Eagle's Nest Newsletter

Newsletter to the Aurora Elementary Family

January-February 2023

Happy New Year!

We are off to a great start to our second semester. Our first full week brought energy back to the school and it was nice to see students in the building after a whirlwind of missed days in December. I would like to welcome our new families to Aurora. We have lost some of our friends, but we have gained new ones. I hope you find our school inviting and that you enjoy being here as much as our staff does.

As many of you are already aware, the school district has announced its plan to make up for the lost school days from December. You will find that information below. Our teachers are working on a plan for remote learning should the school have to close for any reason. That information can also be found in this newsletter.

If you have any questions or would like to give feedback, my office is always open. You can reach me by calling the front office at 907-742-0300 (please leave a message if I cannot answer your call right away) or by emailing me at jones_margaret@asdk12.org.

Thank you,

Margaret Jones

Principal, Aurora Elementary


January 20th - Second quarter Awards Assembly.

3-6 will be from 9:30 - 9:50, and K-2 will be from 10:00 to 10:20. If your child is receiving an award, they will come home this week with an invitation. As always, our assembly is open to all parents whether or not your child is receiving an award.

January 30th - March 9th Snow Day Makeup Begins. Students will be dismissed at 4:15 PM

February 20th - President's Day - No School

February 22nd-24th - Parent-teacher conferences are canceled this quarter to make up missed school days.

Snow Day Makeup Information

Our district calendar allows for two school closure days due to inclement weather or other emergencies. All missed days after two closure days must be made up. Due to our incredible snowfall in December, students will have to make up a total of 5 days of school. ASD has created a plan to make up those days by extending the school day by 30 minutes. From January 30th to March 9th, our school will dismiss at 4:15 PM. Afternoon bus route information will be updated in Q/Parent Connect by January 28th.

Each school was required to develop a plan to utilize these 30 minutes based on school needs. Our school leadership team identified the area of Social Emotional Lessons as a high need in our school. Aurora ES will utilize district adopted curriculum to teach problem-solving skills at each grade level. Classroom teachers will receive support from our Specialist Teachers and paraprofessionals during this time. Our goal is to help our students develop problem-solving skills, understand perspectives, and, build relationships. A benefit that we hope to achieve is a common language and a common understanding of skills building-wide.

If you would like more information about ASD's plans to make up school days, please visit ASD's main website at ASDK12.org.

Remote Learning Plans for Future School Closures

The district asked school leaders to provide parents with a Remote Learning Plan to avoid adding more time or days to our school calendar in the event of another school closure. Teachers are putting together remote learning packets that have grade-level work and activities for students to complete. You can expect to receive two packets per student for future use. Packet A will be for used the first school closure while Packet B will be utilized if a second school closure is necessary.

The following plan will be utilized by Aurora Elementary in the event of a school closure:

Communication with Families:

  • Classroom Teacher sends email by 8:45 am on remote learning day

  • Classroom Teacher makes phone calls to their students’ families in AM (8:45-9:30 am)

    • The teacher shares learning activities and schedules for the day.

    • The teacher keeps a parent contact log.

  • The teacher provides an optional Zoom mtg. A suggested agenda for this meeting:

    • Welcome/Attendance/SEL

    • Minimum 15 min. Mini-lesson Reading

    • Minimum 15 min. Mini-lesson Math

    • 15 min. Q&A Time


  • Present = evidence of participation

    • Zoom participation (optional)

    • Communication with family about student participation

    • Evidence of student work

  • Students with pre-arranged excused absences will continue to be counted as excused absences.

  • Automated attendance calls will not go out on remote learning days


  • Grading should be based on participation in learning activities, not necessarily completeness or correctness.

Zoom sessions provided by teachers are optional for students. If you are unable to attend a Zoom session, evidence of participation in the other activities offered will suffice for attendance.

Current Activities

Aurora Elementary Choir will meet every Thursday morning at 8:05 AM. Please do not drop students off early. There is no supervision prior to this time. Contact Kyle Drake at drake_kyle@asdk12.org.

Anchored 4 Life meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 8:00 AM. Contact Amy Hollon at hollon_amy@asdk12.org or Liz Larson at larson_elizabeth@asdk12.org.

Battle of the Books meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:45 - 4:45. Contact Michelle Eicher at eicher_michelle@asdk12.org or Theresa Pajot at pajot_theresa@asdk12.org

Arrival and Dismissal

Thank you for following our arrival and dismissal plan. I've noticed that our arrival and dismissal flows smoothly now. We have a lot of new families and below is our arrival and dismissal plan for your review:

Arrival -

  • Staff supervision begins at 8:55.
  • Student arrival is at 8:55. If you arrive earlier than that, students are to stay in their vehicles.
  • Students line up outside the Primary (K-2) and Intermediate (3-6) doors.
  • Classroom teachers will pick up students at 9:05.
  • Students arriving after 9:05 may enter the front or side doors until 9:15, when all doors are locked.
  • After 9:15, students must enter through the front and check in at the office.
  • All parents/guardians must enter through the front entry at all times.

Dismissal -

  • Dismissal begins at 3:45 (4:15 beginning January 30th.)
  • Primary and Intermediate car riders will be directed to the parent pick-up area.
  • Bus riders will load buses as directed by staff.

Parent Pick Up and Drop Off -

  • The front sidewalk before the main entry is used for pick-up and drop-off only. The area after the front entry is a restricted area for buses only.
  • If you want to exit your vehicle, please park and exit. The front sidewalk is a Fire Lane and is for active loading/unloading only.
  • Refer to the map below for parking lot traffic flow.

Please be courteous and follow the directions of the staff. We are there to help supervise the safe arrival of all students. If you have concerns, I would be happy to meet with you. Please call 907-742-0300 to schedule a time to meet.

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Q/Parent Connect

I have had many parents ask for updated information about student progress. Teachers will keep updated grade books but are only required to send progress reports home once per quarter. If you have concerns about your child's progress, please reach out to your child's teacher to discuss your concerns. A wonderful tool for parents is ASD's Q/Parent Connect. Through this parent portal, you have access to:

Input absence information,

Current assignments and grades,

Payments for field trips and lunches,

IEP/504 information

Assessment Data

Bus Schedules

If you need help accessing the portal, please call our front office and they will help you with your pin and password.

Repeat - Winter Illness

All across Anchorage, we are seeing an uptick in respiratory infections and other illnesses. Our teachers are encouraging students to adequately hydrate and use proper handwashing techniques while they are in school. We appreciate your help in keeping our school environment healthy by keeping children home if they show signs of an illness. As a reminder, it is ASD's policy that if children are well enough to be at school, they are well enough to play outside.

Repeat - Outdoor Recess

Anchorage School District recess guidelines are that students go outside to play in all kinds of weather. This includes rain, snow, and cold temperatures (above -10º F). During the winter, we always check our weather gauges for temperature and wind chill.

Please make sure your child has:

Winter Jacket


Snow Boots

Snow Pants

Warm Hat (not required if the jacket has a hood.)

Please make sure to label your child's gear with their name (first name and last initial) and preferably their grade. We have a large amount of gear in our lost and found - if your child is missing any gear, please come in and check our lost and found. A great way to keep gloves with your child is to braid long strands of yarn, feed the braid through the arms of their jacket, and attach the gloves to the braided yarn. Now when your child takes off their gloves they will hang from the sleeves instead of dropping to the ground.

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Repeat - Bus and Playground Safety

Classroom teachers have been reminding students of our expectations both on the playground and on the bus. Please take a moment to remind your children of these expectations.

Recess expectations include:

  • There is no play fighting. Students are to keep their hands to themselves and they are not to wrestle or ask others to play fight.
  • Students need to sit on the swings, no twisting, swinging upside down, or jumping off.
  • Students need to slide down the slide, feet first and not climb up.
  • Students are not allowed to climb over the railings or jump off the play structure.
  • Students must follow the directions of the noon duties at all times.

Now that snow is on the ground, we have been instructing students on the use of our sledding hill. Expectations include:

  • Climb up the hill on the sides.
  • Slide down on your bottom, feet forward (not on your knees).
  • When you get to the bottom, move out of the way quickly so others can slide down.

Bus Safety expectations include:

  • Stay seated in your assigned seat at all times.
  • No moving while the bus is in motion.
  • Keep your backpack and/or instrument in your lap.
  • No eating on the bus.
  • Do not throw items on the bus.
  • Windows stay closed unless the driver gives permission for them to be down.
  • Keep the noise level down so the driver is aware when there is an issue and especially at railroad crossings.
  • Get off at your regular stop.
  • Report all safety concerns immediately to the bus driver.