Tiger Times

January 2019

Acton Elementary

Phone: 862-6108

FAX: 317-862-7251

ATTENDANCE: 317-803-5105

TRANSPORTATION: 317-862-2314


Parents - please be sure to fill out the online registration for existing students. This needs to be completed for each student for Infinite Campus. Log in to your parent portal (not your students portal) and click on the the "online registration" link at the bottom of the left hand column. Follow the prompts to electronically verify/update the information in Infinite Campus.

To request your Infinite Campus parent portal information:

Only a student's Parent/Legal Guardian may request the portal information for their student. The email must be sent from the email address on file with the school district. Send the request to ichelp@ftcsc.org.

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Join us on January 8th at 6:30pm to hear from Todd Livesay, Transportation Director. He will share information about our buses and transportation initiatives and answer any questions. Our January PTO meeting will follow! Childcare is provided by our awesome YMCA staff and snacks will be provided. See you there!


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Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

As we the 2nd semester, we will be emphasizing a new component to our Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) program. This school-wide behavior support program will ensure that your child has a safe, positive, and respectful learning environment at Acton Elementary.

As part of our Tier 1 behavior support, we will be implementing a PAWS Binder in each classroom and special areas. We recognize that good discipline is needed to create a positive climate for learning and that this is a responsibility that should be shared by leaders, teachers, parents and students.

The PAWS Binder will be used to track and help curb time-consuming Tier 1 behaviors that disrupt the learning environment for our students. Parents will be contacted when students are exhibiting consistent misbehavior. This new PBIS component is being implemented along with the many positive rewards and incentives for good behavior.

Please review the PAWS Expectations with your child. With your continued support and involvement, Acton will continue to be a school where students can excel academically while being in a safe, respectful, and cooperative learning environment!

PAWS Expectations

P-Prompt and Prepared

A-Act Responsibly

W-Work Together

S-Show Respect

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This saves you time at the reception desk checking in and helps us prepare for our visitors each day. We would encourage you to pre-register before you volunteer daily, join your student for lunch, AND before coming to the class parties.

Below is the link to pre-register. Thank you for helping us keep our kids safe.



Meet our 1st grade team

Getting to Know Your First Grade Team

Our amazing first grade teaching team consists of Mrs. Marlene Gilkerson, Mrs. Mandy Miller and Mrs. Lindsey Elliott. These three ladies bring years of experience, creativity and joy to our first grade hallway.

Mrs. Gilkerson is the most experienced of the three teachers. She has 34 years of first grade teaching. In fact, it’s the ONLY grade she has taught. When you love something so much, why would you change. When asked why she teaches, she responded, “I started because I came from a family of teachers. I continue because I love to solve the puzzles of those extra special kids and see the progress in all my students. Then there are those fragile ones who come back to you years later and say “I remember when you did this for me.” Some fun facts about Mrs. Gilkerson are:

She got chicken pox from a student.

She made a commercial with George Clooney’s dad.

She was kicked off stage by a local celebrity because she was dressed as Darth Vader and he knew the kids would like her better than him.

She’s always early because in second grade her principal made the class almost miss the bus and she panicked thinking she would never see her family again.

Mrs. Miller has been working with students for eleven years. She was an instructional assistant for seven years while working on her teaching license. She has since taught kindergarten and first grade. Mrs. Miller says, “I love kids. They are what will continue to make our world turn. I feel it is important to support them, as they build their foundation before taking on what the world has to offer.” She says she is blessed to have a wonderful family that supports her, at home and at work. Support of those who love you and care about you is the key to success! Mrs. Miller also proclaims to be a “dog snob” because, “I love all dogs, but find the Bouvier to be my favorite furry companion. Loki, my proud Bouvier, is my favorite animal friend. I am his human, and he is my big fur baby!”

Mrs. Elliott is our newest addition to the first grade team. She stepped into this role last year to replace Mrs. Biswas who moved out of state. Previously, Mrs. Elliott was one of our special education teachers for grades K-2. She started teaching special education at Thompson Crossing before transferring to Acton when we reopened. Mrs. Elliott shared, “I love working with children daily. I love to see their excitement when they learn new things and have fun while they are doing it!” Did you know that Mrs. Elliott was once a student at Acton Elementary? Yep, she sure was! Now, she gets to bring her own son to Acton with her each day.


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Music Standards Update:

There are now 11 standards and the music standards are divided up into general Music and Performance Ensemble Standards. This month we will focus on Standards 7 & 8. The standards in their entirety can always be accessed at the Department of Education website: http://www.doe.in.gov.

7. Develop and Perform (singing)

8. Develop and Perform (instruments)

*The in class examples listed below are examples of activities/lessons that students will experience throughout the school year. If you have questions about when these lessons will occur, please contact Mrs. Stevenson.

Develop and Perform (7): Performing a varied repertoire of music by singing, alone and with others, from rote memory and written notation.

K-2 – (Develop and Perform P.7.2.1) Sing independently and in groups using head voice and appropriate posture, with accurate pitch and rhythm. (Develop and Perform P.7.2.2) Sing simple songs with expressive qualities, varied tonalities, and meters. (Develop and Perform P.7.2.3) Perform appropriately for a variety of audiences and purposes.

3-5 – (Develop and Perform P. 7.5.1) Sing in groups and independently, while demonstrating appropriate breath control, pitch, diction, tone quality, and posture. (Develop and Perform P.7.5.2) Sing songs from diverse cultures with sensitivity, accurate use of languages, appropriate movement, and/or appropriate use of dynamics, phrasing, and articulation. (Develop and Perform P.7.5.3) Sing unison and two-part songs, partner songs, and rounds, a cappella and with varied accompaniment. (Develop and Perform P.7.5.4) – Perform appropriately for a variety of audiences while following the cues of a conductor.

In Class Examples – Students will learn a wide variety of songs throughout the year. Some of the songs we learn by rote (echo sing) and some songs we learn by reading the music – discovering the melodic and rhythmic patterns. During class we work on appropriate vocal quality and how to produce the correct sounds. Students are given opportunities to perform in class and outside of class. Students in grades 1-5 have a music program and students in Kindergarten are given an opportunity to perform at the end of the year awards program.

Develop and Perform (8): Performing a varied repertoire of music by playing instruments, alone and with others, from rote memory and written notation.

K-2 - (Develop and Perform P.8.2.1) Accurately play a variety of classroom instruments alone and with others using appropriate technique. (Develop and Perform P.8.2.2) Echo and read a variety of rhythmic and/or melodic patterns as well as maintain a consistent steady beat while playing an instrument.

3-5 – (Develop and Perform P.8.5.1) Play pitched and unpitched percussion, keyboard, string and/or wind instruments using correct techniques for producing sound. (Develop and Perform P.8.5.2) Play melodic, rhythmic, and chordal patterns at a consistent tempo. (Develop and Perform P.8.5.3) Play melodies, accompaniments, and ensemble parts of various styles and cultures on instruments expressively with correct rhythms, tempi, and dynamics. (Develop and Perform P.8.5.4) Perform appropriately for a variety of audiences while following the cues of a conductor.

In Class Examples – Students play a variety of instruments beginning in Kindergarten and continuing all the way through the end of 5th grade. While most of the instruments played are from the percussion family (sticks, shakers, xylophones, tambourines etc…), students in 3rd and 4th grades also learn to play the recorder. In 5th grade we also do units on guitar and keyboards. While playing instruments we are working on the fundamentals of reading music as well as how to hold the instrument and correctly produce sound for that instrument. In grades 2-5 we also try to use instruments and instrument techniques in our performances.

Mark Your Calendar....

Music Dates:


January 11th – 5th grade field trip to FTMSE to hear the Band, Choir and Orchestra.

January 22nd – Middle School Band, Choir and Orchestra teachers visit Acton in the afternoon to help 5th grade students choose their ensemble and instrument.


February 1st – Sign-ups for band, choir and orchestra due to Mrs. Stevenson from 5th grade students.

February 5th – 5th grade field trip to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra


March 7th – Grade 1 Related Arts Night – 6:00 pm


April 18th – 4th grade program, 6:00 pm – 5th grade program, 7:15 pm

*All school performance during the day

April 27th – Folk Dance Festival

TBD (May) – International Fair

What to know what is going on in music class? Follow us on Facebook!

Facebook: ActonElementaryMusic

5th Grade parents

Dear 5th Grade Parents,

Welcome back! Although we still have a full semester left here at Acton Elementary, it is time for your child to begin thinking about 6th grade! In the next couple of weeks the 5th grade students will have some exciting opportunities to help them make a decision about their fine arts credit for Middle School. Students have the option of joining band, choir, orchestra or attending general music class.

During music class this week, the students have had the opportunity to see and touch many of the band and orchestra instruments that they will be able to learn to play. On Friday, January 11th, all 5th grade students will be traveling to FTMSE to see a concert featuring the middle school band, choir and orchestra. Seeing these performance groups live in person should give your child an idea of what group they may like to join! On Tuesday, January 22nd, the middle school Choir, Orchestra and Band teachers will be coming to Acton to help interested students choose what performance group and which instrument would be best for them. This will happen during the school day. The middle school directors are asking that all sign-up forms be returned to the elementary music teachers by Feb. 1st. There will be informational meetings where you will be able to rent your instrument for the school year. The Middle School Band Directors also ask that you please understand that there is a limit on the number students we can have on percussion and saxophone in order to balance the band. More information on this will be given out by the middle school directors.

Time-line at a glance:

Jan. 3rd - 12th – 5th grade students preview instruments during music class

Jan. 11th - 5th grade attends concert at FTMSE

Jan. 22nd – Middle School Directors come to Acton to help students choose

performance group and instrument

Feb. 1st – all forms due to Mrs. Stevenson

Feb. 4th – Parent meeting at FTMSE – 5:30 & 7:00

Feb. 5th – Parent meeting at FTMSW – 5:30 & 7:00

(Only need to attend one meeting)

This week students are bringing home information about all of their options. Please read this information carefully and talk with your child about what they would like to do next year. There are no try- outs for choir and if your child opts for general music, there is no form to be returned.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Amanda Stevenson



Folk Dance Club

Do you love to dance and move…like to sing …enjoy learning about other cultures... need something to do Fridays before school?

Then Folk Dance Club might be for you!

What: A great opportunity for students who like music and moving to have fun learning about other cultures and dance.

Who: Any enthusiastic 3rd, 4th or 5th grade student who displays good behavior and a positive attitude throughout the school.

When: Folk Dance Club will meet on Fridays before school beginning Feb. 1st and going through April 26th with the possibility of an additional practice TBA in May. Practices will begin at 7:30am.

Performances: Folk Dance Club will participate in the Indianapolis Children’s Folk Dance Festival on Saturday, April 27th and also perform at an International Fair possibly hosted by Kitley Elementary in May.

Transportation: Students can be dropped off at the front doors beginning at 7:20am. Mrs. Stevenson will be up front to meet you. If you happen to arrive before 7:20, please wait outside the building with your child.

Cost: There is a $15 fee to join this club. This money pays for a t-shirt for the festival and snacks for the festival and International Fair. Payment can be made in cash or check. Checks should be made out to Acton Elementary. If you are in need of scholarship, please indicate on the attached sign-up sheet.

How to Sign-up: Fill out and return the back of this form by January 25th!

Please e-mail or call with any questions.

Mrs. Stevenson

Amanda Stevenson



Folk Dance Club Sign-up! (Please print)

Please return by January 25th!

Student Name _______________________________________________

Homeroom Teacher ___________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Name ________________________________________

Phone # ________________

Parent/Guardian Signature _______________________________________

Payment and T-shirt Size

(Please circle student shirt size below)


____ I have attached my $15 payment for t-shirt and snacks (checks made out to Acton Elementary)

____ I am including additional money to help cover the cost of students in need.

_____ I am in need of a scholarship.

Additional Information: (for example… my child will be in YMCA, allergies etc…)


Hello, from the Acton gymnasium!! Jump Rope for Heart is coming soon! This year it's just called something different but it's the SAME EXACT PROGRAM! The American Heart Association has renamed it, "KIDS HEART CHALLENGE!" Our fun Jump Rope for Heart Day or our fun Kids Heart Challenge day will be on Friday, February 1st during your child's Related Arts time. MUCH MORE info and details will be coming home soon. I just wanted you to be able to get it on your calendar. Like always, we are trying to raise money to help support the American Heart Association! There will be LOTS of incentives for students to raise money for this much worthy cause!

Also, I want to take a moment to remind students and parents about the importance of wearing PE shoes on their Related Arts PE days. We've had a lot of students forget their PE shoes this school year and they have been unable to do the activities as well as they could if they whad been wearing their PE shoes. It's also a safety measure to have athletic shoes on during PE class. Shoes with heels (they will fall), open toed shoes (toes get hurt), slip-on shoes (they easily slip off), and shoes without enough support can definitely lead to injuries.

If your child forgets their PE shoes, they will bring home a note about it. Being prepared is one of the items that "goes into" their semester PE grade. Below you will find the dates that your child has PE class. Hopefully, this will help ensure that the correct type of shoes will be worn on PE days. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT WITH THIS!

MONDAYS: Neifert, Reynolds, Jewell, Brooks, Miller, and Froning

**Also, on the following Wednesdays: Jan. 9th, Jan. 23, Feb. 13, Feb. 20, April 3, and May 1.

TUESDAYS: Leal, Beechler, Milholland, Krug, Gilkerson, and Emerine

***Also, on the following Wednesdays: Dec. 5, Jan. 16, Feb. 27, April 10, and May 8

FRIDAYS: Jones, Rigsby, Simmons, Parsons, Elliott, and McMaster

***Also, on the following Wednesdays: Feb. 6, March 13, April 24, and May 22

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Lice Reminder

Parents it is getting that time of year when lice can be more prevalent. Lice can be spread via the many clothing layers, hats, gloves, scarves that students are wearing for this cold winter weather also the increased traveling.

A couple of ways to prevent the spread of the pesky lice are:

*Once a week throw backpacks, hats, gloves, scarves and jackets in the dryer for 20 minutes.

*Educate children on the importance of NOT sharing hats, hair bows, jackets, and gloves. Educate them about NOT having head to head contact with their friends.

*Check your children frequently (at least once a week) for head lice. It’s easier to get rid of it at an early stage.

*Students share locker/cubbie space with another student, if you would like to send in a plastic grocery bag to put their things in, in their locker/cubbie that will help to keep their things separated some from another student’s things.

Flu Information

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  • Online payments through PayPams is convenient way to pay for your child's meals.



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Acton's Mother/Son Night on January 25th from 6-8pm.

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3 Staff and students return

3 Emergency Drill

3 Stem Scouts

8 PTO Meeting

9 Robotics

10 Student Council

10 Stem Scouts

11 Recruiting concert for 5th grade @ East

14-18 Kindness Week/Riley Jar Wars

14 School Board Meeting

15 Donatos fundraiser

16 Robotics

17 Grade 1 Dibels Parent Night

18 All Pro Dads


22 5th grade instrument testing

23 Robotics

24 STEM Scouts

25 Mother/Son Night

28 Skating Party

29 3rd grade fieldtrip

30 Robotics

31 Yearbook activity pictures


1 Kids Heart Challenge

5 PTO Meeting

5 5th grade Symphony trip

6 Robotics

7 Student Council

7 STEM Scouts

8 Mid term grades posted

13 Robotics

14 1st grade field trip

14 Friendship Celebrations

15 All Pro Dads

15 March field trips due

18 President’s Day- E-LEARNING DAY

20 Robotics

21 Kdg field trip

21 4th grade field trip

21 STEM scouts

22 PBIS Convo

22 Father/Daughter Dance

25 Book Fair Week

25 Read Across America week

26 Children’s Museum outreach night

27 Hot Box Pizza fundraiser

27 Robotics

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Please review a few important front office policies.

  • We do our best to keep classroom disruptions to a minimum. If your child forgets an item and you bring it in, please do not be offended if the front office asks for you to leave the item with them so it can be delivered at an appropriate time.
  • If there is a change in transportation for students at the end of the day, we must be notified by a Parent/Guardian before 3:00pm.
  • If electronics (cell phones, ipods, gaming systems) are brought into school and removed from backpacks, they will be confiscated by the teacher. A parent/guardian will be asked to pick up the electronic at the front desk.
  • When having lunch with your student in the cafeteria please remember to only have your child sit with you.
  • Morning student drop off must be done in the car rider line. Drop off opens at 8:35 am in the car rider line.
  • Students arriving after 8:50 am MUST be signed in at the front office.
  • Review the Franklin Township policies and procedures for absences on p. 2-3 in the student handbook. We appreciate your cooperation.
  • All visitors must have a photo ID to enter the building.
Just a reminder: School Board policy 5200 regarding appointments. – Parents are encouraged to schedule medical, dental, and other necessary appointments other than during school hours. When appointments are necessary during the school day, the student shall report back to school immediately after the appointment with a signed statement from the doctor, dentist, etc.


The following volunteers will need a criminal history check:

1. Any person who will be working with students for extended periods of time – either consecutive hours or on a regular schedule.

2. Any person who will be in a position to supervise students – this includes but not limited to field trips (at all levels, including band and choir trips) or taking a group of students out of a classroom for remediation work.

3. Any person who will be alone with a student.

*NOTE: VOLUNTEER BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE NO LONGER FREE OF CHARGE. THE FEE IS APPROXIMATELY $16.00 PER VOLUNTEER. If you wish to proceed, please follow the instructions and click on link below.

• Please select VOLUNTEER for "Position"
• Make sure your name is spelled correctly
• Please complete the entire form, all fields with *are required
• Please select the school or schools for which you request to volunteer
• Select I Agree and then Submit

All schools have access to the volunteer data base and can verify a clear background check. If there is an issue with the background check that will affect the ability to volunteer, that volunteer will be notified. This comprehensive background check will be active for two years. You will receive an email notification once the background check is clear. You will also be notified when it is about to expire.

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Acton Elementary is a Targeted Assistance School through Title I. What does this mean for Acton Elementary? The mission of Title I is to provide a continuum of services and resources to Title I schools that enrich curriculum and instruction, promote interaction and coordination of supplementary services and resources, and result in excellence and high expectations for educators and students. Through collective efforts, we endeavor to increase accountability for all participants in the educational process; enhance cooperation between school and home; provide educators in Title I schools with greater autonomy for shared decision-making; and most importantly, promote increased educational performance of students attending Title I schools.