Panther Pages, October 8, 2021

Dear Park Hill Elementary Families:

I wanted to share a highlight from this week in our Intermediate grades.  On Wednesday, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders were able to participate in the “No Place For Hate” kickoff, which included a zoom meeting and read aloud from Amanda Gorman. Her new book is entitled “Change Sings”.  The students read the book in class with their teachers, watched Ms Gorman read it aloud during the zoom kickoff meeting, and engaged in thoughtful and engaging dialogue in their class around kindness, inclusion, and equity (among other topics). If your child has not shared this with you, please ask them this weekend.

This work is tied to our larger commitment to Equity:

DPS Equity Statement: Racial and Educational Equity is our collective responsibility. We will achieve equity when we dismantle deeply rooted systems of oppression that have historically resulted in inequitable access and distribution of opportunities and resources for those who represent marginalized identities, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language and ability. We will create conditions where we all belong, are included, have clear purpose (why) and have the autonomy to lead in our respective areas. By creating these conditions, we will eliminate the predictability of success or failure for our students and team members.

Ken Burdette, Principal

No School for students on October 15th & 18th

Please mark your calendars and make note that students will not have school on Friday, October 15th and Monday, October 18th.

Traffic Update

Per Principal Burdette: We have noticed an increase in speeding and unsafe driving around Park Hill Elementary and in Park Hill as a whole.  While I realize most of the people reading this email are not the unsafe drivers, I must ask that we all do our part to keep our kids safe. This includes minimizing speeds, making full stops at Stop signs, and putting pedestrians first. If the traffic is too much to handle, please find an alternative route or park further away.  Lastly, if you feel you need to speak directly to an unsafe driver, please know you have my support and backing. We are all in this together. Also, a reminder that we have Kiss and Drop each morning on Elm street and 18th.

Halloween Parade Update

We wanted to share some details about the Halloween Parade planned for Friday 10/29. This year’s parade will look a little different than past years.  We plan to stagger the parade by grade level to avoid a mass gathering of students.  Parents will remain outside the gates/fence/school but are welcome to watch their students and classmates.  Students will need to wear their costumes to school (and will not be changing into/out of costumes), so it will need to be something that is appropriate for the day’s activities and recess (fyi – students can wear additional gloves or mask for the parade if it goes with the costume, but will not wear these inside).  We will have more details to share as the parade gets closer but hopefully this helps with costume selection if students choose to participate.  Participation is optional and students will have another activity if they decide not to participate.

Please Label Your Student’s Items

Please label everything that comes to school with your student. Lost & Found is filling up!  We will return to students items that are labeled.

¡Hola Familias!

A message from Ms Acosta: This month in Spanish we will be learning about the wonderful tradition of Día de los Muertos. I’m so grateful that we will be able to install our community ofrenda at the school again. Please follow the link below for some ways that your students and family can participate and pay tribute to their dearly departed.

Free COVID tests

CDPHE recently announced the Rapid-At-Home program in which they will ship free rapid antigen tests directly to homes. Students, families and educators can enroll in the program here. A couple important notes on the program:

  • Due to significant interest, there appears to be a several week delay in initial shipments after signing up.
  • These rapid tests are intended for ongoing screening; a rapid test cannot clear an individual with symptoms to go to school or clear someone from quarantine. Individuals can only be cleared with a PCR test at COVIDCheckColorado or your primary care physician.

5th Grade Talent Show – *Update* 

We are now targeting the spring for the Talent Show.  This will hopefully be an outdoor, in-person event.  We will pass along further updates as the plans for the Talent Show get more finalized.

New Family Friendly COVID-19 Webpage Available!

DPS has launched a new, family-friendly webpage to answer frequently asked COVID-19 questions. Focused on the student/family experience, the page includes a range of helpful advice, such as where to get a COVID-19 test, when quarantining is required, and how to isolate an ill family member in a small living space. This resource can also be accessed directly from the homepage by clicking the green “COVID-19 Guidance” button.

Volunteer Reminder

As we have noted in the past few Panther Pages, DPS has updated their volunteer guidelines.  All volunteers must register with DPS here.  Additionally proof of vaccination is required.  Please send copies of vaccine cards to:

HGT/GT testing for grades 1,3,4 and 5

The fall testing nomination is now open through October 15. The application is available online at When you get to the site, scroll down until you see ‘Interested in Magnet Testing?’

This nomination form is for families seeking Gifted and Talented (GT) identification and/or placement at a Highly Gifted Magnet Site. This series of cognitive tests provide us with information for potential HGT or GT identification. Qualifying scores will be put into a body of evidence as 1 data point toward identification. Ultimately 3 qualifying data points are needed for formal identification.

The testing will occur at Park Hill Elementary during the testing window of October 25 – December 3, 2021. Remember the deadline for applications is October 15, 2021.

All kindergarteners and 2nd graders in DPS are given a different HGT/GT test and therefore do not need to apply.  Contact Mary Lauth, Park Hill GT teacher, with questions.