The Comet Chronicle

Challenger Elem. Parent Newsletter January/February, 2019

Message from the Principal

As we continue our school year, we are looking forward to the many exciting activities planned for Challenger students in 2019! The PTA sponsored Spelling Bee is scheduled for February 8. National Read Across America activities will take place the week of March 3. The STEM fair will happen on March 15 and grade level vocal performances are scheduled throughout the spring.

This is just a glimpse of the many activities during the second half of the school year that will continue to help build a sense of community at Challenger. Check out our website to see pictures of these events and to find details of the exciting things planned for this school year.

It might just be me, but I am hearing a lot about a certain principal at Challenger getting covered in slime. That's right, our PTA membership has reached the 75% mark! That means 75% of our families are PTA members. Back in September, I made promises about what I would do if we met certain thresholds for membership. When we reached 25%, I came to school with green hair. When we reached 50%, I wore an inflatable T-Rex costume at arrival and dismissal. I promised that if we got to 75%, I would let the kids cover me in slime. And we got there! We are still working out the details about when and how it will take place but it will be in the next few weeks. Look for a message about it soon!

PTA Hops n Drops Fundraiser

Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 5-8pm

4506 Klahanie Drive Southeast

Issaquah, WA

Take a night off from cooking AND support the PTA. Dine at the Klahanie HopsnDrops on Tuesday, February 5 from 5-8 PM.

Present this flyer to your server and HopsnDrops will donate 20% of your total bill to the Challenger PTA.

Making Challenger a Safer School

Challenger has taken the next step in making our campus even more safe for students. The area in the back of the school, which was open, has now been fenced off and secured with a lock. Just like other areas, staff members have the ability to unlock the area in case of an emergency. Our campus now has a completely secured perimeter. All visitors must enter through the front of the building using our safety vestibule.

Please remember that there is no supervision on campus until 9:00 AM each day and students should not arrive before this time. Gates, in the front and back, will not be opened until 9:00. This is a change for our school now that the area has been secured.

Our Second Graders are Out of This World

Recently, our second grade students finished their social studies unit on Citizenship. For a culminating project, they voted to do a service project that would benefit other kids their age. They asked our whole school community to donate new/gently used stuffed animals that would be donated to East Side Fire and Rescue. The firefighters will give the stuffed animals to kids when they are hurt or in need of some comfort. They collected over 400 stuffed animals to donate! Thank you to our whole community for your generosity.

Attendance is Important

We are almost to the half way mark of the 2018-2019 school year! Did you know that starting in kindergarten, missing on average just 2 days a month, whether excused or unexcused, makes it more likely that your child will not meet academic standards in math and reading by third grade? Regular school attendance is critical for academic achievement and required for children from age 8-17. Children who are 6-7, and are enrolled in school, must also attend. Issaquah School District's truancy policy is in compliance with Washington State. If your child is going to be absent, please contact Pam in the main office at 425-837-7552. Students with chronic absences will be required to attend a conference to analyze the cause of absences.

Bicycle Safety for Students

You may have heard from your children that “Mr. Klein is the helmet policeman!” And they’re right! He is the self-appointed Chief of the Challenger Bicycle Helmet Police. From his perch in Portable 9 overlooking the front parking lot at our school, he watches dozens of kids riding their bikes to school. He does his best to praise those who protect their heads with a helmet, and gives reminders to those who don’t.

Mr. Klein loves riding his own bike – it’s a recumbent! He always wears a helmet because he values his head!

Remember, students must wear a helmet if they ride their bike to school. Washington State law requires all children under 16 to wear a helmet. Students who do not wear a helmet will not be allowed to ride their bike to school.

If the cost of a helmet is a concern for you, then Mr. Klein will gladly give one to your children free of charge. All it takes is an email to him at, and your kids’ heads will be forever protected.

Kindergarten Registration is Coming!

Online kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year will open Monday, February 4th. Applications should be completed by Friday, March 8th.

Kindergarten screening appointments will take place Wednesday April 3rd, from 1:40-3:40 pm. Sign up will take place upon completion of registration.

Kindergarten Orientation will be held at Challenger on Wednesday, May 29th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. More details will be available as we get closer to the date.

Comet Coin Update

Challenger students earned 2000 Comet Coins! That means that there were 2000 instances of students, either alone or as a group, caught being safe, respectful, responsible, and/or resourceful. We had a school wide dance party to celebrate! At the end of the day on Friday, January 18, we played music over the speakers and encouraged everyone to dance. There was dancing in the halls, in the classrooms, and in the office! It was a lot of fun. Our next school wide prize will happen after another 2000 coins are collected. I can't wait to see what our Positive Behavior Support Team comes up with for our next celebration.

Second Winter Break February 18-22, 2019

School Resumes Monday, February 25, 2019

Important Dates:


1 Popcorn Friday

8 Spelling Bee

12 2nd Grade Vocal Concert (evening)

14 Site Council Meeting; Library

18-22 No School; Presidents Day; 2nd Winter Break

27 Fifth Grade Students leave for Camp Coleman


1 Fifth Grade Students return from Camp Coleman

4-8 Read Across America Activities

8 National Day of Unplugging

13 Plateau Choir Festival; Cascade Ridge 5:30 PM

15 Challenger STEM Fair

19 Report Cards

21 Site Council; Library

26 Kindergarten Vocal Concert (evening)