Vice Principal Laufenberg’s November Update

Hello EMS Parents and Families,

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I would like to thank you for your support this year in helping us continue to succeed as a school community. Having come from out of state, I can certainly attest to the difference that is evident not just in Erie, but in St. Vrain, where success and innovation go hand in hand. Therefore, whether it is conferences, our CAFE (Club and Activity Fair Experience), or an end of the season basketball tournament we host, it is great to see our events well attended as we strive to have our doors open to our community around us. 

On the academic front, you will notice next time you visit our school that we have placed new Advanced Placement (AP) posters around the school. These posters highlight different AP class options our students can take when they transition to high school, and the artwork features current Erie High School students. We continue to encourage all of our students to look towards the coursework they might take at Erie High with the goal of preparing them to excel in rigorous AP coursework. 

To that end, we are focusing on literacy in the classroom this year. As such, students are encouraged to read and are given access to a variety of books and articles through Sora (St. Vrain’s digital library), CommonLit, and our school library. Moreover, our teachers routinely allow for student choice when picking novels to read, challenging them to go beyond summaries, and extend their learning by writing essays that fit the thematic ideas of a novel, such as a recent eighth grade assignment that had students compare and contrast our society and the dystopian society of Fahrenheit 451.

In regards to writing, the Language Arts department has created a school wide rubric for each grade level. Sixth grade uses RACE (restate, answer, cite, explain ); seventh grade uses RACED (respond, answer, cite, explain, develop), and eighth grade uses RACING (respond, answer, cite, intriguing, nuanced, grammar). The idea behind all of these rubrics is to teach students the importance of taking evidence from texts when developing an argument and learning the basic elements to the research papers students will see in their AP classes in high school. By focusing on literacy, we expect to see our students continue to grow and achieve in this vitally important area.

I look forward to seeing you at future events, and should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jason Laufenberg

Assistant Principal

Erie Middle School

(303) 828-3391