Cottonwood Creek Cougar Chronicle

March 12, 2021

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CMAS Update

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) state testing for third through fifth grade is just around the corner. The Math CMAS assesses math concepts, math skills and procedures, mathematical reasoning, and real-world mathematical application. On the English Language Arts CMAS, students will be asked to read one or more texts, answer comprehension and vocabulary questions, and draw evidence from the text(s) to respond in writing. Practice resources for CMAS can be found at

The CMAS testing window opens March 29th. We are working diligently to finalize our testing schedule. Our goal is to create a schedule that will have the least impact on instructional time as possible. Please note the weeks below; we will share the specific details and dates when we return from spring break.

  • 5th Grade will test the week of April 5th.
  • 4th Grade will test the week of April 12th.
  • 3rd Grade will test the week of April 26.

As has always been the case for parents in Colorado, you can excuse your child from CMAS testing. If this is your choice, please fill out the exemption form located on the State Assessment Exemption tile at You can view instructions for filling out the exemption here. You can do this at any time; for planning purposes, it is helpful to do this prior to the start of CMAS testing.

Students who are opted out of CMAS will be cohorted by grade level and will be able to read, draw, and/or write in reflective journals. There will be no new learning or special experiences provided for students during this time.

If you have any questions/concerns, please contact your child's teacher.

A Message from Kelli Minatta, current 3rd Grade Teacher

Hello Cottonwood Community,

After much thought and reflection, I have made the difficult decision that this will be my last school year at Cottonwood Creek. I’m making a career change into the marketing sector, where I’ll be working alongside my sister.

These past five years at Cottonwood have been so meaningful. Being a teacher means constantly learning and adapting, and I am grateful to all of you for the lessons learned and guidance along the way. I will always remember my third-grade students fondly, and so appreciate the support and friendship from the community!

Thank you for the memories.

Wishing you all the best,

Kelli Minatta

A Message from Tori Cohen, former 1st Grade Teacher

Dear Cottonwood Community,

More than 14 years ago, I was fortunate to join the Cottonwood Creek Staff as a First Grade Teacher. Since then, I have had the privilege of teaching so many of your children, and the incredibly special pleasure of getting to know so many of you and your families. I have absolutely loved these moments! Teaching your children and spending time with you all has been deeply rewarding. You were the motivation behind the great teaching and love for your kids! Although it is hard to say goodbye to this chapter in my life, I have an opportunity to stay at home with our baby, Mia. Although I am leaving my role at Cottonwood, I look forward to staying in touch with you. Wishing you and your families a safe rest of the school year.

Tori Cohen

Class Placement Input Reminder

We are working hard in our preparations for the 2021-22 school year. While we have many decisions to make around scheduling, staffing, and professional learning, generating class lists is one of the most important things we do to create the foundation for continued success in the upcoming school year.

The process of generating class lists is collaborative in nature and involves input from staff members from all aspects of our school. The integrity and professionalism of our staff is the foundation of our wonderful school. We feel that we know each of our students well. We know their learning styles, relationships with peers, academic strengths and challenges. Our intention is to create groups of children who reflect heterogeneity and cohesiveness. Student placement is based upon many considerations. Some of the influencing factors in this process include:

  • Balance of male and female students

  • A heterogeneous range of reading, writing, and math in each room

  • Consideration of emotional needs, giftedness, and other special needs

  • Separation of social conflicts

  • Balance of students with strong leadership qualities

  • Balance of students with good study habits

You may notice that I did not mention the older siblings’ teacher as a factor to consider. I understand the value of relationships and the consistency that this offers. However, this factor does not supersede the overall goal of creating groups of children who reflect heterogeneity and cohesiveness.

Due to the complexity of the class placement process, we are not able to honor specific requests for a classroom teacher. Requests for specific teachers will not be granted and should not be part of the information you share. If you would like to add to our knowledge of your child’s social, emotional, or academic needs, you may do so via email to me no later than Monday, April 12th. Please title the email 2021-22 Student Placement. This is an opportunity for you to have a voice. The needs you share will be treated as part of the process in making assignments for next year. We ask for this information in advance so that we can consider it throughout the process of creating our lists. A lot of work goes into this process during the Spring, so I do encourage you to email me before Monday, April 12th versus waiting until the Fall.

Thank you in advance for respecting the integrity of this process. I am excited about next year and look forward to your partnership as we work together for the success of your child.


Katie Johnson


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Support in your Native Language

English:Please contact (name of liaison) at (email) for support with this resource in your language.

Amharic: እነዝህን መረጃዎችን በተመለከተ በቋንቋዎ ዕገዛን ለማግኘት ከፈለጉ እባክዎን ተሊሌን በዝህ እሜይል ያግኙዋት

Arabic:يرجى الاتصال بـ (جميعة صباحي أو جاودة العلمي) على ( أو للحصول على الدعم مع هذا المورد باللغة العربية.

Chinese: 如有需要,请经由,与韩馥联系,以您的语言获得此资源的支持。

Korean: 귀하의 언어로 이 자원에 대한 지원을 원하시면 (리아 리) 에게 ( 로 문의하십시오.

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

Somali: Fadlan la xiriir Omar Nur cinwaanka si aad u hesho macluumaad ku qoran luqadaada.

Spanish: Si necesita ayuda con este recurso en su idioma, póngase en contacto con Ilse Chavez Maldonado en, Rosa Han en, Helena Gognat en o Milagro Nuanes en

Vietnamese: Vui lòng liên hệ với Thuý Ngọc tại để được hỗ trợ về tài nguyên này bằng tiếng Việt.

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