The Eagle Soars

Sunflower Elementary - November 30, 2018

Things to Put on Your Calendar!

Tuesday, December 4

3rd Grade Musical 7 pm at Wheatridge Middle School

Friday, December 7

Deadline for Sunflower's Got Talent Sign-Ups

Sunflower Gum Day

Saturday, December 8

PTO Holiday Mart

View our online calendar (select individual events for more details):

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Principally Speaking

Thanksgiving has passed and the winter holidays are upon us. With the traditions and celebrations associated with the holidays, comes the conclusion of our first semester (December 20) and designated winter break (December 21 – January 7). The days leading up to winter break is often an extra busy time of year, and one frequently associated with additional stress for students who experience changes in their routines at home and school. Children can show stress in a variety of ways including: crying, acting out, becoming aggressive, withdrawing, or shutting down completely. Proactive steps you can take are to monitor your child’s sleeping habits and provide as much structure as possible. In addition, I encourage you to talk to your child’s teacher or our school counselor regarding any changes you may see in your child’s demeanor or attitude. We are here to help and want to collaborate with you to ensure every child is successful!

As I reflect on my personal blessings, I am thankful to be a part of the Sunflower learning community, both professionally and personally, as a father of 2 young children attending Sunflower. I am looking forward to several special activities in the days and weeks ahead including third grade’s vocal music program, PTO’s Holiday Vendor Mart, classroom parties, and our school-wide Polar Express activity. I wish you a happy December, joyful holidays, and a pleasant winter break!

Dr. Jason Jones


Sunflower's Got Talent - 2nd Quarter Performances

Sign-ups for Sunflower's Got Talent are currently being accepted in the office! The second quarter performances will take place on Friday, December 14 for grades K-4.

Something new this time...we are going to open up the performances to include Kindergarten students this quarter! Kindergarten students should pick up a sign-up form from any of our specials teachers. Grades 1-4 students should pick up a sign-up form from the office.

Please remember...a parent signature is required to signify the talent to be displayed has been observed and deemed appropriate for school (including ALL lyrics).

Deadline for sign-ups is December 7.

Gum Day - Friday, December 7

Friday, December 7, Student Council will sponsor a Gum Day. Each student can purchase a gum pass for a recommended donation of a $1.00, but any amount will be accepted. The passes will be sold first thing in the morning on the stage. All of the proceeds from the gum sale will go to support our Sunflower Eagle fund that is used to help Sunflower students in need. With the purchase of the gum pass, that student will receive a special stamp on the hand and be allowed to chew gum throughout the day. In addition to the stamp, each student will also receive two pieces of gum. No extra pieces of gum will be sold; however, students can bring gum from home to chew with the purchase of the pass.

In order for this event to be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, we have two expectations. Our expectations for the gum include: the gum is to be in your mouth or in the trash (we don't want any gum to find its way to the floor, desks, or walls) and if the gum is being played with, the student's pass will be removed for the day.

Thank you for your continued support of our Sunflower Eagle fund at Sunflower!

Mrs. Nichols' 3rd Graders Shine During the Flashlight Party Reward for Reaching the 15,000 Eagle Ticket Milestone

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Cold Weather and Recess Policy

With winter weather upon us, please review the information below from the elementary handbook regarding recess.

There will be no outside recess when:

  • The temperature is 20 degrees or below,
  • The wind chill index is 20 degrees or below, and/or
  • There is significant precipitation.

Teachers may take their class out briefly for fresh air at their discretion. Students should be prepared for sudden changes in Kansas weather. Dress appropriately!

Holiday Assistance

We cannot believe the holiday season is upon us. For many, this season is filled with joy and laughter. We also understand that the holidays can be a stressful time for some and we want to help. If your family could use any support during the holidays, please contact our counselor, Mrs. Marlene Gabriel ( All information shared will be confidential.

Nurse's Notes

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Park and Walk Parking Lot

It takes a village to protect and keep our children safe. As a reminder, if you choose to remain in your vehicle when dropping your child off in the morning, please proceed to the drop off lane.

If you are using the crosswalk to safely escort your child to the building, the "Park & Walk" lot is available for this purpose. This is used for the same purpose in the afternoon during dismissal.

A Note from the District Office

A change in the student use of microwaves in Sunflower’s cafeteria will be taking place beginning January 7, 2019. The microwaves currently accessible to students will no longer be available. No other elementary school in USD 231 has microwaves available for student use. There are several reasons for the removal of Sunflower’s microwaves. Chief among them is student safety. A microwave can pose potential risks for children. The most common microwave injury is burns. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children can be burned by removing dishes from the microwave, spilling hot foods or liquids, opening containers, and eating food that is cooked unevenly or has hot spots. Secondly, Sunflower has seen an increase in the number of students needing to use microwaves at all grade levels. This has resulted in longer wait times and a decrease in the amount of time students have to eat their food. Finally, time spent assisting students with pre-packaged meals limits the active supervision adults can provide to all students.

It is recommended foods prepared at home be transported in insulated containers so they are ready to eat with no further heating or preparation needed. USD 231 Nutrition staff are not able to re-heat foods brought from home in the Sunflower kitchen.

I appreciate your support as we make this change at Sunflower Elementary School.

Christi Whitter

Director of Elementary Education

Building Junkbots (Robots from Recycled Materials)

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, USD 231 is offering a FREE after school "Maker" session!

Join Dr. Tracy Platt, USD 231 Technology Integration Specialist, for after school fun for one night only! In this FREE session, students will be working with "Building Junkbots" -- Robots from Recycled Materials.

Grade Level: Grades 3-4

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Location: Sunflower Library

Cost: FREE

Date: December 13

**You may only attend at your home school**

**20 students max per session**

**You must arrange to pick up your child at 4:30 pm**


Enroll Now for the Next Session of Young Rembrandts!

Make this a memorable winter by signing up your elementary child in a Young Rembrandts drawing class. Your child will learn about basic design and composition as they draw the Fish Below Ice and Great Wall of China. If your child is fond of sports, they will enjoy drawing our illustration featuring a Hockey Player. Besides strengthening your child’s drawing and coloring skills, he or she will also learn about art history as we present lessons featuring master artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Franz Marc. Enroll your child today!
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Bricks 4 Kidz Events

Bricks 4 Kidz: Day Camp! -- December 15

Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Grade Level: Students in Grades K-5

Cost: $45

Location: Trail Ridge Middle School Gym (495 E. Grand Street, Gardner, KS 66030)

The Bricks 4 Kidz Parents Day Out provides a day of playful learning for the kids, while Parents have a chance to get some last minute holiday shopping done! Kids will have a chance to build many of our exciting LEGO® models using our theme-based project kits, designed by engineers and architects, exercise their imaginations while building with our free-play LEGO® bricks. Can't beat a day out while your kids are safe, supervised, and entertained by BRICKS 4 KIDZ!

For registration of this event, visit

Join the USD231 Team

Applications are being taken online for District-wide Paraeducator positions. Paraeducators assist licensed teachers in student training. They work in primary, secondary and high schools and qualified paraeducators also work with students with special needs. The aim of a paraeducator is to facilitate a positive learning environment for students and allow for their personal, social and intellectual development. Please call Human Resources at 913-856-2016 for more information on how to apply, or click on the picture to the right to start the application process.

Sunflower Site Council Meetings 2018-2019

The Sunflower Site Council will be meeting at 6 pm in the library on the following dates: 9/11/18, 11/13/18, 2/5/19, 4/9/19.

All meetings are open to the public.

Kansas schools are required to establish site councils composed of the principal, teachers and other school personnel, parents, business representatives, and other community groups.

Site councils have a responsibility to provide advice and counsel in the following areas: evaluating district and school performance goals and objectives,

determining methods to meet those goals and objectives,

and other areas as requested by the board of education.

Remember, the work of the site council is advisory only;

it makes recommendations, not decisions.

Sunflower PTO

Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has been an integral part of Sunflower Elementary for many years. Through fundraisers and fun events, they are able to provide funds to teachers, classrooms, and the school.

We invite everyone to join the Sunflower PTO Facebook page. By searching "Gardner Sunflower PTO" under Pages, you will be able to join the group and receive updated PTO information.

Follow Us on Social Media!