Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Celebration and Hygiene Drive

As we head into the holiday break, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for a wonderful first semester. It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you and your children.
Here is a link to a video from Jeffco Communications about our Holiday Celebration and Hygiene Drive that captures just how special the Blue Heron community is. Please share with your children, friends, and family and let them know that their contributions made a difference in the lives of Jeffco students and families in need of a little extra help this holiday season.
Our students collected over 8,000 items for Jeffco homeless students and their families. There were so many hygiene packages that our friends in Jeffco Homeless Services needed a little help getting all the items to their offices at the Ed Center in Golden. Below are some photos of our amazing 6th graders with staff from Jeffco Homeless Services as well some of Jeffco's Achievement Directors delivering items to the team at the Ed Center. The last report I received was that all the items were distributed to the students and families who needed them. Well done, Blue Heron!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Giving Celebration

Do you know Blue Heron Elementary students have already, collectively, donated over 3,000 hygiene products for Jeffco's 2,700 homeless students and their families? One 5th grader recently earned the Principal's Medal by organizing a neighborhood drive that brought in over 800 items. We are a community that cares for one another and I couldn't be more proud of our students and their generous spirit.

Principal for the Day Celebrates Reading

I can use all the help I can get so when the PTA asked me if I'd be willing to raffle off some time for a student to be Principal for the Day, I said yes. One of our 5th graders won the raffle and recently got to spend some time with me. Between the meetings and observations, we awarded some students with medals for their strong growth in reading and achieving their academic goals. Way to go, students!

Monday, November 30, 2015

6th Graders Learn about Digital Citizenry and Blogging

One of the coolest things I get to do everyday is pop into classrooms and check out what students are learning. On a recent November afternoon, I had the pleasure of watching a co-taught lesson from Ms. Spohn, our 6th grade writing teacher, and Ms. Hohman, our digital teacher librarian. Students learned how to respond to blogs in a way that promoted good digital citizenship and left only a positive digital footprint. 

What is a digital footprint? Here are some responses from 6th graders:

Student 1: I think it’s something that you leave behind.
Ms. Hohman: Where?
Student 1: Online.
Student 2: Even if you delete it, it will still be there.
Student 3: Whatever you do online doesn’t go away.
Student 4: You don’t want to be a cyberbully.
Ms. Hohman: What happens when you’re 16 and apply for a job, say at Starbucks? What can the manager do?
Student 5: They can Google your name.
Student 6: Yea, and if something bad comes up, they won't hire you.

I think our students are off to a great start!

Nov 18, 2015 1:47:13 PM.jpg
6th graders are commenting on my blog posts during a recent lesson on digital citizenship.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blue Heron Hygiene Drive

Blue Heron Elementary Hygiene Drive
Blue Heron Picture.png

All items collected benefit Jeffco’s Homeless Services--Community and Family Connections

Beginning on Monday, November 30th and continuing through Thursday, December 17th, Blue Heron will begin collecting the following items:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • bar soap
  • body wash/ scrubs
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • lotion
  • chapstick
  • nail clippers
  • washcloths
  • wipes
  • antibacterial gel
  • baskets
  • reusable totes
  • reusable containers
  • tissue paper

helping-hands-symbols-clip-art-1036280.jpgStudents can drop their items off in the box in their classroom.  The items will be assembled in baskets, totes or containers for families on December 17th during our Winter Giving Celebration.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

2nd Grade Science Fun

Last Friday, our second graders got a treat when Pam Batton, owner of EcoAdventures, stopped by Blue Heron to teach a lesson on science and environmental education. Students were outside for a portion of the lesson learning about predators and prey. When I stopped by, student "predators" were trying to "catch" their dinner (It appeared as though stuffed animal rabbits and mice were two very popular items on the menu). It was wonderful to watch!

Student Mentor Program

Did you know we have a mentor program at Blue Heron? 
Students in grades 3-6 are paired with students in grades K-2. On a regular basis, they meet to support academics and promote school culture and belonging. Recently, I spotted several fifth grade students working with second graders to create Halloween jokes, which they posted throughout the school (including on my office door). We have some witty students and their humor brings a smile to my face everyday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Slide is Fixed!!!

At some point during the 2013-14 school year, the slide on the intermediate playground broke. There is stayed, wrapped in orange mesh and unusable, for all to look at with sad eyes. I am very pleased to announce that after a failed attempt to get it replaced in the summer (the wrong part was delivered), we now have a new slide and the repair didn't cost our school a penny! Thank you to all of Jeffco's wonderful facilities folks who worked with us to make the new slide happen. As you can see from the picture below, I think our students like it!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

1st Grade had a Zootastic Time!

Our first graders took a trip to the zoo this past week. Thanks to our teachers and parents who supported the trip and ensured everyone had a fantastic time!

And way to go first graders for wearing your Blue Heron T-shirts and showing your Aviator pride!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The USA Map is Here!

On my very first day as principal at Blue Heron Elementary, I took a walk out back. Besides the broken slide on the intermediate playground (which is on order and will be installed once the part comes in), I noticed our very large and very sad looking blacktop. I thought there must be some way to jazz up the area and started searching for solutions. I quickly came across the USA Map and ordered it right away. Feeling a little overwhelmed once the package arrived, I phoned Diana Garren, our art teacher, who has a world class color sense and attention to detail. Diana took over and well, the rest is history!

To all the parents, students, staff, grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and friends that helped make this idea a reality . . . THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your hard work payed off and we are so, so proud of the results! 

Look for more pictures of everyone who participated in the USA Map project as well as photos of the updated hopscotch area in an upcoming parent newsletter.

Friday, October 2, 2015

3rd Grade Field Trip to Butterfly Pavilion

On September 28th, the 3rd grade class took a field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster.

We are thankful to have so many parent volunteers supporting our teachers and students on the trip!

And thank you to the teacher who captured one of the best expressions of the day . . . Mr. Isaac holding Rosie the Tarantula!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Field Day 2015

Field Day 2015 was a HUGE success! Thank you to all our staff, parent, and student volunteers for making the day safe, fun filled, and enjoyable for all!

Substitute Teachers Love Blue Heron!

We all love Blue Heron because we have the best students in Jeffco. Sometimes, it's nice to hear how much visitors to our school love us, too. Andrew Schilling, PE teacher extraordinaire, had a substitute teacher recently and she stopped me in the hallway to let me know how much she loved subbing at our school. I asked her if she'd be willing to express those feelings in writing and here's what she said:

I’m proud to have been a longtime elementary physical educator in Jeffco. I’m always happy to sub at a GREAT elementary school--Blue Heron! The staff and students, secretaries and principal are wonderful! Students are well disciplined and so much fun to teach. The school environment is positive and conducive to students’ discipline and student learning! This school is a five star school!

Marty Loschen
Retired Elementary PE Teacher

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An Educator's Impact

One of the most influential educators in my life, Dr. Thomas Sobol, passed away this week. Tom was a Superintendent of Schools in the suburbs of New York City, a former New York State Commissioner of Education, and a chaired professor in the department of Organization & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Tom taught a course on ethics and education law at Teachers College, Columbia University when I attended and he was also the commencement speaker for my graduating class. During that convocation he said, “Becoming moral in my view is the opposite of restraint and detachment. It requires passionate engagement with other humans, stepping into all of life's confusion and heartbreak and messiness, and losing one's self in something larger than one's self before the self can be defined."

In his courses, Tom talked about defining moments and how they serve as opportunities to shape us, to help us reflect and take a stand. Teachers College’s current president, Susan Fuhrman, in her letter to students and alumni last week, wrote “Tom's own defining moment came these past several years, as he endured, with remarkable dignity and grace, a paralyzing illness that confined him to his bed. Aided at every turn by his loyal and indefatigable wife, Harriet, he typed, with one finger, his memoir, My Life In School, which chronicled his path from a tough Boston neighborhood to Harvard and beyond.”

Tom was much loved and left a lasting, positive impact on thousands of children and educators. He will be deeply missed.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Our Students SOAR during Assemblies!

On Wednesday, September 2nd, all 471 students and about 40 staff members filled our gymnasium for our first school-wide assembly of the year. Students got pumped up for the PTA fundraiser (money is to be turned in to PTA on September 16th). The best part of the whole assembly, in my humble opinion, was to lead the silent dismissal of each grade level out of the gym. We could not be more proud of our Aviators, all of whom displayed excellent SOAR behavior during the assembly, and perhaps most notably as they silently exited our gym and continued their single file, silent walk through the hallways and back to their classrooms. Way to go Aviators! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome to Blue Heron!

Dear Families,

Welcome to our website redesign! Williams' Words is a place where I intend to share the everyday happenings and joys that I have the privilege of experiencing as the principal at Blue Heron. 

Last week, Jamey Zurcher, mom and PTA garden lead, helped students harvest some of our ripe veggies from the garden. This week, kindergarten teachers were taste testing tomatoes with their students. We are lucky to have such abundance at the school!