PRA Gala & CMAS Continued
March 22, 2018
We want to personally thank all of the families who came out this last Saturday, March 17th to help support the PRA community. It was a special evening, and the PRA administration and staff appreciate the dedication and support of the community. PRA would not be where it is today without your donations and overall positive collaboration! We hope each one of you enjoyed the festivities.
Our amazing 3rd grade Teacher Mr. Chesser has worked hard and collaborated with staff and students to organize an awesome encouragement video for our upcoming 3rd-5th grade students who will begin state standardized testing upon return from spring break. Please make sure and take a look at all the great things your students have been doing to prepare to “Show what they know!” A personal thank you to Mr. Chesser for his excitement and dedication to getting the community hyped up for testing season.
March 15, 2018
For several years we’ve been able to offer a summer enrichment program to support students during the summer months. Due to construction this summer, we will not be offering summer enrichment. Though we can’t offer a formal program, we do have several teachers interested in providing tutoring services. If you would like to inquire about this information, please stop by the front office beginning after spring break to find out the names and contact information of those teachers who are available. Thank you for your understanding! We intend to be back to our typical summer programming in 2019.
March 8, 2018
It is that time of year where our students will be completing the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessment. Students in the following grades are assessed on the content areas below:
- Math (grades 3-9)
- English language arts (grades 3-9)
- Science (grades 5, 8, and 11)
- Social studies (a sampling of students in grades 4 and 7)
The PRA administration and staff have been collaborating with one another and would like to ask the parent community to help support our students and staff. Statewide data provides educators and the community a chance to analyze gaps in learning among our students in comparison with other students across the state. Additionally, these assessments help inform the PRA community, along with educational leaders, on the changes needed to strengthen student outcomes in our school, which is why it’s so important for our parent community to take an active role in supporting our students. Please be looking for upcoming information about the details of our testing season and how you can support PRA and our students. Thank you in advance for your positivity and support in growing our community. Please feel free to take a look at the Colorado Department of Education
for more in-depth information about the CMAS assessments.
March 1, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to complete the annual parent survey. Our SAC (school accountability committee) spends time reviewing the data and making recommendations to our board of directors. We appreciate your honest feedback on our strengths and areas of growth. If you haven’t done so, please take a few minutes to complete the survey today
Conferences & ES Tech Update
February 22, 2018
Conference Thank You!
It was such a joy to see the students present their academic goals and current progress to you this past Thursday. Thank you for partnering with us and for embracing the student-led format, allowing your child’s voice to be at the center of the conversation. We hope you were able to glean the information you needed and had success with the format. If you have any specific feedback please do not hesitate to email Mrs. Pratt or Mrs. Wilkin with your thoughts!
ES Tech Update
We are currently utilizing a substitute for our long-term substitute in technology, though she wishes she could be in the classroom with the kids! Thank you for your patience during this time. Luckily, Ms. Cutshall is helping write the substitute plans and monitoring students progress while also teaching 3rd grade. We are hoping to have Ms. Hayes back in place in April. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. Please address any technology class questions to Mrs. Pratt or Mrs. Wilkin for the time being.
Parent Survey & Parent Appreciation
February 15, 2018
Parent Survey - while you wait!
Our parent survey is now available for you to complete. We have many posters around the building today, Thursday, February 15th so that you can complete the survey while you wait! Our School Accountability Committee (SAC) thoroughly reviews your feedback and uses this data to make recommendations to the board of directors for areas of strength and needed improvement. We appreciate you taking the time to give us this valuable information!
A GIANT thank you to parents for appreciating staff so thoroughly last week. We find ourselves needing a boost in February, and the daily feast at lunch brought everyone’s spirits up and helped push us closer to the finish line. We are so lucky to have such incredible, caring parents who pour so much into us. Thank you for valuing the work we do and showing us through your words and deeds. We ate ourselves silly and will last off of those memories until this time next year!
Servant Leadership & Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
February 8, 2018
Students recently demonstrated ethical leadership through service to others. Thank you to PRA parent, Natalie Truman, for bringing a great opportunity right to our doorstep. We have some incredibly big-hearted children, who created original Valentine’s cards to bring cheer to patients at nearby Children’s Hospital. Thank you for sending us amazing kids! We love helping them grow academically and also grow as people who help others in need. We look forward to seeing you in person next week at conferences to talk more about both aspects of their education at PRA.
As a reminder, we host parent-teacher-student conferences on a non-school day in order to give teachers the opportunity to meet with you face to face. If you are planning a vacation during this time, you will not get the opportunity to meet with teachers in person, and we will not be able to accommodate a separate conference time, but your child’s teacher can send home the information that would have been reviewed at their earliest convenience. If you have a family emergency that day, please let us know and we will work to accommodate you. We are grateful for your commitment to partnering with us to support your child’s success this year!
Mailing Home Report Cards & Test Data
February 1, 2018
In an effort to put important academic information directly into your hands, we are mailing home first-semester report cards this year. Hopefully by now many of you have viewed your child’s first semester grades in your parent portal on Infinite Campus. In addition to their grades, homeroom teachers spent time writing individualized comments for students that will be included in your direct mailing. Also in preparation for upcoming parent-teacher-student conferences we are sending home the mid-year 1st through 5th grade iReady math and reading reports with middle of year scores as compared with beginning of year scores to demonstrate growth and areas of focus. Please plan to bring both of these data sources with you to your conference and any questions you may have about your child’s academic progress. We look forward to collaborating with you to create a supportive plan for your child.
18-19 ES Technology Teacher & Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
January 25, 2018
18-19 ES Technology Teacher
We are proud to announce that for the 2018-2019 school year, one of our current third-grade teachers Christie Cutshall, will be taking the position of K-5 Technology Teacher. This is an exciting change for Christie, as she recently completed her Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. She has done an amazing job putting these skills into practice in her classroom, and she is eager to implement her knowledge with all of our elementary students next school year!
Christie is working closely with our long-term substitute, Nikki Hayes, to plan weekly lessons and is looking forward to getting to know all of your students. We ask that you please refrain from asking her any technology class questions this school year in order for her to continue to give 100% to her current third-grade students and families, but of course certainly feel free to extend to her your best wishes. Congratulations Christie!
Please remember this next round of conferences includes a very important member of our team, your student! We’d like for them to articulate to you, alongside with their teacher, their areas of strength and growth in school this year and their plans to address those needs. Based on feedback from parents at last year’s conferences, we will strive to have portions of the time that are student led, and portions that are parent/teacher conversation. Thank you for your understanding as we work to accommodate your needs as well as your students! We are looking forward to sharing his/her progress with you.
Positive Office Referrals and the PRA Way
January 18, 2018
In the PRA Elementary School we like to recognize students who are showing the PRA way - being Prepared Respectful and Accountable. When staff members see students going out of their way to demonstrate the positive character traits we value at PRA, they recognize them with a Positive Office Referral. In addition to having one of our principals come to the student's classroom to present the Positive Office Referral in front of their classmates, the students picture is shown to the whole school during the next month's character assembly.
Last week we hosted our first ever Positive Office Referral breakfast to have a chance to celebrate our student's amazing displays of character along with their parents. Going forward, we plan to host these breakfasts each quarter to allow our community to continue showing commitment to the PRA way. We want to thank you for your continued collaboration and support as we help grow our students in becoming academic, social & ethical leaders!
ES Technology Teacher Update
January 11, 2018
We’ve conducted a thorough interview process and have extended an offer to a full-time elementary technology teacher for the 18-19 school year (next year). For the remainder of this school year, we are fortunate to have Nicole Hayes, a dedicated and frequently requested long-term substitute teacher taking the helm. Nicole recently served as a long-term substitute during Mrs. Solano’s maternity leave, and is also a PRA parent of two elementary students. She is committed to working closely with our IT staff, elementary teachers, students and parents to provide a positive and successful educational experience in technology. We are excited to have her on the team and look forward to a great second semester. If you have any technology class questions you are welcome to email her at email@example.com
. IT questions (logins etc.) should still be directed to our IT staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Clothing Reminder & A Thank You to Parents
December 21, 2017
Winter Clothing Reminder
We are now firmly into the winter season. We appreciate teachable moments and natural consequences, however, we do get concerned when students come to school in shorts on a 20-degree day. We ask that you please not send your child to school in shorts when the morning temperatures fall below freezing. Additionally, we’d appreciate if you could give them the opportunity to responsibly bring a coat, and other accessories to stay warm during outdoor recess. We recognize this can sometimes be a challenge getting out the door, but it is such a great learning opportunity either that morning or the night before on how to be prepared. Feel free to have your child read this update if that helps them! Many thanks and we are looking forward to starting off the new year with these great habits in place. See you in January!
Thank You Parents
Also - thank you to all the amazing parent volunteers that have been coming in over the course of this week to help with our December special events. We’ve been having fun celebrating and appreciate your help to make it happen!
Academic Data Celebration
December 14, 2017
Thank you all for attending our recent data presentations! If you hadn’t had a chance to attend, the live-stream is available on the GLC facebook pages for your viewing. We’ve recently been working on our UIP (unified improvement plan) submission to the district and the state. Through this work, I’ve noticed some positive trends I wanted to share with you! As always, please reach out with any questions you may have. It is truly an honor to watch your children grow and learn everyday.
In the data below, ELA Achievement stands for English Language Arts achievement. The number in parenthesis is our percentile rank in the state of Colorado. ELA Growth is our English Language Arts growth, with a goal of getting to 50 as a median growth percentile (or higher). As you can see in the numbers below we are consistently improving in both achievement and growth, and really hitting a homerun with our science achievement. Thank you for your support to make this happen! We will continue to keep you informed on ways you can partner with us for improvement in our students achievement and growth scores moving forward.
ELA Achievement 2015, 2016, 2017 - (65, 62, 72)
ELA Growth 2016, 2017 - (43, 48)
Math Achievement 2015, 2016, 2017 - (76, 74, 78)
Math Growth 2016, 2017 - (36, 47.5)
Science Achievement 2015, 2016, 2017 - (48, 73, 90)
The PRA Difference - Service in Action
December 7, 2017
You don’t have to look far once you’ve stepped inside the building to see that we take service seriously at PRA. Our kindness chain is still prominently displayed in our main entry, a constant visual reminder to our students of how showing the PRA way is a daily expectation.
Recently our first graders embarked on a mission to spread kindness as their service project. The front office had a visit recently from these agents of kindness when they gave us a “heart attack”. As an administrative team we were both honored and humbled by this act of plastering our doors with construction paper hearts filled with kind words.
Our fantastic first graders are certainly taking the PRA mission to a whole new level. We look forward to reporting more service in action stories this year. We love that as a charter school, we can do things differently and provide these kind of opportunities for our students!
A - Accountable
November 30, 2017
In our most recent all school assembly we held our first ever school meeting which closely following the structure of a typical class meeting in the classroom. Our identified problem was bathroom behavior. All students K-5 did a great job brainstorming possible solutions to fix our two main problems; staying safe in the bathroom (not locking stall doors) and being respectful (not yelling, playing in the sink, or generally being silly in the bathroom).
After eliminating solutions that were not feasible, students voted to stop participating in these behaviors and to also say something to friends who are. In addition, we’ve decided as a staff to keep the outer doors on the first floor bathrooms propped open. This does not interfere with privacy based on the configuration of the bathroom, and has become typical in any recently constructed schools that don’t have doors at all.
We plan to revisit this topic at our next all school assembly on Thursday, December 7th to see how we are doing with our solutions. Feel free to have a conversation with your child about how they are showing the PRA way when using the restroom or holding their friends kindly accountable if they are not making a good choice. This has been a great opportunity for us to come together as a group and solve a problem that impacts everyone in the school!
Thankful & Moving Up
November 16, 2017
We are grateful for the ongoing support we receive from families who are partnering with us every day at PRA. Some recent examples of participation include; Core Knowledge celebrations, classroom volunteers supporting instruction, field trip chaperones, special event coordinators and supporters, WatchDOGS, lunchroom assistants, student leadership club parents, coaches of our elementary sports teams, luncheon providers, and those supporting us with take-home projects, just to name a few. Thank you for all of these things and so many more! We appreciate your dedication and support of PRA and enjoy your collaboration!
On Thursday, November 30th, we are offering two opportunities to come find out more about our academic achievement information from the 16-17 school year. We will present both data outcomes and how those are driving priorities for academic programming and instruction this school year. We would love to have you join us either at 8:30 AM or 6:30 PM this day to receive more detailed in-person information about our performance and next steps.
We have an Attitude of Gratitude
November 9, 2017
At last week’s character assembly our elementary counselor, Beth Lagodny, helped the students learn about this month’s character trait focus on Gratitude. The month of November is a great time to be thinking about what we are grateful for. At school we are using the following definition of Gratitude.
Gratitude = Gratitude is thankfulness for the gift of life and the gifts in life.
We’ve been talking at school about what we are grateful for and how we can show gratitude to others. Thank you for having this same conversation at home that we are having at school. Together, we have an attitude of gratitude!
November 2, 2017
We appreciate all of the parents and guardians that took time last Thursday to come meet with us in person and discuss the academic and social-emotional progress of their child(ren) throughout first Quarter. You should have received a progress report grade for Quarter 1, which is an overall snapshot of how your child is doing in each content area. You will also receive a comprehensive report card at the end of the first semester. Both are viewable electronically by logging in to the IC parent portal and looking at your child’s grades. If you haven’t had a chance to review your child’s Quarter 1 grades please take time to review that information, and contact your child’s homeroom teacher with any questions.
October 19, 2017
We are excited to continue our now yearly tradition of gathering as a K-12 staff, and study body next Wednesday, October 25th. This event was started by the student council as a way to build school spirit and also fulfill our mission of positive service learning. Each year we have a theme aligned with kids helping kids, and this year we’ve partnered with Foster Source. Thank you to your generous outpouring of donations, as a result we were able to collect over 3,000 items to make Family Game Night kits for foster kids, and their families.
Students will travel with their buddy to lunch, recess, the K-12 assembly, and then three rotations; a guest speaker, making the care kits, and doing a spirit time activity with PRA rocks. This is our first year with Seniors helping run each of the rotations, which will be a welcome support. We are looking forward to another successful event next week. If you are planning to pick up your child this day for some reason, please come before the event kicks off at 11:00am, otherwise it will take us some time to locate your child.
Lastly, if your family is directly impacted by the Foster care system and you feel your child will find this day or this information challenging to process, please let us know. We’d be happy to exempt them from the guest speaker rotation or the entire day if you feel it be necessary. Please contact your level administrator to discuss.
Here are the buddy pairings and colors as a friendly reminder:
In the K-8 Building:
K & 6th - Yellow
1st & 7th - Purple
2nd & 8th - Red
In the HS Building:
3rd & 9th - Blue
4th & 10th - Green
5th & 11th - White
Both Buildings - Seniors (12th) - Black
Parent-Teacher Conference Preparation
October 12, 2017
We are looking forward to meeting with you on October 26th to discuss your child’s progress. Next Thursday, October 19th all grade level teachers will be sending home iReady Math and Literacy reports. Our goal is to provide parents an opportunity to review and process the information in advance of their child’s conference. We ask that you come to your child’s conference with questions regarding assessment scores and ideas on positive next steps! Please be sure to keep an eye out for this information and prepare to bring these documents with you to discuss with your child’s teacher.
As a reminder, we host parent-teacher conferences on a non-school day in order to give teachers the opportunity to meet with you face to face. If you are planning a vacation during this time, you will not get the opportunity to meet with teachers in person, and we will not be able to accommodate a separate conference time, but your child’s teacher can send home the information that would have been reviewed at their earliest convenience. If you have a family emergency that day, please let us know and we will work to accommodate you. We are grateful for your commitment to partnering with us to support your child’s success this year!
Self-Care Isn’t An Adults Only Concept!
October 5, 2017
With the school year back in full swing, it seems that our calendars are once again full from the time we wake up until we fall exhaustedly into bed again. As adults in an increasingly busy world a lot of reminders come our way to focus on self-care and not getting overloaded with the stresses of a 21st century life. It is important to remember that self-care can be vital to keeping our kids happy and healthy as well. One easy way to do that is taking time in your own life to model self-care for the children in your home; don’t just take care of yourself when the kids aren’t around. Instead let them see examples of adults taking a break from their lives to refresh and refocus. Also, self-care doesn’t have to be an independent task you undertake. Make this month a time to commit to one act of family maintenance and self-care - screens off, focus on family time, relax, have fun...take care of one another.
Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn!
September 28, 2017
Now that we are two weeks from the end of first quarter, we are firmly into the school year. We’ve noticed students are acting truly themselves when they are around us and we love it! It felt like a good time to remind us all that we embrace mistakes at school and we appreciate opportunities for students to be faced with failure. This may sound strange, but we feel strongly that students’ ability to face adversity and persevere and know how to problem solve through a challenge, are critical components of success. Future employers are certainly going to be looking for these skills!
Don’t be afraid to allow your child to learn from their mistakes and please don’t feel like you need to rescue them from this learning opportunity. We definitely work to provide them with the safe chance to figure this out at school. Thanks for trusting us with your child’s education. We are looking forward to talking with you more about his/her progress at parent-teacher conferences coming up at the end of next month.
September 21, 2017
We set records daily for the number of juice boxes we successfully open in the elementary lunchroom. It is a well-orchestrated phenomenon to witness the 544 kids that eat daily between 10:55 and 12:00. New to the lunchroom this year are lunchroom jobs, thanks to the great guidance of our elementary counselor, Beth Lagodny. Students get to practice being accountable in this space too, by either helping push the trash can from table to table or help pick up trash (with a gloved hand) off the floor.
We appreciate parents who come in and eat with their students as a special treat for a birthday or other occasion. It’s always nice to have extra adults in the room, and great to see parents and students together. Speaking of extra hands on deck, please check out a new Elementary Lunchroom Volunteer opportunity by visiting our Sign-Up Genius link. Your presence is welcome and very much appreciated, please come and join us!
Math & Literacy
September 14, 2017
On Tuesday night we had our largest turnout in PRA’s history for our combined Math and Literacy Night. K-5 staff shared information about how to support your child in math and reading based on his/her grade level expectations. It is our intent to partner with you to ensure that the learning that takes place at school can be revisited and reflected on at home. Please take some time to visit your grade level websites and familiarize yourself with the resources that are available. Also, if you haven’t already, it is critical that you subscribe to receive website updates to stay current on the latest information.
Our staff have also conducted numerous math and literacy assessments in the past 5 weeks since we’ve begun the school year. We are using that data to instruct your child in the classroom and differentiate the support they need to meet their learning style and level. We look forward to sharing that assessment information with you in a more detailed and meaningful way during the October parent/teacher conferences. Please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher if you have any questions about their math or literacy instruction. We are looking forward to a great school year!