It has been a great start to the year. I want to thank our community for everything you are doing to make the students and staff, as well as the families that are new to our schools and district, feel welcome. That includes the warm reception that I have received from so many of you. Thank you.

It feels especially pertinent at this time of the year to talk about something close to all of our hearts—the safety and well-being of our students. Even if you read the email that went out a few weeks ago from Roosevelt High School about Safe2Tell Colorado , this important message bears repeating: Safe2Tell gives our students of every age and grade level , a safe, anonymous way to report anything that concerns or threatens them, their friends, their family or their community.  This includes bullying and social media threats.

As a family, please take a moment to go online and check out the website and available resources. Safe2Tell reports are critical to keeping the Weld RE-5J school community safe.  I receive alerts for every Safe2Tell reported and I follow up on each and every report. If your child(ren) has/have a cell phone, you can download the Safe2Tell mobile app for reporting concerns.  Please share with your child(ren), though, that Safe2Tell does not replace 911. If any child feels that there is a crime being committed, needs an ambulance to come, and/or feeling like their life is threatened or in danger, do not use Safe2Tell to report--please call 911.

When it comes to the safety of our students, you can expect us to take every precaution available in the year ahead. We will also communicate with you as quickly as we can when issues arise, using the appropriate channel based on the issue. This may include emails, phone messages, text messages, and/or posting on school and district websites. Safety issues—such as threats made against schools, staff, or students—always involve law enforcement. We are committed to letting you know as much as we can, as soon as we can, but due to the nature of active investigations, we must defer to law enforcement to guide us on the type of information that we can share. We ask for your patience and understanding in these situations.

Our schools, along with many other Colorado school districts, follow the protocols put in place from the “I Love You Guys” foundation: .  If you look at this site, you will be able to view the protocols for reunification (after an emergency), definitions that we use for “lock-down”, “lock-out”, “evacuate”, as well as the posters that are in our classrooms as well as what our front office staff will say over the intercoms in case of an emergency.  If you are interested in talking with your child(ren) about this information, it would be helpful to let them know that the more that they are prepared, the less that they will be scared in case of an emergency situation. In October, we will be practicing our lock-down and lock-out drills. I will be sharing more information with you about the drills at the end of September.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter and on Facebook to keep up-to-date on any school/district emergency.  Our Facebook and Twitter account will direct you to go to our district’s website for any emergency updates and school weather closures.

Equally important to the everyday safety of our students is their well-being. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health habits, such as eating and sleep patterns, are linked to academic success. A balanced breakfast and a consistent bedtime can make a huge difference for kids. Experts suggest that kids ages six to 18 should get nine hours of sleep nightly, but they typically average a little more than seven. In terms of breakfast, we know that getting out the door in the morning can be hectic and there isn’t always time for a meal. Nutritious breakfasts are served at all Weld RE-5J schools daily at a maximum price of $1.70 or as low as the $.40 reduced price (or even for free ) for those participating in the National School Lunch Program.

We encourage all families to take a moment to review the application and eligibility requirements for the National School Lunch Program on our website . Based on income, your family may qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school now or at another point in the year. This program can help relieve financial stresses for families in times of need. We can assist in filling out the required form at school or our administration office (110 South Centennial Dr., Milliken). More than 368,000 students in Colorado participate in the National School Lunch Program. There is no stigma attached; students are not treated or identified any differently than their peers in the lunch line.  

In closing, I want to share one more research finding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services related to students’ well-being: Students who feel a genuine sense of belonging at school are more likely to do well in school, stay in school, and make healthy choices. The start of the year is a great time to engage with your school about activities that fit with your kid’s unique talents and interests. Strengthening school connectedness for every student and family is a priority for us this year. We want to ensure that all Weld RE-5J students know that we care about them and how well they are learning.

Please sign up to be part of our District Accountability Committee and/or our newly formed Parent Advisory Committee ( link ).  Getting involved in what is happening with our school district is another way to support your child(ren).  Also, I invite you to reach out to me anytime at if you have questions, concerns, and/or want to share good news!  I appreciate the conversations and connections and I look forward to hearing from you!