Friday, April 8, 2016

Young AmeriTowne with Congressman Perlmutter

Our fifth graders attended Young AmeriTowne this week with a few very special guests. We were joined by Congressman Perlmutter, who represents the 7th Congressional District of Colorado; Richard Martinez, Jr., President and CEO of Young Americans; and Linda Childears, President and CEO of the Daniels Fund. April is Financial Literacy Month and our special guests spoke to the students about the importance of learning about finances and economic development. 

Our students shined brightly and their hard work and preparation was evident. It was absolutely a joy to watch them deliver packages, write tickets to citizens who did not abide by the laws, and take care of those who had "illnesses." Thanks to all the students and teachers for your hard work and thanks to the parent volunteers who helped supervise and manage the event!

6th Grade Outdoor Lab, Mount Evans

I got to share a snippet of the 6th graders' Outdoor Lab experience yesterday. It was a gift to experience our students discovering nature, showing personal responsibility in their work in the cafeteria and with each other on the trails, and challenging themselves mentally and physically in what, for many, is their first extended stay away from home. I took a hike and learned about biospheres with one of our student groups, which was expertly led by two Dakota Ridge high school seniors. I also had lunch with all the students and meandered around the campus, taking in the experience. Aside from being a little tired (those bunk beds are not, what I hear, like the beds at home), parents can be assured that your kiddos are happy and healthy and will return with enduring memories.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Aviators Tops in Safety

Did you catch the recent 9 News story on school safety? If so, you surely noticed that Blue Heron played a prominent role. How did this come to be? Back in the fall, we were approached by Jeffco Safety and Security to participate in a story about school safety. We were told 9 News wanted to highlight schools with exemplary security procedures and we were at the top of the list!

Watch the final story: Aviators Tops in Safety!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Birthday Fun

I made another revolution around the sun this past week and the students and staff at Blue Heron sure knew how to make me feel special all day long. I was greeted in the morning by a fully decorated office, complete with streamers and party hats, courtesy of our fantastic office staff. Mrs. Nardi gave me a giant balloon and upon seeing students' reactions to said balloon, I decided to have a little fun throughout the day by attaching it to my belt loop. As I made my way into classrooms, a giant balloon followed me. The students got a good laugh! Ms. Green's band students also serenaded me to the tune of Happy Birthday, which by the way, they learned that morning. Check out their skills here. Thanks to all who made my day bright and filled with laughter and joy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dakota Ridge High School 20th Anniversary Celebration

On February 8th, I had the pleasure of attending the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of Dakota Ridge High School. Many of the principals who originally helped design and open schools in the Dakota Ridge Articulation Area (which comprises of Blue Heron, Colorow, Westridge, Mount Carbon, Powderhorn, Summit Ridge, and Dakota Ridge) were present and shared stories about our community and shared heritage. Jeffco Board Member Ron Mitchell was present as was our Superintendent, Dan McMinimee, and members of the district's senior leadership.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Our Choir Shines Bright in the Dakota Ridge Area

Our choir represented Blue Heron very well at a recent Dakota Ridge Area event. With almost 60 members, our choir was by far the largest contingent and absolutely the most beautiful to hear. One of the great joys of my day is to walk by Mrs. Diefendorf's room on choir days and listen to our students singing. They can make any bad day melt away. 

In other related news, congratulations are in order to Mrs. Diefendorf, who last week was elected to the General Music Council for District 2 of the Colorado Music Educators Association. District 2 represents Jeffco, Boulder Valley, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. We knew Mrs. Diefendorf was a gem and it's good to know so many others across Colorado will also get to know her passion and advocacy for music and music education.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Communication in a Digital Era

If you are reading this, you have found my blog and know that it is one of many ways I share all the wonderful things that are happening at Blue Heron with our parents, staff, and community. However, did you also know that my blog has become a fun and easy way for me to connect with our students? No? Well, if that is the case, then I encourage you to check out the comments section in some of my past blogs and witness digital citizenry in action.

Our upper elementary students have taken to blogging with the help of their creative classroom teachers and our technology savvy digital teacher librarian, Mrs. Hohman. Many of them have blogs they use to share their writing with one another and the teacher. In class, they learn how to be digital citizens and not upload inappropriate posts or comments online. They also sometimes send me feedback and ideas via the comments section of my blog posts. Every few weeks, my inbox has been filling with comments from students. At first, I couldn't figure out how it was happening since I disabled the comments section on my blog. Then I remember how crafty Mrs. Hohman is and I suspect she played some role in what I thought was mischief. I was right about the first part: Mrs. Hohman figured out a way to allow only current students to comment on my blog posts without hacking into my account. (Parents, if she can do this, I think it's safe to say you will know right away if your children are posting anything remotely inappropriate online during the school day.) However, I was wrong about the second part. I soon discovered that students weren't trying to play tricks on me, they were trying to engage with me--and they had some great ideas and points to make! Our students comments and feedback help me reflect on what is important to them, which in turn helps me continue to advocate for what they want and need each and every day. Their comments are classy. Their ideas are innovative. Their questions are thought provoking and their humor and joy reminds me of why I got into this profession what feels like ages ago.

So to the Blue Heron students who are reading this right now . . . go ahead and send me a comment. I welcome the dialogue.