- Peak to Peak Charter School
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Weekly Digest 12.1.17
Welcome to the Peak to Peak Weekly Digest!
The following information is for the week of 12/4-12/8
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Week of 12/4/17-12/8/17:
Monday 12/4: Accountability Committee meeting 3:30-5:00 PM (south conference room); Orchestra concert 6:00-8:00 PM (auditeria)
Tuesday 12/5: Wellness Advisory Council meeting 3:30-4:30 PM (counseling center); Choir concert 6:00-8:00 PM (auditeria)
Wednesday 12/6: Band concert 5:30-8:30 PM (auditeria)
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It's almost Colorado Gives Day - Are YOU IN?! Last year, we raised $60,000 in donations on this day alone - let's see if we can beat it this year! Worried you'll forget? Donations can be scheduled ANYTIME to be processed and eligible to receive a % of the Colorado Gives Day Incentive Fund on December 5th. Curious how the Inventive Fund works? After Colorado Gives Day, a percentage of the Colorado Gives Day Fund is allocated to every participating charity BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF DONATIONS to that charity. That means, the more donations we receive that day, the high % of the fund we will receive. The $1 Million Incentive Fund created by Colorado Gives partners is one of the largest giving-day incentive funds in the country and we are thrilled to be part of this wonderful Colorado event. Donations of all amounts are appreciated - let's go for 100% participation and benefit from this exciting match!
If you are looking for more reasons to support Peak to Peak check out and share our Annual Campaign video produced by P2P alumni Teri Andony! Watch it directly here: https://youtu.be/MXLt_
Thank you to all of you have already made a financial donation to Peak to Peak, your contributions are very much appreciated!
NEW Strategically Planning Ahead for Innovation - Land Purchase
As part of the school’s long-term strategic planning efforts, Peak to Peak’s Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) have been exploring the possibility of additional construction on campus to accommodate dreams for a variety of possibilities in the future. Big picture ideas that have been discussed include an “Innovation Hub,” which would include flexible learning/collaboration space for students and room to host businesses that partner with the school to offer internship or apprentice opportunities to students. Other ideas include outdoor learning space, enhanced activities/athletic facilities, and/or improved space for the Before and After School Care Program (BAASC). All of these ideas are very much in the conceptual stage of discussions with no firm plans in place; however, as a forward-thinking organization, Peak to Peak’s Board and ELT recognize the value in being proactive and in aligning our actions to the strategically-focused discussions that are happening.
To ensure that Peak to Peak has the option to pursue these types of opportunities in the future, the Board recently engaged a commercial real estate broker to pursue the purchase of vacant land adjacent to Peak to Peak’s campus. This land purchase has been on the school’s capital needs wishlist since early last school year. The Board is pleased to announce that a contract for purchase of a parcel has been extended and accepted. This deal is expected to close in late December or early January. Not only does acquiring this land ensure that Peak to Peak will have the option to expand the campus in the future, it also protects the school from other, outside development that could potentially have a negative impact.
Peak to Peak is paying cash for this purchase, using funds from the school’s financial reserves, which are not part of the operational budget. Thus, Peak to Peak’s current programs, staffing and operations will not be affected by this transaction. Additionally, because of its careful financial management practices, Peak to Peak will still be able to easily maintain the minimum reserve level required by our bond covenants and industry-standard best practices. The school will essentially be converting some of its cash reserves into a land asset that has a high probability of appreciating in the current market that exists in our area. The purchase has received the full encouragement and support of Peak to Peak’s Finance and Budget Committee. All of this is great news for Peak to Peak!
We will keep you updated as future developments take place, and as ideas are fleshed out. For now, know that Peak to Peak is well positioned financially and with its physical facilities for the exciting future that lies ahead. We invite you to keep up with Board topics by attending meetings, reading the Friday Digest, as well as Board agendas and minutes that are posted online. In addition, the Board and leadership team welcome your personal connections through email, phone calls or in-person conversations.
Best wishes for a great weekend,
Peak to Peak’s Board of Directors
NEW School Day/Calendar Family Survey
Dear Peak to Peak Families,
As a mission-driven organization, Peak to Peak is committed to continuous improvement, which requires that we reflect on our current practices so we can be sure we are maximizing our resources to best support students’ needs. One of the most precious resources we have is time, and this year the leadership team has raised questions and engaged in discussions about whether the ways in which we use time (as reflected in our school day schedule and calendar) align with research and best practices that allow students to learn in the best possible ways. Specifically, we considered the question of whether we should consider a later start time to the school day to align with research that supports the benefits of extra sleep for students. Additionally, we are seeking your opinions on the frequency and length of early release days, and exploring the option of re-implementing a late start on some days.
To explore these ideas fully, we turned you, as parents/guardians, and our staff, as experts. We invited all who were interested to participate on an ad-hoc subcommittee dedicated to analyzing current research in these areas, and to have in-depth discussions about the potential positive and negative impacts that any changes would have on our K-12 school community. More than 30 people from all school levels, including teachers, counselors, and parents answered this call, and for the past two months, have been engaged in this exploratory work. Research used to guide the committee’s discussions is listed in this document.
After surveying staff and streamlining ideas, this group would now like to get your feedback on the questions that have been discussed so that it can be understood and factored into the future discussions. Your feedback on this survey is important and will inform the subcommittee’s discussions. The subcommittee will conclude its work in before winter break, and any recommendations will go to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) for consideration. The ELT will use this information to guide discussions about the master schedule, and will, in turn, make recommendations for changes (if any) to the Board of Directors in February 2018. Please note that no decisions have yet been made, and your input to this process is vital and will be carefully considered as we move forward.
Please complete this survey on or before 5:00 pm on Friday, December 8th. Here is the link to the survey: Family Survey
Kelly Reeser, on behalf of the School Day/Calendar Subcommittee
NEW Mr. Chandler Retirement Announcement & New AD Named
After 16 years serving as your 6-12 Athletics and Activities Director, I have decided to retire at the conclusion of this school year. I have been fortunate to work in a school that emphasizes character of their students as an important mission of the school. We have such amazing students at Peak to Peak who are incredible in the classrooms, on the playing fields and on stage. It has been the students who have truly kept me young at heart. Just yesterday, I read “The Mermaid” to one of our 5th grade classes. A couple weeks back, I did my annual calling of the Virginia Reel for our second graders during their “Frontier Days” unit. The parents seemed to have just as much fun dancing as the kiddos. I might be the only person left at P2P who actually remembers how to dance this way. During my years of service at Peak to Peak, I have grown and flourished. I have learned much from my colleagues, parents and especially our students. Thank you all for the tremendous support you have shown to your children, our school and me over the years. I will never forget my experiences here and will continue to support our Pumas. I wish you all the best in the future.
We are pleased to welcome Daniel Seidman, long-time 5th grade teacher in our K-12 school, as our new 6-12 Director of Athletics and Activities beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Dan will continue teaching 5th grade for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year, and step into the 6-12 Director of Athletics and Activities on July 1, 2018. We are very excited to have Dan taking the reins of this leadership opportunity. Please join us in welcoming Dan in his new role.
NEW Wellness Advisory Council December Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
3:30-4:30 PM in the College Counseling Center (CCC)
3:30-3:50 PM Share out time
3:50-4:10 PM Informational session about recycling and composting, presented by Monika Bunting and Dale Eckhart from Eco-Cycle.
4:10-4:30 PM Brainstorming session
NEW Wrapping Paper Donations Needed
The holiday wrapping event is a huge event to thank the staff for all they do! We would love your support by bringing in any wrapping paper, ribbons and tape that you can donate for this fun event by Wednesday, December 6th! Themed wrapping paper such as Winter, Christmas, and Hanukkah is greatly appreciated! A white bin is set up by the front door of the South Building for these donations.
NEW Community Film Screening Night: December 13th 6:00 PM Auditeria
Come watch a documentary called "Being “ñ”, a documentary film screening hosted by the Spanish for Heritage-Speakers class! It interviews many first-generation American-born Latinos about the beauty and challenges of being a part of two cultures. In addition, students will display their final projects which incorporate formal writing in Spanish and digital art to research and relate to a Latin@ leader. We hope to see you there!
Attention Secondary Families: Finals Ahead 2017
Dear Students, Parents and Families:
First, of all, this is your official “head’s up” that there are only three more weeks of regular instruction prior to finals examinations this fall. Given this short timeline, below are the procedures we have in place for our students across the 6-12. An essential part of our college prep experience here is to expose students to college-style final exams and the rigor of extended writing and problem-solving work associated with cumulative assessments. We intentionally balance the number of finals over the course of the week prior to break to help students prepare for, and demonstrate mastery in, each of their courses. Your assistance aligning and following each of these expectations, as well as helping guide your teens in their preparation, healthy eating and sleeping habits leading up to finals, will maximize their achievement and minimize challenges in wrapping up the semester.
1. Just like school attendance generally, finals are an important, culminating piece of a full-semester of learning at Peak to Peak. In some cases, students will be taking 90-minute cumulative final exams including a mix of challenging multiple-choice and/or free response essay questions. In other cases, they may be sharing final presentations resulting from multiple weeks of research and/or project-based learning work. Regardless of the form, finals are a required part of our courses, and students are expected to adhere to our final exam schedule that is published on the school website. Please DO NOT schedule family travel or appointments during finals week that will prevent students from taking their scheduled exams each morning. In case of emergencies, students must alert their teacher and assigned counselor as soon as possible, get the principal’s permission for consideration (case by case review), and work to find appropriate make-up assessment opportunities if approval is granted. Students may face academic penalties for missing finals, including earning a zero on given exams, if they fail to attend.
2. Finals are scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes each, and run from December 19-22nd, during the hours of 7:55-11:05 AM, each day (2 block periods each day, including a make-up period on 12/22 from 9:35-11:05 AM). High school students with study halls and student aide or teaching aide assignments are not expected to attend school during those periods. Below is the finals schedule for students in grades 6-12:
3. In the week prior to final exams, teachers limit content so that students have adequate time to prepare for finals. Each teacher will provide a detailed final exam review at least one week before the final exam is scheduled. Teachers will not implement additional exams, significant research papers and/or prepare large projects that push them beyond what is manageable right before we expect students to take finals.
4. Our 9th grade teachers and assistant principal provide a Cocoa & Cram Session on Tuesday, December 12th from 3:05-5pm pm in the cafeteria, to help our 9th graders prepare for their first high school finals. It’s a great review opportunity, and all freshmen are encouraged to attend.
5. Teachers of elective courses (including technology, the arts, health, PE, etc.) may include final exams as part of their mastery of learning expectations during finals week, although they are not expected to do so. These are at the discretion of each teacher and depend on the course and challenge level included. Please refer to their course syllabi and/or teacher class pages on the Peak to Peak website.
6. Final exam weighting will range from 10-15% of the total semester grade, and be posted in Infinite Campus with the assigned weight. Following final exam scoring, semester grades will be due upon the staff’s return in January. In some cases, a student may be eligible for an incomplete grade (pending recommendation by the teacher and student’s assigned counselor), and limited to medical or other emergency reasons. Please alert the student’s counselor if this arises.
After finals are completed, and over the winter break period, we want all students to take a genuine break from school coursework. As such, we do not require or expect students to be engaged in school content study during their two weeks off. This time is valuable for rest, recuperation and to invite opportunities for outside reading, reflection and authentic “down time.” We need it as educators, and our students truly need this time off in order to bring their best in the next semester.
Thanks for all you’ve done to set up a great first semester, and for helping us norm our community to these expectations. We wish you and your families the best for a wonderful holiday season ahead, and are thankful for all of your support.
Kelly Reeser, Executive Director of Education
Kyle Mathews, High School Principal
Lori Preston, Middle School Principal
Upcoming K-12 Music Performances
All performances are located in the P2P Auditeria unless otherwise noted:
NEW COUNSELING and CHARACTER CONNECTION
Our character trait for the month of December is RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility means...please click HERE to read the entire article.
NEW Music Performances
"'Tis the season to be singing..." and that is what we are doing in our music classes. In Kindergarten and 1st grade we have started to sing Winter Holiday songs. Second and 3rd grade students will be having their Winter Holiday song unit during the weeks of December 11thand 18th. We will be singing a variety of songs for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, as well as moving and playing rhythmic and melodic instruments. We will be following the BVSD guidelines, which allow the teaching of secular music and traditional carols as they relate to different cultures.
The culminating event will be our annual Elementary School Sing-Along and 5th grade band, orchestra, and choir presentation. This is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 20th, at 1:30 in the northwest gym. You are invited to attend this special event and sing along with your children. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early to sign in at the attendance window. Please feel free to contact Jewel Wolfe with any questions. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEW After School Programs
NEW Coffee with Counselors
Please join our Middle School Counselors for Coffee on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 10:00 AM (the hour before students release from finals) in the south conference room. We will be discussing college and future visioning for the middle school student & parent, included in our discussion will be tips for increasing the chances of your child choosing and graduating from their school of choice and how finances play into that equation! We will have a guest counselor from the high school joining us. We hope to see you for afternoon coffee or tea!
Middle School Dance
Middle School Announcements
Click on this LINK to view the announcements that were read today to our middle school students.
High School Announcements
Click on this LINK to view the announcements that were read today to our high school students.
NEW Puma Home Games
Middle School Lunch Assistance