Welcome Back to School!

22-23 School Year

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!
I hope you and your child have had a wonderful summer. I also hope you are relaxed, recharged, and ready to start a new school year. I am so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.

Our skilled and devoted staff are already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families, ordering needed materials, and updating student files. Our hard-working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the school and getting it ready for a fantastic school year.

As we start back this year, please take some time to read the below information as it will have useful information regarding the start of the school year. Our staff is excited to have students come back into the building and we look forward to a great year.

First Day of School

We are excited to have students back at Cottonwood and we know how much the first day of school means to parents and our students. As COVID restrictions have lifted we are excited to get back to normal. On the first day of school, we do allow parents to walk students to their rooms to say goodbye. We ask that you please be respectful and follow these expectations:

  • You are allowed to park in our parking lot and walk your student in on the FIRST DAY ONLY. Please note that starting on the 2nd day of school we ask everyone goes through the car line and parking is not allowed.
  • We do encourage families to say goodbye at the front door to have students walk on their own, but you may accompany your child to their classroom.
  • We ask that you promptly exit the building when your child has arrived safely in their room. Please do not linger in the building.
  • If you know saying goodbye will be hard for your child, please trust us to help your child to their room. It can be difficult but saying goodbye at the front door sometimes eases the transition into their classroom. I along with several Cottonwood staff members, will be ready to assist those students!
  • Starting on the 2nd day of school, we will not allow parents to walk in with their children. Cottonwood staff will be ready to assist any children who need help in their classrooms. This is to ensure our building is secure and we know who is coming in and out.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns and we look forward to the first day of school!

Back to School Night

Back to School Night is the first opportunity for your student to meet their teacher and to drop off school supplies. Classroom teachers will share important information regarding the school year and you will be able to walk around the school to other classrooms including Art, Music, P.E, Library, and Science rooms. You'll also have the opportunity to see where you will be able to eat lunch and have recess.

When: August 15th

Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm

What: Bring your school supplies and meet your teacher.

Who is my classroom teacher?

Classroom Teacher assignments will be available starting Wednesday afternoon via IC. You may also call Cottonwood starting Wednesday afternoon to find out your child's teacher. Please be patient if classroom assignments aren't available right away as adjustments may be necessary before the first day of school. Back-to-school night is Wednesday, August 15th from 5:30 to 6:30. You may drop off supplies and meet your teacher that evening.

Cottonwood Schedule Update

For the 22-23 School Year, Cottonwood will be utilizing a rotating schedule for Specials. Our schedule will rotate between A, B, C, D, E, and F Days. So what do you need to know as parents? Know that your child's schedule is consistent each day! They will have reading and math at the same time each day. Their special will be at the same time every day as well. The only thing that changes is what specials your child attends each day. How will I know what day my child has P.E and needs to wear shoes? Your child's teacher will communicate with you via newsletter or email schedule updates. You can also visit our Cottonwood calendar on the district's webpage to view what day it is. Use the button below to visit that page. What if I have a child at Sunflower, do you have the same rotating schedule? Cottonwood and Sunflower will have the same rotating schedule and our corresponding days will match up.

Car Riders- First Day of School


Please be patient during the first few weeks of the school year, especially the 1st few days of school. As we have new parents picking up students for the first time, families picking up their students for the 1st day of school only, and lots of excited and eager students to get picked up.

This year we will be utilizing a new system called iDismiss to help us move faster with our parents. I expect a learning curve between my staff, parents, and students but I anticipate our dismissal time being faster than last year.

Below are a few helpful hints to help with dismissal and a map of our dismissal line to help ease the flow of traffic.

  • First- We DO NOT ALLOW parents to park and pick up their children. This is the #1 cause of slowing down the car line. If you need to pick up your child early, please call ahead and check them out of the office. When children are dismissed early it is marked against their attendance.
  • Please note where our car rider line merges into two lanes (SEE MAP). This prevents traffic from backing up.
  • Don't feel like you need to arrive early... Once we get in the swing of things 3:20-3:25 is a perfect time to come to Cottonwood. You won't have to wait in line.
  • If you have children in other buildings- Come to Cottonwood last.
  • Pay attention to other drivers and Cottonwood Staff. This keeps the line moving and keeps the necessary order for students coming out of the building.
  • Practice makes perfect!!! Practice with your child. Have them practice getting in and out of the vehicle on their own.
  • Car Seats- Cottonwood Staff does not help with car seats. If you need to strap your child into the car seat, once you pick them up pull into the parking lot to secure their seat before exiting the lot.
  • I encourage families to exit Cottonwood by turning right towards that National Guard Armory. (This is not a mandated turn, but it increases the flow of traffic out of Cottonwood)


How does iDismiss work?

  • Every student is given a dismissal number and receives a placard with that number.
  • As cars pull into the pickup line, staff will put the number into the app and assign a pickup spot.
  • The number and spot will appear on a board in the classroom.
  • When students see their number they exit the building to their assigned spot.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and patience during the first few days of implementation.

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Parents- Important Things to Remember

Arrival- Cottonwood doors will open at 7:40 am, We are asking families not to drop children off unattended. If you are a car rider and arrive early please stay in your vehicle until the doors open. Cottonwood Staff is available to open and assist students out of doors. We encourage families to practice students exiting their vehicles on their own. This keeps the flow of traffic moving in the morning. Students will immediately report to their classrooms. If a student is eating breakfast, they will drop off their backpack in their room and immediately report to the lunchroom. We will have several teachers in the hall in the first few days to make sure students are getting to the correct location without getting lost. We ask parents not to park in the South parking lot and drop students off. Although it might seem faster, it slows our car rider line down as traffic has to stop. It is much safer to have students dropped via the car line. To keep things moving it is always beneficial to practice with your child and ensure they are ready to exit the car. That means, the backpack is nearby, they aren't finishing their breakfast and they are awake!

Dismissal- Dismissal will still be at 3:10.

Car Riders- Parents, we are asking that all parents go through the car rider line. We do NOT allow parents to park in the south parking lot and pick up at the front door. Again, this slows traffic down. If you arrive close to 3:20, our car rider line moves pretty fast. As our students adjust and get to know the routine, our car rider line is done around 3:25 each day.

To increase the flow of traffic in and out of Cottonwood, we are asking parents to make a right-hand turn out of the Cottonwood exit towards the National Guard Armory. If you take a left on Industrial road that will take you right back out towards the Middle School.

Walkers- We do allow parents the option of letting their students walk home. For safety, students are walked with staff across the intersection of Hedge Lane and 303rd Street. After which there are dismissed to walk on their own. Please make sure your student practices good walking habits, including staying on the sidewalk. Students can meet siblings at the middle school parking lot and continue to walk home.

Any changes to transportation needs to be communicated to the front office by 2:30 pm each day.

Welcome to our New Staff!

I would like to take the time to introduce our new staff members. We are excited to have these teachers and paraprofessionals join the Cottonwood Team!

Maddie Harvey- Computer Aid

April Johnston- Library Aid

Ashely Davis- Kindergarten

Victoria Thomas- Kindergarten

Cassidy Van Ness- 1st Grade

Kilie Czepcinski- Paraprofessional

Sara Campa-Ferrio- Early Childhood Paraprofessional

Randi Dillner- Paraprofessional

August Calendar

  • August 15th- Back to School Night 5:30-6:30
  • August 17th-First Day of School
  • August 22nd- First Day of school for Preschool
  • September 5th- No School Labor Day
  • September 7th- Fall Picture Day
  • September 7th- Watch DOGS- Virtual Sign Up - Link Emailed out
  • September 13th-14th- Cottonwood Dental Clinic
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Cottonwood SITE Council

Are you interested in helping Cottonwood serve its community? Do you want to work closely with Mr. Troast to help and provide feedback that improves Cottonwood? Do you have ideas that could help Cottonwood grow and improve for your child?

Cottonwood is looking for parent volunteers to serve on our 22-23 Cottonwood SITE Council. SITE Council meets 3-4 times a year to discuss everything Cottonwood. It's a great time to provide feedback to Cottonwood staff and share any ideas that you may have. If you are interested in serving please email Mr. Troast at corey_troast@usd368.org

Cottonwood Elementary

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me: corey_troast@usd368.org or call the school at 913-294-8050

Email: corey_troast@usd368.org
Website: www.usd368.org
Location: 709 Hedge Ln, Paola, KS 66071, USA
Phone: 913-294-8050

Summer Bridge Books

Did your child complete at least 50% of their summer bridge workbook. Return it at back to school night or the 1st day of school for your child to participate in a ice cream party for all their hard work this summer.