It’s time to register for before- and after-school enrichments for the winter/spring semester, which will run Monday, January 22nd through Friday, May 11th. To view the weekly schedule, learn more about what is offered, and register for individual classes, please visit the Polaris website at http://polaris.dpsk12.org/family-resources/before-and-afterschool-programs/enrichments. If you have questions about the enrichment program or if you would like to suggest a potential enrichment activity for the school, please contact Heather Ottele at email@example.com.
The Polaris Talent Night for 4th and 5th graders is coming on Thursday, January 18 – right after we return from the holiday break! Students who wish to participate need to print, complete and submit the signup form to the office BEFORE DECEMBER 21ST for priority placement for night-of performances.
Join the Polaris community from 4-7 pm on Wednesday, December 6th for a wonderful evening of pre-holiday shopping at The Bookies! If you haven’t been there, The Bookies is an experience not to be missed. An independently-owned, community-focused store, The Bookies has an amazing selection of children’s books – both fiction and non-fiction. Their knowledgeable staff can help find a book for every reader. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! They also have games, toys, science kits, craft kits, adult books, gift items…the list goes on!
Besides being a fun community event, Polaris Night at the Bookies is an important fundraiser for our school library. A portion of all sales are donated to Polaris, and are used exclusively for the purchase of additional library materials. Teacher wish lists for classroom books will also be available.
If you can’t make it on December 6th, don’t worry! The fundraiser runs all week, so stop by any time between December 3 and December 9. Be sure to mention that you are shopping with Polaris!!
The Bookies Bookstore
4315 East Mississippi Avenue (off of Colorado Blvd. and Mississippi)
Regular store hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am – 6pm (extended hours on 12/6)
Sun: noon – 5pm
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Beakers and volcanoes and electromagnets, oh my! The time has once again come for the Polaris Science Fair. We call our evening celebration event “Salute to Scientists” and is scheduled this year for Thursday, December 7th from 6:00-7:30pm. This event is designed to teach children how to really think like a scientist and how to utilize the Scientific Method in their research and development of a science fair project. It is the goal of our school to have every Polaris student participate in this incredible learning opportunity in some way. First and second grades will conduct various experiments in their classrooms prior to Science Fair. Students in these grades are welcome to operate their own inquiry-based projects independently or in a group setting. Students in grades three through five will be required to design their own Science Fair project. Students are expected to stand by their science fair boards and share their scientific findings during the following times: 6:00-6:30 pm (3rd Grade), 6:30-7:00 pm (4th Grade), 7:00-7:30 pm (5th Grade). During other times, students should investigate their peers’ work. To help model this behavior for our children, we also encourage any parent visitors to talk with a variety of students about their science fair boards. Community judges (academic scientists from Denver area universities) will be present to talk with the Polaris young scientists. The intention behind the community judges is to give the students an opportunity to share all that they have learned with “real” scientists. In previous years, this aspect of our event has been a real highlight for both the community judges and the students.
This project is meant to be experimental in nature and centered on the Scientific Method model, not a demonstration. If a student wants to study sports, he or she can fashion experiments to test whether a particular pre-game preparation improves the percentage of shots scored. If a student wants to study the heart, he or she could conduct an experiment on how caffeine affects heart rate (following reasonable safety considerations and parent supervision, of course). Developing a scientific and testable question has proven to be one of the more challenging steps in the Scientific Method for elementary students; students in 3rd-5th grade received a lesson on this topic the week of October 23rd in school. For additional support, students were given the option of submitting their question or hypothesis to be reviewed by the science fair committee. Students who submitted their questions/hypotheses by the deadline of November 1st met with a member of the science fair committee during the school day. During these one-on-one sessions, students received feedback on their question/hypothesis and plans on how to proceed with a strong experimental design were discussed. If students would like additional help, Peggy Batchelor has a limited number of slots available after school on Mondays and Thursdays as well as some lunchtime slots on Wednesday.
We have assembled a packet to help your child in their experimental project (with a suggested timeline to keep students on track and prevent an unpleasant Thanksgiving Break). This packet was distributed to students the week of October 23rd. A pdf copy can be found on the science fair website. This packet is intended as a guide. If your child wants to veer from this packet, let them. We encourage you to support your student when asked, but PLEASE refrain from being overly involved. Please see the Science Fair Do’s and Don’ts pdf on the Science Fair website for guidance on appropriate parent involvement. Students are to design, conduct, and record their experiments on their own and also create a science fair display board, which are on sale now in the Polaris front office for $5.00. Please purchase one with a color corresponding to your child’s grade level: 5th-black, 4th-blue, and 3rd-red. There are a limited number of white boards available for 1st and 2nd graders who are interested in doing an optional independent science fair project. (NOT MANDATORY FOR THESE GRADES). This display board does not have to look like it has been professionally done; it is okay to let children hand write sections of the display board (a pdf of an example layout is available on the Science Fair website).
One great way to be involved in your student’s science fair project is to volunteer to be a parent listener. Students LOVE to share their work with a willing audience. Please see this sign-up genius to sign-up for a parent listener spot or volunteer to help set-up or clean-up for the Salute to Scientists event.
Thank you for your support,
The Science Fair Committee
Ian Hodges (5th grade teacher)
Kim Rebholtz (5th grade teacher)
Lynn Richards (3rd grade teacher)
Peggy Batchelor (parent volunteer)
The annual Polaris Thanksgiving lunch will be held this year on Wednesday, November 15. We need volunteers to help this event run smoothly! If you’d like to pitch in, use the Polaris Thanksgiving Lunch 2017 online registration form. Shifts are short and can be planned around your student’s mealtime, listed below. Tasks are easy and include helping sign parents in, directing traffic, and cleaning up.
Lunch times for each grade are as follows:
- 1st Grade: Eat 11:15-11:45, Recess until 12:10
- 3rd Grade: Eat 11:30-12:00, Recess until 12:20
- 5th Grade: Eat 11:45-12:15, Recess until 12:30
- 2nd Grade: Eat 12:00-12:30, Recess until 12:45
- 4th Grade: Eat 12:15-12:45, Recess until 1:00
Meal tickets for parents or other loved ones are now sold out. However, we encourage parents to bring their own lunch and visit with your child during their lunch hour even if we are not able to serve you our Thanksgiving meal.
I am amazed at how the days have suddenly gotten shorter! As I was saying goodbye to the children on Halloween, I was struck by how much darker it was and how long the shadows were. Even though we’ve had great weather, the cold is sure to come soon! Here at Polaris, we believe that unstructured playtime outside is critical to the development of our children– just as much as reading and math! Therefore, students will go outside to play whenever possible. Please be sure to send kids with warm clothing. Our weather can change in a flash!
Denver has completed their tabulation of scores for our DPS School Performance Framework (SPF). I am proud to announce that this year we earned a “blue” or “Distinguished” rating. I will present our SPF in greater detail at CSC on Monday, Nov. 6 at 3:50 p.m.. All are welcome.
The 2017 Halloween parties were amazing! Thanks to all who organized, helped, and attended! In my opinion, the perfect balance was struck between healthy and sugar! Stephenie Falcone, the room parents and volunteers did a great job providing creative, healthy and fun treats! Thank you for helping us create great Halloween memories.
Please join me for the presentation “The Heart of EQ” on Nov. 14 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Polaris Auditorium to learn how Emotional Intelligence is connected to well-being, cognition and achievement. Dr. Kate Bachtel will provide us with a variety of tools and strategies to cultivate emotional skills in gifted learners.
Speaking of memories, I can’t wait to see you all for our Thanksgiving Feast on November 15! You still have until Nov. 8 to purchase tickets in the front office. Even if you do not purchase a ticket for food, you are welcome to join your child for lunch that day. Please see the latest e-post for more information. I look forward to seeing you there!
I am looking forward to our Salute the Scientist evening on December 7! With the support of parents, volunteers, and teaching staff, our students really learn how to use scientific method to get answers to questions. Please check our webpage under Family Resources for helpful links and information to assist you!
Save the Date: April 7th, 2018 is the date for this year’s Auction! It is an adult evening of fun and fundraising for our school. For more information and how you can help make it a success please go to The Auction page of the Polaris website.
Thank you so much to all who have volunteered to help teach electives. Student choice and opportunities to pursue individual interests are a key ingredient to gifted education. Our electives program is critical to that endeavor, but we can’t run it without you! Please consider volunteering. We need you, your enthusiasm and expertise!
There are many fulfilling aspects to my job, and when I think about what they have in common, they all revolve around helping and being with people. I love seeing you and your children at drop off and pick up. Your warm greetings in the morning set a happy tone for my day! I am available to you at other times, though. If you have questions or need something, please don’t hesitate to call me. I am at your service!
Anne Sterrett, Principal
Polaris at Ebert
The Original works deadline has been extended!! You now have until Monday, November 13th to send in your order. In the past, this program has raised a significant amount of money to help fund the arts program at Polaris. Coach D is really counting on your support! We would love to be overwhelmed with orders!!
Keep in mind, you can send in any artwork (that fits the guidelines!) You can send in sibling’s artwork as well if they are younger or go to a different school. These make great gifts for grandparents and relatives and the kids love to see their artwork transformed.
Thank you in advance for your support. If you have any questions please feel free to email:
Your Original Works Committee
We need your help to continue making Friday electives classes so wonderful for our students! Please consider assisting with any of the following needs for electives this quarter:
- Donate old electronics for the Take Apart class. Bins are located in the hallway opposite the art room.
- Mr. Hodges is teaching a Math Is For Girls elective and wants to bring in female guest speakers who use math in their professions to share their experiences and stories. Contact: Ian_Hodges@dpsk12.org.
- We need volunteers on Friday afternoons to assist in classes, substitute teach, and provide on-site program support. If available, please email Deb Aruca, Electives Coordinator, at Polaris.Electives@gmail.com.
- Plans are underway to offer a Spanish elective beginning 3rd quarter. If you’re interested in teaching or have any references for language instructors and curriculum, please email Deb Aruca, Electives Coordinator, at Polaris.Electives@gmail.com or 303.638.7073.
Student Leadership Council has counted our students’ generous donations brought in for Spark Change. Our students raised $1164.34 for the Humane Society Disaster Relief Fund. Great job students! Thank you so much for your generosity! Stay tuned for information about The December Holiday Giving Project benefiting The Gathering Place.
Happy Fall! This season always makes me think about cycles in life… Like our lives, schools have cycles too. In August and September, we are getting to know our students and their families, and by the end of September, we begin planning based on that knowledge. This is the time when our teachers are involved in writing Advanced Learning Plans (a state requirement for all identified gifted children), and planning for conferences. In addition, our teachers are thinking about what they have learned about their students and how they can maximize strengths and build up areas of challenge for their charges.
It’s a busy time, and that’s one of the reasons we are deeply appreciative of the beautiful lunches our parents provided in September and October. When we felt your support and care through nourishing (and fancy) meals, all our spirits were lifted. Thanks to all who organized and all who provided food. It means more to our staff than you could ever know!
Speaking of nice times, the Annual Fund Grade Level Socials were fabulous! I loved getting the opportunity to chat with so many parents! Your support at the party was appreciated! Thanks also to Nicole Getzleman and her hardworking crew for providing a great fundraiser and a nice evening of fellowship for parents. Thanks also to our hosts Eric Rasmussen and Sara Baack, Meg and Jeb Freedman, Don and Sarah Sawyer, Lori and Tim Kirkland, Christine and John Worrell and Christina and James Verretta. Thanks to all who attended and to those who have made their pledges to the annual fund. You are appreciated!
Another shout out has to go to Carrie Lamb and her helpers for a very successful Jogathon. The students had a blast. Dressing in tie-dyed garb and being outside cheering our precious students on a beautiful fall day was wonderful for staff and parents, too! In addition, it was a very successful fundraiser! Thanks to all who supported this effort!
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Ana Orozco has accepted a position as our new school secretary. Ana is coming to us from North High School where she is the lead secretary. She is a great fit for our school and we are thrilled that she will be starting on October 13. Many, many thanks go to Pamela and Christina for the way that they have cheerfully and skillfully done the work of three people!
We are now entering conference season. Conferences are being held throughout the remainder of the month for all students. November 3nd is a day off from school to compensate teachers for outside of the school day conferences. By now you should have received information from your classroom teacher about sign ups. If you are interested in having a conference with a specials teacher, please contact him or her directly to set up your conference.
On October 17, from 3:00-9:00 p.m. Mici Handcrafted Italian Restaurant will donate 20% of purchases when Polaris is mentioned.
We hope to see many of you Tuesday October 311h at 2:15 (or earlier if you’re helping little ones into costumes) for our Halloween festivities.
- All costumes should be “G-Rated”.
- Please apply fake blood to costumes ahead of time and ensure that it does not drip.
- Absolutely no weapons (real or fake)!
- We welcome costumed parents and family, but please no adult masks.
- Please remember we have little ones, so nothing too scary!
I’m pleased to announce an exciting and informative parent event! Plan to join other GT parents at Polaris on November 14 for Dr. Kate Bachtel’s presentation:
The Heart of EQ: Gifted Student Emotional Development
Emotional intelligence is inextricably tied to cognition, achievement and well-being. This presentation will provide educators and parents with a variety of evidence-based strategies and tools to cultivate the development of discrete social and emotional skills in gifted learners.
Learn ways to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism, develop optimism, engage intrinsic motivation and enhance emotional literacy while growing healthy relationships. All will leave empowered with practices to support student social and emotional development in school and at home.
Fall is my favorite time of year and this one might be my happiest. Our Polaris students and staff are so special; each day with them is a blessing. I am also enjoying partnering with you, our terrific parent community. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need something. If I can’t help, I’ll do my best to find out who can!
Anne Sterrett, Principal
We did it! Thanks to everyone’s hard work, Jogathon 2017 surpassed our goal of $25,000 and raised $32,500 to help support the amazing work being done at our school!
- Special thank you’s go to our corporate sponsors, Olson Law Firm, Scales’ Pharmacy, and Choozle.
- Additional thank you’s for drawing donations go to Sweet Action Ice Cream, Chipotle, Oblios’s Pizza, Cake Crumbs, and Quisitive.
- Big thanks to all the parent volunteers and cheerleaders who came out to support students during the event, and especially to the 2017 Jogathon Chair, Carrie Lamb.
- Student awards went to:
- Individual top earner: Chris Rheem – $1380
- Individual most pledges: Sam Chenard – 26
- Top earning class: Ms. Malan – $3828
- Second place class: Mr. Hodges – $3111
- See the Jogathon schedule. You’re welcome to come and cheer on your kiddos during their scheduled run time!
- Please send your child to school Friday morning in jogging gear and tie-dye theme or other colorful clothes!
- You can still submit pledges online, or by filling out the Jogathon pledge form and putting it in the Jogathon box in the main office – preferably by this Thursday, October 5. Students who collect 5 pledges or 10 pledges and more will be entered into a drawing for fun gift cards to places like Little Man Ice Cream, Chipotle, Cake Crumbs, and more! And the student who raises the most money will get a $100 Amazon gift card.
- If you have time to volunteer at Jogathon, please see the Sign Up Genius to sign up! This is a fun event, but it takes a team to pull it off!
- For more information about Jogathon, see the Jogathon web page or email Carrie Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polaris offers a wide variety of before- and after-school enrichment opportunities, several taught by our own wonderful teachers. To view the weekly schedule, learn more about what is offered, and register for individual classes, please visit the After School Enrichments page.