Susitna Elementary News


April 5th, 2018

Volume 4, Issue 8

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 -

Our students are zipping right into Spring! It was awesome to recognize many students for their academic and, social progress, and even more students for perfect attendance! Thank you to the parents and family members who took time out of their busy schedules to attend and cheer at the assemblies. We have a great community of compassionate learners. This week we are talking about folks outside of school who support our students. During announcements, students remind each other daily by sharing examples of people who support them. We heard many nice things about many of you. Please continue to reinforce this at home. Way to go, Susitna!

Our school schedule has changed just a little bit - the 8:45 a.m. bell will tell students to line up appropriately at the doors. At 8:47 students will come inside to take off their outside gear and hang up their backpacks. Teachers will welcome students into their classrooms at 8:50 to have breakfast and start the day. Please consider dropping your students off just a couple of minutes later to help support this minor change. Thank you.

PEAK Testing - our state's annual testing for 3rd - 10th graders is nearly done. Next week we have a few make-up assessments and then we can put it away for this year. I really appreciate everyone's scheduling flexibility and hard work to prepare. Thank you for getting your children here on time and encouraging them to do their best. Results should be available near the end of the school year.

Walkathon - The 3rd Annual Walkathon is coming next month. We are in the process of finalizing our school needs and a flyer will go home soon with more details. Last year Susitna students earned money by being physically active. We raised nearly $8,000 that was put to use purchasing new PE equipment, musical instruments, library books and more. It was a huge success and we had a lot of fun in the sun staying active and benefitting our school.

We are trying to embed links into the newsletter to make it shorter. So wherever you see the heading and it says link you can click on it for more information.

Please read on to see more of the latest happenings at Susitna, and enjoy the pictures we've included in this issue of our newsletter!


Diane Hoffbauer

Students reminding our school community about social emotional learning (SEL) standards.
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Stone Soup Yummy!!!

2nd Grade students in Ms. Dottie and Mr. Froehlich's classes enjoyed making and eating Stone Soup after reading several versions of the old folktale, Stone Soup.

Upcoming Dates of Importance


6th - Popcorn Friday and Yearbook ordering ends

9th - Dreamer Spotted Subway lunches,

9th - March Birthday celebration

9th - Club Ki'L

13th - 8:00 a.m. School safety meeting

13th - Bear Safety Assembly

16th - Club Ki'L

17th - OPT K/1 Learning Breakfast

17th - Annual Meeting

17th - retreat all day

18th - Visit from Begich Counselors 2 pm for 5th graders

19th - Olive Garden Lunch Party for winners of Pennies for Patients

19th - Walkathon pledge sheet goes home

20th - UAA Kids to College (Mott, Anteau, Therriault)

20th - Optional Family Dance 6-8pm

23rd - Club Ki'L

25th - Jump Rope for Heart kick-off assembly

25th - Kindergarten Roundup 4 pm

26th - Begich Middle School Open House 5:30-7 P.M. (see flyer)

27th - Highland Academy Open House (9 - 12:00)

27th - Super Sweepers

30th - Army Rock Band concert

30th - Club Ki'L


1st - OPT - PACT and Community Partnership

2nd - Last day to check out library books from Susitna Library

2nd - First-grade field trip to zoo

3rd - Susitna Jump Rope for Heart event

4th - Dreamer Spotted Subway lunch and April birthday celebration

6th - 12th - Susitna Educators Appreciation Week (teachers and anyone who works with your child here at Susitna)

8th - Second grade to AK Native Heritage Center

9th - Walkathon

9th - Bike to School Day

10th - 11th - Optional Intensives

11th - Popcorn Friday

11th - Susitna Orff Concert (2 pm and 6:30 pm)

11th - May, June, July birthday celebration

13th - Mother's Day

15th - Optional 5th Grade Trip - Birchwood Camp

15th - PTA meeting

16th - All library books returned to Susitna Library

16th - Optional Jump Up Tea

17th - 5th Grade Kick Ball

18th - Field Day K-2 in the a.m. and 3-5 in the p.m.

21st - Dreamer Spotted Subway lunch

21st - Fourth quarter awards assemblies

22nd - Optional Bike Trip

22nd - Optional K/1 Celebration

23rd - 5th Grade Completion



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Talent show

We have some fabulous talents at Sustina Elementary.

Thank you for participating in the talent show

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All 5th-grade parents, students and families are invited to attend the Open House for Incoming Students at Nicholas J Begich Middle School on Thursday, April 26th from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. You are encouraged to arrive on time for the Greeting from Begich Administration and Introduction of 6th grade Instructional Staff. Then enjoy tours of the building, including the PE department, Music Department, and 6th-grade classrooms. Following the tours, students will be invited into the classrooms for learning more about Student Connect while Parents and Guardians attend an informational session on Parent Connect.

~Parent and Guardians are also highly encouraged to download the ASD App and add Begich as a school to follow. Information about the app can be found at .

Begich communication tools also include their website, and social media sites including FaceBook (, Twitter (@BegichMiddle) and Instagram (@begichsnowleopard)

~Snow Leopard Camp, the orientation camp for incoming sixth graders is scheduled July 30 - Aug 2 from 10 am - 2 pm. This is a free orientation camp which includes lunch and busing. More information and registration forms will be available about Snow Leopard Camp at the Open House for Incoming Students on April 26th.

Musical Notes

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All things musical .......

Yearbooks On Sale Now

Yearbooks are getting ready!

Your yearbook committee has been hard at work preparing our yearbook to commemorate this year at Susitna. The price of the yearbook is $15. Every student was sent with a form to fill out and order the yearbooks. You can also Order Online at with Yearbook ID Code 12937318. Yearbooks will be available in the office for $20 after April, 15th, 2018.

Please remember without a signed media release your child will not be pictured in the yearbook. The forms can be signed in the office anytime.

Physical Education Activities

Dodgeball Club

K-2 is on Mondays 3:30-4:30 P.M.

3-5 is on Wednesdays 3:30-4:30 P.M.

Dodgeball will run from Monday, April 9th - Wednesday, May 2nd. Please pick up your child promptly by 4:30 P.M. If your child is not picked up by 4:30 pm the first time is a warning, the 2nd time a student will no longer be able to attend this club. We had nearly 75 students apply for the K-2 group. Since we could only take 50 (as was on the flyer), we held a computer-based lottery. The remaining students were put on a waitlist and may be called if other students choose to not participate.


Chris Putman

Susitna Elementary Physical Education

News from the Librarian

Overdue library books

Dear Parents,

FYI on end of the year overdue library books.

The last day for children to check out library books for this school year is Wednesday, May 2, 2018. All library books need be returned by Wednesday, May 16th. This is a standard ASD date that applies to all schools. If the book(s) is/are not found, the fee to replace the book(s) will need to be paid. In past years, students who have not returned their book(s) or paid the book replacement fee(s) stay in the library during part of their Field Day activity on May 18th and work off the amount owed by dusting, sharpening pencils, shelving books... I highly encourage students to be responsible by asking them to search and return their library book(s) before Field Day Friday. Book overdue notices will be sent home frequently in May. This policy works well, and children actually look for their overdue library books when faced with losing out on a Fun Field Day. Please help your child be responsible by encouraging on-time book return. All of us count on students returning borrowed books so other children and staff may read them next school. If you have any questions about this supported book policy, please call or email me.

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Benfield


News From The NURSE

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Food Allergies


I want to talk to you about meal accommodations for food allergies and food preferences. The meal accommodations form says that a recognized “Medical Authority” (physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner) must fill out a Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and /or Accommodations form and it must be returned to the school.

ASD has an obligation to provide alternative foods to those students who have a true disability. Anaphylactic shock is considered a true disability. A person with a disability is described as, “Having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

The request for special meals specifically says that the district is not obligated to provide food substitutions to those students who are not disabled and have a simple food allergy. Allergies that result in a rash are not considered a disability unless it is associated with anaphylaxis. The district tries to accommodate all health concerns, food preferences, and religious preferences, however, by law; they are only required to make accommodation for disabilities. Our cafeteria manager has almost 500 students to oversee for food disabilities, allergies, and preferences. It is not an easy task.

It is your responsibility as a parent to keep the teacher, the nurse and the cafeteria manager informed of requests for accommodations. It is also your responsibility to teach your child what he can and cannot eat and encourage him or her to avoid food at school that he or she is not supposed to eat. The cafeteria manager receives a copy of the Medical Statement form from the medical authority. The original form goes in the cum folder to be transferred with the child when he/she changes schools. If you do not supply the form, there is not one on record.

Parents who have a child with a disability need to supply the nurse with an epinephrine pen if the disability is due to a potential anaphylactic reaction. In addition, a care plan from the medical authority must be supplied authorizing the nurse to administer the pen if necessary (or a teacher who has been trained to use the pen, if the child is on a field trip). When a child does not have an epi-pen at school and there is an emergency, life-threatening time is wasted before the paramedics arrive. A few minutes or even a few seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

Any assistance you can provide to our staff to keep your child safe from life-threatening disabilities is greatly appreciated. Please keep us informed about food disabilities or other accommodations. Also, take the opportunity to thank classroom teachers, the cafeteria manager, and others for doing such a great job of making food substitutions for your child/children when they are requested.

Thank you,

Anne McCarron RN (907 742-1401)

STEM Night

STEM night was Thursday, March 29th. We had hands-on activities and information from community agencies. We also celebrated our school's science fair projects - over 80 students participated in science experiments. Thanks to community members who helped us judge the projects.

Kristi Therriault

4th Grade Teacher

Susitna Elementary School

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Anchorage School Board

Tam Agosti-Gisler - President

Elisa Snelling

Starr Marsett

Kathleen Plunkett

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Superintendent - Dr. Deena Bishop

School Business Partners