Yellow Jacket Gazette

November/ December 2021 Edition

A Message from the Principal

Hello Wonderful Jenkins Families,

We are now beginning our second quarter of school. Our students have been doing an amazing job of learning the routines and procedures of school. Students have also been hard at work learning about being great leaders, readers, scientists, and mathematicians.

As we continue our partnership with you, it is important that we are able to get in contact with you. Please take a moment to ensure that your child's teacher has the most up-to-date contact information for you. If you have not done so already, please also make sure to complete the New School Year Packet in Parent Vue.

You may have noticed that your child has been bringing their laptop back and forth from school to home. This is so your child can continue to practice skills learned at school by going on Lexia for at least 20 minutes, IXL, and other programs. Please also encourage your child to be a responsible leader by charging their laptops and bringing them back to school each day.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we work to build lifelong learners and leaders.


Mrs. Xanthe McFadden, Principal

Middle School Specialty Programs

Attention all 5th grade families! The Middle School Specialty Program application is officially live! Please click on the link or copy and paste the link to access the application:

Please note, the deadline to apply for a Middle School Specialty Program is February 1, 2022.

Student and Family Support

Welcome back JJES families!

The Student and Family Support Team, which includes the professional school counselors, school psychologist, and school social worker, would like to share some practical activities to help your child manage emotions and navigate social situations.

Start the day with a Morning Schedule

To help develop more independence and executive functioning skills, such as planning and sequencing, help your child make a visual morning schedule of the steps involved with getting ready for the day. First, go over the steps involved, such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, feeding the dog, etc. Then make visuals of these activities by drawing them, gathering pictures from internet, or taking actual photos of the child doing each activity. Place these on a board or something that is easily accessible. Make one column that says “to do” and one that says “done.” Each morning, reference the schedule together. As each task is completed, the child can move the activity to the “done” column.

Intention of the Day

First thing in the morning, help your child pick an intention, or something to focus on for the day (e.g., “It's okay to make mistakes,” “I will take a break when I get frustrated,” “I will give it a try”). If needed, write or draw some of the intentions that have benefits and have the child make a choice from those options.

We hope you find these strategies useful.


Your student and family support team

School Counselor Corner

Holidays and vacation time are a good time to reflect on how lucky we are to have the people in our lives who we love and care about us. Take some time to reflect and be grateful for the people in our lives. Spreading kindness, love, and support to others also help us to fill our hearts with an abundance of gratitude. We, as a team would like to give thanks to the families at Jenkins Elementary for trusting us to support your child(ren) as they grow and develop their leadership skills. We are truly grateful.


Holiday time is near. Things to do to keep your child(ren) engaged to avoid the syndrome of, “I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do.'" Here are 20 indoor games from Today's Parent, that will keep kids (and you) happy and active—no TV or video games required.

Check out the link below:

Sharpen the Saw Group

The group focuses on managing emotions for students who are currently grieving the loss of a close family member or someone they love. Please feel free to give us a call if you want your child to participate. The grief groups are Fridays from 2:00 p.m. -2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. -3:45 p.m.

Ms. McNairy and Ms. Scott-Bell

Leader In Me ~ 7 Habits of Happy Kids ~ Habit #1: Be Proactive

As a Leader in Me school, our students and staff are learning about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Our goal this year is to share information about the 7 Habits to our families and community members in an effort to instill leadership in all aspects of our students’ lives. At each event and in each of our Yellow Jacket Gazette newsletters, we will highlight a habit and share how you can use each habit at home.

Habit 1 is Be Proactive – You’re in Charge. This habit is about taking responsibility for your own life, for your own fun or boredom, and for your own happiness or unhappiness. (Covey, 2008)

  • I have a “can do” attitude and always try my best at everything I do.
  • I follow directions and do the right things without being asked, even when nobody is looking.
  • I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods and don’t blame others for my wrongdoing.

How can you use Habit 1: Be Proactive at Home?

  • Ask your child when they’re bored, “What can you do about being bored?”
  • Ask your child, “Who is in charge of the choices you make: you or somebody else?”
  • The next time your child feels bored, encourage them to do something nice for someone else.
  • Encourage your child to try something today that they’ve always been afraid to do. (Make a new friend, help clean the house, etc.)
  • Speak to your child about biting their tongue the next time they get mad and want to say something mean or rude and not saying that comment.
  • Encourage your child to apologize before someone makes them say, “I’m sorry,” if they do something wrong. (Covey, 2008)

Covey, S. (2008) The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Simon & Schuster, New York.


We love to read and write at Jenkins ES! Good readers and writers make even better leaders. On October 20th we celebrated National Writing Day! Buzz, our school mascot, traveled to each class to help the students write an adventure story all about him! Ask your child about how their class contributed to the story! Buzz also gave each student a special Buzz pencil to help them with their writing.

Now that we moved into Quarter 2, students will continue to learn about fiction, literary nonfiction, and nonfiction. They will write personal narratives and begin learning about research. Check out some activities below that can help your child continue their learning when at home!

*Read a variety of genres with your child and have them read to you. You can also listen to books read on the computer! We have many sources: MyOn, HMH, Lexia, and more.

*Read a fiction book and a nonfiction book about the same topic. Then, compare the difference between the two genres. What was the same? What was different? How did you feel while reading each type?

*Find a topic your child is interested in and let them research with your assistance! You can check out books from the public or school library, find reliable websites, or use online books through school approved platforms. Then read and learn along with your child!

Enjoy connecting with your child through literature. The best readers are also the best writers!

Ms. Vanzetta and Ms. Wilson


With Daylight-saving time ending and cooler temperatures beginning, we are amid the fall season. Taking a nature walk with your family is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy the weather, but it's also an opportunity to get some math in at the same time.

One way you can do this is to take a “math walk.” Ask your child what they are currently working on in math, and then look for examples outdoors. They can also look for examples of previously taught material.

Let’s say your child is learning about fractions, equal parts in particular, you may decide to stop for a picnic where they may point out the sandwiches being cut into two or four equal portions. They may also point out the table has four equal rectangles. They may then notice people playing a game, like volleyball. They may be on two teams of six people each, for a total of 12 people.

If your child is studying symmetry, an object has symmetry if each side is a mirror image of the other. Your child may spot a flying flock of geese and realize the “V” was symmetrical. They may also see a symmetrical swing set on the playground. Your math walks can give you a glimpse into what your child is learning and can allow them to practice skills in a real-world way.

Whatever way you choose to incorporate math into your family routine, please know we appreciate all you do!

Yours Mathematically,

Mrs. Savage


Thank you for supporting the online book fair. Books will be shipped to the school shortly and passed out to students. The book fair raised over $400 for the library to purchase new books. The library circulated over 7,800 books this quarter to our students! Students are finding books to enjoy reading in the classroom and at home. Remind students to make sure to read their books and return their books so they can check out more!

Students are learning library skills each week that carry over to reading skills used in their classroom. We will spend the month of November and December learning about fiction and nonfiction books, biographies, holidays, and coding.

Happy reading,

Mrs. Youngblood


The year is in full swing and amazing things are happening in music!

Kindergarten is continuing to build the basics. We are continuing to learn about more instruments and will be using pitched percussion instruments like xylophones in the classroom. In addition, we are working on our movement vocabulary words and creating movements to songs in class.

1st Grade is building solo singing skills in short segments and group singing skills while accompanying with instruments and playing games. This quarter will focus heavily on musical opposites like high and low, loud and soft, and fast and slow.

2nd Grade is continuing to accompany songs with harmony on pitched percussion. We are composing short rhythmic and melodic patterns and we will use form and our own creations in class to make original music.

3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will be introduced to ukuleles this quarter! They will accompany songs of various difficulties for each grade level. We will accompany songs we have already learned in class, and we will be learning new songs. We will use ukuleles along with other instruments to create a full ensemble experience with multiple instruments at once. Students will be working hard to focus on their individual parts and seeing how it matches into a full piece of music.


Mr. Anthony Carlton

Physical Education (P.E.)

Hello Jenkins Families,

We had a fantastic walk to school day on October 6th. During encore, students walked the car rider loop and interacted with hopscotch, a lava pit, an obstacle course, and a zombie walk. The chalk drawn activities provided students with different physical activities that added a challenge to the walk. Throughout November and December, students will continue to interact with different manipulatives during physical activities. Students will build on the locomotor, manipulative, and fitness skills taught in the first quarter. We are excited to introduce students to the game of bowling, a lifelong sport! Students will be participating in other throwing, catching, and non-locomotor activities. We continue to focus on providing students with the skills and activities needed for enjoyment in physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle.

Many thanks,

Coach Bowman and Coach Thomas


Our Jenkins artists are continuing colorful projects in the art room. Kindergarten drew and painted Owls at Night, using watercolors, crayons, and sharpies. First graders learned about Pablo Picasso and created cubism-inspired portraits in class and are finishing up pumpkin patch drawings using color sticks now. Second grade learned about Henri Matisse and designed pattern-filled still life drawings with 3D flowers. We used mixed media to include markers, pattern papers, construction paper, and tissue paper to create a colorful composition. We are finishing up Zentangle pumpkins with liquid watercolors and reviewing warm and cool colors presently. Third grade finished our Mehndi hand designs and have been working with color pencils to learn about the art element Value in class, creating value shading designs. Fourth grade has been messy while designing our own scratchboard from scratch. Using birds as a subject matter, they are designing with sharpies and oil pastels, then covering the entire work in acrylic paint and scratching their designs back through. What a cool way to use line in art! Fifth grade is inspired by the works of Bradley Eastman, also known as “Beastman”, an Australian muralist. We are working with tempera paints and using monochromatic colors to create dynamic block paintings in art class.

Please remember to wear old cloths on art days as we are usually working with messy materials while creating beautiful work!

Many thanks,

Mrs. Weldner

Parent Teacher Organization

Welcome to Quarter 2 of the 21-22 school year at Jenkins Elementary. The Jenkins Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is looking forward to providing engaging and enjoyable events and fundraisers for all students and families this year. We are off to a great start as we have already wrapped up our Spirit Wear Gear, Fall Book Fair and our awesome Revised Monster Mash event. Even though the weather derailed our plans, students had a blast dressing up and receiving sweet treats from class to class. A big "Thank you" to all of the families and staff members who sent in candy for this event. We truly couldn't have done it without you!

In order to ensure the remainder of our events are successful, we need your continued support and assistance this year. As a reminder, if you have not already joined the PTO, you can do so here through the new online system. For more information on how to use the online payment system, please see use these instructions.

Thank you to everyone who attended the October PTO meeting. We saw lots of new faces and had good contributions from everyone. Our main focus this year is to support all students by sponsoring and organizing fundraising and school events to deepen our community spirit and engagement. This absolutely extends to our fantastic teachers and staff. During this unusual school year and the unprecedented times that are affecting us all, it is more important than ever that we show our love, appreciation and gratitude for each other. With that in mind, the PTO is requesting that parents (and students!) take time when they are able to send notes of appreciation to their teachers and Jenkins Staff members. Something as simple as a handwritten note can go a long way in brightening someone's day. A cutout of our Buzz mascot on a notecard will be available in the front office and will be sent home with your child. Please send it back with your child and their teacher will send it to the front office. All “Shout-Outs” will be posted on the “PTO Board” in the school building coming soon.

If you have ideas for fundraising or a school event/activity for Spring 2022, please use this form to add your ideas. A member of the PTO may connect with you to learn more.

Upcoming Events:

Our next PTO meeting will be December 14th at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to attend our PTO meeting, and need interpretation in a language other than Spanish, please let us know so that we can ensure that an interpreter is present. Please click on this PTO Meeting Zoom link to join. Meeting ID: 875 9502 3688 and Passcode: 151223

*This will be a recurring meeting on the second Tuesday of each month, so the link will be the same each month. Principal McFadden will still resend the link as a reminder before each meeting.

PTO Board Members:

President: Candice Cooper

Vice President: Kadie Dumbuya

Secretary: Amanda Ross

Bookkeeper: Elaine Smith

Staff Liaison: Angela Savage