Larkspur News!

August 27, 2018

 

Good evening Bobcat Families!

 

I hope that this email finds everyone doing well and that you all had a safe and relaxing weekend. 

 

This week LES and PTO would like to help out an amazing family while their son recovers from a brain injury at Children's Hospital. Please send donations to Larkspur Elementary the week of 8/27-8/31. The Fonda family is in our thoughts during this time and any little bit can help. 

 

COGAT Testing window - September 4-25

CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) testing will take place at Larkspur Elementary for all students in grades 3 and 5.  This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to his/her grade and age mates.  The results of these tests will serve several functions. First and foremost, the scores and reports will be used to inform instructional practices in the classroom. The scores will guide efforts to adapt learning opportunities to meet the needs and abilities of the students. The scores are also used as ONE component of the body of evidence to determine areas of strength and possible identification for gifted programming.

 

Students in grades 1, 2, and 4 can also be tested during this window.  This testing is administered if a referral is made by a teacher or parent.  This referral and testing initiates the process of identification for Gifted and Talented programming and should be done only if there is a belief that a student has need for significant differentiation.  Please contact Kathy Medley, Gifted and Talented coordinator for LES kmedley@dcsdk12.org by Friday, September 1, if you would like to refer a child in grades 1, 2, or 4 for testing.  

 

Mark your Calendars!

PTO General Meetings for 2018/19 will be held in the LES library at 4:30 pm. Childcare is provided in the gym. Please plan to attend and see what we’re up to! Hope to see you there!

Monday, 9/17/18
Monday, 11/12/18
Monday, 1/14/19
Monday, 3/11/19
Monday, 5/6/19
RGF Meeting, Tuesday 4/30/19

 

Fall Enrichment is here!! August 28th- October 4th

 

 

 

News from our Registrar
“For reporting your child absent please call the attendance line at 303-387-5377 or email ekeefefeinner@dcsdk12.org

 

“If you need to notify your child about a change of plans for how they are getting home from school, ex: riding the bus vs. being picked up in car line, please call the school at 303-387-5375 vs. emailing their teacher.  Teachers are not always checking their emails during the school day and change of plan information may not be seen in time.”

 

Orchestra News!

The brochure that went out with the kids gives an incorrect orchestra start date of September 4. We will actually be starting the following day. Intermediate players will come on September 5, and beginners will come on the 6th. We’ll resume our regular TWTh schedule the following week. 

Anyone interested in orchestra or band can attend a rental night on August 28 from 6-8:00pm at Soaring Hawk Elementary. They will get more chances to try instruments, as well as an opportunity to rent one in the correct size. 

 

 

How DCSD Would Use Additional Funding (MLO/Bond)

 

On August 21, 2018, the Douglas County School District Board of Education voted to place a $40 million Mill Levy Override (MLO) and $250 million Bond on the 2018 ballot.

 

If passed, these funds would stay local to help the 68,000+ students in Douglas County Schools. Douglas County School District has not passed a new MLO or Bond since 2006.

 

To put that in perspective, the last time we passed a MLO/Bond our current high school seniors were in Kindergarten.

 

What is the difference between an MLO and a Bond?

Put simply, a mill levy is about students and staff – it brings classrooms to life.

MLO funding is generally used for operational needs such as salaries, staffing and student programming.

 

Put simply, bonds build classrooms. These dollars fund improvements to our school buildings.

Bond funding can only be used for capital needs such as facility repairs, security upgrades, purchasing classroom equipment, buses, technology and new construction.

 

If passed, how much will the MLO/bond cost the average homeowner?

If passed, the MLO and Bond would cost the average Douglas County homeowner (with a home value of $470,000) an additional $208 annually in property taxes ($17.33 per month).

 

If passed, what will Douglas County School District do with the MLO/Bond money?

 

With these new local dollars, Douglas County School District would be able to:

  • Increase teacher/staff pay to address internal pay gaps and become more competitive with the pay of our neighboring school districts (source: CDE 2017-18 Average Teacher Salary).

    • Currently, teachers in Cherry Creek School District earn nearly $19,000 more per year compared to Douglas County School District teachers.

    • Some hard to fill positions in our classified employee groups such as bus drivers and EA IVs are at pay rates that are significantly below neighboring districts.  

*Enhance safety and security at all schools, including neighborhood, charter, magnet and alternative schools.  

 

*Reduce student to counselor ratios at our middle, and high schools and add counselors at the elementary school level.

 

*Address overdue capital repairs at our school buildings such as heating and cooling systems, roofing, carpeting, fire alarm systems, plumbing, etc.

 

*Add more student programming opportunities, including career and technical education options

 

*Explore and provide new construction to address community growth.

 

*Replace aging buses and classroom technology

 

->What schools will benefit from the MLO and Bond?

 

All DCSD neighborhood, charter, magnet and alternative schools will benefit from the increased funding. Specific allocations will be dependent on the school’s capital needs and condition. All DCSD schools will receive safety and security enhancements. All Tier 1 and additional high priority Tier 2 capital needs at DCSD schools will also be addressed. Tier 1 needs include building systems and components which provide heating and cooling, fire alarm systems, roofs, elevators, bleachers, etc. Tier 2 needs include carpeting, restrooms, sealing and caulking building exteriors, and parking lot repairs.

 

If a MLO/Bond were to pass, what methods would be implemented to ensure transparency and accountability for the additional dollars?

 

The DCSD Board of Education would create an Accountability Committee tasked with ensuring that MLO/Bond dollars are spent as outlined. DCSD staff would provide regular community updates and reports on the MLO/Bond funding dollars and how they are being used.

 

 

Thank you for all you do at LES! We cherish every moment that we get to spend teaching your children and we are so blessed you have choose LES as your school of choice! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any comments questions or concerns. Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday! 

 

Jen Oldham, Principal


 

 

 

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