Mintz Elementary School Newsletter

January 2021

Important Dates/Events

January 4th, 2021 - Students Return - Welcome Back!

January 11th - Virtual Family Event - School Advisory Council

January 14th - End of 2nd Quarter

January 15th - Non-Student Day

January 18th - No School, MLK Jr. Holiday

January 19th - Beginning of Semester 2. Students returning to campus begin on-site learning.

January 28th - Conference Night 4-7 PM

Early Release Mondays

Each Monday is an Early Release day. Your child is released at 12:55 PM. Parents, please set a reminder on your phone or smartwatch to remember these days--It's easy to get busy and forget.


January 4th

January 11th

January 18th

January 25th

News from Ms. Moltisanti

Happy New Year, families! We hope everyone had a wonderful Winter Break!

Based on guidance from the Department of Health-Hillsborough and after consultation with our partners at TGH/USF Health, the district will implement a new 10-day quarantine period upon our return from Winter Break on January 4th.

Beginning on January 4th, students and staff who are directed to quarantine due to exposure, will be permitted back to school on day 11, after completing their 10-day quarantine if they remain symptom-free.

If an immediate family member or a student tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know right away so we can begin appropriate quarantine and cleaning procedures.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our families for working with us during this time. Although we have had a few positive cases among both staff and students, we have not seen the virus spreading at school. I believe that is due to our all wearing masks faithfully, practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and thorough cleaning by our custodial staff. That has created a WIN-WIN for all of us.

We welcome two teachers to our faculty. Shanelle Webb, who has been a long time para here at Mintz, has completed her final teaching internship and is now working as a teacher in a first grade class. Kendra Kunze is joining us in fourth grade, as Rob Sanders made the decision to retire in December.

We hope you consider joining our 7 Habits for Families events that are coming up in this second half of the year. Dr. Covey's work is as important for adults and families as it is for our kids.

Keeping Children First,

Debbie Moltisanti

7 Habits for Families Virtual Event

Monday, Jan. 11th, 6:30-8:30pm

This is an online event.

We are excited to announce our first virtual family night sponsored by our SAC. We will focus on Habit 1: Be Proactive.

English Zoom:

Meeting ID: 891 0473 6061

Passcode: SaC#2020

Espanol Zoom:

Meeting ID: 846 1662 1198

Passcode: BVx$=2UT

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Habit 3-Put First Things First

Personal Management

Put First Things First is at the heart of effective self-management. It's the ability to organize our time around the most important things. Identify those things that are your highest priorities, your Big Rocks. Is it school, family, sports? Then you will want to schedule your time to make those a priority. Highly effective people focus on their highest priorities because they spend more time on the important. Eliminate the unimportant from your day. If what you are spending time on is not important and it is not empowering your life, then let it go. Some examples of the distractors and time-wasters might be watching TV, playing video games, reading junk emails, social media apps, etc. Next, plan every week to ensure that the most important items get your time and energy. Schedule time for homework or study, practice time, time with family and friends, etc. Finally, stay true in the moment of choice. When a friend comes knocking on your door to play but you know that you're scheduled time for sports practice, don't give in to the temptation to play; stick to your goals and schedule time to play later. You will proud of your commitment to your goals and what you can achieve when you organize your time.

Family Activity:

Make a list of things you do that are time wasters.

What is appealing about these activities? Are they fun? Do they make you feel comfortable?

Now determine how much time each day you might spend on these items. What could you do instead if you had that time back? Could you learn an instrument, or practice a sport, or focus on your health by walking or biking?

Mid Year iReady Diagnostic Assessments - K - 2

Students in grades K-2 are scheduled to take the i-Ready Secure Diagnostic in Reading and Mathematics. The window opens on January 4th.

To help your child prepare for these diagnostics, make sure they get a good night’s rest, eat breakfast, and are reminded to not rush through the assessment. Students should plan to use headphones as well to minimize other noise distractions.

eLearning-Please refer to your child’s diagnostic assessment schedule published on your child’s Canvas page. It is important that your child does not access the diagnostic without teacher supervision. Students that complete the diagnostic without teacher supervision could result in voiding the test and retaking the assessment.

On-Site Learners-Your child's diagnostic will take place during the school day and will be monitored by your child's teacher. Please contact your child's teacher for the exact date of assessments.

For more specific questions regarding your child’s i-Ready testing, please contact your child’s teacher.

ESOL - English Language Learners

Developing Reading Stamina

With the upcoming scheduled winter break, an opportunity arises for students to build their reading stamina. Reading stamina is a child’s ability to focus and read independently for longer periods of time, without being distracted or without distracting others. This is particularly important for English Language Learners because as they move into higher grades, having reading stamina will help them build their self-confidence, as well as give them the tools to be successful readers. Here are some activities from Reading Rockets that you can begin establishing at home to help your child develop his/her stamina:

1.Vary the way reading is done. A combination of having your child “read to himself/herself, read to someone, and listen to reading,” should make up the reading time for new or struggling readers.

2.Set reasonable goals. When starting out, limit book time to just a few minutes and work up from there for younger children. For elementary-aged readers, a good idea is to start with 10-15 minutes of reading time and work up from there. Create a chart or graph with your child and have them share how many minutes they want to increase their time each week.

3.Lastly, make to celebrate. Celebrate the time that they have spent reading, by sharing the news with friends and family, or celebrate by having them share their favorite book or a chapter with you.

Con las próximas vacaciones de invierno programadas, surge una oportunidad para que los estudiantes construyan su resistencia lectora. La resistencia a la lectura es la capacidad de un niño para enfocarse y leer de forma independiente durante períodos de tiempo más largos, sin distraerse o sin distraer a los demás. Esto es particularmente importante para los estudiantes de inglés porque a medida que avanzan en grados más altos, tener resistencia lectora les ayudará a desarrollar su confianza en sí mismos, así como les dará las herramientas para ser lectores exitosos. Estas son algunas actividades de Reading Rockets que puede comenzar a establecer en casa para ayudar a su hijo a desarrollar su resistencia:

1.Variar la forma en que se hace la lectura. Una combinación de que su hijo "se lea a sí mismo, lea a alguien y escuche la lectura" debe compensar el tiempo de lectura para los lectores nuevos o con dificultades.

2.Establezca metas razonables. Al comenzar, limite el tiempo del libro a solo unos minutos y trabaje desde allí para los niños más pequeños. Para los lectores de edad primaria, una buena idea es comenzar con 10-15 minutos de tiempo de lectura y trabajar desde allí. Cree una tabla o gráfico con su hijo y pídale que comparta cuántos minutos desea aumentar su tiempo cada semana.

3.Por último, hacer para celebrar. Celebre el tiempo que han pasado leyendo, compartiendo las noticias con amigos y familiares, o celebre haciendo que compartan su libro o capítulo favorito con usted.

Mintz Media Center Canvas Course

If your student has not enrolled in the Mintz Media Center canvas course, please take a moment to do so using this link -- This will allow your child easy access to many resources including ebooks, safe research sites, and more.


Makerspace focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math by promoting problem-solving skills and tasks that engage the learner. Mintz Elementary's Makerspace is open, but with some new protocols for safety. Students will no longer be able to share supplies but will be able to pick up materials to take home. When a student comes to the Media Center to check out library books, they can also locate materials from Makerspace to bring home and complete the task.


First-grade readers completed a book box reading activity that showcased five award-winning books and was asked to vote for their favorite selection. According to the Mintz Elementary 1st graders, the best book was...."We Don't Eat Our Classmates" by Ryan T. Higgins.

SLAM Showcase

Fourth-grade students are reading this year's Sunshine State Young Readers Award-Winning books for the countywide SLAM Showcase. Students can earn a VIP badge, which will grant them access to Mrs. Howell's pop-up SLAM celebrations by testing on the books as they read! Also, students will have the opportunity to compete in this year's virtual SLAM, Student Literacy and Media Showcase event, by creating a 2D art project or a digital book trailer, in response to any of the 15 SLAM books. Please encourage your child to read all of the SLAM books. Who will be the first student pictured on the SLAM Wall of Fame?!