Lesher Middle School

an IB World School


August 7, 2017

Dear Lesher Families & Friends,

I hope you’ve all enjoyed a delightful summer, and taken time to rest, reflect, and recalibrate. What excites me most every August is the potential of our incoming students, quality of our returning staff and new draft picks (hires), and anticipation we’ll get it done again in 2017-18! Our BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious Goal (Good to Great, 2001, Collins) remains unchanged… to provide our students access to equitable and excellent learning experiences and outcomes through high expectations with high support. It’s our moral imperative, it’s our professional responsibility, it’s what we do, and it is THE LESHER DIFFERENCE!

Last year our staff embraced a declaration of care for those we serve and those we lead called LOVE YOUR PEOPLE… the people around us, who we have allowed to be in our lives and who have allowed us to be in theirs. They deserve our care and attention to make good things happen for them wherever and whenever we can. Well this year I challenged our staff to ROW THE BOAT, and never give up. When you row a boat, you’re rowing with your back to the future, which you cannot see or control. You don’t know what’s ahead of you. You must trust the person in front of you, that they’re doing their job and rowing at the same speed and efficiency as you are. You’re rowing in the present, which is the only thing you can control. And you’re looking at the past, which is the only thing you can really learn from, but you can’t change. You can either take your oars out of the water and stop, or you can put them in the water and row. If you want to hear about the three parts of rowing a boat, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaAnElqNNrQ.

More specifically, our staff’s 2017-18 work will focus on these deliverables:

  1. Fine tune how we assess Student Performance via the IB Middle Years Program (IBMYP) Criteria, Strands, and Approaches to Learning Skills per our criterion-based gradebook.
  2. Expand our Digital Innovator Program (DIP) and EL Achieve Instruction (English Language Development- ELD) to include more teachers.
  3. Improve our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Progress Monitoring to enhance student academic, behavioral, and social/emotional performance.
  4. Continue our Co-teaching Model between our Integrated Services and General Ed. Teachers to improve growth gaps for students with disabilities.
  5. Implement a Building-wide Writing Framework to improve student thinking and writing.
  6. Begin Peer Observations/Lesson Study using the 5Ds+ Standards-based Teaching & Learning Framework and IB’s Approaches to Teaching.
  7. Implement Expect Respect schoolwide to teach students how to build healthy relationships and prevent violence and abuse.
  8. Host the Colorado Association for Middle Level Education (CAMLE) Leadership Conference on Friday, October 27 as the new pre-conference portion of CAMLE’s Annual Conference at Preston MS on Saturday, October 28 per our re-designation as a Colorado School to Watch through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform based on academic excellencedevelopmental responsivenesssocial equity, and organizational structure.

So, let’s ROW THE BOAT into our 57th year on Wednesday, August 23rd with 775 Vikings and Viqueens! See you soon.

Living the dream,

Tom Dodd, PhD



Transportation Update – VERY IMPORTANT!

Our parent pick up/drop off area will continue to be along the east side of the property on Ellis St. This separates our parent pick up/drop off area from our pedestrian, bicycle, and bus drop off areas on Stover and Lake Streets along the west and north sides of the property. When entering the parent drop off area please pull all the way forward (past the entrance sidewalk), and refrain from making U-turns (you may exit south onto Prospect St., north onto Lake St., or through the church parking lot to Lake St.).

Fundraising Update

We are continuing our Direct Donation program this year. Last year we raised almost $8,000. You will receive information about Direct Donation on check-in day. We appreciate your continued support of this very necessary program.

New Staff Update

  1. Joe Perron (Vocal Music Director)
  2. Rebecca Spear (8th Grade Math)
  3. Sarah Wasinger (6th Grade Math/Science)
  4. Matt Moeller (6th-8th Grade Physical & Health Education/Head Wrestling Coach)
  5. Sarah Romero (Asst. Band Director)
  6. Kate Wallace (29% English 7)
  7. Tim Siman (School Resource Officer)
  8. Aleki Davis (Speech Language Pathologist)
  9. Katie Noelck & Hali Rewierts (Mental Health Specialists)

Scheduling Update

Foundational to our Professional Learning Community, we’re continuing the authentic middle school and IB practice of grade level teams (6, 7, and 8) in the core areas of math, English, science, and social studies to provide teachers on those teams with common planning periods and students. Encore teachers (world language, PE, technology, and the arts) have a common planning period too. We’re also continuing our modified block schedule of four 78-84 minute “block” classes daily in an alternating blue/gold day format with a daily 40 minute “skinny” period offering Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) such as enrichment, support, and intervention at the end of the day.

Summer Facility Upgrades

  • New goalposts and a 40’ x 180’ ball catcher system (net) on the Frozen Tundra of Lesher’s on campus multi-purpose Viking Stadium.
  • Phase 1 of Learning Garden/Outdoor Classroom installed: Concrete, boulders, benches, planter boxes, storage bin, and steel sign. Phase 2: Shade Structure to be installed October 2017. Phase 3: Pollinator Garden to be installed April/May 2018.

Stay Informed

Information on our 2017-18 Lesher deliverables and School Unified Improvement Plan (SUIP) will be forthcoming throughout the year via our Lesher Difference email blasts, and posted on our website. Another great way to stay informed is by joining the Viking Volunteers (Parent Teacher Organization), and/or serving on our School Accountability Committee (SAC). Please contact Office Manager Jeannie Mitchell at 472-3803, or jeanniem@psdschools.org if you’re interested in serving with the VV or SAC.

Please remember these important upcoming dates and events:




Tuesday, 8/22

6th Grade Student Transition Day – with New 7th & 8th Graders

7:05am – 2:55pm – Lesher Middle School

Wednesday, 8/23

1st Day of School – ALL students Grades 6 - 8

7:05am – 2:55pm – Lesher Middle School

Tuesday, 8/29

Back-to-School Night

6 – 8:30pm – Lesher Middle School

Friday, 9/29

NO SCHOOL Teacher Collaboration Day

7:05am – 2:55pm – Lesher Middle School

Monday, 1/8

NO SCHOOL Teacher Work Day

7:05am – 2:55pm – Lesher Middle School

Monday, 2/19

NO SCHOOL Teacher Collaboration Day

7:05am – 2:55pm – Lesher Middle School

“Shells sink, dreams float. Life’s good on our boat.”   - Jimmy Buffett

WE ARE...        LESHER!

Lesher Middle School, an IB World School
1400 Stover Street Fort Collins CO 80524
Phone:970.472.3800 Fax:970.472.3880 Attendance: 970.472.3815