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Posted August 6, 2021
Dear Brown International Community,
I hope everyone is enjoying these last few weeks of summer, taking in the special moments with family, and enjoying all kinds of adventures. I always love hearing what risk-takers students have been when they return from summer break!
I have spent the past week with Brown International’s incredible Instructional Leadership Team, and we are feeling inspired and excited to begin the school year. Our theme for the year is “Bringing Joy and IB back to life at Brown.” We did a staff read of The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams this summer to help us be thoughtful about authentic ways to find joy through authentic human connection, and we’ll use that learning to plan our daily morning meetings. A few members of our ILT also did a shared IB training this summer called “Building for the Future,” so we are feeling ready to tackle our theme in all ways.
As you and your family start gearing up for the school year, definitely keep your students’ stamina for a full day at school in mind. I know I am feeling the days at work feeling much longer and intense now that we are fully in person, and every Brown International returning student is going to have a much longer day this year than they did last! It may be a good time to start slowly transitioning to an earlier bedtime, practicing “lunch” for our little ones with making sure they can open their lunch boxes or snack bags, and getting back into a bathing routine. (Or is that just my gross children who start avoiding showering in the summer?!)
Starting this week, you’ll be getting this newsletter from me every Tuesday. It will be the source for the majority of your information from the school and the PTA, unless an important reminder or emergency comes up. If you have an announcement to add to this email (school or PTA related,) please email it to me before Monday afternoon to be included in the Tuesday communication. Title your email “For the School Scoop.”
For now, this email will come both to your personal email and to Parent Square. Apologies for the double communication, but we will use both until our new families are fully signed up in Parent Square. After early September, messages will start being posted only in Parent Square. For families new to Brown, keep an eye open for how to sign up for that program.
Please see below for lots of important information! And reach out to me at Jennifer_Woolf@dpsk12.org if you have any questions.
Brown International Academy
August 19th – Back to School Night – virtual, more information coming
August 23rd – First Day of School
August 23rd and 24th – HALF DAYS for ECE and Kinder, ending at noon, afternoon assessments – no lunch provided
September 6th – Labor Day
September 9th – CSC and PTA Meetings
September 10th – Brown International Movie Night
Registration is Open
A reminder that online registration is open for all families. Please go to myportal.dpsk12.org to register your students. All families must do registration every year.
We will also be hosting in-person registration tomorrow, August 4th from 7 – 3:30 and Thursday, August 5th from 10 – 6 in front of the school.
If you come in person to register your student, please bring the following documents: Immunization records, Birth Certificate and proof of residence (Xcel Bill, Denver Water, Mortgage Statement or lease.)
Your student’s homeroom will be visible to you in parent portal starting on August 16th. Due to quite a few students enrolling during the second choice window, we have not finalized class placements, and it’s better for families and teachers if we hold off sharing until we make sure any changes are highly unlikely. The week of the 16th, however, you will hear directly from your student’s teacher.
Morning Drop Off and Bell Times
There will be supervision on the playground every day starting at 8:45 am. The first bell will be at 9:00 and the second (tardy bell) at 9:05. Our school day ends at 4:05.
The Brown International school calendar varies slightly from the district calendar in order to provide our teachers additional planning days. Being an IB school means a larger lift on teachers as they are planning their amazing Units of Inquiry, and these extra days help them analyze data, find resources, and write excellent curriculum. All students still far exceed the number of required instructional minutes with these changes.
Please find the revised calendar here to help you plan your child care and travel needs. One request of families who do travel during the school year is to keep your days off to a minimum. Our goal is 95% attendance for all students, which means only 9 missed days per year. While travel is its own unique type of learning, anything more can truly interrupt a student’s educational experience. It is similarly hard on teachers to plan effective instruction when large numbers of students are out on the day before or after a vacation.
In order to keep students as healthy as possible, we are going to eat our meals outside. Other than precipitation or frigid temperatures, we will spend our lunch periods fully outside. We are excited to embed this practice, as we’ve found it feels like an even longer lunch break when the whole time is outdoors!
While DPS will be providing free lunch and breakfast to all students this year, we do require every family fill out the free and reduced lunch application found here. The application is a key part of our school funding, and not having 100% participation can negatively impact the federal dollars we receive.
As of today, here is where we stand on how we will help ensure the health and safety of our community.
Parents in Building
Right now, DPS is limiting parent access to buildings to the front office for at least the first 30- 60 days of the school year. You will be able to come to the main office for certain circumstances, but school tours are not available at this time.
Work for Brown International
Brown International is hiring for a few positions! We have a full time paraprofessional position that will serve our AN classroom, a part time Kindergarten para position, and a part time Library/Parent Outreach position. We are also always looking for guest teachers! We love having parents work in our school, so if you’re interested in one of these positions, please reach out to Jen. Or, if you know anyone outside of our community who would be great, please send them our way.
All of these playdates are on the Brown International playground. With new updates, masks are no longer required when outside.
August 7th – 4th grade, 9 – 11 am
August 14th – 5th grade, 9 – 11 am
August 15th – Kindergarten, 9 – 11 am
DPS is providing chrome books for all DPS students by December. Distribution will start with our 4th and 5th grade students and roll down to our youngest learners. It is important we still have devices ready in the event of a class or personal quarantine. We will be in touch regarding returning last year’s chrome books.
Please reach out to us when you have questions!
Jen Woolf – Principal – Jennifer_Woolf@dpsk12.org
Jaquita Hurst – Assistant Principal – Jaquita_Hurst@dpsk12.org
Sheryl Fausto – Secretary – Sheryl_Fausto@dpsk12.org
Sheri Niko – Secretary – Sheri_Niko@dpsk12.org
Dan Gould – PTA President – firstname.lastname@example.org