Message from Superintendent Dr. Cindy Stevenson

Cabinet 8-24-2017 Cindy 10z.jpgDear BVSD staff,

Congratulations on a successful inauguration to the 2017-18 school year in Boulder Valley School District. During the first few weeks of school, I was able to visit many of you and witness the excitement and joy that comes with the first few days of class. I am inspired and honored to be a part of an organization that is so enthusiastic about education.

It is my goal to inspire you, as well, as we endeavor towards providing a successful learning experience for every BVSD student. My intention, in conjunction with the efforts of the BVSD leadership team, is to provide grounded support and resources to every BVSD educator.

I look forward to working with you all.


BVSD Superintendent Dr. Cindy Stevenson


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At four schools, students start the year in new buildings with a new way to learn
Renovation projects in 10 schools give students and staff refreshed, safer, and more functional learning environments

On Aug. 16, BVSD opened doors to students for the first time on four new buildings in Boulder, Broomfield and Erie. After more than two years in the making, the vibrant, innovative learning environments finally welcomed students. Along the way, teachers in these buildings moved through a challenging transition to adapt their instructional practice to support the district’s vision of a 21st Century education. Buildings and staff alike were ready to meet students and bring this vision into reality.

At ten other schools, students and staff also returned to innovative new learning spaces as well as refreshed environments thanks to new paint, carpet, ceilings and lighting. Air quality is improved and energy efficiency boosted thanks to upgraded HVAC systems. New roofs, windows, and boilers also contribute to an overall predicted energy savings that are helping us make significant strides toward meeting our 2019, 20 percent reduction goal. We also are continuing to put in place at every school measures such as secure entry vestibules and digital radios that will enhance security districtwide.

Come check out the new schools at the grand re-opening events

Creekside Elementary | September 14, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Douglass Elementary | September 28, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Emerald Elementary | September 25, 6:30 - 8 p.m.


Students make use of non-traditional furniture in the common area of the 4th/5th Learning Community at Creekside. Learn more about the project at


The ‘heart’ of Emerald Elementary includes a fireplace and comfortable furniture for families and students to gather and connect. Learn more about the project at

Students love the modern play equipment at Douglass! “There are no normal monkey bars. They are all two-dimensional curvy, spinny things. The slide is HUGE! I think we have the best playground in town,” - proclaimed a Douglass first grader on the first day of school. Learn more about the project at


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BVSD Q&A with Chef Ann Cooper

Each month Inside BVSD will feature a Q & A with an interesting district employee. If you would like to nominate someone for a quick Q & A feature in this newsletter, please email

This month we're featuring BVSD's Chef AnnCooper, who among (many, many) other things, heads up the School Food Project and is responsible for connecting our students and staff to fresh, local and nutritious food.

Ann isn't your ordinary food services director. She has cooked for the Grateful Dead, hung out with former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House (three times), and cooked for the White House in the early 90s. The former "ski bum" (her words) also has written four books, opened a restaurant in London, and traveled the world serving as an executive chef on a cruise ship. So yeah, she's a little bit interesting.


Inside BVSD (Jade Cody): When did you know that you wanted to be a chef when you grew up?

Chef Ann Cooper: Not until it happened. When I was 20, I landed in Telluride as a ski bum and I talked my way into an assistant breakfast cook position and fell in love with food. I still didn’t know I wanted to be a chef then, I just fell in love with food and cooking.

Eventually, when I was 24, I went to the Culinary Institute of America in High Park, NY. After graduating I became a chef on cruise ships and for two years went on trips all over the world. After taking a couple other executive chef positions, I moved back to Telluride and became the executive chef and food and beverage director for the ski resort and started doing really big catering parties for up to 20,000 person crowds. At one time I catered backstage for the Grateful Dead, Bluegrass Festival and Film Festival. I also had my own restaurant in Telluride.

Eventually, I moved to Vermont, was an executive chef there and wrote four books. In the early 90s they took one chef from every state in the country to cook at the White House and I happened to be the chef from Vermont. I got really into sustainability and ended up opening a restaurant in London. In the late 90s I was asked to take over for a school in New York and that’s how I got into school food.

JC: Is there anything that you would refuse to serve to people?

AC: Bad food. Highly processed foods.

JC: What’s one thing that families should remove from their kitchens?

AC: It’s not that you can’t have a treat once in awhile, but you know make it a treat and not every day. If potato chips is a treat, then have it once every couple of weeks and don’t just have it every single day at lunch. High fat, high salt, high sugar, highly processed food just needs to get out of our diet.  

JC: Is bacon OK? I’m asking for a friend.

AC: Bacon is perfectly OK. It’s really yummy. May I suggest nitrate- and nitrite-free, but it is delicious and you should treat yourself to it. Bacon certainly isn’t something you should eat every day, but it’s delicious and you should treat yourself to it for Sunday brunch … maybe a couple Sundays a month.

JC: My friend also doesn’t know how to cook or eat most vegetables. Is that a problem?

AC: First of all you don’t have to cook them. Start by eating salads. This time of year, fresh cucumbers and fresh tomatoes, all of the fresh produce - you don’t even have to cook it. Cut them up and eat them with salt.

Roasting vegetables is maybe the easiest way. Squash and zucchini are really plentiful right now. You can take them and cut them into chunks with a little salt, pepper and olive oil, if you like spice use a little chile, throw them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 and they’re going to get crispy and brown. Cauliflower - you roast it at 450 with a little salt and olive oil and it gets so sweet. Start with easy stuff, start with roasting, because roasting makes almost everything sweeter because it caramelizes the natural sugars. Roasted cauliflower is like candy!

JC: You are an avid traveler. Has there been a location that made the huge impact on you?

AC: I’ve been to a lot of countries, most recently Thailand and Vietnam. I was in Vietnam in January 2017, and it made a big impact on me, but traveling through Nepal, Himalayas, Bhutan really I thought was amazing ... safaris in Africa, Galapagos. Places where there aren’t people. There’s a lot of places that are pretty out there. There’s still a lot of wild places in the world.  

JC: Where are you from?

AC: Hingham, Massachusetts

JC: What do you think about Gordon Ramsay?

AC: I think he’s full of himself.

JC: Why does BVSD get to have you?

AC: I really believe in what we’re doing, and I feel like there is a really supportive community here. The administration has also been really supportive, and we’ve really made a difference in the lives of our kids. That’s why I’m here.

JC: What was Michelle Obama like?

AC: She’s amazing, authentic, kind, sweet and she really cares.


Board approvals

The Boulder Valley Board of Education meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month except in July, when no meetings are scheduled, and in March and December when the second meeting of the month is usually canceled. These regular meetings begin at 6 p.m. Full agendas for upcoming meetings are posted by 4 p.m. on the Friday before that meeting.

August 8 regular meeting

  • Minutes were approved for the June 27 regular meeting

  • The Board approved of the Architectural Design and Engineering services contract for bond-funded improvement work at Fireside Elementary, Kohl Elementary and Nederland Middle/Senior High.

  • The Board adopted Board Resolution No. 17-28 to update the previously adopted Board Resolution No. 15-03 - Purchasing Dollar Thresholds for Bond Program Projects

  • A grant, $436,521 for Planning & Program Evaluation toward investigating SEL Competencies from the CU-Boulder/US Department of Education, was approved

  • The Board approved the adoption of materials for basic reading for Special Education

August 22 regular meeting

  • Minutes were approved for the Aug. 8 regular meeting and the Aug. 15 special meeting

  • The Agreement for the Provision of Athletic Trainer Services between Boulder Community Health and Boulder Valley School District was approved

  • The contract between Colorado Youth for a Change and BVSD was approved

  • A grant, $67,913 to Early Childhood Education for CLASS Professional Development from Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was approved

  • Special Education Out of District Placements were approved


Administrative appointments

(Name, effective date, assignment, location)

Kyle Addington, 7/17/2017, Director - Health & Culture, Student Success
Jessica Bracken, 7/24/2017, Assistant Principal, Crest View Elementary
Jessica Bracken, 7/24/17-6/13/18, Assistant Principal, Louisville Elementary
Becky Escamilla, 8/1/17-6/20/18, Interim Principal, Sanchez Elementary
Mary Jones, 8/1/2017, Summer School Administrator, Community Schools
Tamara Lawrence, 7/24/2017, Assistant Director - Student Support, District-Wide Instruction


Superintendent's Honor Roll

The August 2017 honorees are the following team of teachers who worked tirelessly through the entire year of 16/17 and into the 17/18 school year to craft, pilot, refine and norm the new Algebra 1 End of Course Exam:

Bertha Orona, District Secondary Math High School

Nazan Burson, Southern Hills Middle School

Enhui Chu, Louisville Middle School

Jim Freund, Horizons K8 School

Aaron Hickman, Fairview High School

Gail Newbury, Centennial Middle School

Jill Williams, Engage/Arapahoe Ridge High School

They were nominated by Jackie Weber, Director of Math, Computer Science and Coordinator of Instructional Materials. Jackie said, "This team, led by Bertha Orona, put in exhaustive hours to create this critical component of instruction - moving our entire district forward by supporting common assessments."  

Superintendent's Honor Roll recognizes individuals and groups throughout the school year for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Boulder Valley School District. Articles about the honorees appear here, in Inside BVSD, the district's newsletter for employees. Receptions are held in which members of the Boulder Valley School Board of Education and Superintendent Cindy Stevenson celebrate that semester's Superintendent's Honor Roll inductees.

Do you know someone who has achieved something notable or made an outstanding contribution to the district? Honorees may be BVSD students, staff, parents or community members. Please email your nominations to


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Astronaut Jack Fischer spoke about his Warrior pride & experiences in space

LAFAYETTE – Students at Centaurus High School had the opportunity to talk directly with NASA Astronaut and Centaurus alumnus Jack Fischer on Thursday, August 31 while he is circling high above the Earth in the International Space Station.

“I think it is so cool. It is probably one of the best experiences I have had in my life so far,” said Centaurus senior Ian Jorquera. “It is not an everyday event when you can talk to not only someone who came from Centaurus, but is in space right now. I think that is so cool.”

The ISS Expedition 51/52 flight engineer and Air Force colonel graduated from Centaurus in 1992. Fischer earned his Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering at the Air Force Academy and received a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During the half-hour event, Fischer answered several questions from students at Centaurus, including Jorquera, who asked how astronauts protect their equipment and themselves from the impact of solar radiation.

“Since the atmosphere is what blocks a lot of the solar activity, I was wondering how they can counter it,” Jorquera explained. “I learned that they can’t counter it completely and have to deal with the effects.”

Fisher was originally expected to interact with students via a video feed, but flooding from Hurricane Harvey impacted the NASA’s Johnson Space Center, changing plans. Instead, the astronaut spoke via a voice connection over the Internet and the students didn’t mind a bit.

“I thought it was really amazing. It was an opportunity to show kids who may not necessarily be involved with this really cool stuff that is going on in space,” said Centaurus senior Daniele Reardon.

In this age of technology, Reardon paused to think about how amazing it was that they were talking to someone who is orbiting more than 250 miles above the Earth’s surface.  

“One of the things I noticed and was surprised with was that there was a little delay between when you would ask a question and when the answer would arrive,” Reardon said. “It was a small thing, only seconds, but you notice it. It made you think about the fact that they are hundreds of miles above you.”



inside bvsd feature.pngHelp Center assists more than 900 families

Assistance with enrollment, free and reduced lunch applications extended to 3 weeks to help more parents & guardians

BOULDER – For the second year, Boulder Valley School District staff offered a warm welcome to the new school year for families. New parents and guardians, as well as families that do not have the technology needed to complete back-to-school tasks, received assistance to start the school year on the right foot.

Nearly 1,000 people came through the center while it was open from August 2 to 18. While they were at the BVSD Education Center in Boulder, parents and guardians could get help with a variety of issues from enrollment to setting up parent portal accounts in Infinite Campus.

“The people we have served have been very appreciative,” said BVSD Chief Operating Officer Leslie Stafford.  

In some cases the families are brand new to the community. The staff members at the center say they have met families who have recently moved to Boulder Valley from Spain, Costa Rica and Thailand.

“I had a family that said they had moved here two days ago. They saw the announcement on the website and came here. They arrived with a bag of documents,” said Lulu Castex, a Help Center staff member.

Much of the focus is supporting the family with computer-related tasks like updating contact information and applying for free and reduced-price lunches.

“We have seen a lot of families that do not have experience with computers,” added Dolores Campos-Herzfeld of BVSD Nutrition Services. “

“We have helped them with things like access to Infinite Campus because a lot of times our elementary families have never used Infinite Campus. They can’t do anything unless they have a log on.”

Stafford says the Help Center was envisioned last year, when several systems moved online, making it more difficult for some families.

“The online application [for Free and Reduced Price Lunch] can sometimes be difficult. We didn’t want that to be a barrier to having people get the services,” explained Stafford. “Free and Reduced Price Lunch applications not only give students free and reduced lunch, but also waives fees for athletics and school fees. We wanted to make sure that everyone is still getting the same opportunities.

Over the course of the three-week period, Campos-Herzfeld, who goes by the name ‘Lola’ was on hand to guide people through that application process.

“Lola is our absolute expert in free and reduced lunch and she can walk families through it,” Stafford said.

“When they come, they are scared. They do not know how to do it. We help them through step-by-step. When they go they say, ‘good!  That was so easy,’” Campos-Herzfeld said.

This year the Information Technology department set up 20 stations. On the busiest days, including the first day of school, every station was occupied. Additionally, there was a screen so that children could relax as their parents went through the process.

“We tried to make sure that they were welcomed at the door,” explained BVSD Director of Parent and Family Partnerships Madeleine Case. “That went a long way, to make sure they felt that someone was watching out for them and helping them navigate the process.”

While the three-week effort has been a success, she hopes that in the future families will receive the same warm welcome whenever they come to the district.

“I hope that when people come to the district office, whether it is for the help center or getting help in any variety of ways – they feel like they are an individual and the person behind the desk authentically cares for the wellbeing of the family and the wellbeing of the student in particular,” Case said.

She and her colleagues are envisioning a Welcome Center that would serve this purpose, one day. Until then, they plan to continue to hold the Help Center at the beginning of each year.



Join us for the 50th Anniversary of the Boulder Technical Education Center

Over the past five decades, the Boulder Technical Education Center has given thousands of students a leg up, as they’ve prepared for college and careers. On September 7, we will celebrate the center’s past, present and begin imagining its future.

The event is open to the public and students will be providing tours of the facility. Alumni and educators who have helped contribute to the success of Boulder TEC are encouraged to attend.

Boulder Technical Education Center 50th Anniversary Celebration

When: Thursday, September 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Boulder TEC, 6600 Arapahoe Road in Boulder


BVSD Staff EcoPass Program - Supporting Employee and Environmental HealthEco-Pass-Logo-web-sml.png

The annual Eco Pass enrollment campaign takes place in September. Employees may enroll in the program or discontinue participation. NOTE: If you already have a BVSD Eco Pass you do not have to do anything to remain in the program. Everyone enrolled as of September 30, 2017 will receive Eco Pass Coupons in early November. To learn more about the program, please visit


Impact on Education: Crayons to Calculators 2017Impact_on_EducationWEB.jpg

Impact on Education and Crayons to Calculators thanks all of our volunteers, partners I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder Valley, Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley, and Sister Carmen Community Center and community members who donated financially and with supplies to help make Crayons to Calculators 2017 a massive success! Together, Impact filled and distributed backpacks to more than 10,200 students who now have tools necessary to start their school years hitting the ground running. We still have supplies and backpacks, so if you know of a student in need of either, please contact Impact. Let's make this school year the most successful yet for everyone!


Green BVSD: Take advantage of sustainability opportunitiesBook logo_greenBVSD_web2_smaller.jpg

Welcome Back! We have some very exciting opportunities happening in our community relating to sustainability and green building this coming year.

Call for Volunteers and Save the Date: U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Denver this October! (note- this is not a BVSD event)


The upcoming U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Denver, Co this fall is seeking volunteers! This would be a superb opportunity for students, families and teachers to get an up-close-and-personal look at potential careers in STEM, as well as an opportunity to gain volunteer service hours.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 is a collegiate competition of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient, solar-powered houses. The winner most successfully blends design excellence, smart energy strategies, innovation, and market potential.

Volunteers work alongside Solar Decathlon organizers serving as a greeter, docent, visitor liaison, education day mentors and more.  To learn more or register, visit Solar Decathlon Volunteers.

Free to visitors, October 5 – 9 and 12 – 15, 2017, at the 61st & Peña station on the University of Colorado A line commuter rail near Denver International Airport, the event features student teams providing free public tours of their solar powered, energy- and water efficient houses featuring cutting-edge technologies; a sustainability expo; professional, and consumer and middle school education events.

2018 Green Ribbon Schools Applications Now Available

The Colorado Department of Education is proud to announce the release of the 2018 Green Ribbon Schools Award applications! As you may know, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program has honored America’s public and private elementary, middle and high schools for their efforts toward improving student health and achievement and reducing their environmental impact. For more information on the award program, including the application, visit:


Boulder Valley School District was an Green Ribbon Award Winner in 2014! However, schools can also apply to be individually recognized. Please contact BVSD’s Sustainability Office at ext 5181 for help with your application.

The application process has been simplified this year to include brief responses for each of the three award pillars, rather than writing a large, open-ended narrative or having to do multiple in-depth calculations.  If you are interested in applying and would like to learn more about the application and award process, CDE is hosting a webinar on Friday, September 1 from 3-4 pm. Register for the webinar via EventBrite at:


News from Human Resources - Benefits


SMART 1 - courses this Fall:

- Boulder High School - Starting September 12

- Fireside Elementary School - Starting September 13


9 Health Fair - ​for Cigna members. ​

Basic blood chemistry at no cost to employees covered on ​one of the Cigna plans.​

  • September 19, 2017  - blood draw, 3-6 p.m.

  • September 26, 2017 - results, 3-6 p.m.


Two locations: Angevine Middle School & Arapahoe Ridge

More information on how to sign up is forthcoming.


2017 Flu Shot Clinic: Visiting Nurse Association (VNA)

Monday October 3rd, 1:30-5:30 p.m. at the Ed Center in the PDC Davidson Mesa

BVSD will cover 100% of the cost for employees.  Non employees pay $35.  Pre-registration is required to ensure they bring enough supply.


Kaiser Permanente will have an on-site flu shot clinic for Kaiser Members on Monday October 3, 2-6 p.m. at the Ed Center in the PDC Crescent Room


Contact with questions on any of these upcoming events.