Wednesday Word

September 29th, 2021

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From the Principal

Dear Sunflower Families,

Parent/teacher conferences are just around the corner! Below you will find the Sign-Up Genius links for all teachers, including specialists.

  • Use the links below to secure your conference times.
  • Conferences will be 15 minutes in length with 5 minutes in between to give staff time to prepare for the next conferences.
  • Conferences will be in person, however families may request a conference via Webex if preferred.
  • Masks must be worn while in the building.
  • Please contact the school or your teacher directly if you would like to have an interpreter at your conference.
  • Our goal is 100% of Sunflower families will participate in parent/teacher conferences.

Next Tuesday, October 5th is our first Site Council of the school year.

  • Site council is made up of building administration and staff, Sunflower families and community members are also welcome.
  • We meet about five times a year to learn more about school mission, vision and goals and collaborate on how we can partner as a school community in pursuit of those school goals.
  • If you would like to join us next Tuesday, October 5th at 6:00pm via Webex, please email me at for the link and agenda.

As always it is an honor to serve as the principal of Sunflower Elementary.

Melissa Blevins

From the Nurse


Lawrence Public Schools conducts Hearing and Vision Screenings mandated by the state of Kansas. To ensure all students can access curriculum and instruction, the district screens students' Hearing and Distance Vision for concerns that may require further follow-up. The district conducts mass hearing/vision screenings at the schools for students K-12. In some grades, not all students participate in the screenings. COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: All staff and students involved in Hearing and Vision screenings will wear masks and follow USD 497 COVID prevention and safety measures.

Parents/Guardians who DO NOT want their children to participate in hearing and vision screenings during the 2021-2022 school year, must complete an opt-out request form for EACH STUDENT by 8 a.m. the day before the hearing and vision screening is scheduled to be conducted at your child's school. If completing a paper form, the paper form must be received by 8:00 a.m. the day before screening by the School Nurse or Health Office Attendant.

If you want your child's hearing and vision screening to be completed, DO NOT COMPLETE THE OPT-OUT REQUEST FORM. The district will automatically conduct the screenings in accordance with its protocols for hearing and vision.

Sunflower Hearing and Vision screens are scheduled for October 8th.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.


Lawrence Public Schools Nurses, Nursing Facilitator, and Audiologist

USD 497 COVID Procedure Updates

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Girls on the Run Day Camp

Several elementary schools in the Lawrence School District have hosted Girls on the Run (GOTR) teams in the past. Due to COVID restrictions many schools are not able to have a team. Girls on the Run will be hosting Camp GOTR (half-day camp) at Dad Perry Park in October. Camp GOTR provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls in grade 3-5 to develop self-confidence and learn life skills they can use now and as they grow. Girls will enjoy building friendships in an exciting and inclusive setting that includes interactive games, being physically active, and expressing creativity through arts and crafts and storytelling. Led by caring and qualified Girls on the Run coaches, this 5-week-long program on Saturday mornings combines the empowering lessons of the Girls on the Run program with all the fun of camp. Scholarships are available, and the process is built into our registration system. We also offer payment plans.

Staff Member of the Month

The Staff Recognition Committee is excited to announce our first opportunity this year to recognize one classified and certified staff member who represent the "BEST" the Sunflower staff has to offer. This year, we are wanting to incorporate the entire Sunflower community in the nomination process, including staff, students, and parents/guardians. Please consider nominating a staff member that you feel sets a great example for others to follow. Each month, we will recognize one classified (including paraeducators, interventionists, office, custodial, food service, lunchroom, library assistant) and one certified (grade-level, special education, specials, nurse, learning coach, library) staff member. Forms can be found at the following links:

October Classified Staff Member of the Month Nomination Form:

October Certified Staff Member of the Month Nomination Form:

From the Counselor

What is bullying?

The answer to this question can sometimes be very confusing. The 3 main pieces of a behavior that is considered to be bullying behavior includes: usually (but not always) repeated, intentionally aggressive or unwanted behaviors, and there is a real or perceived imbalance of power. Here are a few links to help with defining what bullying is and how to help our scholars deal with bullying situations:

Kansas Department of Education's Information regarding bullying prevention:

Please remember that you and your scholars may always reach out to any of our school staff to report any bullying concerns by contacting us via email &/or phone anytime. Scholars may also write a note sharing their concerns and place this in Julie Heatwole's mailbox, which is located just outside the counselor's office next to her door (See picture below). This is a locked mailbox, so all notes/letters stay confidential. You may contact the school counselor, Julie Heatwole, at or #785-330-4860 if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for being a part of our Sunflower Family!!

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Bully Awareness Week: Oct 4th-8th!

Sunflower will be celebrating this coming week showing just how much we show kindness and care for each other!

Our Theme this year is CHOOSE PEACE!

Student Council is also hosting a fun spirit week...

Tuesday (10/5) = Sunflower scholars work together as a TEAM! Wear your favorite Team attire!

Wednesday (10/6) = Sunflower scholars not only dream about kindness, but we exhibit kindness through our actions and words! Wear your favorite Pajamas!

Thursday (10/7) = Sunflower scholars are crazy about spreading kindness to all! Wear some Crazy Hair!

Friday (10/8) = Sunflower scholars unite against bullying! Wear your favorite Sunflower Spirit attire!

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Sunflower families, just a reminder to send your scholars with a water bottle and a face mask to school every day.

Household Economic Survey

If you have not completed the Household Economic Survey, please do. Funding for Sunflower depends on the responses to this survey. This survey can be completed through your Powerschool account.

Future Firebirds Clinic

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Little Firebird Soccer Clinic

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Walk to School Day

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Crunch for a Cause Dine Out Night

This Dine Out Night benefits the 5th grade recognition committee and 5th grade special events.
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From Sunflower PTO

October PTO meeting Tuesday 10/5 at 7pm. See our Facebook page for event details or send an email to for information on how to join.

Save the date and support our 5th Graders! Taco John’s Eat and Earn Wednesday 10/13!

$1 PJ Day on Thursday 10/14, optional $1 donation in support of PTO.

Thank You to everyone who volunteered to be a Parent Liaison for their classroom! We have two spots open;

Ms. Brown—1st Grade

Ms. Hagan—5th Grade

Please contact Ally Parris at if you would like to volunteer.

**Follow our Sunflower PTO Facebook page. We post a lot of information and events on our page.

Important Dates

9/29 - Marathon Club Begins

10/5 - 10/8 - Bully Awareness Spirit Week

10/5 - Site Council Meeting @ 6:00pm

10/5 - PTO Meeting @ 7:00pm

10/6 - Walk & Bike to School Day

10/8 - Hearing and Vision Screenings

10/13 - Eat and Earn @ Taco John's benefitting the 5th Grade recognition committee

10/14 - $1 PJ Day

10/15 - No School - Teacher Conference Prep.

10/21 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/22 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/25 - No School