Otsego Elementary Extra

Principal's Weekly Update - December 21, 2017

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Break! We will see students back at school on January 4th!

Staff Spotlight: Sue Hannewald

Mrs. Hannewald has been with Otsego Schools since 2008. In that time, she has taught fifth and sixth grades math and science at Weston Elementary, fifth grade language arts and social studies at Grand Rapids Elementary, and has been teaching first grade since 2011. Prior to teaching at Otsego, she spent two years at Waterville Elementary School as both a reading intervention teacher and a second grade teacher. From 1986-1991 she taught fifth and sixth grades at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Toledo, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Toledo in 1986 with a Bachelors in Education. She continues to take classes and workshops to learn new ways of enhancing her classroom instruction.She and her husband have three sons all of which have attended Otsego Schools. In her spare time she likes to be outside working in her flower beds, sewing, cooking, and most of all spending time with her family.

Upcoming Changes to Preschool Meals:

The USDA has recently made some changes to the preschool meal requirements. We are currently in the transition period, and are required to have all of the changes in place by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. Our goal is to make the required changes as seamless as possible for our students.


A lunch is made up of five components: a meat/meat alternate, vegetable, grain, fruit and milk. Students are required to take three of the five component’s, but may take up to all five, they MUST take at least a ½ cup fruit or a vegetable to count as a lunch. Under USDA guidelines, this is defined as an offer verse serve school. One of the new guideline changes is that preschoolers are required to have all five components at lunch. So, these students will have all the components put on their tray daily. Additionally, Preschool is no longer allowed grain based desserts. Some examples of this include: mini rice krispie treats and apple crisp.


Currently we have been allowed to serve unflavored 1% low-fat milk and fat-free flavored or unflavored milk. Under the policy change we are only allowed to serve unflavored low-fat or unflavored fat-free to preschool students. So these students will no longer be able to have chocolate milk for meals. The only milk choice will be white milk.


All juice served is 100% full strength. Currently juice can only make up half the amount of fruit servings required for the meal pattern. They also receive juice as a part of their snack. The new guideline states they are only allowed one serving of juice per day. Therefore, juice will no longer be offered as a fruit option to preschool students at lunch.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work towards full compliance by the end of this school year. We will start the implementation of these changes when we come back from our break on January 4th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Katrina Baughman, Elementary Principal or Jeanne Jeffers, Food Service Director.

Preschool Registration for 2018-2019

We will begin accepting registration paperwork for NEW preschoolers on Tuesday, February 20th at 8:00am. Paperwork will be online to print out or available for pick up in the Elementary office beginning Feb. 20th. We will NOT be accepting or distributing paperwork prior to Feb. 20th. Classes are on a first come, first serve basis, so be sure to register early as classes fill up quickly.

*Please note: you will need your $200 deposit as well as the $35 supply fee with you when you register. Checks will be held until after May 1st. If you qualify for free tuition with the required paperwork or are placed on the waiting list, your deposit/check will be returned.

*Students must turn 3 on or before August 1st, 2018, and be completely potty trained (unless on an IEP), to attend preschool. Also, 3 year olds may ONLY attend 2 or 3 days per week and are not eligible to attend more days.


5th Grade D.A.R.E. Graduation

Parents, Grandparents, and Families of Otsego 5th Grade Students:

You are cordially invited to the Otsego 5th grade D.A.R.E. Graduation. This special event will be held on Friday, January 12th 2018 at 1:00 pm in the Auditorium of Otsego High School.

Cake and punch will be provided to all students and guests following the ceremony. After the reception, students are required to return to the elementary for regular school release.

Your child has worked really hard in the D.A.R.E. program. I am very proud of them all and I hope you can make this special event.

-Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl

Apple Recall by the FDA

Jack Brown Produce, Inc. of Sparta, MI is recalling Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples processed and shipped by one of its suppliers, Nyblad Orchards, Inc., on December 11 through December 16, 2017, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recalled apples were distributed through retail stores in Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. The product at issue consists of the following types of apples sold or distributed by Jack Brown Produce, Inc. under the brand name "Apple Ridge" including:

  1. Honeycrisp apples in two-pound clear plastic bags;
  2. Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples in 3-pound clear plastic bags;
  3. Fuji and Gala apples in 5-pound red-netted mesh bags; and
  4. Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples that were tray-packed/individually sold.

The potentially-affected product can be identified by the following lot numbers printed on the bag label and/or bag-closure clip:

Fuji: NOI 163, 165, 167, 169, 174

Honeycrisp: NOI 159, 160, 173 Golden Delicious: NOI 168
Gala: NOI 164, 166 on either the product labels and/or bag-closure clip.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program at the Nyblad Orchards, Inc. facility which revealed that finished products contained Listeria monocytogenes. Jack Brown Produce, Inc. has ceased the distribution of any further products processed at Nyblad Orchards as the FDA and the Company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious Apples under the brand name "Apple Ridge" on or after December 11, 2017 are urged to destroy the product and contact Jack Brown Produce, Inc. for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 616-887-9568 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET) and ask for Lisa Ingalls.

Baseball Youth Clinics

Beginning January 7th; Otsego High School baseball will be conducting youth clinics during open gym time in the Jr. High School gym, from 12:30-2:00 on Sundays through February 18. Otsego students K-8 are welcome to attend the clinics which will include instruction from Otsego coaching staff and current players. Please contact Coach Welker with any questions (cwelker@otsegoknights.org).

Knights Have Your Back


Knight In Shining Armor Nominations

Please use the following form to inform OHS Student Council about a family in need within the school district. While the family does not need to have students in the district, we do ask that they are a member of the Otsego Community. Please use this form to share information about their current situation as well as how they can best be assisted.

Please be sure to understand that while Knight in Shining Armor (KISA) would love to help all community members in need, we are still a new program, and may not have the funds to do so. With that being said, we will consider each request on a case by case basis. Filling this form out does not guarantee that we will be able to assist the family, but we will try our hardest to do so!

Here are some things that we have done with KISA funds:

  • School supplies were purchased for multiple families.
  • Gas money has been provided to get to and from medical treatment.
  • Food cards have been provided to help families afford meals while going through medical treatment.
  • Cash donations have been made to families to help assist in paying bills during medical treatment.
  • Gift cards and supplies have been provided to help make ends meet after housing emergencies have occurred.

Please refer to this link at any point during the year as a need arises, and KISA will do their best to help out!


INFOhio Early Learning Portal for Preschool Children

Preschool educators and family members now have a new resource with which to engage preschool children. Visit the INFOhio Early Learning Portal; an easy-to-navigate site contains more than 50 websites and apps chosen and evaluated by educators and librarians with expertise in early learning and literacy.

The free INFOhio Early Learning Portal helps preschool children:

  • Learn letters, numbers and basic knowledge;
  • Interact with other children and adults;
  • Engage in meaningful play; and
  • Develop focus and problem-solving skills.

Each resource supports Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards for school readiness.

Parents and educators also will find tips on appropriately integrating technology into a preschool child’s learning.

There is also a customizable one-pager preschool teachers can send home with children, with suggestions of apps the teacher can encourage parents to try out!

Nearly all resources in the portal are available for free.

Phone Number Changes


If your phone number has changed and needs to be updated in our system PLEASE call the office with that information. There have been many recent issues where we do not have the right number or it has been disconnected when trying to contact a students parent or guardian. It is crucial that we have a working number in the event of an emergency.

Thank you

A Note from the School Nurse:


This year we have the following over the counter medications listed on the enclosed document stocked in each office. Please fill out the form and return to school with your child. We are hoping to cut back on parents needing to bring medication in and/or prevent sending students home. Hopefully this makes it easier on parents, teachers and staff.

Several students have been bringing cough drops with them to school without a note. Students may not take these without written permission from a parent/guardian. We have this listed on the form as well.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to call me at 419-823-4381 ext. 4002.

Thank you,

Jane Gray RN, BSN


Sign up to receive text messages from our Transportation Department!

The transportation department will send out a Remind alert when a bus is running at least 10 minutes late.

Using the directions below, sign up for one or more of the notification groups.

You may opt-out any time by texting ‘unsubscribe’ to the appropriate group.

High School & JH Buses (Bus Routes for grades 6-12 & Penta)

Text: @otsbus6-12 to 81010

Elementary Buses (Bus Routes for grades PK -5)

Text: @otsbuspk-5 to 81010

If you have any questions about bus routing information, please contact Eva Vasher at evasher@otsegoknights.org or 419-823-4381 ext. 3156

December Students of the Month: Citizenship

Important Dates


December 22-January 2 - NO SCHOOL, Holiday Break

January 3 - NO SCHOOL, District Professional Development/Work Day

January 9 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

January 10 - Grade Cards Sent Home

January 15 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 6 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

February 16 - NO SCHOOL, District Professional Development/Work Day

February 19 - NO SCHOOL, President's Day

February 20-23 - Jump Rope for Heart

March 6 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

March 27 - 2nd Grade Music Performance, 7pm

March 30-April 8 - NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

April 10 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

April 11-12 - 3rd-5th Grade State Testing, English Language Arts

April 17-18 - 3rd-5th Grade State Testing, Math

April 24-25 - 5th Grade State Testing, Science

April 26 - 1st Grade Music Performance, 7pm

May 1 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

May 8 - Volunteer Breakfast, 8am

May 14-15 - Field Day

May 16 - 5th Grade Ag Safety Day

May 17-18 - Field Day Rain Date

May 18 - 5th Grade Dance, 3:35-4:35

May 25 - Last Day of School for Students

With 2017 coming to a close and the holiday season well underway, it is easy to feel joyous. For some (including our kids) however, the holidays can be a challenging time. This maybe due to a recent change in family structure, such as divorce or the passing of a loved one. Other factors can include stress over holiday schedules, such as having to split time between family members, the increased pressures of the holidays to find the perfect gift, time constraints, and unrealistic expectations. I would like to address some ways that we can support our children and ourselves during this busy season.

First, set realistic expectations. It is normal for young children to feel jealousy and/or sadness when a gift or experience does not meet their expectations. To minimize this, it can be helpful to have a conversation as a family about your interests and budget for the holidays. If it is possible, allow you child(ren) in on the holiday planning and preparation.

Make a plan. The holidays are a time we spend with those we love. However, it takes most of us out of our daily routine. As adults this presents it's own challenges but can be even more difficult for children who thrive when on a consistent schedule. Make a plan for the activities that need to be completed, and focus on giving back while doing so, can be a fun way to provide them with structure, love, and support.

Finally, while the holiday blues can be normal for some, please watch for any of the following symptoms as they maybe signs of a deeper issue:

Sadness and/or irritability
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
Changes in eating habits
Weight changes
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling ongoing fatigue and exhaustion
Feelings guilt
Trouble thinking or paying attention
Thoughts of being worthless and/or hopeless

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms please contact your healthcare provider right away. Have a happy and safe holiday season. May you spend the rest of 2017 with those you love, creating memories that will last a lifetime. And may 2018 bring you many blessings, laughs, and adventures. As we move into the new year the counseling department will be adding two new faces. Be sure to check the newsletter and counseling webpage for updates on these individuals. Happy Holidays!

Best Wishes,

Miss Syrowski

Don't forget to check out our counseling website for ongoing updates and information. http://oesknightscounselor.weebly.com/

Otsego PTO

Check out the PTO on Facebook and follow on Twitter @OtsegoPTO


The next PTO meeting is January 9th at 6:00 in the Elementary Library.

Community Events

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BGSU Kids' Tech University

BGSU Kids' Tech University

Registration is Open
for Kids' Tech University, a four-session program that begins Saturday, Feb. 11, and ends Saturday, March 24 and is open to students who live within a one-hour driving distance of BGSU. To participate, children must be 9-12 years old as of Sept. 30, 2016. There is an $90 registration fee to participate and scholarships are also available.

Kids' Tech University is designed to spark children's interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by introducing them to scientists who work in those fields, and providing hands-on activities that let kids explore scientific concepts.

Feb. 3, 2018: "Global change microbiology: the microscopic organisms that fuel our planet's global carbon cycle"

Feb. 17: "Earth Through a Drone's Eye"

March 17: "Sci-Fi Comes to Life: When Parasites Control Host Behavior"

March 24: "Plants are what they eat too! The science of plant nutrient uptake and assimilation"

Online registration will be limited to 150 children, and is first come, first served. Register online at http://kidstechuniversity-bgsu.vbi.vt.edu/. Search for "Kids" Tech University @BGSU".

Kids' Tech University at BGSU is directed by Dr. Paul Morris, a BGSU professor in Biological Sciences. Scholarships will be available. Please contact Dr. Morris at Pmorris@bgsu.edu for more information.

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Follow Us on Twitter

Preschool: @OtsegoPreK

Kindergarten: @OtsegoK

1st Grade: @OtsegoFirst

2nd Grade: @OtsegoGrade2

3rd Grade: @OtsegoGrade3

4th Grade: @OtsegoGrade4

5th Grade: @OtsegoGrade5

School Counselor: @OEScounselor



Please help our students by collecting tabs from aluminum cans. Each tab is easy to remove and can be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. The tabs help fund various projects for Ronald McDonald Houses and its visitors. Send the tabs in a bag to the school and our students will do the rest!


You can help the school earn money for supplies by collecting Box Tops. Our PTO collects and counts them and puts the money straight back into the school. (We earn 10 cents per Box Top). If you are able to collect a lot of these, it would be great if you could turn them in in groups of 50, but we will take them even if they are not grouped together.

Heard a rumor or have a question?

Please send me an e-mail or give me a call!

Bonnie Armitage

Administrative Assistant

Jenny Helberg

Administrative Assistant

Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl

School Resource Officer