Leaders Begin at Horizon

Horizon Parent Newsletter-January 2023

Leaders Begin at Horizon

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Break and Happy New Year!

Grade Cards-

Grade cards will be sent home this afternoon.

Classroom Pictures:

Thursday, January 26th we have classroom and club pictures. Here is an order form if you need one:


Follow Us:

Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/hrznwarriors

Please also check our website for important information: https://www.smithvilleschooldistrict.net/o/he

Thanks for everything you do!

Mrs. Kristi Mellon

Horizon Elementary Principal

Grade Cards are Coming Home Today!

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Calendar of Events:


Jan. 2: Teacher Work Day, No School

Jan. 3: School Resumes

Jan. 4: Late Start Wednesday, K-6 students may arrive at 8:50 am, School begins at 9:05 am, No EC Classes

Jan. 9: School Resource Officer Appreciation Day

Jan. 11: Late Start Wednesday, K-6 students may arrive at 8:50 am, School begins at 9:05 am, No EC Classes

Jan. 16: No School- MLK, Jr. Holiday

Jan. 18: Late Start Wednesday, K-6 students may arrive at 8:50 am, School begins at 9:05 am, No EC Classes

Jan. 18: Board Meeting 7:00 pm

Jan. 19: National Popcorn Day

Jan. 23: Board Student Recognition Night (Time will be announced soon)

Jan. 24-26 Warrior Winner Lunch Awards

Jan. 25: Late Start Wednesday, K-6 students may arrive at 8:50 am, School begins at 9:05 am, No EC Classes

Jan. 26: Class picture day

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Feed Northland Kids Spring 2022-2023

Feed Northland Kids is a unique organization focused on addressing weekend nutrition and hunger by providing healthy, kid-friendly foods for school-age children, living in the Northland of Kansas City, MO.

The Feed Northland Kids food kit program requires sign up. To receive a food kit, families MUST sign up by the dates listed below for that month's distribution - NO EXCEPTIONS. ie, December 30th for January 12th distribution. Families must sign up for each month needing assistance - one sign up equals one month of food kits. Families must have a child enrolled in Smithville School District to participate.

  • Sign up by January 27th for February 9th distribution
  • Sign up by February 24th for March 9th distribution
  • Sign up by March 31 for April 13th distribution
  • Sign up by April 28th for May 11th distribution

Families of 4 or less will receive 4 kits. Families of 5 or more will receive 6 kits. Each kit typically contains food for a week which may include two canned soups, two canned vegetables, two canned pastas, two boxes dry mac and cheese, a canned tuna, a canned chicken, a jar of peanut butter, a breakfast cereal, granola bars, a loaf of bread, and a main meal.


Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)

We started the third quarter off with a PBIS refresh. Students in all grade levels spent some time the first week back of school reviewing expectations for the different areas of the building.

Horizon Warriors continue to work hard earning tribe tickets for positive behavior and are able to use those tickets to purchase items or experiences for their hard work. We have tribe ticket turn in every two weeks, however students can save their tickets up as long as they need for larger ticket items and experiences.

Each quarter, Horizon has an incentive that all students can earn as long as they haven’t received an office referral. This quarter we are bringing the Zoomobile from the Kansas City Zoo to Horizon for our 3rd quarter incentive!

Our focus area for positive behavior this quarter will be the cafeteria. Classrooms will be competing for golden forks which they can earn every day with positive behavior at the lunch tables. The winning classroom will earn a unique and special dining experience for lunch at the end of the quarter!

PBIS Incentive:

We are offering a little extra incentives again this year! If your child does not have a Tier 3 Office Referral for behavior, they will earn the following rewards:

Quarter 1: Oct. 14th Teacher Dance off & Lip Sync Battle (bring your A-Game!) 2:30 pm
Quarter 2: Dec. 16th- Chill Time (1 hour free to relax & chill of your classes choice!)
Quarter 3: March 17th- Zoomobile Assembly 9:00-9:30 (K-2) and 9:45-10:15 (3-6)
Quarter 4: May 22nd- Water Play & Popsicles (on recess)

Please help us promote these incentives and talk to your child about making good choices each day at school.

Watch D.O.G.S. Sign Up

Who are Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students)?
Fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles and other father-figures can sign up to volunteer at Horizon under the leadership and guidance of school staff.


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

It's Getting Cold Outside!!!!

As the temperatures begin to turn colder, keep in mind that students will go outdoors for recess unless the temperature or wind chill is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Please make sure to send your child in coats, hats and gloves to stay warm on the playground.

Early Childhood

It's hard to believe we are halfway through the school year already! I hope everyone had a wonderful break, and we are excited about welcoming everyone back and meeting new friends that are starting this semester. In January we will focus on kindness and what it means to be kind to others. We will recognize acts of kindness in our classroom by creating a kindness tree. We will begin our Author unit on Jan Brett and explore some of her stories this month. At the end of January we will blast off into space.

Kindergarten News:

It was great to see so many smiling faces after such a long break. It is hard to believe that we are already beginning third-quarter. Kindergarten students have made so much progress and we are anxious to get busy with our new year plans. For Writer’s Workshop we are beginning a How To unit. Each student will have the opportunity to write a book about their own area of expertise. For example, they might choose to write about how to build a snowman or how to make a pb&j sandwich. During Reader’s Workshop, we’ll begin to ask some deep questions about reading. Strong readers ask questions before, during, and after reading a story, so we’ll focus on Where, When, and Why questions while continuing to identify story elements and making text-to-text and text-to-self connections. In Science, we’ll explore the difference between living and nonliving things and then learn about the needs of plants and animals. During Social Studies time, students will be learning about important historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Washington and Lincoln. During Math class, you’ll find us adding numbers within 5 and writing equations such as 1+5 = 6. We’ll continue to practice writing numbers, counting to 100, and working with 2-D and 3-D shapes. We’ll also have some fun celebrating the 100th Day of School on February 3rd (tentative date assuming Mother Nature cooperates). We are looking forward to a wonderful third quarter with our Kindergarten Warriors.

1st Grade News:

Reader’s Workshop: This month we will be focusing on why readers need to ask questions as they read. We will work on reviewing WHAT is a question and question words (who, what, where, etc). We will practice asking thick and thin questions. We will also work on asking questions before, during, and after reading.

Writer’s Workshop: We will focus on using correct punctuation in our writing. We will learn how to write complete sentences. After our punctuation unit we will work on our second personal narrative.

Math: We will continue working on fluently adding and subtracting numbers within 20. We will begin learning strategies about adding numbers bigger than 20. We will work on place value with numbers up to 100.

Social Studies: We will be reviewing rules/procedures. We will be setting goals for our New Year. We will also be learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and famous American symbols.

2nd Grade News:

Wow! We can’t believe its already 2023. The first half of the school year flew by. We wrapped up several units before Christmas break and are looking forward to new learning in 2023. In Reading, the students learned how characters change over time. Also, how to retell story elements including setting, problem, and solution. Now the students are exploring nonfiction text while learning to read for information. In Writing, students have been working through the writing process with memoirs. We explored books, learned how to plan their writing, and wrote their first drafts. Now students will revise to make their stories better by revising for leads, detail, and order with transitions. After wrapping up memoirs students will begin the writing process again with Literary Nonfiction. In math, students learned how to comprehend three digit numbers. They learned how to read and write them in expanded form, words, and digits. Then they compared three digit numbers with < > and = signs. Next, we will find number patterns when skip counting to make adding and subtracting easier because adding and subtracting three digit numbers is our next big unit! In Social Studies, we wrapped up learning about People of the Past by learning how Native Americans and Piligrims lived off the land. We also learned about African American lives and the civil rights movement. Next, we will learn about economics and the importance of making good financial decisions. We are looking forward to a great semester!

3rd Grade News:

Can you believe we are already in the 3rd quarter? We hope that everyone enjoyed time with their family over the holidays! We have jumped right back into learning. In math we are beginning our area unit. Students will be applying their multiplication skills to find the area of different shapes. We have jumped into nonfiction in both reading and writing. We will be writing list articles using research we have done. In reading, we will be exploring nonfiction text features and structures. We continue to learn about Missouri’s role in our nation’s history and will start back with science soon. This next unit will be over weather and climate. We are looking forward to all of the amazing things that our 3rd graders will accomplish this quarter!

4th Grade News:

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a restful break and holiday season. December was a whirlwind, but the next few months are going to be just as busy reviewing expectations, learning a lot of new content, and preparing for the MAP test in the Spring. We are continuing to work toward our class and individual goals (academic and behavior), hoping to keep up our growth mindsets and celebrate our many successes this quarter.

Writing: We are nearing the end of our revisions unit. Students now understand not only the importance of revision, but also how it makes our writing stronger. Students have tried out different strategies, techniques, and have better learned the type of writer they are in this unit. We discussed the differences between revising and editing, as well as focused more on grammar (parts of speech) and conventions (punctuation, capitalization, etc.). This will not only help them plan and organize their writing better, but also strengthen their MAP testing skills and prepare for the writing prompt. Our next writing unit is: elements that impact memoir sequence. This will be our first genre study unit this year. We are still working hard on our vocabulary and grade level spelling words. The Words Their Way program is proving to be very beneficial for students' writing progress. Some students have shifted groups based on their specific needs and in doing so have learned about new spelling patterns such as accented syllables, inflected endings, prefixes, and suffixes.

Science: We recently began our science unit on vision and light. Students are excited to explore new ideas and experiment in new ways within this unit. Students will continue practicing constructing their CER responses (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning) throughout each science unit we explore.

Math: We will start off the new year by reviewing area and perimeter. Students will use formulas to find missing side lengths of rectangles. After that, we will begin our fractions unit! This unit will take us through to the end of the quarter. We will begin by reviewing what a fraction is, then working on identifying and generating equivalent fractions. Following this, we will compare fractions, add and subtract fractions with like denominators, and work with mixed numbers.

Reading: We are wrapping up our media unit by discussing different advertising techniques! As a culminating activity, students will create ads for their books. Our next unit of study will focus on plot and setting. Additionally, fourth graders are setting new reading goals and will be participating in new strategy groups.

Social Studies: We finished our unit about how Missouri has changed over time. Now, we will focus on our economics unit. The guiding question is: How do Missouri’s resources support the state and national economy?

5th Grade News:

Welcome back to all our 5th graders for their second half of the fifth grade school year! Third quarter is always a rigorous time for us here in fifth grade. We are really working away on each academic speciality. We will be pushing our students to achieve their highest potential in each subject area. We know these kiddos will do a great job! We look forward to an incredible January with this group of young people!

Mathematics: Here in our Mathematics classroom fractions are the WORD! We will spend our January looking at fraction operations. We will wind down our study of adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers. Then we will dive into exploring what it means to multiply fractions. This is a novel concept to students indeed! We will utilize all that we already know about multiplication to assist us in understanding fraction multiplication. It should be a fun challenge...it is always an adventure!

SS: This semester in SS, we focus on Immigration. This is my favorite unit that I teach all year long. It is so important for students to understand different cultures, how immigration works--back in the day (Ellis Island) and currently, and how our country is a better place due to all of the culture that has been brought forth to the US. Just as the Map Skills Unit was a semester long, this one is the same. Students will end this unit by becoming immigrants themselves, and having to pass all the tests in an Ellis Island Live Simulation. It's a 5th Grade favorite for sure! Who will make it into my country....wait and see!

Science: In January for Science we will begin our next unit which is over Matter. This unit can be difficult, as it involves measurement, lots of new science vocab, etc. On the flipside, it is also a very hands-on unit due to lots of mixing, combining, creating, measuring, and observing different substances. I'm excited to get started!

ELA: This month we are moving right along in our third unit in both reading and writing. In writing we will continue working in the fantasy genre, focusing a lot on character dialogue and using description to make our stories come alive. In reading we will continue our fiction unit by reviewing plot elements and conflict before moving onto character traits and theme. This is my favorite time of year as we are constantly immersed in a fictional world in both reading and writing and everything we are learning in one subject can be immediately transferred to the other subject to improve our writing skills while also deepening our knowledge of text. It is such an exciting time!

6th Grade News:

Math: The month of January focuses on Geometry. Starting this month we will be reviewing the concepts of basic area, leading into surface area and 3D shapes. We will also be exploring the volume of different shapes.

ELA: We are transitioning into informational reading and writing. Students will be learning about text features, researching self-chosen topics, how to properly cite sources using MLA formatting, and how to create a works cited page for their projects.

Social Studies: This Month we will be working on the Ancient civilization of China. We will be exploring the different aspects that made up one of the great civilizations. Students will learn about the ancient government, society, religion, as well as the different inventions and aspects of life that we still use today. Students will have the opportunity to explore through readings, research, class discussions, and projects as we navigate Ancient China.

Encore News:

Counselor Corner:

I hope everyone had a wonderful, peaceful and fulfilling holiday season. It is great to see all the smiley faces back at school. I know many of us missed the structure and routine of school. January lessons will focus on coping skills and emotional management. Each grade level will have a little different focus but the areas we will cover are: self control, feelings and emotional regulation, coping skills, identifying what bugs me, perseverance, as well as identifying and overcoming barriers. A first grade example: We read Clark and Shark by Bruce Hale, discussed being ‘cool in school’ and how being ‘extra’ can impact our relationships with our friends. Clark found out that by learning certain rhymes he could remember to stay in control and make better choices.

If you have a child that struggles with emotional regulation and/or coping skills these links may provide helpful information:






If you are someone you know in the district is in need of additional support please share this link to sign up for food/groceries.


Our Warrior Closet is also a great resource for those in need. It is located in the buildings behind the middle school. It will be open on the following dates/times:

Jan 12, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Jan 21, 10:00 am - 12:00

Feb 7, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Feb 9, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Feb 25, 10:00 am - 12:00

March 7, 4:00 - 6:00 pm


So much will be happening in the art room this month! All grade levels will be working on opening our Architecture studio to start the New Year. Kindergarten will be the first grade to open a Printmaking center by using shape stamps and stamp pads. All grade levels will soon have Fibers studio open to them as well, with an array of activities available including weaving, braiding, embroidery, and sewing. Many grade levels will be beginning clay projects this quarter; learning the clay basics of pinch, slab, and coil.

Technology and Innovation:

Kindergarten - We will be exploring the world of coding with our newest robot, the Sphero Indi! We were able to get 12 Indi robots thanks to the wonderful families of Horizon.

1st Grade - We will also be diving into coding with some work with our Dash and Dot robots. We will be working on directions and getting our robot to complete a given task.

2nd Grade - Students are wrapping up their Makey Makey instruments and we will be working on coding using Code.org and some robotics.

3rd Grade - Students will be designing a town for a robot to drive through. We will be talking about directions, map skills, and coding.

4th Grade - We are working on our 3D printing and design skills using Tinkercad. Students will be creating a custom keychain to be printed for them to keep!

5th Grade - Students are wrapping up their tiny home designs and will move into Tinkercad to design a piece of furniture for their house.

6th Grade - New quarter, means a new class! This group of students will be participating in my Robotics and Programming class.


Happy 2023! It’s so good to see everyone back at school and it sounds like everyone had a good winter break. This month students will be enjoying stories that focus on the themes of Resolutions, Winter, Arctic Animals, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Chinese New Year. The genre focus for this month will be Science Fiction/Fantasy and the 600 Dewey section!

Kindergarten successfully finished reading all of their Building Block Nominees for the year and students were able to vote for their favorite book. The winner will be announced in April and everyone is excited to see if their favorite book was the winner.


Hello Horizon families and welcome back! Here’s a little bit about what will be happening in the music room as we kick off our Spring Semester:

Kindergarten: Kindergarten will begin learning about a new set of musical opposites, high and low. In this unit students will be learning and practicing to recognize high and low sounds and the sounds different instruments make. In this process students will also learn about moving from high to low sounds and singing these sounds.

1st Grade: 1st grade will continue to expand their knowledge of rhythm, while also adding in new concepts of pitch. This is my favorite time to teach students the song Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music! This will occur while we begin learning about music street (otherwise known as solfege).

2nd Grade: Now that our yearly music performance is over, students will be moving into expanding their musical knowledge and learning new concepts. We will begin this journey with reviewing rhythm, notes, and music street!

3rd Grade: Now that our yearly music performance is over, students will be moving on to our Recorder unit! Please be on the lookout for a letter sent home about purchasing a recorder for your child to use and practice at home. As we begin our Recorder unit we will be learning about the Musical Alphabet and begin learning how to recognize these notes on the music staff!

4th & 5th Grade: It is time for 4th and 5th grade to begin working on their music program. Just like we did last year, 4th and 5th grade will be “creating their own music program”. This includes all students selecting a theme for the program, giving input on music for the program, and writing the speaking parts themselves! Last year our 4th and 5th graders LOVED this process and I am excited to see what our students come up with this year!

6th Grade: In our 6th grade Music Composition Class, we are jumping right into music creation as students are challenged to create their own instrument with things that they find at home. After students present their new instrument they will create a short song using rhythm and/or pitch on the instrument. I’m so excited to see what they come up with

Choir: The Sunset Singers will begin rehearsals for the Spring semester on January 10th! This semester we will be preparing for our annual Smithville elementary music festival. The students will be learning 5 pieces and get the opportunity to work in a festival type setting while being cliniced by all 3 elementary directors in the district!


K-6 will be doing basketball activities this month. We will do different games where they will be working on dribbling and shooting. Each grade will do different activities depending on their grade level. K-3 will specifically focus on fundamental games, whereas 4-6 will do some fundamental basketball activities and also get to play 3 on 3 games.

4-6 grades will also be doing a Warrior Day week Jan 9-13. They will be recording their 1 minute jump rope, 1 minute sit-ups, and measuring their broad jump to see if they beat their score from September. The 2nd Semester is where we really start to see if we are reaching our goals!

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Horizon PTO