Cottonwood News

April 10th, 2018

News You Can Use

After School Safety--As you know, Cottonwood shares the parking lot with the District Stadium. During track and soccer season, AHS, ACHS, ACMS and AMS host track meets and soccer practices. This means that parking/traffic may be difficult during dismissal.

Track meets can start as early as 2:00. If at all possible, please plan to have your child ride the bus home. If your child must be a car rider, please pay extra attention to the staff members directing traffic and follow their instructions. We will try our best to get you home quickly and safely. April 17th and May 1st are Track Meet Days.

State Assessments--Third, fourth and fifth-grade students take the annual Kansas Assessments in March and April. These assessments are based on the standards found in the Kansas College and Career Standards Teachers have reviewed the standards and have been working with the students throughout the year getting them ready. Please encourage your child to do their best. You can find the schedule for testing below. If you have questions, contact your child's teacher.

Cottonwood Field Day--Mr. Smith is starting to plan for the annual Cottonwood Field Day, so mark your calendars for May 17th. K-2 will participate in events from 9:00-11:00 and then 3-5 will have their turn from 1:00-3:00. Parents are welcome to walk around with their children during the events and then join their students for lunch. Tennis shoes, water bottles, and sunscreen are all encouraged.

Spring pictures--Didn't like your Spring pictures? Please send them back to Cottonwood with your student. If you plan to keep them, you can still send in a check.

Cottonwood Bond Update--The playground equipment is in and if the weather cooperates, there are plans to begin construction April 1st. My hope is that we will hear students playing in a new area by May 1st.

USD385 Bond Update--Want to follow the progress throughout the district? Check out the website for news and pictures. Click here

Lost and Found--We have several jackets, coats, and sweatshirts in Lost and Found. We try to remind students to check it out, but we seem to have more lost than found. It is located right by the nurse's office.

PTO Officers

The current PTO consists of:

President - Tijen Owings

Vice President - Michael Scolari

Secretary - Rachel Neibling

Treasurer - Sarah Osburn

These officers are willing to serve again next year, however, as part of the by-laws, we are required to hold officer elections at the May meeting. If anyone is wanting to run for a position on the PTO Board or nominate someone, they are asked to email Michael Scolari at

Kansans Can

Kansas Vision for Education

Kansans are demanding higher standards in academic skills, as well as employability and citizenship skills, and the need to move away from a “one-size-fits-all” system that relies exclusively on state assessments. This new vision for education calls for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success and will require everyone to work together to make it a reality. Together, Kansans Can.

Vision: Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.

Outcomes to be measured

  • Social-emotional growth measured locally
  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Individual Plan of Study based on career interest
  • High school graduation
  • Postsecondary success

Defining Success

A successful Kansas high school graduate has the academic preparation, cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills and civic engagement to be successful in postsecondary education, in the attainment of an industry-recognized certification or in the workforce, without the need for remediation.

As part of the Kansans Can initiative, schools around the state have the opportunity to apply to become part of the Redesign mission. Cottonwood Elementary, Meadowlark Elementary, Robert Martin Elementary, and Andover Central Middle School staff have decided to apply to be a part of the process. Applications will be reviewed and the State Board of Education will share the news on April 17th. It is an exciting time for students and for educators in the state of Kansas. If you would like to read more information about Kansas Redesign, please visit

Climate Survey

Thank you to all parents and students who completed our climate survey in January. The data that we receive from the climate survey is very important as we strive for continuous improvement as a school. The results are analyzed with our educators, classified staff, Site Councils, and students. We will also use these results in our school improvement planning efforts. Your feedback is important.

Upcoming events

There is so much happening in the last two months of school. This list is long and subject to change.

Apr. 13th Kindergarten - Muffins with Mommy 9:30-10:30

Apr. 16th NO SCHOOL

Apr. 18th 2:00-3:30 Talent Show (4th and 5th gr.) Tryouts

Apr. 19th 4th Grade to the Zoo for Earth Day

Apr. 19th Music Program K-1 @ 7:00 at AHS

Apr. 20th 1st Grade to YMCA

Apr. 20th 3rd Grade to Exploration Place

Apr. 23rd 5th Grade Math Assessment 10:00-11:30

Apr. 24th 5th Grade Math Assessment 10:00-11:30

Apr. 24th 4th Grade Math Assessment 12:45-2:00

Apr. 25th 4th Grade Math Assessment 12:45-2:00

Apr. 26th Talent Show Practice 9:00-10:30

Apr. 27th Talent Show at 1:30

May 1st Trojan Children's Choir to Perform @ CES @ 10:00

May 1st PTO Meeting @ 6:30

May 2nd 3rd Grade Career Fair at the Park 9:15-11:15

May 4th 18-19 Kindergarten Visitation 9:15-11:15 and 1:15-3:15

May 4th District 3rd Grade Field Day 9:15-11:00

May 4th "May the 4th be with You"--PTO Spring Fling 6:00-8:00 pm

May 10th 5th Grade to AMS for Band Practice

May 11th 5th Grade Amazing Race

May 11th 2nd Grade to Tanganyika

May 15th Last Day for AR tests

May 17th AR Parties for grades 1-5

May 17th Field Day (K-2 from 9:00-11:00; 3-5 from 1:00-3:00)

May 18th AR Party in the Park 10:00-2:00

May 21st Cottonwood Buddy Olympics 9:30-10:45

May 21st Staff BB game @ 2:00

May 22nd Report Cards go home

May 22nd 11:30 K Celebration @ 11:30

May 22nd 1:30 5th Grade Promotion

May 23rd Early Out @ 1:45

School Supplies


Do you hate going from store to store looking for specific school supply items? Do you want a sturdy box to store memories from each school year? If so, then we have the answer for you!

The AHS Booster Club will be selling prepackaged school supplies again for the 2018-2019 school year. For each kit sold, $1.00 will go towards your school’s PTO. The remaining proceeds will benefit activities at AHS.

How does the Booster Club know what my child needs? The District Office provides us with the list of school supplies needed for the following school year.

How do I order a school supply package for my child?

Option 1: For your convenience, orders may be placed online no later than April 27th at Use ID number 28099. If you order online, you will still need to pick up the supplies at AHS on Thursday, August 9th. Links are on the District and your school’s websites.

Option 2: Order forms for the supplies will be distributed through school offices, Peachjar, and on the District website. The orders are due in your child’s school office with payment of cash or check made out to ACBC no later than April 27.

As in the past, required items including ear buds, flash drives, and calculators are available for purchase as optional items.

When will my child receive their school supply package? School supplies will be available for pick up at Andover High School, from 11am-2pm and 4-7pm on THURSDAY, August 9th. Online orders will also need to be picked up then as well.

Can I buy these prepackaged supplies in August? Unfortunately, NO. To provide the lowest possible price, we can only offer this opportunity until April 27th.

How do I help a child in need of school supplies? Simply add the amount you would like to donate on the order form or online form where “DONATION” is indicated. These funds will help purchase supplies for students in our district.

For questions, please contact the AHS Booster Club School Supply Committee:

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Time-We have finished our lessons on Internet safety, stranger danger, and good touch bad touch. Please talk to your child about what they learned. It is always important to keep the lines of communication open.

Career Fair--If you are a 3rd grade parent and would like to speak at our career fair, please let me know. It is Wednesday, May 2nd from 9:15 to 11:15 at 13th St. Park.

State assessment testing has begun! These assessments are for 3rd to 5th graders. Please make sure they are here, have a good breakfast and are well rested.

Information about summer programs will be coming out soon. You can check Peachjar for flyers or email me for more information. Camp Invention is offered at Robert Martin Elementary. If your child likes exploring, creating and inventing, this is the camp for them.

As we close out the year, we want to finish strong. Please talk to your child about making good behavior choices and doing their best on their work.

Marcie Faust-Cottonwood Counselor-LCPC/NBCC

Child Abuse Awareness Month

April is Child Abuse Awareness month. All children deserve great childhoods. As adults, it so important to be aware of our children's surroundings and friends. You can help prevent child abuse by:

  • Know your children's friends and how they spend their time.
  • Learn the signs of abuse
  • Let your children know they are loved
  • Take an active role in your children's lives
  • Talk to children regularly about what they are doing
  • Trust your instincts and report abuse

If you suspect abuse or neglect of a child call 1-800-922-5330

We are fortunate to have two centers in Butler County that serve our families. Please take a moment and check out their services.

Sunlight Child Advocacy Center (CAC)

El Dorado, KS

(316) 313-4107

The CAC, which opened in 2007, protects children who have been affected by abuse in a child-friendly environment. The CAC’s mission is to provide quality intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse through a coordinated multi-disciplinary system dedicated to breaking the cycle of child abuse. This team approach maximizes positive outcomes for the child’s safety, physical and emotional needs and for the pursuit of justice.

Sunshine Children’s Home (SCH)

Andover, KS

(316) 733-6700

SCH, open since 2014, is a temporary safe haven that tends to the physical and emotional well-being of the child by providing a safe, caring and nurturing environment. All too often, children have to be taken into temporary protective custody until either a healthy reintegration into the family can be accomplished or other long-term arrangements can be made. SCH provides a residence for these children where siblings can be together in a more rural environment.

Library Corner

The William Allen White Children’s Book Award program began after the famed journalist’s death on Jan. 29, 1944 — Kansas Day — when two memorial foundations were created in his name. Emporia State University launched the William Allen White Children’s Book Award, which was guided by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, who was hired by White to write for The Emporia Gazette.

Passionate about books, Gagliardo wrote a regular column that commented on books, music and art, and often concentrated on books for children. She was one of the first to review children’s books for a newspaper, which gave parents, teachers and librarians the chance to know about good quality books for children.

A list of WAW books can be found here. Students in grades 3-5 are encouraged to read up to 11 of these books throughout the school year. Students have until April 20th to finish their books and enjoy a pizza party. If you have questions, please email Mrs. O @

Nurse's News

We are winding down to the end of the school year. Just a reminder that if your child has over the counter medication or daily prescription medication at school, it will need to be picked up by a parent. All emergency medications, such as rescue inhalers, epi-pens or Diastat will be sent home with the student on last day in a sealed bag unless other arrangements are made by parent and health office staff. All medication left in health office will be destroyed at the of the school year.

Stay Healthy!

Mrs. Tauke and Mrs. Peay

Cottonwood PTO

Check out our Facebook page for more information. Our next meeting is May 3rd from 6:30-7:30 in the Cottonwood Lounge. Please join us to see what is happening at Cottonwood.

Spring Fling--May 4th from 6:00-8:00. PTO wants to thank our families with an evening of fun. Raffles, baskets, games, sno-cones, light sabres and an obstacle course will all be part of the "May the 4th be with You" event. You can help by volunteering your time the evening of the event. Email Tijen Owings or Sarah Osburn to sign up. You can also send donations for the grade level baskets. Item suggestions for the baskets can be found on Peachjar

School Safety

Students should not arrive at school before 8:20, unless they are registered for YMCA Latchkey. We do not have supervision available and we don't want anyone to get hurt or lost before school begins.

Breafast is served from 8:20-8:50.

After school dismissal is at 3:45. Please continue to follow the traffic patterns. It helps the adults if you have the name cards in the side windows. If you have suggestions on how to make our process and flow of traffic safer, feel free to share your ideas.

Communication is Key

Cottonwood has several ways in which we try to communicate our news and views to the world. You can download the Andover Schools Mobile App in either iTunes or Google. We also use School Messenger to share upcoming activities through phone calls and emails. If you have suggestions on how to help communicate our learning and teaching, please don't hesitate to e-mail me

School website:

Facebook page:

PTO Facebook page:

Andover Twitter:

Cottonwood Twitter:

Teacher Facebook/Twitter pages:

Mrs. Defebaugh

Mrs. Fox

Mrs. Gallagher

Mrs. Plank

Mrs. Ralston Twitter @Mrs_Ralston

Mrs. Rich

Ms. Wright

Mrs. Hachen

Mrs. Davis

Mrs. Highfill

Mrs. Barscewski

Mrs. Kindle

Ms. McKenna

Mrs. Hanna

Mrs. Johnson/Mrs. Hays -- Hays & Johnson Kindergarten Connection (Ask for permission to join)

Mrs. Wilson

Peachjar-- Peachjar is an “electronic backpack” system where schools post calendars, activity information from enrichment providers, and school letters. This system is used exclusively for distribution of school-approved fliers. Your email address will not be shared or used for any other purpose.

Andover Food Service-- Andover School Lunch Menus are digital. Look for the link on our district website at, or go to There is also an app available. Just look for Nutrislice in your app store. Please call Nutrition Services, 316-218-4603 with any questions.

Next Cottonwood News--April 24th