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Read about CMAS, snow days, and fun ways to pass the break!
Read about CMAS, snow days, and fun ways to pass the break!
School District 51 Parent Newsletter | December 2015
CMAS/PARCC results are in
School and district CMAS results released by the state on Dec. 11 show District 51 students were  slightly below the state average in two school levels and well above the state average in another level. You may be surprised which one. Learn more about results here.
How to check if it's a Snow Day
Wake up to slick roads and freezing toes? It might be a snow day. Here's how, when, and where you can find out.
New board members sworn in
Doug Levinson and Paul Pitton have been sworn in as the newest members of the District 51 School Board. Learn why Pitton took the oath of office eight days before a Supreme Court hearing about his candidacy and what happened at that hearing here.
PHS students bank on futures
Pictured above are a few of the Palisade High students who earned a check from the “Banking on Your Future” personal financial literacy program co-sponsored by Alpine Bank and YouthEntity and powered by Everfi.Twenty-one students from Palisade's first quarter Personal Finance class earned a total of $234. Students completed an additional online curriculum and were paid for their correct answers on a post-test.
Contest winners show off art
Congratulations to winners of the Eighth Annual Bank of Colorado Calendar Contest! Thirteen first-place winners, one from each grade level, were announced at a reception Dec. 1. Winning masterpieces will be featured on each month of the calendar and on the cover (which belongs to New Emerson second-grader Emma Buniger, pictured above). Bank of Colorado, Peczuh Printing, and School District 51 sponsor the contest. The calendar is available at the bank starting in January.
Graduation guidelines update
The school district and the District 51 Foundation hosted parent meetings around the valley Dec. 9, 10, and 16 to gather input from community members about the future of local graduation requirements. Learn more about what will stay the same and what may change for graduation requirements here
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Have an athlete in District 51?
Attend a free concussion management town hall meeting Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Grand Junction DoubleTree Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive. RSVP by Jan. 11.
Free movie Jan. 7 at the Avalon
The District 51 Foundation will present "Most Likely to Succeed," a documentary that explores how Performance-based Learning prepares students for an evolving workforce, at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Avalon Theater, 645 Main St. Learn more about the award-winning, 89-minute film here and watch the trailer below.
Coffee with the Board
The next Coffee with the Board will start at 9 a.m. Jan. 16 at Orchard Mesa Middle School. RSVP to 254-5193 or
R-5 kids host services bazaar 
R-5 High School project-based learning students presented information about local resources and the agencies that provide them at a Community Resources Bazaar Thursday morning. Project-based learning courses at R-5 allow students to earn credits in multiple areas and work on a single project for 20 days. The school introduced project-based classes this year.
District 51 employees honored for heroism by Sheriff's Office Congratulations to two outstanding District 51 employees who received awards from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office on Dec. 4! Bookcliff Middle School teacher Kim Smith (left) received the Citizen Citation of Merit for refusing to give in to a would-be carjacker. School Security Officer Jaeda Cannizzaro (right) received the Life Saving Award for her role in helping a person who was suffering cardiac arrest. 
A way to send more funding to schools without raising taxes
Each year, factors such as enrollment, number of impoverished students, and cost of living add to the funding school districts receive in the school finance formula. Six years ago, a factor came along that took away from that total. To date, the Negative Factor has siphoned off $115 million that would have otherwise gone to educating our students. Please consider writing to your legislators before the 2016 legislative session begins in January and ask them to send tax money we're already paying to the schools that earned it. Contact information is available here.
Funds raised for 2nd food truck
Colorado Gives Day gathered $13,600 for a new summer food service truck! Thanks Western Colorado Community Foundation, Colorado Mesa University Honors students, and the Bruce Dixon Fund! You too can help the district get a partner for the Lunch Lizard by donating here.
Pear Park kids share kindness
Pear Park National Elementary Honor Society students gave away homemade cookies outside Wal-Mart Wednesday afternoon as a "random act of kindness."

Career Center Open House
Centerpieces and gift baskets arranged by floriculture students, computers from the technology department, doghouses made by the construction class, and certificates to have students in the small animals class groom your pet were all for sale at the Career Center's Annual Open House on Dec. 4. Career Center students come from each high school for part of the school day to learn these trades and others. See all of the classes they offer here.
Events for the whole family
Dec. 18-19: Sensory Christmas at the Botanical Gardens, 5-8 p.m., 641 Struthers Ave. Free.
Dec. 19 to Jan. 4: No school.
Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade& Fireworks, Powderhorn Mountain Resort, 48338 Powderhorn Road. All-day events start at 9 a.m.
Dec. 31 to Jan. 2: The Music Man presented by High Desert Opera. CMU Robinson Theater, 1100 North Ave. 7:30 p.m. all three nights, 1:30 p.m. shows Jan. 1-2. Admission $10-$39.
Q: Where can I go to learn more about CMAS testing?
A: The Colorado Department of Education has a great resource page available at this link. You can review this article from November's Parent Post as well and check out this month's article.
Have a question for Q&A?  Contact Jeannie or Emily.
Banner day for Fruita Middle
In the photo above, Fruita Middle School staff accept a banner acknowledging the school's new status as a Model Professional Learning Community. Find out what it takes to be a MPLC here.
Loma Elementary helps kids for the holidays with books, PJs
Loma employees, pictured above, bought pajamas and books for children connected to Mesa County's CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program as an alternative to a staff gift exchange this year. 
D51 School Board gets award
District 51 School Board members received their award for 2015 All State School Board at a ceremony Dec. 4 in Colorado Springs. Each year, the Colorado Association of School Boards honors 1-2 boards for excellent governing.
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White Iced Party coming up 
The fourth annual White Iced Party will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Colorado Mesa University Ballroom. The District 51 Foundation event honors teachers and features a silent auction, dancing, appetizers, and signature drinks. Proceeds will benefit teacher training and classroom technology. Stay tuned to for more info.
Football, Cross Country, Tennis, Golf honors announced
Congratulations to the student athletes who earned spots on this year's All-Conference and All-Continental cross country, football, golf, and tennis teams, listed below!
Bored on break? Here's an idea.
Powderhorn will offer a Team Yeti Christmas Camp Dec. 28-31 for skilled skiers and snowboarders. Class times are 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. The camp costs $149 per student and teaches backcountry awareness, mountain etiquette, and more. Campers also get to participate in the Torchlight Parade Dec. 31.
On the last day of Winter Break, Jan. 4, District 51 third- through fifth-graders can ski at Powderhorn for a reduced rate of $42-$50. A bus will shuttle students between GJHS and Powderhorn. Reduced rate days are available Feb. 11, and March 4 and 12 as well. Information and registration are available here.
Download FREE District 51 bus, information apps If you haven't downloaded the District 51 or SafeStop apps, you're missing out! SafeStop allows parents to track their children's buses and learn about delays or service changes.The district app:
  • Sends immediate notification to parents if there is an emergency at their child's school
  • Regularly posts student and staff news
  • Includes quick links to calendars, lunch menus, sports schedules, and directories
    Download both by clicking the icons in this post! Have an idea for features to add? Email us.
Congratulations to the November Alpine Bank-Colorado Mesa University 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. November's honorees are listed here.
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