Heights Elementary IB World School
August 31, 2023 Volume 9 Issue 1
*Our Children *Our Future *Our World
Heights Mission: Heights Elementary IB World School is dedicated to developing balanced, lifelong learners through educational excellence, a global perspective, reflection and action.
Heights Vision: To Be A World Class School.
Heights PBIS Statement:
We strive to be a school that models positive behaviors which develop the whole child and social skills. We have a common culture and language which supports student growth and high expectations to empower our students to become well-rounded global citizens through teaching and recognizing positive behavior.
School Hours: 7:55 am—2:10 pm
Doors open: 7:30 am
Breakfast: 7:30-7:45 am
Heights Contact Information:
Address: 15200 Alexandria Ct. Ft. Myers, FL 33908
Telephone: 239.481.1761 Fax:239.481.3154
Website: het.leeschools.net Twitter: @HeightsIB
Facebook: Heights Elementary
Heights Elementary Administrators:
Doug Palow - Principal
This is Mr. Palow's 27th year as an educator for the School District of Lee County. He has been the Principal for Heights Elementary since the 2016-2017 school year. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree is Elementary Physical Education from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership form Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Palow served as the Assistant Principal at Heights from 2013-16 and as Assistant Principal at Ida S. Baker High School from 2009-2013. Before becoming an administrator in Lee County, Mr. Palow was a Physical Education teacher at Spring Creek Elementary for one year and a High School Science teacher and Boys Soccer Coach at North Ft. Myers High School for eleven years.
Mr. Palow's Email Address: Douglascp@leeschools.net
Anika Carter - Assistant Principal
Mrs. Carter is so grateful to be the Assistant Principal at Heights Elementary School. She has six years of teaching experience with the Lee County School District. She taught Algebra I at Mariner High School in 2001 and students with Varying Exceptionalities in grades 6-8 at Michigan International Academy from 2001-2006 until she became the Assistant Principal at the school from 2006-2009. She served as the Assistant Principal at James Stephens International Academy from 2009-2014. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Mrs. Carter has been a part of the administrative team at Heights since the 2014-2015.
Mrs. Carter's Email Address: AnikaBC@leeschools.net
Lindsey Thorstad - Assistant Principal
Mrs.Thorstad has worked at Heights Elementary School for the past 9 years teaching Gifted Education then serving as the School Intervention Support Specialist and as an Assistant Principal. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Recreation from Shephard University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Gulf Coast University. Mrs. Thorstad has taught for a combined 19 years in both School District of Lee County and Charter School Systems where she has served in various roles of leadership.
Mrs. Thorstad's Email Address: LindseyCT@LeeSchools.net
What's Going On at Heights This Month?
Sept. 1st: Sports Day - Wear your favorite sports jersey or shirt to school.Sept. 4th: Labor Day (Schools Closed)
Sept. 5th: House Color Day - Wear your House Color to school
Sept. 6th & 7th: Kg FAST
Sept. 7th: Heights PTA Skate Night (6:00pm-presale tickets only)
Sept. 8th: Heights Choir Spirit Night at the Ft. Myers Mussels game (7:00pm)
Sept. 11th: Heights Read-A-Thon starts
Sept. 11th: Red, White, & Blue Day - Wear Red, White and Blue to school
Sept. 12th: Rescheduled SAC Meeting (6:00 in the Heights Media Center)
Sept. 13th: 1st quarter interims available in FOCUS
Sept. 18th: Heights PTA Meeting (2:45pm in the media center)
Sept. 21st: International Day of Peace
Sept. 25th: Yom Kippur (Schools closed)
Sept. 29th: Rock the School Day
PBIS and PAWS
Positive Attitude, Act Responsibility, Work Together, & Show Respect! The Heights staff continues to focus on creating a positive a learning environment for all of our students through the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) framework. The goal of PBIS is to create a positive school climate, in which students learn and grow. School climate has bearing on attendance rates, academic achievement, and graduation rates. We want to make sure that all of students have the opportunity to be successful academically, socially, and emotionally. So ask your student about PAWS and how it is used in their classroom.
New Heights Fruit and Vegetable Garden Coming Soon:
We are thrilled to share some exciting news with our school community!
We are teaming up with Sprouts Farmer's Market to bring an incredible addition to our campus—a school vegetable garden! Building on the success of our amazing butterfly garden, this additional garden will provide an enriching experience for students, staff, and our school community alike. Our new garden will incorporate solar-powered hydroponic garden towers, a native plant area, herb gardens, fruit trees, and a shaded picnic table area. There will also be six distinct vegetable gardens corresponding to each grade level. We are excited for this opportunity! With the support of our amazing community and school, this garden will not only beautify our campus even more, but also serve as an interactive learning space where students can get their hands dirty, all while cultivating a deeper understanding of nature and nutrition. Our build day is October 14th! If you are interested in helping with building the garden on Oct. 14th, please contact Lacey Davis at the school (239) 481-1761 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrival time between 8:00-8:30 am and we should wrap up by 2:00 pm.
Spirit Night: Join us at O’Leary’s Bar & Grill on Wednesday, September 26th from 3 pm until close. Dine in or take out, 15% of proceeds donated back to PTA!
Spirit Gear & Jewelry Orders: Thank you for purchasing your spirit gear & Heights Jewelry! The Jewelry orders are expected to be completed the first week of September & distributed to your child's homeroom. The Spirit Gear orders through Sallee are expected to be completed mid September & will be disturbed to your child's homeroom as well.
Back to School Skate Night: Thank you for purchasing your Back to School Skate Night Tickets for Thursday, September 7 from 6-8 pm at Spinz. This is a PRESALE ticket event only, due to capacity restrictions at Spinz. If you purchased tickets, you will receive a flyer & wristband for entry. Pizza & Drinks will be sold for $4. No tickets will be sold at the door.
General Membership Meeting: Our first General Membership Meeting of the year will be held on Monday, September 18 at 2:45 pm in the library. Please join us to learn about upcoming events & volunteer opportunities! You may bring your children to the meeting.
Mother Son Event: We are so excited to be hosting a Mother Son event this year on Friday, October 20 at 6 pm on the Heights campus. Tickets will be PRESALE ONLY & available starting on Wednesday, September 27 for $15 per person. Each mother (or mother figure) AND son need a ticket. Tickets will be available here: https://heightselempta.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true
Important Information Regarding Morning Parent Drop Off at Heights Elementary
We appreciate your patience and cooperation with the morning drop off procedures.
The goal for the Heights Drop Off line has three objectives:
1. To keep a steady flow onto the bus ramp door and front door drop-off areas.
2. To give parents a choice on which area they would like to drop off.
3. To alleviate the need and subsequent safety issue that comes with staff directing traffic flow patterns.
As you enter campus, merge one at a time and come upon the 3-way stop. When pulling up please pull all the way forward and make sure your student is ready to exit the vehicle. Thank you so much for making the drop off procedure safe for all of our Heights students and families.
What's for breakfast and lunch?
Heights offers FREE breakfast and lunch to all student.
Breakfast is available in the cafeteria from 7:25 am - 7:45 am. Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria daily with their class.
Every Student....Every Day
The past couple of weeks we averaged close to a 95.5% attendance rate! Attendance rates are a very clear representation and reflection of the success of school. It speaks very clearly on how parents are active in their child’s education, how excited students are to come to school, how effective teachers are in providing an exciting learning environment, and how the school and parent organization are in providing a stimulating, positive school community. Way to go, Heights families!
The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program
With the start of the school year comes the beginning of the Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program™ and the nominating process. Teachers are a cornerstone of any successful community. Their impact on our present and future is beyond calculation! Please help us get the word out to show our teachers that we care by nominating an educator for Golden Apple.
The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program™ will once again shine the light on the important and essential role that teachers play in preparing our community’s greatest asset, our students, to become productive members of our community.
The nomination form is also available on the Foundation for Lee County Schools Website, www.leeschoolfoundation.org/golden-apple/.
.All nominations are due to The Foundation by Monday, September 18th, 2023.
Our Read-A-Thon fundraiser is fast approaching; it will begin on Monday, September 11, 2023. As part of our Read-A-Thon, we have fun Pop-up reading rooms, challenges and prizes planned for our students. We also have an exciting opportunity for local businesses. If you own, know, or manage a business, consider sponsoring our Read-A-Thon. The students of our business partners will receive the prizes that are attached to the dollar amount they donate.
The benefit to being our business partner is thousands of people will know you’re supporting literacy at our school. Bring traffic to your site through both digital and optional printed content while supporting the school and local community.
There are a limited number of digital and printed spots available, including one Literacy Champion sponsorship.
- Click here to reserve your sponsorship spot today or contact Katie Bocchino at KatiembLeeSchools.net
Contact Katie Bocchino at Katiemb@leeschools.net if you would like to partner with us.
And as always, thank you for supporting our school community.
Student birthdays are very important to recognize. We encourage parents to celebrate student birthdays at home. If treats are brought in to school, they will be distributed during the assigned class snack time in the classroom. Treat ideas: Healthy food items, pencils, stickers, etc. may be shared. Celebrations involving favors, toys, balloons, flowers, etc. are unacceptable items during school hours, including lunch time. Please contact your child’s teacher before sending in any item(s) for a celebration. Parents must contact the teacher if they wish to bring a treat. Treats must be store bought with the ingredients label visible. Invitations to private student birthday parties may not be handed out during the school day unless the entire class is invited, or all girls/all boys are invited.
*You may send in any of the following items only:
Stickers, pencils, notepads
Animal crackers, cookies, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, cereal (store bought items only)
Pudding, Jell-O cups, cheese sticks, yogurt
*Make sure you have enough for the entire class. You should confirm this number with the teacher.
Please refrain from sending in the following items:
· Cakes or large cup cakes
· Anything requiring cutting
· Candles, matches, lighters
· Home-made items
Although we appreciate your child’s excitement for their birthday, the school setting is not the appropriate place for a birthday celebration. Keep the treat simple and easy for staff to distribute and clean up.
Thank you for supporting Heights Elementary.
Interim and Report Card Dates:
- September 13th - Interims
- October 19th - Report Cards
- November 15th – Interims
- January 11th – Report Cards
- February 7th – Interims
- March 20th – Report Cards
- April 24th – Interims
- June 3rd – Report Cards
Paper copy interims and report cards are no longer sent home. Parents may review their student's grades at anytime on Focus. Your student's grades will be up to date on the assigned interim and report card days listed above. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the school.
Heights Families: Do you have a Focus Account? If not, it's important that you sign up. There are many forms that are required to be signed before getting your child's schedule or in order to ensure your child can receive care at the school clinics. Plus, get access to grades, attendance, and much more. Sign up today: https://www.leeschools.net/our_schools/focus
Order Your Heights Peace Shirts
Heights Elementary School is an IB World School:
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12. The PYP transdisciplinary framework focuses on the development of the whole child and an inquirer, both at school and beyond.
Heights Elementary IB World School Values the IB Learner Profile Attributes:
We are excited to start another year of action and inquiry in our Primary Years Program. Here are some exciting things happening in several of our grade levels.
First Grade is currently learning about Rules, Laws and Essential Agreements through their Who We Are Unit of Inquiry. In the month of September, they will have an opportunity to have special guest speakers from law enforcement, as well as the Honorable Judge Zachary Gill. They will also be participating in an action project to honor law enforcement in our community at the end of the month.
Second Grade is excited to get the whole school involved in the celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21st. Second grade has been studying through their unit of inquiry on How We Express Ourselves, how communities around the world strive to live together peacefully. Heights Peace Day shirts are on sale through September 11 at Heightsgear.net.
Third Grade is studying how people's heritages influence life locally and globally. Students are researching cultures around the world and will conclude with with presentation on their culture of interest.
Fifth grade will be gearing up for their Exhibition Projects, which are the culminating projects of the PYP program. All fifth grade students select a topic of local or global interest, spend months research and interviewing experts in the area of concern, and then complete an action project on their response to their learning.
IB Learner Profile For The Month of September: Knowledgeable
The International Baccalaureate (IB) approach applies ten characteristics to describe an IB learner. As an IB World School, at Heights Elementary all students, staff and teachers strive to demonstrate the attributes of Inquirer, Thinker, Caring, Balanced, Knowledgeable, Open Minded, Risk taker, Communicator, Reflective and Principled.
This "IB Learner Profile" also demonstrates how the IB approach is about much more than academic success. Each month at Heights, one characteristic is highlighted. For the month of September we are focusing on Knowledgeable.
How might we build a culture that encourages engagement with local and global issues?
Knowledgeable learners explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In doing so, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines. IB students are extraordinarily well prepared for the academic requirements of university coursework.
Discussion and Activity Ideas:
Students who are knowledgeable have explored relevant and significant concepts and can remember what they have learned. They can draw on this knowledge and apply it in new situations.
- Encourage students to read books that correspond with the topics being covered in school. In particular, books in their mother tongue will help students make more meaningful, lasting connections to what is being taught in their classroom in English.
- Make connections between the known and unknown
- Ask questions and seek answers!
- Be informed about the world around you
- As teachers and parents, we can instill a knowledgeable attitude in our students, which isn’t just about retelling facts and figures. These characteristics, which will exhibit in different ways, include:
- acquire, apply and share knowledge
- look at different perspectives
- consider all factors involved
- ask questions to challenge and deepen their understanding
- reflect and analyze their knowledge
- show curiosity and search out information
- understand failure is part of gaining knowledge
Meals at School
Parents are welcome to join their students for lunch. You may join your student inside the cafeteria or eat outside at one of our picnic tables. Please keep in mind, should you choose to eat outside only your children may join you. Other lunch visitors are welcome as well but must be with the custodial parent or listed on the Student Health and Emergency Card. Please keep in mind that we are unable to host lunchtime visits on early dismissal days.
Ice Cream Fridays:
Ice cream cups are on sale every Friday during lunch time. Each student will be limited to one ice cream cup during their lunch. The cost is $1 per cup. Money collected from ice cream sales goes to the Principal's Discretionary Fund. This fund is used to celebrate a variety of events and activities for our students and staff throughout the school year.
Heights Staff Positions Available:
- 7 hour ESE Social Communications Paraprofessional: - 5 days 7:20-2:20.
- 7 hour ESE Paraprofessional -5 days 7:20-2:20
- ESE Resource Teacher
- School Counselor
If you or someone you know is interested in one of the positions listed above, please contact Mrs. Thorstad. LindseyCT@LeeSchools.net
Oct. 2nd: House Color Day - Wear your House Color to School
Oct. 6th: Volunteer Breakfast (8:15 am Heights Cafe)
Oct. 10th: Picture Day
Oct. 13th: End of the 1st quarter
Oct. 13th: College Day at Heights (Wear your favorite college shirt or jersey to school)
Oct. 14th: SPROUTS Garden Build (8:00 am-2:00 pm)
Oct. 16th: Professional Duty Day (Schools closed for students)
Oct. 19th: 1st quarter report card available in FOCUS
Oct. 25th: Early Dismissal Day (12:10) - No Heights After School Care Available
Oct. 27th: 2nd Grade Trunk or Treat Night (More information to come)
Oct.29th-Nov. 3rd: Red Ribbon Week
Notification to Parents Regarding Out-of-Field Teachers:
Florida State Statute 1012.42 recognizes that teachers at times must be assigned duties in a class outside the field in which the teacher is certified. The following teachers at Heights Elementary are certified, but may be assigned one or more classes outside their areas of certification and are required to take appropriate steps to comply with the statutory regulation: Samantha Klare, Anna Duer, and Kathryn Danesh
In addition, the following teachers are engaged in training to add the endorsement, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), to their certificates: Anna Duer, Nicole Driscoll, Julie Janicek, Courtney Sleeper, Lesa Winters, Monica Fastenau, Jennifer Kee, Gina Celej, Julie Ramsay, Colleen Stoneman.
The School Board of Lee County:
District 1 - Samuel Fisher, Board Vice Chair
District 2 - Melisa W. Giovannelli
District 3 - Chris N. Patricca
District 4 - Debbie Jordan
District 5 - Armor Persons, Board Chair
District 6 - Jada Langford-Fleming
District 7 - Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan
Christopher S. Bernier, Ed.D.
School Board Attorney:
Kathy Dupuy-Bruno, Esq.