Discovery Elementary Newsletter


Learners. Teachers. Trailblazers.

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Discovery Families,

Each new school year brings an opportunity to start anew while also reflecting on past traditions that make our school special! At our back to school professional development days together, Discovery staff took time to examine our school mission and look ahead to this school year and ensure that we were working towards our school vision. Since opening Discovery School in 2015, we have been intentional to align our work, philosophy, initiatives and beliefs. In short, we are a school that truly believes in our mission and vision and you will be often reminded of what we are about in our newsletters and on our social media feed.

This school year, our staff is going to be intentional about getting back to our basic routines and expectations. Since this is the first post Covid start of the school year, we are taking time to teach and re-teach as we get back to routines that were implemented prior to Covid. Already there is a joyfulness about the simple pleasures of sitting with friends at tables in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch, instead of individual desks. Students can once again sit in flexible and collaborative seating arrangements in the classrooms. Our learning commons are once again used in a way that they were designed, to be a shared space for students and staff to come together with other students and different classes for a variety of learning purposes. We are starting the school year with a renewed feeling of joyfulness in our teaching practices and grateful to be once again aligned with our mission and vision for Discovery School!

One exciting practice that has returned is that the opportunity for parents to come eat lunch with your child during the school day. We welcome you and also have a special parent table designated for you to eat with your child! If you come to eat lunch with your child, please call our school office prior to 9:00 am to let our office staff know so that we can include your lunch choice in our daily lunch count. Please see each classroom's lunch schedule below to help you in your planning for a lunch visit.

We know it's going to be a successful school year for our Trailblazers! We are looking forward to working with you as a partner in your child's education.


Mrs. Parkinson - Principal

Mr. Kurtyka - Associate Principal

Discovery Trailblazer School Apparel

Get your Discovery Trailblazer school apparel here!

Please submit orders by Friday, September 9th!

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School Picture Day!

School picture day is Tuesday, Sep. 27th. Picture order packets will be sent home with students.

School Cafeteria Information

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Seesaw Updates

Seesaw is our school communication portal that teachers use to communicate daily classroom updates. Recently some parents have shared that they are not receiving all communications when using Seesaw on their phone, even though it appears as though they are connected.

Here are some trouble-shooting tips for you to ensure that you receive all Seesaw messages on your phone. If you are accessing Seesaw on a computer, these steps are not necessary.

1) Update the Seesaw app. Delete the old Seesaw Family app and then download or update to the new app, simply called Seesaw. The Family app may appear to be working but all the functions of the new app, like updated messages, might not be available to families until updated.

2) Use the QR code that teachers send you to reconnect/add your students' journals.

3) Families using Apple iPhones/iPads need to update their iOS (notification is probably pending on their device if needed.)

4) Teachers will send another message to families next week, asking families to reply again so we can tell who can view and reply to the message.

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4th grade "Beginner Orchestra Parent Night"

Within the first two weeks of school, 4th graders will hear a presentation about the option of learning a string orchestra instrument at school! More information will be sent home at that time. Beginner Orchestra "Parent Night" will be held on Tuesday, Sept 6 from 4-7pm in the Red River Highschool Commons.

4th & 5th Grade Intramurals

Happy back-to-school! We wanted to make you aware of a change to the elementary intramural fee structure:

  • In the past, there have been five seasons of intramurals. Sessions 1-4 cost $12.50 each, while the final session was $10 due to a shorter time frame, for a total cost of $60.

  • It has been a challenge to coordinate all the fees across such a schedule, as some families paid per season while others paid for the entire season upfront.

  • For this reason, this school year, the fee schedule will change to a one-time fee of $35 to be paid at the start of the school year.

    • This will allow your student to join some or all of the seasons offered under the same fee.

    • While we will work to get all registrations completed by the beginning of October, the deadline will be rolling to accommodate students who register later.

  • Free- and reduced-price meal status will still be applied to the fee structure. If your student qualifies for free lunch, you will not need to pay any intramural fees. If a student qualifies for reduced-price lunch, you will need to pay $17.50 for the year.

  • The intramural fee will be paid through MySchoolBucks.

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5th Grade Safety Patrol

5th graders have the opportunity to sign up for safety patrol! Students will receive information and applications the beginning of September. Applications are due on Tuesday, September 13th. Safety patrol will officially start on Monday, September 19th.


MySchoolBucks makes it easy to stay connected to students and parents for any of your school payments.

Create yourself an account at to pay for a variety of school related items such as, bus tickets, after school program fees, chromebook cases, and much more!

Parent Support:


Notes from the Office

Attendance Line:

Add this number into your phone contacts!


Please utilize our attendance line to leave us messages about your children being out of school.

Early Dismissal Wednesdays:

Once again we will have 1:30 dismissal on select Wednesdays. Please refer to the district calendar for these Wednesdays.


When sending a snack or packing a lunch, please remember to check labels to make sure it does not contain or have traces of peanuts/nuts.

Birthday Treats:

Due to the increase in students who have severe food allergies and the higher levels of severity, we no longer celebrate student birthdays with a “birthday snack” in our schools. Parents are welcome to find other non-food items to send to school if they wish. Please discuss with your child’s classroom teacher for ideas or preferences.

Emergency & Crisis Procedures:

In order to ensure the safety of our students, all schools in the Grand Forks Public School District hold lockdown drills. In the event of a crisis situation, please be assured that our school has an emergency management plan in place and that school, district, and emergency staff will respond accordingly. We need your support and ask that you rely on media outlets and automated calling systems for information during an incident, rather than calling the school. It is very important that you understand in a crisis situation, school phones are needed to manage the situation and lines must remain open. You must also know you need to wait for instructions on student release rather than coming to the school. Emergency personnel responding to the situation need the area clear to do their job. After emergency responders determine that a safe student release is possible, arrangements will be made to reunite children with their families. In the aftermath of a crisis, it is important to remain calm as children are greatly influenced by their family’s sense of well-being, and anything that families can do to reassure students will be helpful. At the same time, families need to be compassionate listeners when their children speak of the crisis.

Mass Communication:

Discovery will use ConnectEd for mass communication. This phone system is part of a ConnectEd calling system that allows principals or the Grand Forks School District to relay information to families in a timely manner. If you see a call from the GFPS on your caller ID, please pick it up and listen to the message. This is especially important if you don’t have voice mail or an answering machine. We then review the phone information to ensure that our numbers are current and that you received the message.


Calls do not ring into the classroom during school hours to minimize interruptions. Messages for students can be left on the teacher’s voicemail. However, Seesaw will be the best form of communication with classroom teachers. Seesaw sign up communication will be provided by your student's teacher.


Do you want to help make decisions about how to support your children and their teachers? Well, then our PTO is just the group for you! The PTO organizes and sponsors many events and activities throughout the school year. Please follow the Discovery Parent Teacher Organization on social media (Facebook & Twitter).

Arival, dismissal & checking out your child(red) during the school day

School Day:

  • Arrival Bell: 8:20 am

  • Tardy Bell: 8:25 am

  • Dismissal Bell: 3:00 pm


Students that are utilizing the breakfast program can enter in door #7 beginning at 7:40am. Students not eating breakfast at Discovery will go to their designated location outside to wait for the 8:20 am bell. Staff will provide supervision at the drop-off locations from 8:10 to 8:25. We ask anyone arriving after the tardy bell at 8:25 to use door #1 and check-in with the office staff before going to their classroom. Contingency plans will be shared with your children in the event of inclement weather. Please see the arrival/dismissal graphic for specific grade level drop off and pick up locations.


The safety of our students and staff is a top priority for us at Discovery Elementary Schools. As per district policy, schools will have parents meet their child(ren) at a designated location outside the school at dismissal time. Teachers will bring students to an assigned location outside the school. Students will meet their pick-up person at a prearranged meeting place near the assigned dismissal door. Older siblings will go to the youngest sibling’s assigned door so parents can pick up all children in the same location. Contingency plans will be shared with your children in the event of inclement weather. Please see the arrival/dismissal graphic for specific grade level drop off and pick up locations.

Checking out your child(ren) during the day:

If you are taking your child out of school early for any reason, please call the school office and let the secretaries know the time you plan to pick up. Please pick up your child(ren) at Door #1. Please walk up to the door and push the doorbell to communicate with the school secretaries. Once the secretary has confirmed who you are and who you are picking up, they will send the child(ren) out to you.

Absences & Tardies:

If your child is absent or late, call the attendance line by 8:30 am to leave a message. Communication between home and school ensures students safety.

  • Attendance Line: 701-787-4361

  • School Office: 701-787-4359

Grade Level Arrival and Dismissal Locations

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Parents Lead


Talking openly and honestly with your kids is one of the most effective ways to support their behavioral health. Whether it’s everyday topics like friends and school, or more serious topics like substance use, anxiety, or depression, it’s never too early to start the conversation. As your kids grow, your conversations may change, but they will always be centered on keeping them happy, healthy, and safe. Keep your conversations relaxed, friendly, non-judgmental, and genuine. And most importantly, be a good listener.


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Main Office: 701-787-4359

Attendance Line: 701-787-4361

Fax: 701-787-5053

Main Office Hours: 7:45am - 3:45pm

Location: 3300 43rd Ave. S

Grand Forks, ND 58201

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