EduKit school supply kits have everything your student needs for the school year in one convenient box, customized to our teacher’s requests, and delivered straight to school the week before classes start. Click here to order. Orders accepted until July 24th. Miss the deadline or prefer to buy your own school supplies? Download the list from the Edukit site. Questions? Contact Irene Pian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join up with other friends in your grade for some casual play time over the summer! Dates are listed below by 2019-20 incoming grade level. Contact the summer room parent for more information or an Evite will be sent for each event
- Wednesday, June 5 @ 4pm -5.30 pm, Park Hill Elementary at playground (18th & Elm), hosted by Bacon/Stone Families
- Saturday, July 13 @ 10am – 11.30am, Wash Park : the South/new playground, hosted by The Arnold Family
- Monday, August 12 @ 6pm – 8pm, James Manley Park at 4th & Josephine, hosted by The Schock Family
1st grade Summer room parent : Meghan Schock
- Sunday, June 30 @ 4pm-6pm, Outside Sweet Cow Ice Cream at Stanley Marketplace, hosted by Molly Garg/Julie Gladnick
- Thursday, July 18 @ 6:30pm-7:30pm, City Park Fountains, hosted by Vanessa Constanti & Beth Fleming
- Sunday, August 4 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am, Cheesman Park, hosted by Lisa Neepmer and Kaimee Martelli
2nd grade Summer room parent : Heather Ottele
- Sunday, June 30 @ 10:00 AM, Stapleton Central Park, hosted by Guffey & Shearer Families
- Sunday, July 28 @ 10am to 12pm, City Park, hosted by Peggy Liao & Benjamin Kupersmit
- Wednesday, August 14 4pm to dark, James Manley Park, hosted by Shock & Getzelman Families
3rd grade Summer room parent: Nicole Getzelman
- Sunday, June 9 @ 3pm-5pm , Outside Sweet Cow Ice Cream at Stanley Marketplace
- Wednesday, July 10 @ 5:30 pm-7:30 pm , Crescent Park, 8th and Roslyn
- Wednesday, August 7 @ 6pm – 7:30pm, City Park. Meet at the playground east of Ferril Lake
4th grade Summer room parent : Wendy Barclay
- Monday, June 24 @5:30pm-6:30 pm , City Park’s wooden playground, hosted by Jami Davis
- Friday, July 19 @ 4:30 pm-6:00 pm , Outside Sweet Cow Ice Cream at Stanley Marketplace, hosted by Kara Chitwood and Molly Garg
- Saturday, August 10 @ 10am- 11:30am, Fred Thomas Park playground (23rd & Syracuse), hosted by Jo-Nell Herndon
5th grade Summer room parent : Heather Ottele
The last day of school is Friday, May 31. It is a half day – students will be released at 12:30 pm. Buses will run 3 hours earlier than normal. Student lunch times will be adjusted 15 minutes earlier than usual to accommodate all grades prior to dismissal.
The Polaris staff would like to thank the parent community for all their volunteer help this school year! They are cooking up some goodies to share at the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on Friday May 17th in the area outside the cafeteria. If you volunteered at Polaris in any way this school year, please come and enjoy a delicious breakfast.
Field Day was postponed from May 10 to May 17 – looks like the weather will be great! Events take place on the field and at Benedict Fountain Park. Fifth graders run each station, but parent volunteers are needed to help out. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0448a5a69-polaris4
Smoothies from Jamba Juice will be available for sale to students only for $2 each. Please send money if your child would like one. Limit one per student.
Even if you’re not helping out, parents are welcome to come watch and cheer on the students. Grades 1-4 will participate from 9:15-11:30. Fifth graders will participate in the afternoon.
The Spring Showcase is our annual end-of-year celebration. Student artwork and classwork will be on display throughout the school, and each grade level will be featured in a short performance in the gym. Honor choir, beginning and advanced band, and the Friday Jump Club will also perform. There will be food trucks outside the playground and the book fair will be open until about 7:15. Come enjoy the evening with the Polaris Community!
5:30pm – 1st Grade
5:45pm – Honor Choir
6:00pm – 2nd Grade
6:15pm – Beginning Band
6:30pm – 3rd Grade
6:45pm – Friday Jump Club
7:00pm – 4th Grade
7:15pm – Advanced Band
7:30pm – 5th Grade
**Students should meet in their classrooms 15 minutes prior to performance time.**
Parent volunteers are needed – please sign up here to help out: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f054caaaf22abff2-2019
Hope to see you there!
The annual Book Fair is here! It’s a great chance to stock up on summer reading material. The book fair is in the auditorium and will be open for sales before and after school on Tuesday through Thursday, May 14-16. The fair will remain open Thursday evening during the Spring Showcase until approximately 7:15 pm. Students will preview the sale with their classes on Monday May 13.
Sign up to help run registers here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0d4fa8a822a3fc1-2019.
Happy May! I am hoping that our snow earlier this week marks the end of cold weather. Today is beautiful and our children are having a blast enjoying their recesses in the warm sunshine! Please don’t forget to check the lost and found for winter garb. We will be donating whatever is left after Field Day on May.
The auction was a huge success! If you didn’t make it this year, I hope you plan to attend next year. It was great fun, and we raised funds that will help our school continue low adult/student ratios, exciting learning experiences in electives, and robust STEAM projects. Thanks to all who participated, contributed, and those who helped, especially Erin Bawa, Claudia Bieschke, Melanie Chenard, Kara Chitwood, Jenny Cookson, Beth Fleming, Nicole Getzleman, Amy Newman, Lisa Neeper, Barbara O’Neill, Mary Parker, Megan Schock, Daniel Solomon, Krisitin Steele, and Kris Worrell. Thanks also to our awesome office staff who helped by taking donations, passing messages and storing t-shirts, supplies, and donations.
We need some end of day assistance from you. More and more families are coming to the office to pick students up for early dismissal from 3:00 to 3:30. This is one of the busiest times for the office and for our classrooms. Please wait until all students are dismissed and use the parent pick up area on Glenarm to pick up your child, rather than coming to the office whenever possible. Thanks for your help!
Two all-time favorite events are coming up! Field day is May 10! Please come and help us celebrate fitness and activity. Spring Showcase aka “The Gala” is May 16! This event wraps up the year and showcase all the wonderful arts our students have participated in throughout the year. Please see the Polaris webpage for details.
Your new principal, Ms. Odell, and I have been very busy transitioning her into our school. Even though her official start date is in July, she has already spent many hours here getting to know our school and students. I am excited about Polaris’ new leadership and the future! Please look for Ms. Odell at the Spring Showcase. She will be mingling and hoping to talk with YOU! Thanks for your dedication, Ms. Odell!
Family Satisfaction Survey
Polaris values input from families – and we want to hear from you! The Family Satisfaction Survey (formerly known as the Parent Satisfaction Survey) is an opportunity for you to reflect on your experience with our school and share feedback to help us improve. This survey is designed to help us make positive changes across the district and is a part of our School Performance Framework (SPF). This year, we are offering online access to the survey, hoping it will be easier to complete. The survey is available online in English, Spanish, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, Nepali, Russian, Somali, Swahili and Vietnamese. To take the survey, login to Parent Portal and the survey instructions will be in the upper righthand corner of your homepage. Click. Submit. It’s as easy as that! If you need help logging into Parent Portal, filling out the survey, or need access to a computer, our front office staff is available to assist you.
This survey is anonymous and confidential. We will never see your individual responses, only the total and averages at the school level. To participate, please complete the survey by June 7, 2019. Each household should only fill out one survey. If you have more than one student at a school, we ask that you think about your oldest student and answer the question based on that child. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to learning from your input.
As you prepare students for the last day of school, Transportation Services would like to remind all schools leaders of the following:
- +Passes should stay with students over the summer
- +Passes are good from year-to-year so students should keep them for the 2019-20 school year.
- If a replacement card is needed at the start of 2019-20, a request can be through Infinite Campus in August, or the family can obtain a +Pass directly from Transportation’s Hilltop Terminal location at 2909 W. 7th Ave.
- Questions about +Passes can be submitted to +Passadmin@dpsk12.org.
Last Day of School Transportation Dismissal Reminders
Transportation Services would like to remind all schools of the dismissal policy on the last day of school, May 31:
- May 31 is the last day of school for most DPS schools and is designated a half day. Students will be picked up three hours earlier than the normal dismissal time.
Click here for more information. If you have questions, email email@example.com.
GT Parent and Staff Education Opportunity
May 14, 2019 5:30-7:30pm at Hope Center 3400 Elizabeth Street, Denver, CO 80205
Continuing the Conversation: Supporting our Bright, Talented and Black Children: Join us as we build a community, share lived experiences, and discuss the best ways to advocate for our children. Food and childcare provided. RSVP https://forms.gle/kCYNxSeHgUWwY8bH7 or call at 720-423-2056
Superintendent Parent Forum The forum will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m., on May 7 at the PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur St. Join us for an interactive and dynamic group discussion that will help shape DPS going forward. We will discuss Superintendent Susana Cordova’s Entry Plan and the Denver Plan 2020 next steps, student equity and opportunity and the Unified Equity Plan. We will also celebrate and recognize our Parenting Partners graduates. Families can visit FACE.dpsk12.org for more information and RSVP here. Email FACE_Events@dpsk12.org if you have questions.
Thanks for an Awesome April and here we go into a Marvelous May!
April 6, 2019
I hope you had a wonderful break! It is so nice to come back and see all the happy, rested faces! I missed our community!
Thanks to all who came out for the Principal Selection Forum and those who have taken the time to be part of the selection process. It is a bittersweet time for me. While I am sad to be leaving, I am excited about the skills, talent and knowledge that each of the candidates could bring to our school. Regardless of who is selected by the superintendent, that person will be awesome and will ensure that Polaris continues to be a great place to learn and work. I know that the selected candidate will be thrilled to be a part of this amazing community!
We ran out of room for lost and found! The coats that were left unclaimed over spring break are stored in bags to clean up the atrium. If you are missing one, please let us know, we show you where they are. We will be donating the leftovers to charity in the next few weeks, so come claim your stuff! Also, we have been finding lots of money around the building in wallets and some loose. Please do not let your child bring cash to school. If you know that your child has lost some cash, please call the main office.
We are busy planning new family welcoming, and are excited to meet our new students. The original district GT testing did not identify as many students in as in the past so they are doing another round of tests in early May; therefore, we still have some open spaces. If you know families interested in third grade, please have them contact the GT office or, if identified HGT already, contact our school.
Joyce Schlose has joined our staff as a paraprofessional. She has volunteered in the library all year and we are delighted to make her an official part of our staff. Joyce will mostly be working in first grade.
Please mark your calendars for Field Day on May 10 with a rain date of May 18. On the morning of this day, Polaris staff will host a volunteer appreciation breakfast in the TLC. If you have volunteered at school this year, please plan to stop by and let us offer our thanks. This celebration is for parents, and unfortunately, we are unable to feed and accommodate students.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the Spring Showcase on May 16. We are planning a wonderful evening. Don’t forget to stop by the book fair to pick up some summer reading treats! Please contact Ms. Axt if you are able to volunteer for the book fair!
May 31 is the last day of school and is a half day. We will send word of the exact time as soon as we get it from transportation.
This time of year brings many occasions for visits to the school. Please be sure to use the proper door, check in at the office, and wear your visitor tag.
Thank you to all who are using the crosswalk at drop off and pick up on Glenarm! It’s much safer out there since we don’t have to worry about children crossing all over the street! I continue to work with the two construction companies to ensure that our pick up and drop off lanes are clear. Please help out by adhering to the drop off and pick up courtesy rules of staying in your car and vacating your spot as soon as possible. During this good weather, students often want to stay at school and play, but playing on Glenarm affects our ability to watch students and ensure they get to the proper cars safely. You are welcome to accompany your child to the playground for some after school fun.
Thanks also to all the parents who have provided the monthly staff lunches and the delicious breakfasts this year. Your efforts provide a time of relaxation and fellowship for staff. It’s wonderful and we feel very special!
As always, if you have questions, compliments for staff or other comments, please feel free to pass them on to me. I am at your service! Thank you all for being the best community out there!
Anne Sterrett, Principal
Hey, Polaris Parents—it’s time to ditch the mom jeans, dad sneakers, and carpool respectability. Dress up like your favorite musician, wear your rattiest concert t-shirt, or just bring the moves—but bring your inner rockstar to the annual Polaris Auction! Visit the Auction page for more information!
We are looking for a team of parents to represent Polaris and take on “New Family Ambassador” roles for the 2019-2020 incoming families. Ambassadors will be assigned 2-3 new-to-Polaris families with incoming students similar in age to yours (same grade when possible). Please feel free to sign up for whatever grade levels that make sense for your family.
The basic expectation of the role is to be a reliable resource for them now – as they often have many questions about coming to Polaris – as well as throughout the school year. This is a low commitment volunteer role and you can create what it looks like for you and your assigned families.
The tasks could be as simple as a welcome email or phone call, or you may want to schedule playdates, coffee-dates, or family get-togethers with them over the summer. You might provide them a monthly email check-in throughout the school year explaining upcoming Polaris fundraising/community events and encouraging their participation, or be a resource on how to navigate school paperwork or an IEP process….OR you may make initial contact and never hear from them again (it’s ok, it happens!).
This opportunity fosters community within our parent population, as well as help families feel connected to and informed about our school.
Please sign up here to be a part of the team!
CMAS testing will begin on March 19th for 5th graders, and April 9th for 3rd and 4th graders. See this letter for more information and a detailed test schedule.
On Wednesday April 3rd, the finalists for the principal position will participate in a community forum to give all members of the Polaris community the opportunity to hear about their leadership and vision. This evening will be a time for final candidates to answer key questions, and an opportunity for the Polaris community to provide feedback. Staff, parents, and students are all invited to attend. The forum will be in the auditorium. Please enter the school through the playground doors.
For the full update on the selection process, read this letter from instructional superintendent Dr. Antoinette Hudson. Please note the forum date was changed after the letter was sent.
March is an interesting month. Second trimester report cards just came home and we balance the excitement of putting another trimester in the books and beginning a new one. Learning abounds in March! Teachers have planned many exciting lessons and projects to keep students learning right up until spring break.
Spring testing is about to begin. While we are proud that our students do so well and the fact that being blue means a substantial amount of money is added to the Polaris budget, this pales in comparison to who our children are as human-beings. Each day you bring children to our school who are kind and compassionate, who care about the world around them, and who care about doing their best. We are glad when a student does well on the tests because we know that they have successfully attained skills they will use to fulfill their dreams.
I know that some are concerned with the amount of time spent testing. Yes, it is spread over quite a few days, but students who do not have extra time as an accommodation test for 90 minutes per day for English Language Arts, 65 minutes per day for math and 80 minutes per day for science (fifth grade only). The longest time is only slightly longer than a class period, so basically students are reading, writing and doing math for the same amount of time that they would if it were a regular class period. As Polaris staff plan the schedule, we choose to only have one test per day and to test on Tuesday through Thursday only so that our students have plenty of time to run, play and focus on their other subjects.
I’ve heard some say that the scores do no good since they are reported after the children leave for summer. They don’t inform instruction for the year in which they are administered; however, they provide the following year’s teacher with summative information that helps in planning instruction. They also provide our school with valuable data that allows us to make improvements to our programming and allows us to see whether all sub-groups of children are learning and growing at high levels.
Another concern is whether the children feel stress about the tests. That’s a very real concern, especially for gifted kids. Over the 17 years that we’ve given state tests, I’ve noticed that students look to adults for their cues. We can help ensure that they don’t stress by providing perspective and letting them see us remaining calm. Saying things like, “It’s just another school day where you will be reading, writing and doing math, but today reading and writing activities will be individual and on the computer,” can help children know what to expect. Telling children to do their best, and that the tests are designed so that some answers will likely be missed can also help. The Family Education website provides nine anxiety busters that you might want to utilize at home. https://www.familyeducation.com/school/anxiety-disorders/9-anxiety-busters-kids-taking-standardized-tests
While the tests are important, no test is important as our precious children. No test can measure their worth as people. No test can show the wonderful miracles that our children are. If you have concerns about testing, please don’t hesitate to call me, your child’s teacher, or Ms. Strassburger, our school psychologist. We can help!
Now, on to another topic! THE AUCTION is right around the corner! Mark your calendars for April 27 when Polaris will rock the house at Galvanize! Be thinking about what donations you might contribute to the silent auction and what stunning outfit you will wear to let your inner rock and roller jam! Plan to come and ROCK THE HOUSE!
Here are some March dates to mark (Please see the Polaris calendar for more dates and details):
Monday, March 4 No School for teacher work day
Thursday, March 7 Class Picture Day
March 19-21 Fifth Grade Math CMAS (Please check your email for another communication from me giving exact dates and times for all testing)
March 25-29 Spring Break
As always, if you have questions, concerns or compliments, feel free to contact me!
Anne Sterrett, Principal
Together with the Denver Association for Gifted and Talented, Polaris is sponsoring a workshop with Nathan Levy.
Connections Between Critical Thinking, Writing, and Meeting the Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Children
This workshop will focus on how to help children be better thinkers and learners. There will be an emphasis on the importance of challenge, perseverance and hard work as social-emotional components for acquiring skills that help gifted children adapt to meet life’s expectations. Practical ideas and materials will be presented by author, consultant, and former President of New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, Nathan Levy.
Nathan Levy is an author of Stories with Holes, Whose Clues and Nathan Levy’s 100 Intriguing Questions. A gifted educator, Nathan worked directly with children, teachers, and parent in his 35 years as a teacher and principal. He has developed unique teaching strategies that encouraged the love of learning.
Membership information for Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented will be available.
$5.00 Donation Suggested
I’m very excited about this opportunity!
See you there!