Friday, April 14, 2017


Family Fun Day

Thanks all for a fantastic Family Fun Day, especially Rowan and Emerson, who wrote the proposal.  I hope parents had an opportunity to get a glimpse of a typical day for kids at the Open School.

Next week we are preparing for two big events.  The Night of Exhibitions is Wednesday, and kids are working to finish up their posters for presentation.  Ask your students what they can do this weekend to help themselves over the weekend.  Can they draw a picture, find a map, chart or graph, find and print a photo? We will also be finalizing our trip preparations.  Check in with your student about the packing list. Ask about how tent set up was.

Have a great weekend,


Friday, April 7, 2017

     Hi folks!  I hope you all enjoyed the spring break with your kids.  We are wrapping up our school year and its hard to believe, but we're only seven weeks away from summer!  Thanks for all of the great conversations at conferences, too.  

     We still have a lot to do in these seven weeks, though.  We have completed our essays for our What Matters To Me projects, and are now researching for our second writing component, as well as planning our poster presentations.  I hope you can all join us for our Learning Expo on Wednesday, April 19th, from 5:00 to 6:30, where we will share our final projects.  

     You can visit science museums and interactive student led exhibits in classrooms in the elementary wing.  In the commons area, work from Pre-walkabout students will be on display.  Come and learn folk dances with Melody and end your evening by learning from our LEAP (9th Grade students) who will present projects.

5:00 - 5:30  Elementary Students will go to their classrooms to present their work
5:30 - 6:30 Families can tour exhibits in classrooms and the commons together
6:30 - 7:00 DOR Presentations (appropriate for 4th, 5th, 6th grade students and families to attend)

Folk Dancing with Melody - Please go with your child to Melody's music room at your scheduled time.
5:00 Per's Advising
5:15 Bryan's Advising
5:30 Molly and Jim's Advising
5:45 Jana's Kinder Advising
6:00 Mary and Ana's Advising
6:15 Kristi's Advising

This is an evening for families to spend together looking at and appreciating student work.  Please keep your children with you throughout the evening.  We hope to honor student work by speaking to students, asking questions, and learning together.

Trip Meetings

We have our mandatory trip meeting for our spring trip on Monday, April 10th at 3:45 in Kristie's room.  Our parent volunteer meeting is the following week, Monday, April 17th, also in Kristie's room.  Or trip is only two weeks away!

Downtown Day

The IA will be doing our annual Downtown Day on Wednesday, May 17th.  We are looking for parent volunteers to take a small group of students downtown for the day.  If you are interested in volunteering for Downtown Day, let me know.  

Have a great weekend,


Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day everybody!  It was so fun to see everyone dressed up for our holiday today.

We have been working hard to prepare for PARCC testing and conferences simultaneously, while still trying to finish our What Matter To Me essay.  It's been a challenge to address all three thoroughly. Kids have been working hard, though, and we are all looking forward to the upcoming break.

PARCC Testing

On Monday we will start our math sessions of PARCC.  We will have two session on Monday, and two on Tuesday.  Please help your student prepare by ensuring that they are well rested, fed, and on time during these testing days.  We have a tight testing schedule and will need to start on time.  The rest of our testing sessions are after spring break.


Thanks to all for signing up for conferences next week.  We have begun our portfolio organization and reflections of work this year, but will continue to prepare next week as well.  Students will be driving their conversation at their conference, using a checklist/guide that we will create next week.  I look forward to seeing you all next week.

Day Of Dialogue!  Wednesday, March 22nd

Parents are invited, March 22! Every year the Walkabout puts on a conference about an important issue. We call this event a Day of Dialogue. This year the students planning the day are inviting parents to participate. This invitation is for all Open School parents. The theme is population, sustainability and human rights. The community is exploring how these three topics are interrelated. You will find a program in the weekly wire and posted on the front doors at school. Can't wait to see you there March 22! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trip Meeting clarification!  

Hi folks, just a quick clarification on upcoming trip meetings.  The trip meeting for all parents is Monday, April  10th at 3:45 PM .

The parent volunteer meeting is Monday, April 17th at 3:45 PM in Kristie's room.

Our trip is to John Martin Reservoir State Park on April 24th through 27th, Monday through Friday.

Early Release on Friday

This Friday is an early release day.  Students will be dismissed at 1PM.  Please plan accordingly for your student!.



Friday, March 10, 2017

     Hi folks!  We are quickly approaching spring break!  The weather continues to improve, and conferences are right around the corner.  Thanks everyone for signing up for a conference for your student!

     We are also approaching the PARCC testing schedule.  We will be taking the math sessions on Monday, March 20th and Tuesday, March 21st.  The Language Arts and science sessions(5th grade only) will be after spring break.  Please make sure that your student is well rested, well fed, and on time during these days.

 Spring Trip Meetings

     We have a mandatory trip meeting for our spring trip on Tuesday at April 10th at 3:45 in Kristie's room.  We are also having a parent volunteer meeting for any parents interested in joining us for our spring trip.  This meeting is on April 17th at 3:45 in Kristie's Room.  If you are interested in being a parent volunteer, let me know as soon as possible, as we are currently trying to determine our vehicle needs for the trip.

Day of Dialogue

     The school is planning a Day of Dialogue on March 22, to which parents are invited! You can see the Weekly Wire for the day's program. The community will be exploring the relationship between human rights and sustainability. As a part of this curriculum, HawkQuest will show a Bald eagle, an owl, a falcon, and a free-flying hawk in the school's gym. JCOS will pay a fee for this curriculum and would like to invite families to donate money to help cover that cost. Thank you!

Have a great weekend,


Friday, February 24, 2017

February 24th

Hi folks!  Happy Friday!  Winter has returned briefly to Colorado, but we are getting ready for spring anyway.  We are finishing up our research for our What Matters To Me project, and will begin to discuss drafting our essays next week.  During our Reader's Workshop time, we finished our read-aloud of When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead.   We have begun a unit on inferring, and have been reading picture books to introduce and practice our inferring strategies.  Kids are also about half way through our second round of science classes.  Check in with your student about what class they are currently in.

Next Week

Conference folders will be out in front of the office next week.  Sign your student up for a half hour conference on March 23rd or 24th.

Our advising group will also be hosting Community Circle next week. Feel free to come and join us on Friday at 2:30 in the library.

Have a great weekend,


Friday, February 3, 2017

       Hi folks!  It's Friday again, and another week at the Open School has flown by.  This week kids have proposed their topics for their next big project, the What Matters To Me project.  Students are studying a topic of societal importance.  They will research their topic, and then write a five paragraph essay trying to convince others of the topic's importance.  Kids have come up with some rich topics, too!  Some have chosen topics that relate to animal rights(animal abuse in zoos, puppy mills, wild animals as pets), some have chosen topics that relate to common diseases(Muscular Dystrophy, cancer awareness), some have chosen directly human-related topics(sexism, homelessness, 3rd world countries, and some have chosen environmental topics(deforestation, audio ecology).

       Next week we find resources for us to learn more about our topics.

Have a great weekend,


Friday, January 27, 2017

January 27th, 2017

Hi folks!  Another week has flown by at the Open School.  This week we have been working on monitoring for meaning through reading texts about bumble bees.  We then created mini-posters on the life cycle of a bumble bee, which we shared at Community Circle, and then turned into a hallway display.  Come check them out!

Science classes are in full swing, too.  Each 4/5 advisor is teaching a different science class, and 4th and 5th graders will have the opportunity to take two of them.  Per is teaching Newton's Laws of Physics, Kristie is teaching Plant Science and Food Chains, and I am teaching Geology.  Ask your student about their science class.

Also, students have two homework assignments.  The color personality survey was due yesterday, but some students still have to turn it in.  The What Matters To Me Brainstorming is due on Monday.  Support your student in completing these if they have not, as we are doing work with them next week in school.

Have a great weekend,


Ukulele Concert!

Please join us for our ukulele concert
February 9th at 4:30-5:00
In the JCOS Theater

Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart

 Friday, February 3rd is our Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart event.  All the money we collect for this event goes to the American Heart Association and is used to help fund potentially lifesaving research into heart and blood vessel disease and stroke, our nations #1 and #3 killers. If you are going to try to collect donations, please start doing so now. All donations that you collect should be turned in to Rosie or David on or before Friday, February 3rd.  Hearts for our memory wall should also be turned in to us, as well.

          Everyone is welcome to join us in this fun and very worthy event.  Thanks for participating and we’ll see you down in the gym on Friday, February 3rd. 

Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Schedule:
8:40 to 9:10 – Preschool
9:10 to 9:50 – Molly & Jim’s Class
9:50 to 10:30 – Mary & Ana’s class    
10:40 to 11:20 – Jimi’s Kindergarteners
11:20 to 12:20 – Walkabout & Pre-Walkabout
1:05 to 1:45 – Kristie’s class & Bryan’s class
1:50 to 2:30 – Gabi’s class and Per’s Class
2:30 to 3:00 – Preschool & Jana’s Kindergarteners

Friday, January 13, 2017

       Hi folks!  What a great turnout we had for Peace Night last night.  The IA had some great Pioneer artifacts to share, a great reader's theatre presentation, and mindfulness centers.  I love getting to see some work from other parts of the school.  We even had a reporter from the Lakewood Sentinel come to experience this special event.  These are the moments that I am reminded of what a unique and exceptional school I get to be a part of, as a teacher and parent.
       Our Pioneer projects are officially over.  We have begun a unit on monitoring for meaning during our reading block.  Next week the 4/5 classes will be starting our science rotations.  Per, Kristie, and I are each teaching a science class.  Students will get the opportunity to take two of these classes in the upcoming months.
      Have a great weekend, and don't forget that we have no school on Monday, as it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day,


Friday, January 6, 2017

     Hi everybody!  I hope you are enjoying the snow and last couple of days of winter break.  It's hard to believe that we are at the half way point of our school year, but here we are.

Pioneer Artifacts

      Please be sure to bring in your Pioneers artifact on Monday, January 9th with your paragraph description(You've been working on it, right?)  You may type or write your paragraph.  Please make sure it is your best work, whether typing or writing. I found it helpful to draft my paragraphs before doing a final draft, and being a sloppy writer, I chose to type my paragraphs.  

Peace Night    

 We will be celebrating Peace Night on Thursday, January 12th, from 6pm to 7:30.  Join us for a special night to elevate our value of peace education.  Come and see student work across all levels and how our students are engaging in peace education.

Marade March

     Come march with us!  This year the Open School has attained a bus for taking students and families to the Marade(Martin Luther King Jr. march and parade) on January 16th.  Elementary students, with a parent, are invited to take the bus to the Marade, and march together. The bus will leave JCOS at 9AM, and will return to school no later than 1PM.  There is no charge. Please let us know by Thursday, January 12th if you intend to ride the bus.

You may inform us by emailing Bryan Zavada at, or you can sign up at Peace Night.  Hope to see you there!