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News about legislation, ACT/SAT, and intersessions inside this edition.
News about legislation, ACT/SAT, and intersessions inside this edition.
School District 51 Parent Newsletter | January 2016
What the state legislature has in store for education in 2016
Legislators are a week and a day into the 2016 legislative session. Their duties this year will include figuring out what to do with the Negative Factor, testing, and a budget that will most likely have to make room for a TABOR refund. Learn more about potential developments in the legislature this session here.
Performance-based Learning Update: Questions answered
District 51 is hard at work laying the foundation for a Performance-Based Learning system. There are still plenty of questions to tackle as implementation continues, but here are the answers to a few of your inquiries about PBL.
Lions Club donates to schools
The GJ Lions Club generously pledged $25,950 to eight D51 schools and programs this year. The district is matching six of those pledges to give those schools enough funding to finish needed projects. Here are each school's plans for the pledges:
Get D51 news at
Stay informed about school and district news and events by visiting our newly-redesigned blog at In addition to news releases, you'll find lunch menus, calendars, and updates on Performance-based Learning.
What tests are my kids taking?
Descriptions of every standardized test a student takes in each grade are now available.
For more information on when your child will take assessments in 2015-16, click here for this year's testing calendar.
Learn about Fruita Middle 
See how FMS teachers are working together to improve the classroom experience for every student in the video below.
Important Spring Break update!
Changes are ahead for Spring/Fall Intersessions. Read more here.
Sophomores to take PSAT this year, SAT starts for juniors 2017
This year's high school juniors will be the last to take the ACT free of charge in Colorado. Starting this year, 10th-graders statewide will take the PSAT and become the first junior class to take the SAT next year. Here's what you need to know about the change.
D51 FIRST LEGO League teams compete at state competition
Congratulations to the District 51 students who competed Jan. 16 in the FIRST LEGO League 2015 Colorado Championship in Littleton! Out of 73 teams, New Emerson placed 10th, Redlands Middle (above) finished in 11th place, and Fruita Middle School finished 60th.
Career Center wins 3-D carver
The Career Center is the winner of a free 3-D carving machine that can create parts out of a variety of materials based on student designs! Digitable manufacturing company Inventables is donating a 3-D carving machine to one school in every state.The Career Center was announced as Colorado's winner on Jan. 12.
Honor educators at White Iced
Get your tickets now for the District 51 Foundation's 2016 White Iced Party! The white attire affair features signature cocktails, desserts, and a silent auction, and honors some of our best teachers. Plus, it raises money for the foundation's efforts to expand D51 technology and educator training.
Citizens explore D51 classrooms
Members of the Explore D51 class toured local schools Jan. 7 to see learning in action. The tours are part of a yearlong set of monthly classes that teach community members about D51.
Groups toured two schools each, including Fruita Monument High School, where explorers watched the 3-D printer shown in the video below make trusses for an architectural design class.
Interested in taking the Explore51 class in 2016-17? Apply here.
Miss the last School Board meeting? Watch it on YouTube!
The District 51 YouTube channel posts full-length videos of every School Board meeting within three days of each meeting. Check out the Jan. 5 meeting below.
Events for the whole family
Jan. 29-30 - Alice in Wonderland: The Musical. 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Grand Junction High School Auditorium. $15 adults, $10 students, seniors.
Jan. 30-31 - Grand Mesa Summit Challenge Sled Dog Race 2016. Races run from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mesa Top Trail Parking Lot.
Feb. 8 - Taste of the Grand Valley, 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Two Rivers Convention Center. $13 for adults, $6 kids 6-12, free for kids 0-5, $10 for students, seniors, and military.
Feb. 20 - Coffee with the School Board, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Room 213, Colorado Mesa University Center. RSVP here.
Q: How will Performance-based Learning development move forward during second semester?
A: District-wide, schools will continue laying the ground work for a Performance-based Learning culture by encouraging teachers and students to explore the 16 Habits of Mind and encouraging them to have a growth mindset. The district also will use partnerships to build capacity for the transition, vet software to support student learning, and develop rubrics that will act as checklists to determine whether students understand a concept and are ready to move on to the next one.
Do you have a question you would like answered in Q&A? Email Jeannie or Emily.
Most Likely to Succeed screening draws 300-plus   Thank you to everyone who came to the Avalon Theater on Jan. 7 to see Most Likely to Succeed, a documentary about project-based learning! Although the District 51 Performance-based Learning system won't look exactly like the project-based system at High Tech High, the film offers a great example of modern learning and explains the need for education to evolve to meet the demands of the 21st Century workforce.
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Free ParentVUE app available
Searching for a way to gain quick access to your child's grades? ParentVUE has an app on both the Apple and Android stores.
Congratulations to our Alpine Bank/Colorado Mesa University December Students of the Month!
The Student of the Month luncheon honors two outstanding eighth- and 12th-graders from each District 51 middle and high school.CMU and Alpine Bank fund a $500 scholarship, which can be renewed annually, for each student of the month if they choose to attend CMU or WCCC. December's honorees are listed here.