Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Family Partnerships- Home Visit Cohort

We are excited to invite you to participate in the second cohort of our K-12 Home Visits initiative, sponsored by the BVSD Office of Equity and Partnerships. Home Visits are one of the most effective ways to strengthen relationships and deepen trust with our families. They have the power to deepen your relationships with students and families, and enhance your teaching practices. Research shows that home visits are one of the most effective ways to impact student learning. Last summer we trained more than 60 BVSD educators and school leaders.

The “Why”

Just as relationship-building between teacher and student is at the heart of a meaningful learning process, strengthening the connections between teachers and family members reaps many benefits for all stakeholders.

The home visit ensures that the first point of contact between teacher and family is a positive one. It helps us as educators to develop a deeper understanding of students’ interests, strengths, and culture, which we can draw upon in the learning process. In addition, the home visit process leads family members to feel more valued and heard, which enhances their comfort level and trust with educators. This, in turn, leads to greater communication and a stronger relationship that benefits us all.


This second cohort will include up to 60 educators. The expectation is that each participant makes five home visits in the 2019-20 school year. You and the colleague that joins you will both be compensated for each visit.


A four-hour paid training will be offered this summer. You will be able to choose when you make your home visits between August and October.

If you are interested in participating, please complete this Google Form.

More information

Check out this three-minute video that captures the power of home visits.

BVSD Testimonials

Teacher: “I feel like I have a closer relationship with my students and see them more as whole people with lives and interests outside of school. It has also made me more open minded and appreciative of all the different kinds of families and dynamics there are. All the families I visited seemed to genuinely care for their kids and want the best for them.”

“I would like to touch base with you about the home visits I did this summer after the training. At last count I had completed over 30 home visits, and I am doing more this coming Tuesday. I'm not kidding. I came home after the first day of home visits and told my wife that it was one of my favorite days I've ever had in my career as an educator. Let's talk about it. I truly see how this can be transformational for a school community.”

“A few days ago we had the delightful the visit of Ms. L and Ms. B to our home. I am very grateful to them for taking their precious time to be with my family. They made us feel more welcome at our new school and to this beautiful city of Boulder. We talked about our daughters and their learning this year, and some topics like internet access at home, public transportation, access to bookstores. We’re so grateful because their efforts have made us feel very happy to belong to the school.”

Friday, March 1, 2019

Tip from Family Partnerships

Implicit bias is a topic that’s been widely addressed in many professions recently: entertainment, legal, medical and more. Educators aren’t exempt from bias, just like everyone else. As the saying goes, “If you have a brain, you have bias.” It’s just the way we’re wired.
Here is a link to the implicit bias test out of Harvard. There are 14 different bias tests one can take, from ability to age to race to gender and more. Check it out and learn more about yourself! 


Spring is awards, shows, and competition season! Thank you to all the staff who make these events possible.
Congratulations to the winning students so far. Click pictures below for winners.
See winners here
See awards here

Friday, February 22, 2019

Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition Tips of the Month

Weave LGBTQ related content into your classroom instruction with these simple steps:
  • Show images of diverse families and family structures.
  • Incorporate LGBTQ identities into lessons: word problems, essay prompts, test questions.
  • Use literature and print materials that feature positive representations of LGBTQ people.
  • Incorporate examples of gender and relationship diversity into broader discussions that include culture, race, family structure, age, faith, ability, etc.
Teaching Tolerance's Gender & Sexual Identity Resources 
A Queer Endeavor's Queering the Classroom
Did you know the district has comprehensive policies protecting trans and gender non-conforming students and staff from discrimination? Read about them here!  

Gifted Students

Do you ask yourself, “Where do I start with my gifted students?” Check out for resources and much more.
So “Where do I even start!?” is a common cry. In this article, the author breaks down three places to begin differentiating for gifted kids:
1. Pre-assessing: Figure out what they already know
2. Accelerate: Just move faster
3. Emphasize complexity, not mere difficulty

Friday, February 8, 2019

Updated K-5 digital citizenship resources


IT has updated the K-5 digital citizenship resource bundles with new lessons from Common Sense Media, Digizen, and more! Be sure to check out these as well as the digital citizenship scope and sequence for more ideas on integrating this into your instruction.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Tip from Family Partnerships

Did you know that there are approximately 15,700 undocumented children age 5-17 living in Colorado? In Colorado's schools, one in 10 students has a parent who is undocumented*. So there is a good chance you have an undocumented student or a student with undocumented family members in your classroom.

This article provides some background information about undocumented students and the rights that they are guaranteed:  What Teachers Supporting Undocumented Students Should Know

The article also goes into greater detail about three ideas educators can incorporate into their practice in order to support these students:
  • Create immigration-themed lesson plans.
  • Gather and share emergency resources.
  • Create know your rights cards.

Additionally, we are happy to provide you the following resources, put out by Boulder County, to distribute to families:
These two different resources support families in creating a family preparedness plan as well as provide suggestions on how to protect your family if you are an immigrant.Email me here with the number of booklets and language (Spanish/English) that you would like and I will interoffice mail them to you.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Tip from Family Partnerships

4 Core Beliefs

How would you capture your belief around family partnerships in a succinct mantra? What motto will guide your work with families in 2019?

Here are some examples:
  • All families have dreams for their children and want the best for them
  • All families have the capacity to support their children
  • Families and school staff are equal partners
  • The responsibility for cultivating and sustaining partnerships among school, home, and community rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders
The first three people to email us their motto will receive a special prize.

SEL Resources

The Calm App
Every teacher can now have free subscription access to Calm, the mindfulness app that hundreds of thousands of people all over the world use every day. The purpose of the app is to empower teachers with mindfulness tools and resources they can use to help kids learn this new skill. Check it out here.

Powerful Class Opening Activity
Check out this simple and powerful Rose and Thorn Activity for your classroom.

New Recertification Requirements from CDE

As many of you know, this past June CDE added the requirement of 45 hours of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse training for all elementary, English language arts, math, science, and social studies teachers. This is a one-time requirement, and at this time it is only required for the aforementioned teachers and is optional for everyone else. Please see this letter from Mary Jo Bode for more information.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition Tips of the Month

Know Your Students’ Rights: Creating more inclusive policies begins with an understanding of students’ basic rights, as determined by both the law and educational best practices. These rights serve as the backbone to the policies that follow, and they arm school leaders with a legal and moral defense against backlash. All educators—and students themselves—should know that these rights are guaranteed to kids who attend public schools.   
Teaching Tolerance's article, " LGBTQ Best Practices Guide,", also offers some great resources on promoting inclusivity in your lessons and classroom.
Did you know the district has comprehensive policies protecting trans and gender non-conforming students and staff from discrimination? Read about them here!  
To learn more about BVSSC please contact Mary Campbell at

Podcast by Zoe Midler, our Digital Literacy Specialist

Zoe Midler, our BVSD Digital Literacy Specialist has launched aPodcast, Not A Rocking Chair Librarian, which features conversations & ruminations on the shifts taking place in K-12 librarianship & libraries.
Over the past few months, she has conducted a series of interviews with Dynamic Duos, BVSD teacher librarians and principals partnering to create student-centered, flexible, & multi-use library spaces, led by future forward teacher librarian leaders.

Congratulations to all our Music Students (and their Teachers!) who reached State

Our Music Students and Teachers have definitely shown why BVSD won the 2018 Best Communities for Music Education Award. This year:

  • 24 Students made All-State Orchestra
  • 36 Students made All-State Choir
  • 13 Students made All-State Band
Check out the students listed on our music website here!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition Tip of the Month


Pronouns are an integral part of our everyday language.  It is difficult to imagine speaking without using pronouns, especially when we have been taught and socialized to use them.  While pronouns are an important part of language, their use in understanding gender is often underestimated. We often automatically ascribe a pronoun to the people around us based on the gender we assume them to be. Learning about and respecting the pronouns which someone uses is an important part of treating people with respect and dignity

1. How do I ask someone what their preferred pronoun is? 
This guide offers a brief overview of how to ask about pronouns. While we prefer not tying “preferred” to the question, the article offers options to avoid using that qualifier. 
2. What are your pronouns? 
This resource is an overview with definitions of pronouns, suggested pronouns, and some suggestions of do’s and don’ts when using pronouns. 
3. Preferred Gender Pronouns: For Faculty (Or, How to Take Important Steps in Becoming aTrans Ally!) 
This document is broken down into an FAQ style format. Learn basics about the use of pronouns in general along with insights about why you should use pronouns responsibly and respectfully.
Did you know the district has comprehensive policies protecting trans and gender non-conforming students and staff from discrimination? Read about them here!  

To learn more about BVSSC please contact Mary Campbell.

2 Things to be done by December 21- Salary Credit Transfer and Data Privacy Course

Salary Credit Transfer

Urgent: This must be completed by December 21st in order to not lose your salary credit!
  1. Log into MyPassport
  2. Check to see if you have any salary credit by clicking on Courses, then My Transcript, then BVSD Salary Credit. 
  3. If the answer is no, you don’t need to do anything!

  4. 4. If you do, keep that window open, and sign into AppliTrack on another tab. 
  5. 5. Navigate to the Locate the Teacher Education Credential Worksheet to see what you have already submitted.
    6.If you have credits that are in MyPassport but not in Applitrack, upload them using the Outstanding Earned Credit Upload Form. Make sure to upload official salary credit transcripts from a university or the salary credit transcript from your BVSD account. 

    More questions? Check out the FAQs or email!

Data Privacy Course

Have you started the Student Data Privacy Schoology course? All BVSD employees who have access to student data are required to take this course by December 21st. Log in to Schoology today to get started!

In order to access this course:

  1. Sign into the (BVSD Single Sign On Portal) with your BVSD credentials
  2. Click the Schoology icon
  3. You will be redirected to your Schoology homepage
  4. Click Courses in the top menu bar, and select the Data Privacy for Staff course from the dropdown menu

Contact if you have any trouble logging into Schoology or joining the class