Susitna Elementary News


January 15, 2016

Volume 3, Issue 5

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Dear Susitna Families -

Happy New Year! I hope your new year is off to a great start. Here at Susitna our students are already back in the swing of things. Our PTA kick started us by hosting another awesome Family Movie Night last week. In addition to academics many of our students are involved with JYNO, Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Drama Club, CITC Tutoring, Traveling Basketball, and Battle of the Books. None of these extra-curricular activities would be possible without the leadership of our superhero staff who put in the extra time and energy. I hope you will consider nominating one of our fabulous teachers for BP Teacher of Excellence.

Our doors are always open for your involvement, and next month, we welcome you to come for Visit Our Schools month any Tuesday in February at 9:30 a.m. Nominate one of our fabulous teachers for BP Teacher of Excellence. Read more about the visits, BP Teachers of Excellence, this year's Reading Incentive, and so much more in this issue.

Last week you received your student's progress report. I hope you were able to review the grades and comments with your child. Your student's school progress really is a team effort. Please contact their teacher, or me, if you have any questions, or need additional information about how they are progressing.

Kim Bautista

Upcoming Dates of Importance


14th - Spelling Bee 2 pm MPR

15th - Basketball Game @ Susitna 3:45-5 pm

18th - NO SCHOOL - Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Holiday

19th - Quarterly Student Recognition Assemblies in the afternoon MPR 1:40-2:05 pm K/1 & 1, 2:10-2:35pm 2/3, 2:40-3:05pm 4/5

K - 6 Parent Math Night @ASD Building 6-8pm

20th - 5th grade Health Parent Preview Night 4 - 5:30 pm In Health Room Rm 21

22nd - Optional Community Susitna Winter Soup and Stew (aka sledding night) 6pm

25th - Drama Practice 3:30-4:30pm mondays and wednesdays

5th grade Battle of Books District Battle @ West High

27th - 3/4 Battle of the Books District Battle @ West High

29th - Basketball Game @ Susitna 3:45-5 pm


1st - Nominations for BP Teacher's of Excellence due

2nd - School Tours, 9:10 am

9th - School Tours, 9:10 am, Talent Show Tryouts 3:30-5 pm

16th - School Tours, 9:10 am

16th - 18th - Spring Book Fair

23rd - School Tours, 9:10 am and 6 pm

26th - Dr. Seuss Birthday Breakfast Bash 8am - 8:45 am. GYM

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Susitna Student Recognized

Congratulations to the Soap Dispenser Design Contest Winners!

DEB, the ASD soap dispenser system company for over 10 years, approached the district in September of 2015 about updating the dispensers with artwork supplied by students. ASD students showed off their artistic skills in the first-ever ASD Soap Dispenser Design Contest, sponsored by the M&O department, with the assistance of the Health and Physical Education department. The hundreds of submissions from students in various grades throughout the district featured vivid colors and imaginative scenes.District administrative office personnel selected the winners. Susitna's own Nash Teater, whose artwork has been submitted as a finalist to the art department at DEB for their review. The company will determine which artwork is best suited for printing and provide screen-printed dispensers for installation by next school year. Congratulations on your design, Nash, and good luck having your "Wash your paws" design chosen for the soap dispensers!

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Multi-age Kindergarten and First Grade Optional Build Gingerbread Houses

About 43 K/1 students and their family members made gingerbread houses on December 17. Some older siblings even joined the fun during their recess and lunch time. The classrooms were a happy buzz of approximately 80 to 90 builders covering all the tables and floor.

The actual gingerbread house building was the final celebration of a 3-week study including: graphing, geometry, planning and drawing of their house design, non-fiction posters, list writing, story writing and comparing/ contrasting gingerbread versions.

Thank you to all the parents who helped with this event.

From Ms. Brittany & Ms. Lucinda

2016 Spelling Bee Winners

The Susitna Spelling Bee was held on Thursday afternoon in the Multi Purpose Room. Twelve students participated in Susitna's Spelling Bee. They were the winners of individual classroom bees and represented the best spellers in the school. All twelve students spelled well, but in the end, two students were the winners. They were Craig Kimball, the school champion, and Hailey Parmenter, 2nd place. Both students are in Mr. Allen's class.

Congratulations to all the participants, and thanks for your hard work!

Mr. Hubbell

Susitna 4th Grade Teacher

Spelling Bee Coordinator

2016 Spelling Bee winner is 5th grader Craig Kimball in Mr. Allen's 4/5 Optional Class.
5th grader Hailey Parmenter took 2nd Place in Mr. Allen's 4/5 Optional Class.

Proud teacher Mr. Allen with Craig and Hailey

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Optional Program Events

Musical Notes

Drama Club will perform Wacadoo Zoo By John Jacobson. Starting soon.

See below in community news section for a free concert from Anchorage Symphony Orchestra.

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Healthy Futures News

Sqord Challenges

December's challenge was boys vs girls challenge. Girls not only won, but handily beat the Boys. Penelope Pena, Ashley Xiong, Reachell Wendt, Jamiezon Garcia, Payton Hammon, Tiffani Ison, Jessica Jensen, Samantha Jensen, Annamarie Williamson, and Hailey Parmenter were our super active girls. Everyone get out there and keep exercising!
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Junior Native Youth Olympics

Registration is done and we had a turnout of 35 kids. 1st and 2nd graders meet on mondays from 3:30 - 4:30pm. 3rd - 5th graders meet on wednesdays from 3:30-4:30pm. Any questions please contact Chris Putman.

Mr. Putman

Susitna PE

News from Health

I would like to invite any parents/guardians who may have questions or concerns regarding the Human Growth and Development Unit given during the month of February 8-19, to a Parent Preview Night. It will be offered on the evening of January 20th, 2016 from 4-5:30 p.m. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

Jake Peterson
Health Teacher Susitna Elementary School

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News from the Librarian


Super Heroes Read

Truth, Justice, and the Susitna Way!

Susitna Families Assemble,

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a Susitna reading incentive program that begins January and flies into May! The Super Heroes Read incentive program encourages children to read for personal growth and enjoyment!

Each month (January, February, March, and April) students will be given a Super Heroes Read Bingo card. Students will cross off a box and write down the title and author after reading a book. The goal of the card is to get 3 boxes in a row, column or diagonal. This incentive is designed to help encourage readers to branch out in their book selections.

Important Information

*Students may read the books in any order on the card and choose any titles that fit the categories.

*The books may come from any source (school library, public library, book fair, classroom, friends, home, electronic, etc.)

*Books read in class, by teachers, a librarian, or for class assignments may also count.

*Book categories and Bingo charts will change each month.

*Cards must be completely filled out and contain a parent or guardian’s signature before it can be returned to the librarian. Partially completed or unsigned cards will not count.

*Each book counts only once. You may not repeat the same book on a different Bingo card.

*Turn in your completed and signed card to Mrs. Benfield, the librarian, BEFORE the due date.


Each month students will earn a reading incentive prize if the Bingo card is completed. If students complete all 4-month Super Heroes Read Bingo Cards they will be personally invited to a SHAZAM of a celebration!

I will be introducing Super Heroes Read during January library classes. Look for January’s Super Heroes Bingo Card for more details. This card will be sent home the first week in January.

I hope each family will encourage their Super Hero to take part in this fun reading program. If you are interested in helping with this program, please contact me, or 742-1400.

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Benfield, Teacher-Librarian

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Annual ASD Book Mark Contest

Each year students in grades K-5 participate in a school-wide bookmark contest sponsored by the ASD librarians. The bookmark theme for this year is Investigte @ Your Library. I would like to congratulate Kaylee Pate in grade 3 for winning at the primary level; and fifth grade student, Abel Ortiz, for winning at the intermediate level. Abel's and Kaylee's bookmark will compete at the district level in January. Good luck Kaylee and Abel!

Mrs. Benfield, Teacher-Librarian

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Battle of the Books District Battle

Congratulations to 3/4th grade Battle of the Books participants. Felicity Marvin, Wynona Toumoua, Genika Marie Valdehuza, Dylan Beals, Quentin Kirkpatrick Aviana Stoute, ZaRiah Queen, and Brooke Shaffer. They will have their district battle at West High in the afternoon of January 27, 2016.

Congratulations to 5th grade Battle of the Books participants. Craig Kimball, Malia Selvester, Trey Fleshman, and Suzanna Henderson. They will have their district battle at West High in the afternoon of January 25, 2016.

Go Susitna!!!


Save The Date, Save The Date, Save The Date, Save The Date FOR FUN!

Susitna is having a Spring bookfair Tuesday, February 16 - Thursday, February 18th in the library. .

Our annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Breakfast Bash is Friday, February 26th from 8:00 am to 8:45 am. Children MUST come with an adult.

There will be more information posted and distributed as we approach the dates. If you would like to volunteer your time to make these events a success, please see me in the library or email me at

I hope to see you at the events!

Ann Benfield,

Teacher-Librarian for Susitna Elementary

District News

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BP Teachers of Excellence Nomination


The Alaska BP Teachers of Excellence program recognizes teachers from throughout Alaska for their dedication to teaching and for inspiring students. Since the program launched in 1995, hundreds of remarkable teachers have been recognized by their peers, students, parents and community members as BP Teachers of Excellence.


November 2: Nominations accepted
February 1: Nomination period closes
March 30: Winner notification


Nominations can be received for teachers in every community in Alaska. Teachers will be recognized in 5 regions: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su Valley, Kenai Peninsula and outlying areas.


We are currently accepting nominations for the 2016 BP Teachers of Excellence. Click here.


Anyone can nominate a teacher - students, parents, community members, administrators and fellow teachers.


Each BP Teacher of Excellence receives a $500 gift card and an award certificate. An additional $500 is awarded to the winner’s school or PTA group.


Winners will be notified by March 30, 2016. If you nominated a winning teacher, you will be sent an invitation to attend the award ceremony. The list of winners will be announced on the website in May.

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New Communication Options

Anchorage School District is providing new electronic options to communicate quickly and easily with our families. You can receive texts from your school and from the district for late bus information, weather related school closures, important school news and events. Click on the link to opt-in for this new feature.

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Notice to Parents:

In order to comply with FERPA rules, we must notify parents of the district’s procedures

related to records transfer. As part of their notification, we are changing the language

in the student handbook to read as follows:

“No Child Left Behind requires all school districts to transfer information related to

student suspensions and expulsions in addition to academic records when students

transfer to any public or private elementary, middle, or high school. When transferring

their students, parents do have the right to request a copy of the information that was

disclosed to the new school.”

Community News

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Anchorage School Board

Kameron Perez-Verdia - President

Tam Agosti-Gisler

Eric Croft

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins

Kathleen Plunkett

Elisa Snelling

Superintendent - Ed Graff

School Business Partners