August 19, 2021
A Note from Mr. Capp
The First Week!
Parents, we’ve had a very successful beginning to the 21-22 school year. It’s a treat for me to reconnect with your kids and learn the new ones. Kinders have already come to visit my office looking for the gingerbread man. Mrs. Donovan led new students on the Tour de Steele, introducing them to adults and spaces all over the building. Students are rekindling friendships and building new ones.
Please keep an eye on the calendar, since we have some important events coming right up. Next week, Thursday the 26th, is Back to School night for grades 1-5. We run 2 sessions for those with more than one student. Back-to-School night works best with just parents, so please make arrangements for child care that night. We highly recommend mask-wearing at this event. Our ability to keep virus transmittance at Steele will help us safely host the fun events like Art Night, “A Day in the Life of Your Student Night” (new!), and MonsterMash, our Halloween celebration.
Back-to-School Night Times
Session 1: 5:30-6:05
Leadership Message: 6:05-6:20
Session 2: 6:25-7:00
As you know, the district is not requiring masks of adults or children until the 5-day threshold for positive cases reaches 200 for every 100,000 people in El Paso County. If you are a little OCD about this like I am, you can click here for the current EPC data: https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/covid19data-dashboard. As of this writing on Thursday Aug. 19, the positivity rate is about 167/100,000. It was around 142/100,000 last week at this time.
The critical factor that may affect you as a parent is what happens if there’s a case at school. If your student is masked, they will be less likely to have to quarantine at home for 10 days. They may not have to quarantine at all. And, If your student is unmasked, they will definitely have to quarantine at home for up to 10 days.
The Amazing Front Office and (gulp) PowerSchool
By now you’ve probably noticed that we switched our student info system to Powerschool. Many of you have had issues with signing up, connecting your child to your account, etc. Our front office is committed to helping with all your questions, and researching the answer when they don’t know the answers.
An additional note regarding school systems. Several of you received phone messages, texts, emails, and various other forms of communication regarding lunch account balances. Overnight, the "Low Balance Alert" was turned on in our system, prompting the messages several of you received. At this time, breakfast and lunch continue to be free and you can ignore the lunch account balances for now.
And, if you haven’t already met her, please welcome Kelly Brakefield, our new office admin assistant, to the Steele team! She’s an incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and kind colleague. We have a great team here at Steele and are glad to serve your students every day.
A Note from the Office
- Please bring your personal ID with you when you are signing out your students from the office. Our new Admin. Asst. Mrs. Brakefield wants to get to know you and recognize you and ensure that we are keeping your children safe.
- If you are planning an extended absence from school. Please use the "Prearranged Absence Form" under the Parent Resources on our web page. This just lets the office and your teacher know that you will be gone and what arrangements we may need to do for you while you are gone.
- Please make sure to update your contact information in the PowerSchool Parent Portal or contact the office and we will update your information for you.
- ParentPortal issues are still being worked on. If you are having trouble and are unable to contact the help desk at 520-2487. Please call the office and we will add you to our list of parents that we will follow-up with once we have a solution.
A Note from the Counselor
We’re so happy to have your children back after the summer, in person and learning together! A special welcome to all of our new families -- We’re so happy to have you at Steele! I’ll be reaching out to you over the next several days to introduce myself and get to know you a little, as I have been meeting your students in lunch groups this week to help them orient to the school and feel more comfortable. We are very hopeful for a smooth and relatively normal year where our students are safe, healthy, and HERE!
As the full-time school counselor, I am here every day to help students manage their emotions, cope with family or friend issues, and feel successful in school. If your student(s) need any extra support over the course of the year, or if there are things we should know that would help us better support them, please do not hesitate to call or email me. I will also be teaching social emotional learning (SEL) lessons in the classrooms starting next week, on topics such as empathy, respect, identifying feelings and solving conflicts. At Steele, we strive to create an environment where EVERY student knows they belong here and are valued and cared for.
I look forward to connecting with all of you in person this year and building our community together!
Anna Donovan, NCC, LPCC
719-328-4709 (direct line)