Susitna Elementary News


May 3, 2018

Volume 4, Issue 9

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Dear Susitna Families -

I really cannot believe our school year is almost over! It's true, "time flies when you're having fun!" It is such an honor to be part of the Susitna Elementary. Our students, staff, parents, and business partners continue to make this a thriving school community! As we wrap up another school year together, all I can honestly say is THANK YOU!

It's always a bittersweet time of the year as we say good-bye to our 5th graders who have been an exceptional group of students, many of them with us since Kindergarten! We sincerely hope their life journey will be filled with wisdom and wonder!

Happy Spring Susitna Families!

Thank you for supporting our school and students for the 17-18 school year! It has gone so quickly - the flood of November seems like it happened years ago! We have lots of things happening this last month of school - please look through the calendar and make note of your family's activities. Details will be coming home on the events as we get closer! While we are excited about spring, we are also excited to be saying goodbye to our fifth-grade students - we have a number of fun things planned for that transition.

I want to share some safety thoughts with you -

  1. Each quarter our school practices an intruder safety drill. With the many shootings happening across the country, we believe it is important to have a set of basic response skills ready. We do not use blank bullets, and we do not use hysterics. We read a scenario that provides information for teachers to make a good decision in their response and action. Your students are accustomed to the drill and do a good job listening to their teachers. Thank you for supporting our efforts to keep all students safe!
  2. Recently we have had a couple of folks hang out in our play yard, and I have asked our School Resource Officer (SRO) to help. We have had no problems. I appreciate it when families, neighbors, or staff members alert me to things we should be paying attention to. Thank you for this, and don't hesitate to check in with questions or comments.
  3. Flip flops. Please have students wear real shoes to school. Bloody toes as recess are no fun for anyone when kids wear flip-flops.

A thank you goes to staff members who have applied for and received grants for school and classroom materials. Coach Putman has received a grant for additional ski equipment, and other teachers have received grants for things such as drones. Our teachers rely on outside support, whether it is grants or donations from families. Your support of our school and staff is always appreciated.

And finally - our school has had two teacher positions cut for next year. Mr. Froehlich is retiring and Ms. Dottie has taken a year's leave - this takes care of our cuts. In addition, we have some teachers changing schools for the 2018-2019 school year. Ms. Brittany (OPT) will be moving to Lake Hood to be a reading interventionist, Ms. Genie (OPT) will be heading to Chugach Optional, and Ms. Vanderpool (Music) will be heading to Creekside, a Title I school. Ms. Hiseley (Neighborhood 3rd) will be leaving AK with the military, and Ms. Mott (Neighborhood 5th) will be heading to Scenic Park, her daughter's school. In addition, Mr. Yanis, our beloved BPO, is also retiring. We have been hiring and are excited by the candidates we are meeting. We are certain you will enjoy the new team members joining Susitna, and we will introduce them soon! We wish the very best to our current staff members who are leaving us for new adventures.

We wish for you an enjoyable spring and summer. We look forward to seeing you at registration or our Meet and Greet in August! Until then, stay safe and happy!


Diane Hoffbauer, Principal

Upcoming Dates of Importance


Monday, May 7: No Club Ki'L- done for the rest of the year

Monday, May 7: OPT 4/5 walking field trip

Tuesday, May 8: National Teacher Appreciation Day

Tuesday, May 8: Ms. Mottie, etc. field trip to ANHC

Wednesday, May 9: Walkathon - get your pledges!

Wednesday, May 9: Bike to Work Day

Thursday, May 10 - 11: OPT Intensives

Friday, May 11: Popcorn Friday

Friday, May 11: Neighborhood K Celebration (2:00 pm)

Friday, May 11: Orff Ensemble Concerts (2:00 and 6:30 pm)

Friday, May 11: April, May, June, July birthdays (2:45)

Tuesday, May 15: PTA (4:00 pm)

Tuesday, May 15: OPT 5th grade trip to Birchwood/Dinner (all day)

Wednesday, May 16: Highland Academy visit (11:15 pm)

Wednesday, May 16: OPT K-5 Rising Up Celebration (2:30)

Thursday, May 17: 5th-grade kickball

Friday, May 18: Field Day (volunteers still needed)

Monday, May 21: Dreamer Spotted Subway Lunches for April and May

Monday, May 21: Bowling Party for the highest class for walkathon (9:00 a.m.)

Monday, May 21: Fourth quarter awards assembly (afternoon)

Monday, May 22: OPT K/1 Celebration

Tuesday, May 22: Last day for student backpacks

Wednesday, May 23: All school 5th-grade celebration (1:45 p.m.)

Wednesday, May 23: LAST STUDENT DAY

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Wednesday May 9th SUSITNA'S WALK-A-THON

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Musical Notes

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The Concepts of the Blues

Our Fourth and Fifth-grade students are finishing up a 12-bar blues unit. They have all learned the concepts of the blues and have written their own blues lyrics. Don't be surprised if they come home asking you to write your own blues (voluntary homework sheets were given out.) Their next project is an Artist Study where they can bring in school appropriate music to share. More information is coming home this week!

Please join us Friday, May 11th for Susitna's first Orff Percussion Ensemble concert. Concerts begin at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm and will run approximately 30 minutes.

I wish to thank all of Susitna's students and families for their support over the last eleven years. Susitna is a truly wonderful community! It is with difficulty that I tell you I will not be returning to teach at Susitna again next fall. The decision was extremely difficult, but one that I hope will help me grow as a music educator. I hope that I continue to see you in the community in the years to come and please don't hesitate to email and keep me informed of your student's successes! I am truly thankful for all of the amazing opportunities that Susitna has given me and I will miss you all dearly!

Shawnee Vanderpool

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Physical Education Activities

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Bike to School Day, May 9th, 2018

Bike to School Day, May 9

Students and staff will be riding their bikes to celebrate Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9. Students must wear a helmet to participate and should wear bright clothing. The Municipality of Anchorage Safe Routes website has maps that can help families plan for this event.

The Bicycle Shop-Dimond, 1801 W. Dimond Blvd., and community organizations are partnering with ASD to provide a free bike safety check and carnival on Saturday, May 5 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the store. Contact the shop for additional information at 222-9953.

For more information about Bike to School Day, contact ASD's Bike to School Day Coordinator Kimberly Resheske.

Thank you,

Chris Putman

Susitna PE


Field Day Volunteers Needed!!

This is a fun day for students and staff!! During field day students visit stations set up around the outside of the school and participate in fun activities like tug-o-war, bubbles, obstacle courses, and if it's sunny... a slip&slide!! To make this fun event a reality this year we need helpers! We are asking parents to come and help us run the stations. All day help is preferred but if you can help for part of the day please join us. Here is the schedule:

Friday, May 18th, 2018

8:30 AM- need volunteers here to set up the stations.

3-5 grades- 9:30-11:00

11:30-1:00- all school BBQ (exact times to be determined)

K-2 grades 1:30-3:00

3:00-3:30- need volunteers to clean up stations

If you can help or have questions please contact Mr. Putman, OR talk with your student's classroom teacher.

Thank you,

Mr. Putman

Susitna PE

News from the Librarian

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Community Dreamers

Fourth grade students, Alyssa, Jahzelle, and Kaliena raised money from the neighborhood to donate to the Susitna library.
Two new books were purchased and donated to the library from the girls support. Thank you for your efforts!

Ann Benfield,
Teacher-Librarian for Susitna Elementary

News From The NURSE

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Now that the end of the year is nearing, please remember the following so that we have e a smooth end of the year transition and a smooth return to school next year:

1. All medication must be picked up or it will, be discarded at Health Services

2. Anyone who has an asthma or allergy care plan, must have a new one each year. Doctors should have them in their office; however, I can give you one to take to your child’s doctor over the summer, if you need one.

3. All prescription medication administered at school must have an order for the nurse to give it.

4. Over the counter medication must have a form signed by a parent and the parent must supply the medication.

5. The nurse must be notified of all allergies and a child must have a form for meal accommodations that is signed by a doctor.

6. Children, who have lice or nits, need to have the medicated shampoo applied to their hair the day they are notified that the child has an infestation. It is not appropriate to send the child back to school with lice or nits. It is also the responsibility of the parents to purchase the medicated shampoo to treat the infestation.

May5th is ride your bike to school day. Please make certain you do not send your child to school on a bike if they have to cross Muldoon. It is not safe for an elementary school child to cross Muldoon without an adult with him or her.

1 Myth: Children shouldn’t use hand signals, because signaling may cause them to lose control of their bikes.

2 Fact: Hand signals are an important part of the rules of the road. Children should be taught before they begin to ride.

3 Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.

4 Fact: It’s never safe for your child to ride a bike at night.

5 Safe? You should only buy a helmet that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Check for this label inside helmet.

6 Where can I get a helmet? They are available at bike shops and some discount, department and toy stores. They come in adult, children and toddler sizes.

7 How should a helmet fit? It should be worn squarely on top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. If it is tipped back it will not protect the forehead. It fits well if it doesn’t move around on the head or slide down over the eyes when pulled. Adjust chinstrap to fit snugly.

How can I tell if a helmet will keep my child It should be worn squarely on top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. If it is tipped back it will not protect the forehead. It fits well if it doesn’t move around on the head or slide down over the eyes when pulled. Adjust chinstrap to fit snugly.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the above information.

Thank you,

Anne McCarron RN, Susitna School Nurse (907) 742-1401

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Susitna Cafe

Nutrition Nibbles

  • Student Nutrition will be offering free lunches to children under age 18 all summer during the week at Mt. View Lion’s Park.
  • Reminder that if your child is currently on our Free & Reduced Program, he/she will be on this Program for the first 30 days of school as a carryover, however a new application must be filled out and updated each year to remain on the Program. Visit our portal to apply early.
  • Student Nutrition will be hiring for Fall starting in June! We have many positions ranging from 3 – 8 hours daily in our kitchens. Check out the for open positons or call Susan at 348-5185 with questions.


Online Registration is Open for Returning Students

Just go to

There are two online registration windows:

  • May 1 - 26
  • July 24 - Aug. 21
This online service is ONLY available for students returning to the district. Parents who miss these registration windows may still register their student in-person at their school at the beginning of August.

New-to-district students or students moving over the summer will need to register in-person at their school during districtwide registration in August. Parents of middle and high school students can register online to save time, but students will still have an opportunity to visit their school to pick up class schedules, locker combinations and parking permits, and to get ID photos taken. If you have questions about online registration, please contact your child’s school.

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Come look at our Art display case

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Anchorage School Board

Tam Agosti-Gisler - President

Elisa Snelling

Starr Marsett

Kathleen Plunkett

Bettye Davis

Andy Holleman

Dave Donley

Superintendent - Dr. Deena Bishop

School Business Partners