Principal's Page

Dawn Odean

Welcome to Ralston Elementary online. There is a wealth of information on this site to serve you. Whether you are a student looking for class assignments or resources, a parent looking for announcements or event dates, or if you're interested in attending our school, we hope you find what you're looking for.

At Ralston we take great pride in our community. We are so fortunate to work with engaged families every day. Our students are thoughtful learners who care deeply about our school, learning, and each other. Our exceptional staff creates an intellectual community for all to achieve, lead and care.


Thank you,
Dawn Odean

March 1

posted Mar 11, 2013, 9:36 AM by Wendi Chamberlain

Dear Ralston Families,

Even as a short month, February has been action packed! From Valentine's Day to conferences here were the happenings:

  • Thank you to the parents who attended our first coffee! I truly appreciated the conversations and getting to know you better. I look forward to our March Coffee(watch for times and dates to come).
  • Valentine's Day parties and science, what a combo! Thank you to the SET team led by Sheila Haggard for providing grade-level projects that engaged our students in learning on such an exciting day! Thank you also to Ashley Bradsby for ensuring the projects were aligned to our curriculum, we love that!
  • The Ralston sleep-over was a huge success with over 70 students participating. Thank you to the parent volunteers for making it such a fun night! A big thank you to Annette Quill for all of the time and thoughtfulness in planning! Also thank you to our teacher slumber party goers: Jessica Somers, DJ Osmack, and Christine Miller!
  • Congratulations to our third graders who worked so hard to show what they know on reading TCAP! They were focused and dedicated to doing their best! Our testing will be completed for the rest of third grade content, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders over the next two weeks. Thank you to parents for ensuring students are present and ready!
  • Congratulations to all of the Aristocats performers, what an amazing show, your hard work paid off! Thank you also to Cathy Kentner, Lisa Armijo, and Diana Mittelstet for producing and directing. The Mountaineers sure are a talented group. :)
  • Sue Schebler is officially the box top Queen! Thank you for coordinating our school-wide effort and earning for our school!
  • On February 26, we had 36 tardies impacting every classroom! It must have been the perfect storm, but definitely impacts our learners. We appreciate everything families can do to be on time.

We are at the beginning staffing time for the 2013-2014 school year. The District Budget and Human Resources departments have reviewed each school's enrollment from the last three years and have allocated our full-time employee count. This year we will not be allocated further staffing for choice-enrolled students. Therefore, we now have a wait list for any new choice applicants. At Ralston several positions have been created to alleviate higher class numbers between February and August of the previous year. This class-size relief process will continue. In order to adjust for class size, temporary-contract positions are created. This year we have four teachers on temporary or one year contracts. They all are phenomenal teachers. Unfortunately, at this time in the process, we will be allocated two temporary positions for next year. Ongoing "permanent" contracts would only be opened if an ongoing-contract teacher retires or permanently takes another position. We do not have any ongoing positions that are open at this time. These contracts are part of negotiated agreements between the school district and JCEA (teachers union). Know that we all love and respect our teachers who have temporary contracts and will do everything we can to support them in getting contract positions or keep them in our temporary positions here in hopes that contract positions will come available in the near future. I will keep you posted as we move through the process. Please call me with any questions or concerns in the meantime.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Dawn Odean


March 9

posted Mar 11, 2013, 9:25 AM by Wendi Chamberlain

Dear Ralston Families,

I can’t tell you how excited I am to officially be principal at Ralston! Thank you so much for your support and feedback in the process. It has been an exciting year getting to know our students, community, faculty, and staff. I am very excited to continue that and build on the work we have started this year.

The things that make me so proud to be a part of Ralston are: The students are phenomenal, bright and hard-working and I have been impressed by their caring and respect for each other. It is one thing to have a supportive community and yet another to have one that is so engaged in ensuring our students success, truly incredible. The teachers are professionals focused on kids first and open and willing to learn and grow. Our staff members make our school a welcoming place and are the heart of Ralston. I am so fortunate and inspired to be the best I can be as well.

Please join us for a coffee on April 4 at 9 a.m. in the lobby to enjoy and celebrate Ralston!

I look forward to our years ahead.

Thanks again!

Dawn Odean


February 4

posted Feb 4, 2013, 9:47 AM by Wendi Chamberlain

Happy 100th day of school! It has been a busy week. We finally had fewer clinic visits and less absences from illness today, hope that is a sign students are starting to feel better!

Thank you to our outstanding Spelling Bee committee for putting on a very exciting event for our primary and intermediate students: Dianne Chorny, Jessica Lewis, Denise Noda, Susan Moser, Mary Hoff, and Kris Bianchi. The spellers were amazing. Way to go!

Thank you also to the Talent Show committee of Sue Schebler, Perrin Kringel, Jen Nader, and Diana Mittelstet. It was so exciting to see our students in their glory on the stage, so much talent and just sheer fun! Congratulations to all the acts--Ralston's got talent!

You can now report absences via email. Just visit our school website and follow the directions on the main page: Also, please be sure to keep your JeffcoConnect account up to date.

Attached is District information on secure entries and time lines for completion in our schools.

Enjoy the weekend!

January 8, 2013

posted Jan 8, 2013, 1:39 PM by Wendi Chamberlain

Dear Ralston Families,

Happy New Year! We have been busily working with faculty these last two days on utilizing Thinking Maps in cross-curricular activities, team building, and guided math and reading core planning. The school has had a deep clean! It looks great and feels healthy, thanks to Bob, Corey, and Tess! Our office staff is working hard preparing for kinder registration and choice enrollment. We are ready for students!

We would like to welcome back our classroom volunteers and parents for special classroom events. Please coordinate with your classroom teacher as usual and they will let the office know names, dates, and times for check-in. Be prepared to show an id as we all add to our staff for high volume times and they may not know each of you personally.

Morning supervision begins at 8:45. Students should line up outside their classroom door which will open at the first bell - 8:45. Students will not be admitted through the front of the school unless it is a designated "blue flag day" or after the 9 a.m. tardy bell (hoping there won't be many :) ).

We will continue our staggered dismissal through the building. All teachers will be on dismissal duty until 3:40. If you are picking up a student, please park in the front lot and meet your student outside to alleviate congestion (the inside atrium doors will continue to remain locked).

 Friday will be ORANGE FRIDAY! Please wear orange in support of the Denver Broncos! Also note that purple is against school dress code :).

 All the best for a Happy 2013!

Thank you,

Dawn Odean

Ralston Principal

December 19, 2012

posted Dec 20, 2012, 12:40 PM by Wendi Chamberlain

Relax, Recharge, Enjoy!


Phew! It has been a busy school year overall. You're kids have been working hard! When I look back at our District's curriculum document, CAP, for August through December, it could easily print as a ream of paper. Kids have been working on human systems and explorers in 5th, electricity in 3rd, geography in 4th, plants in 2nd, the senses in kinder, investigating properties in 1st; and, that's just some of science and social studies! If you're interested in the "what" of our learning, you can go to the Jeffco schools home page and search "CAP" to view pacing guides K-12.


We are in the process of transitioning to Common Core Standards for math and literacy. These standards increase transfer and application of skills as well as critical thinking expectations. One exciting literacy component that is being added is "Research and Reasoning" where clear expectations are set forth to integrate literacy skills into the content areas, something we at Ralston have been working toward for a while. You can view these documents as well on CDE's web page or at Remember that the standards are the minimum requirements, same as CAP, at each grade level.


As part of our professional development this year, we are working on learning more about the core standards and ensuring that we have structures in place systemically so that all students can succeed. Last year, our instructional teacher leaders read research on guided math instruction and worked with district content specialists in math. In August, we agreed as a faculty to try these out intentionally including: math-rich environments, calendar work, whole class instruction, small group instruction, math workshop, conferencing and assessment. Mary Hoff, our instructional coach, and I have spent time in classrooms collecting data on what is working and what refinements we need to make. Then, teachers have taken time to observe each other with this information in mind. When we come back together in January we'll continue our collaboration and refinements to ensure we have structures in place K-6th that allow teachers to differentiate for all learners. It is exciting work!


That being said, we are not quite half way through this year's curriculum and professional development. There is much more to come starting in January. So, relax, recharge, and enjoy the wonderful winter break, you deserve it!


Dawn Odean


November 13, 2012

posted Nov 14, 2012, 11:36 AM by Wendi Chamberlain

Dear Ralston Families,


What a great first trimester we have had at Ralston! It's hard to believe it is November, with the Thanksgiving holiday next week. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of our community for the gifts you give so freely, and with such selflessness, enthusiasm, and caring. The support we share as a community is part of the Ralston tradition, and is something that sets us apart.


In the spirit of caring for others, our faculty and staff are second to none in their commitment to our students. They care about our students deeply and routinely go the extra mile to provide an environment designed to make it easy to learn, grow, and thrive. Our faculty and staff are hard-working and passionate, and their energy is inspiring.


In the spirit of giving to others, our parents and families have provided time, talent and treasure in every aspect of the school day, from volunteering with classroom support, recess duty, parties, Ralston U, Spelling Bee, recycling, Science/Space Days, and more. Our parents and families are supportive and generous, and your energy sustains and inspires us as well!


This Thanksgiving is a good time for all of us to reflect on our many blessings. May your time with family and friends be joyful. Happy Thanksgiving! 

1-6 of 6