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Peak Inside

February 2018

In this issue ... -News from Leadership -Health & Wellness Corner

-Upcoming Events Across the District -Central Office Introductions

Special Sightings Across District 49

Top left, then clockwise: Sarai Johnson, 10, fourth-grader at EIES, meets paralympian pistol shooter, Mike Tagliapietra, before Olympic festivities downtown that also honored READ camp students Feb. 9. Ben Johnson, 5, kindergartner, concentrates as he participates in cardio drumming at WHES Jan. 22. Alyna Marquez, 12, seventh-grader at SMS, experiments with how much water is needed to flip a bottle for a perfect landing at the Girls’ STEM Experience at UCCS Feb. 1. Michael Dobbins takes a photo of son, Silas, 6, first-grader at MRES, next to his artwork during “Start the Art Night” Jan. 31.

Important Updates News from Leadership Hello and welcome to the inaugural issue of D49’s new internal newsletter, “A Peak Inside.” I am proud of the work our communications team does every day. Over the last five years, district communications have served up stories of amazing students and staff. Fantastic 49, Staff Saturdays, District 49 Dispatch and special reports have all featured the people and programs that help us be the best choice. From community engagement efforts like the unified calendar conversation or the development of protocols for the compassionate administration of cannabinoid medications to our emergency communications about weather decisions, District 49 communications have

been the most highly recognized and effective in the state, according to the annual awards of the Colorado School Public Relations Association. I am thrilled to see the launch of “A Peak Inside” as another vehicle to recognize and inform our workforce. Our district is making progress every year with better conditions to learn and opportunities to lead to even higher performance. Our metaphor of climbing to peak performance is becoming reality because of the work you do with our students every day. “A Peak Inside” will help us recognize the good work in the district and prepare for next steps in our journey to peak performance. I look forward to celebrating every instance of your peak performance. Climbing with you,

Peter Hilts, Chief Education Officer

What’s New with VoW Surveys Thanks to each staff member who completed the last VoW monthly survey! We learned more about what professional learning opportunities interest staff members the most. Learning services will be meeting soon to discuss findings, like the ones below, and to develop the best course offerings for our District 49 team. Most common professional skills that District 49 team members want to develop during the next year. instructional








excel data


support class







Most popular courses on the Aha! Network that are of interest to District 49 staff members:

1. Google Training 2. Visible Learning Strategies 3. CPR/AED/First Aid 4. Seven Steps to a Language-Rich Classroom 5. Restorative Practices (BRIGHT) Haven’t taken advantage of these courses yet? Be sure to check them out on the Aha! Network.



Around the District Health & Wellness Corner lWant

to learn more about student and staff wellness, and the district wellness advisory council? Visit the D49 wellness page. hint of the month - Your body is more than 60% water. When you sweat, go to the bathroom, or even breathe, you lose water. To replace that water, did you know women should drink, on average, nine cups of water a day, and men should drink 13 cups? Remember to stay hydrated! lHealthy

Runners and walkers leave the start line at the first-ever D4.9K Run/Walk last November. Watch for the event to take place again!

Upcoming Events March 1 Requests for a 110 transition year for 2018-2019 must be received by HR (See policies GCQEA-R and GDQCA-R for more details.) March 8 Leaders in Literacy Summit - register here March 9 PowerSchool Training (Contact your administrator for more details.) March 16 Supporting Students Who Self Harm register here

Have an event or project coming to your school or your classroom? Help us share the good news! Complete a communications plan at

This is the best way to send leads on news stories for coverage on or social media.

Update from Culture and Services Restorative Practices Training Summit Sand Creek High School | March 19-20 This summit is one you don’t want to miss! Restorative practices focus on building, maintaining and repairing relationships among all members of the school community. Unlike restorative justices, the goal of restorative practices is to provide a culture of empathy and acceptance.

Visit the Aha! Network to register or for more information

Many courses will be offered during the summit. Salary advancement credit will be awarded. If you have any questions, contact Lea Holland at 719-495-1149, ext. 1019 or


Spotlight on Team Members Employee Accolades Congratulations to staff member Carolyn Merritt, who was awarded a full tuition “Transforming Teaching & Learning Scholarship” from Capella University. For school districts like District 49 that are continually transforming teaching and learning, teacher leaders play a key role in student success. Merritt currently works as an instructional coach in the Sand Creek Zone and also serves as a co-facilitator of the D49 Math Leadership Team and member of the D49 Math Foundations Team. “The scholarship and partnership through Capella University provides me with an opportunity to continue my learning journey,” shared Merritt. “And share with District 49 staff by leading professional development.”

Congratulations, Fantastic 49 Honorees for February! Two teams, which included both students and staff members, were honored for their contributions to the district prior to the regular monthly Board of Education meeting Feb. 8. Congratulations to the broadcasting team from FMS and to a team of enrichment teachers from RVES. Know a staff member who deserves to be recognized during Fantastic 49? Nominate a colleague at

Central Office Introductions Mary Velasquez has taken on a new role at central office – IGNITE Project Manager. Selected to manage the IGNITE program, which stands for Illuminating Goals, Nurturing Interests Toward Engagement, the role for Velasquez is to find STEAM opportunities for students in District 49. While the IGNITE grant is geared toward helping military students, Velasquez believes her program can benefit every learner.

Mary Velasquez, IGNITE Project Manager

“By building a strong foundation in elementary school, my hope is to help create a spark of interest for students in STEAM areas,” Velasquez shared. “Then we can prepare students in middle school to engage in a STEAM-related pathway.” The IGNITE grant is a five-year program that is being funded with $1M from the Department of Defense Education Activity. Schools across the district can reap rewards from the IGNITE program. “In July, I will be purchasing robots that will be available for teachers to borrow for classroom lessons,” Velasquez stated. To learn more, contact Velasquez at 719-495-1149, ext. 3728 or


Emp newsletter Febuary 2018  
Emp newsletter Febuary 2018