Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Staying Safe and Happy

Staying prepared always helps! At PCE we take the security of our students seriously. I want to remind our returning parents, and update any new families, of the security features we have in place at Prairie Crossing.
  • We will continue to keep our front doors locked throughout the day. 
  • You will have to ring the doorbell and be “buzzed” into the building. 
  • In addition to the doorbell, visitors are screened by our security cameras that we view in the front office. 
  • We are asking that all parents please help us by ensuring that the door closes behind you when you enter or exit the building. 
  • Please be aware of allowing other adults entering the building with you.  
  • Remember to check in at the office anytime you are in the building, this is an one easy step that helps to keep the our students and school safe and secure at all times.
  • Adults that are outside supervising children will have a very bright orange vest on so children will know who to go to for help.  They will  be equipped with Walkie-Talkies that will call directly into the office if assistance is needed. 
  • We will have crossing guards at both crosswalks on South Bradbury in the morning and in the afternoon to assist our walkers.  They will wear safety vests so they are easily identified by children and parents. 
  • We will conduct at least one safety drill a month throughout the year.  Our drills consist of fire, severe weather, lock-down and lock-out drills.   The difference between lock-out and lock-down drills: 
    • Lock-out:  this takes place when there is a "threat" outside of the building.  For example: a gas leak, police activity or a wild animal sighting.  This will include all children coming inside and it will be business as normal until all is clear outside the building. 
    • Lock-down: this takes place when there is a "threat" inside the building.  We will announce Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!  Teachers will lock their doors, turn out their lights, and all children will be gathered together away from doors and windows so they cannot be seen. 
  • Teachers will be aware when we practice ANY drill.  They will review rules and procedures ahead of time and prepare the children for all types of drills.  When the actual drill takes place we will clearly state that it is time to practice the "type of" safety drill.  When we practice drills there will be no "reenactments" or "actors" pretending to be bad guys.  Our drills are not intended to scare our children but rather to prepare them for emergencies.  

Other safety procedures we want to remind everyone about are morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up. 

  •        There is NO SUPERVISION on the playground before school---PLEASE do not encourage your children to play on the playground before school.  Walkers, bike riders and car riders can go to either the front door or the "bus loop" door and wait for the bell.  Those doors will be opened at 8:30 for student arrival.

·       Morning Drop-Off:

o   Parents using the drop-off in the morning must drop their child off along the curb.  This area is two lanes wide so that parents can stop along the curb and then pull out into the left lane when exiting.  Students should only exit the car on the passenger side.  Parents using this area should always drive as far forward in the lane as possible before stopping. 

·       Afternoon Pick-Up:

o   When picking students up in this area, parents SHOULD NOT double park NOR leave the car unattended.  Students should, again, only enter the car on the passenger side from the curb.  There is to be NO PARKING in the drop off lane as it is an emergency vehicle access lane.

o   Please remember to pull all the way up in the drop-off zone to pick up your children.  It is a safety concern for our teachers and our students to cut in the line, or to pull in against traffic flow.  We know that the line can sometimes be long but the safety of our children is worth the wait! 

General Safety Rules:

Please remember there are no u-turns on South Bradbury Ranch Drive. This is dangerous for all of our community.

Please have students cross with the crossing guards.

Thank you for helping to keep our PCE students and community  safe and happy!

Carrie Rotherham
Prairie Crossing Elementary



Thursday, September 25, 2014

To be a Prairie Crossing Kid....

Prairie Crossing has always been a special place to work and learn.  From the moment you walk into the front doors you get a sense of belonging, warmth, a true sense of family.  Students and teachers are excited to come to PCE because together we have created a school environment that supports academic, professional and personal growth. Students and staff know -not only will they be challenged each day but they will be supported and encouraged in every way possible.  We work together for a common goal of success, and success looks different for each one of us.  

There is always something new to explore that sparks students’ and teachers’ passion for learning and caring. Many of our teachers are working with their students to provide opportunities through Genius Hour, an individualized, passion driven approach to research and learning.  We provide differentiated learning opportunities that allow students to learn in ways that allow them to be successful. Second through sixth grades are a one to one learning environment with Chrome Books which  allows opportunities to extend learning in a way that relates to our digital natives.  We also provide choice to our students and families to chose full day kindergarten, half day kindergarten or half day kindergarten with extended enrichment days.  Our fabulous BASE program continues to support our students and families before and after school.

Our library media center is being transformed into hub of activities in our school.  Mrs. Kendall has done a wonderful job of updating resources and creating a kid friendly space that our students love to be in!  We have new tables, fun chairs, cozy places to read and work with groups.  New technology is being integrated into the library to enhance students' presentations.  
We encourage our students to look beyond themselves and give to others.  Our students have been involved in supporting charities both in Colorado and in Belize. One of our 3rd Grade students organized a movie night to raise money for  Hunger Free Colorado and  our community also collects school supplies for the Belize Education Project led by Debbie Blair, our technology teacher.  During Fall Break Mrs. Blair and teachers from around the district travel to Belize to deliver the supplies and provide educational support for other teachers.

We also provide a variety of extra curricular opportunities for children before or after school so they can explore other interests.  We offer Band, Orchestra, Battle of the Books, Destination Imagination, Sticky Fingers Cooking Club, Yearbook, Green Team, and Student Council to name a few. Each of these providing a unique path to learning.

PCE's mission statement is:

  ~Inspired by our belief that each child is a unique treasure, we challenge students to develop socially, creatively, and intellectually - empowering them to realize their fullest potential~

This mission comes to life every day by building relationships with our students, our families and our entire PCE community.  Together we empower our students to develop in a way that addresses the whole child. The saying used to be that it takes a village to raise a child, but at Prairie Crossing it takes our neighborhood community to educate and care for our students--PCE is home away from home for our students and we work together to make sure our children are healthy, happy and safe!

The staff of PCE is so proud of our students, their smiles, love and passion breathe life into our building and make it the special place that has become Prairie Crossing. 

I personally cannot think of a better place to be every day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Year Already in Motion

Hello parents!

The first four weeks definitely have flown by!  We are all so excited to have the students back in classes.
Our community has grown and we would like to welcome all of our new families!  Our students and teachers have been working hard to get to know each other, build community and establish relationships.
Happy kids coming to PCE every day!

Building Community in our classrooms,

in our library,

in specials,
on the playground!

Its great to be part of the PCE family!

I am so proud to be able to call PCE my home!

Carrie Rotherham
PCE Principal

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer is here!

PCE Parents and Students,

I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer break!  It feels odd not going into the building and being part of the daily excitement that the kids bring everyday!
I want to thank everyone for all the kind words and honest feedback on the school year.  This has been a wonderful year!  I especially value the personal connections I have made with so many students, teachers and parents of the community.   Prairie Crossing is definitely a great place to live, learn, and thrive!
As you know there have been many additions to our staff for next year.  I am excited to have so many talented teachers join our staff.  We will send out more specific information about new teachers with class lists that should be officially released by mid-July.  I appreciate your patience on this matter.
In addition to adding new teachers, we are also looking to add a few more great parents to our SAC (School Accountability Committee).  I thank all the parents that answered our call to be a member of this important group.  According to the SAC bylaws, all members must be voted in by the community.  Therefore I have included a link with a little information about each person that is interested serving on the committee.  This link will be open until Friday June 27th at 4:00.  I appreciate you taking the time to vote. Please follow this link to cast your vote.

Enjoy your summer!

Carrie Rotherham
PCE Principal

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The end of the year already??

Dear PCE families,

It seems unreal that this school year is coming to a close in just a few weeks!  This second half of the year has gone by in the blink of an eye!

I want to update you on some of the things that are happening now and moving into next year.  As this year comes to a close, you will notice that we have quite a bit of movement in our school and in our classrooms.  We are fortunate to be able to ADD four new classrooms and teachers to our building next year.  This has been made possible in part, by opening a full day kindergarten classroom and the growth of our community.  In addition to these four teachers, we also have some teachers and staff members that have chosen to take advantage of other opportunities.  With all of this change and movement, I feel it would not be prudent to participate in the tradition of "meet the teacher" at the end of the year.  I would like ALL children to be able to benefit from this tradition and at this time I am not sure we will have our entire staff hired, assigned and present by the last day of school.

Prairie Crossing is growing!  We are already planning to begin our year with more students than we currently have.  With this said, it is very important for me to maintain a balance of class sizes.  As we continue to enroll children throughout the summer there is always a possibility of needing to open another section of a grade.  If this does happen, that particular grade level will be completely re-shifted into balanced class rooms, therefore some children will be moved from the originally created classes.   I feel that it is not beneficial to announce classes now and then have a change come in the middle of the summer. 

This year several factors will contribute to the possibility of change during the summer,-- new classrooms being opened, teacher turnover, and neighborhood growth.  For these reasons I have made the decision not to announce classes until the week before school opens.  Each parent will be notified by email when parent portal has been updated and each parent will be asked to sign up for a "Get to know you" Conference that will be held with you, your child and their teacher on August 11th or 12th. 

This year we will also have a yearbook signing party for the children on June 3rd during specials.  This will allow children to meet with kids from the entire grade level to have their special memories captured.  If a child has not purchased a yearbook they are welcome to bring an autograph book of their own or we will have some on hand so everyone will be able to join in the fun!

I  want to thank the community of PCE for their support and generosity during our Hardware Hustle Fundraiser.   Together we raised over $25,000 dollars to help us achieve purchasing enough Chrome Books to make grades 2nd  through 6th a one-to one environment!  What an accomplishment!!  Don't think we have left first and kindergarten out though.  We will continue to have Macbooks and IPads  available for them to use to enhance their learning experience also!  I would like to thank our technology teacher, Debbie Blair and all our classroom teachers for all the hard work they have put in to authentically integrating technology in our students learning environment!

This has been a wonderful year!  Dr. Malouff and I love being part of the PCE family and look forward to continuing a great relationship with our community!


Carrie Rotherham
Prairie Crossing Elementary

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy New Year!

What a wonderful start to a brand new year at PCE!

It was so wonderful to see so many smiling faces coming through the doors this past week!  The excitement and love for learning was evident on both the students' and teachers' faces!

Hiring Process:

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the new Principal hiring process at PCE.  This Wednesday (January 15th, 6:30 pm) at our PCEA/SAC meeting, Patty Hanrahan, Director of Schools for the Parker area, will be in attendance to gather information about what the PCE community would like to see in their next Principal.  This is the first step in the process that will continue over the next few months. 

After Patty collects information from the community, she will also spend time talking with the staff.  Once enough information has been collected an interview team will be created from various stakeholders in the building and within the community.  The district will narrow down qualified candidates and then bring these to the school level interview to decide the best fit for Prairie Crossing.  It is a long process but one that is well worth it for our children.

I encourage you to come to the meeting and express your concerns, opinions and hopes for the future of Prairie Crossing.  Your participation and feedback is a significant factor in this decision and would be greatly appreciated.

Library Re-design:

We completed stage one of our library re-design!  Over break, our library bookcases were all put on casters to make them mobile.  This has given us the opportunity to create smaller, more flexible learning spaces in our Library Media Center.  Stage two entails updating furniture and creating kid- friendly areas where students can come to create and collaborate on classroom projects.  Stage three involves looking into different technology pieces that would benefit our students the most.

14-15 Enrollment:

We are currently accepting Kindergarten enrollment for next year.  If you have any friends or family members that would have children eligible for PCE Kindergarten, please remind them to come in to the front office.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday night!  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Carrie Rotherham
Interim Principal
Prairie Crossing Elementary.