Como Elementary School

Monthly School Newsletter - September 2021

Principal Welcome

Welcome to our New School Year! We have spent the last two weeks in face-to-face learning for the first time in over 18 months! We are all back together and enjoying our students, classrooms, teachers and the opportunity to learn in a "normal" environment.

The Staff at Como Elementary spent the summer working in teams to prepare for the splintered learning skills that Covid has challenged us all to face. They prepared lessons, learning intentions, success criteria, and learning progressions to address the lack of skills or the splintered skill sets of many of our students. We are presently taking our Beginning of The Year (BOY) tests to see what we need to teach and to whom do we need to teach it.

The summer was spent preparing our facility for your students, to welcome them back to a building that was designed to meet thier needs and to provide them a sense of comfort and security in which to learn. Every classroom has a new Clear Touch board, color printers at each grade level and new b & w printers for bulk printing. The library was redesigned to address 21st century learning. New carpet, furniture, rockers, bean bag chairs and a 65 inch Clear Touch board for online learning. (See gallery below!)

We have designed a new Family Center for our community to come to learn and meet to address the learning of our Como scholars. We are anxious to share it in person once we get permission from Health & Safety for more lax Covid protocols.

Redesigned is our PEAK room, which is now our Sensory Room. Bubble tube, carpet, beanbags, peapod, trampoline, aromotherapy machine, smartboard and a moveable cart of figits have been added to the room to address the social and emotional needs of our students.

You will be receiving intivitations from your classroom teachers for Open House for the week of September 27th. It will be virtual and at grade-level. For those of you that can't attend, we will be providing the video so that you can view at your convenience.

Please look to your classroom teacher to increase your communication regarding your scholar. The educator is your first line of communication when needing more explanation or understanding of a situation. The tool that we use is Class Dojo and all communciation is shared through this online tool.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any question, I have provided my email and our school phone number at the bottom of this newsletter. I look forward to working with all of you and your student(s)!

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Family Focus Topic of the Month

Family Focus: Goal Setting

As we begin this new school year, we will be offering our traditional monthly Parent Chat. In addition, we will be providing some short informational readings that compliment our monthly focus. Entertaining new and productive concepts could provide a positive change in family dynamics.

We, as staff, will begin creating your child's student data binder. Establishing a baseline has already begun with your Beginning of the Year (BOY) testing. Your student(s) will be conferencing with their teacher to identify their strengths and needed areas of growth. They will be documenting those areas and identify the results of their BOY assessment in their binders. Goals will be set, in an effort, to focus your child's effort and to provide them ownership of their learning.

We will be asking you for this year's school goals for your child at our first Parent-Teacher Conferences in November. They will be virtual again this year. We look forward to your input in your child's educational journey at Como!

Enjoy this months focus article: Goals Setting!

Family Survey

Como is committed to supporting and communicating with families throughout their child’s educational experience. As we enter the final months of the school year and look ahead to the fall, we would like to learn more about your family’s school experience and how we can best support our community at this time. We are asking you to complete a short survey to give us the feedback we need to provide the best services, resources, and learning experiences for our students and families. Your answers are completely anonymous. Please share your voice today!

Access the Family-School Relationships Survey (please select your school name from the dropdown menu and click “Take this survey”)

Who should take the survey?

  • Any parent/caregiver of a student enrolled in a district school for Grades PK-12

    • If you have children enrolled in multiple schools, you are welcome to complete the survey once per school.

    • If you have more than one child at the same school, please respond with your oldest child’s experience in mind.

Please take the survey by Friday, September 24, 2021.

If you experience any technical difficulty with the survey, you may request support at

Family Ambassador Needed

Ms. Stephanie Tunia Jackson has resigned from her role as Como Family Ambassador. She was very active last year and made many phone calls to our families. We appreciate all of her work and effort to help our families. We will miss her and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and in health.

We are in need of a family ambassador for Como. If you are interested in this position, it is a paid position through the Department of Family Engagement. Please email, reach out to your classroom teacher or call the office to share your interest. It is a paid part-time position with CCS.

Arrival and Dismissal Protocols

Thank you all for your patience with our arrival and dismissal procedures. Walkers are released to the side door that faces the playground at 3:10. Parents that want to walk with their scholars are welcome to meet them at that door. Please do not park in the side parking lot and wait for your students. You would be deemed Pick-Up and should drive to the far driveway to receive your child.

Pick-up roundabout is dismissed at 3:20. We begin taking last names of students and start announcing those names to our students with the use of our new ClearTouch Boards and Zoom.

Should you need to change your way of dismissal, please write a note to your teacher explaining that your student will change their dismissal process. It is our first and foremost responsibility to make sure that all student arrive to you safely. We dismiss 260+ students every night and as of late the process is complete by 3:27. It has been in record time and our driveway is rarely longer than a 7 min. wait. Help us to provide the safest arrival and dismissal in the district by following our simple protocols!


5th Grade:

Welcome to 5th grade! We are so happy to have ALL students back in the building full time! It is going to be an exciting year! In Language Arts, we will be doing a spelling inventory to place students in groups. We will also begin the Newbury Award winning novel Maniac Magee this week! Students will be responsible for learning 7-10 vocabulary words each week throughout the school year. These words will be related to whatever we are reading. In Social Studies, we will be working on map skills and students will create their own maps of different areas. They will also be working in centers on these skills.

In Math, we are going to be looking at how we figure out how to solve problems, and learn to have discussions with each other about math. There is no such thing as people who can't do math, just people who haven't learned certain skills yet. In science, we are going to be learning about what science and STEM are, and get started on our Water Cycle studies. We will be creating representations of the water cycle, and presenting this to the class. Our class will be practicing writing and thinking in math and science, and becoming better communicators of our knowledge and questions. There are big things to come for all of the Dragons in 5th grade!

4th Grade:

Welcome to Fourth Grade! We are thrilled to welcome students back full time and can't wait for all the fun learning ahead of us. We are eager to learn a little more about each of the students and share more about ourselves and why we love teaching fourth grade. Mrs. Nussdorfer and Mrs. Paolacci are departmentalizing this year at Como. Mrs. Nussdorfer will be teaching reading, language arts, and social studies classes. Mrs. Paolacci will be teaching math, and science classes this year. We ask parents to please sign up for class dojo if you haven't already. Invites have been sent to either your email or your phone number. We also ask that your student join our google classrooms which are posted on class dojo. There will be some important paperwork coming home in the next few weeks so please look for those and return them promptly.

To nurture our students' social emotional growth, fourth graders will have a morning meeting/circle each day with their teacher. Our morning meetings will give us opportunities to discuss any worries or concerns students might be dealing with, and we will work to build a team and community environment for all students so that they can feel supported, safe, and comfortable in our classrooms. We want our fourth-grade scholars to maximize their time and potential each day at Como.

In math class this September students will be learning routines, practicing expectations, and will be reviewing skills from third grade. The students will also be working on mastering place value and number sense and learning routines and expectations for "math talks". In science one focus will be on answering the question: "what is a scientist?" as well as practicing routines and expectations in science class. In reading/language arts students will be working toward becoming independent readers, skillful writers, and deep thinkers. Students will be learning how to find a just right book, and how to interact with the text and strategies to make their thinking visible. In social studies students will be reading about current events, studying geography, and new vocabulary words. Fourth graders will be using their chromebooks frequently, so be sure to have them charged and ready each school day.

If you need to communicate with either Mrs. Paolacci or Mrs. Nussdorfer feel free to reach out to us on class dojo and we will be happy to assist you any way we can. Here are our email addresses as well:

Don't forget to read every night and practice your basic facts!

3rd Grade:

Hello parents! We have had a great first few weeks of school and have been working hard. We are very proud of all the accomplishments of everyone in our classes. We are just starting to finish up with our Beginning of the Year I-Ready Math and Reading Testing, our students have done an amazing job and really showed what they can do! A friendly reminder, please make sure that students are coming to school each day with their chromebooks charged. If your student’s chromebook is having technology, please send it to school with your student to get it repaired. Please let us know if you any questions!

Mr. B and Ms. M

2nd Grade:

Welcome back to school! It has been fun seeing our students in the building again, fulltime. We have also enjoyed reconnecting with our students and sharing our summer experiences with each other. Please send your child's Chromebook to school with them daily. Next week, we'll begin taking our BOY (Beginning of the Year) testing. Students need their Chromebooks to log into

i-Ready. We also want to make sure; students have access to our online resources. If you do not have a Chromebook, because you're new or if your Chromebook is damaged, PLEASE call the school.

This month in Math we'll be adding and subtracting within 20. We'll practice making a ten to add, counting on, counting back, and using counters to name a few. In Reading we'll continue to discuss characters, setting, plot, etc. In Writing, we'll be focusing on forming complete sentence.

Our Specials are on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday, we have PE and Library. Wednesday, we have Music and Art.

If you have not connected with your teacher's Class Dojo, please let us know, and we'll send you another invite. Class Dojo is a wonderful way to keep up with what's happening in our classroom. It's also a great way to communicate with us. We also post pictures of learning taking place.

We are looking forward to an exciting year in 2nd Grade!

1st grade:

First graders are learning how to follow rules and expectations throughout the school building. So far, they have done a GREAT job with this! During the month of September, we will continue to focus on these skills as well as learning how to independently log into Chromebooks and other websites that we will be using throughout the year and learning how to use google slides and Jamboard. We are also reviewing letters, letter sounds, and numbers. We will begin working on short vowel sounds towards the end of September.


Mrs. Zeppernick and Mrs. Bowen

We have enjoyed getting to know your kids this school year. We are off to a great start! Students are working very hard on listening/following directions, being a good friend to one another, and classroom expectations.

Please remind your student:

- That masks are to be worn over noses and mouths at all times (except when eating and drinking).

- Take home folders are to be brought back to school EVERY DAY.

- SOAR Expectations – Stay safe, Ownership of actions, Act appropriately, Respect others.

- Walkers are dismissed out front and car riders are dismissed out the back doors by the roundabout.

We look forward working with your child this school year towards his/her academic and social-emotional goals.



Como Pre-K will be welcoming our new students on Thursday, September 9. The Teachers in Room 1 are Mrs. Hernandez, Mrs. Shari, and Mr. Hightower. We are looking forward to a very exciting and successful year. This year will be full of lots of fun and new things for our pre-kindergartens. We will start the year off by learning about the expectations, routines, and behaviors of school.

We understand that this is going to be a new experience for you and your child in many ways, but due to COVID protocols no parents will be allowed in the building at drop off and pick up. Tuesday the 7th and Wednesday the 8th are the days scheduled for parents to come in to look at the room and talk with the teachers. Masks must be worn. Please take advantage of these days.

Class Dojo is our preferred mode of communication in Room 1. If you have not yet accepted the invite for your child, please do so.


Welcome back to the 20-21 School Year.

We met some Pre-K students during the Como Drive Thru and talked to others. We heard the excitement in students and parents' voices and anticipation of "What will the first day be like?" It is just around the corner Pre-k Families. On September 7th and 8th Pre-K will host the orientation sessions and the first official attendance day for Pre-K is Thursday, September 9th. During the first weeks, Room 3 will focus on social emotional skills, classroom routines and bonding as a class family and honor grandparents for Grandparents Month.

Room 3 will have a new full time pre-K assistant and we can't wait to welcome her into the family.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation. It will be an outstanding year learning and achieving on the Championship team. Be Blessed and SOAR!

intermediate md:

We are so excited to be back in person! We have begun the year by going over routines, school behavior, and expectations. We have begun reviewing our phonological awareness skills using the Fundations and Heggerty programs. We are also learning about how calendars represent time in regards to past, present, and future. Each student has been working specifically on their individual IEP goals as well. We will be introducing more and more academic content as we adjust to being back in school! Thank you for all of your patience, and as always if you need anything, you can contact me through Class Dojo.

intermediate ed:

Hello Families! We hope you had a great summer and we look forward to having a great school year.

We are going to start our Math and Reading/ELA rotations next week! In Science we are going to begin our life cycle unit and have some fun activities planned! We have been starting our Social Studies class by watching a current events new program for student called CNN 10. We have had some great discussions during the program!

Please remember to have your student bring their Chromebook each day charged. A majority of our school work is done from the computer. We hope you have a great holiday weekend!

primary md:

Our students and staff are off to a wonderful start this school year. We are so happy to be All In! The students have been working hard to learn new classroom rules, expectations, and transitions. In the classroom, each student is working hard to learn and make progress on their IEP goals and objectives. Progress notes will be delivered via e-mail and report cards can be accessed through the parent portal, these will be available quarterly. Please talk to your classroom teacher if you have any questions about your students' daily schedule. We all have APE (Adaptive Physical Education) on Friday’s so please remember to wear those gym shoes!

We are looking forward to a wonderful school year!

primary ed:

Welcome Room 16 Families,

We are so happy to have you in our classroom!! We will start our "unHomework" beginning the week 9/13/21. Please make sure that you and your student are connected to the following:

  • getepick.con (virtual library)
  • Google Classroom
  • Class Dojo

Please make sure that you review S.O.A.R Expectations with your student weekly.

If you struggle with access to our 3 digital resources, please do not hesitate to call Como and/or email at

Mrs. Farus-Como's New Instructional Coach

Welcome back Como families! I hope you all had a restful and relaxed summer and are ready for this school year! Many exciting changes happened this summer and I am excited to share some with our families! Many might not recognize my name, but I promise I am not new to Como. Over the summer I went from Ms. Miller to Mrs. Farus- my husband and I had a beautiful wedding in July! The second change that I am excited to share is that I have been given a wonderful opportunity to take on the role of Instructional Coach for Como. Instead of being a classroom teacher and supporting students, I am now supporting our teachers and staff, so that as a team, we can better support your child(ren) and their education, along with the families of Como! Even though I won't be in the classroom full time, students will still see and interact with me since I will be working in all classrooms, helping in the Como Cafe during lunch, and helping during dismissal. We have had a great start to the year already, and I am thrilled to continue to help support the work that has been started at Como. In order for us to be successful, and to see our students grow, academically, emotionally, and socially, it will take all of us doing our part to support this work. Remember, we are a team and I can say I couldn't be happier to be apart of such a great one!


Counselor carrie's corner:

Covid-19 has presented many challenges this year and has created stress in all of our already stressful lives. Our School Counselor, Mrs. Plourde, is here to help! This month, she has provided some helpful tips for relieving some of that stress in the area of the body where we hold it the most! If you or your student(s) are in need of any additional support, please don't hesitate to reach out to the school or to Mrs. Plourde ( Stay tuned for more monthly tips and strategies to make this year a more mindful one all around 🙂
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Mr. Stout: A Great Start to Music!

Welcoming students back in to the music classroom has been an absolute blast! Everyone has been singing louder and prouder than I have ever heard! Ask your student about the SOAR song to hear something unique to Como! Stay tuned for information about the winter concert. That will be scheduled and shared as we get closer to December.

To the parents of 4th and 5th grade students: Your student is eligible to join the instrumental music program. 4th graders may join strings and 5th graders may choose between strings or band. For more information, and to show your interest, please fill out the google form:

I am looking forward to another great year with everyone!

Mr. Stout

physical education:

Welcome back! In Quarter 1 our K-2 students are focusing on spatial awareness and learning about staying in our own space while working on locomotion. 3-5 students are learning about cooperation, playing fair and teamwork through small group games.

For our google classroom please see your child's grade level letter below and make certain they have joined the google classroom:

K-2 Letter

3-4 Letter

Grade 5 Letter

Have a great year!

Como Student Handbook