September 2013 Newsletter

The Risley Post

September 2013

Volume 1, Issue 1

                              Principal’s Principles

  Mrs. Charlotte Macaluso

Welcome back to an amazing new school year! I feel extremely blessed and proud to be part of Risley International Academy of Innovation. As you know, over the summer we had a school name change. I believe our name reflects the positive changes that are happening at Risley. This will be our first year as an “Innovation School”. Innovation status provides us additional autonomy and flexibility to meet the needs of our students. This year we are excited to implement several new programs including the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB-MYP) and AVID.   Both of the programs will assist our school in providing a high quality education that prepares our students for college and career. Recently, according to the school performance framework issued by the Colorado Department of Education, Risley has successfully moved out of turnaround and into priority improvement. This is a huge celebration not only for our school but for the entire East Side community. Congratulations to staff, students, and parents.  This truly was a team effort that could not have been reached without perseverance and hard work. Without a doubt, I believe this school year will be our best yet! We have lots to accomplish on our journey toward improvement but I am confident we are moving in the right direction. “Believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you can't accomplish.” - Brad Henry.

Have a productive year of learning. Go red and black!

From the Assistant Principal’s Desk….

   Mrs. Amy Hausman

Welcome back students!  It seems as if summer flew by and here we are back already!  I am happy to welcome our new 6th graders and excited to see so many familiar faces returning. 

As your Assistant Principal, I am eager and excited to begin what is shaping up to be a fabulous new school year!  I have a feeling this is going to be our best year yet as we continue to focus on academics and improvement.  We will continue to provide you, our students, with academic experiences that are both rigorous and relevant, while continuing to build positive relationships.

This year is going to be a great year of meaningful, engaging and exciting work in our classrooms.  Along with the academics offered at Risley, we also have a number of extracurricular clubs and activities as well as our winning athletics that you can join. With so many ways to be a part of the Bear Community, make sure you participate in something…. NAL, Math Counts, Leadership, sports, etc.  It will help you feel a part of our family.

There are several things you can do this year to help make sure you are successful: 

Come to school prepared every day—this means with your mind ready to learn new and exciting things, your homework and supplies on hand, and following the dress code and behavior contracts.

Stay determined to succeed, even when it gets hard.

Approach learning with a positive attitude, this will take you a long way. 

Plan to achieve and you will succeed.

And, as I tell my own children every day~ Make Good Choices!!!

I look forward to meeting all of the students as well as your parents during the course of the year.  One of the best parts of my day is to make the “Shout Out” calls home.  It gives me the opportunity to let your parent or guardian know how well you are doing.  So, keep it up!  

If you need anything this year, remember that I have an open door policy; and that you, the student, are the most important part of Risley International Academy of Innovation.

  Counseling Corner

Ms. Michelle Montoya

      We Want to Capture Hearts!!

Faculty and staff at Risley International Academy consider it a privilege to work with each of our students.  In an effort to build positive and effective relationships, our school leaders sought out programs to assist staff in developing a classroom where trust, respect, and caring relationships flourish.  We found such a program in Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

This summer, staff participated in an intensive three day training designed to give teachers the necessary tools to effectively develop a safe and trusting environment.  By developing a Social Contract in each class period, students are now able to rely on a governing set of principals which they helped develop.  Most Social Contracts include values such as common respect, kindness, and listening.  While discouraging behaviors such as bullying and name calling.  Each class period is kicked off by the sharing of “Good Things,” which enables students to share positive occurrences in their lives.  Hand signals have been developed and adopted school-wide to further develop a self-managing classroom.

So far, staff is extremely pleased with the results of their hard work and look forward to implementing more strategies they have learned.  We would like to thank our students for actively participating and supporting this program - Way to go BEARS!!


Security Spotlight

Officer Jason Smith

 Officer Smith is very involved with and focused on the safety of our students.   He says, “There is a difference between reporting, and tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm to someone by telling a trusted adult what you know.” He also says that getting involved with extracurricular, or after school programs provides an opportunity to make new friends and it keeps you busy and out of trouble.

Officer Smith also talked about traffic safety saying that, “Even though all children were taught to look both ways before crossing the street when they were younger, they may forget to do it every time as they get older.” His advice is to use crosswalks and look both ways when crossing the street because sometimes, a driver may not be paying attention. For those students that walk home from school, Officer Smith advises them to walk with two or more people and to never walk alone. We all play a role in school safety. He stresses that it is really important for everyone to be observant and to let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.


Let’s Get Healthy !!!

Did you know that eating healthier provides nutrients and energy to your body? If you eat less sugar and fried foods and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Also, if  children, teens, and adults would exercise  more, they would have less chance of diabetes and obesity but also have more muscle and stronger bones. Being active can also make you more confident and promote higher self esteem. Let’s all do our part to get healthy and stay healthy!!!!

Featured Teachers

 Mr. Cesar Carrillo

Mr. Carrillo is a new edition to Risley International Academy.  He teaches Spanish. He was born in Medellin, Colombia. He came to  America for  his family and he wanted the opportunity to experience the American dream.

Mr. Carrillo went to Centennial Middle School in Miami, Florida, and Lake Howell High School in Orlando, Florida. Spanish was his major at Florida International University. When asked why he wanted to become a teacher he responded with, “ Well I love working with kids.” This is his first year working at Risley but his seventh year teaching.

Mr. Carrillo is married and has twins, a boy and girl who are two and a half years old. He enjoys golf, reading about history, and watching the Atlanta Braves on television. He has traveled to many places including Atlanta, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Key West, Florida, and he went to Hawaii for his honeymoon. Mr. Carrillo said, “Risley is becoming the best school in Pueblo for student Achievement.” One day, he hopes to be the best Spanish teacher in Pueblo!

Ms. Morgan Dysinger

Ms. Dysinger was born in Deland, Florida. She moved to Pueblo to start her own Coloradoan adventure. She went to Northfield Middle and High school in Northfield, Vermont. At Penn State University she majored in English and minored in Women’s studies. The reason she became a teacher is because she always loved school. This is her first year at Risley. All of her family lives back east. Her mom is a chef and her father and brother both work for FedEx. When she is out of school she enjoys hiking with Bailey, her doggie.

Ms. Dysinger also likes to cook, swim and travel. Her travels have taken her to California, Maine, Vermont, New York City, Connecticut, but her favorite was England.

The students are her favorite thing about Risley because, “she likes their own style and personalities.”  One of her favorite quotes is, “Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition; they somehow already know what you want to become” - Steve Jobs- Co-founder of Apple inc.

 Ms. Sara McCaman

Ms. McCaman was born in Lamar, Colorado, she moved here to Pueblo because she fell in love with a man from Pueblo. She went to Falcon Middle School in Colorado Springs and later went to Canon City High School. She attended college, at West Texas A & M University and graduated from  Panhandle State University in Oklahoma.  Her major of study was Social Studies Education.

Ms. McCaman always wanted to be a teacher, she has been teaching for 15 years. Her mom lives in Colorado Springs and her boyfriend lives here in Pueblo, with her 5 year old stepson. When she's not teaching she is making jewelry, reading, or shopping. She has been to many places  in the southern states and in Florida and New Mexico for rodeos.

Her favorite thing about   Risley is the staff and students.

 Ms. Melissa Geis

Ms. Geis was born in Spokane, Washington. She wanted to live in the mountains with her husband.  When she was a child, her dad  was in the army so she moved from place to place but she graduated high school in Leavenworth, Kansas. She later went to Emporia State University and studied to become a Reading Specialist. She loves Reading and that’s why she became a teacher. This is her third year teaching. Her father was a Green Beret in the Army and her mom is a bank teller, they live in Florida with her little sister.

When she's off the job she enjoys camping, hunting and eating chocolate. When her father was in the Army she travelled to Panama, Puerto Rico, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. Her favorite thing about our school are the kids and she loves the Eastside pride.

When asked if she has a motivational message for the students she quoted Dr. Suess saying, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind”

 Mrs. Amanda Arellano

Mrs. Arellano was born and raised in Pueblo.  She went to Roncalli Middle School and Central High Shool.  She attended Colorado State University– Pueblo and earned a bachelors degree in Science with a minor in Education. She has been teaching for four and a half years. She has an older sister, on older brother, and one younger brother. She has 3 daughters with her husband (Mr. Arellano).  Victoria is seven, Gracie who is four, and Gloriana who just turned one. During her free time, Mrs. Arellano enjoys hanging out with family and friends.  She also enjoys fishing, camping and watching baseball, and of course cheering on the Denver Broncos. She has traveled to many places including, California, Florida, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Antonio, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, New York City, Philadelphia, Paris, France, and Rome, Venice, and Florence, which are in Italy. Her favorite thing about Risley is the students. Her hope for the school is for all students to continue to improve their learning and be successful. 

 Ms. Sabrina Gonzales

Ms. Gonzales was born in Pueblo, she went to Corwin Middle School and Central High School. She went to Adams State University for two and a half years and Colorado State University-Pueblo for two years and majored in Mathematics and minored in Secondary Education.

Since she had always   loved math and helping people so she became a teacher. This is her first year teaching. Her parents live in Pueblo. 

She has three older brothers as well as three nephews and three nieces. Her hobbies are math and reading. She has traveled to New Mexico, California and Nebraska. Everyone at Risley is so friendly And she is proud to be a Risley Bear.

She quoted an anonymous quote which says, “It’s okay to not know, but it’s not okay to not try.”


      Music Notes

Mr. Matt Kouba is the choir and band teacher.  He is starting his 13th year here at Risley. The music program is off to a great start with 150 students in vocal or instrumental classes. Beginning band has forty-four students, concert band has thirty-six students, jazz band has nineteen students, and the choirs have forty-five students. More students are wanting to be in band or choir since his start as a band director in 2001.