January 10, 2019
Welcome Back to School, Everyone!
I trust you all had time to relax with family over the holiday. Some folks at Steele were very busy over the break – thanks to PTA, our building manager, Mr. Perez, and our library staff for all their work to transform the library, the gym, and the music room. The fresh paint and open spaces really enhance our learning spaces and says a lot about how much the community takes pride in our small school.
Check out STV this Friday morning – among other things, there will be a spot showing our new water dispenser and how to use it.
Coming up on January 29th, Steele will host an Information Night for prospective parents. Look for more details next week on our website.
This month, Steele is talking about perseverance and grit. Teachers are using storybooks to help students of all ages identify what it takes and what it means to accomplish something when it’s hard. One of our 1st graders already captured the idea perfectly: “Making mistakes it proof that you tried!” As educators, we work constantly to help students see taking risks and trying things out is the way to learn, and we try to coach them up on their grit by noting their progress, concentration, and grit.
Here are the books we’ve recently introduced to all classrooms:
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams
After the Fall by Dan Santat
Colorful Dreamer by Marjorie Blaine Parker
Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan
Have a wonderful week,
Happy New Year! We are excited to be back! We had a great meeting on Tuesday and a lot of things are coming up on the calendar. We need your help to make them successful, so read on and see where you might fit!
The remainder of the APEX funds will be spent on a Hydration Station in the Gym/Cafeteria. We are super excited that the Hydration Station that has been installed already is being used, and kids will be taught how to use it this Friday on Steele TV!
Winter Enrichment is coming up January 29-March 5. Look for more info later in the month!
5th Annual Sips for Steele – Save the Date: Sat, March 16, 6pm – 9pm
Get your babysitters lined up for this annual parents-only event with adult beverages, appetizers, live music, and a silent and live auction! We have an exciting cool new venue this year – Ivywild School! Proceeds will be focused on the school’s 21stcentury learning initiatives! More to come!
Sips for Steele Committee – We need your help!
It takes a village to put on this awesome event! We need parents to join our committee. We need contacts and leads for silent auction items and sponsors. We need you!
- Sips Meeting – Mon, Jan 14, 6:30pm: Come join us! There are lots of ways to help!
- Auction items – think of businesses you frequent, friends that have businesses….. we need auction items, sponsors and live auction experiences. If you have any ideas, please contact us!
Reach out to Khristine Prickett at 719-338-9477 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and ideas!
Focus Day 2019 is coming up soon: Monday, March 4. This year's focus will be STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). We'll use these themes to foster a mindset of critical thinking and collaboration, while showcasing their practical applications.
It will be a day of discovery through hands-on learning. Students will rotate through a variety of stations, each covering areas that span several STEAM categories, including robotics, cryptography, renewable energy, molecular gastronomy, and interplanetary travel.
Planning is underway, but we'll need the support of the Steele community. The primary need is for volunteers to run the stations on Focus Day, but there will be other ways to help too. We'll plan to meet at the end of January, and further information will be
sent as we get closer. If you're interested in contributing in any way, please e-mail Tim Anderson at email@example.com
A Note From D11
Coming soon! Colorado Springs School District 11 is moving in a great direction and we want to hear from you! Be watching for opportunities to participate and give your feedback in “world café” style sessions that will be scheduled January 28 through February 2. Details to come on social media, through the D11 Loop, on our school’s website and the D11 online calendar!
December 13, 2018
Dear Parents & Guardians,
Your students are just about ready for a break! Certain holiday songs are being sung by a bunch of 2nd graders right outside my office as I write this morning. Fortunately, they are in-tune and using all the appropriate words.
Just a quick couple of updates this week:
-please join us next Tuesday evening for our Orchestra/Band Concert. Mrs. Leiker and Mr. Crawford are pleased with our student progress and would love to have everyone come to listen.
-our staff is excited to serve students at the Pancake Breakfast next Wednesday, the 19th. Thank you to PTA for supporting this Steele tradition.
-Attached to the notes is a flyer from the city. They will be replacing water lines on Nevada, and are going to concentrate on the area near Steele during the Winter Break so as to avoid congestion and safety problems while school is in session.
This will be the last Steele Notes for the calendar year – so remember to keep your students home on Thursday the 20th and send them back on January 7 of the new year!
We had a very productive meeting on Tuesday evening! Below are some of the highlights!
Update on Daddy/Daughter Dance Change
After taking into consideration all of the feedback that we received, and a discussion with all in attendance, the group voted to change the title of the Daddy/Daughter Dance to be more inclusive of all Steele kids and families. The title is yet to be determined, but the format of the dance will stay the same. It will still be a dance where a parent attends with their child or children, and will still be a dressy type of event with potluck food. The dance will be open to all children who attend Steele at this time.
We are looking for volunteers to head up the dance committee! Please let Courtneyknow if you are interested! firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on APEX Funds
We voted to make various improvements to the library, music room, gym and art room! We are excited to start ordering things and planning some painting! Thanks to all of our Specials teachers who did lots of research over the course of this process, and to Khristine Vadala, Amber Anderson and Sallie Kate Angelidis for heading up the subcommittee that ultimately made recommendations to the PTA on this!
Focus Day Update
We are busy planning Focus Day! We are in need of volunteers, so if you would like to volunteer for our STEAM Focus Day, please let one of us know! This event takes place during the school day.
Sips for Steele Update
We are also starting to plan Sips! This event is an adults only event that will take place on a weekend evening in March. We are also looking for volunteers for this event!
We will likely be talking about how to spend money made through Sips at our January meeting, so if you are interested in that please plan to attend!
Our next meeting is January 8 at 8am! We’d love for you to join us!
Lost and Found: Please check the lost and found before we head into winter break!
December 7, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I try not to pay attention to end-of-the-year lists, unless it’s a book list. We are readers here at Steele. Many of the adults in the building share reading lists, talk about their reading with students, and participate in book clubs outside of school. I am two years behind on my year-lists, but just finished A Gentleman in Moscow, a well-paced and crisply-written account of early Cold-War Moscow. The other book I highly recommend is The Undoing Project. This one is a study of decision-making and working partnerships, and how we often make decisions based on unseen bias. It’s also about the Houston Rockets and Israeli psychologists.
Teachers at Steele model deep thinking about their reading: they use sentence stems like “we noticed the author organizes….” or they might direct 3rd graders to write by “identify the heart of your story and then organize it the way our author did.”
You can help our students by talking about what you read (if you have time to read, of course), and especially by talking about what you read together. It’s great to stop and ask questions like:‘why do you think that character acted that way?’ or ‘how might you have acted differently than the character?’
You still have a today to come to Steele for our Book Fair! Find that just right book for you and your student to read
Pancake breakfast for students will be Wednesday, December 19th
Please check the calendar for upcoming events and have a safe and warm weekend,
Just a quick reminder of the upcoming rehearsals and performances for everyone's calendars:
4th & 5th Grade Bands: Winter Concert - Thursday, Dec. 13th 7:00 pm
Students should dress nice & "holiday-ish". 5th Grade Band students should report to
music room at 6:20 pm; 4th grade students should report to the music room at 6:30 pm.
"Rising Stars Choir: NO REHEARSAL DEC. 13TH! MAKE UP REHEARSAL WILL BE
MONDAY, DEC. 17TH FROM 2:35-3:45 IN THE GYM. THIS IS THE FINAL REHEARSAL AND VERY NECESSARY TO HAVE EVERY CHOIR MEMBER PRESENT.
Winter Concert - Tuesday, Dec. 18th, 7:00 pm Choir members should report to the music room by 6:30 pm for attendance, warm-ups & run through the songs. Dress nice & "holiday-ish"!
4th & 5th gr. Orchestras: Winter Concert - Tuesday, Dec. 18th 7:00 pm Mr. Crawford has informed students what time to arrive and what to wear.
ALL-SCHOOL MUSIC DEPARTMENT ASSEMBLY: Tuesday, Dec. 18th 8:30 am. All performers should dress nice/"holiday-ish". Band & Orchestra students will be dismissed from their classrooms to come to the music rooms as soon as attendance is taken in order to get tuned and set up. Choir members will come with their classes and wait to take their performance positions until it's their turn to perform.
Hope you all have a safe & happy winter break! See you next year!
Mrs. Vanessa Leiker
Music Education Specialist
Our next PTA meeting is next Tuesday, December 11 at 6pm here at school. We welcome everyone to come and have their voice heard!
At our next meeting, we will be discussing a proposed change to the Daddy/Daughter Dance. The proposed change is to make this event something that includes all Steele families. Daddies and Daughters would of course still be welcome, but the title and event would be changed to accommodate all. We welcome any input on this subject. Please email Courtney at email@example.com if you have comments you would like shared at the meeting. This topic will be voted on at our meeting next week. We will also be looking for a Chair for this event.
Come visit the book fair now through Friday after school until 3:30!
Our APEX Subcommittee has been hard at work with the Specials Teachers to prioritize their wish lists! We will be voting on this budget at our next meeting (December 11 at 6pm). If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the meeting!
November 29, 2018
November 29, 2018
Parents and Guardians,
We can’t wait to see you at CoffeeTalk tomorrow. We will stop in for a 2nd grade presentation, play a little with Sphero robots (bring your Smartphone), and talk about Steele. We start after STV right about 8:35.
Next week students in grades 2-5 will take a mid-year benchmark test in language and math. The Galileo test helps us understand how students are on track for the year. Afterwards, we spend time in team meetings designing instruction and changing groupings to meet student needs.
We also have our Book Fair next week in the library so please come support our student media center. There are lots of great books this year, and just in time for the holiday season.
Have a great weekend and see you all next week,
Music Department Notes
December is just a few days away and the busiest month of all especially for our Star Musicians! Please add these events to your calendars & come enjoy hearing all the progress our Band, Choir & Orchestra students have made:
Thursday, Dec. 13th -7:00 pm 4th & 5th grade Band Winter Concert
Friday, Dec. 14th - 6:00-8:00 pm Choir Caroling in the Old North End
Tuesday, Dec. 18th- 7:00 pm 4th & 5th grade Orchestra & Choir Winter Concert
More information to be sent home with your Steele Star musician so please be looking for fliers from Mrs. Leiker & Mr. Crawford
Welcome back! We hope that you had a wonderful week off! Your PTA continues to be very busy and to want and need your engagement!
At our December 11 at 6pm meeting, we will be discussing and voting on proposed changes to our Daddy/Daughter Dance. The proposed change is that this event become a dance that includes all family makeups, not just those with daddies and daughters. Of course Daddies and Daughters will still be welcome to come, but the event would include all.
We welcome all feedback on this subject. If you have any input, please email me at email@example.com
Also at our December meeting, we will be voting on recommendations from a small group (including Specials Teachers) about how to spend our APEX money. This sub committee looked at all of the “wishes” of the Specials teachers and prioritized them to make recommendations to PTA about which wishes we can grant with the money we have.
Did you know??
Per our bylaws, you must be present at the PTA meeting where a vote is taken AND a current PTA member to vote. Which leads me to………
Did you know you can still join PTA? For $10 per person, you can have a voice in all things PTA. You can feel free to leave a check in the PTA box (please make sure your email is on it), which is located across the hallway from the front office, or you can go to http://mp.gg/aq16j to sign up online!
Santa Claus is coming to the Steele Gazebo on Sunday, December 2, 1pm – 3pm. The Old North End Neighborhood invites all Steele families and friends for cookies, cocoa, crafts and Santa! Come join our annual kick off of the holiday season with your Steele friends. All are invited. Santa will be arriving at 1pm courtesy of Fire House #2! We look forward to seeing you all there!
Colorado Springs Cotillion Classes for 3rd, 4th, 5th grade boys and girls - Treat your child to classes on social skills, manners and dance! Classes are on Tuesdays starting January 22 at the Colorado Springs Country Club on Templeton Gap. ! Online registration starts on 12/4 at 10am. Classes do fill up! For more information: www.cotillion.com
November 14, 2018 Steele Notes
Many thanks to all our contributors for Veteran’s Day last week. In particular, Mrs. Alden and Mrs. Leiker who put together a beautiful tribute. The care they put into planning and music makes our guests feel valued and honored. Eric Testorff, the leader of the American Legion Post 209 Honor Guard had this to say:
“Not a dry eye in the house among us old veterans! Such a wonderful presentation! Thank you to all you students and staff for all the hard work and learning involved in this Veteran’s Day observance.”
Did you know we have a Building Leadership Team? Our team makes decisions about what instruction we need to focus on, how we are going to lead instruction, and how to continue creating a learning climate of respect, high expectations, and empathy.
As the Leadership Team, we want to directly address some rumors that have been circulating about our food policy at Steele.
Last week a parent made a presentation to the Leadership Team (consisting of representatives from each grade level and department) about recommended sugar intake for children. The Leadership Team listened, asked questions and is studying the issue.
Presentations were also made to PTA in October and November, and to the School Accountability Committee (SAC). As a result there has been confusion about the role of PTA, and perhaps SAC in deciding policy. To clarify, the Leadership Team is solely responsible for any decisions regarding Steele’s food policy. PTA and SAC can provide guidance but has no authority to change policy. And the Leadership Team has no plans to change any policies for the current school year.
We do welcome parent and guardian input on this issue as the Leadership Team continues to learn about best practices concerning food in school. If you wish to provide input, you may do so between January 14 and February 28. The Leadership Team will decide by mid-May what changes, if any, will be made for the 2019-2020 school year.
You may comment by contacting Mr. Capp through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) during that time period or make an appointment through the front office.
Our goal is transparency when substantive policy changes are under consideration.
School Accountability Meeting
Right after the holiday break, we will host a SAC meeting on Wednesday the 28th at 5:15pm in the library.
Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner on Thursday 15
Your students will be served Thanksgiving Dinner at lunch tomorrow, and parents are welcome to sign up to attend and eat with their students by 3pm today. Forms are in the front office. Please note all parents will need to pay $3.80 to eat with their students.
Kindergarten and 1st- 11:25-11:50
2nd and 3rd- 11:50-12:15
4th &5th- 12:15-12:40
Just a reminder (we think you know) that there is no school next week. We wish you a safe and family-filled holiday week.
Lost and Found
Lost and Found can be found near the front office doors. Please take a look before we start Thanksgiving break.
Your PTA is so thankful for the amazing staff and families that make up a community that supports all Steele Stars Students. Without this community, your PTA wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of the awesome things that we do. So, we are thankful for YOU!
This season, we encourage you to talk about what your family is thankful for... gratitude has an amazing impact on kids and adults alike!
We hope that you and yours have a safe and restful week off next week, and a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.
Santa Claus is coming to the Steele Gazebo on Sunday, December 2, 1pm – 3pm
The Old North End Neighborhood invites all Steele families and friends for cookies, cocoa, crafts and Santa! Come join our annual kick off of the holiday season with your Steele friends. All are invited. Santa will be arriving promptly at 1pm courtesy of Fire House #2! We look forward to seeing you all there!
November 8, 2018 Steele Notes
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It's been a good week of learning at Steele. I've been impressed by the sophistication and complexity of the learning and work of all our students! They are learning features of text, citing evidence, digging for archeological clues, wondering about how our neighborhood has developed, taking walking field trips, writing sentences in Kindergarten, and more. Keep asking your student what they are feeling successful with, and what they are working through. Thanks for all your support.
Tomorrow at 1:30 we are hosting our Veteran's Day Celebration. Veterans and current service members are invited to our all-school assembly.
Thank you and see you all on Monday - there is school on Veteran's Day.
Happy Fall! Our next PTA meeting is Tuesday, November 13 at 8:10am. Topics will include our goals for Apex Funds, Apex debrief, Focus Day, Daddy/Daughter Dance, how sugar impacts our kids’ brains, and updates and debriefing on Monster Mash, Reflections, Used Book Sale, Enrichment and other things! If any of these are topics that interest you, join us!
SIPS FOR STEELE:
Are you someone who loves organizing events? Do you enjoy a great party? Do you love working with awesome people to put together an amazing fundraising opportunity for your school? You might be the perfect person to Co-Chair our Sips for Steele Committee! If you are interested, please contact Khristine Vadala or any of the PTA Board!
REFLECTIONS ART PROGRAM:
Now is a great time for students interested in art, music, dance, writing, producing films and taking photos to be encouraged to start (or finish up) their Reflections Art Program submissions. Submissions are due to the office WEDNESDAY, 11/14. This year’s theme, “Heroes Around Me” offers students the opportunity to unleash their inner artist and have some fun at the same time! An information flyer and student packet is available in the wall rack at the entrance to the school. Reach out to Cindy DeLoach or Allyson Kelly with any questions. Once again, Submissions are due WEDNESDAY, 11/14.
Our next Green Team meeting is Monday, November 12 from 2:45-3:15! Join us to learn how we are working towards making Steele a more environmentally friendly place!
USED BOOK SALE:
Many thanks to Lora Woodworth and all the volunteers who helped the Used Book Sale to be a success!
Box Top Update
Thank you Steele families for all your clipping and trimming of box tops over the last few months. Steele will soon be receiving a check for $368.90 as a result! Mrs. Matthews class won the trophy and extra recess as their class alone turned in over 800 box tops! Yea!!
If you forgot to send your box tops in this time, no worries, we are now collecting for the winter drive ending in February. This will be the final collection for the 2018/2019 school year.
Thanks for all your help!
Your Box Top Team
November 1, 2018 Steele Notes
Dear Parents and Guardians!
Thank you for all your support at Monster Mash and Parent-Teacher Conferences. What a great time to get together socially and for a student check-in.
Next week on the 9th Steele will celebrate Veteran’s Day in our afternoon assembly. Veterans and current service members are invited to a celebration of service and leadership. Our local VFW will present the colors and we hope that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will wear their uniforms on this day.
Mr. Herr and Mrs. Wriedt are rolling out the Sphero robots this week. We’ve already discovered that students are faster to program than we are. This is part of our work to encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) at Steele.
As the weather changes, please be sure you are signed up to receive messages about delays or possible closures. And, don’t forget to change the time this Sunday – we move the clock back 1 hour. Get your afternoon exercise in now before it’s dark at 4:30!
Our next PTA Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:10am- hope to see you there!
Reflections Art Program
Does your student enjoy art, music and dance? Or do they have an interest in writing, producing films and taking photos? If so, encourage them to participate in the Reflections Art Program which will allow them to unleash their inner artist! This year’s theme, “Heroes Around Me”, calls for the students to create their own interpretation of the theme through the arts. An information flyer and a student packet is available in the wall rack at the entrance of the school. Submissions are due from students by WEDNESDAY, 11/14. Reach out to Cindy DeLoach or Allyson Kelly with any questions!
Sips for Steele
Do you enjoy planning events with the help of other amazing people? We are looking for co-chairs for the committee that puts together our amazing fundraising event, Sips for Steele. This is an adult only evening featuring wine, beer, great food, and an auction. If you are interested in co-chairing this committee, please contact Khristine Vadala (email@example.com).
Used Book Sale
This Friday is our Used Book Sale! It will be from 2:30-7pm in the gym. Used books will be sold for $1. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lora Woodworth (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Volunteer Please go to the following website to register as a volunteer!
October 23 Steele Notes
Hey Parents and Guardians – Notes are a couple days early this week.
Thanks to Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Wriedt for hosting CoffeeTalk last Friday while I had to be out. Our students did a fantastic job with presenting their thinking and talking with parents.
What’s happening this week?
- MonsterMash Dance tomorrow, Wednesday the 24th from 5-6:30pm.
- Conferences have already begun, and there is still time to sign up. Please contact your teacher for a time if you haven’t already.
- Conferences occur after school on Wednesday until 7:30 pm, and all day Thursday from 8am-7pm.
- NOSCHOOL on Thursday or Friday this week. Regular classes resume on Monday the 29
Next week’s costume celebration on Halloween will occur on Wednesday the 31st. Watch the weather closely. The entire school will parade around the block at about 8:20, and the last walkers will return about 9:15. Please join us around the route for pictures and Star Spirit. Check in with your teacher about celebrations and times on this day. We will hold a pancake breakfast for students on the day just before Winter Break this year.
- North on Weber
- West on Española
- South on Nevada
- East on Caramillo
- North again on Weber back to school.
Our Benches are In!
Thanks again to Jake Butterfield and Erika Watts for ordering, siting and installing our new benches – the final installment of our massive playground project. And look forward to a clean water drinking and water bottle station inside, courtesy of families and PTA. This may be completed over the Thanksgiving Break or Winter Break.
10-19-2018: A Note From Mr. Capp
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Next week is an important week at Steele – it’s conference week! Face-to-face time with your teacher at the elementary level is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s education. When parents, teachers and students all have a common understanding of progress and expectations, students make great growth.
Conferences begin on Wednesday after school, and then go all day Thursday. If you haven’t already signed up for a time, please connect with your teacher today! Remember, there is school on Wednesday October 24 before conferences start, and then no school on the 25th and 26th.
Be sure to come out for CoffeeTalk tomorrow. Coffeetalk begins at 8:35 and goes until 9:30. Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Wriedt will be working with several students to show their learning in STEM work. Come and be prepared to be amazed at their learning