Disney Digest 2022-23

January 2, 2023

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Notes from Dr. Elliott

Dear Disney Families,

Happy New Year of 2023! We are looking forward to welcoming our students back with open hearts, arms and minds. We have missed them!

First, I want to thank you for the amazing celebrations that occurred in every classroom. the smiles on those little faces were magical. The continuous support from you the parents is truly what brings us together.

Next, as we begin our new year and our second learning semester, we will continue to focus on the Mission of Disney: Engage. Encourage. Educate. Empower. As the district rolls out the SPS strategic plan, we at Disney have also been moving forward in building our professional learning community and have recreated our Disney Vision. The vision statement drives where we see us going in the future. I have underlined some key beliefs in our vision that were very vital to staff when painting the picture of the best Disney we could be. We hope that you will join us in creating this environment for our students and Disney families.


Engage. Encourage. Educate. Empower


Our Disney family commits to collaboratively building an inclusive environment that promotes learning through ongoing connections, positive social and emotional support and implementation of high quality instruction so every child may develop into their fullest potential.

Engage & Encourage

Volunteer Opportunity 1

We are still looking for families/parents that would be willing to help us plan the Neighborhood Party on Thursday, January 12 at 1pm. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 6, if you are waiting to see if your child is a participant in the winning Neighborhood. If you are not interested in the planning, we will still need volunteers to help us run the party. I will send out an invite by January 6th for volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunity 2

Students were provided with a Reading Challenge by Mrs. Payne over the break. The Reading Challenge celebration will be held on Monday, January 9th. The students who participated in the Reading Challenge will attend a Hot Cocoa Party. Mrs. Payne has the supplies ready, but we will need some parents to help serve our students. The times are

K, 2nd & 3rd 8:40-9:40

1st, 4th, 5th 1-2pm

HERE is the sign-up form for those interested in volunteering.


Did you know that part of building the foundation for successful reading and writing begins with lots of conversation and talking with your child? But, how many times have you asked your child, "How was your day?" and you get, "Good." or "Fine." According to an article in NWEA.org, a research-based, not-for profit organization, talking in authentic ways expands your child's vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure. Check out the Rose, Thorn and Bud exercise that can you help you, as the parent, build reflective, thoughtful conversations.

As a classroom teacher, my class started every Monday morning with Perks and Bummers. We started with a Bummer, a not so great event or a challenge, and ended with a Perk, something great or positive from the weekend. We started with the negative and ended with a positive so that a positive thread was left in our brains. Each child didn't have to share both, but they had to share Perk. Enjoy these ideas to start building conversations with your child.


I have received a few questions about what it means when we want to empower our students. Empowerment means we want students to own their learning. We know when students are engaged in the learning, ownership begins to take place. However, empowerment takes students to a deeper level of ownership when students start making critical choices instead of following a recipe mode of thinking. When they have more choice or voice in learning, they learn at a much higher level. You will see "empowerment" in the various grade levels at Disney. Here are few examples:

  • Play-based learning in K: Students are building, creating, and using their imaginations
  • Illustrative Math Curriculum: Students K-5 are given opportunities to explore the meaning of numbers, how algorithms work, and use mathematical reasoning or strategy to explain how to solve a mathematical equation or expression.
  • Power of Choice: Students are given choices when in an emotional state or trying to regulate their emotions. Choice is also seen in projects in the upper grades, stories read in independent reading times, and in their stations during math or reading.

We continue to look for ways to empower your child in the classroom academically and emotionally.

How Can I Help My Child at Home

  • Encourage Perseverance: Stepping back doesn't mean giving up or isolating your child, it means providing a different strategy or giving them space and reflecting with them as they make their own decisions. They will never truly feel success, if they don't experience failure (FAIL-First Attempt in Learning) or what we call, "productive struggle.
  • Let Them Dream!- If your child wants to be an astronaut, "Go for it!" Ask them questions about what it might take and ask them how you can help them get there. If they are in sports, recognize the specific skill they do well!
  • Let them Learn from YOU, Not YOU TUBE! Talk with your child, do life experiences with your child, watch a TV show with your child and talk about it. LISTEN and brainstorm ideas together. It doesn't mean do something MORE on top of your stressful day of work, it means just looking at things differently.

See everyone on January 4, 2023! I look forward to finishing this 2022-23 school year with excellence, partnership and the making of more memories.

Your partner in education,

Dr. Lori Elliott

Disney Principal


Upcoming Events

Jan 4- Return to Disney

Jan 6- December Rally of the Dolphins 8:15

Jan 9- Reading Challenge Celebration

Jan 10- PTA Meeting 6pm

Jan 11- Culture Club

Jan 12- Neighborhood Block Party


Jan 23- K Prep in Diner @ 5:30pm

Jan24- 4th Grade Springfield Symphony Field Trip 10:30 am

Jan 25-DEAR Day- Guest Readers in 3 & 5th @ 7:45

Jan 31- Story Time with PAT @ 9am



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