Thursday, January 9, 2020

January Principal Message

Upcoming Week
Friday, Jan 10:  
  • 8:15 Student Council Meeting
  • 3:15 Spirit Assembly
Tuesday, Jan 14:
  • 8am Young Rembrandts Art Class
  • 7pm PTO Meeting
Wednesday, Jan 15
  • 4:15 Spelling Bee
  • Raising Cane's Spirit Night
Thursday, Jan 16
  • 8am Battle of the Books
  • 8:15 JRC Meeting
Monday, Jan 20th
Wish Week: First Week of February

Principal Message

Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays were wonderful and time was spent with family and friends.  Thank you to all the parents that came out for our Winter Writing Celebration the day before winter break.  It was so wonderful to see all our students so excited about sharing their work with parents and staff.  If you missed the celebration please reach out to your child's teacher and coordinate with them so you can see the wonderful writing that your children have completed up to this point.  This semester we will continue with the next unit of study in writing which will be informational writing.  I am excited to see your children excel in this area as well!

As you all know from my prior communication Kellie McKenzie, our current registrar moved to Chicago with her family over the holiday break, we were very sad to see her go!  We are excited, however, to announce that our very own Lesly Verry will be our new registrar.  She will begin transitioning to the front office from her current position as a kindergarten educational assistant.  As she is getting trained on the many aspects of the position, please be patient with us if you need assistance at the front office.

A HUGE thank you needs to go out to Mr. Aaron Carter, one of our amazing dads!  He worked super hard over winter break and re-did our buddy bench.  It was looking worn out and needed a refresh!  Check out this amazing bench!  We are so grateful for his craftsmanship and expertise!

We are looking forward to a great second semester of learning and growth for our students. As always please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Kelli Smith, FSE Principal

Wish Week 2020 is Coming!

Emily, 5 years old and our Wish Week child this year. She suffers from a genetic disorder and her wish is to have a greenhouse. She lives right here in Castle Rock and we are excited to support her in her wish this year. Below are some fun things about her. If you are interested in buying a shirt so support wish week please see info below (the design of the shirt is also below). The cost of the shirts is $15 for youth sizes and $20 for adult sizes.  Orders are due Friday, January 17th.  Please fill out THIS form to order your shirt, checks can be dropped off with Mrs. Talley in the office (checks can be made out to FSE).
Color:  Blue
Book/Story: New Baby, Mr. Rodgers, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Game: Baby Alive
Food: Pizza (Pepperoni)
Restaurant: Blue Moose
Cake/Candy: Chocolate, Any Kind
Snack Food: Pretzels
Other: I was Peppa Pig for Halloween
When Outside: I like to plant different plants, I like to play with my brothers (David and William)
When Inside: Play with my dolls
When I'm with Family: Plant plants, Go swimming

From Our Counselor

           The article referred to above is HERE

FSE Enrichment

FSE Happenings!

Excellent Video on Grit and Perseverance
A Must SEE Video!!
As an educator, I see the difference in kids that have grit and those that do not. Please take a minute and check out the 6 min. video by Angela Duckworth on the importance of teaching our kids grit.

Angela Duckworth and grit are household names in education circles (and in many households as well). Her “grit” theory goes hand-in-hand with growth mindset. Her talk focuses on how grit or that stamina, hard work, and sticktoitiveness is more of a predictor of success than IQ and academic talents. Use this talk to start a discussion with your children about what it means to have grit and what obstacles they’ve had to overcome. You may be surprised at the stories you’ll hear from your students or even your own children.
See video HERE

Sunday, December 8, 2019

December Principal Message

Dear FSE Families,
As the calendar year comes to a close, like many of you I begin to reflect on the past year.  The year 2019 has been a blessed one for FSE. We continue to show growth in academics and have been successfully implementing many social-emotional structures for our students so they are better able to access their learning.  Our teachers and staff put students first and work diligently every day to personalize learning for your children.  I am so proud of the work FSE is doing as we partner with you to grow our students.  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season and are able to reflect on the many celebrations of the 2019 calendar year!

Winter Writing Wonderland: December 19th!
Please make sure you check the communication coming from your child's teacher on our upcoming Winter Writing Wonderland Celebration. This is a time for you to come to school and celebrate the writing accomplishments of your children as we close out the first semester. As you know, we adopted a new writing program this year and are very excited to highlight the work that your children have been doing as they advance their skills as writers. Please make sure to take time out of your busy schedules to attend! See times below.

Grade K 9:30 - 10:30
Grade 1 10:00-10:45
Grade 2 & 1/2 12:00-12:45
Grade 3 & 2/3 12:45 - 1:30
Grade 4 1:00-1:45
Grade 5 2:30-3:15
Grade 6 3:00-4:00

2019-2020 Calendar Change
On October 22, 2019 the DCSD Board of Education approved changes on our 2019-2020 school calendars to accommodate the state’s three-day testing window for PSAT and SAT. Please see the date changed below:

No School April 20, 2020
Was April 16, 2020, there will now be school as usual on April 16, 2020

Note from our Counselor
Hello FSE Families!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and some time off as we prepare for a busy few weeks. During my break, I was reminded that during the holidays we have an opportunity to teach our kids about the importance of giving. I overheard my kids (ages 7 and 5) talking about how excited they are to get presents for Christmas. So I asked them, “Who’s excited about giving gifts?” And then silence. I realized there is a need to shift our focus around the holidays. 

As parents, its natural for us to want to give our children everything. Often we respond to every "I want" because we can and it makes us feel good, not necessarily because we should. There are an infinite number of toys, games, and treats in the world. And no matter how much our children have, they will always want more, and there will always be a friend who has more. How can we change this mindset and raise caring children who know the importance of giving rather than getting? Here are some ideas (that I will be using) on how we can teach our children to moderate their wants, be thankful for what they have, and give to others. 
  • Make quality family time the major holiday goal that children look forward to, even in shopping expeditions. For example, adding breakfast or lunch at a restaurant to your shopping trip can become its own cherished tradition.
  • Encourage your child to give to a child in need through Toys for Tots or other similar programs, and include that in the shopping goals.
  • As a family, model restraint and sharing with the less fortunate through local programs to aid the impoverished and homeless here and in other countries. 
  • Actively teach your children as they mature that media advertising is trying to shape our thinking to want more and more.
  • "Adopt" a senior citizen and help him or her with necessary chores or visit an elder care home.
  • Plan or cooperate with existing paper drives or other recycling endeavors.
  • Collect food for local food banks.
  • "Adopt" a service person stationed overseas, collect items and send them a gift box.
  • Make toys, games, or crafts for a child care center or pediatric unit of a hospital.
If your family employs the help of Elf on the Shelf in December, these Kindness Elves are a creative alternative to the tradition. You may also consider a Kindness Calendar as your family counts the days before the holiday. 

Patti Roberts
Flagstone School Counselor
13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do by Amy Morin
I am currently reading this book and find the content to be very good! I thought that I would share a synopsis of a few of the principals in each newsletter, in the event you could benefit (like I can!) with some of these tips on parenting.
Strong parents don't condone a victim mentality
Mainstream sociologists say our ''victimhood culture' is evidenced by the increased complaints from individuals who claim to be victims whenever they encounter minor offenses. In today's culture, people complain to third parties over minor offenses, they advertise their oppression and demand assistance each time they feel offended. Then they try to gain support for their cause by claiming the minor offense they experienced is part of a much bigger cultural problem. Social media is a common tool to convince others to see themselves as victims.

Raising a mentally strong child who accepts personal responsibility for his life can be challenging when everyone else is trying to convince him he's a victim. Failing a class, being overlooked for a job, and being benched by a coach doesn't necessarily mean he's a victim. But if he has a victim mentality, he'll view criticism and failure as proof that other people are trying to prevent him from succeeding. Here are a few ways you might be instilling a victim mentality in your child:

  • Role-modeling a victim mentality: saying things like, "Why do these things always have to happen to me?" when you encounter a setback sends a message that you're a powerless victim.
  • Feeling sorry for your child: Sometimes parents secretly feel sorry for a child who has a disability or who has endured a traumatic circumstance. But pitying your child-even when it's never openly discussed-teaches your child he's a victim.
  • Underestimating a child's capabilities. Whether your child has a physical disability or a cognitive impairment, or you just doubt his abilities in general, focusing on what your child can't do, rather than what he can, leads to a victim mentality.
  • Refusing to watch a child struggle. Watching a child grow frustrated by her inability to do something is tough. But rescuing your child at the first sign of a struggle teaches her that she must depend on others to do things for her.

What's Helpful

  • Looking for warning signs of a victim mentality
  • Focusing on what your child can control
  • Looking for the silver lining
  • Giving your child unstructured playtime
  • Teaching your child healthy ways to get attention

What's Not Helpful

  • Feeling sorry for your child
  • Attending your child's pity parties
  • Rewarding your child for being a victim
  • Minimizing your child's feelings
  • Pointing out the negative more than the positive
  • Underestimating your child's capabilities

FSE Happenings
Students during writers workshop sharing their writing with others.

Huge Shout out to Mrs. P!
We thank Mrs. P for all the hard work that she did preparing and running the Scholastic Book Fair! This is one of the sole ways she earns money to buy books for the library. Thank you, families, for helping to support by buying lots of books!
Mrs. Jacques enjoyed reading silly stories to the children that attended the late-night book fair!  Thank you, Mrs. Jacques!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November Principal Update

Dear Families,
October was a busy month!  This month's blog highlights the following events and information from the past month.

  • We are deep into the first-year implementation of our new writing program and continue to be impressed with the quality of our student's writing.  We can't wait to share with you at our upcoming winter writing celebration (details to come!).  
  • We are continuing to strengthen our security in regards to building access and have made some additional changes after observing students sign out after the Halloween parade.  Please take a minute to read our updates on building security below.  
  • New FSE website
  • Kindness Week
  • Update from our Counselor
  • Powerful video on pre-teens and social media: a MUST watch
  • EPR (elementary progress report release date)

Building Access During School Events/Dismissals
  • For any events, you will be required to sign in at the office and wear a sticker. If you do not have a visible sticker you will be asked by staff to return to the office to obtain one.
  • Please remember to sign in on our Raptor kiosks and get a sticker if we have already scanned your driver's license this year.  If you have not had us scan your ID yet this year please stop by the front desk to have us get you a sticker.  
  • Also, if you are needing to pick your child up early today please do so by 3pm.  We will not be able to call them down and dismiss during assemblies.  Feel free to call the front office at 303-387-5225 with any questions!
  • If there is a school event please plan to come early to get signed in prior to being able to attend the event.  There WILL be lines so please prepare!
  • Please remember that these policies are in place to keep our kids safe!
FSE NEW Website
Please click HERE to see our new website.
Now you can have Flagstone alerts and information at your fingertips!  With the launch of our new school website (, we are now part of the Douglas County School District mobile app. Stay up-to-date on news and events from our school and the school district via the official Douglas County School District mobile app. 

Simply download the DCSD mobile app from the Google Play or Apple App Store, then, find and select our school under “settings.” You will then have up-to-date access to our school’s calendar events, news, and notifications regarding weather delays or closures.  Download the DCSD App today!

Kindness Week
Our 6th-grade Kindness ROCKStars are putting on a school-wide celebration to promote kindness around FSE.  They have decided to celebrate World Kindness Day on November 13th. Please see the below dates for dress-up/celebration information!

Kindness Theme days

    • Tuesday, November 12th: Krazy for Kindness Day
      • Dress in crazy clothes, crazy socks, crazy hair
    • Wednesday, November 13th: Aloha Kindness
      • Dress up for a Hawaiian getaway
    • Thursday, November 14th: Cozy up with Kindness
      • Wear your PJs to school
    • Friday, November 15th: Dress for Kindness
      • Wear the colors pink or red to promote kindness

From the counselor….

Hello, Wonderful FSE Families!

For the month of November, we are focusing on empathy as part of our Second Step curriculum.
Students will work on identifying their own and others’ feelings by noticing someone’s face and
body, along with the situation they are in. They are also working to understand that people may
have different feelings about the same situation. Finally, they are putting their knowledge of
empathy into action by showing compassion for others.
As the holiday season approaches, I am also emphasizing the importance of gratitude with our
students. Studies have shown that children who are taught to be grateful receive health and
social benefits such as reduced stress, increased happiness at school, better performance in
school, fewer stomachaches and headaches, improved relationships and reduced materialism.
Being able to put themselves in another person’s shoes allows children to care for and relate to
others. Gratitude shows people that they have benefitted from the kindness of others, and so, in turn,
they are more likely to perform kind acts themselves.

Here are some ways to help your child learn about gratitude:

1) Model gratitude in your daily life. Small examples of everyday thankfulness can make an
impression on your child.
2) Encourage generous acts. Perhaps donating clothes and toys. Explain to them that some
children don’t have toys, food, or clothes. Your child may surprise you with how much they are
willing to give.
3) Say no from time to time. If a child is always able to do or get what they want, they begin to
learn that life is about endless rewards. Thankfulness is all about understanding that life’s rewards
are not something to take for granted.
4) Teach them that things aren’t most important in life. Talk about less tangible things you’re
thankful for, such as family mealtimes, having enough food to eat, or spending time with a friend.
5) Connect the act of giving with the meaning behind it. Whether your child receives a physical
gift or an experiential gift, it’s important to help him or her understand the kind thought behind it.  
6) Ask for help around the house. Whether it’s putting away their toys or helping you to mix
ingredients in the kitchen, age-appropriate chores can help children develop a sense of thankfulness.

In gratitude,

Patti Roberts
(303) 387-5243
Follow me on Twitter @MsPattiFSE

EPR Release - Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 a.m.
Families can access all released student EPRs for 1st semester via the EngagED Parent Portal ( on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 a.m. Please take a minute to read over these progress reports, our teachers spend a lot of time communicating on student progress monthly and this on one of the opportunities to understand where your children are performing. If you need help getting in your portal account please do so PRIOR to winter break since our office will be closed.

Social Media and Our Pre-Teens and Teens
During my 25 years as an educator and 15 years as a principal, I have never seen an impact on
students as profoundly negative as that of social media, texting, and access to the internet. Our
pre-teen and teenage students are too young to understand how to navigate the power that these
applications and smartphones have and, therefore, get in trouble, trouble that can have a life long
impact. Please take a few minutes to watch the below link to understand the impact of cell phones
on our students.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October Principal Message

October 1st, 2019

Dear FSE Families,
The last month has been busy for students and staff at FSE. We are gearing up for conferences next week (please make sure you sign up if you haven't already), and your students are so excited to share everything they have been working on! Please read on to see all the wonderful things your children have been doing during the month of September.

Kelli Smith, FSE Principal

OCTOBER is Liver Cancer Awareness Month! In support of one of our own student's fight, we are asking our school and school community to wear emerald green every Friday in October.  Let's show our support for this incredibly brave student!

Here is the link for the conference online scheduler.  Please get this sent out to families asap: online scheduler.  The password is mustangs.

Writing Curriculum
We have launched our new writing program and are loving the rigor and engagement it provides to our students.  As you come into conferences next week look at your child's writing growth.  Ask your child to show you the tools they are using in their writing, like the student checklist document and the anchor charts throughout the room.

DCHS Homecoming Parade
Flagstone Student Council participated in the DCHS Homecoming parade!  The theme this year was DC under the Sea!  They did a great job representing!

Student Council Speeches
Our student council kids have recorded speeches for the student body to vote for elected offices.  The President, Vice President, Treasurer and School Store are all positions that students are running for!  We wish them all good luck as voting occurs this week.

Strategic Plan Launch
On Friday, September 20th DCSD transported all staff to the Pepsi Center for a presentation for the launch of our new Strategic Plan.  Please see this link for the plan.  It was an inspiring and unifying event for our staff and the entire DCSD community.  See our pictures below!

Restorative Practices
This year we are intentionally focusing on teaching restorative practices to our students.  The chart below describes the idea behind restorative practices.  We believe that when it comes to teaching students how to handle conflict, rather than going to punishment alone, we set limits and set expectations with a lot of teaching and support.  Below is a chart describing this concept, explicit limits with lots of guidance and support.  We work WITH students to teach behavior.  When students do make mistakes we support them in figuring out how they will right the wrong that they did.  

FSE Mad Scientist Obstacle Course
Our grand total of pledges for the Fun Run this year was $26,929!! For achieving our Fun Run Goal of $25,000, the Kona Ice Truck will be here for all students to enjoy a Kona Ice treat on Tuesday, October 8! Great job FSE!

Note From Our Wonderful Counselor

Hello, Wonderful FSE Families!

Things at school are in full swing. Our students have settled into their routines and I have happily settled into being a full-time school counselor at FSE. Know that I am here to support your students academically, emotionally and socially in any way I can.

Last year, we implemented Second Step as our social-emotional learning curriculum in the classroom. This year we are working towards deeper integration of the program school-wide. The lessons students receive focus on Skills for Learning, Empathy, Emotion Management, and Problem Solving. Watch for a Homelink for each lesson to engage with your child at home.

Another focus at school this year is the use of restorative practices when managing conflict. Restorative practices focus on repairing and restoring relationships when harm has occurred. It has been shown to build community, foster a positive, healthy school climate and help students to learn from their mistakes. Ask your student about the last “circle” they did in class. Our teachers are engaging in regular restorative circles to build their classroom community and allow their students’ voices to be heard.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or thoughts you may have.

Patti Roberts
(303) 387-5243

Other School Happenings!

NONDISCRIMINATION NOTICE: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado,, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. 

January Principal Message

Upcoming Week Friday, Jan 10:   8:15 Student Council Meeting 3:15 Spirit Assembly Tuesday, Jan 14: 8am Young Rembrandts Art Class...