Sunset Express

January 2019

Sunset Lake Elementary, PreK-5th Grade Building

Sunset Lake Elementary
We are Lifelong Learners and Lifelong Leaders!

Principal's Message

Happy New Year Sunset Lake Families!

We hope your family had a wonderful Holiday Season!

We have had a great first week back to start 2019. Mrs. G, our Student Behavior Coach, led a review of our LEAD expectations for all students. We practiced what Leaders look like in the hallway, the cafeteria and the playground. Our students are doing a great job working on following LEAD expectations and showing our mission of lifelong learners and lifelong leaders more and more each day.


Lead Responsibly

Everyone Makes Good Choices

Always Safe

Do the Respectful Thing

At the end of this month, we will be working on our second marking period assessments and having our students track their progress on their WIGS (Wildly Important Goals). Be sure to ask your child what WIGS (Goals) they are working on either academically or personally. Our students' work on goal setting is a great reminder to all of us that we can always GROW. :)

The rest of this month is an important time of year to check on our students' progress. Students will be completing our district's mid-year reading and math assessments as well as finishing up classroom unit assessments. Please try and encourage your child to get a good night's sleep and to try their best with each assessment. Thank you!

Events Coming Up:

Friday, January 18th will be our Family Movie Night. This is a FREE event that our PTSO offers for our families to connect and spend time together. This year's movie was voted on by our Student Ligthouse Team and it will be Incredibles 2.

See the PTSO notes to learn more details.

January 25th is a half-day of school- school dimissal is 12:15p.m.

This marks the end of our first semester and teachers will be working on our midyear report cards in the afternoon.

Sunset Lake Parking Lot Reminders:

  • All pedestrians should use the Pedestrian Painted Walk-Way to keep from people walking between cars and to keep the flow of our traffic moving.
  • Drop-off-- Please have your child get out of the car curbside, as soon as your car has come to a stop at the sidewalk area. (Please do not wait until you are at the front of the door section to unload, as it slows down our process)

Thank you Sunset Lake Families for all that you do to support us at Sunset Lake Elementary. We are looking forward to a great second semester!

Yours in Learning,

Amie McCaw

Sunset Lake Elementary Principal

Family Lighthouse Members - WANTED

We would love to grow our Family Lighthouse Team. The Family Lighthouse is a group of family volunteers that are interested in learning more about our school and helping us become a Lighthouse School (full-fledged Leader in Me school) that sheds the light for other schools.

Our group recently helped us review our Family Survey that families participated in and will be sharing it out at our next School Improvement Meeting. Another activity that our Family Lighthouse is responsible for is planning this year's Family Leader Night. *See Below!:)

We are still looking to grow our membership so if you are interested, please contact Mrs. McCaw at or call 269-321-1550.

Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, ANY adult family member is encouraged to join us! Even if you can't afford a lot of time your input is valuable to us.

Thank you for considering!

Family Synergy Night

Thursday, March 7th, 6-8pm

201 North Boulevard Street

Vicksburg, MI

We are super excited to announce that this year's Family Leader Night will be led by our Family Lighthouse Team. Our Family Lighthouse Team is made up of a few mighty parent volunteers that want to help our school grow in our 7 Habits and help us with growing student leaders through our school improvement process.

This year's family event is titled Family Synergy Night and will be March 7, 6-8pm. We will be incorporating literacy and family engagement with our 7 Habits. Our format is a great speaker to kick-off our evening and then we will have local organizations at our building to connect with our families and to help us come together as a community. We hope your family is able to attend! Childcare and other details are still in the works, so more information will be shared soon!

Please RSVP below if your family will be attending. Thank you!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


  • January 11th 5th Grade Ski Trip- RESCHEDULED FOR February 15th
  • January 18th- Popcorn Day-
  • January 25th-Half Day Dismissal 12:15pm
  • January 28th - 1st day of 3rd marking period
  • February 5th and 7th - Student Led - Parent/Teacher Conferences

Winter Recess

Please note that during our winter months we monitor our weather closely when determining outside/inside recess. Safety is our first issue. We review radar and windchill temperatures up to the moment when recess begins. Students go outside if WINDCHILL temperatures are above 0 degrees. Students should dress in layers and come prepared EVERYDAY to go outside. At times we may also determine to shorten the recess if we feel the conditions are not favorable for a safe and successful playtime.

Message from our Food Service

PTSO notes....


We are so excited to be marching into the new year with all of you at Sunset Lake!

January 9th: PTSO Meeting in the school library from 6-7pm

January 18th: POPCORN FRIDAY!!!!!

January 18th: It’s Family Movie Night! Once again our Student Lighthouse Team will be picking our movie. This is always a fun, FREE, night with pizza, candy, popcorn, and water for sale. We hope to see you all there!

Music Notes from Mrs. Heintzelman...

Families of students who are interested to continue their study in the arts are encouraged to apply for the Irving S. Gilmore Student Arts Scholarships offered trhough KRESA. There is $80,000 available for students who attend school in Kalamazoo County to help play for music lessons, camps, instruction and or workshops in all areas of the arts including music, theater, art and dance.

Scholarships are available to eligible* K-12 Kalamazoo County students for artistic education and enrichment beyond the classroom. Funds for the 2018-2019 school year will be awarded for private arts instruction, classes at arts institutions or summer arts camps and other arts related activities. All intermediate and advanced level applicants must also upload a work sample to be reviewed by the grant panelists. (*Legal residence must be within one of the nine local districts serviced by Kalamazoo RESA. Current seniors are not eligible to apply.)
Deadline to apply: 11:59 pm on January 24, 2019

Below is the link to the application. Help is available through KRESA and many Vicksburg students have been recipients of these grants.

Student Scholarship Guidelines (PDF)

Please email Mrs. Heintzelman if you have further questions at

Below is the link to begin your application for the:

KRESA Education for the Arts Scholarships E-Grant Application

Ice Safety

Ice Safety

Winter weather has arrived in southwest Michigan, bringing many opportunities for frozen fun with the family.

“Activities on the ice such as skating and hockey are great ways to keep your kids moving during the colder months,” says Dr. Lia Gaginno, pediatrician at Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics Oshtemo. “However, being on the ice presents certain safety risks. It is important for parents to be aware of these risks so they can take precautions to protect their children.”

Before you lace up your skates, consider these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent injuries while on the ice:

Use Appropriate Equipment:

· Have your child wear a helmet to prevent serious head injuries, such as a concussion.

· Encourage your child to wear knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate.

· Wear skates that fit properly. If skates are too tight, they can cause blisters or restrict circulation and result in frostbite.

Choose Ice Wisely

· Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. If you choose to skate on a frozen body of water instead of at a rink, check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments indicating the ice is safe to walk on.

· Check the ice for bumps, debris or divots that can cause falls and other injuries.

· Warn children about the dangers of thin ice. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, a minimum of four inches of clear ice is needed to support an average person’s weight. However, ice does not always form at a uniform rate, so it is important to check the thickness with an ice spud and ruler every few steps. Minimum ice thickness guidelines can be found here.

· The safest place to skate is at an ice rink.

Follow the Rules

· Encourage your children to skate in the same direction as the crowd and avoid darting across the ice.

· When playing hockey or other similar activities, do not allow overly aggressive behavior such as body checking. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, body checking is related to 46 percent of all minor injuries in youth ice hockey, and 75 percent of major injuries.

Stay Warm

· Dress your child in layers and wear clothing made of material that dries quickly.

· Set time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.

· Know the signs of hypothermia. “Your child may shiver, become tired and have slurred speech as hypothermia sets in,” says Dr. Gaginno. “If you think your child is hypothermic, call 911 right away.”

American Academy of Pediatrics
“Ice Hockey” “Tips to Keep Kids Warm All Winter” “Figure Skating”
Journal of American Medical Association "Risk of Injury Associated with Body Checking Among Youth Ice Hockey Players"

This article is brought to you by Bronson Children’s Hospital, southwest Michigan’s only children’s hospital. For more information about children’s health, visit