Gator Gab

October 2017 Parent Newsletter

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Fall Picture Day!

Fall Picture Day is October 24, 2017. Information fliers will go home with students the first week of October. Families will be able to purchase pictures on-line. If you are wanting to purchase pictures with cash or check, please contact Lifetouch directly at 816.300.4022.

Please click here for more information.

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What's Your Story?

The Union Chapel PTA is calling for entries for the Reflections arts program. The theme is "What's Your Story?" and students can choose to submit original pieces of art in one or up to all six categories. If you have a child who might be interested in showcasing her or his artistic talents, please click here for more information.

Thank you!
Erin O'Dell

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As part of our new STEMScopes science curriculum, third graders have been learning about balanced and unbalanced forces. Students were challenged to work in small groups to design and build a working prototype of a pop-fly launcher for a pretend little league team that is having problems catching fly pop-ups in the outfield. Students used recycled and repurposed materials to create their launchers, as well as a large marshmallow to test their prototype. Click here to see some pictures!

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Student Supervision at High School Athletic Events

Dear Park Hill School District Families,

In order to make sure our district athletic events are safe and enjoyable for everyone, we have a new requirement.

Any elementary or middle school students who attend our high school athletic events at Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School must have an adult with them in order to enter our games. The adults must sit with the students and supervise them throughout the event.

Thank you for helping us make sure our games are safe, positive places for our students, staff and community members.

Park Hill Communication

Please sign up for phone/text alerts at to receive all notifications and alerts from the district. This includes school closing notifications. You will click on the yellow and green icons at the top right side of the main page to access the registration forms.

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Park Hill Clothing Center Shopping Days - Volunteers Needed

The PH Clothing Center is in need of volunteers to help with sorting and hanging clothes in the various rooms while shoppers are in the center. The center is open 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on select dates. If possible, please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the opening so you have time to ask questions and get started before shoppers enter. Click here to sign up.

Do you ever wonder what is going on at school?

We have many ways of communicating with our families, and we want to be sure you know each and every one of them. Each family should receive this monthly newsletter called the Gator Gab; it is emailed to parents and communicates important news and dates for the entire month.

All classroom teachers send out newsletters each week to inform families of learning objectives and classroom information.

Dr. Archer communicates with families through a weekly school messenger called News You Can Use. You should receive this phone call every Sunday. It notifies parents of dates, activities and important information for the following week.

Connect with us for occasional updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Prep for Emergencies

Schools have emergency plans to keep students safe from threats of violence or natural disasters------ families should, too. Click here for more information. English and Spanish version available.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

October 19th at 10:19 a.m.

We all must get better prepared for major earthquakes and practice how to protect ourselves when they happen. Missourians will take part in an unprecedented multi-state event to focus on earthquake preparation. Missouri is one of eleven states encouraging residents to participate in a simultaneous earthquake drill. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help people and organizations be more aware of how to protect ourselves in the event that an earthquake should occur. Please click here for more detailed information.

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Student Hours: 8:40a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Students may arive as early as 8:30 a.m. and are to be picked up no later than 3:35 p.m. Our office hours are 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day. However, the office staff have a variety of responsibilities and cannot supervise children who arrive early or are picked up late.

Families needing to bring children before 8:30 a.m. or pick up after 3:35 p.m. should make childcare arrangements through Adventure Club (our before/after school child care) or an outside provider.


For a safe and efficient dismissal, please:

  • Remain in the car line.
  • Stay in your car.
  • Display your child’s name in your window.
  • Follow all directions of the UC staff.
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Coffee with the Counselor

Mrs. Audra Olson will be starting quarterly “Coffee with the Counselor” meetings @ 7:45 to share what’s happening with the counseling department and other related programs to Union Chapel. Please come and join her for any or all meetings that work with your schedule. This will be an informal time to share and ask questions that you may have about what is happening with programs and curriculum related to the counseling department. Below are a list of the dates. Topics will be announced a couple of weeks before each meeting.

Tuesday, October 18

The first meeting will cover the Second Step Counseling Curriculum being presented to all students grades K-5.

October activities to celebrate Bullying Prevention Month:

  1. Mix It Up Lunch for 5th grade (and possibly 4th)
  2. Use of Sprigeo (electronic reporting of suspected bullying situation)
  3. Unity Day and our Caring Wall

Wednesday, December 6

Wednesday, March 7

Wednesday, May 16

We will plan on meeting in the Media Center or Flex Room (next to the LMC), depending on space available. Hope to see you there!

UC Parent Education Events

Thank you to our parents who participated in a recent survey to help us learn what topics you want to know more about, as well as preferred time(s) and days of the week for parent education. Based on those results, we will be offering the following UC Parent Education Events over the course of the school year:

STEMScopes (science curriculum)

Wednesday, October 11

5:00—5:45, LMC

Kathleen Kaiserski (2nd gr. teacher) & Dianne Saltzman (5th gr. teacher)

Readers & Writers Workshop

Thursday, December 7

6:30—7:15, LMC

Sandy Knepper (kindergarten teacher) & Tayler Lamparter (1st gr. teacher)

Helping Your Child with Homework

Wednesday, January 10

5:00—5:45, LMC

Audra Olson (counselor) & Stacey Sturm (special education teacher)

enVision Math

Thursday, February 22

6:30—7:15, LMC

Tiffany Hildebrand (1st gr. teacher) & Stephanie Miller (5th gr. teacher)

UNITY DAY: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Together against bullying. United for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

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Extra Change of Clothes

Accidents happen to all of us! Please consider putting a change of clothes in your child’s backpack, in case an accident might happen at school. The health room is very limited on extra clothes. If you have any extra pull-on girls or boys shorts/pants you would like to donate to the health room, that would be greatly appreciated.

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New Assessment Software

The Park Hill School District approved a new assessment software for the 2017-2018 school year. Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) will replace four previously-utilized assessment tools: STAR-Reading, STAR-Math, Acuity and Terra Nova. The NWEA assessment will provide screening and benchmarking data, a more user-friendly online administration, and growth data that can be used in the classroom to ensure targeted instruction for the curricular areas of reading, language, math, and science. NWEA will be administered three times a year and is available to grades K-10. Parents will receive student score reports as well as further information on interpreting results following the ending of the first assessment window in October. For more information about NWEA, visit the company website.
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Upcoming Important Dates

10/5 3rd Grade Musical (7:00, Gym)

10/6 PTA Fall Festival (5:30, Building-wide)

10/11 5th Grade Field Trip

10/11 Parent Education Event: STEMScopes (5:00, LMC)

10/12 End of First Quarter

10/12 Early Release (1:30)

10/12 October Rocktober

10/13 Elementary Work Day, No Students

10/18 Coffee with the Counselor (7:45, LMC)

10/20 Fall Classroom Parties (2:00, Classrooms)

10/24 Fall Picture Day

10/25 Unity Day

10/25 Parent-Teacher Conferences (5:00 - 8:00 p.m.)

10/26 Parent-Teacher Conferences (noon - 8:00 p.m.), No Students


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Park Hill Star

The nomination form for the Park Hill Star award is open! This award recognizes employees who reflect the district’s values of continuous improvement, high expectations, integrity, visionary leadership and student focus. Anyone can nominate a pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee for the monthly recognition. Also, check out the compilation video of the 2016-2017 Park Hill Star award winners. Click here for a listing of our current and past Union Chapel nominees and honorees.
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2017-18 Park Hill Parent/Student Handbook

To view the 2017-2018 Park Hill Parent/Student Handbook please click on the attached link: