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This month: Calendar, School of Choice, CMAS, Start Times, and more!
This month: Calendar, School of Choice, CMAS, Start Times, and more!
School District 51 Parent Newsletter | February 2016
School Board to adopt new calendar for 2016-17 school year
The District 51 School Board will decide March 1 which calendar to adopt for 2016-17. The board is down to two choices - one with a Fall Break, one without, both with balanced quarters. Click on the button below to pick a preference.
Calendar Options
School of Choice applications
Online applications for School of Choice will be available on the district website March 7-25. Read more about how you can apply to send your child to a school outside your neighborhood attendance boundaries through School of Choice here.
State assessment update
View a testing calendar here and learn more about this year's state assessments, including which form to use if you choose to opt your child out of testing, in this reminder letter from D51.
Why Performance Based Learning?
Everything is changing, from technology to the workforce. So why not education? Read more about the district's transformation to a Performance Based Learning system on the district's parent page and check out Chief Academic Officer Tony Giurado's article on the subject.
Building conditions report calls for replacements, renovations
District 51 school buildings have been rated on a scale of 1 (bad condition) to 5 (excellent shape). See the rating for your child's school here and read more about what is being done or can be done for the two schools rated "1" here.
School Board examines busing, school start time options
District 51 is researching ways to move school start and end times (and, consequently, bus pickup times). See options proposed by the district's bus contractor here.
See new Community Hospital
Do your kids dream of working in a health profession or just want to see what a hospital looks like before patients move in? If so, stop by the Community Hospital Open House for kids anytime between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5, at the new hospital at 2351 G Road. This free event is solely for school-age children and their families.
A 'Spacetacular' conversation
Approximately 800 Mesa County students chatted with NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly during the Spacetacular event Jan. 4 at CMU. See a clip of the event below. 
Intersessions offerings
Elementary and middle school Intersessions have been scaled back to offerings outside the schools, but there are still plenty of in-school opportunities for high school and Academic Options students. Check out some options for Spring Break 2016 here and view this spring's Intersessions offerings at the Career Center here.
Delays, dismissals and closures
District 51 had a rare event earlier this month - a Snow Day. Please read the answers to Frequently Asked Questions that arose that day about weather-related closures, delays and early dismissals.
Chatfield hosts St. Baldrick's event
Nearly 40 kids and adults will participate this Friday in a St. Baldrick's Foundation Head-Shaving Event at Chatfield Elementary. The event starts at 1:15 p.m. Find out how you can help participants meet their goal of raising $2,000 for children's cancer research here.
Ninety Chromebooks donated
The District 51 Foundation and the Western Colorado Community Foundation donated $10,000 each to purchase 90 Chromebooks for Grand Mesa and East middle schools in January. Read the press release here
Sign up for text alerts
The emergency information tab on the district home page is the quickest place to find status updates about lockdown and shelter-in-place situations at your child's school. To opt in to receive text messages about emergency information, text JOIN to 56360.
Youth-only Job Fair March 24
The Student to Work Alliance Program Job Fair just for students 21 or younger will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 24 at the Mesa County Workforce Center. S.W.A.P. helps young adults with mild to moderate barriers find work.
It's Kindergarten Roundup Time
Getting ready to send your child's little brother or sister off to school? Learn more about kindergarten registration, starting March 4 at most schools, in the school-by-school guide here
If your child isn't quite old enough for kindergarten, check out the Preschool Open House.
Family-friendly fun calendar Feb. 20 - Coffee with the Board, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Room 213, Colorado Mesa University Center. Free.
Feb. 29 - Academy Winds: U.S. Air Force Academy Band. 7:30 p.m. Free. Love Recital Hall, Moss Performing Arts Center.
March 4 - First Friday. Lectures 6:30-7 p.m., reception 7-9 p.m. The Art Center. Free.
March 12 - Kid Olympics. Starts at 8 a.m. Powderhorn. 
March 14 - U.S. Army Field Band Concert. 7:30 p.m. Free. Love Recital Hall, Moss Performing Arts Center.
Q: Will Spring Break still be two weeks long this year?
A: Yes. Even though Intersessions have been scaled back, some will continue. Find this spring's offerings here. The School Board plans to have a one-week Spring Break in March 2017, but has not yet adopted a new calendar for 2016-17. That decision will be made March 1. The new calendar may or may not include a Fall Break.
D51 celebrates 79.7% grad rate
The D51 Class of 2015 had a graduation rate of 79.7% - 2.5 percentage points above the Class of 2014 and 2.4 percentage points above the state average. Learn more here.
Coffee with the Board Feb. 20
District 51 School Board members will host a Coffee with the Board event from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, in Room 213 at the Colorado Mesa University Center at Elm Avenue and 12th Street. Free coffee and pastries will be provided. RSVP now to Terri Wells
CU AirWaterGas grant
D51 middle and high school kids in the science-, engineering-, and math-centric M.E.S.A. club will be able to pursue an air quality project thanks to a $4,300 grant from the  University of Colorado-Boulder's AirWaterGas project. The M.E.S.A. project involves using air monitor devices and data to help kids understand air quality in several locations throughout the valley. Read more here.
Thank you, STA drivers 
We would like to say a very special thank you to Student Transportation of America for sending three buses Monday to take family members and law enforcement to Deputy Derek Geer's funeral and for dedicating another three buses to take D51 staff to satellite broadcasts.
Nine District 51 educators honored at Fourth Annual D51 Foundation White Iced Party
Each year, the White Iced fundraiser honors outstanding teachers. This year's honorees, pictured above, are the original class of Instructional Leaders, a designation introduced in 2015-16 for skilled, experienced teachers willing to have their classrooms serve as an example for fellow educators. From left to right:
  • Raisha Quinn – East Middle School
  • Christine Kisselburgh - Career Center
  • Amy Wilson – Orchard Avenue Elementary School
  • Paula Cooper – Mount Garfield Middle School
  • Kelly Shay – Orchard Avenue Elementary School
  • Rebecca Jones – West Middle School
  • Miranda Young – West Middle School
  • Vanessa Moore – West Middle School
  • Melinda Woodworth – Fruita Middle School 
Check out District 51's newest commercial
Learn more about the district's transformation in the video above, airing soon on local TV! #D51transforms
Congratulations to the February 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. February's honorees are listed here.
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