Empowering learners and leaders who are kind, respectful, and determined.

September 2022 Newsletter

Dear Dutch Creek Community,

Welcome to the second month of the school year! I hope that your family is getting into a school routine and that your child(ren) are enjoying their time at Dutch Creek! We have so many new faces at Dutch Creek, it has been wonderful to get to know all of our new CREW members in these first few weeks of school. In this Principal’s Pen, I’d like to highlight two changes we’ve made that will provide positive and exciting opportunities for all of our students. 

First, you may have noticed that your student is coming home with math that looks a bit different. We have been chosen as 1 of 6 elementary schools in Jeffco to pilot Illustrative Mathematics. Over the next few years, all schools will be implementing this program, but because of the district's focus on elementary literacy, only 6 elementary schools were able to be a part of this pilot. We are lucky here at Dutch Creek to be one of the few schools in the district that has a strong, approved, and highly aligned literacy program (EL Education). Because of this, we are able to partner with the district math specialists to turn our focus to math. 

As teachers are making sense of this problem-solving curriculum, it is so exciting to see the depth of math problems and collaborative opportunities the program provides for our students. We are moving away from memorization and thriving in deep, critical thinking…even at our primary level! While this may be a shift of thinking for some of us, it is bringing real-life excitement to our math classrooms. For more information about this program, check out the Illustrative Mathematics Information for Families.

A second celebration and change for us this year is an increase in mental health and social-emotional learning and supports for our students. We know the positive relationship between strong mental health/social-emotional learning and academics, and if we have learned anything over the last three years, it is that mental health and social-emotional support is absolutely crucial in school. Students need to feel safe, be able to build positive relationships, regulate their emotions, and be self-managed. Just like we teach reading, writing, and math…we need to teach this too. 

I am excited to introduce Kristen Harkness-our Social-Emotional Learning Specialist and Martina Ita-our Social Worker. These are not new names to many of you, but the exciting news is that we were able to increase their time at Dutch Creek. They will partner together to provide tiers of support for all students-Preschool through 5th Grade. And how could I forget…our four-legged therapy dog and friend, Kevin! He will complete this amazing team of three to ensure that all students get the positive support they need to thrive.

Thank you for your support in getting this school year started in a positive way! We are so excited to see what this year has in store for us!


Sara Oliver


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