Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We are getting in the groove again!

PCE Parents,

      The school year is in full swing!   We have been so busy and SO much is going on at PCE!

      Our Back to School Night was such a fun evening.  It was so great to see how excited all the kids were to show off their classrooms and work they have done so far.  We saw many happy faces filling the building!  Our Parent Organization (PCEA) did a fabulous job of bringing in community resources, such as Mauna Sona Shaved Ice and Going South food trucks to provide some treats for everyone.  We also had clubs and resources gathered in the gym for the convenience of parents.  We hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did!

Our annual Hardware Hustle Fun Run was Friday, September 8th.  The kids came out ready to show their spirit and excited to raise some money for PCE.  Each year we dedicate part of our fundraising money to maintain and update our extensive technology program.  We are also planning to spend part of the money on upgrading our playground, providing some more choice for our students.
Please remember that all donations are due this Friday September 15th.

We have also had lots going on in the area of safety and students being aware of their surroundings.  We have been very fortunate to have students that have spoken up and reacted well when they feel like something was not right.  It is very important that we continue to encourage our kids to notify an adult if they feel something is unsafe.

I would like to remind our parents to also be aware and follow through with the safety procedures we have in place in various areas throughout the school.

Our EAs monitor the crosswalks in the morning and afternoon, please help support them in their jobs by heeding to their direction and following general safety rules on the roadways.  This is for the safety of everyone around, our students, our staff and our community.

Kiss and Go Lane:
Please be sure to pull all the way to the end of the lane before stopping to allow as many cars as possible to be able to load their students.  We are asking that you do not park or get out of your cars while you are in the Kiss and Go lane.  If your student still needs assistance with a carseat or seat belt that requires you to step out the car please park in the parking lot and assist your child.  Again this is a safety concern and we are looking out for the entire community.

Visiting Classrooms/ Volunteering:
All parents that enter the building must sign in and have a visitor's tag on to be in the building. Please stop at the front office to receive a tag and sign in.

Early Dismissals:
When checking your students out for the day please come to the office prepared to show a picture ID. We only allow students to leave with Emergency Contacts that parents have designated in Infinite Campus.  Our office staff works very hard to make personal connections with our families and recognize each of you, but there are times that we will need this verification for safety.

Safety Precautions:

This week we were able to participate in a lightning dismissal.  As a district we use the app Weather Bug to monitor weather and lightning in the area.  When lightning is within 5 miles we will call a lightning dismissal for the safety of our children.  During this time we will ask you to come into the building to pick your child up.  If at anytime the weather is so severe you do not feel it is safe to come in, we will hold your children until it is safe.

We are working to give as much notification as possible to allow parents time to get here.  On Wednesday, weather was moving into the area so we worked to get kids loaded and prepared only to see the weather clear twenty minutes later.  The app is not a perfect science but I would still rather air on the side of caution for our students' safety! So THANK YOU to all of our parents for helping us keep our kiddos safe.

We also experienced a lock-out situation for a reported suspicious activity near our playground. Again for the safety of our children we made sure that everyone was inside so law enforcement and district security could secure the area and ensure us that our students were not in any danger.  It only took us about 15 minutes but it was time well spent to make sure all was OK.

For future reference, we run four safety drills according to our Standard Response Protocol or SRP.
They are:
  • Lockout is followed by the Directive: "Secure the Perimeter" and is the protocol used to safeguard students and staff within the building.
  • Lockdown is followed by "Locks, Lights, Out of Sight" and is the protocol used to secure individual rooms and keep students quiet and in place.
  • Evacuate (Fire Drill )is always followed by a location, and is used to move students and staff from one location to a different location in or out of the building.
  • Shelter in Place is always followed by a type and a method and is the protocol for group and self protection.


The differentiation between Lockout and Lockdown is a critical element in SRP. A Lockout recovers all students from outside the building, secures the building perimeter and locks all outside doors. This would be implemented when there is a threat or hazard outside of the building. Criminal activity, dangerous events in the community, or even a vicious dog on the playground would be examples of a Lockout response. While the Lockout response encourages greater staff situational awareness, it allows for educational practices to continue with little classroom interruption or distraction.
Lockdown is a classroom-based protocol that requires locking the classroom door, turning off the lights and placing students out of sight of any corridor windows. Student action during Lockdown is to remain quiet. It does not mandate locking outside doors. There are several reasons for not locking perimeter doors during a Lockdown. Risk is increased to students or staff in exposed areas attempting to lock outside doors. Locking outside doors inhibits entry of first responders and increases risk as responders attempt to breach doors.

You may use the link above to access more information about our SRP.  You may also contact me if you ever have any questions

In addition to our safety drills and protocols we are working to be proactive about of students' emotional safety.  You may have heard your students talk about their Health and Wellness class and new teacher Amber Steffan.  Last year we noticed that many of our "discipline" concerns really stemmed from students having difficulty interacting with each other socially.  Many concerns took place on the playground and when we worked through issues with students, we began to realize that there were many misunderstandings taking place between students.  This year we started the health and wellness class to address some of these skills.  Topics such as PRIDE and what that truly means will be a consistent thread throughout the class, as well as, relationships with self and others.  We would like to give our students the strategies and skills to be a good friend, stand up against bullying, and to believe in themselves even when they are faced with a challenge. We want our students to truly understand what is means to have a Positive Attitude, to be Respectful, to show Integrity, to show Determination and to show Effort throughout each day.  These skills are just as important as academics for our children's futures.

But of course, we have not forgotten about our academics!  We have received our preliminary results for standardized testing last year which shows not only do we have high achieving students, they are also showing tremendous growth!  If you are interested in learning more about our school scores please join us at our first SAC meeting on Tuesday September 26th in the PCE Library @ 5:30.

I am so excited to be a part of the Prairie Crossing Community because of how well we take care of each other.  We do have many new families that have joined our PCE Family and I am very proud to be able to tell them how wonderful our students, staff and parents are at PCE!  It has been a pleasure to see familiar faces and meet new students the past few weeks because our kids are just so happy to be here!  Those smiling, eager faces are truly what makes my job worth it each day!


Carrie Rotherham
PCE Principal

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