Principal's Message

June 2020 Update

Hello Parents and Staff,

Welcome to June!  I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and getting outside!


Thanks again for your patience and thoughtfulness in working together to close out the 2019-2020 school year.


I know there are many questions as to what school will look like in August.  As you may have read in district communications, LPS has created a Restart Task Force to create different scenarios for the start of school.  Please click on the link above to learn more information.  As you all know, so much depends on the Governor and the Health Department as to what our final decision will be.  Thank you all for your patience and flexibility as we wait!  No matter what scenario we find ourselves in, I can assure you that your child will be given the very best support, love, and guidance at Lenski!


In addition to navigating the challenges that COVID-19 has presented us, our nation has experienced tragic events that weigh so heavy on our hearts.  We have all seen graphic images of our nation and communities in pain and hurting.  This is so impactful to our entire community.  


At Lenski, we stand against racial injustice, and other discriminatory acts to ensure a safe, welcoming, loving environment for ALL of our students, staff, and community members.  In October of 2017, the LPS Board of Education adopted a Resolution of; “All Means All”.  This resolution announced our commitment to support all students ability to succeed by cultivating learning environments that are physically and emotionally safe and supportive, to embrace and value our diversity, and to act quickly to prevent and address any and all discrimination and harassment in our schools.  These are standards and expectations that guide our thinking about everything we do at Lenski.  


We will continue to implement our PBIS system to ensure we are teaching kindness, acceptance, resilience, and perspective taking.  We will continue to learn more and ensure we enter every opportunity with kindness in our hearts. 


All of this can be difficult topics to talk about with your children.  Here are some resources that are available to guide your thinking and discussions.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Race and Racism -

Talking About Race - National Geographic

Teaching Ideas and Resources to Help Students Understand the George Floyd Protests - New York Times

Engaging Young People in Conversations about Racism - Anti-Defamation League

Books to Teach Kids of All Ages About Racism - Chicago Parent Magazine

How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids - Common Sense Media

Kids Need to Talk About George Floyd, Protests, & Racism - USA Today

Teaching about Race, Racism & Police Violence - Teaching Tolerance 


As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns.  The entire Lenski staff is committed to ensuring our students are safe, loved, and accepted.  



Barbara DeSpain


Lenski Elementary School

Back to School 2019

Dear Lenski Families,

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year.  I hope you had an amazing summer filled with adventure, moments of relaxation, and family bonding.  The Lenski staff and I are refreshed and ready to start this new year!  This school year brings opportunities for making a positive difference in the lives of all our students, increasing love of learning, and fostering creativity.

            In order for your students to find academic success here at Lenski, it is important that they are in attendance every day possible.  Research has consistently proven that attendance is the keystone to academic success, and the success of our students is the primary concern of all Lenski staff.  Please do everything possible to get your child/children to school on time.  We carefully monitor your child’s attendance and punctuality and we will be in contact with you if your child is absent more than 10 days.

Regular school hours at Lenski are 7:50 AM to 2:33 PM.  Wednesday start time is 8:50 AM to allow time for teachers to participate in PLCs, Professional Learning Communities. PLC work allows for additional time for teachers to collaborate and plan to meet the needs of all students.

The start of school is an important time for safety reminders.  The attached Lenski Star details all our plans for keeping our children safe, arriving safely at school, and car rider information.  Additionally, please remember that Lenski is an allergy aware school.  Parents, staff and students are asked to refrain from sending or eating peanuts or nuts or food items containing peanuts or nuts, with the exception of nut butters and nut products at lunch.  The lunch room staff will monitor to ensure students with nut products are sitting at the designated tables. With so many students presenting a variety of food allergies, we will ask parents to refrain from sending food items to celebrate birthdays or school events.  Please talk with your classroom teacher if you wish to find alternatives to food treats.

            The beginning of the school year is a time when parents and students often ask about cell phones at school. Parents have told us that they like their children to carry cell phones as a safety measure.  If you choose to send your child to school with a cell phone, please help us by reminding your student that cell phones are not to be out and must be turned off during the school day. Teachers will work with students so that they know recess, field trips, the bus and School Age Child Care are all part of school and thus cell phones are to remain in a backpack or pocket.

We are aware that there is new technology in the form of wrist phones used by elementary students to communicate with emergency contacts.  Please do not encourage your child to communicate directly with you via cell phone or wrist phone technology in the event of an illness or safety concern.  For their safety, it is expected that students communicate with their teacher and the office in these situations.

The Lenski staff is excited to continue our work with PBIS - Positive Behavior Intervention System. To kick off the year, we will hold an assembly to remind students about our behavior matrix of Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe.  Our goal is to ignite a spark of kindness in our school where everyone feels safe, supported and successful.  All staff members will recognize students with tickets to encourage and reinforce these behavioral expectations.  This model emphasizes positivity and prevention. We look forward to a great year embracing and owning each students’ academic and social success.



Classroom teachers and support staff have been planning for new and exciting STEAM and STEM activities.  In our tech lab we will continue to engage students with a variety of collaborative STEAM projects that connect across classroom curriculum and literacy. We will also be introducing a new and exciting learning opportunity called MakerSpace... a place for students to create and innovate!  Look for more information to follow in the coming weeks.

            Safety and security for our students is a top priority. Lenski and all Littleton Public School sites will continue to use the LPS Connect/Relatrix system which electronically produces a background check and visitor approval badge to screen all visitors and volunteers.

            Lenski is fortunate to have wonderful support, positive relationships, and collaboration with our parents, community, and staff.  Together we make a great team. Thanks again for all you do!



Dr. Barbara DeSpain

Lois Lenski Elementary School, Principal


Summer 2019 Update


Hello Parents!

As the 2018-2019 school year comes to a close, I wish to thank parents and staff for their support of Lenski students.  Parent volunteers have made many contributions: volunteering in classrooms and leading and participating in PTO activities.  Staff members have collaborated to make learning exciting. Students have performed superbly! This has been an awesome year.

As you know, safety is our number one priority. We continue to work with LPS security to review and practice safety  protocols here at school. We appreciate the parent support in the recent secured perimeter protocol and lockdown drill.

Throughout the year, we saw students participate in many innovative projects.  Kindergarten students learned coding and participated in STEAM activities. First Grade students studied different animal groups and chose an animal to research.  Second Grade students performed in their class melodrama and created weather reports. Third Grade students explored their family ancestry by building family trees and focusing on immigration.  Fourth Grade students used their creativity to write speeches, memorize their parts and use the public speaking standard. All students engaged in progressive STEM activities. Fourth grade students learned about the solar system, moon phases, and explored encrypting long distance communication.  Fifth Grade students created a digestive system model out of our Maker Space supplies after completing their human systems unit in Science.

For the 2019-2020 school year, we have five staff changes.  

  • Julie Thulson has served Lenski for 19 years as School Age Child Care Assistant Director and Literacy Specialist.  Due to a family relocation to Monument, Colorado, Julie will seek employment in southern Colorado. She will be missed greatly by staff, students, and parents.

  • We will welcome Shannon Kesselman to third grade.  Shannon has worked in Littleton Public Schools for ten years as literacy coach and 2nd grade teacher at Centennial Academy and Field Elementary School and 6th grade at Goddard Middle School.   

  • Nikki Hoff, our current speech language pathologist, will be serving other LPS schools next year.  We will miss Nikki and wish her well. We are fortunate to have Kim Meyers join us. Kim has been a speech language pathologist for more than 25 years, with a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Michigan State University.  For the past year, Kim has served Twain and Highland Elementary Schools. We are also fortunate to have Rebecca Bossert, a special education teacher who is currently at Newton Middle School, join us on our special ed team to serve students with IEPs.

  • Kristi Steele, Lenski’s Instructional Coach and Literacy Specialist, will not be returning to Lenski next year.  We are going to miss Kristi and we wish her well. We are currently interviewing for a person to fill her position. 

We as a Lenski staff are very proud of our school and proud of the instruction we do with our kids every day. We are also always interested in improving our school and increasing our effectiveness with the instruction and services we provide for our kids and families. We are in the process of updating our vision for Lenski. We want to identify positive traits and practices we presently have, and we wish to define how we can better serve our kids and families in the future. Please complete the survey found here to help provide constructive ideas as we move forward. Thank you for your feedback and for your time in answering these questions!

I hope you have a wonderful summer and enjoy your family time. I look forward to seeing you again in the fall.


Barbara DeSpain

Principal, Lenski Elementary School

Spring 2019 Principal's Update

Hello Parents,

We hope you are enjoying the warmer weather and signs of spring!  I wanted to update you on a few things going on at Lenski.

First of all I wanted to express my thanks to all parents for the incredible support to students and teachers.  We are working hard to provide the best opportunities for student learning, self confidence, and problem solving.  Teachers are using the Second Step lessons to increase students’ school success and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social-emotional competence and self regulation.  Second Step lessons teach skills that strengthen students’ ability to learn, have empathy, manage emotions and solve problems. We are working hard to create a safe, respectful learning environment that promotes success for all.

Students continue exploring STEM concepts in our technology lab. Our kindergarten students experience the roles of engineers, programmers, and builders along with the basics of coding with mouse robotics. First graders designed and built reindeer sleighs. Ozobots disguised as reindeer pulled the sleighs across a track carrying increasingly heavier loads. Students problem solved and modified their designs to successfully carry heavier loads. Fifth graders took an energy code challenge. Students programmed ozobots to travel a maze identifying and visiting renewable energy sites while avoiding nonrenewable energy sites. Students learning through hands-on engagement continues to be a priority in our tech lab.

On May 3, from 3pm to 4pm, you are invited to “Coffee with a Middle School Counselor.”  Courtney Orrange, Powell Middle School counselor, will discuss positive digital citizenship, cell phone usage, and what to consider as students transition to Middle School.  Please RSVP by April 26 to Sabine Baez, School Psychologist at Lenski at sbaez[at][dot]us.

We have a celebration and goodbye to two staff members who have served Lenski for many years.  Nancy Ryan has served Lenski parents and students for more than ten years as a K plus and first grade teacher.  Kylee Martens has been a leader in the School Age Childcare and Kindergarten program for more than ten years. Both Nancy and Kylee will be greatly missed.

With the support of the PTO funding presented to Lenski, we have been working hard to create a great staffing plan for the 2019-2020.  We celebrate the following staff plan for our licensed staff, grade level teachers and specials.

2019/20 Licensed Staff Placement 


#of sections-staff

Avg Class SIze


3-Harken, Sieck, Kurtenbach


First Grade

4-Metherd, Cole, Cerasuolo, Ott


Second Grade

4-Adkins, Morahan, Almer, Fahlstedt


Third Grade

4-Warner, Knigge, Wilhelm, New Hire - Shannon Kesselman


Fourth Grade

3-Brooks, Broussely, Easley


Fifth Grade

4-Holt, Metherd, Johnston, Bestreich



Technology - Terwilliger/Wilhelm


PE - Wilson






Instructional Coach

Kristi Steele



Kristi Steele, Carrie Orcutt


Dean of Students

Carrie Orcutt



Katie Heissenbuttel


We always look forward to field day.  Lenski students (K-5) will be participating in Lenski’s field day on May 14 (Rain Day May 16 and 17).  I hope you will be able to join us for this very exciting day! Thanks to the Lenski Staff, Coach Wilson and volunteers for for making this a successful event.

Thank you for all that you do and please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. 
Dr. Barbara DeSpain 
Lenski Principal

Kindergarten Offerings and Details for 2019-2020

Hello Parents:  
Lenski will again offer an extended day kindergarten program in the 2019/20 school year.  Kindergarten Extended Day, or KED, is a tuition based program designed to give kindergartners a full day of learning 5 days a week. The full day KED program distributes academic content and social development activities throughout the day with the same licensed classroom teacher. KED is a tuition based program with a cost of $385 per month, requiring a year long commitment.  
In addition to KED, Lenski will continue to provide 5 day AM Kindergarten with NO K+ at no charge and our 5 day AM Kindergarten with K+ (2, 3 or 4 days per week). K+ is a tuition based program designed to give kindergarten students the state required half day of learning 5 days a week with a licensed teacher and a half day of learning 2, 3 or 4 days a week with a highly qualified paraprofessional in the K+ classroom. More information about our K+ program can be found on the Lenski website.  
Children who will be five years old by October 1, 2019 are eligible for kindergarten in the fall. Please plan ahead for upcoming registration dates on January 28th and January 29th and help us by letting those families in your neighborhood know about Kindergarten Registration.
If you are an existing family and have an incoming Kindergarten student you may register your student at Lenski early beginning January 15th. You must first pre-register your student through your Infinite Campus Parent Portal account by selecting the link "New Student Pre Registration" on the left side of the home page. After completing the pre-registration, print the document and bring that as well as student's birth certificate, immunization record, proof of residency (i.e. current Xcel bill) and parent identification to Lenski beginning January 15th. 
If your student is currently enrolled in an LPS preschool and Lenski is your homeschool you do not need to pre-register but we ask that you bring the necessary documentation as listed above to Lenski to complete additional registration materials.
For families outside of the Lenski attendance area please call the school office at 303-347-4575 and schedule a one-on-one tour with me so that you can see students engaged in learning.
As always, thanks for your support of Lenski. 
Barbara DeSpain, Principal 

Student Drop Off Changes

Dear Lenski Parents:

I am pleased to announce changes in the morning drop off to improve student safety.  These changes will begin on Tuesday, January 22nd.  

Buses will be dropping off students in a new location which is in front of the school  on Fairfax. A Lenski staff member will assist students as they exit the bus to ensure they get to the appropriate playground. There is NO PARKING allowed in the bus lane.  

Morning student Drop Off BY CAR will be SINGLE LANE in the circle drive where the buses had previously dropped off.  This new drop off will be monitored by Lenski Staff to ensure that students safely exit their vehicle and parents safely proceed to exit the circular drive in front of the school. There is NO PARKING in this area before school - please be sure your student is ready to exit the car as this will be a continuously moving line of cars. Parents are asked not to exit their vehicles in this line. If you need more time with your student there is ample parking in the parking lot to the east of the school and on Fairfax.

Representatives from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department, LPS Department of Transportation, and LPS Security will assist in the coming weeks in making this transition successful.  In addition, we will have an increased staff presence to ensure the new process works efficiently. We need everyone’s cooperation in following the directions provided by staff during this transition. 
After school the current Car-Rider pick up system will continue to be used for student pick up by car.

We appreciate your patience and support as we work to improve the safety of drop off at Lenski.

Barbara DeSpain, Principal 
Lois Lenski Elementary