APEX Fun Run Lesson for Today: Engage

Trying to engage in what you’re doing is key. Yesterday our APEX team was focused on LEARNING. Keeping one’s mind and ears open to learn at traditional or unexpected times.

Today’s focus is ENGAGE. The key being we focus on the task at hand and work hard free from distractions. Being “present” is not enough. Being present and engaged is the key.

If you haven’t yet logged into your child’s APEX Fun Run account at home, please take a moment tonight to do so? This is our new fun run. Ehrardt Elementary used APEX for their fun run just two weeks ago and raised $20,000 for their school.

Please talk with your kids about the fun we’ve been having with the APEX team so far. Fun run is scheduled for February 24.

Apex Fun Run Update

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your support of Foulks Ranch Elementary PTO and the investments you make in your children’s lives. We are so excited to introduce you to this semester’s only major fundraiser, the Apex Fun Run!  The Apex Fun Run will last for 2 weeks and kicked off with a Pep Rally today!

Please look for your child’s Pledge Kit that they received today.  Please feel free to visit www.apexfunrun.com to hear about this interactive program that helps schools all over the country raise money, while promoting leadership and fitness in the classes.  This year’s character theme is Apex Legends, where students will follow Tikes, Seeds, Specs, Jazz, and Wheels through the pages of their legendary adventure to discover JJ Cortez’s hidden treasure. Along the way these five friends discover what it truly means to be a Legendary leader:


  • Learn
  • Engage
  • Give
  • Empower
  • Never Quit
  • Do

During the Apex Fun Run, students are challenged to get pledges for the laps they will run on February 24th to help their school.  Students will run for 30 minutes and average 26-36 laps, with the maximum amount of laps being 36 (each lap is 1/16th of a mile).  Sponsors can pledge $1, $2, $5 or any other amount for each lap students run.  All participants will receive an access code that allows you to enter pledges online.  Funds raised this year will be going to the school to pay for!

The Apex Fun Run is for every student regardless of financial giving.  All students will receive Apex bands, race-day lap counters, and team awards.  We invite all parents to come to the Apex Fun Run and share in this great event!  The times for the Apex Fun Run are as follows:

  • 8:30am – AM Kinder, 3rd and 4th grades
  • 9:30am – 5th and 6th grades
  • 11:30am – PM Kinder, 1st and 2nd grades

You can help our school be successful in the following four ways:

  • Help connect your child to potential sponsors (family/friends) to acquire pledges.
  • Ask your child about the “Legend” character lessons, and download the “Apex Fun Run” App!
  • Come to the Apex Fun Run and don’t forget to invite others to attend our fun-filled community event on our field.
  • Help volunteer for the race! We need a few parents to help cheer on students and mark laps.  If you would like to volunteer for your student’s race, please contact Kim Beltran at 916-838-2527.

Thank you again for your continued support—we are so excited to begin this journey with you!


Mr. Donovan and the Foulks Ranch PTO

#Pigpen Code

Today got off to a “mysterious” start. A cipher was presented to students with the challenge of decoding it. The inspiration came from long-distance friend and teaching colleague Andrew Kauffman from Goshen, Indiana.

After collaborating with teammates, students were able to make sense of the “Pigpen code” cipher. Upon solving the cipher, we Tweeted an image and a challenge to Mr. Kauffman’s class to solve our own cipher. This is Mr. Kauffman’s class reply. Can you solve the code? Parents, get ready to critically think with your child and have some fun! 🙂


AnswerGarden this?

Today was saw that AnswerGarden is a tool we can use to capture a quick, anonymous reflection. In 20 characters or less, you can respond to a prompt. You may respond more than one time. Try to keep answers to just a few (2 or 3) words. Feel free to respond to this AnswerGarden below. Remember to keep language G-rated and on topic. Inappropriate comments will be deleted.

The yearbook dedication deadline is approaching!


Each year the parent volunteers, who create the school yearbook, make space at the end of the yearbook for  families to  to leave a special message for their 6th grade children.  All submissions for dedications must be submitted (via the attached form) to the FR school office no later than December 19th.

This is a firm deadline. Late submissions cannot be included in the yearbook due to deadlines set by the yearbook company.

If you would like to leave a special message for your 6th grader as they promote the middle school, please do so ASAP!  (And don’t forget to order them a yearbook as well!)


Thank you!

Foulks Ranch Yearbook Committee

Sad news

Today we were greeted with sad news for Tristan’s family about the unexpected passing of his Dad. An email was sent out with a letter.

When Tristan returns to school we will want to make sure he knows he’s loved, supported, and has the space he needs to grieve.

Students today put together a simple, heartfelt message which I’ll share in this post.

Hug those closest to you.


Today kicked off with a review of geometry and fractions. Students worked on a HyperDoc to think and read and work together to create an abstract piece of art. You can view the HyperDoc below. What is a HyperDoc? It’s a digital lesson plan that allows students to work through a concept at their pace and to interact with ideas and each other.

It’s not a digital worksheet.

It’s using a digital tool to get kids thinking and learning differently. It’s the future. And your children are going to be well prepared for it at this pace. Look for more HyperDocs this second trimester in different subjects.

The day ended with several students beginning to read Patricia Newman’s new science book, Sea Otter Heroes: How a Predator Saved an Ecosystem and the rest working with me to find archival footage of military war dog handlers for another book trailer we are producing for Connie Goldsmith!

It is so great to see your students back in class. Thank you for the opportunity to work with your kids. This is a special group, and I missed them!