School News

Check our our "Student Handbook" to the left of of this notice on the side bar you will find this important resource. If you have questions concerning what to do when the weather is bad, school dress, times that school starts and finishes, Pueblo City School calendar, and much much more just click and read.  
This document is has important infomation to help keep all our student safe. 

    Final Stretch on our Energy Competition

    posted Feb 16, 2017, 6:34 AM by John Hull

    Sunset Park is right in the mix for winning some serious funds for energy updates and improvements. We need your help! Please complete the home energy survey for Sunset Park. We get points for every survey completed and yours might just be the deciding factor. You can even have relatives, friends and neighbors complete the survey as long as they have a Colorado zip code. We only have one week left. Here is the link: 

    You may have to cut and paste it to your address bar in some cases. Thanks again for your support. This has been a great Leadership opportunity for our kids win, lose or draw.

    They Blinded Us With Science

    posted Feb 1, 2017, 1:45 PM by John Hull

    I would like to thank all of our hard working Sunset Park Leaders that represented our school at the District Science Fair. We had seven placers out of our nine representatives!!! Way to go Yearlings!!! Here are our placers:

    1st Place and Future Woman of Science Award Winner Ornella Azar
    1st Place Josh Sanchez
    2nd Place Mackenzie Foechterle
    2nd Place Allison Sample
    2nd Place Avery Taylor
    3rd Place Kimberly Sample
    3rd Place Isabella Cappellucci

    February Newsletter and Calendar

    posted Feb 1, 2017, 1:29 PM by Larissa Turner

    Please find enclosed the newlsetter and calendar for February. 

    Thank You for Supporting Leadership Day

    posted Jan 31, 2017, 9:16 AM by John Hull   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 9:17 AM ]

    What a great day to be a Yearling. Thank you for coming out and supporting our efforts to grow leadership at Sunset Park and the Pueblo Community. We have created a short survey to explore ideas and thoughts on Leadership Day and how we may be able to better serve our community. Thanks in advance for your response. We will also have the survey available in a hard copy at Parent Teacher Conferences. Here is the link. You will have to cut and paste it to your address bar: 

    Littlest Rangers Program Launches for Pre-Schoolers

    posted Dec 16, 2016, 7:38 AM by   [ updated Dec 16, 2016, 7:41 AM ]



    MPEC launches outdoors program for preschoolers



    In this age, the extent of a youngster’s world may be determined by the size of the video screen he or she is looking at — or the cellphone being used.

    Staffers at the Mountain Park Environmental Center in Beulah are seeking to change that culture.

    They want kids to pull out the earbuds. Hang up the cellphone. Turn off the TV.

    And reconnect with the great outdoors.

    While it may be difficult to break today’s teens of their plugged-in habits, younger children may be more receptive to the idea.

    With that in mind, MPEC — in conjunction with Pueblo City Schools (D60), Health Solutions and Catholic Charities — has begun a program to encourage preschoolers to engage in more outdoor activities.

    The program, launched in October, is called the Forest School for Little Rangers. This year there are 27 classes, each with a maximum of 16 children participating. Each of those classes will meet at MPEC five times during the school for a morning of activities. The whole goal is to get the youngsters outside and teach them a little bit about nature.

    The program was created by MPEC founder Dave Van Manen, who patterned it loosely after programs that were first started in Europe decades ago and then spread to the eastern part of the United States.

    Van Manen for years has preached the benefits of spending time outside.

    “We’ve been serving Pueblo fifth-graders for two decades,” Van Manen said. “I’ve been doing this little nature toddlers program for 10 years.”

    Van Manen would meet with youngsters and their parents or grandparents once a month, and enjoyed the experience.

    “I’ve wanted to do something more comprehensive,” Van Manen said. “I’ve wanted to develop a program that reached more kids.”

    It wasn’t until he received a call from local teacher Tammy Montoya, who was looking for more ways to get her students outside time, that he began to focus on the Little Rangers program.

    Fresh air

    The benefits of being outside may be anecdotal, but, Van Manen said, “there is a lot of information creating data that says it is good.”

    “The things (outside play) does to brain development and sensory stimulation is really, really good for them,” Van Manen said. “They say you learn 90 percent of what you learn by the time you are 5 years old. So this is important.”

    Kids don’t need to go on elaborate hikes or other programs, Van Manen said. “They benefit just by being outside.”

    Wired lifestyles

    Van Manen said it has never been more important than it is today to get our children outside.

    “Research says it is not good physiologically for young brains who spend time in front of monitors and screens,” Van Manen said. “Every hour or two they spend in front of a screen is an hour or two they aren’t outside doing something like taking a walk.”

    The Little Rangers program also includes sessions for parents, supervised by individuals from Catholic Charities and Health Solutions.

    “We encourage them to unplug the kids some and get them away from electronics,” Van Manen said. “We’ve had a couple of generations now that are being brought up with so much electronic access.”

    Others on board

    The Little Foresters program is being partially underwritten by the local chapter of the United Way.

    Pueblo City Schools (D60) has been a willing participant, Van Manen said.

    The outdoor sessions have shown a benefit in helping youngsters and parents deal with adverse childhood experiences, Van Manen said.

    The more adverse experiences a person has as a child, the greater chance they will grow up and have liver disease, smoking, diabetes, etc., according to studies by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control.

    Youngsters with high ACE scores often end up costing the community as a whole. One way to combat that is by spending time in nature, Van Manen said.

    “Getting them outside and challenging them away from their normal social structure has proven to be a good therapy,” Van Manen said.

    Program strategy

    The sessions begin around 10 a.m. when the children and their parents arrive at MPEC.

    “We do an opening circle, song or two for about an hour,” Van Manen said. “Parents do an activity with the kids. These kids are 2, 3, 4 or 5 years old so we give them a sheet of photographs of things to find, like pine cones, acorns.

    “We come back, look at them, talk about what they are.”

    Van Manen said this part is important because it promotes language development.

    The children are read a book and treated to a snack. At this time, the parents go in for a class.

    Other activities include arts and crafts programs and yoga.

    The kids and the parents get back together and finish up whatever craft the children are working on. The group takes a short day hike, eats lunch and goes home for the day.

    “It’s about a three-hour session,” Van Manen said. Most of it is held outside although there is space available inside for cold days. Classes are held Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Chilly, but fun

    About a half dozen youngsters from the Sunset Elemetary preschool program, each accompanied by a parent, as well as Sunset staffers Rachel Cory and Kelsie Housman, showed up for a recent session.

    Their presence was a brave thing. It was snowy and 13 degrees at MPEC. But the group was undaunted.

    About the only concessions instructors Sheila Cover-Rydell and Deb Wellen made to the weather was a hot chocolate break and a fire in the fire pit.

    The kids learned about mammals during the daily lesson, then took a hike during which they spotted several animal tracks and just had fun walking and exploring in the show.

    After a brief break for hot chocolate, it was back outside for the kids while the parents broke away for a session with Patrick Hatchett from Catholic Charities, who did a giveand- take presentation about different parenting skills.

    Once reunited, the group did a craft project, turning pine cones, pine branches and string into a garland, before eating lunch and heading home.

    The kids were active and interested. The parents were engaged in their session.

    The Sunset staffers who attended were enthusiastic about the program.

    “This is going to help these kids a lot,” Cory said. “Hopefully, it will introduce the kids to being outside.”

    Cory said she hopes the kids take that enthusiasm home and it encourages their parents to do more with them outdoors.

    “It gets them outside, which will help them in a lot of ways, from learning skills to motor skills,” Cory said.

    Sunset Park Hour of Code- In the News

    posted Dec 7, 2016, 1:01 PM by   [ updated Dec 7, 2016, 1:03 PM ]

    Sunset Park's participation in the hour of code made the news yesterday! Please see the enclosed article! Thanks to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers for encouraging our students to learn to code and opening up your classrooms for this amazing opportunity! 


    Cracking the 'Code’ 



    Some call it the largest learning event in history.

    A sea of students holding laptop computers at Sunset Park Elementary School filled a fifth-grade classroom Tuesday prepping for the Hour of Code, a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries.

    The program started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.

    The Hour of Code took place Tuesday during Computer Science Education Week, Mondaythrough Sunday.

    Paula Herraez, Pueblo City Schools (D60) 21st Century Skills coach, said it helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. “We are really excited to move ahead in technology and really provide these opportunities for our kids because really, this is the future. We just want to plant the seeds for future careers in technology,” Herraez said.

    She said by starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

    Students were programming in order to learn logical sequencing, problem solving and critical thinking.

    Sunset Park Principal John Hull said the program would not work at the school had it not been for the school’s Parent Teacher Community Association booster club.

    “We had two (computer) labs from the district and now we have five more because of our booster club. That makes this possible. They’ve been working hard so these kids have these opportunities.”

    Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students also were participating in a number of coding activities that allowed them to work on several different and popular video games. Herraez said other schools in the district also have worked in the program.

    “It has a pretty good following. This is our third year of doing it. We want to build momentum,” Herraez said.

    The district has contracted with Summit Education Group to help run the program and show students the field of coding.

    Anne Maldonado, vice president of Summit’s business services, said 524,000 jobs in the United States a year are computer science driven.

    “Only 14,000 students who graduate in the U.S. go on to those 524,000 jobs, so it is a huge need,” Maldonado said.

    “We are pushing ensuring that students across the U.S. are getting involved in computer science because by the year 2020, that will double.”

    Maldonado said the state of Colorado is one of only 14 states that allows computer science credit in high School.

    “Those students typically go on to college and earn a job in computer science. With technology right now the trend is computer science jobs across the country,” she said.

    “Right now the student in elementary school is more advanced in technology than any of us were 20 years ago. In order to keep up in education, you’ve got to be focused on technology.”

    December Calendar and Newsletter

    posted Dec 2, 2016, 8:34 AM by

    Please find enclosed the newlsetter and calendar for December. Happy Holidays! 

    Sunset Park's Leader in Me: A Positive Light for Community

    posted Nov 28, 2016, 6:53 AM by


    Giving thanks 

    WE HAVE a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day and throughout the year.

    Just recently, The Pueblo Chieftain has reported several gratifying stories that exemplify what makes this community special.

    Pueblo’s benevolence was conveyed in the headline “CHARITY: Two groups help many,” about Tom and Louie’s Cupboard teaming with area motorcyclists’ annual Pueblo Turkey Run to deliver food items so that some 1,000 families can have a full dinner table on Thanksgiving again this year.

    Likewise, Pueblo Chemical Depot contractor Bechtel has teamed with Pueblo Cooperative Care Center to distribute hundreds of turkeys to families.

    Another headline, “Generosity makes holiday meal a reality,” featured preparations for the city’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner with food and offers to help from all kinds of wonderful Pueblo businesses and residents. This year’s dinner at the Pueblo Union Depot is in memory of two young Puebloans who died in 2016: Devin Clark, the victim of a senseless drive-by shooting in February, and Jordan Munoz, who died following a motorcycle accident on the freeway in June.

    Puebloans can give thanks to first responders who are there to help whenever needed. We appreciate, for example, city firefighters, with mutual aid from West Park Fire Department, for quickly dousing a grass fire near Lake Minnequa lastSunday before it could damage nearby homes on Pueblo’s South Side. Good work.

    We are gratified that Chris Markuson, the county’s director of economic development and geographic information systems, has been elected chairman of the Colorado Utility Consumers’ Board. The board strives to represent residential, agricultural and small business utility consumers before the Public Utilities Commission.

    We are grateful, too, for Sunset Park Elementary School’s “Leader in Me” program, which teaches leadership and life skills to students. Last week, the kids heard state Sen. Leroy Garcia and Pueblo businessman-philanthropist Dave Feamster talk about some of the “7 Habit Principles” that aid in creating a positive, productive culture for the young to embrace.

    Sports also can draw kids in a constructive way. Last Saturday, local police officers and firefighters squared off in a charity hockey match that drew a capacity crowd of all ages to Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena. The patron-donated money, toys and books will be distributed to needy families before Christmas. And Pueblo’s Original Wrestling Association continues to let interested children experience the sport of wrestling up close and personal.

    These are just recent examples of the kindness and generosity for which the Pueblo community can give thanks, both today and year-round.

    To see the original article view the document below

    Sunset Park's Leader in Me Program In the News

    posted Nov 28, 2016, 6:50 AM by   [ updated Nov 28, 2016, 6:54 AM ]


    Sunset Elementary sees the guiding light 

    Garcia, Feamster champion Leader in Me program



    We have two ears so we can listen twice as much as we speak.

    Sounds simple enough.

    Students at Sunset Park Elementary School used that statement to explain one of the “7 Habit Principles.”

    The school’s administrators and teachers hosted a fun-filled and lively assembly Friday todemonstrate the leadership and life skills that their students have been learning through The Leader in Me program.

    Sunset Principal John Hull explained that the program teaches leadership and life skills to students, while also creating a culture of empowerment. It is composed of seven different habits designed to teach students leadership.

    During the assembly, staff and students at the elementary school were able to showcase just how the seven habits have made an impact on the students.

    State Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and local businessman and philanthropist Dave Feamster spoke at the event.

    Feamster, a former hockey player, talked about the “fifth habit,” which is: “Seek first to understand, then be understood.” He told the calm 450 students to never give up, and he shared a story about how he was cut from the first hockey team he played for.

    “I didn’t make the team because I wasn’t good enough. I was probably the worst guy on the ice. But you know what? The coach said something to me. He said, ‘Dave, it’s all right that you didn’t make the team, you are just learning how to play. The key is not giving up,’ ” Feamster said.

    “All of the sudden something in my brain and my heart went off, saying I understand that I am not there yet, but if I work hard, things will open up for me. Opportunities will come my way if you just keep working hard.”

    Garcia spoke about the “third habit,” which is to put first things first.

    The lawmaker and former U.S. Marine asked students what was most important to them. He told students to put others first and also to put homework first.

    “Ask yourself throughout the day if you are leading by example in your school life and at home,” Garcia said.

    Hull, who has been principal at Sunset for 13 years, said the two speakers fit well in demonstrating leadership skills.

    Sunset received a grant from the Leader in Me program through Panda Express restaurant, to initiate goals and to introduce the 7 Habits into the classroom. With that, the school has become a Leader in Me school.

    There are close to 3,000 Leader in Me schools worldwide. Sunset is the only school in Pueblo that is in the program.

    “We started working on the grant last fall and received the grant in the spring,” Hull said.

    Staff at Sunset participated in four days of professional development seminars over the summer to learn how to teach the habits and to create a culture of leadership in the building.

    “The staff did this entirely on their own time.

    It’s ongoing, as we still have more to complete,” Hull said. “We have taught the habits in the classroom and now we are in the second phase, which is starting to apply them and release leadership roles to our students.

    “It’s been, so far, exactly what we have hoped for.”

    Friday was set aside to celebrate the program and to give students a chance to showcase what they have learned. Each grade level — through song or skit — demonstrated each of the habits. They danced, laughed and even saw Garcia and Feamster bust out some dance moves.

    “Today was a celebration that we received the grant, and we wanted a chance to showcase that this is not just a subject in school that you learn,” Hull said. “This is what leaders do. This is what productive citizens do every day.

    “We would appreciate any community support and we invite any of our community to come in and share their greatness with us. We are calling all leaders.”

    To view the original newspaper article click on the links below

    November Calendar and Newsletter 2016

    posted Nov 9, 2016, 9:53 AM by

    Please find enclosed the November Calendar and Newsletter. 

    1-10 of 42