The Leighton News

September 16th 2022

From the Principals

Dear Leighton Families,

I can not believe that we are already half way through the month of September! We are still enjoying the beautiful weather that comes with the change of seasons and enjoying the beauty of our campus as students and staff enjoy the outdoor learning trail and garden area. Thank you to our Outdoor Learning Space team of Fifth Grade staff and some of our amazing parents for helping us keep these areas in beautiful condition for students and staff to utilize during the day for instructional purposes. We enjoyed the Fairy House viewing today in the Leighton Trail. Check out the pictures below.

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 needs of each of our students. These assessment are given three times a year in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Other beginning of the year assessments are also given to provide a complete picture of our students strengths and areas in which we can support them while fostering the development of our 6 compentencies and strategic vision through the design of our excellent learning environments.

Mr. Lehman 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!" Mr. Lehman 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. We appreciate you!

You may also have noticed that our modular classrooms are still located in the front of our school building. We are looking forward to seeing them placed along side the Third Grade Wing as steps are being finalized with the architects and approval from the city for this movement to occur. We are looking forward to settling in soon.

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 and helping us to ensure all students are "future ready". See below for more information on this award. We are truly humbled to receive this distinction and are looking forward to continuing our exemplary work in this area.

Thank you for your continued support, teamwork, and partnership this year. Please reach out anytime you may need anything. We are here to help and support!

Kind Regards,

Michelle Nizen, Building Principal

Ben Lehman, Assistant Principal

Counselor's Corner

Hello! Happy middle of September!! Our class lessons are underway and this month we are reviewing/learning about different parts of our brain and how it affects our self regulation; what we are responsible for; how it affects our choices. Please be sure to ask your student about their perspectives on what we're talking about. At the end of each month, I always post our class lessons to my Google Site so you will be able to view them and discuss at home if you want.

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

Tami S. Mazzella

School Counselor


Principal Pals

Spotlight on PBIS!

We have been off to a great start with teaching, learning, and reinforcing, our 3 pillars of being respectful, responsible, and problem solvers. Our 3 pillars make up the heart of our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework in our K-5 Elementary Buildings. Each week teachers have taught and reinforced these 3 pillars and what each of them looks like and sounds like in all areas of the school. This will be followed by teaching and reinforcing our 11 "focus skills" which support students in making good behavior choices and positively reinforces those choices so we continue to support and promote the prosocial behaviors we want to see! This week's focus skill was " I can listen and follow directions right away". Next week's focus skill is " I can have a safe body (hands, feet, and unkind words to myself)."

Students and staff have been excited about our new "Pom pom" system representing our 3 pillars (green poms=respectful; white= responsible; and black= problem solving) and earning poms for demonstrating these pillars in any area of the school. Each pom earned is used to fill up their classroom pom pom jars. When these jars are filled, student bring their classroom jars to the office and empty them into the Building Wide Pom Pom Pail!!

We are so excited to find out what our building wide reward will be as we have almost filled up our building wide Pom Pom Pail.

Don't be surprised if you child comes home excited about earning the "platinum platter" as a class during lunch and recess. Classes are always working to earn "positive compliments" during lunch and recess. Every two weeks, classes who earn the most "positive compliments" earn the right to display the "platinum platter" outside their classroom door for all to see and enjoy popsicles at lunch or an extra recess with Mrs. Nizen and Mr. Lehman.

Pom Pom Shout Out occur every Friday where we acknowledge students over announcements who have earned a special shout out for outstanding efforts in demonstrating our 3 pillars in their academic or behavioral pursuits. Students will recieve a pom pom shout out reward and those names are entered into a monthly drawing to pick out of our PBIS store at the end of the month.

Leighton Pride is Building Wide!

Leighton Elementary- State Support Team's Silver Award for Excellent PBIS Implementation and Supports for Students

2021-2022 OHIO PBIS

Building/ Program Recognition Press Release

Leighton Elementary has been recognized for its success with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). 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. 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 effective PBIS implementation. Leighton Elementary applied and earned the Ohio PBIS Silver Recognition Award level for the 2021-2022 school year. They are one of 375 award-winning schools to be recognized at any of the levels: Gold (41), Silver (80), or Bronze (238).

Leighton Elementary will be honored at the 2022 Ohio PBIS Showcase, which is held annually in conjunction with the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC). The virtual conference will take place on December 6, 2022 with the theme being ALL IN: For Ohio’s Schools, Students & Communities. More information about the Showcase is available at this link: Ohio Leadership

Leighton Elementary’s 2021-22 PBIS Team

Michelle Nizen- Principal

Alisa Deiniger- OT

Josh Kiser- School Psychologist

Laura Arters- RTI Coordinator

Emily Hilker- Behavior Specialist

Melisa Carlson- Grade 5

Kaitlin Catalani- Reading/Math Specialist

Gina Voinovich- Grade 4

Katie Mastri- Grade 3

Sarah Most- Grade 4

Janice Parker- Grade 3

Katie Stump- Parent - Parent Member

Hayden Stump- Student Member

Grade 5 Fairy Houses in the Leighton Trail

Filling our Building Wide Pom Pom Pail!!

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PTO News

Volunteer Opportunities:

Leighton Garden Committee: Help us support our teachers by maintaining the outdoor learning space at Leighton. Volunteer opportunities include light weeding, edging and planting in the outdoor garden space, and helping to pick up sticks, spread mulch and other maintenance activities on the nature trail between Miller and Leighton. We'll plan monthly clean-ups, but may also ask for volunteers for specific jobs as requested by the teaching staff using the spaces.

Mumkin Pickup:

Sunday September 18th, 2022

Aurora City Schools Board of Education

102 E. Garfield Road

For any further questions please reach out to our Mumkins Chairs Katie Stump, Kayt Binns & Anna Kandra. Thank you ladies!

We raised $7,063, thank you all!

Help sort and organize plants. Volunteers will pick and load orders as families drive-through to pick up their orders.

Leighton Laps

Leighton Laps in a NEW fundraising event that I, along with the principals, are really excited to start! This information should have made it home to you by now. For more information, see the information down below the PTO newletter, and if you have any additional questions please reach out to me directly. This event will need volunteers to tally laps, I will send that out soon!! -Natasha

Donations are due September 21st. Please have students turn donations into their Home Room Teachers.

Laps for Leighton Cheddar Up Link here:

LES Picture Day:

Wednesday, September 21 at Leighton Elementary School.

Save time and preorder your photographs online by clicking on the link below. You can also download the flyer, print it out and return it to the school on Picture Day, enclosed in an envelope with your payment.

Password: 3599leigh

New APP coming soon: Schoolze more information to come!

Upcoming Events:
9/17: Chipotle Give Back 5:00PM-9:00PM @ Twinsburg (2640 Creekside Dr.)
9/18: Mumkin Flower Pick Up @ Board Office
9/21: LES- Picture Day
9/26-9/30: Leighton Laps Fundraiser during PE times

PTO Sign ups:

There is still time to sign up for the PTO, please click the link below!

Laps for Leighton

Get your running shoes on Leighton Elementary!!

We are so excited for our first 2022 Laps for Leighton; this event will be held during P.E. the week of September 26th- September 30th.

Pledges will be collected from September 6th to September 21st, please have all pledges returned to homeroom teachers by September 21st.

What is the Laps for Leighton/Where is it held? This is a new fundraising event for the PTO. This is a fundraiser where the PTO and schools receive 100% of the money raised AND students, staff and families have a fun exercise filled event. Students will collect donations and pledges for the event and then walk or run laps at P.E. time. Sponsors donate fixed amount donations or pledge to pay a certain amount per lap walked. It is a fun and festive event for our students to earn the money for our school year.

Why are we having Laps for Leighton? The proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to support student activities, rewards, educational opportunities and incentives for the school and the PTO events for the entire year.

How are pledges collected? Students can get their “Feet to the Street”, make phone calls, send emails, have parents ask coworkers, social media. SAFETY FIRST! Please make sure your student knows their geographic boundaries or other house rules. If you have Aurora Gear please wear it to identify yourself. Collect money only from friends, family, neighbors that you know. Respect those neighbors who do not wish to participate. Envelopes will be returned no later than September 21st.

How much should my student raise?

There’s no fixed amount – the goal is for 100% student participation, to foster school pride, community, and most of all to have fun.

Everyone Wins!

Each student who participates in the Laps for Leighton Event will get a wristband.

Grand Prizes!

Students who raise over $300: All students raising $300 or more will also be entered into a drawing to “Pie the Principals” Mrs. Nizen and Mr. Lehman. 1 winner from each grade.

Please help us make this fundraiser a successful one!

Thank you for your donation!

Your VP of Leighton -Natasha Rodriguez-Olah

Scholastic Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to LES October 3rd-7th. Students will get the chance to browse the books before making any purchases later in the week. This year's theme is, "Bolder, Prouder, Stronger Reader."

Family Night is on Wednesday, October 5th. It will be held in the in the media center from 5-7:30 pm!

All fair info can be found on our school's personal fair website at:

Cash and checks will be accepted (as well as credit cards on Family Night.) Follow the link above to set up your eWallet.

*The only difference this year for our Book Fair is that Scholastic has switched from a wholesaler to a retailer. This affects us because now we have to include tax when your children make purchases. This is a change from the state unfortunately, so we apologize for any inconvenience.

Any questions can be directed to this year's book fair chairs:

Erin Toler:

Neha Gupta:

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Aurora Schools Foundation

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Hot Lunches/ Lunch Menu

September Lunch Menu

For the month of September, we will only be providing one option for lunch choices. The alternate lunch choice will not be available for this month and we will communicate when the alternative choice returns. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


The "no-cost" lunch program will no longer be provided by the government for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. Students will again be required to pay for their lunches. If a family feels they may qualify-permanently or temporarily-for the 'Free and Reduced Lunch Program', then please have the form filled-out and submitted prior to the school year. The link for this form and the lunch menu for each day can be found on the ACSD's home page under "Forms & Links" (

Please be sure to keep tabs on your child’s lunch account balance to avoid going into a negative balance. We will always ensure all students have access to eat lunch, but it is appreciated by our lunch staff if a positive balance can be maintained.

Two ways to pay for school lunches: Parents can either send their student in with money to pay for lunches (and they can bring in any amount essentially) or pay online! Parents can go to the Aurora Schools Website and go to Lunch Accounts on the left side under the quick links tabs to get to the MY Payments Plus section and add money to their kids account in this manner as well. The cafeteria staff would appreciate any efforts to pay in advance online if possible over bringing in money. If you have any questions please reach out to Brandon Zimmerman at

Here is the link for My Payments Plus:

We are excited to be working with a new food service provider called the Nutrition Group! They are working to provide balanced and healthy meals to our children each day.

Click on the link below for the school lunch menus

Please reach out to Sal Arquilla at for any questions.

Fifth Grade Math: Project Based Learning with Fairy Houses

Transportation Information

We are no longer mailing out transportation information. You can go to: (cut & paste into your browser or use the button link below.)

The login information is as follows:

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

Once you are in, go to "Work with students" and then "View my students"; you should see all your students to choose from. Routes do change from time to time when new students are added so please check back over the next week to ensure your pick-up and drop-off times.

All students are assigned a bus route using their home address. If your child will be using an alternative stop such as a daycare or caregiver, please make sure you submit an alternative bus stop form as soon as possible.

We also 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 and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Note, we are never sure how many students will be riding the buses. Once schools open we will make necessary adjustments for buses that may be full.

Thank you and have a safe school year, Transportation Department

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

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

We are off to a great start to the school year with a smooth, safe, and expedient arrival and dismissal process.

Thank you to all of our parents for your help in making these processes so smooth!

Drop off cart

Many of you have probably noticed the gray cart next to main entrance buzzer and wondered what it is for. To make it easier for families to drop off materials for students there is a gray cart outside the main office doors. Often times students might forget a lunch, instrument, or binder and a parent will drop it off so we can get it to their student. We use this cart system as part of our safety protocols as we work limit the amount of traffic coming in and out of the building each day. If you are dropping something off for a student, we just ask that you use one of the sticky notes and pen to write your students and name, and their teacher's name, and place it on the cart. We will make sure it makes it to your student. You may also buzz in to let the main office know you are dropping off an item.

Important Dates and Reminders


5 NO SCHOOL ~ Labor Day

7 PTO Kickoff Meeting at Mad Jacks(6:30 PM)

21 School Picture Day

Final Forms Reminder

Please be sure to update your Final Forms information for this school year to ensure you can receive the important information and newsletters from our school. If you need any help with updating your Final Forms please contact

Please use the following link:

School Fees

Three ways to pay your student's school fees:

1. Send in with your student a check made out to Aurora City Schools.

2. Call the Board of Education office to make a credit card payment between the hours of 7:00 AM and 3:00 PM at 330-954-2228.

3. Go to the Aurora City Schools website and go to the Parent Page and click on Fee Payments On-Line.

Clinic Updates

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.

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

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 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.

Community Announcements

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