FROM the DIRECTOR
Dear PCK Families,
I hope this newsletter finds you all enjoying the beautiful summertime weather here in Colorado. It’s hard to believe we have just over a month or so to go before it is time to head back for the 2017-18 school year! So, get in that last vacation, visit the pool, take that hike, or simply read another great book before we all head back to work and school.
I look forward to seeing all PCK students and families on August 17 for our Open House/Meet Your Teacher event! Details will come in early August.
Can’t wait to see you!
Save The Date – Back To School Open House
Mark your calendars for our annual Back-to-School/Meet Your Teacher event on Thursday, August 17th from Noon to 4 p.m. ALL PCK families are encouraged to attend. It’s always fun for students to meet their new teacher(s), drop off school supplies, and reconnect with friends. We also hope to have our new facility open and available for everyone to tour. All registration is done online, but there are still a number of important steps to complete during our Open House. If your student has any health needs, our school nurse and Health Assistant (Ms. Sara) will also be on hand to receive student medications, collect immunization records, and speak with parents about health issues. Finally, all families will receive new carpool cards and register for Champions…just in case. As in past years, attendance will be staggered to accommodate parking and event flow. We will send out the alphabetical breakdown with our early August communication. See you all there!
What’s Happening With The New Building?
The new building is coming along nicely and IS expected to be finished in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year! YAY!! Our contractor, Iron Mike Construction (IMC), and crew are working tirelessly to ensure the on-time delivery of our new facility and internal retrofit rooms. It will be close, but barring any unexpected hiccups, the staff hopes to gain access to the new and remodeled areas by August 14th. That will give us just a few short days to prepare the new rooms before our Open House on August 17th, so please be patient if there is still some lingering construction dust. 🙂
The old grass playing field is officially dead! The soil is so compacted that the grass roots simply cannot survive. In addition, without water this summer and given the extremely hot temperatures, all that’s left on the field are some hearty weeds. However, thanks to very extensive efforts by the PCK Board over the summer months, we are moving forward with plans to replace our dead field with a new synthetic turf field.
The PCK Board, along with input from many interested PCK parents, conducted an exhaustive grass and turf analysis, and they ultimately selected a synthetic product that looks and feels like a nice lawn, but DOES NOT contain any of the black crumb rubber infill that many parents were concerned about. The Board chose a specially coated sand infill product called Envirofill for our new field. Envirofill is made from non-toxic components and is backed by a 16 year warranty. It is cleaner, safer, COOLER, and it’s reusable. Microban is an antimicrobial protection infused into Envirofill during the manufacturing process to help prevent the growth of bacteria and microbes that can cause stains, odors, and product deterioration. The Board believes this is the best possible product for safety, durability and performance. Unfortunately, the installation of the new turf field will not likely be complete by the start of the 2017-18 school year, but we hope to have it fully installed and students playing on it shortly thereafter. The students are going to love it!
New Faces and Staff Changes
Every year our staff loses a few folks to retirements, new babies, family moves, etc., and this year is no exception. Below is a summary of the staffing changes and new faces you will see come August:
Matess Medina (Resource Teacher) – left to complete her Ph.D
Lauren Taylor (2nd Grade) – home with new baby
Janet Heintz (Operations Manager) – retired
Jen Winters (Resource Teacher) – took a teaching position closer to home
Aaron Thompson (Spanish) – new position with CDE
Wendy Randazzo (Admin. Coordinator) – office re-organization
Devany Bourdo (Spanish) – home with new baby
Erin McClure (School Counselor) – job closer to home
Jeanne Reslan (Tech) – new opportunity
Kari Strobel (Resource Teacher) – moved to 4th grade here at PCK
Lonie Tomlin(4th Grade) – moving to 2nd Grade
Bre Warburton (5th Grade) – moving to 1st Grade
Maggie Kroskob – new Resource Teacher
Jordan Burdette – new Resource Teacher
Stephanie Schannuth – new Resource Teacher
Alexandria LeFramboise – new 5th Grade teacher
Tiffany Barker – new Speech/Language Pathologist
Liz Sweeney – new SLPA
Drew Robbins – new Tech teacher
Adelaida Carmona – new Spanish teacher
Please join me in welcoming all new staff members to the PCK Team! I am excited to work with each of them, and I know they all have much to offer our students.
Front Office Re-Organization
In an effort to strategically align our operation with the ever-changing needs of the PCK community, and to exceed the expectations of our key stakeholders rather than simply satisfying them, the front office team has undergone a notable reorganization. Beginning this fall, each office team member will serve our community in more of a ‘Specialist’ role.
For example, Ms. Sara, who is known and loved by every student and parent here at PCK, will take on a slightly new role as our Student Services Specialist. The focus of her responsibilities will be to serve our student population in the most caring and nurturing way, and she will continue to handle attendance, dress code issues, field trips, and health concerns for all students. Additionally, as our Assistant Registrar, she will help with the placement of new students and manage our infamous Wait List. The biggest change will be her new location, which is in the new Health Room at the front office. We will be hiring a Receptionist to handle the phones, greet visitors, answer parent/visitor questions, and direct calls to staff.
Similarly, Mrs. Coyle will serve as our new Staff Services Specialist, with a focus on supporting the internal needs of the PCK staff. From procuring supplies and equipment for staff, to planning/coordinating events and assisting teachers with various classroom needs, Mrs. Coyle will ensure our teachers have the back office administrative support they need.
Mrs. Higgins will provide operational and project support to the front office team as our Office Support Specialist, and Mrs. Redfern will serve as our Data/Testing Coordinator and official School Registrar. Each Specialist will assume ownership of their key operational area, with an eye towards increasing efficiency and operational excellence.
Finally, Heather Newbrough, will serve as our Human Resources Manager, with responsibilities for all back office HR functions, including benefits administration, and oversight of the front office operation. She will also coordinate sub coverage and provide back-up support with payroll.
Mrs. Aplin, School Director, and Mrs. Harth, Assistant Director, will continue in their respective roles overseeing the academic program and school operation, including school safety/security, staff development, SPED, hiring and performance management, budget, and communications. The overarching goal of this reorganization is simple: To provide a level of operational and academic excellence that is in keeping with a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and allows PCK to remain the premier charter school in Douglas County.
Thank you to our PTA for hosting a Used Uniform sale this past weekend. All remaining used uniform items will be available for purchase at our Open House on August 17th. All money raised directly support PTA community-building efforts throughout the year.
Speaking of community-building events, the PTA will once again host a Back-to-School Pool party at H2O’Brien Pool on Saturday, August 26th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All PCK families are invited to this FREE event. The pool has a concessions stand that will be open for snack and beverage purchases.
This is a fun evening for the whole family, so put on your suit, bring the kids, and reconnect with PCK friends and families.
Hot Lunch Vendor Change
We recently learned that our hot lunch vendor, Lunch on the Go Catering, will be closing up shop and unable to provide daily hot lunch services for our students. This is most unfortunate as PCK had a long-standing relationship with this particular vendor. We have begun sourcing new hot lunch service providers, and we will let PCK families know once a new vendor is selected. Our goal is to find a food service provider that offers a quality lunch at a reasonable price, and one that offers a similar, independent process like the one used by Lunch on the Go. Stay tuned for more details.
Champions News For All Families
If you’ve ever been stuck at work, delayed by traffic, or simply running late and in need of some extra time before picking your kiddos up from school, then CHAMPIONS After-School Care program is a GREAT option for you! This year we are asking all PCK families to register with Champions so that you can use the Champions program if and whenever you need it. Champions is waiving the registration fee for all PCK families in support of our efforts to get everyone registered. Whether you plan to use the after-school care or not, it doesn’t hurt to have your child all set up and ready to plug in should the need arise. Registration is easy if do it online, and we will also have forms available at our Open House on August 17th.
Champions offers onsite after-school care from 3:10 – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, for a nominal fee, they offer what’s called a ‘Champions Hour’ on a drop-in basis. If you simply need an extra hour here and there, the Champions Hour is a perfect solution. For more information about Champions’ program and rates, visit their website at www.discoverchampions.com/about/contact-us. Students who are not picked up after school by 3:45 will be delivered to Champions for supervision, and parents will be responsible for payment of the Champion’s Hour fee.
It may be summertime, but volunteer needs continue to creep up. If you would like to get a jump on your 20 hour/family volunteer commitment, please consider assisting with one of the upcoming volunteer opportunities:
1. Bulletin Board creation – we need 1-2 parents who are super creative and would love to design and build a couple of bulletin board displays before the start of school. Specifically, we need a new Uniform/Dress Code bulletin board, as well as a couple of Character display boards and a ‘Meet the Staff’ board. If you are artsy, creative in any way, Pintresty, or otherwise interested in helping create display boards, please email Mrs. Aplin at firstname.lastname@example.org. All supplies will be provided by the school.
2. Photographer needed – if you are handy with a camera, like taking pictures…and take good ones, we need YOU! We need someone to take a large all-staff group photo, along with individual team photos, during the week of August 14th. If interested, please contact Mrs. Aplin at email@example.com
3. Weeds, weeds, weeds…they’ve got to go! We need a few gardening types who would be willing to pull weeds in the cobble rock ALL AROUND our building. This volunteer project is perfect for kids too. Simply pick a day, grab some gardening gloves and a weed extractor, and start pulling. There will be a map of all areas needing weeding in the front office. Please stop back by the front office once you’re done to cross off all areas you’ve weeded.
That’s all the news for now! Enjoy the last month of summer, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on August 21st and 23rd.