Gardnerville Elementary School

Cougar News: October - November 2021

Greetings from Principal, Mr. William Harvey

Hello GES Families -

Happy Fall! I hope this newsletter finds you preparing for a change in seasons as our hours of daylight decrease and the temperature is cooling down. As I write my first newsletter as Principal of Gardnerville Elementary School, I am compelled again to say “thank you” to everyone for making me feel welcomed to the GES community. I feel honored to be a GES Cougar. On that same note, I want to thank you all for a very strong start to the school year. We have already completed several weeks of community building in our classrooms and are getting into our academic routines.

Please make sure you are connected to your child’s teacher as we move further into the school year. There are a variety of ways to connect:

  • Remind - this a convenient two-way form of communication between home and school

  • Infinite Campus (IC) - keep up to date on your child’s academic and social progress, check attendance, and stay up to date with messages from the office.

  • GES Website - a quick way to find out what is happening at GES. Currently, we are in the process of updating information for the 2021-2022 school year. If there is something that you notice that needs updating, please let us know.

  • Teacher/Staff Landing page - a place to interact with the teacher’s learning plans, links to information such as Google Classroom, links to usable apps, and upcoming dates

  • Google Classroom - view assignments, track student work submission, link to important announcements.

  • Email - each teacher is expected to check email daily and respond in a reasonable amount of time, this is often the easiest way to communicate with the teacher.

I would like to give a huge shout-out to the GES PTSO for all of their work on a couple of recent fundraisers. First, the Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough fundraiser was a huge success with over $23,000 in sales, with at least 40% of that staying at GES to provide for students. Additionally, PTSO President Phil Ruffo, along with many staff and parent volunteers, supervised one of the parking lots at the Candy Dance. This endeavor also yielded a healthy boost to the GES PSTO. With that said, one of the projects that PTSO is funding, to build school community and promote positive school spirit, is a redesign of the GES Spirit wear. We are in the process of selecting a new design, collecting sizes, and preparing our order. Each student will receive a screen printed t-shirt at no charge. THANK YOU!

In closing, I want to thank all of our families and staff for their diligent work to continue to make in-person learning a possibility in Douglas County. We will continue to adjust and adapt as changes occur, while keeping safety a priority.

Together In Education,

Bill Harvey, Principal

Calendar of Events

Upcoming important dates:

  • October 11: Early Release
  • October 13: Picture Make-ups 9-11 am
  • October 13: Flu Vaccine Clinic 8-10:30 am
  • October 18: No School (Teacher Work Day)
  • October 19: PTSO Meeting 4-5 pm
  • October 20: Cookie Dough Delivery/Pick-up
  • October 20: Book Mobile visits GES
  • October 25-30: No School (Fall Break)
  • November 4 and 5: No School (Parent-Teacher Conference)
  • November 15: Early Release
  • November 11: No School (Veteran's Day)
  • November 24-26: No School (Thanksgiving Break)

What's Growning On?

The Gardnerville Elementary School GIFT Garden Update

If you stroll through the GES Garden now, you might be able to count, at least, 30 different plants growing! Some of the students’ favorites include cherry tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, grapes, corn, watermelons, and black berries. You might also spy a number of beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantis, and honey bees!

Our fall harvest has been scrumptious! We have harvested enough lemon cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and blackberries to share in the cafeteria. Students have sampled so many vegetables like watermelons, carrots, basil, strawberries, and lettuce. Our students have harvested flowers seeds to help us replant our pollinator beds in the spring. It has been an impressive and tasty harvest.

The summer garden beds were cared for by many loving hands. Now we are seeing the fruits of their labor. Many people stop by the garden and ask, what is in our soil? Our organic soil mixture is great. However, we believe it is all the loving hands that have touched this garden making the plants so healthy.

Here are a few more recent accomplishments:

  • 17 lbs. of cherry tomatoes were harvested by Mrs. Barbera. Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Daniels and Mrs. Nixon and shared with classrooms and the school cafeteria.
  • We replaced one of our grape vines and all survived the winter and produced fabulous grapes that have been shared with the cafeteria and in Mrs. Ellbogen, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Daniels and Mrs. Keasling classes.
  • Our Nevada Department of Agriculture Producer’s Certificate was once again renewed. We continue to be certified producers!!
  • Our cougar designed by the Ruffo family was given a new coat of paint by David (Mo) Tyndall and hung on the chain link fence to watch over the garden. Maybe the cougar can keep that pesky squirrel out of the garden!
  • Lemon cucumbers were a big hit with 17 lbs. harvested.
  • Check out the fabulous nameplate art work attached to boxes by Mrs. Flynn’s class!!

What’s next??

We are looking forward to seeing how many potatoes are in our bins and sharing them with the school! We added some cold frames this past year and have been using them in the spring to help our spring plants growing inside classrooms to acclimate. After our final harvest and bed clearing, teachers are welcome to grow a fall/early winter crop with their students. Keep on nibbling!

We couldn’t keep out garden growing over the summer without our remarkable volunteers!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your time in in the garden.....

The Micheli Family The O’Neill Family Norah Gastelum

The Walling Family The Olm Family Irene Gutierrez

Sebastian Navarrete-Amaral Stephanie Crow Jim Gocke The Caldera Gonzalez Family

Our fabulous help at school: Nick, Justino, Max and Ryan

Our garden coordinator extraordinaire: Marci Barrie!!!!

Best, Lauren O'Neill, Reading Specialist

Happy Fall from your Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)!

We hit the ground running this school year and can proudly announce that our awesome students sold a record amount of Otis Spunkmeyer products! $23,000 in sales this year. Our top classes who have earned a pizza party are Mrs. Flynn's first grade class, Mrs. Ellbogen's third grade class, and Mrs. Daniel's third grade class.

We want to really express our appreciation to all that volunteered this year at the parking lot for The Candy Dance. Our PTSO President, Mr. Ruffo put a lot of work into making this an amazingly successful weekend for our school and our students. The money raised goes directly to improvements to the school and to enrich our children's education.

We have a couple of new PTSO Board Members to welcome - Maggi Vandenburg as Vice President and Andrea Holdridge as assistant to the Treasurer (2022 Treasurer).

Interested in participating? We meet the third Tuesday of every month at 4pm in the School Office. We look forward to seeing you!

2021-2022 Board Members

Philip Ruffo, President

Maggi Vandenburg, Vice President

Amanda Johnson, Treasurer

Andrea Holdridge, Assistant Treasurer

Whitney Everett, Secretary

Shopping to Support PTSO

GES Spirit Wear - Coming soon... a new t-shirt design.

Clearance Sale - Get a great price on GES spirit wear before it's gone. Short sleeve - $5.00 Long Sleeve -$10.00 Sweatshirt - $15.00 (youth)

Raley's & Grocery Outlet Rewards:

With the Raley's and Grocery Outlet reward program, go to or mention our school at checkout. Upon registration, the reward program will automatically give credit to the school and a percentage of your shopping will automatically go to the school. Thank you for your continued support.

If you are interested in any of the above items or have any questions, please contact:

Philip Ruffo

School Counselor - Shaunda Vasey, M.A., NCC

The school counselor is a social skills specialist. I visit each class twice a month to deliver Second Step social skills lessons. Second Step is a research based curriculum. Unit topics include skills for learning, empathy, identifying and managing feelings, and problem solving.

At GES we explicitly teach expected behaviors in all settings. When we see students using expected behaviors, we reinforce them with blue tickets. Blue tickets can be redeemed for goodies at the student store.

Keep an eye out for an “I Can Show Kindness!” grid coming home the week of October 18 to 22. Students complete acts of kindness, cross them off the grid, get a parent signature, and turn in the grid to their teacher for 3 blue tickets.

Big picture

Home of the Cougars!

We educate students from Pre-K, Kinder through 5th grade.

Principal, William Harvey

Vice-Principal, Molly Ravenscroft

Head Secretary, Raquel Johnson

School Secretary, Melissa Cook

Health Office

Welcome to the 2021/2022 school year! I am so excited to be a part of the GES family, and I look forward to a happy and healthy year with your children. See below for some important information.

If you, a family member, or someone you have been in contact with has tested positive for COVID, or have COVID symptoms, contact the GES Health Aide immediately for further direction.

The Flu Vaccination Clinic is open to staff, students, and family of staff and students. Packets should already be making their way home in your child's backpack. Be on the lookout! Each packet includes the following: 1.) A calendar schedule of all schools' clinics with their dates & times 2.) The CCHHS flyer with instructions on how to have your insurance billed properly and/or pay a small fee of $20 if you are uninsured and attached along with the flyer is 3.) The questionnaire Consent Form that you need to fill out ahead of time and send back to school with your child along with a copy of your insurance card or $20 if you are uninsured. Please make sure to get these packets back to the school before October 13th as I have to check for missing information prior to the day of our clinic. Note, each packet is intended for one individual. If you require additional packets, please notify me.

It may be tempting to think that your children can also get by with less sleep than they need, but children actually do better with a regular bedtime routine. Sleep deprivation can lead to some pretty grueling behaviors and health problems. Children who are on a regular bedtime routine that get enough sleep have a healthier immune system, better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.

If you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached @ 775-782-5117 ext 2507 or - my office hours are 8:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

- Danielle Goldstein, Health Aide

Book Fair Update

Thank you for supporting our Fall Book Fair!! We sold over $7,000 and of that, the literacy library gets to keep $1,344.22 The Literacy Library supports the literacy needs of all teachers at GES.

11 Tips for Promoting Reading in Children of All Ages

  1. Play word games together to build your children’s interest in words. Some new word games are Scrabble Flash, Blurt, Bananagrams, and Apples to Apples Junior. You can also play favorites such as Hangman or online word games.

  2. Stash books and magazines where your children will be—in the car, in their bedrooms, and even in the bathroom. Encourage your child to read while riding in the car, waiting at the doctor’s office, or passing time between activities.

  3. Be a reading role model. Be sure your children see you reading for pleasure on a regular basis. If your children see you reading, they will begin to understand that reading is valued in your family.

  4. Read comics, jokes, riddles, and puns together. Read the comics from the newspaper or joke books from the library. Humor websites for children are another fun resource you may want to read and enjoy with your children. A free website that contains jokes, riddles, and puns is:

  5. Plan a book swap with your neighbors, friends, or other family members who have children the same age as yours. Each family can bring books and magazines to recommend and trade.

  6. Read and discuss newspaper and magazine articles. An article beside the breakfast bowl can provide a great alternative to the usual routine conversations!

  7. If your child has an assigned reading, try to read the same book so you can have meaningful discussions about the book. If your child is struggling to complete an assigned reading, try taking turns listening to him/her read, and reading aloud to your child, checking frequently for understanding.

  8. Consider purchasing an electronic reader (i.e., Kindle, Nook, etc.). E-readers have become very popular and may entice your child to read more often.

  9. Reward progress with a trip to the bookstore to select a special book.

  10. Write notes recognizing your child’s accomplishments. A little praise can go a long way! -Tips adapted from Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic

We have books available in our Free Little Library in the school garden. Have a tomato or smell the herbs while you are there!

Infinite Campus - Parent Portal: Annual Update and Review

Please make sure ALL of your demographic (address, phone numbers, and emergency contact) information is up to date. In the event your child is ill or in the case of an emergency, it will enable the Health Office or Office to reach you quickly. In order to make corrections, log into Infinite Campus and follow the steps below in order to update this valuable information:

1. Select your student

2. Select 'More' on the sidebar to your left and select existing online registration.

3. Follow the the steps as indicated.

Note: It is important that you click on Send Update after each entry or amendment. You may repeat this as often as necessary.

Infinite Campus is a valuable resource for parents and will help to expedite requests that you might have. Please call the Office for further assistance.

Reporting Student Absences

Call our attendance line at 775-782-5117 to excuse your child's absence. Unexcused absences will be changed to a truancy after 3 days. Thank you for communicating with the school.


Welcome back to another school year with new and exciting books to enjoy……funny, sad, comic, adventure, fairy tales, science, science fiction, magic, history, fantasy, super heroes, star wars, factual and fictional, we have it all and more at our school library. Come on in and check some out.

Please consider using the Box Tops for Education App to earn money for Library books at GES. There are 2 ways to earn cash for our Library! BOXTOPS = BOOKS.

Thank you for all of your help and support!

Mrs. Petite, Librarian/Media Specialist

Morning Routine

Please remember there is no supervision on the playgrounds until 8:40 am. Do not drop off or allow your child to come to school until after 8:40. Exception - students eating breakfast may enter the Multi-Purpose Room at 8:30 am.

Help us make our drop off and pick up procedures safe and efficient. Remember to leave the drive through area clear for flowing traffic. Cars may not be left unattended and drivers are to pull forward to empty spots along the curb, allowing other cars to get into the parking lot. Thank you to all of you who have made arrangements to meet your walkers at a designated 'outside' meeting place.

Cell Phone Use at School

Many of our children carry cell phones today and for good reasons. Students at GES may have their cell phones for use before and after school, but cannot be used during the school day. Student cell phones must be turned off upon arrival at school, after 8:40 a.m. Phones must remain turned off until school is dismissed at 3:14. We also encourage safe storage of cell phones during the school day. If you must contact your child between 8:40-3:10, please do not call the cell phone. Instead, contact the school office at 782-5117 to relay important messages to your child. Cell phones may be confiscated for improper use and kept at the Office for parent pick up.

Volunteer/ Visitor Sign In

It is very important that all parents and other visitors to GES sign in at the Office and wear a visitor’s badge whenever they are in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom or on the playground. This is critical for the protection of your children, and also important for us to know which adults are on campus in case of an emergency. Before school, you are welcome to drop your students off at the front sidewalk, or even walk them to the edge of the playground, without getting a visitor’s badge.

School Nutrition


Please remember to fill out a new free/reduced lunch application for the school year if your family is eligible; applications do not “roll over” each year, and expire on September 30, 2021. The easiest and quickest way is through Infinite Campus, processed by the next day. You can also fill out a paper application and return it to school with your student. Those take up to 10 days to process.


There are a couple different ways to add lunch money to your students lunch account. You can pay with your credit card online through Nutrition Services using your Infinite Campus. You can also send your student to the office with cash or a check which will be applied to the student account the same day. 2-5th grade students may add funds for snacks.


GES is working hard to help provide students with a healthy school environment and to follow the School District’s Wellness Policy; therefore, we are encouraging parents to provide individually wrapped, healthy snacks (or non-edible treats) for birthdays, achievements, and other celebrations instead of sugary snacks, such as cupcakes. Please communicate with your student’s teacher if you would like to suggest another idea to celebrate your students special day.

Gardnerville Elementary School is a great place to learn because every member of the GES family matters. We provide meaningful, intentional, and purposeful learning experiences that honor what is best for students. With high expectations, we prepare students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of society.