The Major News

March 2020- Issue #7

Dates to Remember

March 5th

Variety Show- 6pm, Frontier Theater


March 6th-19th

Spring Break- No School


March 24th

Army Band Performance- 9 am


March 25th

Gruening Choir Performance- 10:15 am


March 31st

Picture Day

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Last week our school held its 7th annual Snow Day for all students who attend Ursa Major Elementary School and their families. Snow Day is our Winter Field Day, which celebrates all things Winter. For those parents and family members who attended this School-Wide event we thank you for your support and participation. The students enjoyed their time with friends and family participating in outdoor Winter Activities, including sledding on the Dyea Hill, Winter Snow Tag, Ice & Snow Art, as well as Ice Skating.

Spring Break begins on Friday, March 6, 2020, and ends March13, 2020. We want all our families to enjoy everything that winter has to offer, so we are loaning out school skates and skis during Spring Break. Parents may check skiing and skating equipment out beginning Thursday, March 5, 2020 after 3:30 p.m. and Friday March 6, 2020 after 12 noon. If you have questions, please contact the school office, Coach Bydlon or Coach Fullmer for more information. We ask that all equipment be returned to school by adults on Monday, March16, 2020, before noon so we can use them in our PE program.

3rd Quarter Report Cards will be available for parents to view through Parent Connect on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. If you need your parent access to be re-set please call the office and they can help you. If you have any questions or concerns after reviewing your child’s report card, contact your child’s teacher immediately.

March is a very busy month for our students. Many classes will be going on field trips which enhance their learning and allows them to experience fun and meaningful events and activities that will stay with them for a lifetime. Parents, please consider chaperoning a field trip, you will be glad you did.

This year’s PEAKS State Assessment begins the last week of March. Each spring, Alaskan students are provided an opportunity to show what they know. When students show what they know, teachers and parents can partner to promote student success.

The Performance Evaluation for all Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) is Alaska’s summative assessment administered to students in Grades 3-9 (English language arts and mathematics) and grades 4, 8 and 10 (science) each spring. The purpose of a large-scale, summative assessment is to provide parents and schools an overall picture of a student’s progress in meeting the Alaska standards at his/her grade level. The assessment is taken on the computer and is not timed, but each content area takes approximately 100-180 minutes each day.

Parents can locate resources for the PEAKS assessment, including directions for PEAKS Practice tests, called Online Tools Training and PEAKS Tutorials on the ASD website at www.asdk12.org/PEAKS.

Parents can also help by ensuring their children are well rested, eat a nutritious breakfast, and are at school on time for the days of testing. Please avoid scheduling appointments on your child’s testing days, see below.

Ursa Major PEAKS testing window below allows for students and parents to prepare for this important testing. Students! Get ready to reach new peaks of learning and earn a PEAKS sticker-set for showing what you know during our school’s PEAKS testing dates:

(Testing Window Monday, March 30th through Friday, April 10th)

3rd Grade - Mon & Wed. - March 30th (Reading) & April 1st (Math)

4th Grade - Tues., Thurs. & Fri. March 31st (Reading), April 2nd (Math), & April 3rd (Science)

5th & 6th Grade - Tue. & Thurs. April 7th (Reading) & April 9th (Math)


Respectfully,

Benjamin Hardwick
Principal
Ursa Major Elementary

907-742-1600

2020 PEAKS State Assessment

Test your best! Reach new PEAKS of learning!

Each spring, Alaskan students are provided an opportunity to show what they know. When students show what they know, teachers and parents can partner to promote student success.

The Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) is Alaska’s summative assessment administered to students in Grades 3-9 (English language arts and mathematics) and grades 4, 8 and 10 (science) each spring. The purpose of a large-scale, summative assessment is to provide parents and schools an overall picture of a student’s progress in meeting the Alaska standards at his/her grade level. The assessment is taken on the computer and is not timed, but each content area takes approximately 100-180 minutes.

Parents can locate resources for the PEAKS assessment, including directions for PEAKS Practice tests, called Online Tools Training and PEAKS Tutorials on the ASD website at www.asdk12.org/PEAKS.

Parents can also help by ensuring their children are well rested, eat a nutritious breakfast, and are at school on time for the days of testing. Please avoid scheduling appointments on your child’s testing days.

The ASD PEAKS testing window below allows for school assessment scheduling flexibility. Students!



2020 ASD PEAKS Testing Window

March 30-April 10

(Make-ups: March 31-May 1)

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Music Notes

Greetings from the music room! Grades 3- 5 have been making music using our African Drums and rhythms. We have been studying question/answer in music as well as multiple rhythms with ideas complimenting each other working towards ensemble playing. Kindergarten through second grades are diving into African Drum exploration along with a continue study of melody. We have also been exploring timbre and the sounds of many instruments. The students have been composing music by integrating our language arts skills of vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency within our musical concepts creating rhythm, beat, and form.


March is Music and Arts in Our Schools month so please be on the lookout for events associated with this. There will be ASD student work at the Anchorage Museum and Music will be highlighted by student performing groups at the 5th Ave Mall and ASD Ed Center. When we return after spring break we will have special assemblies by the Gruening Middle School Choir and a performance by the Groovin' Grizzlies with the 9th Army Band stationed here on JBER.


The Ursa Major Choir will be performing and hosting at the Seventh Annual JBER Area Choir Festival on April 1 @ 6:30. This event will be at the Frontier Theatre building #2 here on the Post side of JBER. Students should arrive at 5:45 for warm up since we will be singing songs with the other elementary choirs on JBER.


Thank you for all your support for the music program here at Ursa Major and in your child’s education. As always feel free to contact me here at school or send an email with any musical questions!




Mr. Drake

drake_kyle@asdk12.org

Greetings from P.E.

Snow Day was a great success! Thank you to all parents, PTA and volunteer military service persons who came and celebrated Alaska winter activities with us on Thursday Feb. 27th.

We are winding down our winter activities focus in PE this week. The past several months we skied, skated, played sled tag, boot skated and snowshoed.

We are so blessed that JBER recreation provides 9km of groomed nordic ski trails here on the Richardson side. With the trail entrance just next to Ursa Major we have great access for PE skiing and ski club.

We are equally blessed that Aurora Military Housing provides our students and Richardson families a maintained ice rink at Ursa Major, open 7 days a week till 9pm when school is not in session. The Richardson Ice rink will be maintained until temps stay above 32 degrees as the low temp, which is normally around the 3rd week of March.

Please consider giving a "Thank You" to Aurora Military Housing for paying for the contractor to service and maintain the rink weekly.

Once we return in Mid March from spring break will we begin a basketball unit for PE.

JBER Ski Jamboree will be held at Ursa Major on Friday March 6th beginning at 10:30 am in the gym. Students from Orion, Ursa Minor and Ursa Major will spend part of their day off of school celebrating nordic skiing by competing in a race event. If students prefer not to race they can just ski the course and enjoy the ski with other students here on JBER.

There will be four different brackets, (girls, 3/4), (boys, 3/4), (girls 5/6) and (5/6 boys). If interested in this event, turn in a permission slip that you can get in the Ursa Major office.

Winter Ropes Club ended Monday, 3/2/20

Girls on the Run is meeting Monday and Wednesdays (3:30 pm to 5 pm) through April in the gym. See Mrs. Pratt if your daughter would like to join this wonderful club.

https://www.girlsontherun.org/about-us/


3rd and 4th Grade Basketball begins Thursday March 26th (3:30 pm to 4:30 pm)


3rd to 6th grade Roller Skiing begins Tuesday April 7th. (3:30 pm to 5 pm)


Spring Running Club will meet three times prior to the JBER Family Color Run. The Ursa Major spring running club will meet Thursdays, beginning on April 30th, and meeting May 7th, and May 14th.

You will need to register for the JBER family Color Run online if interested, see details on the JBER Family Life Facebook page for details.

https://www.facebook.com/JBERLife/




Coach Bydlon and Coach Fullmer

Health Spot

During the month of March in Elementary Health, your child will study human growth and development.


Link to Parent Bulletin

https://goo.gl/g6E33Y

https://goo.gl/VY91ic

https://goo.gl/5QzkZe

https://goo.gl/bSifM6

https://goo.gl/Er6Zgz

https://goo.gl/6n7Aec

https://goo.gl/xRi6e6



March Healthy Futures Activity Logs Due by March 31st



Richelle Lay

K-6 Health/Social Emotional Learning

Library News: Check it Out!

Greetings from the library,



This month has whizzed by and Spring is in the air. We kicked off the month touring the book fair. It is great to see kids and families excited about new books. We have an amazing PTA! I feel so fortunate for the hours they put in setting up, breaking down and running the book fair. All of the proceeds go right back into the library for purchasing and replacing books. They earned over 4,000 dollars.


It has been Black History month and students have heard some incredible stories of people overcoming challenges to accomplish their dreams. Some of the people we read about included: Rosa Parks, The Tuskegee Airmen, Wilma Rudolf, Henry Box Brown and Harriet Tubman. Students were encouraged to check out books on history this month for our prize box.


Our salmon eggs have hatched in the library. The students have been very excited seeing them turn from eggs to Alevin. This week we have been reading books about Salmon and watching instructional videos to learn about their life cycle and migration. Did you know out of 4,000 eggs, only two survive and are able to spawn?


Happy Reading,


Michelle Williams, Librarian

Williams_michelle@asdk12.org

Ursa Major Elementary

454 Dyea Ave,

Anchorage, Alaska 99505

907-742-1614

News from Art

Take a Journey Through Art” is the theme of the 48th Annual Anchorage School District student art exhibition at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with National Youth Art Month, an acknowledgement of the visual arts programs in American schools.

The community is cordially invited to attend the:

Artists’ Reception, Friday, March 6, 2020 from 6-8pm. The reception is to honor artists from all exhibit locations.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Museum Director, Julie Decker will speak at 6:30.

Admission to the reception is free.

Exhibition Sites & Dates:

Primary Exhibit Location

Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

March 6 – April 4, 2020

Auxiliary Exhibit Locations

Anchorage City Hall

March 6 – April 2, 2020

Chugiak-Eagle River Municipal Library

March 6 – April 2, 2020

ZJ Loussac Municipal Library

March 6 – April 2, 2020

Midtown Mall

March 9 – April 2, 2020 (delayed start)

2020 Youth Art Month Committee Members

Elementary: Scott McDonald, Julie Drulis, Ricki Morton

Secondary: Liz Gailey, Rachel Wall, Kelly Hebert

For further information, contact Leah Maltbie, Coordinator, ASD Fine Arts Department, 742-0151.

Ignite Information

This week IGNITE students will begin to formally program their Sphero robots. They will be using Java Script and will be designing a program to move the robot through a pre-designed maze. This will be our culminating project for this unit and we will then move on to other types of codes and cyphers in our next unit of study.


If you have expertise in any of these areas we would love to have you come and join us in our learning and share your knowledge with us. Just send me an email.


Jillian Gates, Ph.D.

IGNITE and Gifted Department Professional Development Coordinator

gates_jillian@asdk12.org

Nurse Notes

Happy March and Welcome to "Spring"


With spring break a few days away I thought I'd take a minute to remind everyone to make sure things such as water bottles and winter gear make their way home and come back on 16 March all washed and ready to go !


Some reminders:

*ASD policy is that the students are NOT allowed to bring in or carry medicine of any kind. This also includes all over-the-counter medicines, including cough drops. All medicine is to be dispensed by the school nurse. Here is a link for medication administration forms, most must be signed by a physician and parent. They must be renewed every school year.


https://www.asdk12.org/Domain/1216

The link also has some valuable information from ASD Healthcare Services.


*If your child becomes ill while at school, they need to report to the nurse's office. The student is not allowed to call or text home before they go to the nurse's office.


Have a fun and safe break !!



Gail Rust LPN

Emelyn Hudson RN-School Nurse

Ursa Major Elementary School

Anchorage School District

office: (907)742-1601

fax: (907)742-1616

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ASD cancels all school-sponsored international travel for March and April

Due to the increased global spread of the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), ASD is canceling all school-sponsored international travel during March and April 2020.

The District will re-evaluate international travel for May and the summer based on how this situation develops. The District will also look closely at school-sponsored domestic travel based on developments in the United States.

The onset of spring break brings a significant increase in school-sponsored and family travel both domestic and international. Under the current circumstances, this travel presents two significant risks to our students and staff. First is the risk of travelers being exposed to COVID-19. The second is the risk of travelers being quarantined in a foreign country.

ASD encourages families and employees traveling to be mindful of the current travel advisories found on the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites. The District also encourages travelers to take appropriate measures to reduce exposure during their travels.

The Counselors Corner

This month we will be focusing on career exploration and guidance. On Monday, March 23rd, we will be having the Middle School Transition Counselor Team from Gruening Middle School come and present information to our Sixth Grade students on what to expect in Middle School. I encourage you to have your student continue on MathWhiz and Lexia over Spring Break. The MFLAC and I will be continuing to provide small group support during lunch as well as individual check-ins as needed. Feel Free to let us know how we can support you and your child.


Heather Butcher

School Counselor

Ursa Minor/Ursa Major

#Helping the Whole Child be Successful

STAR Student Awards