Gold Rush Elementary School
March 27, 2020
WEEK ONE OF REMOTE LEARNING
We successfully completed our first week of remote learning! Teachers were initially apprehensive; however, their nerves were replaced by excitement and joy once they connected with their classes. Students’ enthusiasm to see each other and share their emotions, ideas and experiences immediately put teachers’ minds at ease. While we are all still settling into new routines and figuring out new ways to learn together, I am amazed at how far we have come.
 
I want to thank you for your flexibility and patience throughout the week. We know that many of you are learning new digital tools alongside your child. We also know how difficult it is to balance working from home without childcare. We thank you for working with us. Your patience and understanding are a tremendous support as we make this transition. Please remember that all learning opportunities review prior content and they are optional. These activities are not meant to be stressors so please access them as you see fit.
 
In addition to connecting with families, teachers have been busy exploring new digital tools. Many teachers have already practiced using the digital tools that they are learning in staff development this week. Your child may have already participated in a virtual class meeting, shared a video of a personal experience or object via flip grid or watched an interactive read aloud. Please know that these tools are new and that teachers are learning them for the first time this week. We recognize that as a staff we are all at different stages of learning with regard to these tools. Please know that it is our goal to build a more consistent use of these tools across grade levels.
 
Thank you again for your adaptability and flexibility as parents. Your children are bringing us great joy and purpose during these uncertain times. Thank you for sharing them with us!
PARENT INPUT FOR CLASS PLACEMENT
Creating balanced classes that meet the needs of all students is a difficult endeavor. This process involves hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators and other staff members. We know that creating a strong learning environment is essential to students’ success and we therefore take this responsibility seriously. Please be assured that we take each child into consideration. Please see our process below.
 
· Teachers identify the social and academic needs of each student. They refer to existing data and record pertinent information to assist them in their decision-making.
 
·  Teachers meet as grade level teams to form class lists that are balanced. Balanced classrooms meet each student’s academic, social and emotional needs. Teachers consider each child’s personality, academic strengths, needs and friendships. Learning specialists, the specials team and administration also collaborate with classroom teachers to provide feedback.
 
·  Each grade level team submits a draft of class lists. I review final lists to ensure all parent input has been considered. Classroom teachers approve any changes I suggest given parent feedback to ensure classes remain balanced. 
 
· Class lists are finalized in mid July to reflect the addition of students joining Gold Rush in the summer.
 
This process is consistent across grades K-4. Our 5th grade team collaborates with the teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure students’ success in 6 th  grade.
 
We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students. Please remember that our ultimate goal is to create classes that promote the success of each child. Please also know that your child is placed in a classroom for specific reasons and that our process benefits all students. Because of the input and thought given by teachers, parents and administrators, we are reluctant to make changes once this process is complete. It may be hard to believe, but moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire classroom. 
 
We do value parent input and welcome any insight you wish to share about your child’s strengths, needs and learning style.    We will take into consideration all pertinent information that you share with me on or before Friday, April 17th. While we welcome your input,   we cannot honor specific teacher requests . Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me, Jenny Brown.   My email address is jjbrown@dcsdk12.org.
 
I cannot express enough how important it is that your thoughts are in writing. As you can imagine, I receive a great deal of parent input and verbal information is difficult to track. I also prefer that you direct this communication to me, as I am ultimately responsible for reviewing final class lists in July when teachers may not be available.

Gold Rush Elementary | 12021 S. Swift Fox Way Parker CO 80134
Main Line 303-387-7700 | Fax 303-387-7701 | https://gre.dcsdk12.org/