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Notes from the Dragon Cave

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

From the Desk of Schuba...

Dear Isabella Bird:

I am honored to be your school principal and am dedicated to working with you, our teachers and support staff to do my very best. As a principal it is my goal to make teaching and learning my primary focus. Everyone knows how day-to-day management tasks and outside distractions can take us away from our desired goals. As a result, I am participating in a nationally tested and proven professional development process called SAM. It uses a unique set of tools to help principals focus on activities directly connected to improving teaching and learning. The first step in the SAM process is to determine how I currently spend my time at school. A data collector will “shadow” me for several days taking data every five minutes. The data collector will not interact with others and will try to be as “invisible” as possible, so they do not change what I would normally do. The data collector will carry a clipboard with a stopwatch and follow me wherever I go in the school throughout the day. The data collector will not speak or respond to anyone and will try to avoid eye contact so they do not become involved in our interactions. After data collection is complete, I will receive the results and begin a process designed to increase the time I spend focused on instructional leadership to improve teaching and learning. Thanks for your support in helping us best meet the needs your children.



P.S. You can learn more about the SAM process at

Second Step & Social Emotional Learning:

Opening Theme: Welcoming School

Parents, here are a few ways to teach inclusivity:

1. Be a Mentor: It’s time to take a deep dive into your own personal relationship with diversity and acceptance. How do you treat people who are not like you? Do you have friends who are not like you? Do you welcome new neighbors and support the underdog? Be the inclusive person you want your child to become.

2. Celebrate the Individual: When your child expresses judgment or concern about someone who is different, remind them different doesn’t mean bad or scary or uncool.This may also mean accepting the things about your child that may be “different,” including quirks, appearance, personality and beliefs.

3. Teach Your Child to Be Supportive: Encourage your child to befriend the new kid or get to know the shy, less social kids in their class. Challenge him/her to learn new things about their classmates and to see good and interesting things in everyone.

~ Lessons from the YMCA of Boulder

For questions or conversation, reach out to Schuba via email or phone 720-423-9900.


Take Action...

Embracing Diversity

Denver Public School (PS) is proud to be a Safe and Welcoming School District, where we are dedicated to helping every child succeed. One of our District’s core beliefs is that diversity is a community treasure and equity is at the core of our mission. Make certain to read more about how DPS is embracing our diverse students, families and communities via their Safe and Welcoming School District webpage. This page has helpful information for our immigrant families, including immigration FAQs, a list of supports, a family preparation plan and a caregiver authorization affidavit.

Proposed Middle Schools in the Northfield Neighborhood

As many of you may be aware DPS has issued a call for proposals for a new middle school in the Northfield Stapleton neighborhood. Denver Green School and High Tech will be hosting information, feedback, and Q & A events. Below are the details.

Denver Green School

Community members of Isabella Bird Community School! The Denver Green School (DGS) is excited to apply for the new middle school in the Northfield neighborhood. They have a strong desire to listen to the community to ensure their aspirations for a new middle school are heard. Of course, DGS wants to explain the merits of the school model, as well. With these goals in mind, here is a website explaining the school and helping to keep everyone informed about community events. Speaking of events, DGS is hosting a BBQ at Central Park on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 3:30-6:30 p.m., at the picnic area near MLK and Beeler. DGS will host another BBQ on Saturday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

High Tech

High Tech Elementary has decided to join the recent DPS Call for New Middle Schools in the Greater Park Hill-Stapleton (GPHS) enrollment zone. As an important part of our process to design the best possible middle school option for the GPHS zone, the school is seeking parent and community input for the design. If you are interested in giving input, please plan to attend one or all of the following meetings:

  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 6-7:30 p.m. at Hallet Academy (2950 Jasmine St. 80207)

  • Tuesday, Sept. 25, 5:30-7 p.m. at High Tech Elementary (8499 Stoll Place 80238)

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 6-7:30 p.m. at Swigert International (3480 Syracuse 80238)

Never Miss a Message: Easy Sign up for School Deets

We’re streamlining school communication. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the app store on your smartphone and download the School Deets app.

  2. Follow the prompts to simplify communication overload. If you have multiple children, remember to enter all your children’s School Deets Student Codes. Note: If you do not know your child(ren)’s School Deets Student code, use your child(ren)’s Denver Public School’s (DPS) Student ID number (available via the DPS Parent Portal), contact your child(ren)’s teacher, or send an email to

  3. Time saved and knowledge gained.

For questions, or difficulty downloading and/or using the app, email

Izzi B. Loves Committee Participants, Volunteers

At Izzi B., committee participants and volunteers make our world go ‘round. Keep things spinning by signing up to help out! Time commitments range from minimal to more involved. Classroom and school-wide volunteer candidates must complete a DPS-issued background check; the background check is good for up to three years. To participate with school committees, review the list of current opportunities -

Help Stock the FCRC

Did you know there is a Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC) at our school? The FCRC houses a supply of backpacks, lunch boxes, clothing, jackets, shoes and food for Izzi B. students in need. We rely on the generosity of our community to stock the FCRC. If you have gently used children's clothing or shoes, please consider donating to the FCRC. We accept sizes 4T to 12. For questions about the FCRC, email Kim Hundley, ESL teacher.


What's Going on With...

Exploring Personal Interests

Exploratories, activities designed to give students the opportunity to “explore" subjects and activities of their choosing, are a foundational concept of our school. In past years, we’ve offered yoga, recycled musical instruments, basketball, origami, cooking, Chinese, just to name a few. This year, Exploratories are shifting toward a parent-organized committee. We envision a mix of “vendors” and reintroduction of more volunteer-led Exploratories, taking advantage of the extensive and varied skills of Izzi B. parents.

Dates for Exploratories this Year - Grades 3-5: Oct. 5, 12; Nov. 2, 16; Dec. 7, 14; Jan. 11 and 18; Grades K-2: March 1, 8, 15 and 22, April 5, 12, 19 and 26

Exploratories take place Friday afternoons and extend for eight weeks, with students attending the same Exploratory or set of Exploratories throughout each session. To volunteer to lead an Exploratory or help with coordination/support, please contact the Exploratory Committee Co-Chairs, Tânia Reis and Michael McMurray.


Save the Date...

Fall-Themed Fun at Izzi B.’s Annual Harvest Festival

Join your fellow Izzi B. families on the playground Sunday, Oct. 7, 2-5 p.m., for our annual Harvest Festival. This is a fundraiser for the school, but also a great way to meet and enjoy an afternoon with the school community. Popcorn and cider, games, climbing wall, inflatables, tattoos, mini-pumpkin painting and live music is free with the purchase of a $20 Harvest Festival ticket per person. Food, sweet treats and pumpkins are available for purchase at the Festival. New this year are horse-drawn hayrides for $3 per person. Purchase your tickets by Monday, Oct. 1 to receive a free pumpkin per family. Visit to purchase tickets.

Mark Your Calendars...

  • Wednesday, Sept. 12, 8:15 a.m.: Classroom Liaison Committee Meeting

  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 5:30 p.m.: Council Meeting (child care is provided for school-aged children)

  • Friday, Sept. 14, 8:15 a.m.: Coffee & Conversation

  • Friday, Sept. 21, All Day: No School for Students (Professional Development for Staff) Discovery Link is available; signup today

  • Monday, Sept. 24, 5-9 p.m.: Dine & Donate at Next Door (10155 East 29th Dr., Suite 160) SIGN UP to attend:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 25, All Day: Picture Day

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 8:05 a.m.: Auction Committee Meeting

  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 4-8 p.m.: Direct Give Party


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