The Leighton News

October 1, 2021

From the Principal

Dear Leighton Families,

It is so hard to believe we are already into the beautiful season of Fall and are blessed with the beauty of leaves changing colors, cool breezes, and amazing sunsets that light up the evening sky. I hope each of you can take some time to enjoy the beauty of the season with family and friends whether that is a walk or just sitting outside and enjoying nature.

We have completed our benchmarking assessments for Fall called Aimsweb and our staff is working diligently to continually refine our instructional practices to meet the ever-changing needs of each of our students. Our students are off to an amazing start this year as I am consistently blown away in regards to the critical thinking, innovation, and collaboration in each classroom as students engage with each other to problem solve, learn, and grow. It is very easy to see our strategic vision goals embedded into daily instruction as our classroom environments exemplify that learning is social and our teachers are focused on helping students embrace the process vs. the product through our reading, writing, and mathematical frameworks. All these skills are expedient for students to be "future-ready".

Mrs. Goodman and I enjoyed spending this week with students in all grades as we kicked off Principal Pals week where we went to each classroom and shared a story and had a Q and A with students about what it is like to be a Principal. I think one student said it best when he related, "This is the best day ever!" Mrs. Goodman and I couldn't agree more! Spending our days with our students is truly the "best day ever". We topped off our days together with popsicles at lunch. Thank you to our PTO moms who helped with this process.

Lastly, it is "official", we have received word from our State Support Team, Region 8, that Leighton Elementary School will be recognized and awarded by the State for our work last year in implementing PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports. These endeavors include creating, sustaining, monitoring, and being progressive with tiered systems of supports for all students in terms of creating safe, supportive, and positive learning environments. It also includes tapping into best, research-based practices to continually support student-led social-emotional learning which ultimately bolsters student achievement.

I could not be more proud of our students, staff, and educational community for the teamwork to support this whole-child approach to teaching and learning. See below for more information on this award.

Thank you for your continued support, teamwork, and partnership this year. It takes a village and we have the best!! Enjoy the beautiful weather ahead and please reach out anytime you may need anything. We are here to help and support!

Kind Regards,

Michelle Nizen, Building Principal

Maria Goodman, Assistant Principal

Principal Pals with Mrs. Nizen and Mrs. Goodman

Leighton Elementary Earns State Recognition for PBIS Implementation for the 2020-2021 School Year

Leighton Elementary School has been recognized for its success with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for the 2020-2021 school year. PBIS involves teaching students expected behaviors in a consistent and positive way, modeling and acknowledging those behaviors, and helping all students meet expectations and be successful. Since the start of the school year, students have learned, reviewed, and practiced what each of our 3 pillars (being respectful, responsible, and a problem solver) look like and sound like in all areas of the school. This week and last week we have been tapping into our focus skills.

This week's focus skill is I can stop, think, and make a good choice.

Students are positively reinforced using our token economy of caught being good tickets where they are entered into office drawing for an opportunity to pick out of our PBIS store. We hold quarterly building-wide events and students love seeing which classrooms earn the golden fork to display outside their classroom doors for being respectful, responsible, and problem-solvers during lunch and recess.

PBIS has been shown to improve student achievement, student behavior, and school climate. In 2015, Ohio PBIS Network first recognized schools that were model examples of strong PBIS. In 2021, Leighton Elementary School applied and earned state recognition or a bronze medal for high levels of implementation, team configuration, and systems processes. We are one of 354 award-winning schools to be recognized at any of the levels Gold (34), Silver (70), or Bronze (233). Leighton Elementary School will be honored at the 2021 Ohio PBIS Showcase in conjunction with the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) virtual conference on December 9, 2021. Leighton Pride is certainly Building Wide!!! We are looking forward to building on these successes this upcoming year. Stay up to date with our PBIS initiatives in our "Spotlight on PBIS" section in each newsletter. We are looking forward to our building-wide extra recess event in mid-October to celebrate our students' successes for the first quarter.

Meet Mrs. Langston - Reading Specialist

My name is Chelsie Langston. I am the new Reading Specialist here at Leighton. I grew up in Kent, Ohio, and graduated from Kent State in 2015. I eagerly took a kindergarten position but wanted to expand my experiences and challenge myself in another state. I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where I taught third grade. Being that Arizona is a beautiful state, we decided to start a family which brought us back to Kent. We have a handsome one in a half-year-old named Rowan who always keeps us on our toes; he’s your typical boy who loves dirt and trucks. I am overly excited to be here at Leighton and look forward to getting to know each child.

Counselor's Corner

October is National Bully Prevention Month. Schools all across the United States will be talking about how we treat others, strategies, solutions, etc. My class lessons will surround and include this topic. We also found out that October 20th is National Unity Day ~ this fits perfectly with our bully prevention conversations. So on October 20th, we offer everyone the opportunity to wear orange to celebrate our togetherness! Please see my Google Site for additional information.

Be sure to visit my Google Site (often) for updates and fun things we are doing!!

Tami S. Mazzella

School Counselor


Fall Conferences

Fall conferences will be here before we know it. Conferences are scheduled for the following dates this year:

Nov. 3rd - 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Nov. 11th - 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Times should be set up with the classroom teachers and they will be reaching out shortly to schedule conferences with families. We received a lot of positive feedback in regards to virtual conferences last year and will still be holding conferences in this manner, but can also support any face to face conferences requested as well. Please let your classroom teacher know your preference upon scheduling.

3rd Grade Reading Club Sign Up Form

Please complete the Reading Club form if you would like to sign up your 3rd Grade student

4th & 5th Grade Reading Club Sign Up Form

Please complete the Reading Club form if you would like to sign up your 4th or 5th Grade student.

3rd Grade Fire Safety with the Aurora Fire Department

Morning Drop-Off

A big thank you to all of our families for helping to make arrival and dismissal so smooth!! Just a few reminders to continue to help us keep the drop-off line running smoothly.

  • Please try to have any instruments or backpacks easily reachable by your student to grab and go.

  • Encourage your kids to see that when you’ve pulled up and placed your car in park, that is their clue to open the door and exit quickly.

  • Watch the first “on duty” teacher (near the 3rd-grade door). If you pass her on the way toward the top of the line OR if you see her give a “thumbs up sign” to your car, it is safe for your student to exit once you’ve pulled up. If you see her hand held up in a “stop” sign, please have your student stay in the car until you are instructed to pull up.

  • Please don’t pass cars when the car ahead is taking longer unless waved ahead to do so. This can create a safety issue.

  • Please have students exit the car through the passenger side (side closest to the curb). Students walking around their cars also puts them at a safety risk.

Please let us know if we can help in any way as we are all here to ensure the safety of our students. Thank you again for all your help as the arrival and dismissal line has been so smooth this school year!

Student Attendance

Please remember that when you take your child out of school for a doctor or dentist appointment, the State of Ohio requires that a doctor's note be brought back to the school for attendance purposes. You can give the note to the secretaries in the main office.

PTO News

Please use the links below to access all PTO information for the 21-22 school year!

PTO Welcome Letter

PTO Membership

This is the updated Head Room Parent Communication Sign-Up link

Charleston Wrap has kicked off this week, register online to shop and share your link with family and friends!

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Important Dates and Reminders

Friday, 10/8 - NEOEA Day - No School

Monday, 10/11 - Teacher PD Day - No School for Students

Tuesday, 10/12 - PTO Meeting 7:00 PM at the Annex

Friday, 10/15 - End of 1st Grading Period

Friday, 10/22 - Report Cards Distributed

Monday, 10/25 - Board of Education Meeting 7:00 PM

Tuesday, 10/26 - School Picture Re-Take Day

Friday, 10/29 - Fall Festival


Click on the link below to view the school lunch menus. We are excited to have the Nutrition Group supporting our lunch program this year. Our students have been enjoying the variety of options. We HIGHLY encourage you to check the menu each week to see if any changes will be occurring.

Clinic Updates

As a reminder, please monitor your child for any COVID-related symptoms and contact our school nurse if you have any questions. We appreciate your attention to this.

  • Check your child each day for COVID-related symptoms. If your child is showing any symptoms whatsoever, it is best to keep him/her home to monitor.
  • Students sent home with a fever, may not return to school until they are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. This means if your child was sent home on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. with a fever, he/she may not return to school until Thursday. If your child does return the next day, our school nurse will be calling for you to come to pick him/her up. Thank you for your support and efforts in this area.
  • We have COVID-19 home testing kits available that we can send home with any child or family should you question symptoms or exposure. We will be able to answer any questions about these kits should the need arise.
  • Please make sure your Final Forms medical information is up to date. We will closely read the health sections to address any medical concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Tanski in the clinic at 330-954-2285 or email her at

**** If your child will be absent for an extended period, please reach out to your child's teacher and they will get school work ready for your student for the period of the absence. You may pick up the work outside the main office on a table that will be labeled with your student's name. We are a google district and utilize google classroom in our 3-5 classes. Please check in with your child's teacher about any google classroom posting and/or assignments in his/her absence.

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Aurora Destination Imagination

Aurora Destination Imagination will be holding an information meeting:

Date: Wednesday, October 6th

Place: Leighton Elementary School (Room TBD)

Time: 7:00m-8:00pm

Zoom call also available please send email to for link.

What is Destination Imagination???

Destination Imagination reinforces the four Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

DI empowers its participants to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to problems and work as a team to create solutions.

It also connects students with other innovative problem solvers both in their area and around the globe.

Aurora DI is looking for interested students in Grade K-12th grade and parent team managers to form teams for the 21-22 season.

DI season starts in November with the Regional and State Tournaments in February and March ( maybe virtual or in-person).

For more information see:

Please fill out this Google Form if interested:

Aurora Destination Imagination Interest Form

Keep Being Creative,

Vanessa Fabec

Aurora DI Coordinator / 440-655-0538

Aurora Youth Travel Basketball

We really hope that the start of the school year has gone off without issue so far!! We have set dates, etc, for the upcoming season and we wanted to get that info out as soon as we had it. Sorry for the long email, but wanted to touch on a few issues. Please find those dates and times attached, as well as the link to the sign-up genius that we use to keep track of everyone who has signed up. We are thankfully going to be able to use the high school this year, as opposed to needing to find other locations for tryouts and practices last year. We will be attempting to form as many competitive teams as we can for the boys and girls at grade levels 3-6. The 3rd-grade girls, if willing and capable, would be playing up in tournaments and leagues because they do not have those available for 3rd-grade girls. So if enough 3rd-grade girls try out and we are able to form a team, this will be further discussed with parents at that time. We are currently still working on what league and tournaments we will have our teams compete in this year and will address that as soon as we can. If your son or daughter would make the team that they try out for, the cost this season will be $325. That would get your player their uniform, shooting shirt, practice jersey, league play, and four tournaments. Practices will be twice per week during the season and would start roughly the middle of October, with league play beginning sometime in November, which is when some tournaments begin as well.

Tryout dates:


October 6 at the Aurora High School

3-4 grade: 6-7:15

5-6 grade: 7:30-8:45


October 4-5 at the Aurora High School

3-4 grade: 6-7:15

5-6 grade: 7:30-8:45

We understand with fall sports, tryout dates could be tough, but we are also handcuffed by the gym availability with the high school teams. The girls have one day of tryouts, but if that date doesn't work, they can attend one of the boys' tryouts for evaluation as well. Boys can attend one or both tryouts, and if attending both, the tryout scores will be averaged between the two days. Please click on the sign-up genius link to sign up for your tryout date. As in the past, tryouts will be closed to parents.

Next, we have always relied on volunteer coaches for these travel teams. If you have any interest in coaching, either head coaching or assistant, please reach out to us!! We will evaluate our list of coaches once teams are set. We do not want the list of coaches to affect which team each player makes. If you have not coached with our teams before, but are interested, do not hesitate to reach out. "New blood" is always appreciated!! We will be having coaches' clinics again this year. Our varsity coaches are involved with our program and very helpful when it comes to teaching our coaches.

We are also looking to possibly fill another board member spot. We are always looking to improve our organization, and what better way to do that than to involve new people. If anyone is interested, please reach out!!

I'm sure I missed a few topics of concern or questions for you all, if so, please let me know and I will answer any questions to the best of my ability!! Looking forward to seeing you all soon!! GO GREENMEN!!

AYTB Board

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures and Transportation

As a reminder, you can find our arrival and dismissal procedures here.

Thank you for your patience as we have worked very hard to ensure a safe, smooth, and rapid arrival and dismissal process.

For transportation information go to: (cut & paste into your browser)

The login information is as follows:

User name = jane.smith (That is the students first name period last name with no spaces) Password = students date of birth 01012021 with no characters or spaces between mmdayyear

Please be reminded we now have GPS on all of the school buses. You can see when the bus is to arrive at your home. Download the app "versatrans my stop" from the app store and sign in the same as above. If you have any questions or concerns with transportation, please email us at