Back-to-School Gator Gab

July - August 2018 School Newsletter


Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! We hope your family has had an enjoyable summer. As we near the first day of school — Wednesday, August 15 — we are eager to work together to ensure your child has a successful year here at Union Chapel. We extend warm welcomes to our new and returning families and look forward to continuing strong home-and-school partnerships in order to provide top-notch educational experiences for our U.C. Gators!

Please take time to review this back-to-school edition of our Gator Gab parent newsletter for important information. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (816)359-4310.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be using a different approach to inform families about class placements this year. On Friday, August 3, emails will be sent to announce class placements. Only families who have completed the residency verification process will receive class placement information on August 3. If you need help completing residency verification, you may stop by the UC office or call us at (816)359-4310.

Back-to-School Night will be Monday, August 13, 5:30—7:00 P.M. This is a come-and-go event for families to drop off supplies and meet the teacher.

Back-to-School Meet & Greet Night

On Monday, August 13, we will host our Back-to-School Night from 5:30 until 7:00 pm.

During this informal meet-and-greet evening, students will have the opportunity to meet their teachers, see their classrooms, and drop off school supplies.

  • Pre-ordered school supplies will be on students’ desks.
  • PTA will be in the gym with information about membership, volunteer opportunities, student directory and spirit wear sales.
  • A representative from Adventure Club will have an information table set up in the cafeteria.
  • Our Food Service Manager, Mrs. Franksen, will be available in the cafeteria if you would like to pre-pay for lunches.

First day of school: Wednesday, August 15

School Hours:


8:20 a.m. Breakfast
8:35 a.m. Dismissal to Class
8:40 a.m. Classes Begin

*Students arriving after 8:40 will be counted as a partial absence.


3:30 p.m. Dismissal for walkers, car riders & Adventure Club takes place first (around 3:27), followed by Bus Rider Dismissal (as soon as other groups have cleared the hallways).


Time to celebrate the start of a new school year! Whether you’re a returning UC family or are new to our school, parents are welcome to participate in this year’s Boo Hoo, Woo Hoo! Breakfast and PTA Meeting. PTA will provide breakfast in the cafeteria for parents to help ease any first-day jitters. Shortly after school begins, an announcement will notify parents to come to the cafeteria. Then it’s time to say, “Woo Hoo . . . a new year is underway!”

2018-19 School Year ~ Important Dates to Remember

Kindergarten Orientation will be on Wednesday, August 8 from 6:00 until 7:00 pm in individual kindergarten classrooms, and will focus on the details and questions kindergarten parents may have about their child’s first year of elementary school. Kindergarten students should not attend, since this meeting is for parents/guardians only.

Back to School NightMonday, August 13th from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, drop off school supplies, join PTA, and see all areas of Union Chapel. This is a come & go format for parents/guardians and children to attend.

First Day of SchoolWednesday, August 15th. Our school day is 8:40 am – 3:30 pm.

Parent Orientation for grades 1-5, August 23, 5:30-7:00 pm. There will be two sessions (5:30—6:10 and 6:15—7:00) in individual classrooms. Orientation is intended for parents/guardians, so please make other childcare arrangements.

*Please note that orientation for 5th grades will include information around student use of laptops under our 1:1 initiative. It is especially important for all 5th grade parents and students to attend one of these sessions. Orientation for grades 1-4 is intended for parents, so please make other childcare arrangements.

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2018-19 Union Chapel Staff

Click here to see a list of the Union Chapel Staff for the 2018-19 school year.

Student Attendance

Regular attendance and punctuality are important for children to gain the most from their educational experiences. When your child is tardy, absent, or leaves school early, it will be noted on his or her attendance record.

If your child is going to be absent, please call our office (359-4310) before school so we are assured of your child’s safety. If you forget to call, one of our administrative assistants will call to verify the absence.

If a child’s attendance becomes a matter of concern, the classroom teacher, as well as our social worker, Ms. Ellie Hart; or counselor, Mrs. Audra Olson, may contact the parent or guardian to offer support.

Please try to schedule appointments before or after school. We want our students here as much as possible to maximize their learning opportunities!

Birthday Treats

To protect the health and safety of our students, students may bring only pre-packaged treats to school to share with classmates in recognition of birthdays and other celebrations. Homemade treats will not be distributed to students. Due to allergies and other food intolerances, please consult with your child’s classroom teacher before the pre-packaged treats are brought to school. The packaging label must list all ingredients.

For grades 1-5, birthday treats will be served in the cafeteria during the student’s lunch time. For kindergarten, individual arrangements may be made with the classroom teacher. Please note these two important details:

1. UC supervisors are in charge. Treat distribution in the cafeteria happens while the supervisors are taking care of many other responsibilities. The supervisors have worked out an efficient process, and we ask that guests follow the lead of the supervisors so that all students’ needs may be met.

2. We ask that all treats be prepackaged or pre-portioned. Supervisors are not able to take time to cut treats (e.g., cookie cakes), due to the time constraints and overall responsibilities of safely supervising the entire cafeteria.

Students who have extra birthday treats may take them to the office to be placed in teachers’ boxes. Students will not be allowed to take treats to individual teachers’ rooms, in order to avoid interrupting another classroom.

We encourage parents to think of healthy choices (i.e., fruit instead of cupcakes) when choosing a treat to share with the class.

Student Dress

Families should use good judgment in choosing clothes appropriate for school. Clothing which may cause a distraction from the learning process is not permitted. Clothing such as “short” shorts, see-through shirts or blouses, halter tops, spaghetti strap tops, t-shirts with inappropriate printing, clothing advertising drugs or alcohol, or clothing that does not cover the midriff are not allowed. Roller skate shoes are not to be worn to school. Tennis shoes should be worn on P.E. days. Refer to the student handbook or PHSD Board Policy JFCA for more detailed information.

** Flip-flops & other backless sandals are strongly discouraged, since they can pose a danger on stairs and on the playground.**

Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch are served daily in the Gator Grill. This year’s meal prices are listed in the below.


Student Breakfast $1.25

Student Lunch $2.40

Milk $ .50

Juice $ .40

Adult Breakfast $1.75

Adult Lunch $3.35

Students who bring lunch money to school should turn in the payment envelope to the cafeteria before school.

The application for Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch will be on each student’s desk at Back-to-School Night. The Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch application must be submitted annually.

The Park Hill School District Food Service Department also offers automated prepayments to a child’s meal account via telephone or internet. Money can be applied to a child’s food service account so children will not need to carry cash to school each day. This reduces time spent in the lunch line and allows more time to enjoy meals. is our online portal for making payments to accounts, viewing purchase history, setting account restrictions, etc. Parents who wish to use online applications will need to set up a SchoolCafe account. In addition to paying online, payment envelopes are available in the office.

Students will be reminded when their account balance is low. Please refer to the monthly menu for specific meal selections. The August menu will be available on your child’s desk at Back-to-School night. Monthly menus can be found at the Park Hill website:

Student Safety and Signing Out

Ensuring the safety of our students is our most important goal. All outside doors including the main entrance are locked during school hours.

NEW THIS YEAR: ALL visitors will need to be "buzzed" into the office by pressing the intercom button near the main entrance.

All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the office to receive a visitor’s sticker. All adults must wear identification at all times in the building or on the playground.

Safety procedures are in place to ensure the well-being of every child, staff member and guests at Union Chapel. Thank you for honoring our safety procedures.

If you need to pick up your child for early dismissal, please come to the office, and Mrs. Sadler, Ms. Hutchison or Mrs. Rezac will call the classroom. Of course, where possible, please schedule appointments before or after school to prevent interrupting your child’s learning.

“Sharing Smiles” will be new for the 2018-19 school year!

We invite you to share with us a photo of your child(ren) highlighting their community service, academic recognition, arts awards, athletic accomplishment, or another exciting recognition that makes them smile. We will share it with our community on our Sharing Smiles bulletin board as you enter UC. As your family has special events over the summer, keep in mind anything that might be good for the Sharing Smiles board. Please send the digital photo of your child(ren) with a short explanation of the special event to Susan Sadler at

Each month we will share new ‘smiles’ for all to see!

Student identification badges

Student identification badges will be new to Union Chapel for the 2018-19 school year. Students will receive them at back-to-school night. Badges will be used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring when students get on/off the bus, lunch count, lunch payment, and checking out/in materials in the LMC. Each student will receive an ID, badge holder, and lanyard free of charge. We will identify incentives for keeping track of badges, and there will be a charge after one ID replacement. Badges will be kept in a bin in the classroom when not in use. Click here for more information.

Pastries with Parents and Role Models @ Recess

As a proud Union Chapel Family, we are dedicated to providing exceptional opportunities for our students and their families to spend time together at school. For the 2018-2019 school year, we will be transitioning from the Watch D.O.G.S. Program to Pastries with Parents and Role Models @ Recess, to provide more opportunities that are inclusive for ALL of our Union Chapel family members. Please click here for more information.

New Playground Equipment

We are excited to add FIVE outdoor instruments to our playground! This addition was made possible through the combined efforts of the Platte County Parks & Recreation Department, the Union Chapel PTA, Union Chapel funds, and the PHSD grounds crew. Thank you to everyone who helped make this project come to life!
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New Shade Shelter from PTA

Thanks to our Union Chapel PTA for purchasing a shelter for our playground. This is a welcome addition, which will provide a shaded area on warmer days where students can take a break from their play.
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