Hiring Updates

A few hiring updates for the 2016-17 school year.  

  • We are saying goodbye to Leann Roberts who has been a para professional in various classrooms and most recently with Julie Cohen in 3rd and 4th grade, for the past seventeen years!  We wish Leann all the best on her new adventures!
  • This past year, Julie Litt has been a Math teacher for our 5th through 8th graders.  Sadly, for us, Julie has been hired into an ongoing, full time, Math position at Altona Middle School in Longmont.  Please take a moment to say goodbye to Julie as the year winds down.
  • Gianna Fable, our new hire in 1st and 2nd Grade has decided to stay in her current position in Denver.  We will re-assemble our hiring committee for this position and re-post.  We will complete this hiring in early June.  We are trusting that we will find another amazing candiate for this position.  
  • Alex Ostrum, our Aftercare Coordinator and Special Education para, will also be leaving us this year.  Thanks to Alex for all he has done over the past two years here at Horizons K-8.  He will be missed and we wish him all the best!  We will be hiring for these positions in June.  

Please see letters from Leann and Julie below:

Dear Horizons Community,

It is with a deep sense of gratitude for 17 wonderful years at Horizons that I announce I will not be returning to Horizons in the fall.  I am being pulled in the direction of doing more music.  I’m not sure the form it will take, but I’m excited about the possibilities!

When I began working here, my own daughters were in middle school, and now they’re all grown up and married.  Initially, I worked as a middle school para and I also taught middle school math classes for several years.

Eleven years ago, I moved down to 2/3 and joined Julie’s class.  I can always remember how many years it’s been because Sally’s daughter, Alexa, was one of our 3rd graders, and now she’s in college!  How do these kids grow up so fast?

What a gift it has been to have the pleasure of working with the current 4th graders for 3 years! Somehow it seems appropriate that as they’re moving on, I am too.  My only regret is not getting to spend the second year with the current 3rd graders.

I have LOVED working with Julie.  Over the years. I’ve been so happy with the team-teaching environment we’ve created together, and it has been so rewarding to see how well the kids have responded to it.  I will really miss that…  Thank you, Julie…

I know I won’t be able to stay away from Horizons completely, so I’m sure you’ll see me coming in to sub or to just volunteer in the classroom on occasion!

All my best,



Dear  Horizons Community,

I have accepted a full-time 6th grade math position for next year, in St. Vrain, near my home.  The position opened recently when the person who taught both of my kids, decided to retire.  I am excited about the new opportunity, but sad to leave the wonderful and supportive Horizons community.

I would like to thank all of you for your kindness and support this school year.  The staff’s commitment of collaboration in creating a respectful and caring learning environment is something I will always remember with admiration.

Please keep in touch!  You can contact me at:  juliej.litt@gmail.com.

Kind regards,

Julie Litt


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From the Horizons Community Group

Longmont Dairy Caps!

Please remember to bring in your Longmont Dairy caps and deposit them in the box in front of the Cafeteria.  You don’t need them cluttering up your house during summer break!  Thank you for supporting the Longmont Dairy Cap program and earning money for our school.
HCG Project Meeting this Friday

Friday, 20th 8:30 a.m. in the Cafeteria

Please come and let us thank you for all your support this year!  We will be working on a sign for departing families that will be displayed on the last day of school.  Come and enjoy the last month together this year. We hope to see you there! (Yes, there will be coffee too).

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Yearbooks will officially be distributed to students this coming week!  If you did not pre-order your yearbook and are interested in purchasing one, please know that there will be a limited number available for sale.  Please bring payment of $25 to Hope and she will place you on a waiting list on a first come, first serve basis.  Thanks!
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Bios of Parents Running for the 2016-17 Horizons Board

Monica Fitzgerald:   I would be honored to serve our school community as a member on the Horizons K-8 Board. Our school is an inspiring, nurturing environment for children to learn, thrive, and grow as unique individuals. The strong relationships between students, teachers, and staff stands out to me at our school. I am a licensed clinical psychologist and senior research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am involved in community-based research focusing on comprehensive approaches to creating positive, safe school environments and connecting children and families with supports they need in their communities. We aim to promote children’s prosocial development and reduce problem behaviors and violence through creating an attuned and responsive community where youth feel supported to thrive personally, socially, and academically. I am a child and family trauma specialist, and as such train and support clinical professionals across the state, nationally and internationally in learning effective family treatments for childhood traumatic stress. I am also a co-developer of a family program called Let’s Connect that focuses on building parent’s and children’s socioemotional skills and enhancing their relationships through teaching families emotion-focused communication skills. This integrates SEL, mindfulness and self-care strategies to promote resiliency and health. This program is also used with teachers and school staff. I have experience with evaluation and grant writing and have served on other professional boards, most recently the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. I have co-chaired community efforts, such as the Colorado Implementation Collaborative. Thank you for considering me as a potential Board member.



My name is Kelly Garrison and I’m the father of two girls here at Horizons K-8, Isabella (5th grade) and Katie (2nd grade).  I grew up here in Boulder on Magnolia Road and attended Nederland elementary and then Boulder High.  I have a degree from the University of Colorado in Human and Cultural Geography and focused a lot of time on Cartography and Anthropology. I’ve worked as a cook at Nancy’s Restaurant, a Cartographer at Eureka Cartography, a graphic designer and a Computer consultant.  For the past 16 years I have been running my own IT company called Windward Networks.
I went to the Horizons 5/6 Museum of LWW today and was just blown away by the spark of the kids at Horizons and how well project based learning resonates and inspires them.  Just walking into Horizons never fails to surprise me how committed the community is to redefining education for our kids and it makes me want to be a part of it.  It’s a fantastic place to learn and to grow up.
Hope I’m able to add my knowledge and experience to the board

Frank Bruno: I have been interested for some time in the idea of serving the students, faculty and Horizons Community as a member of the board. Having served as a city manager, a vice chancellor at CU Boulder, and also as the CEO of Western Disposal, I feel that i have the professional experience to bring to the issues that we will face. Additionally, I have served and have chaired Impact on Education (the BVSD Foundation), Via Mobility Services, Foothills United Way, and was a founding board member of the Innovation Center of the Rockies—I understand policy governance, fundraising, and the challenges that non-for-profit entities face.

Aside from the experiences, I wanted to wait for a few years before I applied for this important role—I wanted to have a deeper understanding of the ways in which Horizons works, and the interactions between parents, students and faculty. I do now believe that I have a far better appreciation for this wonderful school, and the people who are committed to our kids, as well as the talents, opportunities and challenges that our students have and will face.

I would be deeply honored to be considered to serve.

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Two end of year events coming up.......

On the morning of Friday, May 20th, Horizons will be enjoying our Annual Fun Day Event.  This is a during-school, for-students event and may involve water, etc.  Please dress your children appropriately for fun in the sun and possibly getting a  wee bit wet.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 25 at 2:20, the students will be running a Mini-Marathon.  They will run around the adjacent park and back through the finish line.  They will be cheered on by their cheerleader teachers. Please have your student wear running shoes for the Mini-Marathon.


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The Last Day of School -- Important News!

The Last Day of School is Thurs, May 26.  There will be an All School Assembly at 9:45 AM in the Big Gym.

We will be closing out our year and saying goodbye to our beloved teachers- Nel, Sally & Jeanne.  This is an open celebration, so please come and feel free to invite alumni.

School ends at 12:30 and is followed by an all school picnic.  There is NO after care on this day!  Pizza sales will be happening.

Graduation that evening will begin at 6:30 PM

We realize that an earlier Horizons calendar indicated that school was ending on a different day.  The above information is accurate!!!

schools out for summer



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The Last Moolah Winners are....

Gateway Park Coupons & Discounts:  Janice “Trish” Jordan

Three Weeks of Ninja Classes with Quest Academy:  Marvin Vis

Custom Beach Tote by Connie Jagolinzer:   Shannon Hassan

OhMyBag Album Bag:  Polly Jessen

Story Time Pillow by Connie Jagolinzer:  Jennika Wildau

Please come to the office and pick up your winnings.



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Agenda of the Horizons Council ~~May 19, 2016


Horizons K-8 Council

May 19, 2016

Hospitality provided by:  Office Team and Micah Schwalb and Tracy Heiman

Child care is provided by:  TBD


Facilitators:  Andrea Foote and John McCluskey

6:30 Introductions/Check in

6:40 Council agreements/procedures/concordance/minutes

6:45 Open Forum/Announcements

6:55 Horizons K-8 Website presentation

7:05 Committee reports as needed

  • Board Update
    • Development Committee Update
    • Hiring Update
  • Community Group:  Brooke Bell
  • Summer Camp update:  Xandra Coombs
  • Diversity Committee: Erica Baruch
  • Green Team:  Marti Matsch, Aaron Johnson
  • District Advisory Committee:  Denise Washburn

7:30 Board candidate voting

7:45 Council 2016-17 Proposed budget presentation and concordance

8:30 Close


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Principal's Report- May 2016


Principal’s Report

May 12, 2016


  • Garden Update

We have had two build days to this point and our garden is coming to life!  Please join us on May 14th and May 21st to lend a hand!  Our community garden will soon become the center piece at the heart of our school and community. Come be a part of it’s creation!


  • Project Based Learning and Authentic Assessment

This is the time of year when we all have an important role to play as participants in the learning that is happening here at Horizons.  We become an “authentic audience” for our students.  Last week, our 3rd and 4th graders presented their Dream Homework projects and 7th graders will be sharing their Learning Challenges on May 25th.  On Friday of this week, our 5th and 6th graders will be presenting their Learning Without Walls units and on Wednesday night, the culmination of 8th grade projects were presented publicly at Aperture Night!  This K-8 experience for our students is not to be missed.  Even if you do not have a student at one of these particular grade levels, you are encouraged to come see the depth of learning that is taking place here at Horizons.  And to learn more about Project Based Learning please see the following link: http://bie.org/


  • Instructional Rounds

Last week our full faculty had an opportunity, over the course of three days, to participate in Instructional Rounds.  This is our second rotation for this practice and our “problem of practice” or area of focus for this set of rounds was Self Directed Learning.  Teachers took the time to pre-brief, do classroom visits and de-brief with each other as we collectively explore one of our founding pillars and share what “teacher moves” help to support self direction in our students.  Embedded professional development, such as doing instructional rounds, has been sited as one of the most effective forms of learning for educators and we are finding this to be true.  


  • Kinder and New Family Orientation: Sharing our Passion!

This past week, the Horizons K-8 Community group hosted our annual orientation for our new families.  We had a wonderful meet and greet followed by an information session and Q and A.  After the gathering, I was grateful that one parent picked up on my passion for who we are and the “why” of Horizons K-8 and our practices.  She shared the following column with me after she arrived at home:  Putting Grit in Its Place.  If you are looking for a short and perfect read that explains the importance and effectiveness of our approach here at Horizons K-8, look no further than David Brook’s thoughtful analysis found here.


  • Reading to End Racism

This week the Reading to End Racism program comes to our school K-8.  The effort has been bolstered this year by the work of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee who has gathered some outstanding books, that are available in the front office, if you would like to extend your child’s learning regarding this critical topic.  


  • Parent Portal

The 2016-17 school year will see the full K-12 roll out of the Parent Portal via Boulder Valley School District.  We have, in recent years, been using parent portal 5th-8th grade to take advantage of various features that benefit our program and to begin to familiarize families to this interface in preparation for high school.  We are now supporting this roll out as a school K-8 beginning in the 2016-17 school year. We will not be using all of the available features at all levels of our program but we do see that moving all of our registration and parent contact information into Infinite Campus will safe us tremendous time, create easier access for families and will save significant amounts of paper on an annual basis.  Thank you for letting us know if you are having any issues getting signed up on the Parent Portal.  


  • Design Team

This group has been squeezing in time over the past few weeks to create a structure to get our purchase orders in to spend both our CDE capital construction monies in addition to funding that remains from FY 16.  Stay tuned to see furniture upgrades to our rooms, main areas and common spaces.


  • Faculty Meeting Focus for Remainder of the Year and into August

In addition to building our relationships K-8 as colleagues, our focus between now and June 1 include the following and more as we prepare for the 2016-17 school year!

  • Daily Schedule K-8
  • Annual Calendar
  • Math assessment K-8
  • Make a Difference
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Project Week
  • Team level proposals
  • Class Placement
  • Student led conferences
  • Annual Unified Improvement Plan goals
  • Parent feedback regarding student progress
  • Student support systems
  • Instructional Rounds
  • Curriculum mapping
  • 8th Grade Capstone Trip
  • Portfolios
  • Annual strategic planning
  • New teacher orientation


  • Saying Goodbye

This year we will be saying goodbye to veteran educators Jeanne Kipke, Sally Warren and Nel Woller along with long time, beloved paraprofessional, Leanne Roberts, who is also retiring.  Each of these women and their heart-centered work, has made a lasting impact on the culture, focus, and long term effectiveness of our school.  Please take a moment to wish them well over the course of the next few weeks.


  • A Final Thank You

In June, Kevin Holst, Ron Waryznek, and Orion Poplawski, who have each played a critical role in the development of our bylaws and our current board structure, will be moving out of their roles as board members. Their collective hours of work, and commitment to this process and our community, has created a long term, sustainable structure that will support the important work we do here for children for years to come.  Thank you!


  • May Council

Next Thursday, May 19th at 6:30 p.m. we will gather for our final Council of the year.  Please join us as we will be approving our budget for next year along with voting in our new board members and hearing from our various committees about their work this year!

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16-17 Calendar of Days In & Out of School




August 13 Pre Labor Day Labor Day (Saturday- All School Work Day) 1-4 PM
August 17 Grades 5-8 begin 1-3:30 PM
August 18 First Full Day Grades K-8
Parent Coffee 8:30 AM Cafeteria
August 22-23 Kindergarten Assessment Days-individual times scheduled

September 1 Back to School Night 6:30 PM K-8
Sessions will be scheduled for families with multiple children.
September 5 Labor Day – NO SCHOOL
September Outdoor Education
9/12-9/16 7/8
9/13-16 5,6
9/14-15 1,2
9/27-28 3,4

October 19-21 K-8 Conferences, No Classes, Adventure Days are offered.

November 11 Veterans Day-NO SCHOOL
November 21-25 Thanksgiving Holiday Break – NO SCHOOL

Dec 19-Jan 2 Winter Break – NO SCHOOL

January 3 Teacher Professional Development- NO SCHOOL
January 4 School resumes for all students
January 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL

February 15-17 7th & 8th Grade Conferences Only- K-6 have classes
February 20 President’s Day- NO SCHOOL

March 22-24 K-6 Conferences, 7 & 8 have classes, Adventure Days will be offered
March 27-31 Spring Break – NO SCHOOL

May 26 Last day of school for all students
School ends at 12:30 PM, picnic 12:30-1:30
May 29 Memorial Day- NO SCHOOL
May 30 Teacher Professional Development Day





















Click here to download and/or print:  CALENDAR

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