Jag News

September 13, 2019

Blue Valley Schools

Upcoming Important Dates

9/17: Picture Day

9/19: Dine-Out for Heartland at Chick-fil-A

9/23: No School for Students: Teacher Professional Learning

9/24: Spirit Day: Sports Day!

9/28: Heartland PTO Carnival

9/30 - 10/3: Scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/2: National Walk to School Day

10/3: No School for Students, Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/4: No School

10/10: BVNW Girls Basketball Clinic at HRT

10/21: No School for Students: Teacher Professional Learning

10/24: 5th Grade Field Trip to Wilderness Science Center (Smith's class)

10/25: 5th Grade Field Trip to Wilderness Science Center (Komatz's class)

10/25: 5th Grade Field Trip to Wilderness Science Center (Gafney's class)

10/31: Heartland Halloween Classroom Parties

Standards Based Grading

We are committed to putting the focus on student learning. Over the last two weeks, you’ve likely heard your teacher, your neighbor or your student mention a new tool to complement the ongoing communication you now experience. To better report student progress, a grading model called Standards-Based Grading (SBG) will be implemented. Standards-based grading provides families with clear information about what a student knows and is able to do. Research tells us that improving the quality of feedback increases learning, a key reason quality school systems across the nation have made this change.

Clarity: Feedback in a standards-based grading (SBG) model is more clear. Instead of a score of 8/10 or 80%, a teacher gives students feedback on how well the targeted learning, or standard, has been mastered. If a task involves more than one type of standard (Writing and Reading Informational Text, for example), students receive feedback on both. This type of feedback is more specific and more clearly helps students and their families understand relative learning strengths and growth areas.

Partnership: A significant benefit of having better, more clear information about student progress, is increased opportunity for students, families and teachers to work together in even more impactful ways. SBG promotes a strong partnership between home and school. This type of feedback provides students and families with an understanding of which content and skills have been mastered, which they are currently working on and those that represent challenge.

Personalization: SBG makes each student's learning path more personal and individualized. Students' scores represent their own, unique learning journey. Blue Valley is prioritizing student growth. In SBG, teachers gather evidence of student learning and are able to clearly articulate an individual's relative strengths and growth areas. Using this information, teachers can then plan learning experiences tailored to each student's targets.

More information about standards-based grading can be found on the district website.


Repeated Information Below


National Walk to School Day! October 2nd

Start planning for the October 2nd National Walk to School Day! Meet your neighbors and help show your kids how to be safe pedestrians.

FIT & LIT Reading Program

The Heartland Library Media Center (LMC) understands the importance of healthy bodies and healthy minds. Our new reading program combines literature and fitness with a monthly tic-tac-toe challenge.

Students will receive two tic-tac-toe cards (on one page) with different fitness activities to choose from and different types of literature to read, sometimes in a creative way.

Students will turn in their Fit & Lit at the end of each month, as indicated on the log, to the mailbox in the LMC.

Students will receive a different scratch ‘n sniff bookmark when they turn in a log at the end of the month. Those who complete every reading log from September through January will receive a paperback book of their choice. Anyone who completes every reading log from September through April will be recognized in an assembly and receive a surprise.

Grades 1-2 Fit & Lit

Grades 3-5 Fit & Lit

Happy reading and happy fitness!

Mrs. Aitken and Mrs. Kaplan, Heartland LMC

Trex Recycling Challenge

Heartland will once again be participating in the Trex Recycling Challenge. Trex Company is one of the largest plastic bag and film recyclers in the US. Every year, hundreds of schools across the nation compete against each other to see who can recycle the most plastic bags and film. The winning school will be announced on Earth Day, April 22nd, with that school receiving a Trex composite bench made from recycled materials.

We are starting our recycling early so collection bins are already located at the front of the school. Recycle any and all items listed on the poster below!

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Lunch Visitors Schedule

2019-20 Lunch Schedule

11:00-11:30 Kindergarten

11:15-11:45 Third Grade

11:30-12:00 Second Grade

11:45-12:15 Fourth Grade

12:00-12:30 Fifth Grade

12:15-12:45 First Grade

Fall Parent/Teacher Conferences: Sign-Up from 9/3/19-9/20/19

Conference time is right around the corner! Our conferences are being held the week of September 30th. Families are invited to sign up for a time to meet with our teachers during conference hours. Please follow the directions below if you would like to schedule a conference to discuss your child’s progress. We value your partnership in the education of your child. We will leave the sign-ups available from 9/3/19 - 9/20/19. Any changes after that date will need to be made directly with the classroom teacher. Follow these steps:

  • Log into ParentVue
  • Select the child
  • Click on “Conference” on the left side
  • Click “Parent Scheduled Conferences” on the top right side
  • This screen will show you available days and times for your child’s Parent/Teacher conference
  • Chose the day and time you would like to meet
  • You have the option to click on “Email Schedule” at the top right side and you will get an email summary
  • If you have other students, select the other child at the top and go through the process again

Please call 913-239-6300 if you have any questions.

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Heartland’s Annual PTO Carnival

Keep your calendars open for a fun-filled day on Saturday, September 28th from 4-7:00pm! Please sign up to volunteer, donate or both! To sign up, click here.

Volunteers Needed in our Library

The Heartland Library is looking for volunteers to assist with shelving books throughout the 2019-2020 school year. The schedule is flexible and you may choose any time and day that works for you. Please visit the Heartland PTO website to sign up. Ms. Kaplan and Mrs. Aitken will provide you with any necessary training.

Please contact Laura Boswell at Lboswell5@gmail.com with any questions.

Thank you for considering!

Heartland’s Cultural Fair: Participants Needed

Heartland is bringing back our Culture Fair on December 10th. Students will all greatly benefit by learning about the many cultures represented at Heartland. We would LOVE to have parents volunteer that day. Please consider representing your country and culture with textiles, literature, spices, music, flags, photographs, and/or special trinkets. No food please! The commitment is to be at Heartland much of the day so perhaps you can find a partner or two and split the day. Send responses or questions to Mrs. Aitken at swelter@bluevalleyk12.org by the end of September so we can plan this wonderful event. Thank you for considering.

Birthday Treats at Heartland

Heartland Elementary’s policy for birthday treats prohibits students and parents from bringing birthdays treats from home—edible or non-edible. This is due to several factors including health, safety, and the preservation of instructional time. Birthdays are a special time for each child and as such, the school will provide recognition throughout the day and throughout the school through announcements, birthday book club from the library, classroom celebration routines, and more. If birthday treats are sent to school during the 2019-20 school year, they will not be distributed and will be sent home. Also, if you send it invitations to birthday parties, please include all students in the class, or they will not be distributed. Thank you for understanding and complying to this policy.

Heartland's Birthday Book Club

Students at Heartland have a wonderful way to have their special day recognized for years to come. Our library’s Birthday Book Club is available to students in all grades. By donating $12 to the Library Media Center, your child will be able to choose a special book to be placed in our library collection and be the first student to read the new book.

Here’s how it works. Prior to your child’s birthday, he/she can come to the library and select a Birthday Book from our cart of brand new books in all different genres. A nameplate will be placed in the front of the book and your child’s picture will be taken and displayed with the book in the library. This program is optional but it does provide our library with exciting new titles throughout the school year. The average cost of a library bound book is $17.30!

You can make your donation anytime during the year by paying through this Heartland link: https://bvpo.bluevalleyk12.org or send in a check.


Heartland is really going green with an additional recycling program. You wouldn’t believe how many snack wrappers get thrown into the garbage every day. Not anymore at Heartland. Students and staff are recycling these wrappers with Terracycle. It’s free and fabulous for our environment. Please send any snack wrappers (think granola bars wrappers, chip bags, and any other shiny food wrappers) with your child to school so they won’t end up in the landfills. Questions? Email Mrs. Aitken at swelter@bluevalleyk12.org.

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PTO News

  • JOIN the PTO: Support your PTO by becoming a member. Membership is $25 per family.

    Log on now at Heartlandpto.org. Register now and get some great benefits:

    • Instant access to this year's online school directory. Directory is ONLY available to PTO members.
    • Latest news on PTO and Heartland events

  • Take Stock Fees is our PTO's primary source of funds. Last year, Take Stock Fees paid for...

    1. Admission and bus fees to class field trips.
    2. Funds given to each teacher for classroom supplies​
    3. Multiple grants awarded to teachers to enrich the classroom learning experience
    4. Water Bottles and Shaved Ice at Field Day ​
    5. Operating expenses of school clubs and JagU​
    6. Family Social ​
    7. Teacher Appreciation and Recognition
    8. and more!

  • Click here for the full calendar of more fun events in store for this school year!

  • Volunteer Opportunities! Heartland is a community of people who come together to make it the best elementary school experience possible. This doesn't happen without your help! Get involved! We are currently seeking help filling several volunteer positions including: Community Concerns, Paw Prints, 5th Grade Farewell Chair, and more. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact PTO President Elect, Nayelli Bowers @ nayellipalazuelos@yahoo.com.

Nut-Safer Snacks at Heartland

*Daily Snacks: Thank you for your support of our nut-safer snack plan at HRT. As a reminder: we are continuing to ask that ALL daily snacks (i.e. snack time) for ALL students must come from the nut-safer food list as we have a significant number of students with life-threatening nut allergies. (click blow for the link) If a student’s snack is not from this approved list, it will be sent home (and an alternate snack will be provided the first time) so we can help increase the safety for our students as a whole. Our continued focus this year, as an entire school, is to remain consistent on the daily snacks for student snack time in the classrooms—following the nut-safer list.

*Party Treats: Parents will need to observe the nut-safer list for the parties as well. Parents can definitely mix foods from the list to create party items—ex: mixing candies and cookies (from the approved list) to make a cute treat!

Please click HERE to access the Nut-Safer food list.

Student Personal Device Policy

To read the entire Blue Valley Technology Guidelines for Elementary Students, click here.