Diana Price, Principal
  • April 12, 2021

    Dear Families,

    We know we are in spring now because it is CMAS testing time!  Regardless of our personal beliefs about testing, we will be testing 3rd and 5th graders on April 13, 14, 15 in the area of English Language Arts, and 4th graders on April 20, 21, 22 in the area of math.  There have been several communications that have gone out regarding opting out of the above required tests.  If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cara Scheerer, our testing coordinator: cscheerer@cherrycreekschools.org, or me at dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org.  Please note that we are having school on all of the testing days outside of the testing time which ranges from 65-90 minutes.  

    It’s becoming an exciting time for us as we start our wrap up for this school year and start looking forward to next year!  We have hired a PE teacher for the retiring Doug Heacox.  While we are not excited about him leaving, we hired a young man who student taught for a few weeks under Mr. Heacox last year.  His name is Seth Bogulski and he made some immediate connections with our students and staff in his few weeks here.  He will continue to provide our Willow Creek students a fun and educational experience in PE just as Mr. Heacox has.

    For third grade the hiring committee selected Todd Inhelder.  He is currently a teacher at Highline Elementary and will bring new ideas and different perspectives to our school.  The 3rd grade team is over the moon excited about him, and he is super excited to join the Willow Creek family!

    Don’t forget: if you would like to join PASS on Monday, April 12 from 5:30-6:30, or ACCOUNTABILITY from 6:30-8:00, please email me for links to the meetings.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • April 5, 2021

    Dear Families,

    As we wait for the Colorado weather to decide if it’s truly spring yet, I know I am enjoying every warm, sunny day that comes our way!  Spring is in the air, seriously in the air, you can ‘smell’ it in the halls after recess on warm days!  Ha!

    I shared with you last week some staff changes that are coming for next year.  I have a few more to add.  As far as teams go, the latest updates are that Courtney Blume will be returning to 3rd grade, and Jessica Enyert will be returning to ILC from the online program.  I am in the process of hiring a PE teacher, a fourth 3rd grade teacher, and a second ILC teacher.  There could be more changes as the spring and early summer unfold.

    A change that we are working out details on for the master schedule include a 30-minute block of time at each grade level for what is known as “WINN” time.  It stands for What I Need Now.  This is a popular structure for elementary schools in which students can receive enrichment, intervention, skills building, whatever they need to engage with different strategies to meet them where they are and help them grow.  Teachers are excited about how this time can help them meet specific needs of students by regrouping students across the grade level, and at times having additional support teachers such as GT and SPED push in as well.  We are in the early planning stages, but I wanted to share this as a way we are being proactive to supporting our students when school starts in August, hopefully in a more normal way!

    For planning purposes, please join me on April 12th, for two parent meetings.  PASS will be at 5:30, ACCOUNTABILITY at 6:30.  For the PASS meeting I want to facilitate discussions on the state of social unrest and violence.  After two more recent violent shootings, the one in Georgia over spring break, and the one in Boulder, it’s important to have space to discuss how we manage our thoughts and feelings around such violent acts, and how we are supporting our students as they are at a vulnerable age in their own growth and development. 

    On April 12th there is a scheduled ACCOUNTABILITY meeting at 6:30. I will share how staffing was determined, update you on budget, and share more information on planning our “WINN” time. 

    Please email me for the links to the above meetings.

    Thank you for your continued support.  Willow Creek is a great school because of our partnerships, honest conversations, and dedication to being our best for ALL students and families.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • March 29, 2021

    Dear Families,

    The week after Spring Break went SO well!  Students were happy to be back, teachers were happy to be back, spring is in the air, and we are feeling good!  There is a lot going on right now and I’m going to try my best to keep you updated and informed.  Let me start with CMAS for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.

    If you have a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, you received an email yesterday that went to all families in the district with students at testing grades.  I know it may have been a bit confusing so let me try to clarify a few points.

    • 3rd and 5th graders will only test ELA (English Language Arts)
    • 4th graders will only test math
    • Please refer to the testing schedule in the email from yesterday
    • If you want to opt your child out of the above tests, please go into your my.cherrycreek parent tiles, choose the “State Assessment Exemption” tile and select which tests you want to opt your child out of. Again only ELA for 3rd and 5th, only math for 4th.
    • If you want your student to opt in the other areas, math for 3rd and 5th, and ELA for 4th, there will be directions coming on how to opt in. (It is not recommended and there are no benefits to taking the test when it is not required.)
    • There WILL be school on all testing days and the Monday and Friday before and after. Elementary is not like middle and high schools. Our testing schedule is very similar to schedules in the past.
    • If you opt your student out of testing, they will sit quietly and read in the office or other designated area. No projects, lessons, videos, etc. will be planned. You may keep your student at home, and they will be excused.
    • I hope this provides some clarity around testing. If not, please email me or Cara Scheerer, testing coordinator, at cscheerer@cherrycreekschools.org.

    I am excited to share these exciting staffing updates.  Doug Heacox, Sherri Bonds, Sue Roe and Nancy Escobar are retiring.  We will miss them, but are so happy to see where their next chapter leads them!  We are able to have four teachers in each grade level next year like we have in the past.  Here are the configurations of all teams.  Changes are in bold:

    • K - Ashlynn Hunt, Catherine Krantz, Misti Black, and Chandra Thomas
    • 1st - Marcy Ackermann, Carrie Hogan, Susan Martina, and Bentley Schmidt
    • 2nd - Jamie Shunk, Kim Murphy, Megan Henry, and Meghan Steckler
    • 3rd - Katie Hlavka, Mackenzie Arnold, and two new hires TBD
    • 4th - Taylor Symons, Kathryn Groenweghe, Kris Rutledge, and Lynne Sommer
    • 5th - Christine Tokarchik, Sandi Wiley, Mike Mizones, and Ken Long
    • Cara Scheerer will be the library tech along with her testing role

    We are starting to dig into planning for next year and are super excited about some changes that we are making to help ensure students get what they need to be successful to the best of their ability.  Stay tuned!

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • March 8, 2021

    Dear Families,

    I have heard wonderful stories about the great conferences that you had!  It’s so valuable to have some interrupted time with your child’s teacher to discuss progress and/or to discuss ways to make their learning experience better.

    The staff and I are beginning to get a few questions regarding teacher placement for their child next year.  While it seems early, I know that during conferences sometimes this topic arises.  The teachers and I work really hard to take into consideration many characteristics of students and teachers that equate to an optimum learning environment.  No combination is perfect, students and teachers evolve over each year, and it’s impossible to always assume and predict certain qualities.  Teachers change teams, retire, and sometimes move, therefore teams continue to change into the summer at times.  Some of the characteristics that we consider when we create class lists are:

    • Gender ratios
    • Heterogeneous ranges of readers, writers, and mathematicians
    • Students on IEPs (Individual Education Plans)
    • Students on ALPs (Advanced Learning Plans)
    • Cluster groups of ELL (English Language Learners)
    • Cluster groups of GT (Gifted and Talented)
    • Social dynamics 
    • Race

    Sometimes the school and parents need to work together in order to set both student and teacher up for success, however, based on the list above there are many factors to consider.  If you feel you need to advocate for your student, please reach out to me.  I prefer emails so I can print and keep track of them per grade.  I ask that you describe the type of classroom your student thrives best in:  structured, flexible, high energy, lots of movement, more subdued, etc…  I do not prefer names of teachers as those emails tend to be negative or based on what parents have “heard”, not what they experienced firsthand. 

    Please do not engage in conversations with staff regarding other teachers’ names.  It puts staff in an awkward position to hear about their fellow peers.  It’s actually very harmful to our culture and climate when staff discuss other staff with one another or parents.  The final decision is not based on teacher or parent recommendation.  It is a combination of recommendations and the list above, and then eventually I have to make the decision that best serves our students and the school.  And finally, I will need your email/letter by April 23rd.  We begin our work in creating class lists in early April and continue even into the summer as new students arrive and students move away.  Class lists will not be available until right before school starts.  Last minute changes cause ripple effects and are not easily corrected or even possible, so please do not wait until summer to email me!

    Thank you for your support and for helping me maintain a healthy and productive culture in our amazing school!

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • February 28, 2021

    Dear Families,

    Thanks again to PTO for their continued support in organizing spirit nights!  Not only are they fun, but they bring in some revenue for our school.  With our enrollment down we have fewer families to provide the monetary support that pledges usually provide.  In this time of pandemic I worry that some families are struggling so I would not want to burden them, but if you can support PTO and haven’t yet this year, please reach out to Melanie Adams, PTO president, at erickson_mk@hotmail.com.  

    As a school we have celebrated Black History month in a variety of ways.  There have been classroom reads, mini lessons, books featured in the library, and two weeks of Power time videos highlighting Mr. Michael Giles, one of the Assistant Superintendents of Cherry Creek, just to name a few.  I hope you watched those videos and learned a little about one of our district leaders.  I am proud of classrooms taking the time to have conversations about our country’s history, which includes Black Americans who have paved the way for civil rights and who have left legacies of excellence in their contributions to all areas of society.   

    Developing our racial consciousness has been a school goal for the adults in the building for two years.  We have equity Ed Camps, which are teacher directed professional development opportunities, where teachers focus on building their knowledge and understanding of how race impacts our world and how our own biases about race impact our world.   The parent/school organization of P.A.S.S focuses on racial issues as well.  If you are interested in joining these conversations, our next P.A.S.S. meeting will be on April 12th and more information will be forthcoming.

    Please remember that March 4th is a non-contact day, and March 5th is no school for students and a comp day for the late conferences and extra time teachers have spent.  Speaking of…enjoy your conferences as I know teachers work really hard to prepare for them! 

    Stay connected by reading our communications, watching our POWER time videos, checking out our website and your teachers’ websites, and staying in touch with district communication.  If nothing else we are learning the value of letters, emails, videos, websites, etc… in this time of little face to face interactions.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • February 21, 2021

    Dear Families,

    We survived another Valentine’s Day, enjoyed another long weekend, and now are entering the final week of February!  The time is going by very quickly!  Conferences are coming up the first week of March, and you should have received signup opportunities with your child’s teacher.  All conferences are virtual again, and while we share your disappointment in not having meetings face to face, our protocols are working to keep us safe and in school.  Please note that March 4th is a non-contact day, and March 5th is no school for students and a comp day for the late conferences and extra time teachers have spent.

    If you were unable to attend our PASS and ACCOUNTABILITY meeting on February 8th, I have included the link to a presentation I did.  This presentation has some specific strategies that teachers are using to try to mitigate academic and social emotional educational loss in the pandemic.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/159t9VphlyDfyWyrPPX2fuTHV2TY8KVTtNtWvRhZdoP4/edit?usp=sharing

    I cannot reiterate enough how proud I am of our entire school community.  The pandemic has obviously brought upon us many disappointments and concerns, but together we have continued to learn, continued to grow, and continued to be our best selves in these trying times.  It has not been easy, and with the help of our POWER words and the focus we have on a growth mindset, we are thriving!  

    Stay connected by reading our communications, watching our POWER time videos, checking out our website and your teachers’ websites, and staying in touch with district communication.  If nothing else we are learning the value of letters, emails, videos, websites, etc. in this time of little face-to-face interactions.

    Thank you for your continued support of our amazing school.  YOU are an important influence in your child’s education.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • February 8, 2021

    Dear Families,

    Happy Valentine’s Day and upcoming long weekend.  We do not have school on Monday, February 15th in honor of President’s Day, and Tuesday February 16th is a furlough day for us.  So, no school for your children on the 15th or 16th.  My next parent letter will go out Sunday, February 21st. 

    Today I want to reiterate two things I need your help with.  First of all, please remember that while there are many new puppies in families as well as longtime family pets, they are not to be around the children and adults on campus. If you have them with you, please keep them away from others by staying up on the hill.  Animals can be unpredictable, even the best of them! Even at the top of the hill, I hear them barking at each other and have seen some doggie conflict. Some children and adults have a fear of dogs that we want to recognize and protect.  

    The second reminder is about leaving the campus at 3:00 pm.  It has always been the expectation that unless students are in WCCK or are with a teacher that they leave campus by 3:00.  I know that when the weather is nice, it feels good to have some social distancing time and use our beautiful campus as a place to gather.  However, I ask that you please take your socializing to the park or neighborhoods.  Sometimes WCCK needs the playgrounds, and sometimes it is confusing to students and to me because I can’t tell which students have a parent with them and which ones are just hanging around. It becomes a bigger problem if there is an accident or conflict between students and/or adults, because technically there is not school personnel to manage the conflict.  One final reminder that if you do stay on campus with your children until 3:00, even after the bell rings, masks must be worn on school property.

    Here again are the links for Monday night’s PASS (5:30-6:30), and ACCOUNTABILITY (6:30-8:00) meetings.  I will be sharing how our teachers are addressing student progress in this unprecedented year of school.

    • Monday, February 8 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. for a P.A.S.S. meeting via Zoom.  PASS is a platform for discussing how racial inequities impact individuals, schools, and communities.  I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to attend.
    • Monday, February 8, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. for a School Accountability Meeting via Zoom.  During this meeting I will be sharing specific strategies and interventions teachers across all grades are doing to meet students where they are and help them grow.  We know the pandemic has had a negative effect on some students academically and emotionally.  We are committed to doing the best we can to help get students back on track for typical growth.

    Please email me for the links to the above meetings.

    And finally, I want to thank the two parents who joined my “virtual lunch with the principal” on Feb. 2nd. We had a great conversation and I’m thankful for the time I had with Carine and Kristin.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • February 1, 2021

    Dear Families:

    Hello and welcome to February! I like February because for me it symbolizes the last stretch of winter before we can break out the “S” word: SPRING! It’s also nice to focus on LOVE for Valentine’s Day!  

    This week I want to emphasize some opportunities for us to interact via ZOOM with questions, thoughts, concerns, celebrations, and information regarding instructions and our intentions for moving forward, etc…  

    I invite you to join me for the following: 

    • Tuesday, February 2, from 12:00-1:00 for a virtual lunch with Principal Price. This is an open forum for you to bring your thoughts and questions. I will do my best to answer your questions. Last time I only had one parent, but we had a great conversation! Set your calendar to join me and if you need to eat lunch while we talk, it’s okay!

    • Monday, February 8, from 5:00-6:00 for a P.A.S.S. meeting via Zoom. PASS is a platform for discussing how racial inequities impact individuals, schools, and communities. I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to attend. 

    • Monday, February 8, from 6:30-8:00 for a School Accountability Meeting via Zoom. During this meeting I will be sharing specific strategies and interventions teachers across all grades are doing to meet students where they are and help them grow. We know the Pandemic has had a negative effect on some students academically and emotionally. We are committed to doing the best we can to help get students back on track for typical growth. 

    Please email me for the links to the above meetings.

    While I miss not being in person for these important meetings, I hope that doing them via ZOOM helps you be able to participate wherever you are: in the kitchen making dinner, sitting in the car at a practice, in your comfy chair at home, etc…

    Have a great week and I hope to ‘see’ you in these meetings.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • January 25, 2021

    Dear Families,

    We really feel like we are back in the swing of things! I’m sure many of you agree that it feels so good to be together in the building. While mask wearing, washing hands, and watching distances does not promise to guard against the virus, it certainly helps. Continue to keep your child(ren) home when they are sick with anything to keep us as healthy as possible. Thank you for doing your part in keeping the virus out of our school.

    I want to commend the community on getting children to school ON TIME! I believe our soft start at 7:45 has helped tremendously. The tardy line is almost nonexistent and that makes everyone’s day start better when everyone is in class ready to go at 8:00. I also appreciate that the traffic lines go more smoothly than in previous years. Granted we are down 70-80 students, but again I hope that the soft start at 7:45 encourages you to drop your child(ren) off a little earlier. What I notice is traffic is more staggered and not so many in the lane at the last minute. Please remember you cannot park in the lane and leave your car. The lane is clearly marked as a fire lane.

    In this edition of the weekly blast you will find information about our before and after program, WCCK. The Director, Devin Coats, does a great job of planning fun, safe, and engaging activities for the students. It’s also a safe way for your child(ren) to enjoy socializing in this pandemic! You should have received an email highlighting the program with information on how to join. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Devin at 720-554-3966, or the office at 720-554-3900.

    As always, please reach out with questions, concerns, or celebrations!

    Principal Price 

    dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

    720-554-3905 

  • January 19, 2021

    Dear Families,

    What a great week we had with in person learning! My heart was full seeing children back in the building, seeing teachers IN classrooms, hearing children’s voices, bumping a few elbows (and an occasional hug…parent approved!), greeting parents outside, smelling school lunches, hearing recess sounds, literally everything that makes a school a school was refreshing!

    Thank you to those who welcomed me back after being away helping family. It always feels so good and right to come ‘home’ to Willow Creek. Speaking of, I talked about relationships and included a few student voices in this week’s POWER time video. I know it’s another ‘thing’ to pull up and watch, but I will continue to encourage you to use our POWER time videos as one way to stay connected.

    I stay up to date on district information through Dr. Siegfried’s emails and sometimes the district website. I do not have any new or exciting information about the coming months to share. I will keep you posted as I learn the status and plans of moving forward.  

    Before I close today, I want to give a shout out to the PTO BOARD under the leadership of President, Melanie Adams. Even in COVID, they have been SO supportive of our school community, and they constantly find ways to bridge school and home so that teachers and parents feel supported and connected. If you are not feeling a connection, please make sure you are accessing teachers’ websites, reading the weekly blasts, reading emails from school/PTO, watching POWER time videos, considering attending virtual PASS/Accountability (link for Feb. 8 coming soon), staying current on district communications, and if need be, please reach out. I look forward to the day when it is safe for parent volunteers to share space with us again and our meetings can be in person.

    Please continue to take care and use all COVID safety precautions.

    Until next time,

    Principal Price 

    dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

    720-554-3905 

  • January 11, 2021

    Dear Families,

    Happy New Year and welcome back to in person learning! While many holiday traditions and activities were probably different for your families due to COVID, I hope you were still able to find the joy of family and experience some peace during the past couple of weeks. I was able to enjoy my family and am thankful for the time I had to be with them, and thankful to just ‘be’ for a few days.

    I cannot even begin to express how excited the staff and I are to have students back in the building. Even with masks, social distancing, and extra hand washing, we are excited and ready to be in school together again. It is like two first days of school in one year!

    I was SO looking forward to greeting students outside on Monday morning. Unfortunately, I had to leave Thursday for Kansas. My stepdad (since I was in second grade) had open heart surgery in Wichita, KS, on Tuesday. I had to fly to Wichita, meet my sister who drove up from Littlerock, and then drive him home to southwest Kansas, which is a four hour drive. I should be back mid-week and will welcome the sight of children and teachers in classrooms!

    There was an Accountability meeting and PASS meeting scheduled for Monday, January 11th, but I will not be here, so I will reschedule both for February 8th. Perhaps an accountability meeting in February will be more meaningful so we can address the questions that lingered from our meeting back in September. Mike Murray and Dana Sandberg are the incredibly appreciated and talented parent co-chairs. If you have questions about accountability, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of them, Chris Domino, or myself. I will plan a PASS meeting for February 8th as well and put out an agenda and link to invite anyone who is interested. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.

    Again, we are all super excited to welcome students back into the building! Thank you for your continued support in this pandemic. With vaccinations available over the next few months, I feel there is good cause for hope for a more typical life and school experience in our future.  

    Please continue to take care, practice the 3 “Ws”, and I hope to see you soon!

    Until next time,

    Diana

  • December 14, 2020

    Dear Families, 

    I would imagine you are all as anxious as my staff and I are wondering what 2021 will look like for school.  What I know for sure is that Dr. Siegfried wants our students in school, so I trust that he will be doing everything he can to make that happen safely and soon.  

    I am going to keep this communication very simple. Thank you for your support and grace as we have navigated remote learning together.  Our POWER WORDS, Persistence, Optimism, Flexibility, Empathy and Resilience, have been our foundation for building and sustaining a community of learners.  Whether we are in person learning, or in remote learning ALL of us have had to put our POWER words to the test.  But, guess what, those words have helped us and will continue to carry us through!  We got this!

    thank you

    thank you for support

    happy holidays

    See you in 2021!

    Principal Price

  • December 7, 2020

    Dear Families,

    Welcome to December! 2020 is quickly coming to an end, and while there are always reasons to celebrate the many blessings that come our way, there’s a big part of me that will be happy to see 2021 on my calendar!

    Your children continue to amaze me and their teachers. I hear frequently how proud teachers are of your children. When I am in the building and can catch a teacher online with students, I love to smile and wave and greet them. I always tell them how proud I am of them. I am also continually proud of my staff for the hard work and dedication they give each day to make remote learning the best it can be.

    In case you were not aware, I wanted you to know that Mrs. Holly Graham resigned her teaching position at Willow Creek. If your child did not have Mrs. Graham, you may have known her through PTO, the community, or her own children. For personal health reasons, she made the difficult decision to leave teaching. While we are extremely saddened to lose her on staff, she will always be a part of the WCE family. Bentley Schmidt took over Mrs. Graham’s classroom on November 30th. She is a new teacher, and so very excited to begin her teaching career at Willow Creek, even in a pandemic. We are thrilled to have found her and I am confident that she is going to fit right in with this talented staff.

    As you heard from Dr. Siegfried we will remain in remote learning at least through the Winter break. Learning is best in person, and we look forward to being together again soon. Until then please continue to support your children and their teachers the best you can. I hope for a light at the end of this tunnel soon.

    Please join me on December 9th at 11:45 for a virtual lunch with the principal. I hosted one in October and while there weren’t many of us on the Zoom call, we had a great conversation. I do not plan an agenda. I keep the time open for you to ask questions, share your thoughts, and provide me feedback. While I have no control over when we return to ‘in person’ learning, if there are other questions and thoughts you have, please email me for the Zoom link!

    Thank you for your continued support! I know many of you are struggling to make your lives as normal as possible, hang in there! I appreciate the positive vibes from you. I see where Willow Creek children get their resilience and persistence! 😉

    Please take good care.
    Until next time,
    Principal Price

  • November 30, 2020

    Dear Families,

    Congratulations! You made it through week one of remote learning. As we all would agree, this is not the best learning environment, and we don’t like it at all! However, to be safe and protect ourselves and our community, this is what learning will continue to look like until Dr. Siegfried decides differently based on data and guidance from Tri County Health.

    I had a real strong hunch that Willow Creek staff and families would be successful in remote learning. I knew based on how dedicated the staff is, and how supportive our families are that we would find some success! It is simply amazing to observe learning happening even in a remote environment. I know it is not perfect, but I am confident students are getting instruction that will propel their growth in a positive direction.

    Thank you for the support you are giving your students from home. Providing a quiet place with their material handy may be a challenge in some homes due to the number of bodies needing technology and a place to work. I can only imagine how difficult it may be in your homes based on so many different factors. It is no surprise that our POWER words are relevant right now. Persistence, Optimism, Flexibility, Empathy, and Resilience are mindsets that will help us find success, even in this challenging time.

    If you don’t follow along with our POWER time videos, I encourage you to. A few weeks ago we had a great one produced by the ‘POWER Time Club” which is facilitated by Mrs. Wiley, Mr. Mizones, and Ms. Krantz. The students created a very nice Veteran’s Day video. Since then I have been using a fun cartoon character, Mojo, that students of all ages enjoy. Mojo’s message has been about how to manage and change our ‘moods’ when things don’t go our way. I am going to guess that we can all relate to that in one way or another!

    My hope for all of you is that you were able to find peace in however you chose to celebrate Thanksgiving, and how you used your additional vacation days. I look forward to watching teachers and students re-engage in remote learning on Monday, November 30th.

    Thank you for the kind emails to me and to the staff. We appreciate hearing what is going well. And, please continue to let us know how we can support you and your students during remote learning.

    Until next time,
    Principal Price

  • November 16, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I send this message with a heavy heart because as many of you, I was hoping not to have to move to remote learning. The silver lining is that we are prepared this time and students will be receiving direct instruction during their synchronous time. Based on information I have received from other schools who have had classes go out on remote, and our own 4th grade remote experience, I am confident that students will continue to learn. 

    I am proud of the teachers as they have worked hard to prepare your children to the best of their abilities. It’s amazing how many technology experts we have now, and your children are so flexible and resilient! They have learned how to navigate technology in a variety of platforms and still continued to learn content over the past three months.

    The most important communication during this time will be between you and the teacher. You never have to wait for a grading period to end, or an invitation to speak about your students’ progress. You will be seeing how your child engages in the learning and may know firsthand whether your child is being successful or is struggling. The difficult part for us is that we do not have control over the learning environment in your homes. Unfortunately, that is the extra responsibility that remote learning puts on families in the home.

    If you have problems with technology, please ask your child’s teacher or use this link for support:  https://helpdesk.cherrycreekschools.org/. This link has a button in the top right corner, ‘new ticket’, in which you can communicate your concerns and receive help directly from the district team. The main office will be working remotely and will return calls because they can access voice mail from home, but it will not be immediate, therefore it is important that you use this link or wait until your teacher can help. Please do NOT call the office for tech support!

    I know that you will do your best to provide the best environment for learning from home.  Students need an organized and relatively quiet place with materials handy. In these unprecedented times I believe that everyone will do their best. We will not be perfect, but we will continue to improve and do the best we can to give your children a positive and successful Willow Creek school experience! For more ideas on how to support your child from home, this link has a wealth of information:

    Student Support Articles – https://helpdesk.cherrycreekschools.org/help/topic/262779

    I will continue my weekly updates in this format throughout remote learning. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I will write to you again the week of November 30th. Please take care and stay well!

    Until next time,

    Principal Price

  • November 9, 2020

    Dear Families,

    You received an email from Dr. Siegfried on Thursday stating the plan to go full remote: 

    • Students will be in person learning at school Monday-Wednesday (9th, 10th, 11th) of next week.
    • Teachers will have two days to finalize remote preparations so students will not have school Thursday and Friday (12, and 13th). 
    • Students will go full remote starting Monday, November 16. 

    Your student’s teacher will send you a detailed remote schedule before their remote learning starts. Students have been carrying home materials and supplies that they will need. Please remind your students to check the lost and found before next Wednesday, too!

    The remote learning experience will not be the same as in person learning. However, the opportunities that teachers are planning for students will be engaging and aligned with standards and curriculum that are used inside the schoolhouse. It may not be perfect, but it will provide multiple opportunities for students to engage in learning. I am so proud of the preparation that teachers have done and are continuing to do with your students. It’s amazing to see 5-year-olds log in to my.cherrycreekschools.org and read an electronic book!

    I hope that you will consider joining me this Monday for either ACCOUNTABILITY, P.A.S.S. or both! P.A.S.S. will meet at 5:30 and ACCOUNTABILITY will meet at 6:30.

    Thank you for your continued support. I absolutely love this school, the staff, and your children. They make my heart happy every day. In remote learning I will continue to visit their virtual classrooms, make some POWER time videos, continue my support of teachers and students, and be available to you when you have questions/concerns. It won’t be the same, but as I tell my staff, if any school can make this a positive experience for students and learning, Willow Creek can!

    Until next time,
    Principal Price

  • November 2, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I want to give you some general information about what school will look like should we go full remote as a district. As of the time I am writing this letter, we are still “in person learning”. Thank you again for your support and your safety protocols that keep us healthy and in school! 

    GENERAL INFORMATION FOR REMOTE LEARNING:

    • K, 1, and 2 will have synchronous learning from 8-11 with specials every other day, asynchronous opportunities 12-3 
    • 3, 4, and 5 will have synchronous learning from 12-3 with specials every other day, asynchronous opportunities 8-11 
    • Teachers will offer ‘office hours’ for questions and support 
    • All materials, resources and lessons will be housed in Schoology…all students know how to access their teacher’s Schoology page. Ask your child!
    • Attendance will be taken for synchronous times 
    • Progress will be monitored, grades assigned 
    • Details will be coming from your child’s teacher in the future 

    As the weather becomes colder and snowier, I hope we can keep up our awesome percentage rate of students who are here on time! I believe the soft starts at 7:45 have helped because our tardy students are WAY down from previous years. However, as more people drive to school instead of walk, traffic will start to back up. Leave a little earlier and let’s keep getting to school on time! 

    Friday was a super fun day with our first ever virtual pep assembly. Classes showed their team spirit by using their assigned color. If you didn’t see me, I was dressed in a rainbow dress so I could support all of the teams! You will see pictures on Willow Creek’s Instagram page and we will push out a POWER Video early this week highlighting our day. 

    As always, never hesitate to reach out. I can meet with you on TEAMS, engage in a phone conversation, or exchange emails. On the evening of November 9th we will have a virtual accountability meeting where I will talk more about remote learning and about new safety protocols the district has in place. Prior to the accountability meeting I will host a TEAMS meeting for P.A.S.S. I encourage and welcome any and all families to participate in either, or both, of these parent meetings. I will send out links in next weeks’ letter. 

    Please visit our Willow Creek website for information about our school and teams.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to “Forward Together 2020-21” at https://www.cherrycreekschools.org where you can find a plethora of valuable information, including the COVID Tracker that directs in person or full remote learning.

    Until next time…Principal Price 

  • October 26, 2020

    Dear Families,

    Fall Break came and went and we are still in school! It is a blessing every day! Thank you for the part you play in keeping us healthy and safe in school. I cannot thank you enough for wearing your masks on school grounds, and supporting our protocols for health and safety in a pandemic.

    I am excited about the upcoming conferences during the week of Nov. 2-6. All of our conferences will be on Microsoft TEAMS. These are extremely important conversations as your child’s last 7 months of school have been different than any other time in education. I also want to put my two cents worth in on the progress your child is, or is not yet, making. This has been a very challenging and difficult time for families and for students. We have had numerous conversations as a staff reminding one another to bear in mind that this is not a typical year, students are not experiencing typical school, and students missed a chunk of instruction in the spring. We must keep that perspective in mind. I am so proud of the students and staff and how well they have adjusted to our new reality. My staff hears me say often that if any school can be successful in a pandemic, Willow Creek can!

    In lieu of a Halloween parade that we cannot have this year, we have a fun ‘virtual pep assembly’ planned for Friday Oct. 30th. We are doing a live stream of classrooms and their attempt at winning the prize of being the most spirited team based on ‘color action’. Each team chose a color and I have challenged them to create a unique, collaborative, fun way to show their team pride and school spirit by using their color. The goal is to be the most colorful and spirited team! All specials teachers, SPED providers, TAs, GT, ELL, any staff member can join a grade level team in their quest to show their ‘color action’! I’m sorry that you are not able to see all teams, but we will create a POWER time video from the live footage so you can see that we are having fun in school! Be on the lookout for information coming home from your students on what they need to contribute. The only limitations are NO costumes, NO body/face paint, and NO homemade treats. Other than that, the sky (and the teacher’s tolerance) is the limit for this creative project!

    Mr. Heacox and Mrs. Domino will help me film the live footage of the teams celebrating and showing off their ‘color action’ in classrooms. The most ‘color action’ displayed on a team will earn an extra recess and a Popsicle party! Hey, we don’t need much, just creativity, fun, and commitment to our teams. We are always looking for a silver lining, and one is that this pandemic has forced us to think outside the box! Can’t wait to share pictures and videos with you! 

    And finally, please know that we will all hear from Dr. Siegfried regarding if/when our district goes full remote. As of the time I am writing this letter, we WILL be in school on Monday, Oct. 26th.

    Until next time…Principal Price 

  • October 19, 2020

    Dear Families,

    My hope is that Fall Break gave everyone a chance to reenergize, refresh, and relax! I am going to do my best! 

    I want to thank the parents who attended the virtual lunch with the principal on Oct. 6. I will host another one on December 1st at 12:00, and I hope that you will consider joining. It was a nice time for parents to ask questions, share concerns, and it definitely helps me get to know you better.

    We are headed into the season for flu and colds, and waiting to see the impact of Fall Break travel. I hear from many of you that you LOVE being in school, and I can say with confidence that my staff and I agree. PLEASE, please, continue to monitor your health and the health of your students, AND, continue to wash your hands, wear your masks and watch your distance. 

    I want to thank our amazing PTO for their generous grants to teachers and for their financial support in keeping our amazing TAs. Willow Creek would not be the same without the TA staff we have. Not only are they dedicated to keeping our students safe, they are dedicated to helping them learn and grow in the classroom. Due to our enrollment being down, there are fewer families to give financial support. We still need the number of TAs we have to supervise lunches and recesses and to provide extra academic support in the classroom. If you have not given your pledge to PTO, please consider doing so. If you have given, thank you so much! And, if you just aren’t able to this year, I understand and love your children equally! 

    Many of you have asked about Halloween, and while we aren’t having parties, wearing costumes, or having the parade, we are planning a special activity for Oct. 30 that you will hear more about the very near future. COVID may restrict some ways to celebrate, but we are still having fun in school and on the 30th we will participate in a first ever activity that should bring us all joy. Stay tuned….. 

    Please visit our Willow Creek website for information about our school and teams.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to “Forward Together 2020-21” at https://www.cherrycreekschools.org where you can find a plethora of valuable information.

    Until next time…Principal Price 

  • October 5, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I want to start this letter with a huge thank you! Between supporting the COVID protocols, your positive words of encouragement, the parents who are working on committees, leaving grounds at 3:00, using our soft starts to get your children here on time, and everything else you do to support Willow Creek, it has been a successful run so far! Believe me, the staff and I often talk about how if we have to do school in COVID, there is no other place we would rather do it! 

    Thank you for honoring Dr. Siegfried’s mask requirement on school grounds. My staff and I greatly appreciate you! As you venture out for Fall Break, please wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distances. Thank you for doing your part in keeping the virus out of our school! 

    Please mark your calendars for 12:00 on October 6th. I would like to host a virtual “Lunch with the Principal”. There will be no agenda, just time to talk. I will answer questions, share anything you want to know more about, listen to your thoughts/ideas, and whatever you need to feel informed. 

    If you would like to receive the ZOOM link please email me directly at dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org.

    Please visit our Willow Creek website for information about our school and teams.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to “Forward Together 2020-21” at https://www.cherrycreekschools.org where you can find a plethora of valuable information. Please check out the link: Current State of Finances with COVID-19 Crisis, https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/Page/12462. Here you can find information on the budget needs of the district.

    Happy Fall Break!

    Until next time…Principal Price 

  • September 28, 2020

    Dear Families,

    Here we are, closing up the month of September and welcoming in October. Fall break is right around the corner and my staff and I are looking forward to a break in the action! I hope your family is planning something fun and safe to do! 

    Dr. Siegfried shared safety precautions for travel prior to Labor Day. Please use the same precautions for Fall Break. Please be careful and safe as you travel. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distances! I am so thankful that Willow Creek has been able to have students stay in in-person learning. As you may know, other schools in the area have had incidences of going remote and quarantining, and while we are prepared for that, we REALLY want to stay in-person! Thank you for doing your part in keeping the virus out of our school! 

    If you pick up your child after school and enjoy some moments of connecting with other parents and letting your children play, please support us in leaving campus by 3:00. We have always had this practice and with extra precautions to keep cohorts separated it’s more important than ever. Our wonderful daycare program, WCCK, needs all of the playgrounds at 3:00 each day for their students to have a recess. If your child walks home after school, please remind them to be off campus by 3:00 as well. There is no supervision after school, and even if some parents are outside, if there were to be an injury or accident, there may not be anyone available to help, and on school property that would be unfortunate. The Willow Creek neighborhood is fortunate to have beautifully groomed parks nearby for the community to gather as families and friends!

    In keeping with my attempts to be more communicative this year in light of not being able to welcome you into the building, I would like to try a daytime chat via ZOOM. There would be NO agenda, but a chance for you to ask questions and to engage in conversation with me regarding whatever is on your minds. Please mark your calendars for 12:00 on October 6th. Hopefully whatever your day looks like, you can take a lunch break and join the conversation. If you would like to receive the ZOOM link please email me directly at dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org. I will add a reminder to next week’s letter as well. 

    While this school year has been a real challenge for all of us, your children are simply amazing! They are handling COVID like the true champions they are. Thank you for being an awesome community! 

    Please visit our Willow Creek website for information about our school and teams.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to “Forward Together 2020-21” at https://www.cherrycreekschools.org where you can find a plethora of valuable information.

    Until next time…Principal Price

  • September 21, 2020

    Dear Families,

    First of all, thank you to the parents who joined our PASS and ACCOUNTABILITY meeting last Monday. There were technical glitches with TEAMS (totally my fault), but we were able to change to ZOOM and carry on. I had to use persistence, one of our POWER words, because I was frustrated and felt terrible that TEAMS did not work! I think I have solved the problem and we should be good with TEAMs in the future!

    In this communication I want to speak honestly about a topic that has infiltrated media, our country, our communities and our households. That topic is racism. Many of you know that on a district and school level staff participate in trainings and engage in conversations about race and are learning how it impacts systems in a broad sense, and how it impacts individuals in our community and school. Much of the training and conversations are held in the platform of PASS meetings, both at the school and district level.

    Every year we are required to write a school goal. Last year our school goal was about developing our own racial consciousness. This year we added that we would learn to use research based protocols to help deepen conversations about race.

    I would really love to have conversations with any parent about race. We do not have to wait for a scheduled PASS meeting. I welcome and appreciate all of the input and feedback the parent community has to offer Willow Creek as we continue to be a welcoming school for all families and students. Please reach out if you questions, comments, or concerns.

    For more information on our school you can always visit our website: https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/willowcreek.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to “Forward Together 2020-21” at https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/ where you can find a plethora of valuable information.

    Until next time…Principal Price ☺

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • September 14, 2020

    Weekly Principal Message….September 14-18

    Dear Families,

    With the early September snow and cold, I was able to witness what drop off looks like when fewer students walk to school. Most everyone did a fantastic job of honoring the “kiss and go” lane by pulling as far forward as possible, and by helping your child exit the vehicle as quickly and safely as possible. I understand that walking around to grade level doors may result in your child taking some extra steps, but one of our safe guards for COVID is to make sure students are using their grade level doors. When the last few late students come (after 8:00) we will let them in the front doors and they will sign in as tardy. We will monitor to make sure students are not gathering too closely as they sign in. Speaking of, it has been awesome that almost all of our students are here on time this year! There are just a few regularly tardy friends that I hope will work with their parents to get them here a little earlier.

    I would like to ask that parents closely monitor what students bring to school in their backpacks. Sometimes there are toys, electronic devices, games, etc… that are brought to school. Unless there is a special classroom celebration such as bring your favorite stuffed toy, etc… please do not send toys/devices from home. We cannot assure that the personal items will not get lost, misplaced, or stolen (rarely a problem!). However, it does cause distractions at recess and in the classrooms. We will keep recess equipment available, so if your child reports they have no jump ropes, soccer balls, etc… please let me know. It may be a case of misunderstanding. As far as phones and smart watches go, they should not be used during the day. If you want your child to have them for before or after school, that is your discretion. We have had some watches go off in classes, or student and parent texting, and I ask that you support us in keeping them turned off during school. We will always communicate with you in an emergency or in the event of illness or injury. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Again, thank you for your partnership in this effort.

    In closing this week, I want to officially welcome all new families to Willow Creek. We did not get to have our new family orientation this year and I realize how much I missed meeting you personally. I hope you are all feeling connected and are enjoying Willow Creek!

    I would love any parent to join PASS on Monday, September 14th at 5:30, or ACCOUNTABILITY Monday, September 14th at 6:30. Parent meetings will be via Microsoft TEAMs this year. Every parent should have received the link to the ACCOUNTABILITY meeting. PLEASE email me or call me if you are interested in the link for PASS. For more information, you can read about those committees on our website under the Parents tab. 

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/ and go to the “Forward Together 2020-21” link where you can find a plethora of valuable information.

    Until next time…Principal Price 

    PS…if you know anyone interested in working 5 hours 20 minutes a day as a TA, we have an opening!

  • September 7, 2020

    Weekly Principal Message….September 7-11, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I love the ’feeling’ of fall in the air! Hopefully your family enjoyed some outside time over the weekend. Classes are spending time outside for instruction and for eating lunch. It is a great way to get fresh air (now that the fires are subdued) and help keep down the spread of germs.

    Speaking of germs, I am so proud of the students and their ability to wear their masks for long periods of time. They are allowed to take mask breaks when they need them, but their stamina is impressive! I have to admit, probably better than mine! I appreciate you supporting the district by wearing masks on our campus. Other parents appreciate it as well because I hear from them! Please continue to support our efforts with the 3 W’s: Wear your mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance!

    On another note about outside, please remember that dogs are not allowed on campus. If you stay on the perimeter of the campus with them, it is okay. I know that you enjoy walking to school with your dogs. However, because their behavior is unpredictable, and so is human behavior when they are not familiar with dogs, please keep them away from the main area where the community gathers. Thank you.

    One last piece of information for clarity regarding Dr. Siegfried’s message on travel. There is NO travel ban and NO requirement that students quarantine after travel. The spirit of Dr. Siegfried’s message is to be cautious of potential exposure and to do your part in keeping our school free from contamination of the Coronavirus. If you are following safety procedures to the best of your ability, enjoy your travels and send your children back to school. If you feel your children’s protection from the virus has been compromised, stay home and keep us all safe and healthy. Questions? Please give me a call or contact Nurse Jodie at 720-554-3907.

    For the latest updates and district information, please go to https://www.cherrycreekschools.org/ and go to the “Forward Together 2020-21” link where you can find a plethora of valuable information.

    Until next time…Principal Price ☺

  • August 11, 2020

    Dear Willow Creek Community,

    I have a few updates that are important for you to know.  Because of the number of students at Willow Creek and across the district that choose the full year of online programming, schools had to give staffing/teachers to that new program.  Jessica Enyert (ILC), Megan Henry (3rd), Meghan Steckler (3rd), Emily Tetzloff (part time Literacy Coach), and Sarah Warfield (part time OT) have all moved to the online program.  Because of this loss, our teams look a little different.  Based on numbers, both first grade and third grade have three teachers, the other grade levels stayed at four teachers, and ILC will have one full time teacher in the program.  These were difficult decisions for the district to make, which in turn, impacted our teams.  However, our in person numbers declined and we had to do our share to support the online programming for our own Willow Creek students as well as others across the district.  I am thankful that our staffing was only impacted as much as it was.  Many schools are still struggling to make their new reality work.

    Our class sizes are a bit smaller than they have been in the past few years, so students will have the same great attention and instruction that they are accustomed to.  However, we lost the position of ‘reading interventionist’ which was taught by Carrie Hogan.  The intervention model provided early reading intervention and a strong academic springboard for our youngest readers.  With class sizes a bit smaller and the dynamic PLCs our teachers have created, they will support and challenge one another to continue to provide the best instruction and feedback possible.  I am SO proud of our teachers and I tell them often that if anyone can make this year a success for students, THEY can!

    As we stand now, here our current teams (moves and/or new are highlighted):

    5th – Christine Tokarchik, Ken Long, Sandy Wiley, Mike Mizones

    4th – Lynne Sommer, Kris Rutledge, Katherine Groenweghe, Taylor Symons

    3rd – Kim Murphy, Mackenzie Arnold, Katie Hlavka

    2nd – Jamie Shunk, Sue Roe, Sherri Bonds, Holly Graham

    1st – Marcy Ackermann, Susan Martina, Carrie Hogan

    K – Chandra Thomas, Misti Black, Ashlynn Hunt, Catherine Krantz

    GT – Peg Link

    ELL – Amanda Parnitsupoun

    SPED – Katie Price, Nicole Fleming, Karie Williams, Courtney Blume, Annette Schiller, Meggie Sontag

    You will receive an email from your child’s teachers on Wednesday afternoon.  As I wrote in the PEEK back in March, a lot of thought and factors influence the creation of class lists.  We have continued to honor your letters from the spring and have done our very best to create optimal learning experiences in classes.  Please do not ask to change teachers at this point.  I appreciate your understanding.

    I will continue to update you in the weekly emails on Sundays.

    Take good care and I’ll see you soon!   Diana 😊

  • August 7, 2020

    Dear Willow Creek Community,

    Welcome to Willow Creek for the 2020-2021 school year!! I never imagined I would be writing a welcome back letter with the word, “Pandemic” in it! First of all, I appreciate your support and cooperation in helping make the school experience as ‘normal’ as possible. We will need to give grace throughout this year, and we will need to receive grace as well. Let’s face it, in a Pandemic there are just no really good answers for educating our young students! Nonetheless,  I am excited to begin year five as your Principal and I look forward to meeting new families and reconnecting with familiar faces when we can do so safely.  

    I am thankful we can begin the school year in person. It is crucial for students and teachers to meet in person and to create a classroom bond. Maybe if everyone adheres to health guidelines of handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks, we can stay in person all year! (I know, wishful thinking!)

    We will practice the 3 W’s:

    1. Wear your mask
    2. Wash your hands
    3. Watch your distancing

    Please join us as a school community to stay as healthy as we can by practicing these important 3 W’s!

    We are making changes to some previous practices, and one that you may find comforting is that all grade levels will have a “soft start’. This means that grade level doors will open at 7:45 for students to enter their classrooms for a ‘soft start’ to their day. Teachers will have engaging activities for students to ‘warm’ up with, instead of standing outside in lines where social distancing and mask wearing will be a challenge to monitor. With this new practice, no one should be tardy, right? :) 

    Dismissal will look slightly different. Starting at 2:40 we will dismiss WCCK students and all bus students. As soon as those students have cleared their area we will dismiss walkers and students for parent pick up, which should be close to 2:45. Remember there are NO after school clubs or activities, so unless a student is attending WCCK, everyone should be cleared off the grounds by 3:00. Thank you for supporting these efforts to keep us safe and healthy.  

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that we will miss the students that chose to participate in the online program or other homeschool options. I understand the difficult decisions families had to make and I look forward to the day when we are all together again in one place. We BELONG together!  

    As we begin another year together, I cannot emphasize enough the ways to stay connected at Willow Creek:

    • In lieu of the cumbersome and lengthy PEEK newsletter, this year we will ‘beef up” our Sunday blast. Please read it each week for pertinent and current information. 
      • Our website. http://willowcreek.cherrycreekschools.org (will continue to update throughout the year)
        • Teachers have individual sites with valuable information!
        • There is tons of general information!
      • Accountability, PTO and P.A.S.S. meetings…..specific dates/times dates to be published in early September and at this time will all be held virtually through Microsoft Teams. 
    • Due to the Pandemic, parents are not allowed in the building to visit or volunteer. Phone appointments or Microsoft TEAM meetings are available with me as necessary.  

    Important Dates:

    • You will receive your class placement via email from your teacher at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 12th.
    • You will receive a video introducing your child’s teacher on Thursday, August 13th.
    • Staggered start to the school year August 17-21: 5th grade Aug. 17, 4th grade Aug. 18, 3rd grade Aug. 19, 2nd grade Aug. 20, K and 1st grade Aug. 21.
    • All students attend August 24th.

    Thank you for getting your child registered online. I believe Willow Creek was one of the first to have a high percentage of families to register. I continue to feel blessed and honored to serve as your Principal. Even in these troubled times, I say to my staff, “if anyone can make this a good school year, we can!” I give you my word we will do our best! 

    Respectfully,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • March 2020

    March 2020

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    We are heading into the spring months and I couldn’t be happier. While I love all seasons, this winter has definitely reminded us that we live in Colorado!

    I am excited about year two of Cherry Creek Reads Week: A Districtwide Reading Initiative. The theme for the week of March 9-13 is “Read Together, Change Lives Together”, and is based on the book Because by Mo Willems, a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator. Because takes readers on a journey of self-discovery, with the realization of how one small event can change your life forever and make one wonder...What’s my Because? Each team has a copy of the book and will be reading it and talking about their ‘because’. In addition to using this book, we are challenged to read for 67 minutes during CCSD Reads Week...one minute for each of the 67 schools that make up our district. Each class has a cool page to mark off each school’s mascot as they read their 67 minutes. I love that it gives each school in the district representation on this page. Another fun celebration of reading is the bulletin boards that feature our staff’s current reads and ‘just finished’ reads. And, finally, there will be a POWER time video reiterating Cherry Creek Reads week and celebrating our beautiful library and all of the reasons we love it!

    The staff and I are beginning to receive questions about teacher placement for next school year. First of all, I understand that some parents need to advocate for their children as far as teacher placement is concerned. I also understand that Willow Creek teachers spend an extremely large amount of time, thought, and energy to create class lists. A few of the areas they must consider are: 

    • Male/female ratios
    • Heterogeneous range of reading, writing and math skills
    • Students on IEPs (individualized education plans)
    • Students on ALPs (advanced learning plans)
    • Social dynamics of students
    • Cluster of ELA students 
    • Clusters of GT students
    • Race (new consideration to ensure all students have peers to learn with and connect with that share their culture)

    I would like you to feel comfortable in advocating for a specific type of teacher and/or learning environment in which you believe your child would learn best. For example, your child may need a more nurturing teacher, or maybe a super flexible one. Perhaps your child needs structure and a stronger personality to motivate them. Specifically requesting a teacher or requesting not to have a teacher can not be guaranteed based on the factors listed above. While I know that most families and students can work with any of our amazing teachers, I would like to offer

    parents the opportunity to submit in writing the characteristics of a teacher that your child needs ONLY if you have a specific concern. I will need to receive your letter by Friday, April 10th.

    One more thought. Please do not engage with teachers and support staff regarding your requests. It puts the staff in an awkward place to hear about their fellow peers. The final decision will be mine if there are questions or concerns. A teacher or support staff cannot place your child. Thank you for your support and for helping me maintain a healthy culture and climate at Willow Creek!  

    Until next time,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • February 2020

    February 2020

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    I hope this newsletter finds your family healthy and enjoying the winter season. Cold and flu season has been brutal! I, too, have fallen prey to a nasty virus! Winter is upon us, and we certainly have had some cold weather and snow. I’m pretty sure we haven't seen the worst yet! Please make sure your students have appropriate clothing and that you allow for an extra few minutes on the way to school. And, please know we do our best to keep snow and ice cleared, but this is a big campus. District has prioritized for us the front walks and steps, the mobile, and then the grade level doors for order of clearing. The back sets of stairs are extremely slippery and sometimes they are the last to be cleared. I appreciate your patience as our building engineer arrives very early on snowy days to clear the paths. The typical Colorado weather pattern is that we get sunshine that melts the snow and ice, and then cold overnight temperatures that cause everything to refreeze.

    Teachers are working hard to keep learning engaging and meaningful. As you may know, the state testing season is quickly approaching. Third through fifth graders will be taking CMAS (Colorado Academic Measures of Success) in March. Right now is the maximum time for learning and preparing for those tests. Please do your part in making sure your children are here and on time to maximize learning and to build confidence in themselves for the spring testing season. We are concerned about the number of tardies we see each day. It is SO important that children are here on time and in class ready to learn with their peers and their teacher. Please make adjustments to your schedules if you are having problems getting your students here on time. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. 

    I would like to invite you to join us at Accountability on Monday, February 10th, especially if you are interested in discussions about how to support your children at home, and how to make sure you are accessing all platforms of communication that Willow Creek offers. Homework is always a topic of conversation and I can definitely fill you in on some new thinking/talking that the district and feeder principals have been engaging in. I also get questions about communication and how to stay informed. We are excited to remind you of all of the many ways we communicate. While I welcome all perspectives, I need to be able to share the vision of the district as many decisions have been made in silos in the past, and Dr. Siegfried is working hard to break down the silos and strive toward academic alignment. I hope to see you there!

    Until next time,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • January 2020

    January 2020

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    Happy New Year!  I hope the holidays brought you and your family peace and a time of restoration.  I had some great family and friend time and made some commitments to improving my physical and mental health.  I joined Orange Theory. Ouch! Those workouts are legit!

    When teachers returned on Monday they had the morning to reconnect with teammates and plan for the return of your children.  During the afternoon we had professional development around our “racial consciousness”, which is a school goal for this year.  If you are interested, or even curious about what that actually means, please join us Monday, January 13th, in the library from 5:30-6:30 for our P.A.S.S. meeting.  Or, you can always reach out to me via email, my assistant Sandy, or by phone and I would gladly schedule a time to discuss this with you in person or in a small group.

    Just yesterday, January 7, we had a POWER pep assembly at the end of the day.  The students and staff enjoy getting together to simply celebrate and have fun!  We celebrated students inside and outside of school, like Math Club, Lego Robotics, Spelling Bee winners, Girl/Boy Scouts, Battle of the Books, and many more clubs!  Our 5th grade band members played for us, too!  Our students are so involved and proud of their accomplishments in these extracurricular activities. Thank you for supporting them as they participate in these activities.  Their participation enhances their school experience in many ways!  During the pep assembly, we gathered in our K-5 grade families.  5th graders modeled leadership as they brought their families to the gym and sat with them.  After some celebrations and conversations within our families, we ended with the Hokey Pokey and dancing to “We are Family”!  The smiles were contagious!

    I hope that you continue to watch our POWER TIME videos each week as those are a method of communicating our daily work grounded in developing and maintaining a common, growth mindset across all grade levels, for students, staff, and all viewers.  We also use it as a means to teach and support our theme, Kindness, positive behaviors, and strategies for success in school and relationships in general.  Students enjoy the messages and teachers are great at expanding on the ideas and integrating them into their classrooms.  Students especially LOVE to be in the videos!

    There is a new method of accessing important dates and information. Right inside our front door we have a monitor that will be displaying upcoming events and important announcements.  Our awesome PTO purchased this for us and Chris Domino and Sandy Hueser will be assisting the PTO Presidents with the content.  Come check it out!  Please continue to read This Week at Willow Creek that comes via email on Sundays.  There are important announcements and school events advertised in that email.  There are opportunities for you to be involved, such as participating in Willow Creek’s Accountability Committee & P.A.S.S.  Willow Creek Accountability and P.A.S.S. will meet on January 13th, 5:30-6:30 and then 6:30-8:00 respectively, in the library and will include the election of a new Co-President to work alongside Mike Murray.  The next Community PTO meeting is March 24 from 6:30-8:00 in the library.  PLEASE consider participating in any of these parent meetings.  I appreciate your presence and input.

    I loved every holiday hug, every plate of goodies, every gift, and every card I received.  It is very special to be thought of during that hectic time of year! Let us enter 2020 with positive assumptions and great expectations for another amazing year!

    Until next time,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • December 2019

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    Holiday Greetings to you all!  As we end 2019 and prepare for 2020, I wish you all PeaceLoveHappiness, and Health regardless of the particular holiday you celebrate!

    I want to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoy having lunches with students.  I was able to complete the 1st and 2nd grade lunch groups before Thanksgiving break.  I am starting with 3rd grade now and hope to see all 3rd graders over the next two months.  I will end with 4th and 5th grade.  End of year is a great time to get feedback from 5th graders as they prepare to move on to middle school.  These lunch groups provide time for me to sit with 6-10 students and get to know them better, and give them a chance to connect with me.  Student voices are important to me and I look forward to each group.  Unfortunately, I do not have lunch with Kindergartners for two reasons: one is that I can barely fit in grades 1-5, and two, Kindergartners are working really hard to develop lunch routines and I do not want to disrupt those routines!  

    Please continue to take a few minutes each week to watch the Power Time video that we send out.  These videos are a great format for our common language of POWER.  They reiterate school expectations, share celebrations, and in general support a positive culture and climate.  I really like to feature classrooms and staff members who positively impact learning and growth.  Most students LOVE to watch the videos, and better yet, they LOVE to be in them!  Our focus this year has mostly been on reviewing the POWER words for new students and reminding the Willow Creek “veteran” students of expectations grounded in a growth mindset.  It is really fun to showcase new programs and structures throughout the year.  We have sent out information about our Willow Creek “Families”, which is a program organized by a group of teachers.  We will be sharing a POWER time video soon with more information and details about this fun and inclusive way to make sure all students feel welcomed and valued here at school.  By creating smaller communities within the larger community of 560, we hope to build more connections between students of all ages, and allow older students to learn how to mentor younger ones. 

    In response to some parent requests regarding safety, make sure you read the emails that went out on November 15th.  One was specific to dismissal procedures, and one was specific to the language and definitions you should know regarding safety drills and procedures.  We practice the drills and would implement them in the event of a threat to the school.  Of course we hope that we never have to act on a serious threat, but I feel confident that we take our practices seriously and that we are as prepared as possible.  We appreciate the support of District Safety Coordinators and area School Resource Officers.  They are great at helping us practice drills and understand procedures.  It is important to me that you know our support systems and that you feel confident that we are doing all we can to provide a physically and psychologically safe learning environment for your children. 

    We had some joys and sorrows in 2019, and have had multiple opportunities to practice our growth mindset words: PerseveranceOptimismFlexibilityEmpathy and Resilience.  Along with our current theme of KINDNESS, the combination of a growth mindset and this wonderful community make for an amazing school!  As always, thank you for your support, your questions, your partnership, and especially thank you for sending the Best.Kids.Ever to school each day!  Like I tell my teachers each week...I am still in awe…….

    Until next time,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • November 2019

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    Happy Fall!  I want to start by saying how much fun the Halloween Parade was!  Outside would have been a much better venue if the weather would have cooperated.  Oh, well, we can't control Mother Nature!

    Please ask your children about our new PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) assembly where we celebrated our “Families” project.  The assembly was on Friday, November 1st.  Carrie Hogan and a team of teachers worked very hard to make this a reality. The purpose of this project is to create smaller communities within the larger Willow Creek community so that children make more connections with both students and adults.  The structure of a “Willow Creek family” is one student per grade, K-5. Then there are groups of families that come together with a team of adults to become a “household”.  There will be several times throughout the year when the “families” come together to work on a project, or to bond through an activity.  When we have a POWER pep assembly, students will sit in their family groups instead of their grade levels.  This gives our 5th graders an opportunity to lead, and it gives students across grade levels an opportunity to make friends outside their grade.  Our plan is to continue this in the coming years and keep the families intact with the exception, of course, of 5th grade. There will be a POWER time video in December showing highlights and pictures.  You know me and my POWER time videos!  Be sure you check it out.

    I have heard some rumblings about drop off in the mornings now that the weather is changing and fewer people are walking or riding their bikes.  Students can be dropped off at 7:45 and go directly to their doors where a teacher will be supervising by 7:50.  Being at school on time is so important in getting the day started on a positive note, and the drop off line goes more smoothly when everyone doesn't show up between 7:55-8:00!  It can truly make a difference if some people can be here between 7:45-7:50.  I see the front drop off every morning and it is rarely full until between 7:55-8:00.  Please have your student ready to get out of the car as soon as you can stop, and PLEASE do not park in the drop off lane, even if you think it will only be a minute.  Every second counts!  Our crossing guards are doing a fantastic job of watching the flow of cars and monitoring the timing of letting pedestrians cross.  When my schedule allows I enjoy being out in the front to greet you and your students and help move cars along. 

    Remember to visit our website willowcreek.cherrycreekschools.org for more information about our school and our district.  Upcoming opportunities to be involved at Willow Creek are:  P.A.S.S. (Partnership for Academically Successful Students) Monday, November 11, 5:30-6:30, and Accountability Monday, November 11, 6:30-8:00. 

    Can you believe it is already November?  Our school year is flying by!  In the spirit of “Thankfulness”, I want to reiterate how blessed and thankful I am to be leading this school!  The staff, students, and community amaze me each and every day!  I truly love being here and am thankful every day for this opportunity.  It has been an amazing first trimester and I couldn't be more proud of the hard work and success of the teachers, staff, and students.  I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving break and are able to reflect on what you are thankful for.

    Until next time,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • October 2019

    Dear Willow Creek Community,

    Fall in Colorado is beautiful!  It is my favorite season. Football games, fall foods, and fall foliage in my favorite colors catch my attention.  It’s a nice time in the school year because we have established our routines and schedules, and teachers and students are able to engage in meaningful learning.

    As you may know, teachers spent time with students collecting baseline data in literacy and math at the beginning of the year.  Now they are progress monitoring and adjusting instruction to meet the needs of their students. If you were at the September Accountability Meeting you heard my presentation, Willow Creek’s Data Story.  To summarize, according to grades 3-5 CMAS Literacy and Math assessments,  Willow Creek has around 70% of students who met or exceeded grade level standards.  For those who haven't met them yet, there are instructional adjustments, accommodations and modifications according to IEPs or 504 plans, and sometimes it is simply that a student needs a little extra time.  I share this with you so that you are aware of our celebrations of how many students perform at grade level, and our care and concern for those who don’t.  

    We really believe that it takes a village.  The fundamental skills that our primary grade teachers teach in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies lay the foundation for the success of our students throughout their entire elementary experience and beyond.  Every skill, every lesson, every goal that teachers and students work on are important to the foundation and growth of learning. Each year as the content levels and the expectations increase, teachers continue to challenge students and set even higher learning goals.  I am proud of the hard work and determination that teachers and students exhibit every day.

    There will be an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher soon.  Parent Teacher conferences are quickly approaching. They will be the week of November 4th-8th.  If they haven’t already, teachers will be reaching out to parents to schedule these important conferences. As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact either their teacher or me. 

    One last thought, I invite you to join our joint PTO/Accountability meeting on October 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the library.  The topic will be school safety. Steve Wallisch, Safety Coordinator for the Cherry Creek High School Feeder, will be joining us.  If you have questions or concerns about safety, this would be a great meeting for you to attend.  For your future planning, the November 11th Accountability meeting will include Norm Alerta, Director, Office of Assessments and Performance Analytics, and the topic will be the UIP (Unified School Improvement Plan) that all Colorado schools are required to submit to the State.

    Thank you for your continued support and partnership!  Every day I am thankful and blessed to be a part of this wonderful community of learners.

    Take good care!

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • September 2019

    Hello and welcome to school year 2019-2020! As I have begun year four as your Principal, I continue to learn about this community and I feel more and more connected. It is awesome to see familiar faces as well as meet our new families. Willow Creek belongs to all of us!

    The theme for this year is KINDNESS. While we continue to embrace POWER as the foundation for learning, interactions with others, and a growth mindset, we will focus on KINDNESS. KINDNESS to self, and KINDNESS to others. A growth mindset is not a trendy notion or a passing phase. POWER was born out of the understanding of growth mindset and is truly a lifelong skill that is valuable for everyone! As we check ourselves to make sure we are being KIND to ourselves and to others, the hope is that we are building upon and modeling practices for a happy, successful life beyond Willow Creek. Engage in conversations with your students about the weekly POWER videos which will be emailed to parents through the “parent 1” email provided in PowerSchool. You will receive the weekly POWER video so that you have an awareness of our weekly focus, a common language to bridge school and home, and one venue for principal-parent communication. More and more students are directly involved in the creation and the production of the weekly video. There is a description of POWER on our website if you would like more information. 

    I appreciate your mindfulness about the flow of traffic and the use of crosswalks for safety of all of our community members. Please do not leave your car unattended in the fire lane. Your parked car causes a delay in the flow of cars using the ‘kiss and go’ drop off. I know that parking is tricky at the peak times, but it’s important that everyone honor the rules and follow our safety guidelines. I greatly appreciate how many of our students are making it to school on time this year! Remember that you can drop off by 7:45 so that your student is in line at 7:50 at grade level doors. For the safety of your student, please remind them that they have the blacktops to move about on when they go to their respective doors. They may not play on the playground equipment as we have no supervision on the playgrounds at that time. We won’t let students in the front doors until the first bell rings. This helps spread the students out across the campus and avoids a cluster at the doors. Dismissal is going well and most students are off the school grounds by 3:00, which is the expectation unless they are supervised by a parent or in a scheduled activity. Again, the safety of the students is a priority, therefore playing on school grounds before school or after 3:00 is unsafe as there is no supervision. Thank you for doing your part to follow our school expectations.

    Here are some ways for you to stay “in the know” at Willow Creek! PTO will send out the weekly Sunday blast which contains the schedule for the week. Please make sure you are reading it and referencing it if you have questions about clubs, school events, etc… I encourage you and invite you to be involved in our school through volunteering and attending scheduled parent meetings. P.A.S.S. (Partnership for Academically Successful Students) and School Accountability will meet Monday, September 9th: P.A.S.S. will meet at 5:30 pm; Accountability at 6:30 pm in the library. Dates for Community PTO meetings will be forthcoming as well. Looking ahead to October 7th, there will be an Accountability/PTO meeting and we will have our Safety and Security Coordinator from the Cherry Creek Feeder to present and answer questions in regards to safety and security. More information about the parent organizations can be found in this edition of “THE PEEK”. 

    Thank you for your continued support and for sending such lovely children to school each day. Please know that I love to visit with you about your children’s school experience, and I encourage you to contact me with questions, concerns, or to receive clarification on anything school related.

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

  • May 2019

    Dear Willow Creek Families,

    Welcome to May in beautiful Colorado!  I am not sure where this year went, but I am certainly amazed at how quickly it flew by.  It has been a full year with many opportunities to support one another as a school community.  Whether it was mourning together as a community, supporting illness, learning new strategies to support ALL students, or sharing joy and hugs, we are stronger and better for you and your students!

    I appreciate your support as we fully implement district procedures for safety.  Many of you have not only been patient with us as we implement the use of the Raptor system, but you have been positive and appreciative!  We are still working on the procedures for larger events, but we know during the day when students are transitioning throughout the building, that every visitor is a safe visitor.  We will not assume anything that could compromise the safety of our precious children.  

    I would like to thank those of you who wrote emails, letters, dropped by to visit, or called to talk about the best placement for your children (child) next year. My staff has been working really hard with intentionality about best placements for students.  I appreciate your support as we work through this important process. Please know that teachers work together to make the best recommendations, and then I work with them to make the final decisions. In order to maintain professional relationships, I ask that you reach out to me if you have additional questions about placements.  As we learned this past summer, there were students moving in and moving out, and we needed to adjust some classes last minute to keep the balance the best we could. CLASS LISTS will be emailed and posted on grade level doors at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 7th.  So, speaking of next year, I want to share some changes that I know of at this point.

    Staffing changes:

    Misti Black is moving to Kindergarten.

    CCSD will have FULL DAY Kindergarten…..Kindergarten parents will be communicated with via the district, so please wait for questions until we hear from district!

    Many of you know that Mrs. Clark is retiring. (sad face)

    We will hire two additional Kindergarten teachers to work with Mrs. Black and Mrs. Thomas.

    Taylor Symons will join the second grade team.  She is currently teaching 2nd grade in Windsor, CO.

    Courtney Blume will be an "Instructional Coach" for us next year.

    We will hire a new third grade team member soon.

    After the successful completion of a "one year only" contract, Katie Hlavka is officially a member of the first grade team.  

     

    And finally, in closing out the final PEEK for this school year, I would be remiss if I did not continue to thank you for your love, your gracious outpouring of support, and the best part of Willow Creek...your amazing children!  I close weekly emails to my staff with "Still in awe…", and I say the same to you as parents and partners in your children's education.  I am humbled every day to be your leader at Willow Creek.

    Have a fun, safe, and healthy summer! :)

    Respectfully,

    Diana Price, Principal

    Phone: 720-554-3900

    email: dprice11@cherrycreekschools.org

Last Modified on Monday at 11:28 AM