Willow Wolverines

May 14, 2020

Principal Piece

Dear Willow Wolverine Families,

Our final Positive Action word of the week is Celebration: To remember with ceremony or festivity. And celebrating we will be! We are looking forward to seeing ALL of you at our drive-through car parade next Thursday, May 21st, from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. All of your Willow Staff will be out in their finest to bid you a formal farewell and Happy Summer! Ms. Dianne will even be passing treats out at the end of the line! To make this a successful event, we are required to comply with health mandates. Staff will be stationed 6 feet apart, and we ask that every family remain in their vehicles as they drive through the parade. Please use the north entrance and drive around the ice rink to avoid congestion on the highway, and feel free to drive through as many times as you’d like until the parade is over! We have missed you!

As you are making plans for the summer, please don’t forget the “Summer Slide”, which may be more pronounced this year due to current events. Unfortunately, this isn’t a new park activity – it is what can (and does!) happen to students when academics are put on the back-burner for several months. Please encourage your child(ren) to log into some of the great academic websites they learned about this last quarter, bring a few books out on a camping trip, make some trips to the Willow Library when it reopens to patrons, or create a journal of all the fantastic activities they take part in over the summer. Use this time to reach out to teachers for some fun summer activities that can benefit your child academically. It absolutely makes a difference and can help keep students on track and ready for the upcoming school year.

As this is the last formal newsletter for the year, I would be remiss not to thank each and every one of you for being our true partners in education this year. We are grateful for all of our amazing Wolverine families, and look forward to opening our doors to all of our students again in the fall. As more information becomes available with regards to plans, please stay tuned to the district’s website and ensure your phone numbers and contact information is up-to-date. As always, I can be reached over the summer, or any time, via e-mail at Jennifer.Rinaldi@matsuk12.us, and look forward to seeing you soon.

Make it a sensational summer, Wolverines!

Jennifer Rinaldi


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MSBSD Elementary End of Year Survey & Information

Dear MSBSD Elementary Families,

Thank you for your flexibility, patience, and dedication to your child’s learning during this extended school closure. We know there is nothing more important to you than the future of your children, and we are confident students, families, and schools gave their best. Uncertainty about the future is stressful, so we are planning for three possible school scenarios for next year:
1. Zero or minimal community spread and school being in session with increased health and hygiene protocols in place
2. Minimal to moderate community spread, where there are reduced numbers of students in school at a time and physical distancing protocols in place
3. Substantial community spread where school would be closed for a while and learning remote.

Alaska is in a good place right now as virus spread is minimal, and we are optimistic about the fall. While we wait for recommendations from health officials, you can help with planning now. Please take a few minutes and complete this survey. Names are optional, but helpful. Feel free to mark multiple grades if you have multiple students in the same school. If a particular item doesn’t pertain to you, just skip that item.

We hope your summer is healthy and happy. Be confident that we will be ready to meet your child’s needs come August.
With heartfelt gratitude,

Amy Spargo, MSBSD Assistant Superintendent of Instruction

FY20 Elementary School Remote Learning End of Year Needs Assessment Survey

A Fond Farewell to our Fifth Graders

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We wish all the best to our wonderful Fifth Grade students as they spread their wings and start a new phase in their educational life. This year's 4th quarter and your last days at Willow Elementary have been challenging to say the least but your perseverance and dedication are to be commended in these crazy times. Go forth and conquer!

Last Day of School Car Parade

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Boundary Exemptions for Next Year

Please ensure your address is updated in your ParentVue account. If you have moved out of the Willow boundary but still plan on your student(s) attending school here next year, please fill out the appropriate paperwork - Attendance Boundary Exemption Application. We will be reaching out to those that already have one on file and sending them via email the form. You can access the form on the district website also under - Parent Quick Links - Boundary Map/Exemptions - Click on the link under option 1 under Boundary Exemption Process. It can be emailed to stephanie.todd@matsuk12.us or mailed to PO Box 69 Willow, AK 99688

Nurse News

Hello Wolverines!

It saddens me that this is our last newsletter of the year, however I feel that with all of the challenges we faced our students and families adapted and excelled. This has been an incredible year of learning for all of us, and not seeing your faces every day makes everyone so excited anticipating a hopeful return to “normal” at the start of the next school year. I am hoping that you all have a wonderful and exciting summer, stay happy, healthy, strong and safe! We miss you Wolverines!!!!

Today is the final day for completed written work to be dropped off at WLE.

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Chromebooks, Musical Instruments, Books and Hockey Skate/Equipment

May 18 thru May 20 from 9a to 3p will be the scheduled time to return all Chromebooks (including the chargers) along with any books that were picked up (i.e. Journeys), musical instruments and ice skates and equipment. During this time students will receive any artwork or miscellaneous items left in the classroom. It will be bagged by families (not students individually).

Just a few words...from Mrs. Vant Land

Just a few words,

Well, here we are, at the end of another school year, and what a year it has been. This was not what I had planned for my last year as a Speech Language Pathologist. I have worked for 35 years and this has been one for the record books.

The best part of my job is the one on one or small group therapy I do with my students. The rapport I develop with each student is something special. I have worked with thousands of students over the last 35 years and helped them improve their communication skills. Whether it be stuttering, voice disorder, hearing loss, language/articulation, social language, or augmentative communication, I have strived to give everyone a voice.

However, I do not work alone. I have been a part of some awesome teams that work to help the whole child learn. I have had the privilege to work with special education teachers, teacher assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, principals and general education teachers. We are the team that strives to give our students the best education and life skills they can achieve. I have made some great friends over the years.

Parents are also a big part of the team. I have learned a lot from parents. Especially during this last quarter where parents are now the teachers and the speech pathologists. I have a new respect for my parents who try very hard to help their children.

And so, I wish all my students, parents and teachers a good bye. To my students: use your voice to go forward and conquer the crazy world we live in. To my parents: be supportive of your child no matter what, and to my teachers: never stop teaching our students to be their best.

Much love,

Julie Vant Land MA CCC

Speech Language Pathologist

Classroom Pictures

Update from LifeTouch - Due to covid-19 closures, the CLASSROOM pictures are being re-printed and sent to us. For those of you who ordered/paid for your student's CLASSROOM picture, we will do our best to get them to you once we receive them. Please keep in mind this could potentially be in the fall, we are hopeful though that we will receive them before the end of this school year.

Meal Distribution Update

UPDATE: The last day of meal distribution will be Thursday - May 21st. There will be 2 days worth of meals given on this last day.

Willow Elementary Distribution - Monday through Friday from 10a to 2p (Fridays are 2 each of breakfast and lunch, which covers Saturday also.) Please drive around the skating rink and pull up near the kitchen back door, there is a sign.

Mile 88 - Sheep Creek Lodge - Monday, Wednesday, Friday we arrive via bus appoximately 10:20a and are there until 10:45a. The same applies for Friday as it does at the school, there are 2 breakfast and 2 lunches given to help cover Saturday meals. Sheep Creek Site drop off will be 5/18, 5/20 & 5/21 this last week of school.

WLE Support Team

The WLE Support Team hopes that everyone has an AMAZING summer and we are looking forward to seeing you all in the next school year!

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2020/2021 Preschool Parent Request Form - Please complete if you have a Pre-Schooler

Please complete the form below by June 1st, this helps us secure our Pre-School program at Willow Elementary.


News from Ms. Drozd

Greetings Preschool Families,

Congratulations to each of your Preschoolers and to you for completing a full year of preschool! I know that Preschool can be a transitional year full of various types of growth, independence, confidence, and learning but not always free of growing pains and some adjustments for both you and your child. Thank you for trusting us and supporting us this year through all the changes that have taken place. We appreciate each of you beyond measure.

Next week you may pick up your child's artwork and summer learning work between 9am & 3pm Monday-Wednesday. I encourage each of you to do this!

I hope to see all of your smiling faces on Thursday, May 21st for our Parade!

Have an AMAZING summer!

Mary Drozd

News from Ms. Schoppmeyer

It has certainly been a busy year here in Kindergarten. THANK YOU for all your support this year. Never before have I experienced a year when the concept of "It takes a Village" has come in to focus more. Our class began their Kindergarten year after a delayed start due to the McKinley and Deshka Fires. Your support with the roll in process was amazing and set the tone for our year. The kiddos did a phenomenal job with coming in to school and getting right down to the business of learning. Your support continued through the year and has been amazing these past few weeks. Our class has turned in fantastic work samples and tasks both on paper and via electronic delivery. Each one of the children have worked hard throughout the year and have stepped up to the challenges of Kindergarten. Summer is upon us and well deserved! I look forward to seeing the class as they move across the hall to 1st grade! Keep an eye on your email next week for one last message from me as we wrap up the school year. Hopefully we will "see" everyone at our last day parade!

Enjoy the summer!

Marianne Schoppmeyer

Willow Kindergarten

News from Mrs. Lycan

First Grade Parents,

We have made it to the end of the school year! Thank you for all of your patience while we navigated uncharted territories. I hope that you will all take the District survey and give us feed back on how we can proceed with school in the future. On a personal note, I would like to know what suggestions you might have for me to have made this experience better. I know that there are things I would do differently if this happened again, like using Google classroom instead of Facebook. Like any experience in life, we learn from trial and error. That is why your feed back is so important.

There are bags at the school for every first grader with their art work, work books, summer (optional) work packs, and anything else I found in the classroom. These are available for pick up Monday the 18th, Tuesday the 19th, and Wednesday the 20th. You can also return any borrowed Chromebooks and chargers at this time.

Your child is welcome to continue with Lexia and Red Bird through out the summer. The goal in Lexia is for them to complete units not just get minutes. Red Bird goals are similar. Students should be completing the problems not just getting minutes in. This is an optional activity to keep their skills sharp. I would recommend no more than 15-20 minutes a day if you do choose to have your child use either of these.

If you are growing a pumpkin plant this summer please share your pictures on our class Facebook page. I would love to see them!

I hope to see your smiling faces on Thursday the 21st from 2:30 to 3:00 for the drive through parade!

Have an awesome summer! I will miss you all!


Mrs. Lycan

News from Mrs. MacDonald

Well….we have made it! It is the last week of school! Congratulations! Many of us have worked very hard and have gained a great deal of growth, maturity and knowledge over the past year. I am so proud of you! One subject that would help your child be prepared for third grade would be for your child to keep working on Lexia. The second grade goal is to finish Level 12. If your child has not reached Level 12 it would be very beneficial for them to do so. If your child has passed that level, they can continue to work through the next levels at their own pace over the summer. It is good practice for them. If they are getting frustrated have them pick another skill to work through. Red Bird is another helpful math program that your students should keep working on. If they are finding it challenging it is okay for you to guide them toward solving some of the problems. Also please keep reading over the summer. Reading books is very helpful for improving learning in many ways plus books are very entertaining!

Upcoming Events:

  • Thursday, May 14th - All paperwork for school must be turned into the Work Complete Tub by 3 p.m. All library books must be returned too.

  • Friday, May 15th - All Google Docs must be turned in for the year. If you still have items you want to continue working on you may continue to do this. I need the Chapters 8 - 10 Math Tests, Spelling tests Lessons 21-28, one writing sample per week a total of 8 and the frequency word list assessment.

  • Monday, May 18-20 - Computers, chargers and all school materials must be returned, and art work picked up from 9a - 3p. Please remember to turn in your Hardcover 2nd Grade Journeys Book. Also if you have any ice skates from the skate program those need to be brought back too.

  • Thursday, May 21st - Finally, the last day of school! It is also Aubri’s 8th Birthday! Happy Birthday Aubri! We are having the End of the year Car Parade at 2:30 p.m.!!!! This is a special drive-through car parade at Willow Elementary to say goodbye and happy summer to all of you. Follow the path of cars around the ice skating rink and past the school. We will be giving out a special treat for children. Come join us @2:30 p.m.

As we finish this year I want to let you know that I have enjoyed the time I spent with your children. This class has been a joy to work with. I know it has been rather challenging over the fourth quarter because we had to learn from afar. However, I still feel that we were connected through our zoom meetings and our many phone calls back and forth. I want to wish your families a very safe and happy summer together. Stay well.


Mrs. MacDonald

News from Mrs. Hale & Mrs. Wakefield

What an exciting year we had together! We are very proud of all of our students. Thank you for all of the hard work you gave throughout the whole year and especially during virtual learning. Thank you parents and guardians for the support and communication this year. We will miss having you in class, but know that all of you will do great in fourth grade.

We are wishing you a healthy and happy summer vacation and can't wait to see you all next year!

Mrs. Wakefield and Mrs. Hale

News From Mr. Sanford

Hello 4th Grade Parents/Guardians,

We have made it to the end of the year!

Hopefully you have been able to stop by the school and drop off all paper and pencil work. Also, any online assignments need to be finished and sent to my e-mail or Google Classroom by Friday, May 15th.

Students may continue working on ALEKS, and Lexia over the summer. Also, after Chapter 13 in Go Math there are 25 math lessons which will help prep students for 5th Grade. These lessons are designed to assess if a student has the necessary skills needed for the start of 5th Grade math.

Important Dates

Turn in any borrowed material i.e. Chrome Books, and pick up final items from school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, May 18th, 19th, and 20th from 9:00 – 3:00.

School Parade, Thursday, May 21st at 2:30. Check Mrs. Rinaldi’s newsletter piece for more information.

Thanks for all of your hard work this year, both students and parents/guardians. I look forward to seeing you all at school next year!

If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know.

May the Force Be With You, Always

Mr. Sanford

News from Mr. Davenport

May 14th Bulletin – Fifth Grade

Remember to watch the 5th Grade Graduation/Move-up Celebration this Friday at 9 AM. (May 15th) The link is on our Google Classroom page. Call or email if you need a link.

We hope you and your families are well. As we finish up this school year, please take time to reflect on your commitment to continuing your children’s education. I am really amazed at how well many of you did despite all the craziness in our world right now. Please encourage your children to read through the summer and look at their math book occasionally. We want them ready for Middle School this Fall. The ALEKS and Lexia programs should work through June, so you can use them to supplement your summer schedule.

Thanks to all students who did a Science Fair Project. They went the extra mile, it isn’t hard to see who will be the leaders out of this class. Sam C., Savannah V., Sophia D., Taelyn B. and Oliver L. all prepared and had good content to share. I apologize again to Samantha for not getting hers broadcast with the rest online last week.

We got taken to the Zoo by Mrs. Smolden and she showed us the swans and Delores, the swan our class adopted. We got to see the Amur Tigers being fed and learned some about their lives. Look them up on the internet and find out some more information about them. There is a fact sheet posted to our classroom site. Thanks go to Mrs. Smolden for hosting us at the Alaska Zoo, it was great.

We had our Circle Talk today and got to share some plans for the summer and how our Positive Actions can change affect those around us. Make sure how your Actions affect things and people around you in a Positive way!

Su-Valley left a Class Survey for Electives for 6th grade students headed up that way this Fall. Please make sure your student has completed the survey so counselors know to schedule classes for next year. The link is listed on our Google Classroom.

Coming up:

- Be sure to plan on turning in the ChromeBooks (with the charger) from Monday to Wednesday next week. Computer/library book turn in date is May 18th to the 20th (Pick up art and planes) When you turn it in, I’ll have something for you. Find those missing library books and get them in, thanks!

- 5th Grade Zoom move-up awards Assembly is May 15th at 9 AM (the link is on our Google Classroom page)

- Willow Student Parade - (teachers outside school, students in cars driving by for send-off) May 21st at 2:30 - 3:00

- Keep reading this summer!

- Thanks go to Ms. Christianson for helping host our Virtual Tour of Denali. We saw “Heartbeats of Denali,” the video from Denali National Park service visitor center. It is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wLisXL-CpA

This week in Class:
This week we read "The Case of the Missing Deer" from the Reading Adventures magazine. (Look at our Classroom page for links to read the story.) We did pages 396, 398 and 399 in the Reader's Notebook, then we completed 394 and 395 after reading the story. Spelling quiz and reading quizzes for Thursday. (grade and post your work on Think Central) The Reading quizzes to be done Thursday. They are online and there is a copy in your new packet.

If you want to turn in your student’s work and you missed the deadline, take pictures of it and mail them to: skip.davenport@matsuk12.us

Chapter 9 Social Studies should be complete, and the quiz turned last week. Finish Chapter 10 on your own next week.

We finished Chapter 9 in the Math workbook and took the Ch. 9 Quiz in the Workbook. (pages 399 - 401).

Next Week in Class: May 18th – 21st

· Math – Use ALEKS regularly to continue your math studies. Log into CLEVER and select ALEKS, keep moving forward. Any spare time you have, spend some on ALEKS.

· Social Studies – Finish up Chapter 10 this week.

· Reading/Language – make sure you are reading regularly. Many of our class are high readers, but several are not. Use time this summer to practice and be ready for Middle School in the Fall. Lexia should work for a while in the summer.

I will be available by phone and email. If you have questions on what we’re doing or need help understanding something, call me. Our classroom phone is: 495-9317. I’m posting my hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 until 3:00. If you need me outside school, email me at: skip.davenport@matsuk12.us. Our home phone number is: 354-6777.


Skip Davenport

Wolverine P.E.

I am very proud of all of our Wolverine students and the amazing effort you gave from home during 4th quarter! I wish you a very happy and fun filled summer. I Can't wait to see you all next year.

Stay healthy, Stay Active

Mrs. Wakefield

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Wolverine Music

Hello Willow Wolverines!

As we approach the end of the year, it is time for instrument returns. If you borrowed a recorder for 4th or 5th grade or an instrument such as a penny whistle, flute, or guitar for Celtic Band, please return these between 5/18 - 5/20 9a to 3p. I will be doing cleanings and repairs over the summer so we can enjoy these instruments next year!

It has been great to see so many of you join our music google classroom. I will continue to post weekly activities through the last week of school for you to try at home!

Take care,

Mrs. Hale

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Willow Library Summer Reading Program

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Local Fire Departments Celebrating Birthdays

Our wonderful Fire Department is offering an awesome opportunity for celebrating your child's birthday! They will do a special drive-by in a firetruck to help you make it a fun and memorable celebration. If you are interested, you can contact the local Fire Department or Tiffany Davidson at 841-1895.
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Message from Tanya Korta, LPC

During these challenging times, please remember that it will be the care and compassion that we give ourselves, our families, and others that will be the light that gets us through together. The following link provides some great easy ideas for how to support your children emotionally. https://www.counselorkeri.com/2020/03/14/talk-to-kids-about-coronavirus/

If you are worried about your child or struggling to manage your stress you can contact me through email or phone. I am here for you.



Behavioral health services are also available through Sunshine Community Health Center. Just ask to speak to a behavioral health provider.


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Community Resources & COVID-19 Support

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