STEELE NOTES 08/21/2020
Good Afternoon Parents -
Attached you will find further guidance for the start of our virtual school year. Included in the communication are policies on attendance, food and nutrition services, PTA and more.
We are looking forward to seeing you in our virtual classrooms on Monday starting at 8:00am.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 02/27/2020
Good Afternoon to all Steele Families!
A big shout out this week to our basketball coaches. We’ve had great participation, a good show of perseverance and some excellent skills and sportsmanship this year. Thanks to Coach Mitch, Coach Phil, Coach Jones, Coach Liebold, and Coach Sherwood for helping with our young athletes. We are looking forward to our game at Taylor today, our last game at home on Monday and our celebration afterwards.
The cement is just now being poured for the Española/Nevada bump-outs. Weather and cold delayed this project, and now we should see smoother traffic flow on Nevada until the Weber action begins. They’ll be installing new curbs and ramps from Uintah to Jackson after they finish up on north Nevada.
You’ve heard the rumors about starting school 10 minutes early in March due to snow days. I thought they were true as well, but they are not! Dr. Thomas just sent an email to all staff explaining the district has received a one-time waiver from the state, and we do not need to change our schedule this spring.
Focus Day is coming up next week, March 6. Dr. Thomas, our superintendent, and John Suthers, Colorado Springs Mayor, will be here to introduce out big day and Olympians at our 8:15 am assembly.
Finally, Coffeetalk is tomorrow, February 28 at Good Neighbor coffeehouse on the corner of Columbia and Corona. Join us at 8:45 for conversation about Steele, our awesome students, and our path forward.
REMINDERS FROM THE OFFICE:
BUS ZONE: Please help us keep students safe by not parking in the bus zone at the end-of-the-day pick-up. Steele has two buses that need to park in the bus zone in order to safely load and unload those students who ride each day. Your help in keeping the bus zone clear each day helps ensure that we are providing a safe environment for our students.
SCHOOL CALENDAR: We strive in the office to keep it as up-top-date with events, rehearsals, practices, cancellations, etc. Please use this valuable resource to help answer any questions you may have on what's happening on campus.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 02/13/2020
Steele Family – I’m glad to report that Steele has been awarded a full-time counselor for the 20-21 school year and beyond. This is a result of the Mill Levy Override passed by voters 2 years ago, and by a dedicated team of teachers that wrote an outstanding grant application. We are excited to bring a highly-trained provider on board. We anticipate the new counselor will do some team-teaching, provide specific instruction on socio-emotional skills, and help with a variety of student needs.
Please thank Mr. Yenne, Ms. Toombs, Mrs. Barnett, Ms. Korte, and Mrs. Patchen for their extra time and thoughtful work towards this effort. It was their passion and dedication that led to our successful application.
Please be careful on the roads as things change from mush to ice and back again. Happy Valentine’s Day,
A Note from Mr. Capp: 02/06/2020
To Our Wonderful Steele Community:
Thanks to PTA for the truly wonderful Souper Bowl on Monday this week. Teachers enjoyed many different soups, salad and bread provided by parents.
Many of you know we have quite a few substitute teachers in the building today and tomorrow as teachers are up in Denver at the annual reading conference. Thanks for supporting your kids; I’ve been in all our classrooms this morning and students are treating our guest teachers with respect and are working well. I’ve noticed a few students explaining to their guest teacher how their classroom works and where to find things. What a great way to show respect for learning at Steele.
Stay safe and careful on the streets! In addition to some slippery spots, we’ve noticed some … questionable u-turns and left turns on icy spots, as well as the usual bright sun if you are facing east in the morning. And there’s been a regular police presence on Nevada lately too. Keep our kids and your insurance rates safe!
As always, thank you for the opportunity to work with you and your kids.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 01/30/2020
A Note from Mr. Capp
Parents, we’re excited about the new SuperHero Green Team. The club will start next week Tuesday before school at 7:15 in Mrs. Matthews room, and will help our youngsters become public speakers, energy analysts, and recycling experts! More applications/permissions are going home today, and students may turn them in tomorrow to join the team. All 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students are welcome to apply!
I’m always amazed at the dedication of our teaching staff here at Steele. Your teachers seek out learning opportunities and feedback, always trying different ways to teach that help students grow. Take a minute to write a quick email or stop a teacher on the playground to tell them thanks.
Enjoy February, and I’m looking forward to seeing parents in the art room tomorrow for CoffeeTalk,
REMINDER FROM THE OFFICE:
Please bring your photo id to the office and we will enter you in the Visitor/Volunteer system for future visits.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 01/24/2020
As you may know, your students are learning about caring this week. An essential ingredient for Caring, with a capital C, is gratitude. Being thankful is an intentional act, one that can change your day. I’m thankful to work with a dedicated and visionary staff – your teachers are doing the minute-to-minute work and thinking about how the goals they set with your children are going to help them be successful, contributing adults. I’m thankful to our front office staff, who always do their best to welcome every parent, visitor, and student. And please join me in showing gratitude to our building managers, Mr. Perez and Mr. Gonzales. They do their work with an attitude of service and sometimes they clean up some really weird stuff.
And a big thanks to all of you. Choosing Steele as the place where your students create, think, grow and learn means so much to all of us.
3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders – turn in your SuperHero Green Team applications to the front office.
Basketball Permission slips are due to the front office asap.
CoffeeTalk next January in the art room – looking forward to reconnecting with parents!
Ensena Spanish club starts back up on Monday 1/27. Continuation from 1st semester for those enrolled.
NOTE FROM THE OFFICE:
Starting immediately, all visitors will be entered electronically into our Volunteer/Visitor kiosk system. Please bring your photo id to the office and we will enter you in the system for future visits. We are starting to implement the new visitor procedures for the district. Your patience is greatly appreciated as we learn this new process as well.
NOTE FROM THE NURSE:
If your student has a fever, please do not bring them back to school until they have been fever free, without fever reducing medication (example: Tylenol or Motrin) for 24 hours.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 01/16/20
Dear Steele Families,
I just came from a Kindergarten room, where your young mathematicians were working to understand their math mountains. This is a technique used in many primary classrooms to establish some essential concepts. For example, 4 + 3 and 3 + 4 both equal 7, as long as you are adding the same stuff. And 7 – 3 = 4, and so on. The kids were counting out small toys to show what they knew, they were writing the numbers down, and they were explaining their thinking to their partner and their teacher. At Steele our goal is to give every student the tools to understand, practice and apply their thinking, and thanks to our wonderful Kinder teachers for setting the table so well. Kids across the building are doing great work this winter, and we thank you for all your support.
Speaking of support! A big thank you to PTA for helping us complete our Library/Learning Commons furniture and work space renewal. As you know, this started at last year’s SIPS fundraiser. At this week’s PTA meeting, the PTA voted to give $11,000 to this effort. What a gift to have such financial and community support.
PTA and Steele are working together this spring to provide 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders with a green team leadership opportunity. Please look for a flyer in today’s Thursday folder with information about the application process. Applications are due next Thursday, January 23rd to your child’s classroom teacher. This group will deliver information to all classrooms, learn public speaking, review our energy consumption, and support recycling in our school and community.
5th Grade Parents – please put Thursday Feb. 27 at 6pm on your calendar for an informational meeting regarding the Estes Park overnight trip in early May.
A road update: I received a kind call from the Co. Springs curb project manager, and Española/Nevada will be finished within the next two weeks, or whenever the weather gets warm enough to lay concrete. And, they will begin work on Weber this spring, redoing curbs and ramps at each intersection.
It’s enrollment season, and it’s a great time to schedule a tour at Steele. Generally, they occur on Tuesdays at 9 and Fridays at 1, so please invite your friends who are considering Steele to give us a ring and set up a time for me to tell them how great our school and community are.
Always a privilege to serve your students,
A Note From Mr. Capp: 01/07/20
Parents and Students, we look forward to seeing all of you back at school tomorrow morning!
I hope this break offered you the chance to reconnect with your own families and enjoy time together. And maybe you are ready to send your kids back to us too! If you are a east-west walker on Española, continue to take care: it looks like the concrete crews have finally left us behind, but unfortunately the NW and SW corners of Nevada and Española are still unfinished.
4th and 5th Grade Parents – Basketball Workshops begin tomorrow, January 8, for girls only, and Thursday, January 9 for boys. Please remember to bring gym clothes and shoes for the workshops. Workshops start at 2:45 and run until 3:45.
If you are making new year’s resolutions for 2020, I have just one suggestion. Over the break, my 11 and 9-year old nieces reminded me how powerful and important the act of reading is. We had a lot of people at the house, and all three found refuge and recharge in their favorite book. Reading to each other and by oneself gives us time to think, be, and understand. We relate to others better the more we read, and we ready ourselves for different perspectives and ways of thinking. So if you are making that one change – make it reading, for yourself and with your kids.
Keep checking the school and PTA websites for info about events and calendars, as there are always events to attend and enjoy. Thank you,
Ryan Capp, Principal
A Note From Mr. Capp: 11/14/19
Have you ever asked yourself ‘is my kid figuring it out? Am I pushing my kid too much, or not asking enough?’ I’ve been a part of several conversations like this lately, in our own home with my 16-year old, and with teachers and parents here at Steele. We all know every kid is unique and special, and we probably shouldn’t compare our kids to others, and yet we still notice, don’t we?
Knowing and understanding kid development can help understand your own child’s needs, and help decrease unproductive comparisons to other kids. In my house of 2 grown children and one still in high school, Maria and I are sometimes frustrated by our 16-year old’s organizational skills. There’s awareness, but not always action. When we reflect carefully, we realize we are comparing him to his siblings, who were both several months older and developmentally further along. There are a lot of good resources to help us understand development, and one we’ve recently added to our library is Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4-14 by Chip Wood. You can find it on Amazon. Understanding stages of development, interests and abilities by age really helps us measure our expectations, keep us parents, teachers, and adults from being frustrated, and give students the tools to succeed.
I hope you have a great weekend, and please join us next Thursday for our annual Thanksgiving meal – a note went home the other day and forms are due Monday.
A Note from Mr. Capp: 10/18/19
Did you know?
- Just about every Friday, grade levels across the building work together on buddy projects. Today, our 5th graders were all over the halls and classrooms building ramps with Kindergartners. It’s cute, and it’s physics!
- 1 Steele Star from each classroom is honored each week on STV. I bet you knew this already. Our STV leaders do a great job organizing and helping our stars during the video production.
- The city is rebuilding all the sidewalk entrances, curbs and making car mazes out of orange and white barrels on Nevada. You definitely knew this already.
- Teachers are busy busy busy. They entered grades earlier this week, did some training for our new Socio-Emotional curriculum, Random Acts of Kindness (randomactsofkindess.org), and continue to plan lessons that challenge and target student needs. Please make sure you’ve signed up through your classrooms for conferences next week on Wednesday after school or all-day Thursday.
- No school Thursday next week – conferences. And no school on Friday.
Thanks for all you do to support your students at Steele.
A Note From Mr. Capp: 9/19/19
Are You Enjoying Palindrome Week?
91919 Notes of Steele.
Happy Thursday Steele Families!
Raising kids is a fluid process that we plan for, try to anticipate, and then at times our plans just fall apart. Kids aren’t factories that you deliver some supplies to, mold and work them, and then they pop out as contributing human beings, are they? At Steele, we try to provide lots experiences, tools and routines to gradually release responsibility and embed internal learning. That way each child has the personal understanding of themselves, their skills, and dreams so they can succeed.
Teachers have been discussing student math work at every level, and in the spirit of releasing responsibility and learning to the student, are designing math experiences that help them reconsider, rewrite, and extend their thinking. Many Kinders, for example, are working on one-to-one number correspondence and recognition of integral numbers 1-10. Teachers are planning different ways to show their knowledge with different shapes and drawings. When we talk to kids about why they drew things a certain way, we find out a lot of what they know and how to direct their next learning experience.
A couple of reminders: please sign in when you visit the building. We especially thank all of you that sign in when you visit your child during lunch. A new sign-in system will be rolling out in the coming months, so look for info about that soon.
Also, thank you for your slow, careful driving especially in the morning. I sure notice how strong the sun is for eastbound drivers, and little ones can be hard to see in the glare. There seems to be a lot of construction on houses in the alley right now, and then there’s the one-lane business on Nevada. Also, I’ve seen the motorcycle police cruising Weber several times since we’ve begun school.
No school Monday the 23rd – it’s a teacher professional development and work day.
Thanks everyone! Mr. Capp
A Note From Mr. Capp: 9/12/19
We are busy this week! I’ve been visiting classrooms, where students have been practicing the writing and reading stamina. Some students are working on 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing – I wonder if we adults could manage that kind of dedication. When teachers ask students to spend time writing, observing insects, or to make inferences using maps, they are helping students learn to learn. Sometimes we call this an academic mindset, where we intentionally design learning to:
- Help kids participate by talking to each other
- Ask for help
- Take risks
- Try hard on challenging tasks
- Keep trying after failure
- Sharing and idea, even when others might disagree, and
- Revise their work after feedback.
Ask your students if they’ve done one of these things when you talk with them at the end of the day, and try relating their work to yours. We thank you for your partnership in growing your students.