Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

February 15, 2013

From the Principal

Greetings All,

As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, there were several Soldotna area schools configuration meetings during the first part of this month. Only Nine people attended the information meeting we held here at Tustumena but several of our parents attended the meeting held at Skyview where there were several dozen patrons. The objective of all the meetings was to inform the public and get input about the possibility of proposing a reconfiguration plan to the KPBSD Board of Directors. The basic elements of the proposal are to direct the students of the Soldotna area schools (Tustumena, Sterling, K-Beach, SO-EL, Soldotna Montessori and Redoubt) into two junior high schools designed for 7th through 9th grade students. These schools would then direct all area students to one high school. Many of the academic details are being worked out by district staff, but social and community type details such as mascots, colors, names, etc. would all be worked out by a representative committee if the overall proposal is accepted by the board. Details of the proposal and committee conversations can be found on the district website: http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=27294

In earlier newsletters, I also proposed the reduction of paper copies of this newsletter. Hard copies will always be available upon request and we will continue to provide them at the post office. The newsletter sent home on February 22, will be the last regular paper copy unless otherwise requested.

We would like to send out a big “Thank you!” to our Tustumena PTO and Rocky’s Café for providing meals for our staff during both of our Parent /Teacher conferences this year. It was very nice to sit down with our peers and share delicious food. We felt very spoiled.

Spring break is only three weeks away (March 11) and right before that is the KPBSD forensics match on March 2nd here at Tustumena. This will be a chance for us to showcase our great facility and community but to pull that off, we need you. If any parent could volunteer to help run the match, it would be greatly beneficial and appreciated. Contact me directly 260-1345, if you are interested.

Another highly anticipated event is the annual Sixth Grade vs. Staff Basketball game. On March 7, at 2pm, all stops will be pulled as this year’s sixth graders try to de-thrown the reigning champions, the Tustumena Staff Basketball team. I am looking forward to guarding the paint as the youthful, fast-footed, (but much smaller) team try to access the goal. It should be a good time and a great way to end the third quarter.

Finally, I understand that it is the tradition of Tustumena to take school pictures in the spring as well as in the fall. In the fall, we are required to use a standard photography company, but in the spring we have options. This year, my wife has volunteered to be the photographer. This means three things: 1- All the profits from the pictures will be given to our building PTO , 2- The picture packets will be less expensive and have an option of having the digital negative instead of the prints, and 3- the turn-around time will be very short. We have scheduled to take the pictures on March 26th. Each student will need to have their picture taken so we can include them in the yearbook even if you do not wish to purchase a set. Mrs. Hayman will be producing the yearbook as well. Thank you Mrs. Hayman.

Hope you are enjoying this winter/spring weather.

Doug Hayman

From Nurse Gayle

Dental Awareness Month

Brush Up On Healthy Teeth For Kids

1. _T or F_ All children older than 6 months should receive a fluoride supplement every day.

2. _T or F_ Parents should start cleaning their child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

3. _T or F_ Parents should start brushing their child’s teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride at age 3.

4. _T or F_ Children younger than 6 years should use enough toothpaste with fluoride to cover the toothbrush.

5. _T or F_ Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until the child can handle the toothbrush alone.

6. _T or F_ Young children should always use fluoride mouth rinses after brushing.


1. False. Check with your child’s doctor or dentist about your child’s specific fluoride needs. Parents of a child older than 6 months should discuss the need for a fluoride supplement with the doctor or dentist if drinking water does not have enough fluoride to help prevent cavities.

2. True. Start cleaning as soon as the first tooth appears. Wipe teeth every day with a clean, damp cloth. Switch to a small, soft toothbrush as more teeth come in.

3. False. Parents should start using toothpaste with fluoride to brush their child’s teeth at age 2. Toothpaste with fluoride may be used earlier if the child’s doctor or dentist recommends it.

4. False. Young children should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is important for fighting cavities, but if children younger than 6 years swallow too much fluoride, their permanent teeth may have white spots. Using no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride can help keep this from happening.

5. True. Children usually do not have the skill to brush their teeth well until around age 4 or 5. Parents should brush their young child’s teeth thoroughly twice a day until the child can handle the toothbrush alone.

6. False. Fluoride mouth rinses have a high concentration of fluoride. Children younger than 6 years should not use fluoride mouth rinses unless the child’s doctor or dentist recommends it. Young children tend to swallow rather than spit, and swallowing too much fluoride before age 6 may cause the permanent teeth to have white spots.

What Parents and Caregivers Can Do

Here are some things you can do to ensure good oral health for your child:

· Encourage your children to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.\

· Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride

· Talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants-they protect the teeth from decay

· If you are pregnant, get prenatal care & eat healthy diet

Coming up

  • Feb 15- Mighty Meatball- 5:30-7:30pm
  • Feb 19- PTO Meeting 4pm
  • Feb 25- Site Council meeting
  • Feb 26- 6th Grade Parent Night at SMS 6:30
  • March 2- District Forensics
  • March 5- SMS counselors w/6th graders
  • March 7- 6th grade vs staff basketball game 2pm
  • March 8- No School, Inservice- Collaboration
  • March 11-15- Spring Break
  • March 19 PTO Meeting 4pm
  • March 19- Lynx Tracks
  • March 26- Spring Pictures