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PHExpress 11.1.2019



Dear PHE Community,

Happy November!!!  I would normally refer to the fall chill in the air, but we’ve moved way past that, and we’re in to our January freeze.  It’s also been a very strange week of school, late starts, early releases, and a snow day! Top that off with Halloween, and it’s been a dream week for our students.  

Despite the crazy schedule, the work goes on here at Prairie Hills.  We begin in earnest our work on the School Improvement planning with our dedicated School Accountability Committee.  The work this year will be crafting a 3-5 year strategic plan that we will roll out to all of you after the first of the year.  

We are also starting our work in developing school-wide common playground rules, expectations, and boundaries.  These efforts are so important because we want our classroom teachers, lunchroom monitors, and our BASE staff to all abide by the same set of playground norms.  It is a huge benefit for students as they interact with different school personnel, that they see the rules and the language for the playground rules and expectations are consistent throughout the school. 

We’ve also had some personnel changes in first grade.  We have hired a paraprofessional to help support our first grade classrooms.  The para’s work will be primarily with our students during reading time, and she will also have time built in to the work week to support the needs of the classroom teachers.  I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Sandy Mather to our staff. In addition, Mrs. Stark has taken a leave, and has been replaced by a member of our very own community. I’ll hope you’ll join me in welcoming Mrs. Kisha Babcock as our long term substitute.  Mrs. Babcock taught at Eagleview for a number of years, and has spent many years volunteering at our school. We are delighted she is here to help support our students, and we’re thrilled that she comes with so much experience and knowledge about our school, as well as classroom instruction.

Just wanted to end my note for the week in a word of thanks.  Thank you for your continued support of our school through Trunk or Treat.  I know this is a beloved tradition at our school, and we all appreciate the candy donations, and support in providing a safe and festive environment for our students.  In addition, thanks to all who worked to support our very Hogwarts Halloween sponsored by our fourth grade, it was awesome!. And finally, thanks for your patience, understanding and support of our crazy schedule this past week.  Our district has the interest of all students in mind when they make decisions concerning the weather. We know it may be an inconvenience for you working parents, but please know we appreciate your support during these rare occasions.  

Safety Announcements

*Reminder:  We allow students in the building at 7:25 when the temperature reaches 20 degrees or lower, or when there is wind, snow, or rain that may pose a risk for our students.  

Also, please make sure your student is wearing clothing that is appropriate for the weather.  If possible, we want to be able to send students outdoors for recess, weather permitting, but we want to ensure they have outerwear that is appropriate for the weather!

PTO Calendar Events

*****Thursday, November 7th at 2:30pm  Fundraiser Order Pick-Up

Thank you for your support of the Fall Fundraiser!  

Please plan accordingly for pick-up -- as PTO DOES NOT have a place to store frozen items.

*****Tuesday, December 3rd 6:30-8pm. Pictures with Santa

Important Upcoming Dates

11/11:  No School: Veterans Day

11/20: 4th & 5th Grade Choir

11/25-11/29:  No School: Thanksgiving Break

Mark your calendars:  Coffee with the Principal- December 13-7:30 a.m.

District Information

 District outlines deadlines for 2020-2021 Choice process

Submit application by January 31st deadline for priority consideration

Last year, Adams 12 Five Star Schools received more than 4,500 Choice applications for the 2019-2020 school year. In accordance with the state’s open enrollment law, the district’s Choice program allows for students to apply to attend schools outside of their attendance area boundary. 

Both in-district and out-of-district students can apply for Choice. Out-of-district Choice requests are considered after in-district requests.  Acceptance to a Choice school is based on several criteria: availability of space, sufficient teaching staff, appropriate programs and the necessary facilities for special needs students.  

Adams 12 Five Star Schools will publicize the schools open to Choice for the 2020-21 school year on December 1, 2019.  The Choice application and list of open schools are available online at For families without computer access, a computer kiosk is available at all schools and at the Educational Support Center located at 1500 E. 128th Avenue in Thornton. 

The deadline for priority consideration is January 31, 2020 and is not first-come, first-served.  If the number of requests exceeds the spaces available in a given school, the district will hold a lottery. Parents and students submitting an application for priority consideration will be notified of the results of their application no later than the third week of February. 

The second deadline to submit a Choice application for the 2020-2021 school year is March 30, 2020. As with the first round, if the number of requests exceeds the spaces available in a given school, the district will hold a lottery.  Notification of approval or denial will be made no later than the third week of April. 

In addition to the two deadlines above, in some years a third round of Choice may be held in August and September if space is available. Schools open to the third round of Choice will be posted online at by August 3, 2020. 

While not a guarantee, when possible, priority will be given to sibling applications so that families will attend the same school. The district encourages siblings to apply in the priority consideration round (1st round) as there are no guarantees that siblings who apply in the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be approved. Families with children already attending schools that are not open to Choice are eligible to submit an application for their existing student to remain at the school or for younger siblings to attend the school with their older siblings. 

The duration of a Choice placement is valid for all grades served by the school. For example, if a student attends a Choice elementary school, the approval is valid to the end of fifth grade, as long as there are no significant changes in that school’s enrollment or facilities. When a student transitions from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school, they must reapply for Choice. If they don’t, the student’s placement automatically reverts to their boundary school.  

Students who receive approval of their Choice application and attend schools outside their assigned attendance area are responsible for their own transportation to and from the school.  Participation in the district's Choice program will affect a student's right to transportation afforded under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Families eligible for homeless assistance services should consult with the Student and Family Outreach Program before choosing to participate in the Choice program by calling 720-972-6015.  

Secondary programs 

Admissions to high school programs with specialized admissions criteria like Horizon SOAR, Legacy 2000, Mountain Range High School of Business, Northglenn High STEM and EC@N-STEM Programs and Thornton High International Baccalaureate (IB) are managed directly by each school.   In-district and out-of-district students wishing to attend high school programs with specialized admissions criteria must apply directly with the school’s program and do not need to apply with the Choice Program.

To learn more about Choice and find answers to frequently asked questions, visit the district website at  The Five Star District Planning and Admissions Department determines the acceptance of Choice requests and can be contacted via email at or by phone at (720) 972-4055.