It’s come to an end!~May 26, 2019

Multiple Intelligences through the summer…..

by Molly Merry, Madison/CES founder


Summer is a wonderful time for kids to grow and learn. Through the summer, parents can keep your kids connected to how they are using their intelligences:

*Body Smart—outside playing, doing chores, hiking, just being physical

*Nature Smart—whenever they are outside paying attention to nature, feeling the wind, temperature changes, shadows, longer days, stars, the moon, plants, animals, rocks, bodies of water—it is all around them

*Art Smart—sensitivity to the visual world through nature or cultural experiences, shapes, textures, colors, darks and lights, close and distance perspective, nuance in the visual world

*Word Smart—keep reading anything and everything, discuss new words to expand their vocabulary, be aware of place names, read maps and signs

*Number Smart—let your kids be aware of everyday math: the cost of filling up the car, distances, prices for food and lodging or tickets for events

*Interpersonal—keep using Choice Theory language, teach manners and role model positive interactions and problem solving with others

*Intrapersonal—give kids time to reflect on experiences and become aware of their emotional reactions to experiences, help them learn identifying language (tired, frustrated, nervous, anxious, bored, impatient, excited) and coping strategies to develop ways of dealing with all kinds of emotions

*Music Smart—encourage listening to music and finding rhythms, listen to the sounds in nature, attend music/dance/theater events


And best of all, connect the intelligences—grow vocabulary while listening to music through lyrics, grow body smart by tapping out rhythms to music, grow word smart reading signs and having kids describe what they see in new places.

You get the idea!  Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Please continue that role because your child is soaking in learning all the time!  Limit time on devices and remember the power of personal interaction outside of the virtual world.

Nutrition Class from Wellness


We had a record number of students and families participate in our last nutrition class. 35 students and several parents joined us for an afternoon of fun. Way to go, Voyagers! We learned how to make delicious nutritious snacks for summer: strawberry/blueberry ladybugs, fruit pizzas, and watermelon slushies. The slushies were a huge hit and were so easy ~ just watermelon, ice, and a little water! We experimented adding blueberries, bananas, and strawberries as well. Thank you to the teachers and parents who helped out!

Animoto: 4thQuarter Fun: highlights from our final quarter

Animotos from 1st-3rd Quarter: Check out the rest of the year’s highlight’s


Staff “Talent”

Click on the link below to see our fun staff video we created for the Variety Show. We got to use the green screen and take advantage of being in costume on Barnyard Day. We had a lot of fun and laughed a lot making this video. Thank you Mrs. McLaughlin for putting it all together and to Ms. Janitell for the idea.

On the CES Farm


I will continue to publish this blog over the summer although it won’t be weekly. Thank you for a great year! I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Thank you for reading! Until next time,

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

It’s time to celebrate!~May 18, 2019

We only have 4 and half days of school left! Can you believe it?? As we wrap up the year, we are celebrating all of the accomplishments we’ve made and just appreciating being a CES family. There are lots of fun events, field trips, and project presentations–we are tired–but happy! I just hope we can all enjoy these last few days before Summer and end the year looking back with fond memories of this school year.

Second Annual Bike Parade

This is one of my favorite events of the year! After having to postpone due to inclement weather, we had a beautiful evening this last Monday night to enjoy the creatively decorated bikes, Kona ice, and just visiting with each other. Lots of our CES families showed up and even a few neighborhood kids who don’t go to CES. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of it, but we even got to watch our librarian, Ms. Reed show off her unicycle skill! Thank you Krystal Saffold for organizing this fun family event!

This inspiration for the CES Bike Parade: Mrs. Saffold circa 1987. Her fond memories of participating in her local bike parade led her to organize ours and we are so happy!


The Adventurers Seussical the Musical

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The Adventurers treated us to a wonderful production on Tuesday of Seussical the Musical. They spent this last quarter putting this together and rehearsing during their Friday MI Mash time.All of the kids got to shine in one way or another. It was an impressive production and very enjoyable.

All-City Band

Our 5th and 6th grade band students spent two days a week going to CCMS after school for this last quarter practicing for  All-City band. This week they toured all of the schools and gave an evening concert. This is a great experience for our students to get to play with a large group and to get to meet students from other schools with whom they will someday play in band at the high school. All of our kids represented CES well and we are very proud of them!

Celebrating Summer in the Compass Cafe’

Our kitchen staff always go way above and beyond and this is just another example! Ms. Alisa and Ms. Christina have decorated for summer and made special “dirt cups” for the kids on Friday. They have planned several special events this year to encourage students to eat school lunch and breakfast but also just to make our Compass Cafe’ feel welcoming and friendly. Our students can always count on a big smile and happy greeting to make them feel special from both of these special ladies. Unfortunately, we are going to have to say goodbye to Ms. Christina as she is being transferred to CCMS next year where she will bless many other children, but we will miss her greatly here at CES!

Celebrating our 8th Graders!

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It has become an annual tradition to celebrate our 8th graders as they leave us for high school by going on a fun trip together. This year, Mrs. Mac and I took them to Colorado Springs where we went to the mall, had lunch at Olive Garden, and then played at The Summit. The next night we celebrated again with their 8th grade continuation ceremony where we were treated to our keynote speaker Mrs. Wrona, a really fun video compilation of baby pictures and CES memories, and an ice cream bar. Our 7th graders worked hard to set up, decorate, and serve the ice cream. We will miss our 8th graders but know they will do well in high school and are so proud of who they’ve become. Good luck to you Trailblazer class of 2023!

7th Grade Biking in PE

Mrs. Hanenberg wrote two separate bike grants and won enough to purchase 10 new wonderful mountain bikes from Red Canyon Cycles.  Scott Eckstrom helped us purchase these bikes!  He has also put thorn proof tubes in them. Some kids brought their own bikes to help with the big numbers of Middle school kids in PE.  We had a few crashes.  But all ok!

Thank you for reading! Until next time…

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

A week of music and animals–you never know what to expect at CES!~May 11, 2019

Every week, I try to find a common thread that comes through for the title of my blog and this week it seemed to be music and animals. You just never know what new and interesting things will come our way here at CES! As the weeks of the school year wind down, we still have so many things to accomplish and participate in–it will be both exciting and exhausting. One of the fun things coming our way is our Family Bike Parade on Monday the 13th. Please come and invite friends even if they don’t go to CES. We would love for this to become a community event–the more the merrier!

Barnyard Day

Because our students raised over $10,000 during our Spirit Lap Fundraiser, all of our staff dressed up as farm animals and I got to the farmer. What great sports our staff is and how impressive that our kids can raised that much! We are so appreciative of all of the community support that allows this type of event to be so successful.

Canine Project


Two of our middle school students who are both in NJHS developed a service learning project to benefit the Canon City Police Department’s K-9 Unit. Rachel Geiger and Hannah Worthen held a family Bingo night and raised over $200 to assist the department in the purchase of drug effects countering medication. Dogs that are in the K-9 unit can suffer from opioied exposure that can make them very ill or even die. The money the girls raised will go toward the purchase of a spray the K-9 police officer can use on his dog to counteract the effect. As a thank you, Officer Nish came and provided a whole school assembly about what the K-9 unit is and how he trains his dog. We learned a lot and have a whole new appreciation for the work they do. Thank you Hannah and Rachel for going above and beyond!


Blossom Parade

Our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band students participated in the Blossom Parade in the middle school marching band which was a combination of kids from CCMS, Harrison, and CES. They all did a great job and the band received a silver award for their performance.

Band/Choir Concert

Monday night we were treated to an evening of music from our CES bands and choirs. Students from 3rd to 8th grade presented a variety of music. They sounded terrific and it’s wonderful to see such a high percentage of our student body participate in the music program. A big thanks to Ms. Janitell our new music teacher this year for doing a great job getting everyone ready and spending lots of extra time helping kids feel confident to get up on stage!

Thank you for reading! Until next time,

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

Learning on Display~May 4, 2019

I missed writing my blog last week for a various reasons, so as I was putting this one together, I realized that over the last two weeks we have had many opportunities for students to display their learning in a variety of ways. Perhaps this is because we are nearing the end of the year and things are coming to a close, but demonstrations of learning are not an uncommon sight at CES. On any given day, you can walk the halls of our building and see and hear examples of students learning and growing. One of the things I love most about CES is the buzz of activity that takes place in all classrooms and around the school. So many happy learners thanks to our wonderful educators!

Bridge Building

Our middle school students have done a variety of projects that have allowed them to explore something in which they are deeply interested. Recently, they learned about DiVinci’s designs and inventions which inspired Ben Slabaugh to build a bridge that required no hardware and could be easily un-assembled and moved to another location easily, and it needed to hold a lot of poundage. As you can see in the picture, it was a success! Mrs. Lowther and Mrs. Mac, I’m not implying you weigh a lot! 🙂

Family Night: Bike Parade!!


NJHS Induction

Last Friday night we held our 4th annual National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony. This year we welcomed 4 new members: Elias Hunter, Dustin Kletke, Benjamin Monroe, and Keenan Cooper. It is quite an honor to become a member as it requires not only good grades but excellent character and citizenship. NJHS members are required to complete community service hours and serve as role models to their peers. Four may not seem like many but considering the fact that we only have 42 middle school students, that’s 10% of our student body. It was a lovely evening of the ceremonial lighting of candles, a wonderful keynote speaker, Mr. Bruce Omer, and delicious cake baked by Mrs. Brule’. Congratulations to all!

Science Fair

Eleven of our CES kids placed in the top three categories at this year’s District Science Fair. The winners of their various categories are as follows:

1st Place Winners:  Heidi Numsen–2nd, Silva Valladares–1st, Kade Saffold–2nd,

2nd Place Winners: Micha Mintz–2nd, Zane Valladares–4th, Camille Medford–3rd, Lorelei VanIwarden–4th, Isabella Greene–3rd,

3rd Place Winners: Jace Cornwell–4th, Carson Foster–4th, Nina LeDoux–1st

Congratulations to all and thank you Mrs. Lowther for being our CES Science Fair Coordinator!

Fine Arts and Book Fair Night

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We had a very successful First Annual Fine Art and Book Fair Night on Tuesday. Those in attendance were treated to a variety of experiences including drawing lesson, pottery throwing, instrumental music performances, Tininkling, and of course our Book Fair and Student Art Displays. Thank you Terri Wrona for coordinating this wonderful evening!

Thank you for reading! Until next time,

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal





A Spirit-Filled Week~April 20, 2019

We are done with state testing–yay!! But, we are far from done learning all that we need to for the year. Spring can be challenging in schools as students and teachers are getting tired, and kids are ready to play outside and have some time off. It’s also a time when we seem to have more student conflict–probably because they are so comfortable with one another they are like family, and they get grumpy with each other. Please support us in having conversations with your children about how they might use their Conflict Resolution strategies to work out these issues (see graphic below), and please remember that there are always two side to the story.


It’s easy to want to believe your child completely but they often leave out key details unless questioned. Sometimes kids just need to vent and don’t need and adult to step in, sometimes they need advice, and sometimes they do need an adult to help with their conflict. Please make sure to ask your child if they have talked to their teacher when they can’t work out the problem, and if they haven’t, encourage them to do so. Often, conflict allows us to learn some valuable life skills and kids just need to be coached through it until they can handle these things on their own. That’s a big part of who we are at CES. Here’s to Spring!

Mrs. Saffold’s Forest


Mrs. Saffold has made it her personal mission to add trees to our playground to provide shade, wind breaks, and beauty. Last year, she was able to acquire four Ash trees that were planted close to the building. They survived the winter and are currently budding out nicely. We are so anxious to see them grow this summer! This last week, we were able to add 11 trees to the back part of our playground and next to Explorer Park. These ornamental pear trees, known as Cleveland Pear, were all donated by Mrs. Saffold, our PTO, and several amazing CES families. Preston, Daniel, and Chris from our district grounds crew spent 3 entire days digging holes and planting the trees. Thane Seufer of Seufer Tree Farm not only gave us a really great deal on the trees but also provided his expertise in the type of tree we could plant that would do well here. We are so very fortunate to have all these vested parties in CES who are all helping make our school a wonderful place to be. Thank you all!

Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher of the Month: Mrs. Wrona



Every month the Alpha Delta Kappa sorority for retired educators honors an outstanding teacher with a teacher of the month award. This month our very own Mrs. Wrona was chosen. Mrs. Wrona was nominated by Mrs. Bryan and Ms. Reed who aptly wrote of Mrs. Wrona’s loving, warm, and generous spirit as well as how she works tirelessly for the benefit of our students, teachers, and school. We are so going to miss her next year as she is retiring but know that CES is a better place because of all Terri Wrona has done for and given to our families and school. Congratulations, Mrs. Wrona, on this well deserved honor!

CES has Spirit!


Friday we had our Spirit Lap FUNdraiser and it was a great way to end two weeks of state assessments! The weather was beautiful and it felt great to be outside and moving. I would like to give a big shout out to Krystal Saffold spearheading this event and to our amazing PTO and parent volunteers who are always so generous with their time. We don’t yet know how much the kids raised, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to see me dressed in a silly costume in the near future! Any suggestions as to what you would like to see?

Thank you for reading! Until next time,

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

Examples of Excellence~April 14, 2019

Excellent Exploration


Tori Shepherd completed her year-long project on the history of the Royal Gorge Bridge. One unique aspect of Tori’s project was that she spent Friday mornings and many Saturdays at the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center. In the fall, all of the Trailblazers took a field trip to the center and learned the difference between archives and collections. We learned how historians used archives to research as these primary sources provide information explorers may not find in other places.

Tori took this new learning and skill to heart as she shifted through stacks of sources on the Royal Gorge, the building of the Royal Gorge Bridge, and the history of the park.  One of her toughest challenges in this exploration was narrowing down all the research and organizing it in a way her audience could understand.
On Tuesday, April 2, Tori presented her learning using a new-to-her online tool called Beautiful AI. The Royal Gorge Bridge is celebrating its 90th birthday this year and Tori skillfully presented the history of the area and bridge.
Following Tori’s presentation, the Trailblazers loaded up and headed out to the bridge.  Our first stop was the Royal Gorge Overlook Trail.  We hiked the 1.7 mile trail, which allowed us to see the bridge from a distance.  A short bus ride later, and we were at the park.  We spent three hours at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, where we rode the gondola, watched the historical film, explored the park, ate lunch, and yes, played on Tommy Knocker Children’s Playground. Students were able to examine the bridge and how it was constructed to see first hand the details of Tori’s presentation.
We want to thank the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park for the discounted tickets and the parents who chaperoned. Mostly, we appreciate Tori and her work to organize this wonderful learning experience.

An excellent way to help the environment and CES–it’s a Win-Win!


Excellence in Competition: CES’s Destination Imagination Team is going to Globals!!

Our DI team, sponsored by middle school teacher Heather MacLaughlin, was honored by the Canon City School Board for placing 5th at State and qualifing for Globals! This is an international competition held in Kansas City, Missouri. Getting to Globals is no easy task and we are all so proud of them. They all agreed that being an Explorer led to their success. Collaboration, creativity, and innovative thinking is crucial to success at these competitions and all of the members of the team expressed that they felt well prepared because of what they’ve learned while being a student at CES.

The registration and the trip will be expensive so the team is actively working on fundraising. If would like to help them out, you can contribute at the school or through their GoFundMe account. We would also appreciate you sharing their GoFundMe on your social media sites too.

Destination Imagination GoFundMe


Excellence in Art

Our CES students did very well at the art show with five students winning awards!

Honorable Mention Sculpture: Elias Hunter and Clayton Stark

3rd place Painting: Quincey Alcaraz

2nd place Paper: Lupe Cardenas

2nd Place Sculpture: Conor Foster

Congratulations to one and all! If you would like to see these amazing pieces and all of the other wonderful art from our students and students around the district, visit the Fremont Center for the Arts between now and the 27th of April. It is located across from the library and admission is free!

As you can see, CES is an excellent place to be! Thanks for reading! Until next time,

Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

Assessing our Learning~April 7, 2019

Testing Season is Here

Image result for state assessments

This week we begin our round of state assessments known as CMAS. This is an opportunity for our kids to show off what they know and how much they’ve grown this year. I hope you will stress to your kids, that although doing their best on the test is important, it’s not something they should get stressed out about. It is helpful to come to school well rested, dressed comfortably, and with a good attitude. Following is the schedule:

4/9=5th/8th, Science; 7th/8th ELA      4/10=7th/8th ELA     4/11=5th/8th, Science; 7th/8th ELA
4/15=5th/8th Science     4/16 through 4/18=5th-8th Math, 3rd-6th ELA    (Make-up tests end 4/26)

Let’s talk evaluation versus assessment!                      from our Founder, Molly Merrymolly

Traditional educational models have focused on an external evaluation process, usually a combination of written work, tests and oral responses, resulting in grades.  Evaluation used here meaning a value judgement placed on work and achievement.  This kind of evaluation really tells us so little about the complex process and stages of learning. In recent years, educators have balanced these traditional evaluation measures with assessment strategies that call for students to self reflect and consider their own growth, for collaborative discussions involving the student, teachers, and parents, and for details about specific steps in ongoing progress.

An example of a assessment is a scoring ‘rubrics’ which is specifically connected to goals and describes levels of performance.  Some rubrics come ready made, created by publishing companies, test publishers, and committees. While these may be useful, they can be impersonal and general.  At Exploratory, we have always balanced evaluation and pre-written scoring rubrics with assessment that brings students in as partners.  Early on we added the significant element of student self-evaluation and student participation of assessment (rubric) design.  We believed that there were many benefits to this; clear student understanding of what achievement meant, student buy-in to improved performance, student personal responsibility for learning, and enhanced communication with teachers and parents.  Rather than students always asking a teacher ‘How am I doing? Is this right? Will I get an A?’, we focused on asking students to reflect on their work and performance, to recognize that each performance is a step in growth not a final end point.  As we implemented this practice we saw students take greater interest and pay more attention to the quality of their work.  We watched students use their rubrics to assess their work in progress to make improvements and to really claim their level of performance.  We saw incredible honesty and discussion about needs to improve work habits or willingness to ask for specific support.  With student participation in rubric design, there are no secrets about what excellent looks like!  There are no surprises about what will be on a test, and ample opportunity is always given to  improve, and the next steps for improvement goals come not from a grade, but from an active understanding of progress. When we took away the fear of failure based on a grade, we increased the effort to make improvements by increments and a sense of pride in growth as the achievement.

Please remember that growth is not necessarily a smooth process.  When babies are learning to walk they fall down many times before they master the skill.  When a baby falls we don’t consider that a failure.  As students learn and grow, the same process happens.  They may fall  many times and in many ways as they learn to stand up and walk on their own.  We are there to encourage and support them, to help them figure out the steps to success.

Sun and Stars

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Scouts have been learning about the Sun and stars (moon is next). They learned how to tell time using the sun, labeled parts of the sun using a cantaloupe, and created sun paintings using a limited pallet and through an artist’s lens. Then they looked at constellations that magically appeared under their tables in the their classroom. Such engaged  learning experiences!

Fremont Center for the Arts Student Art Show

Come and see our students’ art at the Fremont Center for the Arts. This is a FREE showcase that runs now through April 27th. We had a reception to open the show on Friday that was very well attended. We are so fortunate to have such amazing Art Instruction here at CES with Mrs. Wrona and such talented students!

Thank you for reading! Until next time,                                                      Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal

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