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Learn more about CMAS results, District B, the R-5 groundbreaking and more!
Learn more about CMAS results, District B, the R-5 groundbreaking and more!
School District 51 Parent Newsletter | November 2015
How the District B Election will change us, move forward
The Nov. 3 election was complex, to say the least. Find out more about what happened, what may come next, and how we're changing procedures here
CMAS results coming soon
Students took Colorado's first-ever CMAS math and English tests this spring. The tests were created to test Colorado's newest academic standards based on the PARCC consortium exam format. Here's what you need to know about the impending results, what they mean, and how they will be used.
Central has STEM, career fairs
Central High hosted its first-ever STEM Fair Wednesday, Nov. 11, for students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Presenters (including Sarah Lanci, above) from nine local manufacturing companies and Colorado Mesa University discussed career opportunities. Central also hosted a Career Fair for 9th- and 10th-graders Nov. 11.
Marching bands place at state
Congratulations to all four District 51 marching bands for their performances at the Colorado Bandmasters Association State Championships! Palisade High School placed second overall in Class 3A with the band's highest-ever score at a state competition - 75.2. Central High placed seventh overall in Class 4A. Fruita Monument High ranked 10th in the Class 5A semifinals and Grand Junction High's marching band placed 12th in the 5A quarterfinals.
"Most Likely to Succeed" screening scheduled in January
The District 51 Foundation will present "Most Likely to Succeed," a documentary about Performance -based Learning, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at the Avalon Theatre. Ninety percent of the 39 respondents to last month's Parent Post survey showed interest in a public screening of the film. 
The trailer is posted below.
Athletes, coaches honored
Congrats on titles earned this year in the Southwest League:
* Melissa Gellerman, Central High junior, All-Conference Softball Player of the Year in Class 4A/5A.
* Central Softball Coach Scott Else, Softball Coach of the Year.
* Grand Junction High Soccer Coach Stephen Latta, Boys Soccer Co-coach of the Year.
* All-Conference Teams:
Fostering a growth mindset
Do you have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset? Find out the difference and learn how a Growth Mindset shapes the way students (and adults) overcome assumptions and achieve great things here. To learn more about praising effort v. intelligence, watch the video below.
Developing Habits of Mind
Persisting. Remaining open to continuous learning. Thinking flexibly. These are just three of the 16 Habits of Mind students are learning in District 51 classrooms. Learn more about all 16 Habits of Mind in the YouTube clip below and in this article.
Q: Where can I get updates about the School Board Director District B election?
A: The school district has created a thread of information called "District B Updates," which is available on the D51 app,, and the website - just click the District B Updates icon on the lower right side of the home page.
Have a question? Contact Jeannie Smith or Emily Shockley.
Johnston named award finalist
Central High teacher Phil Johnston has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Colorado Technology Association APEX Teacher of the Year. The award is given annually to a teacher who helps students' passion for STEM thrive.
D51 breaks ground on R-5/TOC
District 51 hosted a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the future site of R-5 High School and The Opportunity Center. The building at 2150 Grand Ave. will house R-5 in an east wing and TOC in a west wing, with shared space in the middle for administrators from both schools, as well as a community room. The $9.3 million building, funded by the sale of R-5's current location and certificates of participation, is expected to open in August 2016.
Track your child's bus with app
The new SafeStop app allows District 51 parents to track the location of their children's buses, get an estimated time of arrival for each bus stop, and receive information about delays or route disruptions. SafeStop only gives bus-tracking information to parents to ensure children's safety and the bus' GPS information updates every 30 seconds. Learn more here.
Register for the app by clicking the logo above. Once you've registered, visit the Apple or Google Play app stores to download SafeStop.
Students honor veterans
The picture above shows Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary students handing thank you cards to veterans and National Guard members during an all-school ceremony Nov. 11. Numerous schools hosted Veterans Day ceremonies this year, including Central High, Loma Elementary, Chipeta Elementary, Taylor Elementary, and Shelledy Elementary (pictured below).
Events for the whole family
Nov. 20 - Downtown GJ Tree Lighting, 5:30 to 7 p.m., 4th and Main streets. Free.
Dec. 4-6 - Olde Fashioned Christmas, downtown Palisade. Activities kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with a tree lighting ceremony and Taylor students singing carols.
Dec. 5 - Breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. at Dinosaur Journey, Candy Cane Hunt at 11 a.m. at Lincoln Park Barn, and Parade of Lights at 5 p.m., downtown Grand Junction.
Dec. 12Elf Jr., The Musical, 2 and 7 p.m. showings at Grand Junction High School.

Lunch Lizard still rolling
A hot meal sure sounds nice on a chilly day. Thanks to the Lunch Lizard, getting a hot lunch is now an option year-round at three D51 schools that don't have kitchens. The food truck, donated by the Western Colorado Community Foundation, debuted this summer to provide meals around town to children in need. During the school year, the truck stays in service, stopping every weekday at lunch time at The Opportunity Center, New Emerson and R-5 High. The truck serves 85 to 120 meals per day and saves the district the $300-400K apiece it would take to build a kitchen at each school.
Teams compete for state spot
New Emerson team Robot Apocalypse placed first for their robot at a FIRST LEGO League state qualifier Nov. 14 in Aspen! More D51 teams will compete Nov. 21 at Central High for a chance to go to the league's state championship Jan. 16. Each team builds and codes its own robot.
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Fruita Middle becomes model
Fruita Middle School is now one of just three schools in Colorado named a Model Professional Learning Community by Solution Tree, a company that provides professional development for educators. A Model Professional Learning Community is a group of educators working collaboratively to raise student achievement. FMS will receive a banner Dec. 9.
District 51 Board of Education named one of two All State School Boards in Colorado for 2015! 
The District 51 School Board will be recognized as an All State School Board Dec. 4 at a Colorado Association of School Boards conference in Colorado Springs. The board earned the honor by demonstrating exemplary governing practices, including engaging the public, responding well to challenges, and sustaining policies and plans aimed at improving student acheivement.
The board will use the $2,500 prize that comes with being named an All State School Board to fund scholarships for five minority students who plan to attend Colorado Mesa University and enter the field of education. Colorado Mesa has generously agreed to match the $2,500 donation so that five scholarships worth $1,000 each can be created.
Students of the Month photo
Congratulations to the October Alpine Bank-Colorado Mesa University Students of the Month!        The October Student of the Month luncheon honored two outstanding eighth- and 12th-graders from each District 51 middle and high school. Colorado Mesa 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. See who made October's Student of the Month list here.
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