Susitna Elementary News


December 4, 2015

Volume 3, Issue 4

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Dear Susitna Families -

As we enter the hustle and bustle of another holiday season, I want to encourage you to take time to read with your child. The opportunity for these shared moments will not last forever, so take advantage of them now. Reading with your child is one of the most important things you can do, even if he or she is an independent reader. Each year at this time, I go into each classroom to share a book and treat. This has become a special tradition we all look forward to sharing. I encourage you to make reading together a special, treasured tradition in your child’s life.

If you are looking for a perfect way to usher in a season of “glad tidings,” then plan to attend out Winter Wonderland next Friday night! Our Susitna singers and dancers will be showcasing their talent, while our PTA offers special “surprises” and hosts a wonderful gift and basket silent auction.

Next week, our students will be participating in Code Day. Students get the opportunity to use computers to practice computer coding. Students may even find themselves featured on the news for their STEMulating (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning. If you want to have a little fun with computer programming, we invite you to go to at home, too!

On behalf of the Susitna staff, we wish you a restful winter break and hope you enjoy this time with your children. For the New Year, we wish you health and happiness and hope the winter recess offers opportunities for you and your children to do things you might not be able to do when school is in session. Have a holiday season full of love, peace, and joy!

Warmest Wishes,

Kim Bautista

Upcoming Dates of Importance


3rd - Subway Lunch Celebration

4th - November Student Birthday Celebration

6th - Choir performance at Barnes and Noble at 2:45 pm

7th - 11th - Worldwide Hour of Code - Susitna Participating!!

8th - Choir on the Road - ASD Education Center, and Ted Stevens International Airport,

11th - Winter Wonderland - - Choir and Dance performance for Winter's Arts at 6:30 pm (performers report by 6:10), with silent auction and "surprises" from PTA!

Gym - Holiday treats & cider, silent auction, and photo booth

14th - Last day of Choir - Field trip to carol at Marlow Manor

15th - 4/5 and 5th graders to Van Gogh Exhibit at Anchorage Museum

17th - K/1 Optional Learning Lunch

18th - Jan 3rd Christmas Break NO School! Have a happy and safe holiday


The speed limit is only 5 mph.

Car riders should be dropped off in the car rider lane, AND PLEASE PULL FORWARD! Please do not park in the car rider drop-off lane - it's just a "stop, drop, and roll" along lane!! If you want to walk your child into the building, just park and use the crosswalk. Thank you!

Worldwide Hour of Code

Susitna is proud to participate again in The Hour of Code the week of December 7 - 11. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. These one-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages to introduce students to computer science, demystify computer coding, and show that anybody can learn the basics. Every student will have the opportunity to participate in age appropriate lessons to nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. Participating in Hour of Code is another way we are trying to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in our school community. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st Century career path.
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Police Navidad Performance

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Musical Notes

Choir news:

Susitna Singers had a great performance at Police Navidad this saturday! Thanks for all that attended to support us.

Join us at Barnes and Noble this Sunday Dec. 6th at 2:45pm. Susitna Singers will join Lake Hood Choir in spreading winter cheer. Performance should last 30 minutes.

On Tuesday Dec. 8th our Susitna Singers will tour the city stopping to sing at Boniface Education Center, Dimond Center, and the Ted Stevens International Airport. For times and more information email

Friday December 11th Susitna Singers perform for the school assembly at 9:30 am. Then join us for Winter Wonderland at 6:30pm. See flyer below for more information.

Monday Dec. 14th is our last choir meeting. We will finish the season with a walking tour to Marlow Manor. We will leave Susitna at 3:40pm and should be ready for pick up at Marlow Manor at 4:30pm, or at Susitna at 5pm. Don't forget your winter gear!!

It has been a blast working with your children this year. Mr. Aaron, Ms. Haskell and I have thoroughly enjoyed it!


Third graders will join our fourth and fifth graders in playing recorder during third quarter. If your child would like to own a recorder of their own, please fill out the following order form and send it in to Miss Vanderpool. If the form is not received by the end of January, your child will still be able to purchase, but they will only have select colors available. I will be making the order December 15th. For questions or concerns contact

Shawnee Vanderpool

Susitna Music

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Begich Concert Schedule

Begich students are having many winter concerts this year and they would like to let Susitna know about them. Susitna 5th graders are especially invited to go check it out for next year. Any and all families interested in some holiday cheer are invited as well.

All at 7:00 pm at Begich Auditorium

Dec. 8th Orchestra

Dec. 10 Intermediate/Advanced Band

Dec. 15 Beginning Band

Dec. 16 Choir


Susitna Music

Barnes and Noble Choir Performance

'Tis the season to be singing, and that's exactly what our Susitna Singers will be doing on Sunday, December 6th at 2:45 pm. at Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Please come and cheer on Susitna Singers. The performance is only 30 minutes, and it is free to the community. Barnes and Noble is located at 200 E. Northern Lights Blvd, 99503. On the corner of A street and Benson on Northern Lights Blvd. Come and cheer the Susitna singers on!
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Healthy Futures News

Sqord Challenges

Ms. Jennifer's class won the class vs. class challenge during November and won extra sledding time at the end of the day. This month there will be a boys vs girls challenge. Girls will be trying to defend their title!!! Boys are working to gain bragging rights. Everyone get out there and keep exercising.

Sqords on Sale

SQORDs are on sale from now until Dec. 31st for 20% off! Go to Use the ASD discount code (SqordAlaska15) for an additional 10% off. The code works on the bands and accessories that are on sale, too! For people of all ages!

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Junior Native Youth Olympics

Starting in January Junior Native Youth Olympics will start training to compete. Permission slips will be going home this month with more information. Looking to have a large team to represent our school at the event. This will be an after school training program. Hope to see many of our wonderful Susitna students after school. For more information email Mr. Putman.

Mr. Putman

Susitna PE

News from Health

I would like to invite any parents/guardians who may have questions or concerns regarding the Human Growth and Development Unit given during the month of February 8-19, to a Parent Preview Night. It will be offered on the evening of January 11th, 2016 from 4-6 p.m. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

Jake Peterson
Health Teacher Susitna Elementary School

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News from the Librarian

I have been teaching your child(ren) how to use OverDrive in the library. With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from the Anchorage School District's digital collection. All you need to get started is an Internet connection and student ID. You may access the ASD digital library at: or from a free OverDrive App. I have sent home permission slips, but I have also included one in this newsletter. Please read and sign the slip below, return it to the library and I will send home detailed information on OverDrive along with your child's access number and code. Take advantage of this free digital libraray and use it from home, on travels or anywhere! I will be happy to help you get started. Stop by the library or call me at 742-1400.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Benfield,


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Annual ASD Book Mark Contest

Investigate@your library is the 2015 - 2016 theme for the annual bookmark design contest sponsored by the ASD librarians. This contest is open to all ASD students in grades K - 12. The winning designs in the four brackets will be reproduced and distributed to ASD schools. The official rules are on the ASD web site. Your child(ren) will have the opportunity to use their imagination and create an individual bookmark with any ideas relating to reading, literacy and the love of the library the first week in December in library class. If you have questions please call me or stop by the library.

With Luck!

Mrs. Benfield,


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District News

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New Communication Options

Anchorage School District is providing new electronic options to communicate quickly and easily with our families. You can receive texts from your school and from the district for late bus information, weather related school closures, important school news and events. Click on the link to opt-in for this new feature.

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Notice to Parents:

In order to comply with FERPA rules, we must notify parents of the district’s procedures

related to records transfer. As part of their notification, we are changing the language

in the student handbook to read as follows:

“No Child Left Behind requires all school districts to transfer information related to

student suspensions and expulsions in addition to academic records when students

transfer to any public or private elementary, middle, or high school. When transferring

their students, parents do have the right to request a copy of the information that was

disclosed to the new school.”

News from the Community

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Anchorage School Board

Kameron Perez-Verdia - President

Tam Agosti-Gisler

Eric Croft

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins

Kathleen Plunkett

Elisa Snelling

Superintendent - Ed Graff

School Business Partners