Newsletter
February 6th, 2020
Admin Address
Dear Parents: 

Soon, students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests. These tests provide valuable data to the school and teachers in order to indicate the degree to which students have mastered various educational expectations. Results are used to evaluate programming and student growth. In order to obtain useful and valid results, it is important for all students to complete the tests.  

AVA uses a balanced assessment system in order to measure student achievement and student growth. We use four types of assessments:

  1. Formative Assessments – these are quick checks for learning conducted by teachers throughout the school year (teacher observations, class discussions, lesson practice, homework…).
  2. Interim Assessments – these are a bit more formal and serve as progress monitoring and are conducted several times during the school year to see how students are progressing (DIBELS, iREADY)
  3. Classroom Based Summative Assessments – these are assessments designed to provide information to be used in making judgments about student achievement at the end of a sequence of instruction (quizzes, tests, projects, activities…).
  4. State Summative Assessments – Designed to be point-in-time snapshots of what students know and can do in core content areas (CMAS).

All of these assessments are important as we strive to use multiple data points in order to truly get the best and most accurate evaluation of a student’s achievement and growth.

I understand that the state standardized testing debate has become very politicized, however, we must not forget that we were once sitting in our children's seats. You probably remember the days when you were told to bring a #2 pencil so you could take the standardized test. Every year, we had to take a timed test and answer various questions, then read stories and answer questions about what we just read. These tests required critical thinking skills that we have used throughout our lives. 
  
Taking the tests is not a traumatic experience; it is a reasonable and necessary one. Today, students and parents hear that tests are stressful, unimportant and that schools can be punished based on overall performance. That's simply not true. Our teachers do their best to create a positive testing environment, and the data we receive are very valuable to understanding each student's academic achievement and growth. We use this data to focus on strengthening various skills or concepts and to ensure students are appropriately challenged. 
  
The benefits of the CMAS tests are as follows: 

  • We can see whether a child is performing at grade level as well as how he or she is performing relative to other students at AVA, within the district and nationally. 
  • It prepares students for standardized assessments that they will be required to take in high school and/or college (SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT...).
  • AVA receives a more valid evaluation of the school's performance when there is a larger sample size.
  • We can make informed decisions and choices for our students. Test data is used by administration and staff to drive curriculum and professional development choices.
  • Test data may identify learning gaps that can be addressed.
  • With open enrollment, schools often require a copy of test scores as part of the student's file. 

At AVA, we embrace the test data. We use it to celebrate success and pinpoint areas for improvement. Test data is never used as a punishment, rather, it is used to set goals and measure progress. 
  
Taking these tests is truly a life-long skill. Students will eventually need to take a test to obtain their driver's license, to gain admission into some high schools or colleges, to obtain a license to work in certain trades (teaching), and countless other things. 
  
I am asking you to carefully consider this information when the testing window comes around. As a staff, we want to get the students excited about the test and show that it is not a burden. In fact, we have three simple rules for all tests: 

  1. Take the test seriously! 
  2. Do your best! 
  3. Don't stress!

Middle School Only News
AVA will begin a new method for choosing Middle School electives. This will apply to the upcoming 3rd Trimester and continue next year. Students and parents will select their electives by logging into My School Bucks. You will be able to search for elective courses and sign up based on availability.  

All elective titles will begin with "AVA elective 2020", so you can begin by searching for that phrase. All titles will also say "A Day" or "B Day", followed by the name of the elective.  

Each student should sign up for two electives. One on A Day, one on B Day. Due to limited availability, students may not sign up for the same elective on both days. Make sure to choose two different electives. If a desired elective is not available, this means the class is already full and may not be selected.

Please note that some electives require a materials fee.  

The complete list of upcoming 3rd trimester electives was sent out on Monday and can also be found on the Middle School page of the AVA website. Please review it with your student and decide what electives to sign up for. It is recommended to have "back up" selections in mind in case the first choices are not available.

Electives went live on My School Bucks this morning and are available now.  
Announcements

It is that time of the year to complete your Intent to Return. This is for all current K-7th grade students. This form must be returned to the front office or you can email it to enrollment@aspenviewacademy.org by February 21st.
Spring Fundraiser this Friday! 

February 7th, from 7-10pm at Maggiano’s in Englewood. We need to raise $20,000 to finalize our outdoor improvements project. Purchase your tickets for the event here and get ready for a fun evening, with good food, entertainment and amazing auction items! Can’t attend? No worries. You can still bid remotely and you don’t need to be present to win. Participate in the silent auction here, and have your chance at amazing packages and experiences:


Gratitude Books For Staff  

This year we (PTO) will be assembling a "Gratitude Book" for each staff member in time for Staff Appreciation Week in spring. To accomplish this, we are asking parents and students to help us by submitting pages to go into the books. Pages for the book should be 5 inches (wide) by 3 inches (tall). Please make sure the name of the staff member AND the department/role that they serve in the school AND your name is clearly indicated. Submit your pages by February 11th and drop it off in the front lobby Staff Appreciation bucket or scan and email it to staffappreciation@aspenviewacademy.org 
February Spirit Night At Chili’s Castle Rock 

Check out the flyer in your Thursday folder, and present it on February 26th, to get 15% of your sale donated to AVA. Valid on February 26th from 11am to 10pm. See you there! 
Send in your box tops by February 21st: 

Bundle your unexpired box tops in bags of 50; write your child’s name, their homeroom teacher and the number of box tops in a baggie. Turn in your Box Tops to your child’s teacher or to the collection box located near the front office. The classroom with the most box tops submitted will win their choice of a cupcake or a pizza party!!! 

If you have any questions please email Kelly McNeil, dkm38@msn.com, the box top coordinator. 

***Make sure to download the new Box Tops App that will scan your receipt and instantly add Box Tops to our school’s earnings online. If you shop for groceries online, you can email your receipts to boxtopsforeducation@emails.boxtops.com 
Mark Your Calendars! 

Mark your calendars! The Middle School Musical Theater Elective will perform Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka Jr. on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:00 PM in the AVA gym. There are no tickets or admission fee necessary to see the show, just show up! Come support our students and their endeavors in the performing arts! Hope to see you there!
Morning Carpool Reminders 

Morning carpool is from 7:45am – 8:10am

We are seeing an increase in the number of tardy students in the morning. As a reminder, the morning drop-off begins at 7:45am (5 minutes earlier than last year) and continues to 8:10am. If your child arrives in the building after 8:12am, they will be marked tardy.  

We added the extra 5 minute drop-off window to accommodate the increase in student enrollment. We have, however, noticed very few cars arriving on the property between 7:45am and 7:55am. Also, we have observed quite a few cars arriving on AVA property after 8:10am, meaning your child will be tardy. School officially begins at 8:15am, so it is important to have kids in class and ready to go. Classes begin at 8:15am and having students arrive to class tardy is a distraction that can easily be avoided.

Thank you for making Aspen View Academy the best school!

Click here for the Events Calendar
Middle School Sports
Girls soccer and boys volleyball season is coming! Tryouts will be March 9-10 for girls soccer, and 9-11 for boys volleyball. Please make sure your student has turned in a current physical (this school year) if they intend to tryout. If you have any further questions, please contact Lindsay Alguire for more details.
Please follow these steps to sign up for middle school sports:

  1. Login to "myschoolbucks"
  2. Using the search icon in the upper right corner, search "program"
  3. Click the "Aspen View Academy" box on the left side of the screen. DO NOT click "athletics."
  4. Select your sport from the options
  5. Register

Thank you!

Athletic Director/Physical Education Teacher
Students are required to have a complete Athletic Packet (which includes a physician's visit). Please click here for all of the information regarding middle school sports.


PTO News
AVA Wolf Shack

Wolf Shack hours are Fridays from 3-4 pm.

If you prefer to shop online, we will deliver to class if you provide the student's name and homeroom teacher.

Click here for the online store.

Thank you for supporting the Wolf Shack- all funds raised go directly towards AVA!
If you have questions, please 
email: wolfshack@aspenviewacademy.org – we are happy to assist you!
Volunteer Corner
Click on this link to pre-register yourself as a volunteer in the Raptor System. 
Please click on a link below to sign up to volunteer in one of the following areas.





Thank you for all that you do.
Contact Us
General Information: (720) 733-3436 office@aspenviewacademy.org  
Fax: (303) 660-5959
Attendance Line: (303) 660-5940
Before/After Care: (303) 888-3040 tlund@aspenviewacademy.org
Lunch Line: (303) 660-5943 xsknight@dcsdk12.org
Student Tech Support: studentsupport@aspenviewacademy.org
Aspen View Academy
2131 Low Meadow Blvd.
Castle Rock, CO 80109