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Principal's News

December/January 2020

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Principal:  Julie Garcia

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As promised, last month we focused on gratitude in the school.  I got such a kick out of the morning announcements when our students shared what they were thankful for. Of course, we heard wonderful things like family and friends and then we had a few that made us chuckle like Minecraft, turkey, and water!  I loved how reflective the kids were and how eager they were to share. 

We have some fun holiday celebrations coming up this month, take note of the dates at the bottom of the newsletter.  This Saturday, December 7th is the Dacono Tree Lighting. The students will sing PROMPTLY at 5:00 pm.  This event is for families, there will not be supervision so please do not drop your child off. On December 18th, students in grades 2nd-5th will perform holiday tunes and our MS band students will be putting on a show as well.  On December 19th, classrooms will be hosting holiday parties at 1:30 pm.  Teachers will be sending home more information. December is a great time of year to celebrate our wonderful community!

You may have noticed a new stop sign at the crosswalk in front of the school.  Please take extra care to drive slowly and stop at the stop sign, our student’s safety depends on this!

In December and January we will be doing mid-year assessments.  The assessments will be used to determine student growth and guide our next steps in instruction. 

  • iReady Reading Diagnostic:  Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, High Frequency Words, Vocabulary, & Comprehension
  • iReady Math Diagnostic:  Number and Operation, Algebra and Algebraic Thinking, Measurement, and Geometry
  • DRA (K-2):  Reading comprehension and fluency
  • Literary Analysis:  Writing process and skills
  • Oral Reading Fluency:  Reading rate and accuracy

I hope you have an amazing holiday season!

Julie Garcia

Pre-K:  Ellie Walters and Stacie Austin

Tons of fun learning is happening in Pre-K this month! We are wrapping up our unit on families at the beginning of December. After that, we will begin a unit about food! Kiddos will learn about where food comes from, how to make healthy choices with food, and what food can do for your body. Additionally, we will be continuing our learning about letter formation, letter sounds, identifying beginning sounds, syllables, and rhyming. Our Social Emotional lessons will help children understand and identify feelings, as well as self efficacy (trying again when things don’t go as planned and believing in yourself). We will be sending out information about our holiday party soon, so keep your eyes open for that on Dojo! Watching the growth in these kiddos has been amazing! We can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

Kindergarten:  Jamie Devine and Meaghan Page

Kindergarten has a busy and fun-filled month of December! We kicked off Holidays Around the World, exploring geography and different holiday traditions. Wonderfully festive stories help guide our use of comprehension strategies each week in reading, and we are continuing into unit 5 of Everyday Math with concepts of number sense! It’s a fun month of holiday joy and celebration for our little friends! 

First Grade:  Lindsey Cleland and Carrie McMahan

First grade has been working hard! We wrapped up our current unit of math, which was an introduction to non-standard measurement. Reading groups have been running smoothly, with an emphasis on focused word work and comprehension strategies such as story sequencing and main idea & details. The students worked on seasonal “How-To” writing, as well as descriptive thankful pieces. We just finished our science unit on the overview of human body systems, right before Thanksgiving Break.  

Second Grade:  Alexis Fehringer and Danielle Kumaus

Second grade is kicking off the month of December with a journey out west as we learn about the Westward Expansion!  As we gear up for the holiday season we will be looking at an excerpt from the timeless classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Our students will study how the heart of our main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge, changes from the beginning to the end. Lastly, we will enjoy reading Memoirs of an Elf and students will get to write their own Memoirs about the night they helped save Christmas! 

Third Grade:  Bobbi Baeza and Samantha Ciolino

Third grade officially finished their unit on Ancient Rome.  They celebrated by having an Ancient Rome Day in which the students wore togas, made laurels, made roads and marbles mazes, ran chariot races, and ate an Ancient Roman feast.  Next up for third grade is studying the eye and light. Many experiments will take place as students discover how they see.

Fourth Grade:  Shelley Brenner and Teresa Ryley

The month of December for fourth grade will be an exploratory month of folktales, figurative speech, and Colorado history. Additionally, fourth grade has begun the family origins project by mapping out family trees and interviewing family members about family, culture, and history. These projects will continue through January with a culminating activity of a family origins night.

Fifth Grade:  James Guay and Melisa Hansen


We finished reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the students chose a project to demonstrate their understanding of the setting, characters, plot, conflict, and resolution.  The students submitted some amazing and creative projects, including game boards, dioramas, time capsules, and trading cards! In December, we will learn about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and read Sherlock Holmes.


Students finished a biography of John Dalton (best known for his atomic theory), and are preparing to write a winter-themed narrative story.


We are finishing up our unit on decimals and the coordinate system.  Thanks to the suggestion from the students, they are enjoying using prodigygame.com to help reinforce the skills they are learning in class!  This is something that they can use at home--ask them to show you what they are working on.

Social Studies

We have started our unit on Westward Expansion Before the Civil War.  This will lead us into our big unit on the Civil War, which will include a Civil War Wax  Museum. Details will be sent home after the first of the year.


We finished up our unit on Investigating Matter, which included many hands-on opportunities for the students to describe the properties of matter, to demonstrate that matter is made up of smaller particles, and to observe physical and chemical changes to matter.  In December, we will be studying Energy and Matter in Ecosystems.


MS Team:  Sara Jakobsen, Lindsey Parks, Jason Pflaum Ben Whetsell

The middles school is working hard. The first trimester has ended and report cards have been sent home. As we begin trimester two, a focus on being thankful has been a theme. This is always an exciting time of year as the holidays approach. Make sure to keep up with your studies, but also enjoy the season and what it brings. 

Physical Education Happenings:  Nicole Stead

Middle School: We wrapped up the trimester with our volleyball unit. As a tradition, first block and second block played each other for semester bragging rights. First block came out with the championship!

Elementary: As a new trimester starts, and a new month, we will be starting out new soccer unit. We will focus on the different skills associated with soccer through different activities and lead up games!


Learning Center Updates:  Candace Uvalle

In the Learning Center, students are progressing with their reading levels focusing on decoding unknown words with more advanced word work strategies. Students are moving from the literal to the inferential level within text asking/answering many why questions about character actions and motivations. In mathematics, we've been in word problem boot camp working to develop systematized, efficient ways to move through multiple-step word problems. Students are quite focused wanting to use their time wisely when in the Learning Center. 


Reading Intervention:  Shelly Rajewich

4 Tips for encouraging children to read over winter break:

1) Take a trip to your local library-don’t forget the non-fiction section!

2) Take reading on the road! (perhaps try an audiobook-they come in all reading levels!)

3) How about the gift of books for the holidays? Perhaps your child’s favorite book set/series?

4) Make time to read as a family!


Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!


Music Happenings:  Kara Spitler Job

All Grades

The City of Dacono has invited Homyak to sing at their annual holiday festival on Saturday, December 7th.  All students are invited to sing with the NJHS middle school students. We will gather by the tree on the south side of the building by the flagpole at 4:45 PM.  The tree lighting is scheduled at 5:00 PM and we will sing a few carols just prior to that. The address for the event is Dacono City Hall, 512 Cherry Street. Hope to see you there!  



Kindergarten/First Grade

This month we will be  reading holiday stories and learning about traditions and songs from different cultures around the world.  We will also be connecting our stories and songs to some fun holiday activities that include movement, instruments and singing.  

Upper Elementary 

We are continuing to work on our Christmas songs for the holiday performance on Wednesday, December 18th.  We have added some props and choreography to some well known Christmas songs and the kids are looking forward to a fun filled performance!  Please remember there was a time change from the original note sent home.  

2nd and 3rd grades will perform from 6:00-6:30 PM (please arrive by 5:45)

4th and 5th grade will perform from 7:00-7:30 PM (please arrive by 6:45)


We are continuing to prepare for our holiday concert this month.  The band has been working very hard on a variety of holiday songs.  Second year band students have been working independently and in small groups to perform some will known Christmas music that everyone will enjoy!  Our concert is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18th at 6:00 & 7:00 PM. They will perform at both of the elementary performances. (Please have them arrive by 5:45).


Art:  Krystina Sanders

Homyak families, 

This year I’m heading up the yearbook club and they are making an amazing book. Orders for the yearbook can be done online through ybpay.lifetouch.com. Our schools yearbook ID: 14043320. Yearbooks are only $16 and are due no later than April 1st. Order early to ensure you get your copy. Order envelopes can be dropped off in the office or with me Mrs. Sanders.


School Psych:  Dr. Lauren Hangee 

It’s hard to believe we are through the half-way part of the school year! Our students and staff focused on sharing their gratitude during the month of November through handwritten notes, sharing what they were thankful for on morning announcements, and numerous classes were working on some great Social-Emotional Learning concepts.

As we move into December and approach our Winter break, some of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is the gift of our time, especially during the Holidays. Below are several fun ideas for ways to spend time with your kids, build traditions, and enjoy your time during this busy season.

-Sleep over by the tree                                                              -Make paper snowflakes

-Go on a walk to look at lights                                                 -Make cookies

-Special holiday sheets or pillow cases                          -Homemade presents for grandparents

-Candy cane hunt                                                                         -Bake treats for the neighbors

-Read Holiday books                                                                   - Snowball fight

-Have a hot chocolate bar                                                         -Donate old toys

-Visit a nursing home                                                                 -Make gingerbread houses

-Mail a friend a letter over break                                           -Go sledding

-Learn about a Holiday custom different                            - Make each other Holiday cards

 from your own

 Enjoy your time off with your family and I look forward to seeing all of our students back in January!

SRO:  Officer Gregg Lotspeich

The Holiday Season is upon us once again.  Tis’ the season for thieves to ruin your Holiday spirit.  Protect yourself and your family. Every year, there are numerous news stories about people’s cars being broken into and all of the packages stolen.  While not every crime can be prevented, there are steps that you can take to protect you, your family and your belongings. Harden the target to make you and your belongings, less desirable to thieves.  We have all heard the following safety tips before, but we feel that it is important to remind you, so that they remain fresh in our minds. If any of these keep you from becoming a victim, then it was time well spent. Safe Shopping Tips

  1. Shopping Bags. Never let anyone else “watch” your bags while you are shopping.  Always keep your bags within eyesight. No one appreciates your purchases more than you do!
  2. Guard your purse. NEVER leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart. Don’t turn your back on it. It only takes 2 seconds to steal a purse and in a busy store, the odds of catching someone are especially difficult, if not impossible. Better yet, don’t carry a purse. Consider putting your cash and credit/debit cards in a pocket, where they can’t be stolen.  Never allow people to see how much cash you are carrying, by flashing it around for all to see. Nothing screams, “ROB ME”, louder than large amounts of cash.
  3. Be wary of strangers approaching you. This is the time of year when pickpockets and con-artists try to distract you, while an accomplice takes your belongings or your purse/wallet. If you notice someone approaching you, make it a point of making eye contact with that person, letting them know that you have gotten a good look at them. If you carry a wallet, try carrying it in a front pants pockets.
  4. Gift Card Safety. You should only buy gift cards from reputable retailers (not through on-line auction sites). Gift cards on online auction sites are more likely to be counterfeit or fraudulent.
  5. Receipts. When purchasing gift cards, keep the original receipt, showing the value of the card purchased, just in case there are any problems when the card is redeemed.
  6. Educate Your Kids. Talk to your children and work out a plan of what to do should you become separated.  Have your children look for a security guard, police officer, or instruct them to go to the customer service desk, where the people there are trained to help.
  7. Leave the little kids home. While this may not be the easiest thing to do for many people, try to leave the younger kids at home while shopping. Young children tend to distract us and afford criminals the perfect opportunity to victimize. Conversely, your shopping may distract you from attending to your kids, which also affords criminals an opportunity to commit crimes against your children.
  8. Communicate. Tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be gone. Let them know if you are going to be late or if there is a change in your schedule.
  9. Stay Alert. Even though you are probably feeling rushed and thinking about a thousand different things at the same time, pay attention to your surroundings.  Don’t walk around with your head down or let yourself be preoccupied with texting. Look around and be aware of where you are, who and what is around you and what potential threat they may pose. 
  10. LOCK YOUR CAR! Keep your doors locked and the windows rolled up when leaving your vehicle. Remember to turn off your headlights and take your keys with you.
  11. ALWAYS park in well lit areas. Do NOT park in remote areas if you can help it. If you feel uneasy or that it is potentially unsafe, ask a security guard to escort you to your vehicle.
  12. NEVER leave items in your vehicle in plain sight. This includes money (even loose change), credit cards, cell phones, purses and laptops.
  13. Hide Your Packages. Store packages in the trunk of your car or use a cargo cover, if so equipped. Never leave them visible inside the car. That’s an open invitation for someone to break your windows and steal them and makes for a very cold ride home.
  14. Use Credit Cards Wisely and Safely. Be aware of the possibility of identity theft and keep all receipts safe and separate from your purchases. Write down credit card numbers and PIN numbers and leave a copy of them at home. Never keep PIN numbers in the same place as your credit cards.  When presenting your credit/debit card to merchants, be aware of people looking over your shoulder, trying to get a look at your card number. 
  15. Be Vigilant. If you see something suspicious, report it to store personnel, mall security or the police by dialing 911 on your cell phone.

From all of us at the Dacono Police Department, enjoy a safe and joyous Holiday Season!!


NJHS Historian:  Eddie Ryley

The NJHS/NEHS can drive has concluded. We collected a total of 2,526 items (2,910 lbs). This is an all-time record for the school. The winning classes were Mrs. Cleland's 1st grade class, with 465 cans and Mrs. Brenner's 4th grade class with 336 cans. 

Student of the Month

Grade Level




Ariana Gongon

Rey Calderon

Madison Shim

Jayce Thompson


Victoria Diaz

Alex Buchanan

Carter Shim

Devonn Yim


Alana Rivera

Madelyn Mathis

Andre Herrera

Blake Singleton


Logan O’Hair

Malea Zimbelman

Graciela Mora

Sienna Grengs


Owen Hunt

Addison Holton

Aiden Williams

Kaison Mack


Sawyer Kidder

Aubrielle Chubbs

Jaylen Becerra

Jocelyn Rivera

Language Arts

Jack Williams

Valencia Camacho-Barron


Eddie Ryley

Anna Saenz


Ally Garcia

Dree Coursey

Social Studies

Ywjfeej Moua

Erik Esqueda-Le Roi


Ariana Gongon

Erik Esqueda-Le-Roi


Gianna Gallegos

Kamden Carey


Benji Williams

Memphis Myrick

Physical Education

Kinzie Clemens

Joel Marrufo


We are excited to share that our fall fundraiser was a success, with a total profit of $ 4,126.05!

We will not be meeting in December, we hope to see you, January 16th at 6pm in the cafeteria for our next meeting. 

Mark Your Calendars

December 7th Dacono Tree Lighting at 5:00 p.m.

December 18th 2nd & 3rd Grade Music Program 6:00-6:30 p.m.

December 18th 4th & 5th Grade Music Program  7:00 - 7:30 p.m.

December 18th Band Concert 6:00 - 700 p.m.

December 20th No School for Students/Staff PD-Work Day

December 23- January 3rd   No School/Winter Break

January 6th No School for Students/Staff Work Day

January 20th No School MLK Jr Day

January 21st No School for Preschool 

Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity  Statement In compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Colorado law and Board of Education Policy AC (Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity), Weld Re-8 School District does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, religion, ancestry, need for special education services, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics in admissions, access to, treatment, or employment in educational programs or activities which it operates. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public. The following person has been identified as the compliance officer for the district: Superintendent, Weld Re-8 School District: 200 South Fulton,  Fort Lupton, CO 80621, 303.857.3200, superintendent@weld8.org