September: What’s Happening at Brown International?

Posted September 1, 2020

2 students posing outside wearing masks

Newsletter for September, 2020

Principal Sue Williams headshot

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! My name is Sue Williams, and I am the proud Principal of Brown International. This will be my 4th year as the Principal. I started many years ago as an ECE teacher on the Island of Kauai and eventually moved into the elementary grades, teaching 2nd through 5th. I spent 6 years at Bradley International in Southeast Denver as a 4th grade teacher, 5 years as the Assistant Principal, and then moved to Brown International to complete my Learn to Lead Principal Internship. I truly feel blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of educators and individuals. Considering all the obstacles we are facing, as well as the unknown challenges of the school year ahead, we continue to grow as a team and rise to the complexities of remote learning. As always, please contact me via email if you have any questions, comments, or celebrations!

Yours in Partnership,
Sue Williams, Principal

Assistant Principal Amy Hegwood headshot

Hello and Welcome Back. I have really missed you all! My name is Amy Hegwood and I am the Assistant Principal at Brown International. This is my 16th year in education, and my 9th year at Brown. I started as a 3rd grade teacher, moved into a Senior Team Lead/Interventionist Role, and finally became the AP three years ago. As you can tell, I LOVE BROWN INTERNATIONAL, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be working. The staff, students, and families makes the school what it is – a truly amazing community! Although this year has started off unlike any other year, we have spent the summer preparing for a successful year. Even though we know that we can’t “be” together in-person just yet, our teachers are ready and well prepared to engage and teach your children virtually! Please, always feel free to reach out:

Important Dates

  • September 7th – Labor Day, No School!
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8th at 5:30 p.m. – ECE Virtual Back to School Night
  • Thursday, September 10th: 6 p.m. – PTA meeting 
  • September 14th – ECE back to school in-person
  • September 24th to October 8th – Student Count Days: VERY IMPORTANT to make sure your child attends school (in-person or virtual) on these days!
  • October 21st – This is the proposed start date for DPS’ In-Person learning.  If this changes, we will make sure to notify you ASAP.

Important News

  • If your child is still in need of a Chromebook, please contact the classroom teacher.
  • Discovery Link still has spots open for Remote Learning Support, 8 a.m. to noon. If you are interested, register your child.
  • Always remember to check out our Facebook Page
  • Parent Square is how you will get school-wide communication from your teacher and the school. Once you register your child, there is a two day delay until it loads you to Parent Square. Please check your email (even your spam folder) you should receive an email for Parent Square. Keep your eyes out for that email!
  • Virtual Toolkit – FULL of information. Please take a minute to check it out and bookmark it on your computer.
  • Grade level Town Halls will be tentatively scheduled for the week of September 21st, to discuss new information on our return to in-person learning. More information on this to come!

Tips on How to Make Remote Learning Successful FOR ALL (These are from your teachers at Brown):

  • Please make sure you are reviewing feedback from teachers in Seesaw.
  • Please remember, when supporting your child at home, it’s important for them to show what they know and do their own work. Please don’t do the work for them and remember, it’s okay for them to struggle. Always reach out to teachers during office hours for extra help.
  • We understand that your child might need some extra short breaks throughout the morning. If so, feel free to have them take a quick break (preferably NOT during whole group instruction).
  • Having a camera and microphone in our homes is new to all of us. Remember what we say is heard by our children and we want to limit exposure to foul language or inappropriate content. What is happening in your space is being broadcast to everyone in the google meets. Please find a consistent spot in your home where your child will be working and have it be the “quiet zone”.

Message from our School Psychologist and Social Worker

 We hope your remote learning adventure is off to a great start. Your child’s teacher will be supporting him or her with social emotional learning activities. In addition, your school psychologist, Ms. Kishel, and school social worker, Ms. Tiffany, are available for questions and check-ins. We are available weekly from 2 to 3 p.m., on Tuesdays (Ms. Kishel) and Thursdays (Ms. Tiffany), during our office hours. If interested, please schedule an appointment by clicking on “Sign-Up Here” next to our names. At your appointment time, please follow the link “Click Here to Join Meeting” below to connect with us.

We have created a Virtual Toolkit as a place for students, families and staff to explore strategies, resources and activities to help manage emotions and feelings during this pandemic. Wishing you a great start to the school year! 

Social and Emotional Screening for Your Child

At Denver Public Schools, we are committed to equitable and inclusive environments where we ensure students are healthy, supported, engaged, challenged, safe, and socially and emotionally intelligent. In order to create a learning environment that is equitable, supportive and welcoming, we will incorporate social and emotional screening for our students during the school year. We are providing this option for all families at Brown from preschool through 5th grade. The purpose of screening all students is to provide a proactive approach to student needs. Data from the screening areas is used to drive decisions and provide students with equal access to interventions and supports. Data from the screener is shared with Shannon Kishel, School Psychologist, and Tiffany Casares, School Social Worker, so we can collaborate with school teams on meeting the needs of your child.

The social and emotional screener used throughout Denver Public Schools is an online tool that takes approximately ten minutes to complete and consists of 28 questions. Parents can complete the screener in English or in Spanish. A link will be sent via Parent Square for you to use to access the screener. If you are not on Parent Square and wish to complete it, please contact Shannon Kishel

IB PYP logo

All About IB

IB Coordinator Melissa Capozza headshot

Hello Families,

My name is Melissa Capozza. I am the IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program) coordinator at Brown. I support teachers with implementing the program at Brown. I also work closely with the 5th grade as an interventionist. I have been at Brown for 10 years and part of the IB PYP since 1998. I am passionate about how the PYP provides opportunities to learn about the world as well as to take action through the units of inquiry. Feel free to email me at

Creating a safe, inclusive community both in the building and online are cornerstones to a PYP (Primary Years Program) classroom. In the digital classroom, teachers have been very creative with ways for students to share who they are and what is important to them. Teachers strive to create a classroom where students have agency, which means student voices are heard and students have ownership over their learning. The digital classroom, more than ever, provides opportunities for students to take a more active role in making choices about their remote learning environment and in noticing when they need help and need to ask questions. While this situation is not ideal, there are opportunities upon which can be capitalized.

Part of social-emotional learning at Brown includes developing the traits of the IB Learner Profile.

Students and teachers explore these traits within their morning meets and daily lessons. The IB Learner Profile represents the IB mission in action. Watch this introductory video to the Learner Profile.

IBO Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. 
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Nurse Kristina Polizzotto headshot

Hi, my name is Kristina Polizzotto. I am a Registered Nurse and a Nationally Certified School Nurse. I am glad to be back at Brown again this year. I’m looking forward to meeting all of our new students and seeing all of our returning students too. If you would like to connect with me you may reach me by email at or 

DPS has some great resources for our students. Please click the link to learn more about the care your student can receive at our School Based Health Centers.

We also have an amazing Medicaid Coordinator! 

DPS Medicaid Department can help you and your children get free or low-cost health insurance and/or SNAP food assistance! Additionally, we can help with your application renewal and troubleshoot your case.

Applications will be conducted via telephone and finalized with a quick appointment to acquire a signature, and documentation.

Contact Candy Velez 720-775-8075.


If a family of 4 earns less than $63,960, their children may qualify for CHP Plus?

A family of 4 making less than $32,720 may qualify for Medicaid for the entire family!

El Departamento de MEDICAID de las Escuelas Públicas de Denver puede ayudarle a usted y a su familia a aplicar por un seguro médico gratis o de bajo costo al igual para los beneficios de SNAP – Asistencia para Alimentos! Asimismo podemos ayudarle con la renovación de su aplicación y con preguntas o problemas que pueda tener con su caso.

Las aplicaciones se harán por vía telefónica y se finalizarán con una cita breve para obtener la firma y documentos.

Llama a Candy Velez 720-775-8075.

Sabe Usted que…

Si una familia de 4 integrantes gana menos de $63,960, los niños pueden calificar para CHP Plus?

Una familia de 4 integrantes que gana menos de $32,720 puede calificar para Medicaid para toda la familia!!

PTA News

The first Brown International Academy Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting of the year will take place Thursday, September 10, 2020, at 6 p.m. We’ll be gathering on zoom and all are both welcome and encouraged to attend. We’d love to see you there.

You can view the event and find log-in information on the website’s google calendar.

PTA Banner Sign, "There is no wrong way to PTA"

Meet our Staff

Sue Williams, PrincipalAmy Hegwood, Assistant Principal
Beth Gershman – ECEKristen Messer – 2ndEric Hines – 5thRobin Mackin – Speech
Carrie Nelson – ECEJulie Weathers – 2ndKirsten Myers-Blake – 5thTiffany Casares – Soc.Worker
Anna Archuleta -ECEMatt Fisher – 3rdMeghan Wannamaker – 5thShannon Kishel – Psy.
Veronica Trujillo – ECESara Jackson – 3rdShelley Cooper – ESLSarah Aragon – Spanish
Tara Hammond – KCarrie Maxfield – 3rdWendy Edwards – ESLJesse Bott – Art
Laura Lasswell – KCharlotte Orbach – 3rdMarissa Delhotal – ANBen Herman – Music/Drama
Heidi Stark -KAlicia Polston – 3rdKim Alire – ANGeorge Petro – PE
Erika Suckow – KSarah Bernauer – 4thGeorgia Alire – ANMichelle Townley – Tech
Jenny Ardourel – 1stKathleen Gormley – 4thTina Daily – ANMario Hernandez -Facilities Manager
Kelsey Meyering – 1stAmanda Jaquette – 4thTrish Sanchez – ANHayden Stevens – Facilities
Adrienne Oliver – 1stDiane Santorico – 4thRachel Chapell – GTSheryl Frausto – Office
Evy Pappas – 1stJessica Studley – 4thLenna Deane – SPEDSheri Niko – Office
Anna Beck – 2ndMelodee Brinster – 5thMeegan Epps – SPEDKristina Polizzoto – Nurse
Rachel Garibaldi – 2ndMelissa Capozza – 5th/IBLisa Hennessy – SPED