Sayéik GastiNEWS

February 11, 2022

Hello Sayéik: Gastineau families,

We have had a busy start to February! Last week was our 100th day of school. Classes celebrated the milestone with art projects, games, counting and more. I got to be in and out of classes and enjoyed the festivities.

Book Fair has been a hit so far, I've spotted many students walking down the hall while reading their new book! Make sure to ask your student what books are on their wish list!

Next Friday (February 18th) is our one and only day for Parent/Teacher conferences. Be sure to connect with your child(ren)'s teacher to schedule time with them. We are excited to connect with all of you!

As you're all aware, we continue to wear masks at school. We have more and more kids arriving at school without a mask on, please make sure your child(ren) has a mask on in the morning before sending them to school. An extra mask in their backpack is always a great idea as many kids need a fresh mask at some point in the day.

Thank you for all you do to support our amazing school community!

Random Act of Kindness

THANK YOU to the family who was spotted at school last Saturday in the pouring rain with shovels clearing the path to the playground of ice and snow. We appreciate our community!

Book Fair in Full Swing

The Winter Book Fair began this week and will run through next week. Students can shop the book fair during their weekly library time, during their recesses on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (not on Wednesday and Friday, Ms. Ferguson is teaching), after school till 3:15 PM and all day on Friday, February 18th (no school for parent/teacher conferences, but the library will be open). Volunteers are still needed - even 30 minutes is helpful! Call Ms. Ferguson at 796-5038 or email her at to sign-up.

Conference Day Staff Appreciation Potluck

Sayéik: Gastineau parents are still looking for more families to help with dropping off food to keep the staff well-fed throughout the busy day of parent/teacher conferences on Friday, February 18th. Sign up here.

Counselor's Corner

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks in our counseling lessons. In the K-2 classrooms, we practiced using I-statements with the phrases “It bugs me when _______ .” and “I wish __________.” It gives kids a chance to tell someone what is bothering them and what they wish would happen. For example, “It bugs me when you make fun of my name. I wish you would use my real name.” It may not always fix a problem, but it always helps to communicate how we are feeling. It might be a helpful tool at home too!

In the 3-5 classrooms, we spent a couple weeks learning about the conflict escalator - how it can go up quickly, actions get bigger at the top, and it is always powered by emotions as they grow in intensity. We also identified ways to get off the escalator or turn it into a down escalator. Some ways to get off the escalator can be to take a break from the conflict, tell someone how you are feeling, apologize, find a compromise, etc. Sometimes there are types of hidden buttons that can help de-escalate a situation too such as sharing a snack, showing kindness in a small way like loaning a pencil or helping with a math problem. We also used these lessons to better understand the intensity of emotions - I like to equate them to salsa - some feelings are mild, medium, or extra-spicy; some are habanero or ghost pepper feelings! Both grade bands were thrilled to use our well-loved beanies to practice using I-statements and getting off the escalator.

This week we have been making maps of our hearts in all classes by looking at different situations that evoke feelings in us. We have been using art, color and words to share these. I am excited to share our heart maps in the school. When we give each other glimpses of our hearts, we connect to one another and strengthen ourselves and our community.

Heartfelt thanks for sharing your lovely children with us!

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Ocean Guardian News

Sayéik: Gastineau first became an Ocean Guardian School four years ago. An Ocean Guardian School makes a commitment to the protection and conservation of its local watersheds, the world's ocean, and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries. The school makes this commitment by proposing and then implementing a school- or community-based conservation project. The Ocean Guardian School Program is managed by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries with funding coordinated by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

As part of our Ocean Guardian goals for this school year, students and staff have added composting, building-wide paper and plastic recycling and recycling bins in our commons for lunchroom waste. We have made tremendous progress doing our part to keep plastics out of our oceans.

We are so excited to share that we have composted over 1,380 pounds of food waste that would have otherwise gone to the CBJ landfill. THANK YOU to Sunny Slope Organic Farm for partnering with us on this.

Goal of the month: We are working on reducing single-use plastics. Ask your child about ways they can help achieve this goal. Some ideas include buying reusable containers for lunches, repurposing single use plastics for art activities and even making reusable sandwich wraps.
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Kindergarten Spotlight

  • I am from California and have lived in Juneau since 2003
  • I have been a teacher for 16 years and have been teaching at Sayéik for 14 years
  • My favorite thing about being a teacher is learning alongside my students and seeing them grow
  • For fun I love to explore in the outdoors--hiking, swimming, kayaking, rafting, birding and xc skiing
  • One thing you might not know about me is I have had the chance to explore every region of Alaska during my work as a biologist and environmental educator
  • I am from Placerville, California and I have lived in Juneau for 4 years

  • I have been a teacher for 5 years and have been teaching kindergarten at Sayéik for 4 years

  • One of my favorite things about being a teacher is the relationships with the students and all the wonderful stories they have

  • For fun I play soccer, hike with my dog, fish and read

  • One thing you might not know about me is my birthday is on the 4th of July

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Most classes at Sayéik: Gastineau are participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to elementary school students during the school day. The intent is to introduce children to new and different fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more about the program here.

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Hallway Art