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February 2023


The ASD school board approved a plan to make up for the weather closure days that we experienced in December. January 30th to March 9th: 30 minutes will be added to the end of the instructional day (Restores 3 days of instruction). February 22nd and 23rd: Full instructional days in lieu of the scheduled parent-teacher conferences (Restores 1 day of instruction). February 24th: Full instructional day. That would be in lieu of the professional development day (Restores 1 day of instruction)

30-Minute Extended School Day FAQ

What is the overall plan for making up the five closure days?

  • Two of the days will be made up through a calendar adjustment:
    • The in-service day previously scheduled for February 24 will become a regular instructional day.
    • The two early release half days for student conferences, February 22 and 23, will become regular full instruction days.
  • The remaining three days will be made up by extending the student day by 30 minutes from Monday, January 30 to Thursday, March 9–for a total of 28 school days.

How will the 30 minutes affect start and end times for students?

School start times will remain the same. Student release times at the end of the day will be 30 minutes later.

Will new bus drop off times be posted for parents to view?

Morning pick-up times will remain the same. Afternoon drop-off times will be adjusted to 30 minutes later. New times will be viewable in ParentConnect on Friday, January 27 after 5pm.

Special Education Related and Sensory Services Team (OT, PT, APE, Speech, Visually Impaired, Hearing impaired) that serve multiple schools, will increase their time for collaboration and consultation with general education. Itinerant staff should "push-in" to general education classes and support students and teachers. If providers need specific guidance for unique situations, they are welcome to contact our Related and Sensory Services Team.

How will the 30 additional minutes per day be used?

At Birchwood ABC:

  • Study Hall so that students have minimal homework
  • Additional opportunities with specials classes, such as, PE, Music, Art, Health and Library will be scheduled

Please access additional information through the following ASD link:

School Climate and Connectedness Survey

Birchwood ABC ES is partnering again this year with the Association of Alaska School Boards to conduct the School Climate and Connectedness Survey, a statewide survey taken by students, staff, and families. This survey measures their perceptions of each school’s climate including the engagement of students, staff, and families.

We value input from our families. You are an important partner as we work to continually improve each school’s environment. The survey window is currently open until March 24, 2023. Each parent/guardian is asked to complete one survey. If you have more than one child attending this school, you only need to fill out one survey. Please use the following link to access the family survey:

During the month of March students and staff will also have the opportunity to provide their input. The Student Survey will be given to students in grades 3-5. Students will complete the survey online during the school day.

The student survey will ask questions such as how students feel about school rules, their perceptions of how students treat each other, their relationships with staff, social and emotional skills, and observed risk behaviors of other students at school and school events.

The surveys are voluntary, anonymous, confidential, and do not ask questions about students’ families. If you do not wish for your child to participate, please notify the school in writing.

More information on this survey is available through the following link:

Results from this survey will be used to identify student, staff and family perceptions of school climate issues within our school. School staff use the results to inform their efforts to ensure schools are safe, supportive, and caring places for all students.

Thank you for your cooperation in this year’s School Climate and Connectedness Survey.

Thank You-Quyana,
Michael Thomas
Birchwood ABC Elementary School

Anchorage School District


Eagle River Northern Indigenous Games

Team Birchwood will be competing against other local elementary students in the games learned and practiced during PE and JNYO club. The event is all day Saturday, February 11th beginning at 9 am at Gruening Middle School. Additional after school practices for these athletes are available (not required). Practice Dates 1st and 2nd grade will be Tuesdays, Jan. 31st and Feb. 7th. Practice Dates 3rd through 5th grade will be Wednesdays, Feb. 1st and Feb 8th

*Practice times will be after school for one hour and participating siblings may attend if needed

If your child would like to compete at this event, but they were not in JNYO Club, complete the attached registration form and release and JOIN THE TEAM! Return both forms to the school office. Go Colts!



Winter Outdoor Unit for PE

Throughout the month of February, PE classes will be getting out in the snow! Students are expected to be “outdoor ready” each day at school since they go out for recess daily. FOR PE, this means they will go out when conditions are favorable, and students could be out for an hour +. Activities may include XC skiing, snowshoeing, or sledding. For classes that ski, they will be using XC ski boots provided by the school, and it would be very wise to wear LONG SOCKS as the boots do not go beyond the ankle. Students will be advised to have extra socks in their backpacks. Being warm enough will be the first step in your child enjoying winter outdoor activities in Alaska! Please lookout for the after school cross country ski slips.

Healthy Future Activity Logs

February activity logs are due March 3rd. They can be turned into your teacher, Ms Rachel in the office, or Mr. Olson.

The Spring Challenge will run February – April. During these months, students can submit activity logs for prizes. 4th and 5th graders may still complete and submit January activity logs to Mr. Olson for extra PE credit!

Healthy Future website

Activity Log HERE

Kids Heart Challenge

Dear Families - Our Kids Heart Challenge program is kicking off on February 7th. We are proud to support the American Heart Association and Be the Torch in the fight against heart disease and stroke! Students will learn how to keep their hearts happy and healthy through physical and mental wellbeing, while helping others with special hearts by raising lifesaving donations. Our goal is to have 100% of our school families join the team and learn Hands-Only CPR through Finn’s Mission. Don’t wait, get started TODAY! Students who join the team early AND students who complete Finn’s Mission will get recognized at our kick-off!

  1. REGISTER at or download the Kids Heart Challenge App
  2. TAKE THE CHALLENGE to Move More or Be Kind and earn the FREE Be the Torch Wristband when we kick-off!
  3. COMPLETE FINN’S MISSION in your HQ to learn Hands-Only CPR, how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T., and how you can help kids with special hearts!

If we can raise our goal of $2,500 we will have a Staff vs. Kids Minute to Win-it assembly, there will also be a prize for the top class!


BIRCHWOOD ABC ELEMENTARY library has decided to hold a Read-a-thon this year!

Read-a-thons actually get your reader excited about reading and it gives friends and family the opportunity to encourage your child to read even more.

Our Read-a-thon will start Friday February 24, 2023

About one week before our Read-a-thon starts we will send home a link with instructions on how to activate your reader's personal page. This is where you will be able to view and record their progress.

We've chosen Read-a-thon because it will not take much of your time, gives your child a reason to read and helps in the development of stronger reading skills.

There will be individual and class prizes awarded. Everything earned from the Read-a-thon will go directly to the library to enhance and update our collection and add other materials.

We hope EVERYONE participates.

Thanks so much,

Ms. Tanya Tyson

Library Media Specialist



Congratulations to the students below, their art work has been selected for upcoming art exhibits.

We hope to see all of our amazing Birchwood families at Winter Fun Night! It will be a great time!

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The next BAC meeting will be held on March 23. You do not need to be a member to attend but we are accepting applications for membership! Please consider joining to discuss topics such as:

·Curriculum changes

· Operating procedures

· ASD updates

· Academic achievement

· Enrollment

· How we support the PTA


Honesty: Fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, adherence to the facts.


Feb 3rd- Winter Fun Night

Feb 7th-Kids Heart Challenge Kick Off

Feb 8th- 100th Day of School Dress up

Feb 16th- Spelling Bee

Feb 17th- Popcorn Friday

Feb 20th- No School-Presidents Day

Feb 22nd- Zoo Assembly

Feb 22nd-Safari Dress up


For more information about Ski 4 Kids please visit the event page at
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