The Gray Wolf Gazette

November 11, 2022

Our Mission and Vision

Mission(Why we exist): Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary is a collaborative community committed to ensuring equity and high levels of learning for all.

Vision(What we are striving to become):

Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary is a community of belonging that empowers all children to connect, discover, and thrive as leaders equipped to make a positive impact on our world.

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Weekly Update

Happy Friday Givens Families!

Whew, what a difference a day makes! I hope you will get to spend some time bundled up and enjoying a nice cup of coffee or hot cocoa this weekend. A nice warm cup, a nice soft blanket, and a chance to read the Gazette :-).

A Few Updates:

1. As temperatures begin to change, please make sure your child has what they need to be outside for recess. If they are bringing hats and gloves, scarves, or other items, please make sure they know how to keep up with them. Teaching about putting them in the sleeves or pockets and writing initials on them may be helpful.

2. Please stop by the Lost and Found Tables to see if any of your child's items are on the table. They will be located upstairs in front of the mural. All items left over will be donated to an organization in need.

3. Parent-teacher conferences are next week and we can't wait to see you! Teachers and students are excited to share about the progress your child has made and the goals they will continue to work towards. If you have not signed up, check out the ink below.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Click Here if you still need to sign up for a conference time.

Fall Book Fair

During conference week, Givens Elementary will be hosting our first scholastic book fair in many years. It’s an awesome opportunity to let the kids choose new books that interest them, and get books for teachers, and for our school. It’s a fun experience for the kids, but we cannot hold this book fair without the help of our families! We have a lot of volunteer positions available, in the morning, afternoon, and evening. We will need volunteers to help set up, work the register and clean up/break down once the book fair is over.!/showSignUp/4090544abac2da4f85-fall

Did you know that we use letter days at Givens(A- E )? We do this to make sure each classroom gets its curriculum time within our specials rotation. I will share the letter days in the Gazette each week. Some classroom teachers share their rotation days so you know when your students are going to Library(Book Return) and PE(Remember tennis shoes).

Monday - D

Tuesday- E

Wednesday- A

Thursday- B

Friday-No School

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November Dates

November 14th: Late Start & Scholastic Book Fair Starts & Picture Retakes

November 15th: Parent Teacher Conference Night 1

November 17th: Parent Teacher Conference Night 2

**See the Button Below to Sign up for Conferences

November 18th: No School

November 23rd-24th: No School Thanksgiving Holiday

Attendance Letters

Teachers will be sharing attendance letters with you during conferences. Please take a minute to review your child's attendance record for Trimester 1. Attached to each record is a letter from the school. The letter is either gold, blue, or pink (see meanings below). We are working really hard to ensure all students reap the benefits of excellent attendance. If you have questions, please reach out to our Counselor, Ms. Harrison (, our social worker, Ms. Showalter (, or Ms. Beecham (

Gold Letter: Your child's attendance is currently well above Missouri's target. Keep up the great work!

Blue Letter: Your child's attendance is currently meeting Missouri's target but is very close. Select a goal to work on to maintain or increase that percentage.

Pink Letter: Your child's attendance is currently below Missouri's target. Select a goal to work towards reaching that goal for the upcoming trimester!

Tips to ensure your child reaps the benefits of great attendance:

· Getting into a night and morning routine that allows you and your family to arrive at school on time. (Tardy bell rings at 7:50)

· Outside of your child missing school for illnesses, limiting the number of times your child is absent from school.

· Limiting the number of doctors’ appointments and other appointments that require early dismissal.

· Limiting vacations during school days.

Picture Retake Day


Absentee/Retake Day Picture Day is:

Monday, November 14, 2022

Wagner Portrait Group will be at school to photograph any students who were absent on the initial picture day or any student that needs his/her picture retaken.

If you are having a picture taken as a RETAKE, please make sure your student returns their package in its entirety, including the package insert sheet, to the photographer on retake day.
(Feel free to attach a note to describe what you’d like us to do differently.)


Online Pre-Order Password: 8D5R6Q4V

Can’t order online or have other questions? We are happy to help! 314-567-5900

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The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Givens! The book fair will be open during the school day and at conferences the week of November 14-17. All students will be given a chance to preview the fair and make wish lists. If you would like to send money with your child to make purchases, there is an easy new way to do it: an e-wallet! You can put funds in your child's e-wallet that they can use to spend at the fair. For more information about the fair, e-wallets, and/or to order books online, please go to the Givens book fair website:

Counselor's Corner with Ms. Harrison

I’ve been meeting with students in 4th and 5th grade for lessons about getting along with adults. You may have noticed that pre-pubescent kids do something I call the Terrible Twos 2.0. They can be whiny, argumentative, and demanding. Very few flop on the ground and scream at the top of their lungs like they did as toddlers, but it’s not hard to imagine. The good news is that (1) this is a phase, (2) this is normal, and (3) this is a good thing. Here to learn some parent tricks!

Developmentally, kids are feeling more capable and are ready for more freedom. They are growing up and asserting their independence, but they don’t always do it in a way that we are comfortable with. So in my lessons, we talk about what it sounds like to ask for things, argue, and negotiate. The rules are no yelling or slamming doors. The basic lesson is: What do you want? Is what you’re doing working?

So to be fair, I am offering, free of charge, some parenting tricks to use. Click Here to find out!

2022-2023 Givens School Buzz Book

Just like last year, we will use a live digital version of our 2022-2023 Buzz Book. This will allow families to add the information they would like shared with the Givens Community. It allows us to ensure all information(outside of name and email addresses) shared is determined by the families.

**All editing will be closed down at the end of March. At this time, we will download a PDF and share it electronically with all families. Until then, you will always be able to access this from our Gray Wolf Gazette.

Click Here to Access OR Update the Buzz Book

Many people use this to make connections, participate in play dates, and invite classmates to parties.

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The PTO would like to thank all who attended the meeting on Monday, November 7th! Meeting minutes can be viewed here:

Starting on Monday, November 14 through Tuesday, November 22 Givens Elementary PTO will be holding our Wolf-a-thon Fundraiser! The Wolf-a-thon will be six days of fun physical activities, raffles & giveaways, school community, and exciting events to fundraise for our school’s PTO. Your gift to the PTO helps fund classroom libraries, field trips & bus fares, special events, campus beautification, equity initiatives, and much more!

Donation forms will be sent home in Friday folders this week. Students and their families & friends are encouraged to gather donations and log them on their donation forms, which should be turned in by Tuesday, November 22nd.

Students will get to have their voices heard by voting on what they want a portion of the earned funds to go towards! While donations are appreciated and no gift is too small, all students will get to participate in the fun regardless of their family’s ability to donate.

Here’s how to donate:

Cash or check (made out to Givens Elementary PTO)

Venmo - @GivensPTO (please specify “Wolf-a-thon”)

Credit/debit card at:

or by scanning the QR code below:

Equity Corner 11/9

Did you know, November is Native American Heritage Month?

The Legend of the Piasa Bird: The Piasa Bird was a mythological Native American creature known as the “bird that devours men” or the “bird of evil spirit.” “Its body was much the size and shape of a horse; long, white fangs stabbed upward from the protruding lower jaw and flames leaped from its nostrils; two white, deer-like horns angled wickedly from its head” The Illini chief, Ouatoga dreamt of how to defeat this monster. With this defeat, Chief Outoga and his tribe memorialized this with a mural on the bluffs along the Mississippi River. Today, the restored version can be viewed at Piasa Park(Illinois Route 100, 1 mile west of the Alton Visitor Center, Alton, IL 62002). Piasa Bird (

Historical Highlight: Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915) was the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree. After receiving her medical degree, she returned to her home, Omaha Reservation, where she become a community advocate for her tribe. With the rise of diseases like tuberculosis, cholera, and the flu, she became a fierce leader in the field of public health. Before her death, she raised money to build the first hospital in her hometown.

Recommended read (for grown ups): There There by Tommy Orange

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News From Around the District

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Use the buttons to view the Lunch, Breakfast, and daily or weekly menus.

Click Here to See Important Dates for the School Year

Our Finalized Calendar for the School Year

Givens Family Handbook 2022-2023

Click here to learn more about Givens and School and District Policies