Cottonwood relaxes dress code a little

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At Cottonwood Valley Charter School parents and students are cheering because the dress code has relaxed a little bit for the upcoming school year. The students still must don collared shirts, but they can wear jeans to school.

Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Socorro band students show off their progress during the end of year concert held at Cottonwood Valley Charter School. The band is open to all Socorro schools and home schooled students. Comstock can be reached at 418-7752 to sign up or for more information.

But the biggest change parents must pay attention to is in the time school starts. Due to transportation issues, Principal Karin Williams said, school starts at 8 a.m. this year and lets out at 2:40 p.m.

“Our day is looking a little bit different,” she said.

The first day of school at Cottonwood is Aug. 19. Students’ families are invited to go in with their students that day for parent orientation.

“We would really like parents to come to this orientation,” Williams said. “But if families can’t make that, we’ll be having a potluck on Thursday (Aug. 22) at 6 p.m. for everyone. The new families in particular should come to meet everybody.”

Williams said the school holds a clothing exchange during the potluck where families can pass on clothes that conform to the dress code which have gotten too small for their children.

Williams is excited about having a Read to Lead initiative reading coach this year working with kindergarten through third-graders.

“Our first-grade teacher, Kim Shaffer, will be doing reading coaching and reading intervention,” Williams said.

The school also has a couple of new faces coming on board. Crystal Cobble will teach middle school, Level 3, in science and history. There is also a new first-grade teacher, Jennifer Keller, and a new technology and PE teacher, Lindsey Montoya.

After-school band classes will continue twice a week. Eileen Comstock offers these classes free to any students grades 4 to 8 in the school system.

Other after-school groups include Growing up Thinking Scientifically for grades 4 to 8, a computer programming workshop for younger students; yoga club; music drumming and singing; and ham radio club with John Spargo.

“This year we are hoping to have six family nights too,” Williams said. “These include science and math nights and other fun activities.”