News From the Top - 10-1-21
Fall Fun We missed celebrating Halloween in person last year but we’re definitely ready for the fun this year! Rocky Top invites every student and staff member to wear a fun costume on Friday, October 29th. Please review the Adams 12 Halloween Guidelines you’ll need to follow---double check the appropriateness of your costume, please. Remember, no full face masks, weapons or extremely gory makeup are allowed. Further, the costume must meet the minimum school dress code requirements---the cover zone is still in effect! This will be a typical day of school---students will attend all classes following the daily bell schedule. We will facilitate a costume contest through lunches---and the winners get gift cards to fun local establishments. Look for photos on Facebook throughout the day!
Bearing Tough Conversations When we were last in person during the 2019-2020 school year, we began a group called Bearing Tough Conversations to bring our families into the work of maintaining an inclusive community here at Rocky Top. Though we’ve continued the work with teachers and students, it’s time to re-engage parents/guardians.
Community building is the essence of what we do here at Rocky Top and we are calling all parents and guardians to join us in this endeavor as we--families and staff--dive into the work of becoming stronger allies and advocates for our students.
We want to hear from all cultures and backgrounds as we discuss important issues that impact our students, especially those revolving around identity.
Teaching for Change says, “When parents feel they have the power to change and control their circumstances, their children tend to do better in school.”
Mark your calendars for October 27th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. If you’re interested in participating in this first meeting of the school year or future meetings, please complete this form. We’re open to adjusting meeting days and times based on family input.
Sign-Up for Conferences At 8:00 AM on Wednesday, October 6th, may begin registering to meet with their child’s teachers via the Canyon Creek website. These virtual meetings will take place Wednesday, October 13th and Thursday, October 14th from 4:30 PM until 8:30 PM. All conferences are virtual and MUST be scheduled ahead of time.
Click HERE to view the information that was shared with you on September 17th. It has a lot of great information and tips to make the most of your five minute conferences.
In next week’s NfTT we will share the Zoom links for each teacher and explain how you will join your virtual conference.
General School Business
Read Across America We are excited to announce, in partnership with Adams 12 Five Star Schools, a plan to expand reading horizons by utilizing the National Education Association’s Read Across America reading list throughout the school year. October's reading focus is to “Create Change” by encouraging students to envision the world as the kind of place they want it to be, then providing access to books that help them recognize their power to make a difference. The spotlight book for this month is Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson.
“One of the most radical things a Black girl can do is know that she is both worthy of love and deserving of joy. In Love Is a Revolution, Watson takes us on Nala's journey to claim her right to decide who she wants to be in a world that so often tries to fit Black girls into metaphorical boxes. It is deftly crafted, big-hearted, beautiful, funny, honest, and inspiring.” – Nicola Yoon, award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR
Appreciating the (Often) Unappreciated Many families know the classroom teachers who work with their Grizzlies each day, but did you know the folks who really keep our school operating are the kitchen crew, secretaries, custodians, clerks, bus drivers, paraprofessionals and campus supervisors? That’s right...they are the ones who create the safe, clean and welcoming environment that allows our teachers to perform at their best and keeps students feeling engaged and included from the moment they leave your home each day. Please encourage your child to extend some gratitude to these folks who often do not receive the spotlight and kudos they certainly deserve!
Showing Some Love Did you know that today, Saturday, October 2nd was Custodial Appreciation Day? This week, the Power of Positivity Club made cards to recognize our fantastic Rocky Top custodians for going the extra mile to keep our school clean and safe. This celebration just happened to coincide with the departure of our beloved Head Custodian, Mr. Swiss. Though we’ll miss him terribly as he heads to Coyote Ridge Elementary, we’re still in good hands at Rocky Top. During the day we’ll have Mr. Cole then afternoons & evenings you’ll see Ms. Norissa, Mr. Lasiyas, Mr. Luke and Mr. Herbert around the building. Be sure to thank the custodians when you see them in the cafeteria and halls next week!
Chromebooks in the Classroom Many of you know that Rocky Top teachers are masters of technology integration because our Grizzlies have been using Chromebooks in the classroom for almost 10 years now. Prior to Adams 12 Five Star Schools providing devices for every student, RTMS students brought their own Chromebooks to school each and every day. In support of that, we used to have some old “loaner” devices we could offer when a child forgot their personal Chromebook. Now that all of those old Chromebooks are no longer functioning, we have VERY FEW extra devices available to provide for students who forget theirs at home.
If your Grizzly forgets their Chromebook, the teacher will determine whether they can engage in the day’s learning activities by listening or viewing supporting materials on a peer’s device then utilizing paper and pencil for their classwork. If that is impossible, they will be permitted to borrow a Chromebook (if there are any available) for the day. We’ll check that “loaner” out via our library system so we can track repeat borrowers and intervene to create a support plan moving forward. Thank you for reminding your Grizzly to charge their devices every night and bring them to school every day!
Grizzly Grill Sixth graders in Family and Consumer Science (FCS) had the opportunity to open their very own restaurant this week! On Thursday and Friday, Mrs. Harris and her students organized, prepared and served lunch to Rocky Top staff members. Their classroom was transformed into a restaurant, complete with hostesses, servers, and cooks. The students made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, eggs and dessert crepes. Yummy!
6 Word Memoirs ELA students in 8th grade have been working on word choice this week as they prepare to write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events while using precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events. The challenge Thursday was to write a memoir using ONLY six words. Check out some of the memoirs HERE.
Presenting at CSCA The entire counseling team will be out of town at the Colorado School Counselor Association annual conference on Thursday and Friday, 10/7 and 10/8, passing along their secrets for success to other professionals across the state. The way our team uses data within the comprehensive counseling program is novel and exemplary and so many schools will surely benefit from listening to them speak!
Because the team will be out of the building and unable to respond to immediate requests for support, the ‘counseling sign-up’ form will be disabled. Rest assured, our Social Worker and School Psychologist will be available to support in any crisis situations that may arise.
Executive Functioning Community Opportunity Does your child struggle with executive functioning---have difficulty with focus, following directions, staying organized and handling emotions? Executive function is a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking and self-control. We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Check out Untapped Learning, a new resource in Broomfield for student mentoring and college coaching. Middle and high school students are individually paired with a mentor who helps them develop executive function skills to succeed in school and beyond, while getting academic support. Though there is a fee to participate, there’s a scholarship fund for kids that need the support but cannot afford it.
Bear Necessities & Wellness Wednesdays
Community Responsibility In Bear Necessities we frequently focus on the ways in which our individual behaviors impact those around us and many teachers are using this lens to address the wearing of masks. Check out this informative yet fun slideshow your Grizzly may have viewed this week.
Weather Forecast: Perfect for Reading Ms. Peoples' 6th grade language arts classes took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent their Wellness Wednesday outside. Students found comfortable spots under trees and on the grass to continue reading their class novel, Walk Two Moons while enjoying the fresh air.
Family Night: Specialized Programs All families are invited to join a panel discussion of specialized programs across Adams 12 Five Star high schools---SOAR, L2K, School of Business, P-TECH and STEM). This event will take place at the ESC September 14th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.
Safety and Security
Social Media We know technology and trends among teens change quickly and it’s often difficult for parents to keep up. Our current focus is on TikTok and the manner in which it encourages youth to engage in life. On the TikTok app you’ll find videos for everything from craft projects to make up demonstrations and from skits involving vulgar language to acts of blatant vandalism. We encourage families to engage in conversation about what your children are viewing on social media so you can help them frame what they see within the reality of our world. Please be sure to caution them of the dangers in replicating what they see online. There are many resources out there, but your own life experience is the best one so share it!