Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18

Dear Fireside Falcons,
     What a strong start to our 2017-2018 school year. We kicked off the first day of school with a P.R.I.D.E. assembly, welcoming new and returning students and introducing our new staff. Students were reminded what it means to be a Fireside Falcon and "Show your Fireside Pride." 
     We invite all of our families to join us in learning our Fireside songs in preparation for the upcoming Labor Day Parade on September 4th down the Main Street of Louisville.
Older Fireside Pride Song lyrics
Older Fireside Pride Audio
Newer Fireside P.R.I.D.E. Song Lyrics and Sheet Music
Newer Fireside P.R.I.D.E. Audio

     Hopefully you've heard from this week's communication that Fireside will be viewing the eclipse on Monday, August 21st. As a school, we've established steps to ensure student safety and these procedures will be reviewed and practiced with students prior to the viewing on Monday. As parents, we also encourage you to review these safety precautions here with your children prior to Monday's viewing. Parents are also invited to join us on the field at approximately 11:46 for the solar eclipse viewing.

     Thanks to Samantha MacMillan and her crew for coordinating our PTO sponsored ice cream social. A wonderful way to come together as a community at the start of our school year.

     Thanks to Becky Slusarchyk for capturing some wonderful Fireside moments at the start of our school year!

As always, thank you for your partnership in learning.

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11

Dear Fireside Falcons,
It has been a fun and learning-filled past few days with staff preparing for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 16th. We sure have a talented crew and our new staff have stepped right up and become a part of our Fireside Family. Here are a few pics of us having fun together! 
We also put together a Wordl of qualities we value collectively to support our inclusive, and welcoming community at Fireside. 

We look forward to seeing our new Kindergarten families at our Kinder Orientation on Monday, August 14 from 5-6pm. Don't forget to join us for our ice cream social on Tuesday!

Yours in education,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Welcome Back to the 2017-2018 School Year!

Dear Fireside Families,
     I hope you all had an eventful summer filled with adventure, rest, and most of all, quality time as a family. While my summer seemed short, we were fortunate to venture to Panama for two weeks and spent a week in Seattle visiting friends and family. 
My family and Sierra's Panamanian family
My sixteen year old daughter, Sierra, spent 6 weeks living with a host family in a remote region in the interior of Panama. Her cup was "full" so to speak, upon her return as she had stories to tell and a de-cluttered brain from six tech-free weeks. She's proven to my husband and I that she can manage independently when that day comes in the not so distant future and she's heading off to college. I'll be the one needing consoling.
  From our travels, I often pay attention to themes that surface and influence my work as an educator. One came from dear sweet, Maria, the host of a place we stayed at in Tavidal, Panama. "All we need is love" is what was written on the cup she kept close to her as she selflessly served all the guests at Villa Tavida. I was reminded that this is the core of who and what we are at Fireside. Truly, Fireside is love. Our ongoing mission is for this to be felt for every student, parent, or guest who walks through our front doors. With love, all is possible. It is the core building block of a family and is what nurtures a safe haven for kids to excel on their learning pathway.

  The other theme surfaced when visiting the Bill and Melinda Gates Visitor Center in Seattle, Washington (well worth the visit). It came from a quote by Bill Gates Sr., "Today, community isn't just your city, it is the world." Developing global partnerships among our students, as well as meaningful, personalized learning opportunities. is something we'll continue to explore in the year ahead. 
   Once more I'll kick off the year by reading to every classroom. This year's message comes from the book, We're All Wonders.  

New Fireside Staff:

We have hired dynamic, highly qualified new staff at Fireside- wow are they ever ready to greet students! Please join me in welcoming these exceptional individuals by reading their bios: New Fireside Staff 

Important Dates and Back to School Info:
  • School supply lists are posted on the website
  • Class lists will be made available for families on August 11th by accessing the portal account on Infinite Campus.
  • Aug. 15: All school PTO Ice Cream Social, 2:30-3:30pm (meet your teacher, other students and drop off school supplies).
  • Check homepage on school website for other important dates and information
Helpful reminders for Drop Off/Pick-up/Parking Lot:

  • The circle bus lane is for buses only. This is not a parking area or “drive through” area.
  • Please use the “Hug and Go” lane on Dahlia for drop off/pick up as well as the parking lot “Hug and Go” lane.  Cars should not be parked or left unattended on Dahlia Street.
  • If you choose to walk your child to their classroom, please park your car in the parking lot.
  • Use the two crosswalks in front of the school.  We want to set a good, safe example for our children.
Thanks for supporting Fireside in being a safe community for all. I look forward to welcoming our new and returning families. It is an honor to serve this special community.

Yours in education,
Christa Keppler

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19

Dear Fireside Families,
It's hard to believe our year is coming to a close. So many exciting events have taken place the past couple of weeks including field day, our kindergarten music performance, 1st grade poetry reading, 4th grade mini society and much, much more! This next week we look forward to our 5th grade continuation ceremony as well as our whole school assembly on May 25th. I've always believed in the importance of recognizing endings to give closure to a great year! We'll plan to share our community slideshow with our families in our last Chat of the school year.                 

This week we recognized our retirees-Laura Webster, Jane Cousins, Elaine Rosquist and Frances Reda at our retirement reception for their years of service, love and dedication to our Fireside community.  They will be dearly missed, but their legacy will linger. 

As many of you are aware we've been busy hiring, and are fortunate to attract such highly qualified teachers at Fireside. We've even had four candidates fly in from out of state for positions. I spend a great deal of time ensuring we're attracting the best candidates and conduct a thorough process including a hiring committee, teaching demonstrations, and multiple reference checks. While none of the positions have been finalized yet through our Human Resources department, I hope to make announcements for new teaching assignments in next week's Chat communication. 

David Millard and Shannon Pischke were Impact on Education grant recipients. Take a peak at how they're embedding IPADS to support learning at Fireside. 
I look forward to seeing many of you at our carnival tonight as well as our closing events this coming week. 
Thank you for your partnership in learning.

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21

Dear Fireside Families-

We will be posting positions on the BVSD website. Look for a part-time Early Childhood Community Liaison position- seeking applicants with strong relational and Spanish-speaking skills. A Primary position has also been posted

Tech at Fireside:
So proud of our technology committee as we continue to support students and staff with mindfully integrating tech at Fireside. Here are highlights shared from the tech committee: Technology at Fireside

Offsite Evacuation: April 24th from 8:30-10:30
Fireside Safety Committee has partnered with the district and Louisville Police Department for our first ever offsite evacuation. As a school, we'll kick off with a safety assembly (explaining the steps to students), then proceed to the Louisville Recreation Center. I am proud of our staff, as they are prepared and ready for this important safety drill. Please help your child by ensuring they are on time, wear comfortable walking shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather. Parents will be unable to access the school from 8:40-10:15 during the drill.
Please support the safety of our walkers by not turning left when exiting the school parking lot. We've had a few close calls lately. 

Volunteer Reception: This is open to all parents! May 3, after school in the Fireside Garden
Retirement Reception: May 17, 2:45, Fireside Garden-Join us in honoring Ms. Webster, Mrs. Cousins, and Ms. Rosquist for their years of service
Out of respect to teacher’s teaching and the impact on instructional time, we request that parents refrain from pulling siblings for music concerts during the day.
PEN Sponsored Workshop: Anxiety and Stress Workshop, April 22, 8:30-1:30- Ascent Church
Preschool on a field trip to Chautauqua Park

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13

Dear Fireside Families,
It was wonderful seeing so many of our families represented at this week's 1st grade music programs. Students sang songs from across the globe, joined in on cultural games, and poured their hearts into the performances! Thank you, Mr. Haley, for inspiring our Fireside musicians. 

Have you heard?  
In order to support our community’s access to technology, the district has started a technology access pilot program. Devices loaded with all necessary district programs and security measures will now be available to students and their families at the same bulk discount that schools receive.  
You must create your own login before placing an order. All orders will be shipped directly to your school. Unfortunately, there is no way to ship equipment directly to you. Please direct questions to Dede Pazour,
Generic login to take a peek at the offerings is:
Username: Visitor
Password: BVsd123!
Countertrade Link

Announcement from Impact on Education:
I realize this doesn't provide much notice, as I just learned that the 2017 Jared Polis Foundation Teacher Recognition Awards are due on Friday, April 14. Please consider nominating a teacher for the 2017 Jared Polis Foundation Teacher Recognition Awards.    Anyone can nominate a teacher!
Each honoree receives the following:
$1,000 discretionary award for the teacher honoree
$1,000 teacher-directed school grant
$500 technology grant for the teacher honoree
The Jared Polis Foundation "Crystal Apple" award
Recognition in a half-page announcement in the Denver Post
Notices to the teachers' school district, board, and school community
To read the guidelines please visit: submission deadline is April 14, 2017.  All teacher honorees will be announced the first week of May.
As many of our families are aware, we piloted a rotating block schedule this year in order to provide larger uninterrupted instructional blocks, balanced instructional minutes for Art, Music and PE, and common plan time for teachers. We are excited to share that all elementary schools in BVSD have adopted a similar rotating schedule to begin in the fall of 2017. We will be making some slight revisions to our current schedule and will share this with the community in August, 2017.

Volunteer Reception: This is open to all parents! May 3, after school in the Fireside Garden
Retirement Reception: May 17, 2:45, Fireside Garden-Join us in honoring Ms. Webster, Ms. Cousins, and Ms. Rosquist for their years of service

Offsite Evacuation: April 24th from 8:30-10:30
Fireside Safety Committee partnered with the district and Louisville Police Department in planning our first ever offsite evacuation. As a school, we'll kick off with a safety assembly (explaining the steps to students), then proceed to the Louisville Recreation Center. I am proud of our staff, as all are prepared and ready for this important safety drill.

As always, thank you for your partnership in learning!

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7

Dear Fireside Families,

It's been a fun-filled week of learning, including our PARCC testing! So far it's going smoothly and we really appreciate parents efforts to arrange doctor's appointments and vacations around testing as make-up schedules are a bit tricky. 

Thanks to David Summers for visiting Kinder Enrichment and inspiring our youngsters about space exploration. He brought in a REAL tip of a rocket that students could touch, and shared a brief video of a rocket blasting off complete with a count-down. This was part of a unit in KE on exploring space-planets, stars, comets, and our solar system. We sure value our amazing Kinder Enrichment programming and all the hands-on learning opportunities provided by Ms. Contini and Marilyn. We also value our parents as partners in learning by sharing their background and expertise with students!

With the weather warming up, we encourage our families to bike or walk to school this month and be sure to mark your calendars for our Bike to School Day on April 19th. Please keep in mind, dogs should not be on school grounds, this includes the playground. 

School Accountability Committee will be meeting next week. Take a peek at our agenda: April SAC  One of the discussion topics will be Individualized Education Plans. All are welcome to attend!   

Community opportunity: Mondarch HS will be hosting a screening of Beyond Measure, the final film in the Innovation in Education Film Series on Thursday, April 20th at Monarch HS. Click here for more information and to RSVP to the film that starts at 6 PM.

As always, thank you for your partnership in learning!