Washington Elementary

November 16, 2018

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Playground Hopes and Dreams Update

A group of parents, students, and staff have developed a hopes and dreams vision for the playground. Three items emerged last spring as the big ticket items students desire for the playground at Washington Elementary.


Team Members:

Parents: Cherise Barker, Not present: Hilary Kent, Diane Winegar, Holly Evans,

School Staff: Scott Hare, Scott Hogan, Shane Baier, Aric Attig & Pat McCall

Students: Madison, Abby, Liam, Wila, Alexa & Brady


Purpose of the Team: Make improvements to the playground


Update on Top 3 Playground Equipment Ideas:

  1. Climber (Spider similar to Rosa Parks) $24,644.6

  2. Basketball Hoops Improvement- $5000

  3. Swings w/ Wheelchair accessibility $7000 (installation, November 2018)


The swing upgrades were scheduled for completion in summer of 2018. Due to back order of equipment, installation is now anticipated in November of 2018.


Fundraising efforts began last spring with the Walkathon to help us reach our playground hopes and dreams goal. Additionally, the team has been writing grants in the hopes of securing enough funds to meet our goal. At this point we have secured $15000 of the $24, 644.60 needed to purchased the climber. We will be seeking grants and other donations totally $9644 to reach our goal. Thank you to all who have contributed and we look forward to meeting our goal and installing a Climber/spider in summer of 2019.

Wildcat Wednesday Helps Build a Culture of Leaders and Community

What is Pride Time?

Classrooms are paired (Grades K-3, 1-4 and 2-5) to build community, build relationships, and offer opportunities for mentorship, leadership and personal growth. The application of the Seven Habits will be the focus of Pride Time. This will be building-wide and include all students and staff. Pride Time has been developed to give people access: adults opportunities to connect and mentor students, and it gives students opportunities to connect with and mentor peers.


Desired Outcomes for Culture of Leadership and Excellence

  1. A safe and supportive environment focused on developing leadership capacity in all students.

  2. A student centered culture with a laser like focus on our primary purpose of student learning

  3. An environment where differences are embraced and celebrated

  4. Healthy relationships where every student has at least one adult advocate and peer friendship.

  5. Develop the skills and mindsets that allow students to lead their own lives, to be able to work effectively with others and make a meaning contribution wherever they go in life. (Stephen and Sean Covey, Leader in Me)


Student benefits

  • Sense of leadership

  • Can offer a challenge

  • Provides/ builds intrinsic motivation for students

  • Provide lifelong skills

  • Students feel like they are part of a larger community

  • Builds relationships: student-to-student, teacher-student


Wildcat Rallies

Each month students and staff gather in the gymnasium to celebrate school pride and learn about ways to show our PAWS and live the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.

Counselor's Corner..

Happy November, Wildcats! This month students are learning conflict resolution strategies. Kindergarteners learned three steps to try on their own: say “stop”, ignore and walk away. First grade students learned the difference between tattling and reporting. Second graders learned about “I feel” statements and the importance of sharing their own perspective. Third graders worked to understand the idea of reflective listening and why it’s important to repeat back what the other person said in a conflict to show they were truly listening. Fourth graders talked through many different strategies that can be used if a conflict arises, and practiced using the Bridge (see below) to talk through a problem. Fifth graders reviewed the Bridge and learned about peer pressure and six refusal skills using the acronym R.E.F.U.S.E. Quiz your students on how they would solve a problem.

Winter Has Arrived; Let's Be Proactive!

Winter Clothing: Are you ready? It is the time to establish the routine of wearing coats, hats and gloves to school. Students will go out outside for up to 15 minutes each day during lunch recess. Please develop a routine that has your child check the weather and temperature so he/she can be ready for the weather conditions of the day. Be sure to check the lost and found if anything comes up missing!



A Plan for No School, Late States and Early Dismissals Due to Weather.

As weather conditions change, families need to make sure to make they have a plan in place for no school, late starts or early dismissals. If there is no school due to weather, stay tuned to local radio and television stations for updates. Additionally, you can contact the school district help and information line at 507-386-4777.


In the event of an early dismissal due to weather, Washington will dismiss at the time announced for elementary buildings. Please make sure you have an up-to-date early dismissal plan shared with your child's classroom teacher.


If our school district is scheduled for a late start due to weather, do not drop your child off at school. There won't be supervision available until 30 minutes before school starts.

Important Dates..

Nov. 20-23-No School

Nov. 27- 5th Grade Trip to the Guthrie Theater

Dec. 11- Late Start, School starts at 10:05 am

Dec. 11- PTO Meeting, in Media Center 6:30 pm

Dec. 14- Kindergarten Winter Wonderland 9:30-11:30 am

Dec. 24-Jan 1- No School

Jan. 7- PTO Meeting, in Media Center 6:30 pm

Jan. 8- Late Start, School starts at 10:05 am

Jan. 21- NO SCHOOL

Jan. 25- Kindergarten Pizza Party 11:30-12:30 pm

Feb. 7- Reading Night and Book Fair 6-7:30pm

Feb. 11- PTO Meeting in Media Center 6:30pm

Feb. 12- Late Start, School Starts at 10:05am

Feb. 25- Music Program Dress Rehearsal

Feb. 26- Music Program 9:30am and 1:00pm. Grades 1, 3 & 5!

Mar. 8-No School

Mar. 12- Parent Teacher Conferences 3:30-7:50pm

Mar. 12- Late Start, School Starts at 10:05am

Mar. 14- Parent-Teacher Conferences 3:30pm-7:50pm

Mar. 18- Parent-Teacher Conferences 3:30pm-7:50pm

Mar. 21- 4th Grade trip to Children's Theatre.

Mar 22-Mar. 29- NO SCHOOL

Washington Elementary PTO

Meeting Minutes 11/12/2018


Meeting Attendees: Casey Neitzel, Eileen Campbell, Cherise Barker, Shane Drahota, Jennifer Brunz, Hilary Kent, Angie Voss, Shane Baier, Stacie Smith, Becca Peterson, Diane Winegar, Jenni Pearson


October Meeting Minutes Approved: Becca (1) Casey (2)


Treasurers Report: We had a deposit from Kohls and the pizza fundraiser from October. It wasn’t quite as profitable as last year, but the weather wasn’t the best either. Expenses include busing, postage from the bookfair, and a gift card for Mr. Shevy’s family.


Teachers Report: One of the microwaves in the lounge went out and the teachers could use a new one. 4th grade obtained a grant for busing to the children’s theater, so that portion will be returned to the PTO who already paid for the busing. The cost $6/student will be requested by the families.


Principals Report: The spiderweb final total cost will amount to $24,644 to purchase the Rosa Parks style. The Educare date will be 5/17, so walk-a-thon must not be on that day. May 31st is the best option. The Lighthouse group will have a meeting on 11/26. It will include four 3rd graders and two 5th graders. They are the Leader in Me representatives that meet about 4 times a year.


Request for Funding: Connie Long requested a listening auditory memory game, which was already budgeted for. The microwave in the teachers lounge was requested, and the PBIS team may request a STEM activity challenge after the new year.


Committee Reports: Fundraising: Ms. Hashimoto’s class won the BoxTop drive and their class will decide on their incentive soon. We just turned in some HyVee receipts and have about $100 of milk moolah on hand to turn in. This quarter for Amazon we made $19.66. It should just keep increasing. The next restaurant night will be Tuesday, 11/20 at Panera. Flyer , electronic or paper copy, (or code online) must be presented upon ordering. Also includes catering orders. We are starting a request for a Pieology night in December. Hilary is also looking into Barnes and Noble fundraising opportunities. Bookfair: We were able to purchase $1200 in books for the teachers with the profits from the bookfair. Next bookfair is 2/7 on Reading Night. It will include new registers. Playground: Swings should have been done by now, along with moving the slide. Will hopefully happen in Spring. Heidi B is working on grant for Spider for early next year and Scott with the District wrote a grant request as well. Shane D spoke with Ms. Wolff and will be working to make a spider themed fundraising chart in the school halls. Yearbook: Looking to have a March 19th due date for $10 orders. After that, price will increase and there will be limited quantities available. Cherise is working with Ms. Wolff on this.


New Business: Conference meals are being organized by Diane. Mankato Independent Originals are doing lasagna on Tuesday and beef sandwiches on Thursday. Simply Delicious is providing meals on Monday. Both at low cost to the PTO. Signups underway for side dishes provided by families. An interest in a snack cart being available to students was mentioned. A poll will go out during conferences to see if there is enough interest by parents. Monroe, Hoover, Bridges, and Eagle Lake have one in place. Family Fun Night is coming up in February. Will probably be a movie night. Please bring suggestions to next meeting. We need to be specific on what behavior is expected. Walk-a-Thon and picnic will be May 31st.


Motion to Adjourn: Diane (1) Hilary (2)

You can help raise money for Washington Elementary...

It’s easy to support your school with items you already use in your home

or receipts from stores you already patronize!

Feel free to send any of the following to school with your student.

There are drawers in the hallway next to the lost and found to drop any of them off.


Each box top through Box Tops for Education is worth 10 cents. If each student turned in just 20 box tops during the year the school would receive around $800. Watch for Bonus Tops on participating products or as a coupon from your store purchase. Go to www.boxtops4education.com to sign up, enter sweepstakes and to see a list of the participating products. Box tops do expire so be sure to turn them in on time!


Through Kwik Trip’s Milk Moola program, each milk/juice cap and bag top are worth 5 cents. Please remember to rinse the caps and bag tops before turning them in.


Save your Hy-Vee receipts from both Mankato locations and they will donate $1 for every $150 spent through the Hy-Vee Kash 4 Kids program. The receipts must be dated during the current school year(Sept. 2018- May 2019) to qualify. Every little bit will add-up!


We have set up our PTO as an organization you can support through AmazonSmile. Once you select us as an organization to support, we will receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible smile.amazon.compurchases.

Our unique link is: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/90-0542342