the Raptor System.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Kindergarten Round-Up

Attention all incoming Kindergarteners! It is almost time to register for Kindergarten. The first week of February incoming Kindergarten students can register for the 2022-23 school year online by visiting the Cherry Creek School Admissions page. We look forward to welcoming the newest Explorers to the Dry Creek community!


Help grow Dry Creek!

We would love to grow Dry Creek by having new students join us. If you know a family looking for a school to call home, please invite them to come tour Dry Creek!

Also, there are flyers that you can pick up in the main office to provide for neighbors or friends who are looking for a school for an incoming Kindergartener or any other grade. The flyer looks like the graphic below and can also be downloaded and shared. The best way to grow Dry Creek is by personal recommendations from parents like you!

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Updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines

Federal and state health agencies have issued new guidance regarding isolation periods for people who test positive for COVID-19. Staff or students who test positive for COVID-19 can return to work/school on day 6 if they have no symptoms or symptoms are greatly improved (and they do not have a fever on day 5). Those who return from isolation on day 6 must continue to wear a mask in compliance with the county mask mandate. This guidance is subject to change.

There have also been changes to the quarantine guidance for those who are in close contact with a COVID-positive person. For the updated guidance please contact our school nurse if you have symptoms of illness or have been exposed to a COVID-positive person. The school nurse can be reached at (720) 554-3305.

Nurse's Corner

Illness at School and Decreasing the Spread: How Can you Help?

Please keep your student/s home from school if they are feeling sick. If your student has symptoms seen with COVID-19 (regardless of their vaccination status), they should not come to school.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include ANY of the following: Feeling feverish, having chills, a temperature of 100.4 F or greater, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell, sore throat, runny nose or congestion, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

We encourage anyone with symptoms to reach out to their healthcare provider and seek out COVID testing.

No-cost COVID testing is available to anyone in the Cherry Creek community who needs a test:

· For current Cherry Creek students and staff: https://www.primarybio.com/l/cherry

· For friends, family, and community members: https://www.primarybio.com/l/cdphe

Please note: With the large number of cases currently in the community, timely testing is difficult to schedule, and obtaining results are extended as well.

The best way to prevent experiencing severe illness due to the COVID-19 virus or the upcoming seasonal flu (influenza) virus, is to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children ages 5-11, see our district vaccine page for more information:


Seasonal Flu vaccines will be available at most sites after October 1st, but many grocery and drug stores have them available all year.

Vaccine Information for children 5-11 years old

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 5-11 after two federal agencies – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – granted emergency use authorization and expanded vaccine recommendations to include this age group.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, our students and our community from the COVID-19 virus. The pediatric vaccine is a lower dose that has been researched and determined effective for children ages 5-11. Like the adult Pfizer vaccine, children will receive their two vaccines 21 days apart. For more information about the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, visit this CDC website. For specific questions about the COVID vaccine and your child, contact your health care provider. Please note that any absence associated with the vaccine will be excused, and that clinics will require a parent or guardian to be present with any child who is getting a vaccine.

The district has been working with our health care partners to be ready to offer clinics and other access to vaccines for families who choose to vaccinate their children. Visit our Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine webpage to find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine for your child. Check back often, as we will update the page with more resources and links to sign up for clinics as they become available.

Our first major clinic will be on Friday, Nov. 12 at Smoky Hill High School in partnership with STRIDE Community Health Center. At this clinic, we will have pediatric COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as flu shots for children and adults, COVID-19 vaccines for those 12 years and older and COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Register for this clinic here.

You can also register your child for one of the Children’s Hospital Colorado COVID-19 vaccine clinics here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/kids-vaccines.

We are excited about this opportunity to offer the vaccine to more of our students.

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Early Dismissal on Wednesdays

Elementary schools will dismiss at 1:45 p.m. every Wednesday. For families who participate in after-school child care, the after-school program will be extended every Wednesday at no additional cost. For families who need care, you can register with our Explorer Club Before and After School Program. Please contact our Director, Julie Cottorone, at jcottorone@cherrycreekschools.org for more information.

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What's for Lunch this Week?

Use the drop down menu and select "Dry Creek"

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Rent the Rock!

Dry Creek parents, students, and staff can “Rent the Rock” to recognize a birthday/academic achievement, show school spirit, thank/recognize a teacher or staff member, celebrate a graduation, etc. It’s a great way to spread a positive message, make someone smile and help build our Dry Creek Explorer community spirit. Spirit rock reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis so make your reservation before your special day is taken! www.drycreekptco.org/dce-spirit-rock
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Accountability Committee

Accountability will meet on the following dates at 6:00 pm:

  • January 27, 2022 - Virtual
  • February 24, 2021 - In-person
  • March 24, 2021 - Virtual

P.A.S.S. Committee

P.A.S.S. will meet on the following dates at 6:00pm:
  • January 12, 2021 - Canceled
  • February 16, 2021 - Virtual
  • April 13, 2021 - In-Person

Parent, Teacher, and Community Organization (PTCO)

General Meeting Dates:

  • January 12, 2022 at 6:30pm
  • March 9, 2022 at 8:30am
  • May 11, 2022 at 6:30pm

Coffee with the Principal

Coffee with the principal begins at 8:00 am right after drop-off in the library on the following dates:

  • January 25, 2022
  • March 29, 2022
  • April 26, 2022
  • May 24, 2022

Language Translation Resources

Families who need Dry Creek Elementary communication translated, please contact the liaison listed:


Please contact Kati Brinks at kbrinks@cherrycreekschools.org for support with this resource in your language.


እነዝህን መረጃዎችን በተመለከተ በቋንቋዎ ዕገዛን ለማግኘት ከፈለጉ እባክዎን ተሊሌን በዝህ እሜይል ያግኙዋት thirpa@cherrycreekschools.org


يرجى الاتصال بـ (جميعة صباحي أو جاودة العلمي) على (jsebbahi@cherrycreekschools.org أو

jdajanialami@cherrycreekschools.org للحصول على الدعم مع هذا المورد باللغة العربية.




귀하의 언어로 이 자원에 대한 지원을 원하시면 (리아 리) 에게 (llee6@cherrycreekschools.org) 로 문의하십시오.


Пожалуйста, обращайтесь к Ларисе Бака по адресу: lbaca3@cherrycreekschools.org для получения поддержки с помощью этого ресурса на своём языке.


Fadlan la xiriir Omar Nur cinwaanka emaylka-onur2@cherrycreekschools.org si aad u hesho macluumaad ku qoran luqadaada.


Si necesita ayuda con este recurso en su idioma, póngase en contacto con Ilse Chavez Maldonado en ichavezmaldonado@cherrycreekschools.org, Rosa Han en rhan4@cherrycreekschools.org, Helena Gognat en hgognat@cherrycreekschools.org o Milagro Nuanes en mnuanes@cherrycreekschools.org


Vui lòng liên hệ với Thuý Ngọc tại Lchung2@cherrycreekschools.org để được hỗ trợ về tài nguyên này bằng tiếng Việt.