November Newsletter

22-23 School Year

Note from the Principal,


Thank you for another great month working with your child! October is always challenging due to the number of activities we have. Typically, we start the month off with homecoming celebrations and then have parent-teacher conferences where we get to celebrate the successes of our students. We also have our book fair during the month of October and we celebrate acts of Kindness Week. Kindergarten and 1st grade went on their first field trips of the year and we finished the month with our Halloween parade and parties.

November will go by just as fast and before you know it will be Thanksgiving Break and then Holiday Break. See below for important information. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

October Paw Award Winners

Each month we recognize students for being positive towards each other and staff. Students are nominated for a variety of reasons, but each one represents one of our core values at Cottonwood. For the month of October, we had over 40 students nominated by staff at Cottonwood. Awesome job, Panthers!

- Kipp Windisch

Kindergarten- Kemper Needham and Ryder Smith

1st-Howard Wenger and Della Renken

2nd- Izeik Brewer and Calla Carver

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What is the MTSS Pyramid?

Reading Corner with Mr. Troast: What is MTSS?

This past month at conferences your child's classroom teacher should have mentioned a new program we have implemented at Cottonwood called MTSS. This is a great new program dedicated to meeting the specific educational needs of your child. I thought I would share more about MTSS and the potential benefits it can have for your child.

What is MTSS? MTSS stands for Multi-Tier Systems of Support. The ultimate goal is to ensure that every student at Cottonwood is receiving instruction at their level. Throughout the school year, students may need additional support in Reading and Math. The support might come in the form of whole-class instruction, small-group instruction, or 1 on 1 instruction. These are the three Tiers of MTSS.

This year, Cottonwood has built-in a 30-minute block of MTSS time for each grade. We refer to this time as WIN time (What I Need) During this block, teachers utilize the time to work on the specific needs of students in their classrooms. This could look like small group instruction. During small groups, students who struggle with similar skills work to improve upon those skills. It might also take the shape of 1 on 1 instructional time with the teacher to work on specific skills. Another MTSS activity can be utilizing our new iReady Diagnostic where students can work their "Path". This is where students work on mini-lessons based on their Diagnostic assessments. These assessments are taken during the Fall, Winter, and Spring and are also utilized to gauge growth.

One of the most important components of MTSS is that it needs to be data-driven. Diagnostic information from our iReady and Fastbridge assessments is used to determine the skills each student needs to work on. Additionally, our teachers monitor the progress students are making as well as students' self-guided online lessons to determine skills needing additional work.

We are excited that we have this dedicated time built into our schedule. It's another way we are designing instruction to meet the individual needs of our students. This time will continue through the end of November and the first part of December.

If you have any questions regarding MTSS or want to know more, please reach out to your child's classroom teacher or reach out to Mr. Troast.

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2nd Grade Parents- Save the Date- Dec 5th

Our 2nd-grade music program is fast approaching! Please make sure you save the following information:

What: 2nd Grade Music Program

When: Dec 5th at 6:30 pm

Where: Paola High School Gymnasium

Book of the Month- Those Shoes

One of our 7 mindsets at Cottonwood is an Attitude of Gratitude. We emphasize with our students to be thankful for a lot of the things we take for granted. The book I would like to highlight this month is THOSE SHOES. It's a great book to learn about compassion and gratitude and there is more important things than having the most expensive stuff! Check it out in the library this month or listen to the audio book below!
Those Shoes Read Aloud

Save the date: American Education Family Night

Parents, and students, please feel free to come to Cottonwood for a family engagement night. You and your child can come and participate in various activities involving reading. We will have snacks and door prizes as well. We would like to have an idea of how many are coming by Friday, November 11th. Thank you!

What: American Education Week Family Night

When: Tuesday, Nov 15th from 6:00 to 7:00

Where: Cottonwood Elementary

This is the signup link to let us know to prep materials for your family.

Veterans Day Celebration: Nov 11th.

Cottonwood would like to participate in celebrating our Veterans. We will be creating a slideshow celebrating the veterans of family members of students at Cottonwood. This could be brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, grandpas...What do I need to do? If you could email a scanned picture of the veteran you wish to celebrate, please include their name, branch of the military they served in, and their relationship to the Cottonwood student ( Grandfather to...) Pictures need to be emailed to Mr. Troast @ by Nov 9th to be included in the slideshow. The slideshow will be shared with parents via email and posted on our Facebook page on Nov 11th.

Just a few of our Panther Pumpkins!

November Calendar:

  • November 8th- Picture re-takes
  • November 11th- Veterans Day
  • November 14th- November Board Meeting- 6 pm
  • November 14th-18th- American Education Week
  • November 15th- American Education Week- Family Night 6 pm to 7 pm
  • November 18th- 2nd-grade field trip to Kaleidoscope

Cottonwood Elementary

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me: or call the school at 913-294-8050