Principal News

January 2017

As we pass our half-way point and come back after some time to rest and reflect, it is great to look back at all we have accomplished already this year! 

This year we added 5 hours of movement each month to our school day through additional recess and movement classes! There is so much research about how increasing movement for students positively impacts student learning, attention span, reported happiness as well as creating a healthier body and mind! We are excited to be on the cutting edge and ensuring this for all students! Through a grant and partnership with Colorado Ball Sports, students are learning new skills and ideas for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and develop their abilities to control their minds and bodies. 

We also included additional classes and choice times for students to explore new cultures, traditions and areas of the world as we increased exposure to different cultures throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to choose a region, country, ethnicity or other cultural aspect to explore and create a presentation about what they learned. While these was not graded, we saw amazing projects come out of students of all ages. During our Cultural Expo (see video on the main page of this website)just before Thanksgiving Break, we saw multi-media presentations, visual displays, food displays and samples, dances, cultural raps and much  more! Our students learned a lot about their cultural area or group, but also learned about time management, organization and working with others. For the next month, students learned about different holidays from around the world and got a chance to participate in some arts and crafts. As we begin 2017, students will explore mindfulness, anti-bullying curriculum, character education and much more.

This year we are also working on increasing strategic interventions to students who are performing below grade level in reading, writing and math. We have trained our para professionals to do research-based phonics interventions to support our younger students with learning letters, sounds and other decoding skills. Our older students are doing similar research-based interventions focusing on fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Just before our Winter Break, many students were enrolled in Lexia Core 5, an online intervention for literacy. We have already begun to see huge growth in many of our students and feel this will really help close the gap for some of our struggling students.

Our students on Advanced Learning Plans are working with their classroom teacher as well as our Digital Teacher Librarian and Instructional Coach to use some cutting edge technology tools and other resources to do innovative projects throughout this school year. Students have been highly engaged in these projects and I am very eager to see what they will create. Several of our 4th and 5th graders are also learning leadership, teamwork, project planning and more through hands-on environmental projects directed by Ann Hoy-the science teacher in 4th and 5th grade.

We are creating a Maker-Space Classroom where students can work individually or collaboratively to explore, create and engage deeply with their learning environment. Students will be using this space and resources to tap into their creativity and learn to create, solve problems and be innovative members of our society. While some of these things are new to schools and those of us who went to school in the past, our students  are embracing these inspirational learning opportunities and engaging in learning and working to higher levels than ever! 

We encourage you to be a part of our PTA. This group of parents has been working hard to create fun activities that enhance what we do during the school day. Parents and grandparents have already done an amazing Trunk or Treat event just before Halloween, pulled off some great movie nights,and are always working hard to support students and teachers. Our Science Fair is just around the corner. Check our main web page for the registration and informational packet. Our Spelling Bee is also quickly approaching and we are hosing the Conifer Area Spelling Bee later this year. Even if you can't be an active volunteer, we encourage you to join the PTA to show support of all that they do to make school fun and a great center of our community.

Finally, we want you to be a part of our Bobcat Accountability Meetings on the third Thursday of every month. We are hoping that you will engage in conversations about how to continually work to improve our school to offer more opportunities for all students! We will be taking a look at our proposed Budget for next year and getting input from families about how you want to see our monies spent. We hope you can make it to a meeting or two to learn more about our vision at WJES and sharing your vision for our school.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about what we do at West Jefferson Elementary, I invite you to make an appointment for a tour or a time to sit down and chat.

Thank you for your continual support of WJES!



Wendy Woodland
West Jefferson Elementary
303-982-0113 (voicemail)