2017 news from 80108
Article and photos by Kathy Fallert
Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) parent Katie Abner wanted to come up with a way to get the fifth graders involved in school leadership and possibly start a new school tradition. Abner’s oldest son is among the fifth-grade class who will get to be the top dogs of the school this year.
Abner, a high school teacher, commented, “I see the rising seniors at the high school level get so pumped to be the leaders in their school. At many high schools, they go out and tag cars with senior spirit and fun school spirit messages. I thought this group of fifth-graders could share their BRE school spirit by using chalk on the sidewalks around the school to ‘talk’ to their peers and teachers on the eve of the first day of school.”
Roughly 35 fifth-grade students chalked it up on Wednesday, August 9, sharing welcoming messages and school spirit, which was followed up with some well-deserved ice cream sandwiches. Abner concluded, “Who knows? This may be a new tradition that future fifth-graders can enjoy. It was wonderful to see the kids’ excitement reuniting from the summer break and sharing in this positive leadership activity.”
Information provided by Douglas County
More than 67,000 students have returned to school in Douglas County, and whether they walk, bike, skate, or drive to school, it takes everyone, including those driving in the vicinity of schools, to ensure they get there safely.
The Douglas County School District encourages students to walk, bike or bus to school whenever possible, causing less congestion with vehicles, and lessening the chances for accidents in and around school zones.
In an effort to promote safety in school zones, Douglas County traffic engineers have worked closely with the school district and the sheriff’s office to ensure that students have safe routes to school and that those preferred routes are marked.
“As a County, we are doing everything we can to try to make these busy areas as safe as possible for our young people,” said Douglas County Commissioner and Board Chair Roger Partridge. “And while we ask that students of all ages pay attention for cars while traveling to and from school, we also ask that parents dropping children off at school, and those traveling through school zones, use extreme caution, drive slowly and keep an eye out for children.”
Students who walk, bike or skate to school are asked to follow these simple steps: (1) Choose a safe route to head to school with less traffic and intersections, avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets and limit the number of streets crossed; (2) Look for traffic at every driveway and intersection. Be aware of drivers in parked cars that may be getting ready to move; and (3) Obey all traffic signs and signals and wait to walk across the street until no traffic is coming. Listen to crossing guards if present, and walk – don’t run, bike or skate across the street.
For more tips, including recommendations for drivers to refrain from double-parking, not pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians, or not drop children off across the street from the school, visit the www.douglas.co.us and search “School Zones.”
By Maria Pangalos; RCHS intern writer;photo courtesy of Janna Robinett
Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) business teacher Janna Robinett received the 2017 Junior Achievement (JA) Teacher award at the Denver Country Club on June 22. Stephanie Murphy, senior program manager for middle and high school Junior Achievement–Rocky Mountain, Inc., said Robinett received the award, “for all the support, dedication and partnership that she has provided to her students for several years by having JA programming in her classroom. The amount of programming, piloting and other various projects she has done with JA is incredible.”
A free educational presentation organized by the Douglas County Special Education Advisory Committee (DCSEAC) for families with children with special needs will be held on Thursday, September 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Rock Canyon High School. Two knowledgeable and professional women who are parents of a special needs adult and children will share their experiences and information they have acquired on their journeys over the years.
Betty Lehman is a disability advisor for families with children with special needs. She has been down the road with a child and now an adult with special needs and understands the necessity for a quality life for every member of the family. With more than 30 years as a leader in the Colorado disability community, Lehman will offer information and insight about benefits and resources with relevant and accurate information.
An advocate for families and a special needs financial planner, Melissa Edelman gladly shares her wisdom regarding the financial futures for individuals and families. She works to break through the fears of life care planning.
RSVP by Wednesday, September 6 to email@example.com or call 720-259-6073.
Join The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas counties for a six-week fall series designed to educate and empower families, caregivers, and educators to prepare young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities for the future. Topics include supplemental security income and social security disability income, Medicaid and waivers, housing, decision making, daily life, fun, respite, jobs and planning for the future.
Presentations will be at Castle View High School, 5254 North Meadows Drive, Castle Rock on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. starting on September 18 and running until October 30. (No class on October 9.)
Dinner and childcare/respite will be provided at each session. RSVPs are necessary for childcare/respite. If attendees need accommodations (e.g., an interpreter) or have any dietary restrictions, please indicate when you register online.
Register online at Eventbrite http://bit.ly/2fdAGIi. There are fees for the classes. For questions or concerns contact Carol at 303-220-9228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about DCSEAC, visit www.dcseac.org.
By Lynne Marsala Basche
When Dakota Wadsack, a sixth-grade student at Sage Canyon Elementary, noticed her 7-year-old brother Jordan choking on a piece of hard candy and he was unable to breathe, the young girl leaped into action and used the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training she learned while in third grade through an innovative program offered as part of Sage Canyon’s physical education class.
The harrowing scene unfolded in July when Dakota and Jordan were visiting their grandparents in Arizona, and the group went hiking in the Coconino National Forest near Sedona. When Jordan began choking, Dakota performed the Heimlich maneuver, and after three thrusts, the candy became free and her brother began to breathe again.
“I was really nervous while attempting the abdominal thrust and after,” said Dakota. “I didn’t have time to think about it. I just reacted.”
As part of their physical education class, Sage Canyon students learn first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillation (AED). Dakota learned CPR during her third-, fourth- and fifth-grade years, and this repeated training allowed her to recognize and assess the situation and act quickly.
It is unusual for an elementary school to offer first aid, CPR and AED classes, but with the support of his administration, including Principal Mandy Hill, P.E. instructor Lance Schoenwald became certified to teach classes and offer the life-saving lessons.
Asked about the emotions he felt after learning about Dakota’s heroic actions, Schoenwald said, “proud, happiness, joy, and relief there was a happy ending.”
Dakota was presented with a lifesaving medal by the Sedona Police Department during a ceremony for her and her family. Additionally, via a letter to Hill from police Chief David W. McGill, Sage Canyon Elementary was commended for teaching children life-saving measures at such a young age.
Lifesaving emergencies happen unexpectedly, and thanks to lessons learned from Sage Canyon Elementary, students, and in this case Dakota and Jordan, can speak to this fact first-hand.
Read more about Sage Canyon Elementary’s first aid, CPR and AED program by visiting www.castlepinesconnection.com and searching “Sage Canyon” to see our January 2016 article.
By Lynne Marsala Basche; photos courtesy of American Academy
The performing arts program at American Academy (AA) continues to thrive, and in July, the middle school summer camp performed an adaption of the musical fantasy “Into the Woods” by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim to a rousing reception.
Mark Middlebrooks, director, specials department, selected “Into the Woods Jr” based on the popularity of the recent film adaptation, which fed into younger audiences. “I felt our students could embrace the musical complexity, comedic timing, and do so with effective story telling,” said Middlebrooks. “This production is part of our American Academy Performing Arts Certification program, which is now in the fourth year of providing additional programming to students who wish to explore and develop a passion for the performing arts.”
The troupe met for two weeks, and performers practiced from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. every day for eight days before the first show. Students were from both the Castle Pines and Parker campuses, and the AA Castle Pines performance space hosted all shows. The production had three casts, which included two fourth- through eighth-grade student casts of 40 performers and one cast comprised of students, AA alumni, and five staff members for the seven shows.
Students not only were on stage, but they also took ownership of backstage and technical roles with a goal that these types of experiences will prepare them for success on the stage, in the classrooms and in life.
Now in its 11th season of shows, the AA program has increased to meet student demand. Currently, AA produces five shows per school year with shows varying between being combined ages and age or campus specific performances.
“American Academy seeks to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to discover each individual’s strengths and passion,” said Middlebrooks. “Our performing arts programming presumes that students will rise to the level of their environment, and so we seek to nourish that environment with professional standards that range from production values (sets, costumes, props, lighting, sound) to professional staff who provide direction, coaching, and mentorship for each developing performer.”
AA’s 2017-2018 performing arts season will include productions of “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “101 Dalmatians.” Visit www.aak8.org for additional information about future performances or the program.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Angela Nylund Hanson
The Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) varsity level volleyball team took first place at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley team camp. After coming into the top bracket in last place, the team worked its way through the top ranked teams to see Mountain Vista High School in the finals. Laryssa Myers of Hidden Pointe said, “The camp highlight was coming in as the underdogs with only two returning varsity players and then rising to the challenge and winning that tournament for the second year in a row.”
Alex Leitner, a junior, added, “I have really high hopes for this season especially after this win. I think if we play like we did on the third day of the team camp, I can definitely see us making it to state and doing really well this season.”
Coach Angela Nylund Hanson said, “The teams at this camp are very competitive and it is nice to see what the other teams look like before the season. We are very proud of the girls for their accomplishments at the UNC team camp and we are looking forward to another great season."
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of RCHS cheer team
The cheer team of Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) came together August 5 to volunteer at the Food Bank of the Rockies for their annual volunteer event. Coach Amanda Mundaca said, “So often, our three cheer teams practice separately, so they get to spend little time together as a program. Food Bank of the Rockies is an incredible organization that allows our program to help those in need as well as come together and bond as a program.” The team met in Denver at the Food Bank headquarters, then organized and sorted through more than 10,000 pounds of food.
Kelsey Young, a senior captain on the team and a Castle Pines resident said, “A highlight for me was when we were told that we had boxed enough meals for 8,200 families. The team and I really look forward to doing this every year, and it is something we all enjoy.”
Information provided by Parker Arts
An informative discussion on the Rueter-Hess Reservoir will be held on Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the PACE Center in Parker. Susan Saint Vincent, president of the Rueter-Hess Recreation Authority, will present the history of the Recreation Authority, the regional partnership and how the project has developed until now. She will explain the process and development of the Recreation Master Plan, as well as the construction phases of various amenities, such as the infrastructure, trails, and the incline. Saint Vincent will also report on what has been accomplished in 2017 and the outlook for the future.
The presentation is free and open to the public. RSVPs are not required but are encouraged and appreciated for the planning of this event. Please RSVP by email to PACEedu@parkeronline.edu or at SignUpGenius, www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044ea9ae2ba7fe3-adult or call 303-805-6800.
For more information about the Parker Arts Lecture Series, visit www.parkerarts.org