Altona Students and Parents,
Welcome to the 2018-19 school year. As you can imagine, the Altona crew has been busy all summer learning and growing so that we can ensure that we provide an excellent educational experience for you. Our teachers have been engaged in a variety of classes, book studies and cohorts to improve their skills and do what we do best…..teach and learn.
I hope your summer was filled with memories. For my family, we set off on a 20 day road trip through the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Olympic Peninsula and Oregon. It was an amazing trip that included 4 National Parks, 12 nights camping, 3,860 miles on the road, and lots of time to reflect on how blessed we are to be a part of the Altona community. Our staff, students and families are the best around and I am so very thankful for your dedication and trust in our school.
Over the past few years, we have been developing a list of shared values amongst our staff and students to ensure that we have a strong foundation for educational excellence. One of the phrases you may see and hear quite a bit at Altona is “The Altona Way.” We have developed a document called “The Altona Way” to help serve as a guide for our whole learning community. I hope you take the time to read through it and embrace these values.
I’m excited to share that all of the teachers, administrators and counselors in the Silver Creek Feeder (Blue Mountain, Eagle Crest, Longmont Estates, Altona and Silver Creek) will be meeting at Altona on August 9th, to focus on Learner-Centered Innovation and Student Empowerment. So often we ask our kids, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” It is very important that we ask them, “who do you want to be now?” I believe with the focus in our feeder around student empowerment combined with “The Altona Way” we will equip students to become leaders in our school and community now.
Each year, we have a great opportunity to add new staff members to our team. Here are brief introductions to our new members:
Mrs. Virginia Allen - has joined our special education department as a paraprofessional. Mrs. Allen is joining us after years of working in the banking industry. She is a very caring person and is excited to join our school community.
Mrs. Rachel Arbor - will be our new 7th and 8th grade science teacher. Mrs. Arbor joins us after graduating as one of the top teachers in her cadre at the University of Colorado. Mrs. Arbor was recently married this summer and for the time being you will see her name and email as Rachel Tabin. Her energy and passion is contagious. She is replacing Ms. Anna Mills.
Mrs. Jean Bouchard -is our new speech language pathologist. Mrs. Bouchard is a parent in our community, serves on the dyslexia task force and is passionate about helping kids realize their potential across the pK-20 system.
Mrs. Jessica Brady - will be our new STEM and Robotics teacher. Mrs. Brady has been teaching in Minnesota and has recently moved to Colorado. She has a passion for computers and technology. In fact, she conducted her Google Hangout video interview on the computer she built. Mrs. Brady is replacing Mr. Custis.
Mrs. Jennifer Childress - is joining our special education team and returning to the Front Range with her family. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a special education and math teacher. She is replacing Mr. Smith.
Mrs. Lindsay Darnell - will be a new special education teacher and is joining us from the Adams 12 Schools where she comes highly recommended as a special education teacher. We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Darnell join our team. She is replacing Mrs. Fore.
Mr. Rusty Elshof - will be our new head custodian. Mr. Elshof took over the lead role after Mr. Grill retired in early July. Rusty and his team have been busy all summer ensuring our school is looking top notch for students when they return.
Mrs. Lindsay Gahn - will be our school psychologist for our special education students in 6th and 7th grade. Mrs. Gahn has been working at Eagle Crest and we are very fortunate that she is able to move into middle school to continue to support our students.
Mrs. Zuzana Garcala - Mrs. Garcala will be our new health clerk. She comes to us with a passion to work with kids and help others.
Ms. Yolanda Holgui - will be one of our night custodians. Ms. Holgui has been a custodian at Eagle Crest, Silver Creek and other district buildings. She comes to us highly recommended and has an eye for detail.
Ms. Rosanna Ramirez - Mrs. Ramirez is our most recent hire and will be our new attendance clerk. She has been working as a preschool teacher at Junior Jets for the past six years. Rosanna is bilingual and has a very warm and welcoming personality.
Mr. Todd Selby - will be a new paraprofessional in our SSN program. Mr. Selby comes to us with a background as a paramedic and is eager to work in schools and with students.
Mrs. Jennifer Simms - will be a new language arts teacher in 7th grade. She is excited to return to the classroom after a few years of raising her children. She previously was a teacher at Heritage Middle School.
August/September Important Dates
August 6 - Schedules go live in Infinite Campus @ 8 am.
August 7 - iPad Deployment and lockers for 6th grade only.
August 15 - first day of school for 6th graders only. All new to Altona 7th and 8th graders report to Room B216 (FaCS) from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
August 16 - first day of school for all students. Students will report to LEAD classes first thing to receive lockers.
August 15 - 18 - Girls Volleyball sign-ups
August 20 - 7 and 8 graders receive iPads during LEAD
August 22 - NJHS induction (6:00 pm)
August 23 - Picture day
August 29 - Back to School Night (6:00 pm), New parents to Altona FAQ from 5:30 - 6:00. All parents welcome at 6:00 to follow an abbreviated schedule to meet their students teachers.
September 5 - First Late Start Day and Fundraiser Kick-Off
We are doing our best to communicate frequently and give you updates on our school. We have a variety of avenues to share information. Mrs. Glassner sends out a weekly email blast that will be sent to all parents and guardians who have an accurate email set up in Infinite Campus. All of our teachers use Schoology for posting classroom assignments and updates. If you have access to Infinite Campus you will also have the ability view Schoology. I encourage each household to sign up for Infinite Campus and Schoology. These are great tools to stay connected with our teachers. Below is a list of resources that will help answer questions and stay connected throughout the year.
As you know, school safety is extremely important. With the addition of Mrs. Ramirez as our new attendance clerk she will be taking the time to get to know all of our students and parents. Please understand that she is one of the people responsible for allowing people into the building and remember that anyone that is not a student will be asked to show their ID to enter the building. We know that you want to be kind, but please do not let others tailgate behind you into the building. We need to confirm each person who enters.
Altona Website (ams.svvsd.org)
Altona Facebook Parent Connection (https://www.facebook.com/groups/AltonaParentConnection/)