Susitna Elementary News


May 4, 2017

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!

Staff members leaving us include: Codie Malloy (PE) moving to McLaughlin, Nancy Wilson (4th grade) changing to an Instructional Coach position, and the SBBS Program moving to Baxter Elementary. We also want to say goodbye to Hope Reynolds, this school years special ed teacher. Although we will miss them here, we are glad we were part of their journey, and know they will be a gift to their new school homes!

We have so many things we can be proud of as a school community, including our outstanding PTA and SOPG (Optional Parent Group)! Both of our parent groups are instrumental in supporting our students and staff with everything from field trips, awards and incentives, school supplies, volunteer time, and so much more! Both groups are an example of what a caring group of dedicated parents can accomplish, despite having full-time jobs and family responsibilities. If you were not able to participate in our SOPG or PTA this year, I encourage you to get involved with them next year.

Our business partners keep us strong with a variety of contributions year-round! Subway lunches to honor our "Dreamer Spotted" students, Super Sweeper Clean-up and BBQ at Glen Caren, Carrs/Safeway monthly student birthday celebrations, Denali Federal Credit Union volunteering staff to help with STEM Night and other school events, and the list goes on and on for how our local businesses are supporting our students and school community.

There really are so many people and events to recall that made this a wonderful, memorable year. Please read on to see some of the most recent highlights and summer opportunities.

With best summer wishes,

Diane Hoffbauer

Upcoming Dates of Importance


1st - 5th - Susitna Educators Appreciation Week (teachers and anyone who works with your child here at Susitna)

3rd - Optional Parent Work Night

5th - Last day to check out library books from Susitna Library

- Dreamer Spotted Subway Lunch

- April Birthday's Celebrated

- Math Derby Competition

9th - 11th - Alaska Native Heritage Center Preview Performances FREE (Community News)

- Optional 5th Grade Day Camp

10th - Walkathon

- Bike to School Day

11th - Walkathon Money is Due

11th - 12th - Optional Intensives

11th-12th - Drama Club The Elephant's Child Performances (Thursday 6pm Friday 2pm)

12th - May/June/July Birthdays Celebrated

14th - Mother's Day

14th - Bear Aware @ Alaska Zoo noon to 4 (see flyer below)

16th - Optional Jump up Tea

- 4th Quarter Awards Assembly

17th - Walkathon Winning Class Bowling Party

18th - All library books returned to Susitna Library

- Kickball 5th grade vs staff

19th - Field Day k-2 am 3-5 pm

20th - Summer Reading Program @ Loussac Library noon-4pm (see flyer below)

21st - International Migratory Bird 11am - 5pm (see flyer in community news)

22nd - Optional 5th Grade Trip

23rd - Students take home all items- NO BACKPACKS ON LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!

- Dreamer Spotted Subway Lunch

24th - Last day of School - Wednesday/report cards go home

- k/1 Celebration

- 5th Grade Recognition

- Optional BBQ

29th - Memorial Day


21st - First Day of School 1st grade - 5th grade for 2017-2018 School Year

28th - First Day of School Kindergarten for 2017-2018 School Year

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Wednesday May 10th Walk 4 Fun

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" Walk 4 Fun" Walkathon

Thank you to all of our Susitna families for making Susitna's first Annual "Trek for Tech" Walk-a-thon to raise money for technology such a success! We appreciate everyone's support. This year's money will go to our 4 specialists to help them replace used items and to enhance their learning environments all for our Susitna students. Please thank Mr. Putman, Ms. Malloy, Ms. Vanderpool, Mrs. Benfield, and Mrs. Hernandez for their passion to enhance their learning areas.
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Musical Notes

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Susitna Drama 2017 presents ...........

Susitna students from all ages have been arriving early before school starts each week to work on the drama the Elephant's Child. They have been rehearsing their lines, creating props, and singing the songs that will bring to life this years drama performance. We encourage you to come and support Ms. Vanderpool and the Susitna Drama group and enjoy this musical with Susitna.

The Elephant's Child

Friday May 12, 2 pm and 6:30 pm


Susitna Music

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ONE scholarship is available. Please contact Shawnee @

Alaska Children's Music Camp

Dates for 2017 are June 26-30 at the Lutheran Church of Hope.

Ages 6-12 Morning Session from 9am-12pm $150

Ages 3-5 Afternoon Session from 1pm-3pm $125

Early Registration Discount $25 if payment and registration received by May 26, 2017. T-shirt included.

Sibling Discount of $10 for each additional sibling. Please fill out a separate form for each Sibling.

Register online now: ALASKAORFFCHAPTER.ORG

Every summer, the Alaska Orff Chapter hosts the Alaska Children's Music Camp. This camp is one of the longest running Orff-Schulwerk camps for children in the United States. At camp, children will play, sing, create and move!

The Alaska Children's Music Camp is taught by experienced and distinguished Orff-Schulwerk teachers Karen Medley, Kay Lehto, and Anchorage's own Miriam DeLap.

Physical Education Activities

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Susitna families we are excited to plan for this years field day. We will have a slip n slide this year IF .... our weather permits it. We will also have our usual fun stations set up in the different fields and playground. Parents look for a permission slip coming home soon. Students must have a signed permission slip turned in to use the slip and slide. Parents and family members are welcome to come help.

Please contact me if you want to come help support this fun event.

Chris Putman

Susitna Elementary PE

Field Day Schedule

Field Day Schedule 2017

Friday May 19th

K-2 9:30-11:00 am

3-5 1:45-3:15 pm

Slip ‘n Slide Schedule

9:35-9:55 – 2nd Graders

10:00 – 10:20 – 1st Graders

10:25 - 10:45 – Kindergarten

1:45 - 2:05 – 3rd graders

2:10 - 2:30 – 4th Graders

2:35 – 2:55 – 5th Graders

**Please make your students aware of this. We will also tell them in PE how this will work. After students have finished their time, they will be taken in to the restrooms in Pod B to change and head back out to Field Day. They need to bring their clothes and towel out at the beginning and there will be a designated area for them to put their things.

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News from the Librarian

Happy Summer

It is that time of year when all library books need to be returned. The big day is Friday, May 12th. I will be sending the notices home weekly and in some cases daily. Please look for these notices and help your child search for the borrowed book(s). Children have often told me they found their books under their bed, on the coffee table, in the family bookshelf, in a closet and in the car. Students have been told that all library books need to be returned or the book replacement fee paid before participating in Field Day. This motivates children to be responsible and look for their book(s) instead of telling me their parents will simply pay for the book. If the book is not returned or the replacement fee is not paid, the child will assist me in the library during part of their field day time, "working" to pay the library debt. Naturally, I would prefer the child participation in Field Day. Please look for the overdue notice and help your child return the library book(s) by Friday, May 12th.

Please visit the local library during the summer. There are many fun-reading events happening at each library branch. Also, don't forget to use the ASD OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks. The tentative Battle of the Books list for 2017-18 is at

If you have any questions, let me know!

Thank you,

Mrs. Benfield


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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
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News From The NURSE

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May - Health News

Enjoy your summer, stay active, and have fun!

Once again, another school year has come to a close. There are several important announcements and reminders that I would like to bring to your attention:

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation Camp K Asthma Camp will be held June 4 – 9 and is for boys and girls 8 – 14. The deadline to apply is May 10th. Please contact AAFA Alaska at the (907) 349-0637 or email them at

The American Diabetes Association Camp K Diabetes Camp is being held June 18-23. The camp is for children 7-17 who have diabetes. If you know of a child whom could benefit from this camp email the ADA at or contact Kathleen Daymen at (907) 272-1424. The application is due by May 15th.

Both camps are held on Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing and are well staffed by health care professionals. The camps are where kids have lots of fun and learn to life-long self-care information. Spaces are limited so if you have an interest in either camp or know a parent whose child meets the criteria for the camp and that parent is interested, please contact the respective association and they will hold a place for the child.

Parents, please remember to pick up all student medications from the nurse’s office, otherwise they will be discarded on the last day of school. Health Care Plans for asthma, allergies and diabetes as well as Medication Forms for next year are available on the ASD website and can be completed anytime by your child’s health care provider.

If your child needs medication next year, please bring the completed and signed paperwork to school as soon as possible. This paperwork is definitely needed by the first day of school next year. Remember to fill in the space for parent authorization giving permission for the medication to be given at school (it is on the back of the care plans), obtain a doctor’s signature for all prescription medications, and have the doctor fill in the dosage, frequency, and side effects of the medication. Also, please remember that no student is allowed to keep any medication with him or her during the school day and no medication is allowed in backpacks. All medication must be brought to school in the original container by a parent or guardian. This is a safety issue and it is strictly against ASD policy for a student to carry medication unless there is a physician’s order allowing it. Additionally, the nurse cannot administer herbal remedies at school. The Federal Drug Administration does not oversee herbal products and the state of Alaska does not allow nurses to administer these products. One more request, medication that can be given at home should be given at home and not at school. The nurse’s job is to keep as many students in class at all times as possible, unless they are ill. It takes unnecessary time away from class when students come to the nurse for medications such as laxatives that can be given at home.

Parents, if your child has a need for special diet or there is any change in health concerns, please let me know. It is important that the school be kept abreast of anything that might impact your child’s education. If you have any questions about medications or anything else, please feel free to contact the nurse by calling 742-1401 or email at I will be happy to respond to any emails over the summer.

Have a fun and safe summer break. Eat healthy, get lots of exercise and read several great books.


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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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