The Eagle Soars

Sunflower Elementary - January 10, 2020

Things to Put on Your Calendar!

Friday, January 17 - 4th Grade to MLK Exhibit at City Hall

Monday, January 20 - Martin Luther King Day - No School

View our online calendar (select individual events for more details):

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Principally Speaking

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful break and has had a good start to the new year. Thank you parents and volunteers for assisting with our winter parties and helping to facilitate the Polar Express hot chocolate bar. December 20th was a huge hit and students really enjoyed themselves. Again, Sunflower staff is appreciative of your time and generosity.

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on our present circumstances and adopt resolutions designed for improvement. Our learning community is no different. At the start of the 2017-18 academic year, Sunflower teachers chose relationships (family engagement) and rigor (professional learning communities) as improvement initiatives associated with the state's accreditation process. This year, our goals were refined within the two broad categories and we continue to make progress in our pursuit to have a positive impact on the lives of our students, families, and staff.

In closing, watching your children flourish with the instruction and guidance of our teachers and staff, coupled with your encouragement and support is rewarding. I believe I have the best job in the world because I get to witness children of all ages (PreK-4th) grow academically, socially, emotionally, and physically over the course of a single school year. I am proud to be a part of the Sunflower learning community and am looking forward to a successful 2020!

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It is hard to believe that Kindergarten Rodeo is just around the corner on March 13, 2020!

We're doing things a little differently this year. We are combining the Kindergarten Round-Up and Rodeo into one event. There are two time slots that you will be able to choose from to attend.

To help us better plan for the 2020-21 school year, if you have an incoming kindergartner, please complete the link below. If you have a neighbor with an incoming kindergartner, feel free to share the link or direct them to our Sunflower website to complete the form. We can't wait to meet all of our incoming kindergarten Eagles!

2020-2021 Kindergarten Registration Survey

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What is MTSS?

Sunflower Elementary has developed and continues to refine a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) for reading, mathematics, behavior, and social/emotional learning. MTSS is an umbrella term describing an implementation framework to ensure all students are provided high-quality instruction and the necessary supports when they are not succeeding as expected with core instruction provided solely by grade level teachers. In simple terms, MTSS is a structure. It is not a curriculum or a single intervention. Instead, it is a framework incorporating a variety of supports to meet students where they are based on screening and classroom data.

At Sunflower, we are using a “walk-to-intervention” instructional delivery model. Our master schedule includes designated times for students across grade levels to receive the instructional support appropriate to their demonstrated need. At Sunflower we reference these academic blocks as Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) and What I Need (WIN) times. TEAM time for reading and math occur at specific times within our reading and math programming. WIN time for reading typically occurs during science and social studies 2-3 times per week. Intervention for both blocks occur in small groups either within or outside a student’s physical classroom. These groups are facilitated by teachers and support staff. We use the term “walk-to-intervention” to describe these blocks of time because all students receive direct instruction for specific skills or are participating in extension projects to deepen and enhance a grade level’s core instruction. Teachers routinely review student data and make adjustments to student groupings and instructional targets.

Communication between grade level teachers and families is paramount to student success. Teachers update families on the progress of their respective student throughout the year. Students not progressing as expected may be referred to the Student Improvement Team (SIT) for additional problem solving with families and to develop appropriate intervention supports. Questions regarding MTSS, SIT, or student progress in general can be directed to your child’s classroom teacher at any time.

FOCUS ON 2020!

Hey Sunflower Elementary! Welcome Back! We are continuing our Vocabulary Emphasis in 2020 and would like to know....


We are inviting families to brainstorm and share a FAMILY FOCUS WORD for 2020! This word can be a gentle reminder throughout the year to help your family concentrate on how you would like to have your year flow.

Please stop by the big bulletin board outside of the office to see what words our 3rd graders are focusing on...THEN....share your word at the "Hug and Kiss" table or simply post them on our Facebook page! Click HERE to go to our Facebook Page!

4th Grade will visit Gardner’s City Hall…

The City of Gardner will host an educational exhibit to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The exhibit, located in the City Hall Council Chambers, 120 E. Main St., will feature displays highlighting King’s life as it relates to the Civil Rights Movement, his distinct focus on service, and his death.

The space is very limited and will only accommodate the students and teachers on the afternoon of Friday, January 17, 2020. The bus will leave Sunflower at 2 pm and return by 3 pm.

The exhibit includes a children’s work/play area where young learners can advance their knowledge about King, and understand why he is commemorated each year.

If you would like attend this exhibit with your family or if you have any questions about the MLK exhibit, please contact the City of Gardner.

our supply of neckties is dwindling!

One of the prizes for Eagle Ticket Winner Prize Wheel is to get the chance to cut off Dr. Jones' necktie. He lost 4 ties all in one morning!!

He wanted to spread the word if anyone is cleaning out their neckties supply, to send them into the office!

If anyone would like to donate any old neckties that you don't wear anymore, please feel free to drop them off in the office. We'll put them to good use!

Tired of stepping on legos?

We are on the lookout for white legos! Actually any color of legos! Do you have older children who no longer use the legos stashed in the closet? We can use them in the LIT Lab if you are ready to purge!

Eagle Pride Assembly, Friday, January 24

The character traits for 2nd Quarter were Caring and Citizenship. At our 2nd Quarter Eagle Pride assembly on January 24, select students will be recognized for demonstrating these two character traits.
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Cold Weather and Recess Policy

With winter weather upon us, please review the information below from the elementary handbook regarding recess.

There will be no outside recess when:

  • The temperature is 20 degrees or below,
  • The wind chill index is 20 degrees or below, and/or
  • There is significant precipitation.

Teachers may take their class out briefly for fresh air at their discretion. Students should be prepared for sudden changes in Kansas weather. Dress appropriately!

Enroll Now for the Next Session of Young Rembrandts!

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coaches vs cancer

The high school basketball teams will be hosting a Coaches vs.Cancer walk at the home basketball game next Friday, January 17th! We are encouraging all students/teachers to tell their family members, friends, etc. to come walk. We would like anyone fighting cancer, any cancer survivors and anyone that would like to walk with them! The walk will be in between the girls and boys varsity games, so at approximately 7:00 pm. Please be there by 6:45 for instructions. We will also be taking donations that night to support the American Cancer Society, and there is a link below they can use to donate online as well! Thank you for your help and support with this! No one fights alone!

Sunflower Site Council Meetings 2019-2020

The Sunflower Site Council will be meeting at 6 pm in the library on the following dates:

9/17/19, 11/12/19, 2/11/20, 4/14/20.

All meetings are open to the public.

Kansas schools are required to establish site councils composed of the principal, teachers and other school personnel, parents, business representatives, and other community groups.

Site councils have a responsibility to provide advice and counsel in the following areas: evaluating district and school performance goals and objectives, determining methods to meet those goals and objectives, and other areas as requested by the board of education.

Remember, the work of the site council is advisory only; it makes recommendations, not decisions.

Sunflower PTO

Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has been an integral part of Sunflower Elementary for many years. Through fundraisers and fun events, they are able to provide funds to teachers, classrooms, and the school.

We invite everyone to join the Sunflower PTO Facebook page. By searching "Gardner Sunflower PTO" under Pages, you will be able to join the group and receive updated PTO information.

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