Alpenglow School Newsletter

October 2021

Home of the Snow Leopard

Alpenglow is committed to educating all students in a safe and supportive learning environment. Academic achievement is fostered through engaging instruction and social-emotional learning. The Alpenglow community nurtures relationships through the collaborative partnership between students, staff, parents, and community.

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that our school is on the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Athabascan people. It is with gratitude and respect that we recognize the past and present contributions of Alaska’s first people. Chin/an (thank you).

From the Principal

Dear Snow Leopards,

It is that time of year. The leaves are falling, there is a chill in the air and early snow on the ground. The daylight is becoming shorter and shorter. Fall is in full swing. It is hard to believe that the end of the first quarter is around the corner, so are parent-teacher conferences. As I walk through the halls and visit classrooms, I am impressed by the teaching and learning that is taking place. In this edition, please find important information about parent/teacher conferences, safety protocols, and winter preparation.

Best regards,

Denise Demetree-Trombley


The relationship between parents and teachers is vital to student’s learning. At parent-teacher conferences coming up Wednesday, October 20th, and Thursday, October 21st, you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher one-on-one. On conference days students are released from school at 12:30. There is no school on Friday, October 22nd.

Conferences are a time when important people in your child’s life can talk about how they are doing in school. It’s a chance for you to ask questions about the class or your child’s progress. It is also a time for you and the teacher to work together as a team to discuss ways you both can help your son or daughter.

Here are eight questions you might ask your child’s teacher:

  1. What will you cover in this grade or subject this year?

  2. What are your expectations for homework?

  3. Has my child missed any assignments?

  4. How are my child's work habits?

  5. Does my child read at the level you would expect for this grade?

  6. Is my child able to do the math you would expect for this grade?

  7. Is my child in different groups for different subjects?

  8. Does my child get along well with other students?

“You gain the perspective of a trained professional who spends an enormous amount of time with your child”, says Grace Marie Rozea, New York State region director for the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

Parent-teacher conferences are an important component of ongoing home-school communication and family involvement and one of the best ways to ensure that your child’s school experience is successful. Together, with your child’s teacher, you can help your child have a great school year. Please visit the online scheduler at: to access the Conference Scheduler. The online Conference Scheduler will be available for your convenience beginning Monday, October 4, 2021. Early Scheduling offers you the opportunity to secure conference times that work best for your family.


I want to take a few moments to explain the practices and protocols we have in place to

keep everyone safe and prepared. We conduct three safety drills: an evacuation drill, an earthquake drill, and either a lockdown or stay-put drill.

  1. An evacuation drill (once a month) – an alarm is sounded and students, staff, and visitors evacuated the building and meet in a central location. We have a main route and a secondary route. We inform the fire department and the alarm security company of this and the office staff check the building. Teachers take their emergency backpack filled with supplies along with a current class roster with them for these drills. There are procedures in place for locating students who may not be with their homeroom class when the evacuation takes place (i.e. visiting the nurse or in the restroom).

  2. An earthquake drill (once per semester) - for this drill a surprise announcement is made in which students and staff duck, cover, and hold either under tables or against walls. In the event of a real earthquake, students and staff will know what to do. Again, the office staff checks each classroom.

  3. A lockdown and stay-put drill (once per semester) – Again, for this drill, a surprise announcement is made. For both these drills, the classroom doors and the exterior doors are locked. The stay-put indicates a concern in the community, but not in the building. Learning continues in the classroom, but hallway passing is limited and only under an adult escort. The lockdown indicates a building security concern. The children, along with the teacher, locate themselves out of sight of all windows and doors. For both these drills, the front office staff checks the building and all rooms.

  4. An A.L.I.C.E. drill (once per quarter) – This drill an announcement is made before the drill takes place. During this drill, everyone will evacuate the building and walk to our primary rally point which is the parking lot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Driftwood Bay Drive.

We will do our first A.L.I.C.E. drill on Tuesday, October 12 at 9:30 am. More information will be coming out soon.

In the event of a catastrophic disaster, we have an emergency plan in place. The plan is

updated each August and staff is trained. We hold a monthly safety committee meeting and welcome parent input.

Practice develops automaticity. This is why we practice these safety drills on a continual basis.


At the conclusion of the morning announcements each day, I remind students to Be Safe, Be Respectful and Kind, Be Responsible and Be Ready. These four guiding principles represent the framework that governs our school’s positive behavior expectations. We are a caring learning community that needs each person to take an active role in establishing and maintaining a positive school climate. Please help us reinforce safe and respectful behaviors at Alpenglow Elementary School.

Be Safe is our number one priority. Being safe means, we are following classroom, school, and district rules. We will not bully; we will help others who are bullied; we will include others who are easily left out; when we know someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.

Be Respectful and Kind means we need to be very careful with each other and very intentional about how we speak and act toward others and ourselves. Treating others the same as you would want them to treat you is key. We honor each person’s unique experiences and gifts. We are in many ways alike, but we also celebrate and treasure our differences. We as adults are the role model of what respect and kindness look like.

Be Responsible means acting appropriately without guidance or supervision. Students don’t rely on adults to remind them when they’re supposed to be somewhere, what you’re supposed to bring or how you’re supposed to behave. You take responsibility. Being responsible means answering for your own actions. This means not making excuses or blaming others for what you do.

Be Ready means come to school ready to learn and make good choices.


The weather is getting cooler and it is time to start our preparation for winter’s arrival. As you begin to winterize your home, car, and garden to handle the winter weather, don’t forget to dig out those winter clothes for your child to wear on their way to and from school and during recess.

Please make sure your child comes to school prepared to spend 30 minutes outdoors. By ASD policy, we have outdoor recess unless the chill factor is below -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Exposure to cold weather can lead to tissue damage. The best prevention is wearing appropriate, well-fitting clothing (hat, jacket, gloves, snow pants, and boots) plus a face mask or scarf for especially sensitive skin.

Join the Team

Would you like to work at Alpenglow? We need you! We need Noon Supervisors to supervise and assist students during lunch and at recess to ensure student safety. The hours are Monday – Friday from 11:00 to 1:30. Please contact Mrs. Demetree-Trombley if you have any questions or plan to apply. You can find the application HERE.

We are also in great need of Substitute Teachers. Follow this LINK for more details and qualifications.

Dates to Remember

October is Anti Bullying, be Kind Month

Fridays – Wear Alpenglow school colors – black, teal, and white

  • Oct 4 - 11: Illustrating Alaska in the Library
  • Oct 8: Jog-a-thon
  • Oct 11: 15: Join your child in Gym class
  • Oct. 11: PTA meeting @ 3:45in the Library
  • Oct. 14 Original Artworks Due
  • Oct. 12: ALICE Drill @ 9:30
  • Oct. 15: No School
  • Oct. 18 – 21: Scholastic Book Fair
  • Oct. 20: Parent-Teacher Conference
  • Oct. 21: Parent-Teacher Conference
  • Oct. 22: No School
  • Oct 25 – 29: Haunted Gym
  • Oct. 28: Absent/Retake School Portraits
  • Oct. 29: Spirit Day – Dress as your favorite book Character or in your Halloween costume. No costume face masks or look-a-like weapons.
  • Nov 1 - 5: Ninja Course in Gym Class
  • Nov. 3: PTA meeting @ 3:45 in the Library
  • Nov. 3: All Pro Dads @ 6:30pn on Zoom
  • Nov. 5: Spirit Day – 50th day of school – Wear a white t-shirt, rolled-up blue jeans, and poodle skirts.
  • Nov. 7: Daylight Saving Time ends

PE News

News from the gym!

We had a very successful bike and scooter unit. This was the first time Alpenglow borrowed the district’s bike trailer. The trailer holds 36 adjustable bikes and helmets, plus we borrowed 24 scooters for the younger students. The students did very well. Those who could ride were excellent role models and assistants for those still learning. Younger students enjoyed “Alpenglow Town” on their scooters!

We did not request any volunteer help, however, we learned volunteers would have made the experience easier. Being a volunteer has changed over the past few years. For future events we would encourage you to complete the paperwork now, it will last the entire school year. In order to be a volunteer in the school district you need to complete a volunteer form and submit it to the district. Here are two links for you to follow; one will take you to the volunteer form and the other is the waiver and release. You’ll need to fill out both forms. If you complete the forms now, you’ll be able to volunteer for future events at the school. Attached are the links for the volunteer application, waiver and release.

We are looking forward to Family PE Week, October 11 - 14. Please note there is no school on Friday, October 15. We invite you to join your child/children during their PE class for some fun games. We suggest you wear layers as we might go outside for these classes. For this event you will need to wear a mask while in the building. Below is the PE schedule for your reference. We hope to see you!

Mrs. Besch - Tue 12:10 - 12:40, Wed & Thur 12:50 - 1:20

Mrs. Neff - Mon, Wed, & Thur 12:10 - 12:40

Mrs. Sandoval - Mon, Tue, & Fri 12:10 -12:40

Mrs. Lawson - Tue 12:55 - 1:25, Wed 1:35 - 2:05, Thur 1:50 - 2:20

Mrs. Petrie - Mon 1:10 - 1:40, Tue 12:55 - 1:25, Fri 1:40 - 2:10

Mrs. Frost - Tue 1:30 -2:15, Fri 2:35 - 3:20

Mrs. James - Mon 2:10 - 2:55, Tue 2:35 - 3:20

Mrs. Halfpenny - Mon 2:30 - 3:15, Wed 2:10 - 2:55

Mrs. Juarez - Mon 1:30 - 2:15, Tue 2:35 - 3:20

Mrs. Mahoney - Tue 10 - 10:45, Wed 9:10 - 9:55

Mr. Upicksoun - Mon & Tue 10 - 10:45

Mr. Smerekanich - Mon 9:10 - 9:55, Thur 9:45 - 10:30

Mrs. Williams - Wed & Fri 9:10 - 9:55

Mrs. Witherington - Tue 9:10 - 9:55, Fri 10 - 10:45

Mr. Bolog - Tue & Wed 10:50 - 11:35

Mrs Cook - Mon & Wed 10:50 - 11:35

Ms. Ward (Bell) - Mon & Tue 10:50 - 11:35

Big picture

News from the Nurse

Here are some up-dates and reminders regarding illness and Covid-19

Children can have Covid -19 without a fever or multiple symptoms.

More than half the students or family members who are testing positive usually start with allergy or cold type symptoms.

Any one symptom by itself can turn out to be Covid-19 related.

It is also more common than not for a person not to test positive for a few days even with symptoms. Thus, it is encouraged but not required to re-test with ongoing illness symptoms.

Please keep your children home for any one symptom off the CDC symptom list, or multiple illness symptoms. Please let the school know that your child is ill. Your child will need a negative PCR or molecular test to return to school. We DO NOT ACCEPT HOME TESTS OR ANTIGEN TEST RESULTS.

All results must be received by the school nurse or staff before a student may return to class. If students are sent to school and no tests results have been received, they will be kept out of class until those results have been received.

You can email test results to and/or print out a copy and have your son or daughter deliver them to the nurse’s office. It is always a good idea to have two forms of delivery if possible in-case the nurse is out sick.

Lastly, if your child has had Covid-19 in the last 90 days and they have illness symptoms, ASD does not require a negative Covid test to return to school.

Please care for your child as you would if there was no pandemic, and make sure the nurse has a copy of the last positive Covid-19 test.

Counselor's Corner

Alpenglow is exploring Social/Emotional Learning in many ways this year!

-Character Matters! program: Each month, classrooms explore a different character trait along with their SEL curriculum. In September, we learned more about ‘respect’. In October, we are focused on ‘kindness’. ‘Kindness’ is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Thank you for helping your student watch for examples of ‘kindness’ at home!. We would love to have those moments shared at school to remind us that ‘kindness’ can be found everywhere!

-Our first Zoom meeting for All Pro Dad is Wednesday, November 3rd, at 6:30 pm. We’re in our 2nd year of enjoying this schoolwide program that strengthens the connection between dads/father figures and their children. It helps you embrace who you are and be a hero to your kids! Go to to sign up for daily encouragements. Go to and find Alaska and the Alpenglow chapter to sign up for email announcements. Dads, please join us! The meetings are always fun, and we draw for prizes! The Zoom link for the November 3rd meeting will be made available within the next few weeks. See you there!

For counseling questions and more, please contact Jane Barber, school counselor: I am available on Mondays and Tuesdays, all day; Fridays, from 12:30 – 4pm; or call: 907-742-3300, or, 907-742-9533 (direct line). Thank you!

PTA News