The Scoop

Chugach Optional Newsletter - February 2023 Edition

Big picture

Message from Joel

Dear Chugach Optional Families,

As the old saying goes, time flies when you're having fun! It's hard to believe that we're reaching the end of January and that in no time at all, we'll be looking forward to Spring Break. As February approaches, there are a lot of things happening around the school district. Every Tuesday in the month of February, we'll be doing tours of the school for parents who are interested in placing their children on the lottery list for our school. Please encourage any prospective parents to come by the school by 9:30 and take a tour. Chugach will also be participating in the Alternative School Fair on February 4th at the ASD Ed Center from 12:00 - 4:00. Of course, I will be there, and I've asked some of the staff to take shifts at our table. I think it would also be nice if we had some of our parents there, as many prospective, future Chugach families would like to know what our school is like from a current parent's viewpoint. If you think you can be a part of this, please call the front office, and we'll create a schedule. All we need is a couple of parents who could commit to a 1-2 hour shift.

Have a great month, everyone, and I'll see you around the building.

February's Important Dates

February 1 - 3/4 BOB District competiton (3:00pm @West); Community Assembly Meeting (5:30pm)

February 3 - BIG meeting about Mauni/Malawi (8:30am in gym)

February 4 - Alternative School & Programs Expo (12pm-4pm @ ASD Ed Center)

February 7 - Chugach School Tour (9:30am)

February 9 - MINI-COURSES!!!!

February 10 - Kids Heart Challenge Assembly (10:30am in gym); EARLY RELEASE DAY (11:45am)

February 14 - Friendship Celebration Day for Kindy & Primary; Chugach School Tour (9:30am)

February 15 - ASD Lottery Opens


February 21 - Chugach School Tour (9:30 am)

February 28 - Chugach School Tour (9:30am)


Big picture
Between Monday, January 30th and Thursday, March 9th the following Arrival and Dismissal times will be in affect for Chugach Optional Elementary:




After-school activities will take place after the end of the adjusted school day and go for their scheduled duration.


Dear Families,

We are getting ready to kick off the Kids Heart Challenge adventure with the American Heart Association, and we need your help! Our students will be learning about their heart, raising awareness and funds for the American Heart Association and staying strong in body and mind. We’ll get moving with fun activities, meet kids with special hearts and raise funds for the health of all hearts. Plus, they’ll feel good for doing good!

I will be passing out the donation packet in PE during the week of February 6th, but if you want a headstart please download the Kids Heart Challenge App or visit to register today and earn your own BE THE TORCH WRISTBAND, so you can help light the way! Once you've registered, start Finn’s Mission and complete the challenges. As a family you can help to create a community of lifesavers by learning the lifesaving steps of Hands-Only CPR. It’s quick, easy, and fun!

Why we support the American Heart Association: About 90% of people who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrests don’t survive. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double, or even triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Thank you for joining us and helping us save lives!

Polly Smith

@ our library

Do you know about SLED? It stands for Statewide Library Electronic Doorway. It is an online portal to a variety of databases and other information that is free to Alaskans. There is information about auto repair to BrainPop for kids, from ‘how-to’ craft instructions to Homework Help. Check it out! If you have difficulties accessing SLED, please contact Amy. She can help you!

Junior Native Youth Olympics

Dear Parents,

In PE we are learning about and preparing for the annual Junior Native Youth Olympics. We will be learning about the different games and how they originated. If your child would like the opportunity to compete in these games with kids their same age from all over the state of Alaska; the dates are Feb 24-26 Location TBD. The actual date depends on their grade level. If we have more than three athletes interested in competing in their event we will have an in-school competition to narrow it to the top three athletes in each event. JNYO is a friendly competition that is a fun-filled time. There are medals awarded to the top 5 finishers, but just as important is the fact that the kids are learning from each other and enjoying the simple act of competing.

The starting times are approximate, except for the first event of each day, due to the nature of the competition.

Practices will be during LUNCH RECESS, Before School and during PE. I will have practices starting Februeary 6. Your child must participate in at least one practice per week.


*Friday, February 24: 5th & 6th grade students

4:00 PM Welcome

4:30PM Scissor Broad Jump/One Foot High Kick

6:30PM Alaskan High Kick/Eskimo Stick Pull

*Saturday, February 25: 3rd & 4th grade students

10:00am Welcome

10:15am Wrist Carry & Awards

11:15pm Two Foot High Kick & Award

1:15pm Arm Pull & Awards

*Sunday, February 26: 1st & 2nd grade students

10:00am Welcome

10:15am Kneel Jump & Awards

12:00pm Eskimo Stick Pull & Awards

2:00pm Seal Hop & Awards

Please fill out the Registration & Waiver form (available in the front office) and return it to Polly if your child is interested in competing in the Junior Native Youth Olympics.

Special Thanks

A special thanks goes out to Sarah Jefferies, DJ Spencer Lee, Alpine Services and all the winter carnival sponsors & volunteers for their hard work preparing for and hosting a magical winter carnival event to raise funds for our ice rink!

Art Night is right around the corner!

We need parent volunteers for many of the family groups to make art with the kids. Each family group creates artwork to sell at the event. Students have made a wide range of individual and collaborative art in the past, including birdhouses, magnets, felt art, jewelry, cards, notebooks, wall hangings, and more. The art pieces will then be made available for purchase at Art Night to fundraise for our sister school in Malawi. Please contact your family group’s PC or Erika Green at or 907-330-7500 for more information or if you are interested in volunteering!

Memory Book Pictures, Please!

Let's make this year's memory book amazing! If you have any pictures of classroom activity, events, clubs, or candids from around school, please consider sharing them with the memory book team. In particular, we need pictures of orchestra, band, and flag football, but any pictures are welcome! There are multiple ways to submit pictures, including email, text, airdrop, iCloud sharing, and Google Drive. Please email Leslie at to coordinate picture submission.


If you send your student to school with a pack lunch that requires utensils to eat, PLEASE be sure to send them with the required utensils. We have a very limited supply of utensils in the staff room and our supply is dwindling quickly.

When to keep your kid home due to illness:

If your child has a cold with a nose that runs constantly or a cough that is frequent and wet, it would be best to let them stay home for a day or two of rest. Students should always stay home for fever (100.4) and/or vomiting. Current ASD policy does not require COVID testing for illness, however if you believe your child’s illness is related to COVID and choose to test we do require that the current CDC guidelines for isolation are followed when positive:

  • If you have a positive test, isolate for 5 days.

  • You may return to school/work with symptoms resolving on day 6. You will need to wear a mask at school days 6-10.

Please look HERE for ASD guidelines on When to Keep Your Child Home from School. Please feel free to contact Nurse Maya if you have any questions.

Free COVID Home Tests Available

The school district has provided Chugach Optional with COVID home test kits to be shared with families. We will have these out on a table in the entry hallway during drop off and pick up, please feel free to take 1 or 2 if you’d like. Note: We do not do COVID testing at the school.

Friendly reminders

Parking Etiquette
  • Please refrain from parking in any of the "RESERVED" parking spots, the fire lane or the loading dock area. We know parking is tight and the weather is cold, but for safety and courtesy reasons these areas/spots must be respected.


  • If your child is going to be out of school for the day please contact the office before 9:30 am at 907-742-3730
  • All students arriving after 8:15 am must sign-in at the office to avoid the truancy robocall
  • More details on Attendance can be found here

Parent/Visitor Sign-in

  • All parents, visitors, and volunteers who are going to be in the school after 8:30 am need to sign in at the office.

Outer wear

  • All students need to have proper winter gear when going outside for recess.
  • For Kinder, Primary and Middle, this means boots, snow pants, jackets, hats, and gloves.
  • For Uppers, they must have boots, jackets, hats, and gloves (although snow pants are recommended as well).
  • Students who don’t have the proper gear with them and can’t find something that fits from Nurse Maya will be spending their recess sitting on the benches by the front office.

Please encourage your student(s) to be prepared.


  • We are still in need of several Noon Duty attendants and a Cafe Manager at the school. Please go to the ASD website to apply if interested in these positions.

Chugach Optional Elementary

The Chugach Optional Office is open from 7:30am - 4:00pm every school day. We can be reached at 907-742-3730 or by email at