Jackson Jottings

February 2020, Volume 5

February Calendar at a Glance

  • 3rd - Report Cards Sent Home
  • 4th, 6th, and 11th - CONFERENCES, 3:15-7:00 each night (please make sure you are signed up for a time slot)
  • 13th - Valentine Party Day (watch for information from your child's teachers)
  • 14th - NO SCHOOL (Staff Development Day)
  • 17th - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)
  • 18th - PTO Meeting at the MUDDY COW, 6:30-8:00 (Grant Meeting, all parents welcome)
  • 24th-26th - Marco's Fundraising Nights (more information will be coming home)


Please drop off your kids by the lower area stop sign in the upper lot. For the safety of all of our students, please remain in the line of cars and let children out of the right side of the car onto the sidewalk. If you are dropping by upper entrance please stay in line of cars, have your child get out on the sidewalk side, and do no pull any further ahead than the last sign before the entrance (there needs to be enough room for our upper buses and school vehicles to pull in right by entrance). If you park in the lot, please walk your children across the driveway to the sidewalk. Students should not be walking from the parking lot through the crosswalk unaccompanied.

Please do not drop off before 8:10 AM. Thank you!


Winter is here and we are in the season of school starting late due to weather conditions. When there is a late start there will be NO breakfast served in the morning.

If for some reason your child does not get breakfast on these late start days, he/she can go to the cafeteria for a cereal, milk and fruit and they will be charged for this meal.

Thank you and HAPPY WINTER!

Would you like to be a volunteer?

Are you willing to donate your time and talents to Jackson? We could use your help. We have immediate needs for volunteers in the classroom, workroom and some take-home work.

Thank you again to all the volunteers and all you do for Jackson!

Jennifer Klecker

Jackson Volunteer Site Coordinator



Nurse Notes by Nurse Andrea

February is a hard month in school. There are no long breaks and the winter is starting to feel really long. Here are a few ways to help your students stay focused in class and at home during these long winter weeks:

1. Make sure you are hydrated and rested.

One of the best ways to help your student stay on task in class and at home is making sure you get enough sleep. Also, making sure you drink enough water, so you stay hydrated. Keeping a water bottle at school so your student can have a drink when they feel thirsty helps towards staying sufficiently hydrated.

2. Get involved in discussion.

Instead of sitting passively while other people are talking, making sure your student participates in the class discussion. This is a good way to keep concentrating, as your student will need to think about the topic at hand and what other people are saying. Speaking up once or twice during a discussion is plenty.

3. Learn how to refocus.

You won’t always be able to completely remove distractions—so teach your child how to deal with them, instead. Help your child brainstorm ways to refocus on the task at hand when he or she becomes distracted. When your child is having trouble focusing, encourage him or her to get up and take a short break from what he or she is working on. For classroom distractions where getting up might not be an option, something as simple as your child closing his or her eyes and taking a few deep breaths can help refocus the mind.

4. Break things down.

Breaking down large assignments into smaller tasks can help improve focus by making things more manageable to tackle. Trying to take on too much at once is a recipe for boredom and distraction. By breaking things down, your child has a clear idea of what needs to be done and a sense of accomplishment once it’s completed. That accomplishment can be a big motivation-booster!

5. Make a dedicated work space.

A disorganized space can be a major cause of distraction for your child. Make sure your child has a dedicated study space such as a desk or table to work on. This space should be clear of clutter and only include items that he or she needs for that study session (like his/her textbook, notebook, study tools, and note-taking supplies).

6. Find something your child is excited about.

Lack of focus can come from a lack of engagement with the material. The solution: connect learning to something your child is interested in. For example, if your child is working on a book report but has trouble sitting down to read, try choosing a book on a topic he or she is interested in or wants to learn more about.

7. Keep an organized school workspace.

Just like at home, your child’s school workspace should be organized and provide the study tools he or she needs. This includes desks, lockers, and even backpacks. Encourage your child to clean out his or her school workspaces often, properly organizing stray notes into their proper binder and throwing away old, unneeded items (like that half-eaten lunch from two weeks ago).

Hopefully these tips can help your child stay focused at home and at school during the long weeks of winter. Below are a few more resources for students staying focused:




If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me!

Andrea Richards

School Nurse



Art Lines from Mr. Olson

Greetings from the Art Department!

Warning!!! Art class can be messy! SEND AN ART SHIRT WITH YOUR STUDENT!

The kindergarteners have been working on learning the names of shapes and have also been learning how to use texture in art. Our first graders have learned about the 8 great lines (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, wavy, zigzag, spiral, dotted, and dashed). They have been making some abstract art using these lines. They have also used the horizon line in an artwork.

CLAY, CLAY, CLAY…The second graders have just finished their clay coil pots and are taking them home!

The third graders have finished their clay faces. The faces have been on display outside the Art Room during conferences and will now be sent home. They will now be working on using contour line in an artwork.

Fourth and fifth grade students have also taken their clay containers home. The creativity that was on display from these students was impressive this year. It is always exciting to see students putting their original thought into action!

This is a fun time of year but some students are forgetting to wear art shirts! Please help us remind your students to wear their art shirt!

P.S. Literacy and Beyond Night will be Thursday, May 7th!!! Please mark your calendars. This is a great night to celebrate all of our students writing and art!


Mr. Olson



Mrs. Hall


Jackson Art Specialists


Big picture

Music "Notes"


Tuesday, February 4th: 4th grade music field trip to Shakopee High school to hear the

Jack Brass Jazz Band perform! All permission slips and

money due now. Please check SEESAW for permission slip if

you need one.

Thursday, February 6th: 7:00p.m. This is Optional: All 3rdgraders have the

opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Varsity

Wrestling match. We will meet near the concession stands

at 6:45. Go Sabers!

Friday, February 21st: 1st grade Music Program, ”The Day the Crayon’s Quit” at

2:00p.m. in the Jackson Gymnasium. No special outfit

needed. Classroom teachers will have a colored t-shirt they

will wear for the show that day!

Thursday, February 27th: 5th graders will take a music field trip to Ordway Center of

the Performing Arts in St. Paul to hear Japanese Taiko

drumming. Please return field trip form only if you do not

want your student to attend.


Friday, March 13th: Kindergarten Music program, “Going to the Zoo!” at 2:00p.m. in

the Jackson Gymnasium.

Wednesday, March 18th: 3rd grade field trip to downtown Minneapolis Orchestra Hall to see

the Minnesota Orchestra perform. Information and permission

slips coming home soon!

Saturday, March 21st: All District 5th grade Band Concert at Shakopee High School,

4:00p.m. Students are receiving information about this during

band class this week!

AFTER SPRING BREAK: 4th graders will be meeting with band teacher, Mrs. Lund to

start learning about 5th grade band!

Friday, April 17th: 4th grade Music program, “Minnesota Musicians” at 2:00p.m. in the

Jackson Gymnasium

As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about music!

By: Sari Flatness


A "Note" from Band

SAVE THE DATE for the Shakopee District-Wide Band Concert.

Where: Shakopee High School Gym (100 17th Avenue West, Shakopee, MN)

When: Saturday, March 21st at 4:00 p.m.

Students arrive at 3 p.m., warm-up with all the Shakopee Bands and perform their concert at 4:00. You will be hearing Band Room Boogie, Dragon Slayer, and Shorewood Overture at the concert.

All 5th grade band students are expected to attend this concert. If your child will be unable to attend, please contact me by February 15th. It is an amazing experience!

Julie Lund


(952) 496-5862 ext. 7026.

Big picture

Physical Education Fun with Mr. Casey, Mrs. Tanberg, & Mr. Koening

We just finished an exciting unit of basketball. Students at Jackson Elementary School learned various basketball skills such as: passing, shooting and dribbling the ball. We also learned how to play recreational games such as: Lightning, Make it or Take it, Around the World, and H.O.R.S.E. Have your child take you outside and teach you one of these fun games. Anybody can do it.

Our next unit is Floor Hockey. This is probably the most popular unit at Jackson Elementary. Students will learn: passing, shooting, stick handling and rules of the game. Students will then be divided up into teams and play tournament games of hockey. It is a fun and exciting unit. The best is that they have lots of fun and everybody gets great exercise. They will sleep well on the days they come to gym and play hockey.

With February being National Heart Awareness Month it is also a great time to be active in JUMP ROPE FOR HEART!! We have set a goal of raising $20,000 this year. This would be the most we have ever raised. Please consider finding out if your business/ workplace has a matching program. Many companies do match funds raised. Those matches help us hit our goals a lot more efficiently. Creating your student an online account has proven to be the most streamlined approach to raising funds as well. A simple loading of a few family/friend emails and your student is off to the fundraising races. We enjoy taking this opportunity to teach students about the importance of taking care of their heart and how to do so. The American Heart Association provides us with many great resources and have done so much for so many people. We are always happy to partner with them. Jumping rope is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, help with weight loss, support developing muscle tone and it is fun!! We had so many HEART HEROES last year at Jackson. Let’s keep that tradition going this year too!!

Last but not least, our cup-stacking unit will also take place in February. This sport is becoming increasingly more popular in physical education since it increases eye hand coordination, right and left-brain activation, as well as bilateral coordination. Try racing your child one time and you will see just how fast they are! If you have any questions feel free to call or stop by and visit our physical education class. The door is always open and parents are always welcome.

If you have any questions feel free to call or stop by and visit our physical education class. The door is always open and parents are always welcome.

Mr. Jeff Casy (jcasey@shakopee.k2.mn.us)

Mrs. Susan Tanberg (stanberg@shakopee.k12.mn.us)

Mr. Dan Koenig (dkoenig@shakopee.k12.mn.us)

If anyone has some old tennis shoes that they would like to donate to the Physical Education Department it be greatly appreciated. We have students who do not have tennis shoes to wear for physical education and we would like to give them a pair. Please make sure the tennis shoes are clean and free of rips and tears.

Greetings from the Learning Commons!

February is “I LOVE TO READ” month!

Join us in celebrating “I love to read” for the month of February and teach children the value of reading. Our staff makes every effort to surround our students with a rich variety of literature and literacy experiences to help foster the belief that reading is worthwhile. I encourage families to plan reading activities together each day with your children to promote reading for enjoyment as well as reading for information. Here are some easy guidelines to follow:

  • Set aside times each and every day to read to your child OR to have your child read to you.
  • Explore and enjoy a wide variety of stories and genres.
  • Pick topics that are high interest to your child.
  • Keep a wide variety of literature around your house.
  • Make sure you child has his/her own library card and set a special date each month to visit your local library and check out some new great books!
  • Set an example! Let your children see you reading at home.

If you haven’t been making reading a priority in your family, make a commitment this month to show your children the value of reading.

Media Classes

In media we just wrapped up our coding unit. Students practiced coding using different robots (Robot Mouse, DASH, Sphero, and MeeperBots). They also worked on problem solving skills using coding programs like Scratch Jr., Tynker, and GoogleCS. It was very impressive to see what they came up with!

We are now working on our next round of digital citizenship lessons. K-2 is focusing on media balance and why it is important to have device-free moments in our lives. We are also discussing how technology can impact our emotions and how to deal with any negative feelings. Third through fifth grade is working on protecting privacy. Third grade worked to identify the difference between strong and weak passwords and created some strong passwords of their own. Fourth grade discussed with difference between personal and private information, and why it can be risky to share private information online. Fifth grade learned about Click Bait – how to identify it and why it is important to avoid it.

Please feel to reach out to me with any questions or comments or concerns!

By: Betsi Arvin

Media Specialist


Learning Commons: Digital Learning Highlight

I was at a conference recently, and two of the most impactful sessions I attended related to cybersecurity and data security for people today.

One of the things that the internet security expert (Ryan Cloutier) suggested to keep people from using your identity for new lines of credit was to voluntarily FREEZE your (and your children's) credit at the 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. It is fairly quick and easy to put a freeze on the accounts. You will need to keep track of a password or PIN for each account. If you decide to take out a line of credit, you can temporarily UNFREEZE the account.

Additionally, the security experts spoke about password security. He said that the industry gave really bad advice at the onset of the internet. The OLD standard was to have 8 characters with a capital letter, number, and special character. The NEW standard is to use a pass-phrase that consists of 3-4 words that you will easily remember. You may still need to add in a number, special character, or capital letter to comply with the password restrictions set by the website you are logging into.

Additionally when websites are offering services for free, the old adage that “nothing is free” holds true for many of those websites and services as well. If you are using something for free, the company is likely collecting data about you and/or your child. They may be using it to target personalized marketing to you, or they may be selling your data to others so they know your spending, viewing, and online habits. So use “free” websites, games, and services with caution. Additionally, every website will have a Terms of Use page so you can see what information they collect from you and how they use it. You can also see their age restrictions, which is very helpful when your children are begging for a new app, but they are not old enough to comply with the Terms of Use. It can be your parenting secret weapon.

I am not an expert on this field, but I am a parent concerned about what people know about my family. And it shocked me when the internet security expert told us that over 50% of children will have their identity stolen before they are 18. For that reason, I thought starting the conversation with you was important as well.

You can find more information about cybersecurity, data privacy, and more at commonsensemedia.org.

Thanks for reading. Hope this information helps you have conversations with your family. You can follow Ryan Cloutier on Twitter at @cloutiersec for more updates or to ask questions. He is passionate about data security.

Natalie Weatherman (Digital Learning Coach)



Hello Jackson Families!

Happy February Jackson families!! We have another busy, fun month. To start out the month, we will be providing handy and delicious meals to our dedicated staff for conference nights. Then we have a parent meeting on February 18 at 6:30 at the MUDDY COW. It is a fun meeting at a more relaxed environment and it is a teacher grant meeting so it is a great chance to network with other Jackson families and hear about some of the wonderful things our money is funding. Reminder that no child care will be provided for this meeting.

We will be partnering with Marcos Pizza February 24-26th for our super fun pizza box fundraiser. Look for fliers coming in your student’s folder with further details. Jackson has loved this event. We will need some volunteers to help at Marcos so watch for a sign-up genius coming out in the next couple weeks.

Save the dates for March: all school movie night is Friday, March 6- 6-8 and we are partnering with O’Briens and the Lions Club to have a bingo fundraiser at O’Briens on 3/22 from 2-4. It is family friendly and Jackson PTO will get basically all of the proceeds.

We hope you all have a wonderful month and that we see you at some or all of our events. If you haven’t already done so, request to become a member of our Facebook page- Jackson Parents. On this page we share a lot of information about school and PTO events. If you have any questions about anything PTO related, please contact me at jacksonPTO28@gmail.com.

As always thank you for supporting our Jackson Community!

Kjersta Hoffman

PTO President


Big picture