Swanson Elementary December News

December 2, 2022

Message from the Principal

Dear Swanson Families,

Thank you for a memorable 2022! Looking forward to starting 2023 together. Swanson is truly the best place to work, learn and play. Our students are outstanding, hardworking, and are the heart of Swanson.

So many exciting events are coming up this month! The students are ready to show you what they have learned this year. The music concerts will kick off our celebration on December 12th – December 14th. Next, we get to honor their learning and academic growth to prepare instruction for their return on January 9th. We use MAP, aimsweb Plus, and classroom assessment data to drive instruction. During our PLC time in December, staff will be reviewing data to differentiate instruction for all our students.

Swanson is a Title 1 school. If you have any questions or interest in participating this Spring on our annual Title 1 review and Planning for next year, please contact Tammy.Halfacre@matsuk12.us or call 907-861-5302.

Wishing you all a warm and safe holiday break. See you back on January 9th, 2023.

In partnership and support,

Tammy Halfacre


Bus update

Durham continues to struggle with staffing shortages. For your planning purposes, I would expect no busing to continue on Mondays through December.

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South Entrance AM drop off times

There will be a Swanson employee at the South Entrance to greet and welcome in students from 10:00 to 10:15 on Mondays and 9:00 to 9:15 Tuesday-Friday. Doors will close promptly at the scheduled times to ensure our staff can get to their rooms to start instruction on time. If you arrive after the scheduled times, please go to the front office to walk your student into the building. Thank you for your understanding.
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Lost and found

The lost and found is full! Please ask your child to check to see if they forgot something out at recess. You are also welcome to come by to see if you recognize something.

On December 23rd, all lost and found items will be donated to a local thrift store.

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Students go outside for recess down to -10 degrees. This means students need to be prepared with the appropriate gear. At minimum, students should have a winter coat, snow pants, boots, hats and gloves. A sweatshirt, in lieu of a jacket and thin cotton mittens are not sufficient and students get cold and there is potential for frost bite injuries when they are not prepared. In addition to the minimum, a scarf or face mask is also ideal to have on the colder days.

We do take wind chill into consideration when considering whether students will be going outside for recess or not. District policy is outdoor recess occurs up until it's colder than -10. Students must have a doctors note provided to the nurse, should they need to stay in from recess for any reason. If students are healthy enough to be at school, they are healthy enough to participate in recess unless there’s a documented doctors note.

If you do not have the resources to provide your child with adequate gear, please contact Nurse Hazel.

Research shows that students perform better academically and socially when they have time outdoors in nature with their peers in unstructured play. Please help your student be prepared during these winter months. Thank you!

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Special Santa Program

The forms for the Mat-Su Special Santa program can be found here: https://www.specialsanta.net/applications.html. This is a WONDERFUL program which provides gifts to many of our families in need.

There are multiple ways to register for the program listed on the website You can now apply over the phone through the Connect Mat-Su call line, as well as by mail or by dropping the applications off at several locations.

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We are hosting an Angel Giving Tree at Swanson on behalf of the Salvation Army, helping needy children in our community. Please come by the front office and choose an Angel tag from the tree (you may select more than one) and follow the directions on the back to help make a child's Christmas a happier occasion!
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No school for students starting on December 23rd through January 8th

Join Swanson in showing some holiday cheer starting on Dec. 12th. See calendar below for the daily theme.

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Ukulele Club for 2nd graders

We will be doing ukulele club again this year for Second graders only. Ukulele club will be held Friday mornings before school at 8:30am. The first lesson will be 8:30am on Friday January 13TH. We will meet every Friday until we perform at the spring concert on May 10th.

Students will need their own ukulele and lesson book. We will be using Alfred’s Kid’s Ukulele course level 1. Wood and Wire music store at 3020 Glen Hwy will be carrying ukes and books.

News from the Library

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Symptoms of COVID-19 | CDC

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.


*Note: Currently, there are many different illnesses in the community, for example Flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), COVID, Stomach virus "bug", etc. Please consult your healthcare provider when having signs and symptoms of sickness to receive the proper treatment.


Hazel O’Neill Román, BSN, RN, NCSN

School Nurse, Swanson Elementary

Phone: (907) 861- 5300/ (907) 861- 5318 (Direct)


Health Services Link

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Upcoming events

Winter Break December 23rd, 2022- January 8th, 2023

Dec 12 ~ Kindergarten concert

Dec 12 ~ Candy Cane Lane Monday (wear red and white)

Dec 13 ~ 1st grade concert

Dec 13 ~ Tropical Tuesday

Dec 14 ~ 2nd grade concert

Dec 14 ~Holiday swag

Dec 15 ~ Tree Topper Thursday (wear festive head/hair accessories)

Dec 16 ~ Flannel Friday

Dec 19 ~ Grinch Green Monday (wear green)

Dec 20 ~ Winter Wonderland Tuesday ( wear blue, white or snowflake)

Dec 21 ~ Crazy Sock Wednesday

Dec 22~ Pajama day

Dec ~ Start of Winter Break

January 9 ~ Back to school!

January 16th~ No school