2019-2020 Back to School Letter

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Our 2019-2020 Back to School letter:

Hi there, first and second grade families!

It may be hard to believe, but the start of our next school year is less than a month away.  We are excited to see you all, and we hope that you’ve been enjoying your summer as much as we have.

We are thrilled to welcome Bo Welden and Susan Benner to the 1-2 teaching team! Bo grew up in the valley, and he most recently comes to us from the Teton Science School in Jackson, WY. Susan has been teaching and supporting kids in the Roaring Fork Valley for years. How lucky are we to have such a strong and joyous team?!

Here are some of our favorite summer snippets:

Susan has been running, hiking, reading, writing, and hanging out with friends and family in the valley this summer. One last big summer trip to her parents’ cabin in Wisconsin will bring opportunities to swim, waterski, kayak, canoe, listen to the loons, watch the stars come out, and enjoy some more family time.

Bo has been soaking up his days up in Teton county with stand up paddle boarding, trail running and mountain biking. 

As soon as school got out in June, Kristina ran away to the North Cascades in WA to climb and ski Mt. Baker… and didn’t really stop moving from there. Skiing, reading, hiking, climbing, laughing, picnicking, and yogaing in the Roaring Fork Valley, learning even more incredible literacy tools and approaches through conferences in NYC (back to the Teachers College at Columbia University!) and NC, and sneaking in an end-of-season trip back home to VT made for a phenomenal summer.

To our returning second graders, we’ve enjoyed the glimpses into your summer adventures that you’ve shared with us in your letters. To our new first graders, we can’t wait to hear all about your summer adventures!

This upcoming school year will begin with a chance for each student to meet individually with us. We’ll talk about reading, math, and hopes for the year. Please contact Cindy to schedule a time for your child to come in and see us. Our assessment dates are Wednesday, August 21st – Friday, August 23rd. Your child’s time slot will be 60 minutes, so be sure to bring a book or your coffee – you can stroll around the mesa (maybe enjoy the fresh air and ambiance up below the swings at the newly installed Chris’ Place?!) while we meet with your kiddo!

When your child comes in for his or her meeting, please bring the following few items to school:

  • For kids:
    • 3-5 photos, yes, just photos, to remind yourself of people, places, and adventures you’ve loved that can serve as inspiration for future writing pieces. 
    • Your Summer Reading/Writing/Math Notebooks!!!
  • For parents:
    • A letter to us!  We’re asking parents to take a few minutes to write to us about your child.  Think of things that might be important for us to know as well as your hopes and expectations for the coming year.  As our team works to create friendly schedules, a joyful classroom environment, and engaging learning experiences both in and outside the classroom, we’d like to keep your child’s special interests and talents in mind.
    • All start-of-year paperwork for Cindy


For your future planning needs, here is a short list of 1-2 classroom supplies for your child to bring on the first day of school (August 27th):

  • Communal supplies:
    • One small personal pencil sharpener
    • One package of small stickers
    • One package of 3″x3″ square post-it notes
    • One container of disinfecting wipes (we will make another call for wipes in January)
    • One spool of yarn
  • Personal supplies:
    • One pair of cozy inside shoes/slippers to stay at school
    • One un-ruled (blank) 8.5 x 11 inch notebook

    • One 12 pack of colored pencils- nothing too fancy!
    • One small pencil pouch
    • One small (8-12 oz.) water bottle – labeled with name
    • One pair of earbuds or headphones


Once school begins, children will need to bring a snack and a lunch to school every day.  We do not have an available microwave to use, so if your child enjoys hot food at lunch, please consider warming it up at home and sending it to school in an insulated thermos.  We encourage healthy and fresh food in order to best prepare your child for their school day.

In the interest of making your fall calendar planning more streamlined, here are some important upcoming dates for our class and for ACS:

  • Tuesday, August 27th: First day back to school for the K-6
  • Monday, September 2nd: No school, Labor Day
  • Wednesday, September 4th: Our K-6 book fair to celebrate both summer reading and completion of the summer notebooks
  • Wednesday, September 11th: K-8 Back to School night. The K-4 portion of the evening will take place from 5pm until 6pm.
  • Thursday, September 26th: ACS BBQ
  • Friday, September 27th: No school, Teacher Workday

Enjoy the rest of your summer.  We can’t wait to see your children’s huge smiles back in school!

Much love,

Kristina, Bo, and Susan