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Canyon News Vol. 14, No. 1, October 2017

Rock Canyon High School


The School that Leads

A Douglas County School

Parent Newsletter

Off to a Fabulous Fall Start The new school year was kicked off with multiple events that brought students together. Seniors celebrated the start of their final year with breakfast. All classes stepped outside to experience the solar eclipse. Students got involved in their classes with labs and activities through the first few weeks of school as well. 1. Mandy Shuster ‘18 and Ali Seaquist ‘18 wait for pancakes at the Senior Sunrise Breakfast Aug. 24. Photo by: Maggie Contos 2. Abby Lehigh ‘18 drizzles syrup on her pancakes Aug. 24. Photo by: Maggie Contos 3. Kristi Rathbun’s third period English I class observes the Solar Eclipse Aug. 21. Photo by: Paige Pecoraro 4. Students from Christina Marcilliat’s Adventure Experience class practice the rope course in the auxillary gym Sept. 18. Photo by: Lea McCaffrey 5. Maddie Origill ‘18 and BLANK pose with their specimen in Aquatic Biology Sept. 21.

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Welcome to a new year Jaguars! We are excited to welcome back our Canyon community as we continue through the first semester of the 2017-18 school year. This issue features a few quick updates on Academics, Activities and Athletics to bring you up to speed on happenings around school. Welcome Back!

Page 2 & 3: Principal Andy Abner welcomes back the Jaguars; departments provide updates and info and meet new staff members Pages 4 & 5: Find a fall sports photo round-up and information on testing dates and schedules Pages 6 & 7: Find updates on Jag Activities and grab a quick glimpse of our Colorado Homecoming Page 8: Check out the at-a-glance calendar and get a preview of the parent party fund raiser “Rock the Night Away”

Twitter: @rockcanyonHS

Instagram: rockcanyonhighschool

Facebook: Rock Canyon HS

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Message from the Principal hard to believe that we have Itof theisalready completed eight weeks 17-18 school year. These past

weeks have been action packed with excellent educational opportunities for students. To kick off this year our staff and Link Crew welcomed over 550 freshmen to Rock Canyon. There was a buzz on August 10th as the class of 2021 received a warm introduction to high school. This day continues to play a significant role in fostering a caring culture and environment that seeks to prepare students for the realities of their next four years. The class of 2021 students rounds out our total enrollment of 2220 students. We have much to celebrate and highlight from these past eight weeks. The fall play “Summer Brave” was a hit. Our bands, orchestra and choir have had incredible first performances with many new artists. Our athletic and activity participation continues to rise and it is seldom that there is not an event with student involvement at RCHS in the evenings and on the weekends. These events continue to be some of the greatest learning and social experiences for our students. We have also celebrated 4 National Merit Semi-Finalists, 16 Commended Scholars and a teacher of the year. All of these celebrations are in addition to our Jaguars of the month proudly displayed outside of the main office.

On several occasions I find myself greeting students as they arrive to school. This is the ideal way to start my day as I realize how very important our work is to prepare our students for their future. Each day presents an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals and our greater community. This is perhaps one of our greatest responsibilities. I can assure you that our staff is working extremely hard to prepare students for their future and the ability to find success in their chosen endeavors. We continue to increase our focus on critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication in the classroom. As always we appreciate all of your help and support. You send us eager students who are ready to learn and are driven for personal success. Our strength has been approaching every student’s education as a community. I believe we find the greatest growth and success when we work together as a team. We thank you for your commitment to our students, staff and school. We look forward to continuing this journey together. Andy Abner Principal

SAC Scoop

What’s the scoop with SAC? SAC stands for School Accountability Committee, an advisory group that meets monthly to provide feedback, share ideas, and participate in decisions that affect Rock Canyon students and overall school culture. The committee is made up of parents, community members, staff, and school administrators, and anyone is welcome to attend the SAC meetings. Last year, the SAC followed up on recent school survey findings, focusing on our school community’s concerns over mental health and drug and alcohol awareness. Efforts to provide our students, parents and staff with effective resources to address these challenging issues are ongoing. At the SAC’s first meeting in September, they approved a new mobile app system that will serve as a comprehensive tool addressing a wide range of social issues. The system is scheduled to be launched later this fall at Rock Canyon. In addition to attending SAC meetings, our community can stay up-to-date on the SAC scoop by visiting their website ( which provides live meeting minutes, meeting dates, and membership information. GO JAGS!

New Staff Adds Smiles to Halls and Classrooms

The Rock Canyon staff is happy to welcome a new crop of Jaguars to our family. We are happy to expand our staff with a variety of talent, experience and enthusiasm. In an effort to help connect our community to our newest editions, please enjoy some quick interviews with our new Jags.

Zachary Fruits What you do: Band Director Favorite RC Moment: Marching band movie night Best Song Ever: “Mmm Bop!” Favorite Quote: “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

Becky Fuller What you do: Severe Needs EA What would you be doing if you weren’t at RCHS? Yoga Best Song Ever: “American Pie” Who’s your team: My kids REAL Colorado Soccer teams

Counseling Corner The counseling department hosts a myriad of resources for students at RCHS. Here is a rundown of a few of the opportunities for help and support provided by our department. Rock Canyon Counseling Webpage

Are you looking for community service opportunities, test taking tips and help with test anxiety, tutoring options, our course guide and graduation requirements, or a how to request a transcript? All of this information and more is available to you at our Counseling webpage.

Community Service

Has your senior completed the required 20 community service hours required for graduation? Please make sure your senior turns the hours in to Mrs. Hendrick in the Counseling Office. We offer a lettering program in community service learning at three different levels. The first level requires 100 service hours, second level requires 250 service hours, and the third level requires 500 service hours. Community service lettering information is available at RCHS website under the Counseling tab or contact Barbara Hendrick at or 303-387-3025. Fall and Winter Break provides time to complete the required twenty hours of community service hours needed to graduate. It is a great idea to try and pursue a community service project that may provide an opportunity to also explore a career interest. Check the counseling website for a list of opportunities.

Naviance News

For help setting up a Naviance account, login issues, or general questions about Naviance, please contact Rachel Brooks, Post-Grad Counseling Secretary, at Rachel. or 303-3873022. Our home page in Naviance has tips on college essays,

Rachel Brooks What you do: Counseling and Post Grad Secretary Favorite RC Moment: Laughing daily with my awesome team Best Song Ever: “The Story” Favorite Quote: “We hope against all logic, against all experience.”

John Gallant What you do: Teach Science What would you be doing if you weren’t at RCHS: Hosting a Sports Radio Show Best Song Ever: “Oh Canada” Who’s your team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

questions to ask when visiting a college campus, tips on FAFSA and financial aid, etc. As always, we want to encourage you to have your child check their Naviance account weekly for emails from the Counseling department. As a parent, we encourage you to set up your account as well. Our future seniors should be following the timeline we have posted in Naviance under “Pages.” Freshmen will be taking the Career Interest Profiler inventory during Access period to explore career pathways which match their strengths and desires.

College Campus Visits

Breaks provide a chance for both vacation and college campus visits. Set up an appointment with the admissions office. Ask to visit the financial aid department, take a tour of dorms, sit in on a class, and talk with a student who in currently enrolled in the same major of interest. Ask questions and take notes so you can refer to them when making a final college decision the following spring.

Job Shadows

Taking the time to set up a job shadow during any school break is one of the most valuable experiences your son or daughter could have. Put the word out to your family, neighbors, and friends and help connect your child with someone working in the field your child is interested in. Coordinate transportation so your child can work alongside a professional throughout an entire day to get to see what that career is really like. Encourage them to ask questions and send a thank you note to the person with whom they do the job shadow.

Peer Counselors

We have Peer Counselors specifically trained to assist students in a variety of ways: conflict resolution, social/emotional situations, academic tutoring, time management and decision making. Peer Counselors do follow a confidentiality code so your student has a safe place to talk. If your child would like to utilize their peers in the ways mentioned above, have them stop by the Counseling Office for assistance.

Mary Burnham What you do: Teach Language Arts What would you be doing if you weren’t at RCHS: Trying to get a job at RCHS Who’s your team: CU Buffaloes Favorite Quote: Mother Theresa’s prayer, “Do it Anyway…”

Sally Garrett What you do: Special Education Secretary Best Song Ever: “Don’t stop believin’” Who’s your team: Broncos and Avs Favorite Quote: “Live like you’re retired now.”

Tutoring Help

SNHS – Spanish National Honor Society – Members of SNHS are offering tutoring in Spanish during Access. If your student needs help, please have your student go to Room 8600 during Access. NHS Tutor Connect – National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring for any students who need help. To access, go to the RCHS Home Page or at Departments > Learning Commons > NHS Tutor Connect. Follow instructions at that link for requesting tutor. Access Hour – All students have an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays (9:45am-10:45) to get help from their teachers. At that time, students should go to their teacher’s classroom to request that help. Peer Tutoring with a Peer Counselor – Peer Counselors are available to tutor during the school day in the Counseling Office. Students should come by during their open period to get help. *If you are looking for a list of tutors that you pay by the hour to help your child, there is a tutoring list located at the Counseling website. Post Graduate Night for Parents and Juniors/Seniors-

Post Graduate Night for Parents and Freshmen/Sophomores-

If you attended our Post Graduate Night for Juniors and Seniors, we appreciate you spending an informative evening with us! If you didn’t get a chance to complete the survey evaluating breakout sessions/keynote, you can do so at this link www. Your feedback helps us to continue to make this evening a great night for all to attend! We will be holding another Post Graduate Night in the Spring for Parents and Freshmen and Sophomores. Details will be forthcoming via email as we start Spring semester. We hope you can join us!

Katie Coverdale What you do: Special Education Teacher Best Song Ever: “Gangnam Style” Who’s your team: American’s Team: The Dallas Cowboys Favorite Quote: “A positive mind towards everything will give you a happier life.”

Morgan Gradishar What you do: Speech Language Pathologist – Assistant Who makes up your tribe: My dog, Boomer Best Song Ever: “Sweet Carolione” Who’s your team: Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers

Canyon News

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RCHS Department Updates Check out the latest news from various academic departments throughout our building. All content was submitted by representatives of each department. English/Language Arts

The Rock Canyon High School English department is already off to another exciting year of discovery through reading, writing, and rhetoric. We began the school year in our professional development days by breaking into grade level teams to ensure consistency between new teachers and veteran teachers. For the 2016-17 school year, the state switched from using the ACT to test our juniors to using the SAT to test our juniors. Our 11th grade teachers worked endlessly to prepare our students for the April testing date, and their hard work paid off tremendously. Our mean score, out of 800, was 586. In other words, 89% of our students met or exceeded the benchmark set by College Board. This was the top in the district and one of the top in the state. We are very excited about our new hires this year: Mary Burnham and Sheela Maupin. Ms. Burnham is joining us from Rock Heights Middle School, where she was an eighth grade Language Arts teacher. For us, she is teaching English I, English II, and an English II Supported class. Ms. Maupin is joining us from Newton, Massachusetts, where she taught at Newton North High School. At Rock Canyon, she’s teaching English I Honors and English II Honors. We are thrilled to have both of these women join our department. Classroom Highlights: Dr. Jason Dunkle’s Technical Writing class recently completed extensive brainstorming for college essays. Students are finishing up individual meetings with Dr. Dunkle to discuss topic and direction for a final draft. They have been working on presentation skills as well. Students have created a mock proposal (to mimic their eventual Biotech project proposals) with focus on proper visuals and good speaking skills as practice for Biotech proposals coming soon. Karly Bloom and Mat Henbest (Social Studies) are excited for another great Senior Studies group. Students are several weeks into their volunteering assignments, where they’re enjoying locations like Brookdale Retirement Home, Praying Hands Ranch, Cafe180, Castlewood Canyon State Park, Wellsprings, as well as various elementary schools around the area. Colleen Holub and Leah Fairchild are teaching College Prep Reading and Writing, a new English course that provides a third option for Rock Canyon juniors. Leveled between English III and AP Language and Composition, College Prep students will be well-prepared to take either Concurrent Enrollment English or AP Literature and Composition in their senior year. When asked, “Why College Prep?” Jackson Willner responded, “I have a very rigorous math and science schedule, so taking another AP class was not an option. College Prep is a rigorous, engaging, and informative class that still allows students

Amy Kaylor Hogsett What you do: School Social Worker What would you be doing if you weren’t at RCHS? Traveling! Exploring is my favorite thing. Best Song Ever: “Over the Rainbow” IZ Favorite Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Doreen Smith What you do: Teach Social Studies Favorite RC Moment: Meeting my new department and new students Best Song Ever: The Happy Birthday Song Favorite Quote: “Humpty Dumpty was pushed”

to have balance in their course load.” Are we hitting the mark? Junior Addie Sabados reports, “I love it! I think I made the right decision in taking this class because it’s not overwhelming, but I feel like I’m being challenged and productive. I’m very excited to read the novels for College Prep and look forward to further developing my comprehension of reading and writing as a whole.”


The Math Department is excited to welcome newcomer Jaymie Irwin who relocated to the Jaguar Family all the way from Phoenix, Arizona. She will be helping the department by teaching College Algebra/Trigonometry and Geometry. The Math Department is excited to begin another year and look forward to working with students to achieve greatness within all levels of mathematics.

Physical Education

The PE department is off and running in the 20172018 school year. We are excited to welcome Coach Brian Tinker to our already great department. The classes we are offering this year are strength and conditioning, individual sports, team sports, athletic training 1 and 2, adventure, sports training, health, sports psychology, and adaptive PE. We look forward to developing positive relationships with all of our students!! GO JAGS!!


The AP Environmental Science class and Biotech II class have partnered with the South Metro Fire District and Castle Pines Community on the Ready - Set - Goat! project. Several neighborhoods have brought in goats during the summer to eat vegetation in the open space to reduce fuel as a method of fire mitigation. Our students are conducting citizen science field research on the impacts of the goats on the soil health and biodiversity of the ecosystem over the next few years. In biotechnology students just finished their sterile procedure lab as they were cloning African violet plants. Now they are moving onto genetic inheritance and will be breeding Drosophila (fruit flies) to see how mutant traits are inherited in the flies. Next week is virgin week where students will be collecting virgin female fruit flies all next week that thy will use for their breeding experiment! In the biotechnology research course students are busy designing their research projects and writing their research proposals that they will pitch on October 27th. They just finished a field trip on Friday to the Auraria Campus library where they searched the library’s data base for full text journal articles as part of their background research for their topic. Aquatic Biology students went to the Downtown Aquarium Thursday September 21 where they dissected the squid, did a behind-the-scenes tour, enjoyed the exhibits and enjoyed a hot lunch in the dining room while watching fish, sharks and mermaids! Our next dissections will be the sea star, perch and a shark! In Earth and Environmental science students are finishing up their exploration of astronomy which has included light and electromagnetic radiation, the Doppler

Jaymie Irwin What you do: Teach Mathematics Who makes up your tribe: Husband Eric and daughter Ryann Who’s your team: University of Arizona Bears Favorite RC moment: Getting to know each of my students

Vivian Harvey What you do: Library Media Specialist Who makes up your tribe: Husband Craig and sons, Sean & Kevin Who’s your team: Broncos, Rockies and any team my sons play on Favorite Quote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Debra Leck What you do: School Psychologist What would you be doing if you weren’t at RCHS: I would love to open my own restaurant Who’s your team: Broncos, Steelers and RCHS Varsity Soccer Favorite Quote: “A relationship is like building a house. Build it well or it will collapse.”

Sheela Maupin What you do: Teach Language Arts Favorite RC Moment: The Back to School Assembly – I love the school spirit Who’s your team: The Broncos, of course! Favorite Quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

effect, telescopes, star and planet formation, comets, asteroids, sun spots, eclipses, the expanding universe and that force which always wins...gravity. Next quarter we will begin our exploration of geology and plate tectonics which seems especially relevant just now!

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department is excited for the school year! Whether students are taking a required course in Geography, World History, U.S. History, Economics or Government, an elective course in Sociology, Intro to Law, Psychology or any one of our Advanced Placement courses, we hope our students will have an opportunity to explore a new understanding of the world this year. As we work to create relevant and exciting classes for our students, we created a department mission statement to serve as our guide for the school year. The Social Studies Department hopes to “Build engaged and informed citizens using multiple perspectives by implementing empathy, critical thinking and global connections.” With an opportunity to explore the Social Studies, we hope all students will find ways to make connections and positive contributions to the world around them!

World Language/Speech and Debate:

National Chinese Honor Society (NCHS) is a scholastic organization established to recognize students’ efforts in the study of Chinese. At Rock Canyon High School, NCHS is a prestigious group that promotes the learning and understanding of the Chinese language and culture. This current school year, we hope to be involved with the Chinese community through festivals and events, host group dinners at Chinese restaurants, and continue to foster the Chinese-speaking culture through tutoring lower-level students. We look forward to another fruitful year of Chinese learning and experiences! French National Honor Society is planning many events this year. Induction for new members will take place on October 17, and we look forward to formally welcoming all new members! We will also be continuing our tradition of French night at the Avalanche game in February, along with our other annual activities of cheese and chocolate tastings, cooking classes, and dinners at restaurants from different francophone regions. There are also FNHS tutors available to help your French students in lower levels! The World Language Department will be traveling to Concordia Language Villages in the north woods of Minnesota November 9th –12th . French and Spanish students from RCHS be fully immersed in the language and culture of the French- and Spanish-speaking world while also building skills to become responsible, globally minded citizens. Speech & Debate is a fun and beneficial activity open to all RCHS Students Meetings are on Mondays from 3:003:30 in room 8550. Please contact Dayna Moore at dayna. if you have any questions.

Stephanie Powell What you do: Teach Spanish Favorite RC moment: The Homecoming assembly Who makes up your tribe: My dog, Carmen Best Song Ever: “Imagine” by John Lennon

Brian Tinker What you do: Teach Physical Education, Head Football Coach Favorite RC Moment: Leading the Jag Varsity Football team What to know about you: We recently relocated from Oklahoma and happy to be here.

Brock Schardin What you do: Teach Spanish Favorite RC Moment: The positive vibes I get each and every day from everyone at RCHS Best Song Ever: “Stairway to Heaven” Who’s your team: Atlético de Madrid

Daniel Jibson What you do: Teach Science Favorite RC Moment: Meeting the new department and new students. What to know about you: I am a rare board game enthusiast.

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Fall Sports Photo Roundup

Jags of the Month

Competition has begun and in some cases is almost done. Check out a few photos from some of our fall sports.

Students Show What it Means to be a Jaguar

1. Rock Canyon golf Sept. 1. 2. Jaguars vs. Ponderosa soccer Sept. 15. 3. Rock Canyon Varsity vs. Denver East players Sept.16. The Jaguars defeated the Angels 22-21. 4. Varsity Volleyball Sept. 15. 5. Rock Canyon cross country Sept. 21. 6. Field hockey Aug. 29. 7. Softball Sept. 22. 8. Tennis Sept. 22. 9. Varsity Cheer Sept. 16.

Jags of the Month receive recognition based on their strong leadership, communication and involvement in school. They are awarded this prestigious title from peer and faculty who observe the true Jag Spirit in everyday life. Congratulations to our winners from August to September. Soon to be considered, our October winners. Jag of the Month student photos are on display outside the main office.


Alex LaMotte Caroline Pita 10th Grade: Cody Lange Maiya Upton 11th Grade: Dale Kim Delaney Yehie 12th Grade: Carter Pasqualini Lea McCaffrey

Kellan Munholland Gabby Clutter 10th Grade: Simon Dick Lale Edil 11th Grade: Tyler Craig Jadyn Curran 12th Grade: Drew Owen Shelby Kane

9th Grade:

Monday April​ ​9 Regular Monday 1​ ​ ​ ​ ​7:40​ ​-​ ​9:10 3​ ​ ​ ​ ​9:15​ ​-​ ​10:50 1st​ ​Lunch L​ ​ ​ ​ ​10:50-11:40 5​ ​ ​ ​ ​11:45​ ​-​ ​1:15 2nd​ ​Lunch 5​ ​ ​ ​ ​10:55​ ​-​ ​12:25 L​ ​ ​ ​ ​12:25​ ​-​ ​1:15 7​ ​ ​ ​ ​1:20​ ​-​ ​2:50

9th Grade:

Rock​ ​Canyon​ ​High​ ​School 2018​ ​SAT/PSAT/CMAS​ ​Bell​ ​Schedule Week​ ​of​ ​April​ ​9th​ ​ -13​th Tuesday Wednesday Thursday April​ ​10 April​ ​11 April​ ​12 SAT PSAT​ ​9 PSAT​ ​10 th​ th​ th​ (11​ ​ ​grade​ ​only) (9​ ​ ​grade​ ​only) (10​ ​ ​grade​ ​only) SAT-​ ​No​ ​Essay Juniors 7:40-11:55 1​st​​ ​Lunch 11:55-12:45 SAT​ ​w/​ ​Essay Juniors 7:40​ ​-​ ​12:45 2​nd​​ ​Lunch 12:45​ ​-​ ​1:15




PSATFreshmen 7:40-11:40

PSATSophomores 7:40-11:40

CMAS-Juniors Science

CMAS-Juniors Social​ ​Studies

Sci​ ​Session​ ​1 7:40-8:40 Sci​ ​Session​ ​2 8:45-9:35 Sci​ ​Session​ ​3 9:40-10:30

SS​ ​Session​ ​1 7:40-8:40 SS​ ​Session​ ​2 8:45-9:35 SS​ ​Session​ ​3 9:40-10:30

Lunch 11:40-12:20

Lunch 11:40-12:20

Friday April​ ​13 Regular Friday 1​ ​ ​ ​ ​7:40​ ​-​ ​8:30


2​ ​ ​ ​ ​8:35​ ​-​ ​9:15 3​ ​ ​ ​ ​9:30​ ​-​ ​10:20 4​ ​ ​ ​ ​10:25​ ​-​ ​11:15 1st​ ​Lunch L​ ​ ​ ​ ​11:15-12:05 5​ ​ ​ ​ ​12:10​ ​-​ ​1:00 2nd​ ​Lunch 5​ ​ ​ ​ ​11:20​ ​-​ ​12:10 L​ ​ ​ ​ ​12:10​ ​-​ ​1:00 6​ ​ ​ ​ ​1:05​ ​-​ ​1:55 7​ ​ ​ ​ ​2:00​ ​-​ ​2:50

Access 12:25-1:15 Period​ ​2 1:20-2:50

Access 12:25-1:15 Period​ ​4 1:20-2:50

Access 12:25-1:15 Period​ ​6 1:20-2:50


College Readiness Testing Updates

We Test with the Best Rock Canyon High School is dedicated to ensuring that our students have the skills and knowledge that matter most for college and career success. We are also dedicated to providing opportunities for high-quality practice and preparation, as well as linking our students to college acceptance opportunities and scholarships. The Class of 2018 was the first group of students to take the SAT exam last spring after the state of Colorado transitioned from the ACT to the SAT. Rock Canyon’s average composite of 1162 puts our school as number 6 in the state of Colorado for non-selective public high school, number 4 in the Denver metro area, and number one in the Douglas County. This academic achievement is a point of pride for our students, staff, and parents. In order to best fulfill our continued commitment to excellence in academics, we wanted to share with you an overview of this year’s college and career readiness testing platform and schedule for Rock Canyon High School. College Board’s SAT Suite of Assessments (PSAT 9, PSAT/ NMSQT, PSAT 10, and SAT) all focus on concepts and skills that matter most for college and career readiness and they are vertically aligned to inform instruction and ultimately help improve student outcomes.

SAT Suite of Assessments PSAT 9


All 9th Graders



All 11th graders and select 10th grad-

The skills and knowledge tested are directly aligned to the PSAT 10 and SAT, establishing a baseline measurement of college and career readiness.

The skills and knowledge tested are directly aligned to the SAT. This is the only testing date that makes 11th graders eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.


4/12/18 All 10th Graders This test is tightly aligned with the SAT and allows students the opportunity to become familiar with the format and content covered on the SAT. Partner organizations also use PSAT 10 to find applicants for their scholarship programs. SAT


All 11th Graders

This college entrance exam is accepted for admission, placement, and scholarship award purposes at U.S. public colleges and universities. Students will have the option to take the SAT with or without the essay section on 4/10/18.

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Athletics Update






Jaguar Fans, The Rock Canyon Fall Sports season is off to a great start, and as we enter October there are several teams still in competition. Among the highlights thus far, the boys golf team completed their season with a 2nd place finish at the Regional tournament and have qualified as a team for the State Tournament being played at Common Ground Golf Course on October 2nd & 3rd. Senior Keiran McMullen fired a 1-under 71 to tie for 1st place. Additional highlights from the fall include our boys cross country team winning the Liberty Bell XC Invitational which is one of the largest meets in the state and our girls ended up taking 3rd place overall. Both teams are gearing up for the second half of the season. Senior runner Chris Theodore has been dominant again this year winning three individual titles already. Our football team is off to a terrific 3-1 start under the leadership of new head coach Brian Tinker. The girls volleyball team is once again ranked in the top 5 in the state and is working hard to return to the state tournament. All the rest of our Jaguar athletes are in mid-season form and are consistently working to improve and striving to achieve their goals. Rock Canyon takes tremendous pride in our student athletes as they continue to perform at a high level on the field and courts and also in the classroom. Finish this season strong Jags! The winter sports season is right around the corner as the first day is November 10. We will open registration October 17 for our winter sports. If your son or daughter is planning on participating in Basketball, Wrestling, Ice Hockey, or Girls Swim & Dive, please go to the Rock Canyon Athletic website at and click on the registration tab to create an account. Thank you for all your continued support! Go Jags!!! Tom Brieske Athletic Director

The SAT Suite of Assessments also provides free, personalized online prac- Rock Canyon SAT Prep Course tice that complements classroom instruction through College Board’s partnerRegistration will open on Wednesday, October 4. Registration link will be on ship with Khan Academy. Furthermore, students who take the PSAT 10 receive the website. The first 100 students to register will receive access to College Board’s AP Potential, which uses assessment scores to identify this 25 hours of SAT instruction and preparation for the discounted price of the likelihood of success in specific advanced placement courses. $299 (regularly $399). College Admissions Colleges and universities in Colorado as well as nationwide typically accept Prep Course Schedule: either SAT or ACT scores for college admission purpose; therefore, students are Friday, January 12th 10:00 am - 3:00 pm encouraged to research admission requirements specific to each school of inter- Sunday, February 11th 9:00 am - 1:00 pm est. We encourage students take the ACT (in addition to the April 10, 2018 SAT Friday, February 16th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm exam at RCHS) and can register online at for one of the National Test- Monday, February 19th 9:00 am – 12:00 pm ing dates offered at various locations throughout the year in Douglas County. Sunday, March 4th 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Thursday, March 15th 9:50 am – 10:50 am SAT Practice and Preparation Thursday, March 29th 9:50 am – 10:50 am Rock Canyon is once again partnering with Elite Academics in offering SAT Tuesday, April 3rd 9:50 am – 10:50 am practice and preparation. Students who participated in the Rock Canyon/Elite Thursday, April 5th 9:50 am – 10:50 am Academics Prep Course last year increased their SAT score by an average of 97 points. Thank you for continued support and partnership in our commitment to Free, Full-length Practice Test for all juniors @ Rock Canyon High School excellence at Rock Canyon High School. Please contact your child’s counselor Saturday, October 21, November 11 and January 6 from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. with any questions or Assistant Principal Melissa Rosati, Rock Canyon Testing We strongly recommend that all juniors register for at least one of these prac- Coordinator @ tice tests by emailing with the student’s name, date, and email address to send scores.

Canyon News page 6

Activities Update


he 2017-2018 school year is off to another fantastic start with 88 clubs/ activities, over 1400 registered students, and around 60 teachers sponsoring groups. We have clubs that fit almost anyone and give opportunities for each student to find their niche in the building. Our Activities Fair started this year off to a very energizing beginning, especially for our newest Jags. We had 50 tables set up in the commons and gym with our different clubs recruiting students to be part of our Rock Canyon community. It’s always fun to see students want to get involved. Student Council, one of the biggest, most impactful groups in the building started off the year with a great Back to School Dance. Over 1500 Rock Canyon students attended, making it the best attended dance in school history. StuCo, led by Ms. Kate Hartline, pulled off a great six days. The Colorado themed homeCOming week culminated in a very well-attended, loud and exciting dance. Some of the other traditions continued, such as Ruff N Tuff volleyball, Powder Puff football, the Homecoming parade and bonfire. But the most vitalizing event was the Spirit Parade that took members from StuCo, the Marching Band, Cheers and Poms and athletes from the other sports around to visit with our feeder schools. It is great to be part of the Jaguar community! We are pleased to introduce our new band director, Zac Fruits. He is working hard in the classroom with his various band groups, as well as our digital audio class and our marching band. We are looking forward to a great year. Several groups worked/competed over the summer. FBLA sent students to the National competition in Anaheim and represented RCHS well. Our Rock Media journalism department continues to rack up national awards and recognition. Our Drama department continues to excel. They sent students to compete at Nationals in Lincoln, NE this summer. And they moved right into our first play of the school year, Summer Brave, was a very well done rendition of the revision of the 1953 play Picnic. Another of our award-winning programs here, RCTV, held their media camp over the summer, mentoring and teaching future journalists. We are excited to see so many people involved this year so far. Let’s make it a year to remember.

Go Jags! Kevin Cary Activities Director

Senior Landon Hogue and Junior Makayla Franklin perform during the theater department’s performance of Summer Brave Sept. 28-30. The theater department has performances scheduled throughout October and November. Spring musical auditions for Damn Yankees begin after Thanksgiving Break.

Perpetual Performing in Arts Department VOCAL MUSIC

Choir has been busily preparing for our first concert of the year on Oct. 3. This year we have a new choir - Men’s Choir! The men traveled to Castle View High School for a men’s choir festival, which was a blast in addition to being a great education! After our concert, 15 juniors and seniors will head to Colorado Springs for our All State auditions on Oct. 14. Women’s Select Choir will then perform at the Castle View Women’s Choir festival on Oct. 20. This year the choirs have been asked to participate in some exciting collaborations: Women’s Select will perform the Nutcracker Suite with the Colorado Ballet on December 14 and both Select Choirs will sing “Requiem for the Living” by Dan Forrest with full orchestra in a downtown church with the Colorado Repertory Singers under the direction of Dr. Kyle Fleming in March. Stay tuned for more information! Also stay tuned for Audition materials for Damn Yankees which will be available in early November. Auditions will be right after Thanksgiving. The performing arts department was happy to accept 46 student applications and auditions for the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Those students will be inducted into the honors society on Nov. 1.

Classes will be visiting the middle school for some improv tutorial this week, and the upperlevel classes will be going to see Macbeth at the DCPA. We also are planning a community service opportunity, as well as preparing for the State Thespian Festival in December! We have auditions coming up, too: auditions for this year’s school musical, Damn Yankees will be after Thanksgiving break, as will auditions for the Winter One-Act Festival.


The RCHS Orchestras are bigger and better than ever this year! tThe Freshmen class are already proving to be talented, responsible, energetic, and dedicated. The String Orchestra is learning faster, collaborating better, and rehearsing more efficiently. Also, the Chamber Orchestra is preparing some of the most mature and challenging repertoire for a first concert of the year. Our Fall concert is on October 4, 7:00 pm, in the RCHS Auditorium. Please join us - =and think you’ll be amazed at the quality of both groups.


Drama has had a busy first quarter! We had a swim party, kickball, and we worked on a great float for the Homecoming parade. Aside from producing “Summer Brave” at the end of September, we’ve been preparing the Theatre III class play for October 19, the advanced drama comedy, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” for October 25 &26, and the winter play, “Leaving Iowa,” which will be performed November 15-17.

Musical Musicians Make Memories on Mountain Day of Homecoming Week, Sept. 19.

Black & Gold Yearbook to be Inducted into CSMA’s First Hall of Fame Class, Earns Premier Printing Industry Award Celebrating seven consecutive years of excellence, the Black & Gold yearbook will be inducted into Colorado Student Media Association’s initial All-Colorado Hall of Fame class Oct. 19 at the state conference in Ft. Collins. “I feel extremely proud to have been a part of such hardworking staffs these past four years,” editor-in-chief Sanjana Nandy said. “This honor motivates us to work harder than ever before. We want to keep being recognized for our hard work and strive to be the best we can be.” The Black & Gold is one of only 10 yearbooks in the state to earn this honor. “To qualify for the Hall of Fame, a student medium must earn the highest rating (AllColorado) from the annual

summer critique program for six of seven consecutive years,” CSMA’s Executive Director Jack Kennedy said in a press release Sept. 25. “The Hall of Fame awards seek to recognize consistency of excellence over time, in an era when time in service as teachers and advisers is declining, and when student media faces a wide range of challenges.” Hall of Fame recognition was awarded in four classifications – print news publication, yearbook, news website and video media. A total of 15 programs will be inducted at JDAY at CSU. “This honor means that we have to keep the legacy of the Black & Gold going,” editor-in-chief Taylor Hein said. “We want people to recognize what we do and appreciate the hard work we put into every book. It means so much

to be working on and with a staff that is in the Hall of Fame.” In addition to CSMA’s Hall of Fame recognition, the yearbook staff also received news that the 2016 U Discovered volume of the B&G won a Certificate of Merit in the yearbook category of the 2017 Premier Print Awards, “a prestigious international competition for commercial and specialty printers,” according to Balfour Publishing Senior Manager of Sales and Digital Assets Mark Goshgarian. Balfour received a total of 11 awards from PIA in 2017, including the Black & Gold’s award. “Congrats to everyone on your staff – it reinforces the honor it is to work with you and your school,” Goshgarian said.

StuCO Supplies a HomeCOming at 5280

Canyon News

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Showing off Jaguar spirit a mile high, students participated in a week of Colorado-themed celebration. Student Council put on “HomeCOming at 5280,” a Colorado themed homecoming throughout the week of Sept. 17-23. With multiple different events, activities, and traditions, students got involved with homecoming in many ways. Halls were decorated with red, blue, and yellow colored flags and decorations, in addition to banners along the upper hall with the different spirit days. The annual homecoming bonfire put on by the Fire Science program took place in the Rock Canyon parking lot Sept. 22, the night before the dance. Students gathered to listen to music, hang with friends, and watch the event. Sept. 19, captains from all varsity sports teams traveled on a bus for the spirit parade, visiting the feeder elementary schools to raise spirit for homecoming and advertise events. The homecoming assembly took place Sept. 21 in the gym where all students gathered to watch Poms and Cheer perform, participate in cheers, and learn about upcoming homecoming events. Homecoming royalty were presented and a dance-off occurred between mascots Mic Jaguar and Lil’ Mick.

Business/Tech update

DECA students posing before a successful Titnn Invitational at the Wildlife Experience September 26, 2017

The Business/Technology department is off to a great start this year. Our Multimedia students were showcased at the Breckenridge Film Festival on Saturday Sept. 23, 2017. 2,500 films were submitted in the high school category and only 20 were selected. Of the 20, five of the films are from Rock Canyon students ranging from short films, animations to documentaries. RCTV news and short films can be seen at The Engineering / Programming students have been creating 3D modeling & printing, holding class competitions focused on aerospace, civil, mechanical and robotics engineering. The video Gaming & Design classes are creating full games built through Unity that can be exported to mobile devices. JavaScript and Java programs geared towards relevant programming structure. Students will be participating in Code Quest at Lockheed Martin, Hour of Code, Girls Who Code and a will have a 50 Member TSA Chapter. High School of Business students are learning about and developing solutions to real-world situations through project based learning and presentations. The involvement of a wide variety of guest speakers increases the students experience with various projects throughout the courses. We are re-introducing an accounting pathway Fall 2018 and need a minimum of 20 students enrolled. DECA / FBLA students are working on business & marketing projects throughout the year and competing in district, state and national conferences. Interested in learning more? Follow us on social media:

On Facebook: RockCanyon Bus-Tech On Instagram: rchs_business_tech


DECA season is in full swing. We have competed in two invitationals and are preparing for three more right after fall break. Students have been told to check with teachers before each event. Over 75 students will be attending upcoming events Oct. 17, 20 and 24.

Buffalo Stampede Invitational Event placement:

Derek Chen, Cody Hymn, Elena Huff, and Neeraj Dodda placed at the DECA Buffalo Stampede invitational

Titan Invitational Top test scores:

Jack Gebhardt- Business Finance

Luke Smith- Principles of Finance Subhi Subrahmanyan- Marketing Communications Maya Short- Hospitality and Tourism Ashley Swett- Human Resources Management

Titan Invitational Event placement:

DECA Students take time out to pose for the camera at the Buffalo Stampede Invitational.

Jack Gebhardt- 1st - Business Finance Subhi Subrahmanyan- 4th - Marketing Communications Will Kong- 2nd - Principles of Business Administration Fredrick Roth- 1st - Principles of Finance Luke Smith- 2nd - Principles of Finance Austin Kimsey - 1st - Principles of Hospitality and Tourism Ainsley Koldyke- 4th - Principles of Hospitality and Tourism

Canyon News page 8

Calendar of Events


4 - Parent Teacher Conferences 4-7:30 p.m. - Orchestra Concert 7 p.m.

- Parent Teacher Conferences 4-7:30 p.m - Senior Yearbook Ads Early-Bird Deadline



- CSMA State Conference, RCTV, Rockmedia

- Financial Aid Night


6-8 9 - 13 - RCHS Class of 2007 10 year reunion

- Fall Break




- PSAT/NMSQT - Advanced Drama “Compleat Works of Shakespeare, Abridged”

-Advanced Drama “Compleat Works of Shakespeare, Abridged”

- Blood Drive

NOV. 7

15&16 20-24

- Professional Development Day - No Students - Senior Yearbook Ads Deadline

- Winter Play “Leaving Iowa” 7 p.m.

- Thanksgiving Break






- Choir Concert 7 p.m.

- Band Concert 7 p.m.

- Orchestra Concert 7 p.m.

- Tri-M Caroling 3:15 p.m.




- Finals Week

- Teacher Work Day - No Students

- Deadline to Order Yearbook at $75

Volunteer Update

Rock the Night Away at the Parent Party Welcome Back to school RCHS Volunteers! This year is an exciting time for our volunteer community as we embark on our largest mission yet to involved the ENTIRE community for the benefit of ALL students here at Rock Canyon. As our school has grown we have found that individual activities, sports and clubs are duplicating their efforts to raise funds, we are hoping to streamline this, raise more money for everyone and have some fun! One way to do that is creating a Schoolwide fundraiser which will be an adult only event -Parent Party-“Rock the Night Away” tentatively planned for mid-February 2018. This will be a fun night out that includes food, cash bar, band, live auction and other activities to be determined. The goal of this event is to help provide

teacher, clubs and activities grants as well as fund After Prom and other projects like updating the weight room which benefit ALL students. EVERYONE is invited and encourage to attend. Please help support our Rock Canyon community. Please watch for future communications on this event. Questions? Please contact Karen Brankin, RCHS Volunteer Coordinator at Karen. or (303)387-3008. Check out the Volunteer Page on the RCHS Web site- under Parents and on the right under Quick Links-Volunteer Information for the latest news on committee meetings and volunteer opportunities. Rock the Night Away chairperson Heidi Wing attends a fundraising event. Wing will be coordinating the Parent Party, scheduled for mid-February to raise funds for After Prom, sports, clubs and other projects throughout the school.

Canyon news fall 2017  

Fall 2017 Issue of Canyon News

Canyon news fall 2017  

Fall 2017 Issue of Canyon News