Gold Rush Elementary School
April 5, 2019
Teachers from neighboring schools observed our current writing practices this week. The visiting educators were blown away by students' ability to authentically engage in the writing process for extended periods of time! They observed our daily workshop structure, which explicitly teaches students the many craft moves real authors make. This is done in a brief mini lesson so students have the majority of the instructional block to apply what they have learned. The independent portion of workshop is also an opportunity for students to work on their individual goals and receive feedback through one on one conferences.

Teachers also saw students working on one of three different genres - narrative, information or opinion writing. Each genre is taught in each grade level over the course of the year. In kindergarten students are currently writing informational pieces. Now that their research is complete, students are writing all about an animal found in the Savannah. In first and second grade students are working on opinion pieces. First graders are prioritizing the objects from one of their favorite collections and second graders are persuading others to read a book they find especially interesting.

In addition, visiting teachers saw the end of our workshop, which is a time for reflection and celebration. During the closing of workshop students share risks they took, improvements they made and goals they accomplished. We are proud of students' and teachers' hard work and creativity!
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 26th.  While we welcome your input,  we cannot honor specific teacher requests .  Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me (Jenny Brown).   I will accept either a letter or email (

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.
All students in grades 3-5 take a state assessment called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS). This assessment measures students' achievement and growth in the areas of English Language Arts and Math. Fifth grade students are also assessed in the area of Science.

All intermediate students will test April 8 through April 12 and April 15 through April 17. Students will have at minimum one assessment per day. Please refrain from scheduling outside appointments during the testing window. Click here for additional information. We appreciate your cooperation!
Second graders are currently working on an integrated unit that focuses on famous Americans. Their unit incorporates social studies, reading, writing and technology. After researching a famous American that was of interest to them, students wrote all about that individual and his/her impact on the world. Students then presented their learning in a new way by creating an Adobe Spark Video. I encourage you to check out these projects. They are currently on display in our second grade hallway.
Gold Rush offers a variety of before and school clubs to expose students to a wide variety of topics and experience. It is our hope that by offering numerous academic, creative and physical extra curricular activities, students will discover new passions and interests. We also want to promote risk taking and develop students' confidence.

We are currently offering a new opportunity called Girls on the Run. The purpose of this club is to foster supportive, encouraging relationships while training for a 5 K together. The girls (teacher Mrs. Roon and psychologist Mrs. Evans included) are certainly enjoying their time together!
We thank Gold Rush's Daisy Troop for selecting our teachers as important people in their lives. They awarded our staff with Girl Scout cookies as a sign of their appreciation. We thank them for the recognition and the yummy treats!

* April 5-8 DCSD K-12 Art Show @ Hilton Garden Inn
* April 8-12 CMAS Testing for Students Grades 3-5
* April 15-17 - CMAS Testing for Students Grades 3-5
* April 15 & 16 - Outdoor Education Grade 5
* April 17 - GRE SAC Meeting & Joint Feeder SAC Meeting @ Frontier Valley
* April 19 - No School

Gold Rush Elementary | 12021 S. Swift Fox Way Parker CO 80134
Main Line 303-387-7700 | Fax 303-387-7701 |