September 10, 2014
Spirit Wear is available for purchase from now until September 25th! Hurry and get your order in! Click here to get the description of the products and the order form.
How Are We Doing?
September 5, 2014
Do you want to know how our school works? Look at our latest assessment results? Discuss curriculum? Then our Accountability Committee is the place you want to be!
Join us on Tuesday, September 23rd, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Library. We will be discussing our TCAP and assessment results from last spring.
Our goal for these meetings is to create a community-driven forum where the agenda is determined by our data and topics of interest from the community.
If you would like more information about the accountability process, please explore the pages under the Accountability & Accreditation link on the menu to the left of this page.
Back to School 2014!
July 26, 2014
Ready or not — school is around the corner! We're trying to make getting ready for the new year as easy as possible for families, so you will see that the forms you need for registration are now located on the expanded "Supply Lists & School Forms" webpage. Just click on that tab in the sidebar to your left to get the information you need.
Make sure to circle August 14 on your calendar — registration will be that morning at school. If you can't make that date, late registration will be on August 15.
But wait! Before you leave this story, you'll want to read Mr. Chipman's welcome letter. it has important information for our August kickoff. Just click this link:
Mr. Chipman's Welcome
In addition, you will need to log into your MyCherryCreekSchools account (or create one) in order to update the forms the district requires. The information you need is in this letter from Mr. Chipman:
See you soon!
January 29, 2014
Congratulations to Willow Creek's Spelling Bee finalists! Those who are going on to the district Spelling Bee on February 7 are (from left to right) Elyse Sommer, Bryn Noe, Caroline Korell, and Justin Sheu (alternate).
On January 28, 2014, Willow Creek hosted its school Spelling Bee. Participants were selected based on a written test given to interested third, fourth and fifth grade students. There were twenty students that qualified (listed below). Words were spelled orally with a strict protocol. One miss of a letter or a repetition and a student had to be disqualified. All students were still in the running through round five! We continued for 16 rounds in order to narrow our participants to the final three, with one additional alternate. Words like bonsai, eucalyptus, iridescent, and tonsillitis were a few of the tough sticklers! It was certainly a fun afternoon, with lots of nerves and excitement emanating from Mrs. Heaton's room.
- Daniel Kobilan (5th)
- Rahul Thomas (5th)
- Pranav Nallapati (5th)
- Bryce Ballantine-Armstrong (5th)
- Evan Brown (5th)
- James Kramer (5th)
- **Justin Sheu (5th)
- Adam Parish (5th)
- Akber Shaikh (5th)
- *Bryn Noe (5th)
- *Elyse Sommer (5th)
- Blake Russelavage (5th)
- ##Ryan Legwold (5th)
- *Caroline Korell (4th)
- Sidney McCullough (4th)
- Abbas Shaikh (4th)
- Luke Wirtz (4th)
- Emma Knutson (4th)
- Morgan Willock (3rd)
- Richard Lyman (3rd)
**Denotes Alternate Finalist
##Denotes Absent on Day of Bee
Willow Creek Excels!
January 16, 2014
On Monday, January 13, Willow Creek was recognized by the Board of Education and Superintendent Harry Bull as one of the seven schools in the district to win both the 2013 John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award and the 2013 Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award, thus demonstrating both high growth and high achievement. The board congratulated these schools and their outstanding students, staff, and community.
The Colorado Department of Education presents the John Irwin award to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement and exceed expectations on the academic achievement indicator of the school performance framework. The Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award is given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth. On the school performance framework, that growth must exceed expectations on longitudinal academic growth and meet or exceed expectation on the indicator related to academic growth gaps.
The other six schools in Cherry Creek that received both of these awards are Belleview Elementary, Cherry Hills Village Elementary, Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Dry Creek Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, and Indian Ridge Elementary.
District Math Challenge
December 12, 2013
Our coaches were Gina Wu, Tamim Shaikh, and Biju Thomas. The third-grade participants were Max X., Grace R., and Morgan W. The fourth graders were Cade M., Ethan W., and Abbas S. From fifth grade, we had Bryn N., Justin S., and Rahul T.
On Saturday, December 7th, Willow Creek had nine mathematicians compete in the CCSD Math Challenge. There were three students each from the third, fourth, and fifth grades, all working as a team to represent Willow Creek Elementary. Twenty-two schools across the district, broken into three divisions, were in the competition.
Students took individual challenge tests, and then in the second tier of the competition solved problems in cooperation with each other. The third-grade team solved a part of the problem, passed it on to the fourth-grade team to continue the work, and then handed it off to the fifth-grade team to complete the challenge. Lots of cooperation and coordination went into the efforts!
The Willow Creek students did an awesome job representing our school. Max took first and Grace was second in their third-grade division. Abbas took first in his fourth-grade division, and Rahul took first in the fifth-grade division. Morgan received a prize for being the highest scorer amongst those not winning any other individual awards. The third graders were first in their team championship, and fourth and fifth graders were second in their team championships. The Willow Creek participants had a day of great performances, and we send out many congratulations to all the students involved!
Our TCAP results are outstanding this year! Although TCAP's are taken only by 3rd through 5th graders and are only one measure of our students' success, we feel our scores reflect the hard work of our entire staff, our students, and you — our parents and community.
Ninety-four percent of our third graders scored proficient or advanced (P/A) in Reading (4th highest percentage in the district); 97% of our fourth graders and 94% of our fifth graders did the same (2nd and 6th highest percentage in the district, respectively).
High achievement on these statewide tests is only part of the story — our growth is also outstanding. Growth is measured by comparing each student's gain in proficiency to the growth of all students statewide whose previous score was similar. Growth at the 50th percentile would be considered average; growth above the 60th percentile is high. Our Median Student Growth Percentile (an overall measure of the school's growth) was also outstanding for 2013, reaching the 66th percentile for Reading, 65th percentile for Writing, and 70th percentile for Math.
For a quick summary of our results on all four TCAP subjects, click here.
Second Annual Summer Learning Camp — A Success!
During summer 2013, the Willow Creek
hallways were filled with incoming kindergarteners and first graders
participating in the 2nd annual Summer Learning Camp. This fun,
academic program was based on the thematic units Silly Science, Dr. Seuss on
the Loose, and Deep Blue Sea.
The Willow Creek Kindergarten Team
developed this camp to better prepare our kids for kindergarten and first
grade. The goal for each session was to strengthen literacy and math concepts. In
addition, technology was integrated throughout each day to support 21st
The profits from the camp are used
to purchase materials that enhance the primary program at Willow Creek. Five
iPads were purchased last year to support young learners.
As teachers, we are thrilled with the success of this program. But don't take our word for it! Here are some quotes from our happy campers:
- I love
making the projects. — Faye
- We have
fun at recess. — Eric
- We went to
the computer lab. — Abigail
- We learned
about fish! — Evan
Assembly and Reception for Kakenya
On April 11, 2013, Willow Creek hosted Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya. She shared the inspiring story of her lifelong dream to help educate the girls of Enoosaen, her rural village in Kenya.
The assembly will be from 2:15 to 3:00 pm, and there will be a reception in the library starting at 3:30 pm. If you would like a flyer about this event, click here.
Kakenya has been named one of CNN's Everyday Heroes for 2013. You can read more of her story at CNN's website:
At the reception Thursday afternoon, beaded Maasai jewelry and other items made by Kenyan women and girls will be for sale. These items were made under the auspices of Seeds to Sew International, which is sponsoring Kakenya's visit. For more information about this nonprofit that helps improve the lives of women and girls in disadvantaged communities, please visit www.seedstosew.org.
Our connection to Kakenya started with Seeds to Sew, which was founded by Jan Ito and her daughter Ellyn. (Jan was a Willow Creek teacher for many years.) Lisa Heaton, our GT teacher, spent a week last summer offering teacher workshops in Kakenya's village for the instructors at Kakenya's school and teachers in the surrounding areas. For more information, see Lisa's story at
Winners of the 2013 Willow Creek Spelling Bee
From left to right: Daniel Kobilan, Viyan Giri, Sai Ponnapalli, and Justin Sheu (Alternate)
Congratualations to All of Our Participants!
On January 23, 2013, Willow Creek hosted its school Spelling Bee. Participants were selected based on a written test given to all fourth- and fifth-grade students and interested third graders. Twenty-nine students qualified for the bee (listed below).
At the Bee, words were spelled orally with a strict protocol. One miss of a letter or a repetition and a student had to be disqualified. All students were still in the running through round five! We continued for 10 rounds in order to narrow our participants to the final three, with one alternate.
It was certainly a fun afternoon, with lots of nerves and excitement emanating from Mrs. Heaton's room.
The winners advanced to the Cherry Creek Spelling Bee on February 8, 2013.
Talia Tzarfati (5th)
Samantha Schechterman (5th)
Max Franz (5th)
Lawson Willis (5th)
Lucy Butler (5th)
Tejas Hariharan (5th)
Nate Nicholson (5th)
Susmi Ponnapalli (5th)
Miciah Davis (5th)
Akshitha Mudupu (5th)
Garett Niehoff (5th)
Riley Martin (5th)
Stephen Hogeman (4th)
Rahul Thomas (4th)
Elyse Sommer (4th)
Sidney McCullough (3rd)
Ryan Legwold (4th)
##William Dravenstott (4th)
Maria Ignatief (4th)
Ben Morrell (3rd)
Abbas Shaikh (3rd)
Grace Ha (4th)
##Denotes Absent on Day of
Willow Creek Wins the John Irwin Award -- Again!
January 25, 2013
Cherry Creek Schools' Board of Education members and Superintendent Mary Chesley at the John Irwin ceremony. Our principal, Michael Chipman, is holding the John Irwin Award.
The Colorado Department of Education annually recognizes schools that excel in academic achievement with the John Irwin Award. Willow Creek is proud to have won the award every year since the Irwin Award was instituted in 2001.
All public schools in Colorado are evaluated by a school performance framework that emphasizes achievement and growth for all students. In order to qualify, a school must "'exceed' expectations on the academic achievement indicators and 'meet or exceed' expectations on the indicator related to academic growth gaps."
The John Irwin Award highlights our community's consistent, dedicated commitment to excellence in education, as well as the hard work and perseverance of our staff and students.
November 16, 2012
The Willow Creek Accountability Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 27, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Please join us in the school's library for a discussion of this year's Unified Improvement Plan.
All members of our school's community are welcome to attend. For more information or the preliminary agenda, please see our Accountability
Willow Creek Students Honor Our Nation's Veterans
November 27, 2012
Willow Creek thoroughly enjoyed hosting our veterans and active-duty military personnel on Thursday, November 8th! We appreciated the opportunity to give a little something back to those who have given so much for our country. Due to your generous donations, we will be sending a check in the amount of $539.00 to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Spaghetti Dinner & Fundraiser
The Ramiro-Santillane family, who are residents of Willow Creek, recently lost their wife and mother Elsa during childbirth. She leaves behind a hardworking husband and four children, one of whom attends Willow Creek Elementary.
Her widowed husband is working two jobs to make ends met and faces many financial burdens ahead. Please join the school and community to raise funds for this grieving family and show support for our neighbor.
We are coming together for a Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction on Thursday, October 25th. Come by for dinner anytime from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the school cafeteria. Admission is $5 per person for dinner and $1 per ticket for the Silent Auction. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org -- we need to know how much to cook!
To find out more details about the Silent Auction and donations, please see the October 17th issue of The Peek newsletter (click Newsletters in the menu to the left and then choose The Peek). Pages 5 and 6 have all the details you need.
A special "thank you" to our generous sponsors: Big Bill's New York Pizza, Mama Roma Ristorante Italiano, King Soopers, Costco, and California Pizza Kitchen.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up Before and After School
The beginning and end of the school day are very busy times at Willow Creek. Traffic monitors are in place to ensure the safety of our students. Those directing traffic are employees, teachers and/or parent volunteers. Please be courteous to them, follow their instructions, and drive carefully!
We ask that the guidelines listed below be followed when delivering or picking up children from school:
Pull into the school driveway from East Long Avenue and line up alongside the curb in front of the school. Please pull forward as far as you can so that other cars may enter the driveway.
There is a designated area in front of the building for busses only. The street area southeast of the parking lot is also marked for busses and daycare vans only.
Delivery and pickup areas for cars include the curbside area in front of school, the school side of Long Avenue, and the west side of Willow Way.
Please do not use the parking lot or the southwest side of Willow Way (nearest the parking lot) unless you accompany your child using the painted crosswalk. The service driveway is completely off-limits.
If children need to cross a street, please insist that they cross at the crosswalk on South Willow Way and East Long Avenue. It may take you a little more time, but modeling this when you are with them may one day prevent an accident.
Do not leave your car unattended in the front of the school or let your child off in front of another car by using the second lane in the driveway area.
Some families are using an area on Mineral Circle as a drop-off or pick-up location. Because this street is curved, it can be dangerous when icy or if cars are not going slowly. The county has painted a crosswalk for students.
Great Reading Results!
Our third-graders are great readers! The recent TCAP test they took shows that 98% of our third graders are proficient or advanced in reading. Even better, 25% of them are advanced! This is one of the highest performances in the district.
Third-grade reading is considered a benchmark for later academic success, and we're glad to see such an excellent performance.
Want to Know More?
The next meeting of the Willow Creek Accountability Committee is Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 pm in the Library. The Accountability Committee will be discussing the TCAP and other test results, as well as budget issues. For more information, see our Accountability webpage.
Mukund Gurumurthi, a second grader in Mrs. Black's class, initially tied for first place in the District Chess Tournament! Then in the final rounds Mukund ended up Third Place overall in the entire district.
We want to congratulate Mukund on this outstanding accomplishment! He will be presented with a special certificate from Willow Creek Elementary School, and he received an impressive trophy from the district for the win!
Data Beyond the CSAP
Tired of hearing about the CSAP? Want to know about other kinds of assessment? Join us Thursday, February 16, at the Willow Creek Accountability Committee's next meeting. We will be discussing the other kinds of assessment data we collect and study to judge whether our students are making the progress we want to see.
Accountability meetings are open to everyone. Join us in the Library at 6:30 p.m. and be part of the conversation about pursuing educational excellence.
Multicultural Night is an annual Willow Creek celebration of the diversity of our school. Join us Wednesday, January 25, at 6:30 pm in the Gym and Cafeteria. Put a little spice into your January! Expect wonderful food and exciting entertainment!
Transitions and Decisions
for Fifth Graders
For fifth-grade students and their parents, it’s already time to think about the next school year. January and February are full of events and visits that will help make the transition to middle school easier.
Counselors from our two middle schools, Campus and West, make visits to Willow Creek, and our students visit the middle schools. Parents can attend Parent Information Nights at both middle schools, as well.
Remember that the School of Choice deadline is coming up February 1. Parents who want their student to attend a different middle school than the one assigned by the geographic boundaries should have their paperwork in by that date.
To the Book Fair and Beyond!
Drop by Willow Creek’s Library to visit our Scholastic Book Fair and experience a celebration of reading that provides families the opportunity to get involved in a universal mission: encouraging kids to read every day so they can lead better lives.
Our Scholastic Book Fair theme – To the Book Fair and Beyond! – is part of an out-of-this-world reading event that brings to school a wonderful selection of fun, engaging, and affordable books kids want to read. Giving kids access to good books and the opportunity to choose their own books will motivate them to read more. And like most acquired skills, the more kids practice reading, the better they’ll get.
Reading is vital to every child’s success, and raising kids as readers means getting involved while they’re young. Now is the time. Since there will never be a substitute for a parent’s direct involvement in his/her child’s education, please make plans to visit our Book Fair. Hope to see you there!
Book Fair Dates and Times
Monday, December 5: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday, December 6: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Wednesday, December 7: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 8: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Friday, December 9: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm
If you’re all booked up during Book Fair week (or just want to keep shopping), be sure to visit the Book Fair online at www.scholastic.com/schoolbookfairs. The online Book Fair is available for an extended time from November 28 to December 9.
Find an expanded selection of books for the whole family—preschool to adults
Share your Book Fair with family and friends by sending wish lists or eCards
All orders ship to school for FREE and each purchase benefits our school
Please note: online orders ship to the school in 7 business days, so books ordered on December 9 might not be received before winter break begins.
Honoring Our Veterans
October 18, 2011
Willow Creek will have an assembly dedicated to our veterans and active-duty service members on Thursday, November 10, from 2:45-3:30 pm. If you know someone in our community who is serving now or has served our country, please let us know! We would like to invite them personally to our assembly.
Honoring Contributions to Children in Need
October 18, 2011
Last April, Willow Creek students folded hundreds of paper cranes to raise funds for disaster relief benefitting Japanese children affected by the March 11 earthquake and
tsunami. We held an assembly on Friday, October 21, to commemorate the work of our students, staff, and volunteers, who collected over $3,700. The donation was sent to the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund of Save the Children (http://www.savethechildren.org). If you would like to see the presentation, download this PowerPoint slide show
. Once it is downloaded, click the arrow keys on your keyboard to advance the slides.
October 4, 2011
On Wednesday, October 5th, Willow Creek fifth graders will embark upon their annual outdoor education excursion to Camp Cheley. During this trip, fifth graders will increase their knowledge of, and experience with, a mountain habitat; learn environmental respect; identify components of an ecosystem; and understand interdependence within our environment and how human beings can impact that balance. All of this is accomplished through activities such as orienteering, hiking up a mountain, exploring natural habitats on a nature hike, visiting a working ranch, and visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.
Even more valuable than the science and social studies content explored during the trip are the lifelong skills students will develop. Fifth graders will learn the importance of preparation for safety. Through community living at the camp, students learn cooperation, trust, and mutual respect for themselves and the environment. Students will build new friendships and cultivate existing ones by communal living in dormitories.
All of the camp activities help develop chemistry within each fifth grade class and strengthen the bonds between teachers and students. That helps make the rest of the year in the classroom fruitful and more enjoyable.
The trip to Camp Cheley has become a tradition for Willow Creek fifth graders and a rite of passage. The shared experience helps prepare students for the next step and creates many fond memories.