Susitna Elementary News


March 3, 2016

Volume 3, Issue 7

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Dear Susitna Families -

I hope you are enjoying all the additional daylight, although it would be even nicer if we didn’t have to keep “walking like a duck” on the sidewalks and parking lots. The Susitna learning community appreciates Mr. Doucet (our BPO) for the incredible job putting ice melt and gravel on our walkways and playground to try to keep us all safe and upright!

Please take a few minutes to read and look at the pictures of all the exciting things our students are enjoying. You’ll also find some activities available for students over the upcoming Spring Break (Mar. 14 – 18).

Chains of Caring – Our Student Council officers are selling chain links to students to create purple and yellow Chain of Caring that is now making it’s 2nd loop around the MPR!!! Each link sells for .25 cents during lunch as part of a community service project to support The Children’s Hospital at Providence. Students have been drawing pictures and writing inspiring messages for children who are hospitalized. Next week, they will take a 5-foot section of our school’s chain and all the money raised to a special reception. They’ve raised more than $250, and tomorrow is the last day students can buy links to add the chain.

Thursday night, Mar. 10, is our 7th Annual STEM Night. This year's theme is “Get Energized.” Students and their families can see new exhibits, science fair projects, and play with hands on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math stations from a wide variety of staff and community guest vendors from around the city. Don't miss the fun, STEM swag, and door prizes from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at Susitna this Thursday!

AMP (Alaska Measures of Performance) Testing – Students in 3 – 5 grade have been preparing for this annual statewide assessment using Chromebooks and desktop computers, since they are only accessible for each individual student through a secured online portal. Students will test in their classroom using chromebooks, unless they have accommodations that can only be supported by testing in an alternative location. If you have a 3 – 5 grader, we ask you to please schedule appointments around their grade level’s testing window if at all possible.

3rd Grade - - Mar 29 – Apr. 1

4th Grade - - Apr. 1 - 8

5th Grade - - Apr. 11 - 15

Thank you in advance for sending your student to school on time, well rested, and ready to do their best on test days!


Kim Bautista

Upcoming Dates of Importance


3 - Honor Choir/Band/Orchestra 7 pm West High Auditorium

4 - Talent Show 2 pm and 6:30 pm

4 - ASD Student Art Exhibit Grand Reception - Anchorage Museum, 6-8 pm

5 - Anchorage STrEaM Academy Charter School pre open event 2 pm @ Begich

5 - Ski for Kids 12-4 pm @ Kincaid Park

8 - Picture Day - - See Advertisement link to purchase pictures

10 - Science Fair Judging 9am - 12pm

10 -STEM Night 6-7:30 pm

11 - End of 3rd Quarter, NO SCHOOL for students

12 - Iditazoo- 12 - 4 pm (see insert)


14- 18- Alaska Native Spring Break Camp (see insert)

24 - All ASD Programs Lottery deadline is 5 pm

- Math Night 6-8pm ASD Education Center

25 - Earth Hour, 1:30 - 2:30

29 - 3rd Grade AMP Testing Begins


1 - 4th Grade AMP Testing Begins

4 - Municipal Election!

11 - 5th Grade AMP Testing Begins

20 - Visit from Begich Counselors 2 pm for 5th graders

22 - Wackadoo Zoo Performance 2 pm and 6:30 pm


Come get Energized at Susitna's Annual STEM night on Thursday, March 10, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. Students receive cool "swag" from ExxonMobil, BP, and Conoco-Phillips. Find out all sorts of amazing new things from our presenters including ExxonMobil, the Alaska Zoo, The Army Corp of Engineers, Alaska Botanical Gardens and many more. We will have hands on energy activities for kids and families to do, and the science fair experiments will be on full display. Bring the whole family, and come get energized with us at STEM night!

STEM Volunteers Needed:

If you would like to be a judge of our science fair or volunteer at STEM night please let us know.

Please contact Jennifer Harmon or Kristi Therriault if interested:

Text 719-314-9954


Kristi Therriault


K-6 Parent Math Night

Big image
Big image

Musical Notes

All things musical .......

Honor Choir/Band/Orchestra Concert March 3rd 7 pm in the West Auditorium. Come support Susitna 5th graders Payton Hammon, Suzanna Henderson, Lillian Jones, Hailey Parmenter, Shaknea Porterfield, Demetrius Riley, and Annamarie Williamson.

Talent Show Friday March 4th at 2 pm and 6:30 pm. Participants report at 6:15 pm.

Wackadoo Zoo performance Friday April 22nd 2 pm and 6:30 pm.

Recorders are still for sale to 2/3 combos - 5th grade. $4 each.

The 4th and 5th graders have been studying the Orchestral Instrument Families. We have been using a free website to help make this content more fun and interesting. Students may play at home at


Susitna Music

Mrs. Bautista and Ms. Vanderpool with past Susitna Students

Ms. Vanderpool enjoying the fruits of her labor from music class. Look how far these musical students have come. Begich students in Choir, Jazz Band, and Orchestra came and shared their musical talents with Susitna this week. We were so proud of our former alumni, and to think it all started right here with Miss Vanderpool! Way to go!
Big image

Physical Education Activities

Healthy Futures

Healthy Futures has teamed up with Skinny Raven Sports to offer a couple special opportunities to Healthy Futures schools this spring:

  • Marathon March: Students who log 26.2 miles of running on their Healthy Futures log in March will receive a special Marathon March sticker and be eligible for a t-shirt at the Superhero Showdown.
  • Superhero Showdown: Healthy Futures participants are eligible for a special discounted registration rate for this fun running event on April 9th.

Your school's Healthy Futures Coordinator already has this information, but I wanted to make sure you were aware, so you can help them spread the word and distribute the attached flyer. For those in ASD, there is also a flyer approval form attached.

You can find more information at:


Alyse Loran

Healthy Futures Coordinator


Junior Native Youth Olympics

Thirty Susitna students came together and trained hard for many hours to learn the different native games. Susitna had a great showing this year at the Junior Native Youth Olympics. Many personal best records were set for the Athletes. Samantha and Jessica Jensen placed in the top 15 out of 85 girls in the two foot High kick. They also set personal best times in the wrist carry. Allen as a third grader was very competitive in arm pull making it to the fifth round in a group that had two finishers in the top five. Ciandra and Mariah set personal bests in very tough arm pull competitions. Keith competed in all three events for the 3-4 grade boys and set personal bests in each event. Cyrus competed in kneel jump and set his personal best against a very tough older group. Samuel pulled his hardest in a tough Eskimo Stick Pull completion and did great for being a first grader. Great job to all and thanks for being such great representatives for Susitna.

Congratulations to the following students who attended the 2016 JNYO competition, thank you for representing our school!

Samuel Hensen

Cyrus Warren

Allen Hensen

Ciandra Brown

Jessica Jensen

Samantha Jensen

Keith Tommy

Mariah Andrews


Chris Putman

PE Susitna/College Gate

Kristi Therriault

4th Grade teacher

School Wide Championship Basketball

Susitna's basketball team went undefeated this season. 9-0. They entered in first place and won the tournament by 20 points, bringing back home the championship trophy to display at Susitna until next year's tournament! Congratulations to all of the team members, and their excellent coaches Niki Salaices and Ivan Doucet. Way to represent Susitna! Team members were: Thalit Bayath, Azariah Atonio, Lillian Jones, Trey Adkins, Vita Lauvale, Natalia Rodriguez, Javen Esera, (not pictured) Kylend Suon, Ma'ori Tosi and Kingston Tosi.
Big image
Big image

Health News

We are concluding our lessons related to the signs and symptoms of being sick versus having strong healthy bodies. We were able to identify and describe how our bodies protect us from obtaining germs and diseases. The important roles of our immune system and how it benefits our bodies to stay healthy and the great benefits of always washing our hands to keep the germs away.

Our next unit will be discussing the effects of drugs and alcohol, how they can hinder our bodies abilities to learn, process information, changes in our emotional state, and having lasting effects on our lives. The students will be engaged with various scenarios to practice their refusal skill steps that they have been taught in previous units.

Have a Healthy and Safe Spring Break!!!!

Mr. Peterson

Susitna Health Teacher

News from the Librarian

Big image

ASD School Wide Book Mark Winner

I am proud to announce, Kaylee, in Mr. Froehlich's 3rd grade class won the overall ASD primary bookmark contest. Congratulations Kaylee! Your winning bookmark will represent Susitna Elementary. Each year ASD librarians organize a bookmark design contest for all students; inviting them to use their creativity to symbolize the wonderful world of reading.

Mrs. Benfield

Susitna Librarian

Book Fair Thank You

Thank you for coming to the Scholastic Book Fair in February. Your generous support made this book fair a financial Spring record. The library earned a great many points to purchase new books for our children. It is wonderful to see families and children excited about reading. Thank you!

Dr. Seuss Thank You

Thanks To You!
From There To Here,
From Here To There,
Books And Fun Things Were

When You Arrived
I Was So Surprised!

What A Wonderful Sight
Having You At Our Party
Was Such A Delight!

Thank You,
Thank You Everyone!!

Big image
Big image
Big image

Alaska Measure of Progress 2016

Big image
Big image


Students enjoyed a close up viewing of a moose outside the optional K/1 windows. They observed the moose, engaged in lively discussions and documented their observations in their science journals.

Important Optional Lottery News

I wanted to make sure that the Susitna Optional families are all aware of what will happen next school year. If a fifth grade student lives OUTSIDE of the Begich zone the school district automatically will add them to the roster for the school in which their address of record is zoned. Regardless of all other factors. Period.

NOW - should the parents or guardians wish for their student to attend another school, we have this nifty system called the LOTTERY.

It is the policy of Begich Middle school to automatically approve all the Susitna Optional student's lottery applications if they apply for the first round. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Please help these parents know that it is very important to know this policy. They had to enter the lottery into Sustina Optional and now their student will have to go to their zoned school or enter the lottery into the school of their choice. Lottery approvals are good for the length of the program.

Please feel free to contact Sylvia at Begich, or Kemi and Amy at Susitna to get help with knowing your student's future track and determining whether or not you need to fill out a lottery application. To submit an application must be done online at the ASD website by March 24, 2016 at 5 pm. The drawing will start March 25.

Thank you for your help.

Sylvia Field Biondich, CEOE
Middle School Registrar
Nicholas J Begich Middle School

Big image

Box Top Heroes

Thank you to all of our Susitna families for continuing to bring in box tops. Without this PE wouldn't be able to replace well loved and used PE equipment like basketballs, soccer balls, bowling balls, footballs. Music is adding new musical instruments to add to the instruments Ms. Vanderpool can enhance Susitna students musical learning. Thank you one and all for allowing Susitna staff the opportunity to give our student population quality learning opportunities.

Susitna Student qualifies for State Geography Bee


Craig Kimball, from Susitna Elementary School has qualified to compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee!

The Alaska State Bee will be held on Friday, April 1, 2016. Eligible state Bee competitors must be in grades four through eight, and must have participated in and won the competition at the school level that involved at least six students. We reserve the right to disqualify a student at any time if the rules have not been followed.

The National Geographic Bee supports the participation of students with physical disabilities such as vision or hearing.

It is the responsibility of the student’s family and/or teacher-escort to arrange travel to the state Bee, and to report to the registration area on time.

One champion from each state and territory will advance to the national competition, which will be held May 22-25 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. Transportation and accommodations for the Washington, D.C. trip are provided for each state champion.

Many thanks to the School Bee Coordinator for organizing the school Bee.

Thank you all for supporting the National Geographic Bee, and best wishes for Craig's success in the Alaska State Bee.

National Geographic Bee Team


Big image

Anchorage STrEaM Academy Charter School

The whole community is invited to Anchorage STrEaM Academy's second Pre-open Event, Sat. March 5th.

If you are interested in learning more about the new STEM based charter school opening this fall in east Anchorage we encourage you to attend the March 5th pre-open event held at Begich Middle School in the Multi-purpose room from Noon until 2pm.

Arrive at noon and plan on staying the whole time to hear a few words from the founders and then participate in several sample lessons which are engaging and fun. There will be time to sign students up on the lottery and visit with members of the Academic Performance Committee.

Big image

ASD Annual Student Art Show.

Selfie: Culture through Self Expression” is the theme of the 44th Annual Anchorage School District student art exhibition at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with National Youth Art Month, an acknowledgement of the visual arts programs in American schools.

The community is cordially invited to attend the Grand Reception, Friday March 4th from 6-8pm at the Anchorage Museum; the reception is to honor artists from all exhibit locations. In addition to the exhibit, ASD students will provide live music. Admission to the reception is free.

Exhibition Sites & Dates

Primary Exhibit Location

Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

March 4 – April 3, 2016

Auxiliary Exhibit Locations

Anchorage City Hall

March 4 – April 1, 2016

Chugiak-Eagle River Municipal Library

March 4 – April 1, 2016

The Mall at Sears

March 7 – April 2, 2015 (please note this exhibit is a shorter timespan)

2016 Youth Art Month Committee Members

Elementary: Rosie Morgan, Nicole Cox, Ashley Austin

Secondary: Scott Mayfield, Chris Selin, Kelly Hebert

For further information, contact Mary Wilts, Curriculum Coordinator, ASD Fine Arts Department, 742-0151.

Selfie: Culture through Self Expression

Selfie is the term used for a smartphone self-portrait. Actually, it is more than that; it seizes a moment in time. As artists we work to capture a part of our culture and ourselves on paper, on canvas, in fiber, with metal, in clay, in photography, and other media. Certainly this is a brave endeavor for an artist, revealing a part of oneself in a work of art. It is this self-expression of our cultural identities that we share with the world. Our artwork is a synthesis of the concepts and skills we have learned, along with creative, artistic choices.

News from the Community

Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image

Anchorage School Board

Kameron Perez-Verdia - President

Tam Agosti-Gisler

Eric Croft

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins - Susitna's Representative

Kathleen Plunkett

Elisa Snelling

Superintendent - Ed Graff

School Business Partners