Tustumena Elementary School

Parent Newsletter September 12, 2013

Our first Collaboration Day is September 18, 2013

Dear Tustumena Families,

I would like to start with a reminder that next Wednesday, September 18, 2013, we will have the first of our early release days for teacher collaboration. Our entire afternoon schedule, including bus drop off, will be 90 minutes earlier than our normal day. Parents can pick students up at 2:10pm. Our entire staff will be collaborating on Science instruction. Science is the area that, not only our school, but the state and nation, needs the most improvement. Around 90% of our students are proficient in Reading, Writing, and even Math, but only around 60% of our fourth graders were proficient on the SBA Science assessment last year which was up from the year before. Our teachers have scheduled all of our early release days around improving student learning in Science. We will start with understanding the exact targets (learning goals) our students are held accountable for, then design or adopt our own assessments that measure student progress toward these goals, then design instruction that will lead to success. You could say we will begin with end in mind.

Now that we are at full speed instructionally, you may receive communication from your child's teacher about extra support your child may need. We have scheduled I-Team (Intervention Team) meetings for September 24. Parents are not required for these meetings but if we are discussing options for improving instruction for your child, you will hear from us.

Our PTO is looking for parent representatives for each classroom. If you have time to be the PTO contact person for your child's classroom, please contact the teacher.

You may be aware there is a Kenai Peninsula Borough General Obligation Bond election coming up on October 1, 2013. This bond directly affects our school as it is a part of the Roof Project. If you have been down the intermediate hall near our lunch room, you know already that we are in need. From what I understand, this part of the roof has been repaired repeatedly for several years and is in need of a major overhaul. This bond will make that a reality. If you have any questions about the bond measure you can go to: www.borough.kenai.ak.us

The Tustumena 5K run will be this Saturday, September 14. Registration begins at 10:30am with the run taking off at 11:30. Registration is $15 and the proceeds will go to our school. Please come and enjoy the day and get a t-shirt.

Halloween has been changed!!

If we can move Memorial Day, Labor Day, and President's Day, why not move Halloween?

This year Halloween falls on what could be argued as the worst day of the week possible- Thursday. Without changing it, we stand to lose two days of instruction, Thursday and Friday. So, at Tustumena, we are taking the liberty of changing Halloween to Friday November 1st. This is the same day our PTO has scheduled the Fall Carnival so we can make a day of it. There will still be Trunk or Treat on Thursday night, but we will move our classroom celebrations, pumpkin carving contest, and costumes for Pre-K through 3rd graders.


Thursday October 31-

  • Time TBA- Trunk or Treat

Friday November 1-

  • Pumpkin carving contest,
  • costumes for Pre-K through Grade 3,
  • Classroom parties,
  • PTO- Fall Carnival

I know this is a big change but I was hoping with this much advance notice you would support our school and our intention to optimize instruction for your children.

Highly Qualified Teachers at Tustumena- Offical letter to parents

September 16, 2013

Dear Parent:

I hope that your child is having a great year at Tustumena Elementary School. Our teachers have worked hard for many years to prepare themselves for the challenging and rewarding role of providing a quality education for your child.

To that end, I wanted to share with you that our teachers have met all the criteria established by the State of Alaska’s Department of Education and Early Development, as well as the criteria established by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, to obtain their teaching credentials and hold a teaching position with our school district.

In addition, the teachers listed below have acquired the “highly federally qualified” designation required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. This is a wonderful accomplishment on their parts. You are certainly welcome to request, through your principal, information about the professional qualifications of your child’s teacher.












As of this writing, the following teachers have yet to complete the “highly federally qualified” requirements for classes they teach in the following areas. These teachers are currently working to meet the requirement and we have full confidence in their ability to teach effectively in their assignment.


Our district is fully committed to the success of your child. We appreciate your partnership in our efforts. With parental and community involvement supporting our teachers and administration, together we will ensure that success.


Doug Hayman

Tustumena Elementary School

Coming Events

A Look Ahead…

Saturday, Sept. 14 5K Fun Run

10:30 registration, 11:30 race time

Tuesday, Sept. 17 PTO General Meeting 4:00 pm

Wednesday, Sept. 18 Early Release, 2:10pm

Monday, Sept. 30 Site Council Meeting at 4:00 pm

Thursday, Oct. 3 Picture Day (younger siblings that are not in school at noon)