Evening Star Elementary

August/September 2020

A Note from Principal Williams:

Evening Star Families,

Our first two weeks of school have been absolutely amazing! This has been the best start to the school year, and we honestly could not have done this without you and your support! The ESE staff and I want to thank all of you for everything you have done to prepare your little owls to return to their nest here at ESE. The excitement and energy we all felt when we opened our doors on August 24th radiated throughout our building. Then, when our Kindergarten students joined us on August 27th, we all felt such joy as all of our little owls were finally back! It is so great to hear their sweet voices filling our classrooms, lunchroom, hallways, and playground again. WE are off to a beautiful start as we create memories together, engaging students in rigorous academic experiences while filling them with curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

With the beginning of the school year as well as the unprecedented times we are facing, we have worked hard to establish systems and procedures. Our primary focus is to keep our students safe while providing them with the best educational experience possible. Our students, staff, and parents have done an exceptional job following the safety precautions and new procedures we have implemented this school year.

Our morning and afternoon car line is running smoothly, and it is evident that everyone is starting to get into a routine. Parents, we do want to ask for your help with a couple of things. One, please wait to let your children out until you round the corner rather than along the side of the building near our 1st-4th grade classrooms. We do not have duty staff available to monitor this side, and we want to keep our littles safe. Two, please put your cell phones down. Three, when exiting onto Pleasant Grove Road from Roberts Road between the hours of 7:00-8:00 a.m. as well as 2:30-3:00 p.m., please do not turn left. When cars turn left onto Pleasant Grove Road, it completely shuts down our car line. Thank you for your assistance and understanding.

Over the school year, we will be sending out monthly newsletters containing a variety of information regarding news from our auxiliary staff, updates from the office, and information from our PTO. Additionally, throughout the newsletter, you will notice multiple links to various websites, Google forms, and email contacts. Simply click on the blue hyperlink to connect with ease.

Finally, if you have not had a chance to join the Evening Star Parent Teacher Organization, we want to encourage you to do so. Our PTO will have regularly scheduled virtual meetings to synergize and partner with school staff to create a school community that enhances our students' education and school experience.

Forgotten Items:

For grades K-12, the only items that are allowed to be dropped off are items that are deemed essential to the child being able to access their learning for the day such as a Chromebook, eyeglasses, medication. If your child forgets their lunch, their water bottle, or their snack, no worries! Your child may purchase a cafeteria lunch, we have extra water bottles here, and our counselors will have snacks available.

COVID - 19 Stay Home Procedures and Additional Information:

COVID-19 Stay Home Procedures

What will we do when someone tests positive or has had contact?

COVID procedures are linked for the public (parents) in our Task Force's Reopening 2020 document. That document can be found on our "Reopening" tab on our website. The Case Management procedure doc links are on page 30 of Reopening 2020. The definitions of contacts are on page 32.

Future ESE Events:

Here are just a few events that we have planned so far. Mark your calendars now and keep a watch out for more events over the course of the school year:

  • Sept. 10th 4:00-9:00 p.m. - Slim Chickens/Rogers
  • Sept. 21st - PICTURE DAY for Blended Students
  • Sept. 23rd 4:00-8:00 p.m. - Chipotle/Bentonville
  • Oct. 7th - 3:00-7:00 p.m. - Chuck E Cheese
  • Oct. 22nd - ESE Flu Clinic

Early Dismissal/Late Arrival:

Parents, every instructional minute we have with your child is absolutely precious and vital to his/her academic success. We appreciate and value the time we have with them during the instructional day ~7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Students are considered tardy if they arrive after the instructional day begins. We want to encourage you to schedule your child’s doctor and dental appointments outside school hours. In keeping with the Bentonville Schools Mission Statement “to prepare students of today for the challenges of tomorrow,” we believe that all students benefit from regular school attendance. Students need to be present every day for instruction. Frequent late arrivals and/or early dismissals are disruptive to a child’s education and are discouraged by Bentonville Schools. Changes in transportation home or early pick-up from school may not occur within 30 minutes of building dismissal time, unless it is an unavoidable emergency. Thank you in advance for your support with this.

Transportation Changes:

Please try to establish a consistent routine regarding drop-off and pick up. If you need to make a change in transportation, please notify the office BEFORE 2:00 p.m. As stated in our district handbook, changes in transportation home or early pick-up from school may not occur within 30 minutes of building dismissal time, unless it is an unavoidable emergency.

Permanent Car Tag Information:

We appreciate your patience and cooperation in ESE's afternoon car-rider line. We are improving our system each and every day while keeping kids safe and safely distanced. If you are a regular car-rider, your teacher is sending home a permanent car-rider tag today (Friday, Sept. 4th). This plastic tag will hang from your rearview mirror, and it will serve you all year long. One tag per family will be issued, and it will in the backpack of your oldest child. On the last day of school, a staff member will collect these for use next year. Lost or misplaced tags will result in a $10 charge to cover the purchase of a replacement.

Interested in a second, permanent tag? We are selling a second-tag option for $10. These will also be returned at the end of the year. To purchase a second-permanent tag, click here!

Walkers, bus riders, and after-school care families, you are welcome to request your permanent tag from your classroom teacher if desired. Please contact the teacher of your oldest child.

We understand there will still be instances when you need to use the temporary-paper tag issued at the beginning of the year. Kindly let us know in advance.


In an effort to make paying fees more convenient, Bentonville Schools utilizes an online payment platform called My Payments Plus. Registration is simple. Go to mypaymentsplus.com and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need your child's student ID to register. You should have received an email from our school district on August 21st containing this information. Once you've registered and linked your child(ren) to your account, you are all set. Your school will notify you when items are available for payment. Examples of items you will be able to pay online include additional car tags, t-shirt orders, Chromebook insurance, and so much more. You can pay with your debit card, credit card, or directly from your checking account. The cost of processing is already included (and is the same whether you pay online or in-person), so you will not pay an additional fee to take advantage of the online system.

You shouldn't have any trouble, but if you do, a team of My Payments Plus professionals is standing by to help by phone at 877-237-0946 or by email at Support@MyPaymentsPlus.com.

Chromebook Insurance:

Chromebook insurance for the 2020-21 school year will be $20.00, payable through MyPaymentsPlus. Chromebook fees will be posted to all student accounts on Thursday, August 20th. The link is here: Chromebook Insurance.


As a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school, we will explicitly teach, model, and positively reinforce the expectations of growth, teamwork, integrity, and empathy over the school year. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a way for schools to encourage appropriate behavior. With PBIS, students learn about behavior, just as they learn other subjects like math or science. The key to PBIS is prevention, rather than punishment. We have a behavior matrix that states the expectations throughout the various school environments. Our acronym OWLS represents our school expectations.

Owning Integrity - We are honest and fair to ourselves and others. You can trust and count on us to be true to ourselves.

Working as a Team - We are committed to working together to meet a common goal. Through communication and cooperation, we can accomplish more together.

Learning Empathy - We are respectful and kind to all. Our caring hearts and compassionate minds bring a peace to our school, so all feel safe and welcomed.

Shooting for the Stars - We are determined and persevere when times get tough. Through hard work, we become our best selves.

PBIS relies on positive reinforcement to teach students the power of appropriate behavior. Our staff has chosen a great rewards system for our students. We will be using the PBIS Rewards application to digitally award students points for appropriate behavior. Students will be given a badge holder with their pictures and a QR code. When a staff member sees a student meeting or exceeding expectations, the staff member can award a point either with their cell phone or their classroom computers. Students will then be given the opportunity to save their points for quarterly parties or use their points for the classroom, grade level, and building incentives.

Health History Forms, Emergency Cards, Annual Consent Forms

Welcome to Evening Star! Here are a few reminders from Nurse Conley:

  • Health History: It is important that we have an updated Student Health History form for each student every year. We emailed this form out to families on August 17th. The nurse MUST have a health history on file in order to provide appropriate care for your child when they are not feeling well. If you have not yet completed a Health History for the 2020-2021 school year, please do so. If you do not have a printer or you did not receive the August 17th email, please reach out to Nurse Jillian at jconley@bentonvillek12.org and she will send a copy home with your child.
  • Medications: ONLY a parent/guardian may deliver medication to the school building. The medication must be in the original container or box with the prescription label on it. Students are not allowed to transport medications at any time. See page 42 of our Elementary Student Handbook for the policy.
  • Life-Threatening Allergy Plans: Students with the diagnosis of anaphylaxis require a physician signed Life-Threatening Allergies Plan on file along with the emergency medication(s) prescribed. These must be kept in the health office.
  • Asthma Emergency Plans: Students with the diagnosis of asthma and require the use of an inhaler, must keep an inhaler in the health office. Inhalers must be in the pharmacy labeled box and also have a written doctor’s prescription/note. A doctor’s signed Asthma Action Plan is required on all students with asthma. Please bring in a rescue inhaler for your child to avoid a potential emergency.
  • Sick Students: If a student develops a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, or is vomiting, and/or has diarrhea, the student should be symptom-free for 24 hours, which is one entire school day from the day of dismissal, without requiring medication prior to returning to school.
  • Backup Clothes: If you have a student in grades K-2nd, please send a change of clothing in your child's backpack. Please make sure your little one knows they have an extra change of clothes in their backpack if an accident were to occur.
  • Flu Clinic: Will be held on Thursday, October 22nd. More information to come.
  • Important Dates: Immunization documentation and immunization exemptions are due by October 1st, 2020 for all students (blended and virtual). If documentation is not received by October 1st, 2020, those students will be excluded from school. Every kindergartner should have a kindergarten physical on-file with the school. Kindergarten physicals are due by November 23rd.

Please call me with any questions or concerns.

Nurse Jillian Conley BSN, RN


As a district, our procedure is that snacks are to be sent from home, by the parents. Each parent is responsible for their child's personal snack so that they can ensure their child consumes food from their personal home. If a child needs a snack because parents are unable to provide them with one, our counselors can assist with this. Even though intentions are good and so very sweet, classroom snack baskets are prohibited due to the severity of allergies and dietary needs of our students in our classrooms. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Literacy News:

What Does Background Knowledge Have To Do With Reading Comprehension?

A LOT! Research shows that a student’s background knowledge is one of the most significant indicators for reading comprehension success.

This is why we have been very intentional in the Bentonville School District to design a curriculum that builds background knowledge on a variety of topics based on social-emotional, social studies, and science topics. Our K-4 curriculum brings the world into the classroom.

This quarter we will be focusing on the following topics in each grade level. As a parent/guardian, you can continue to help build background knowledge in these topics by reading additional books on these topics from the local library, go on virtual and real field trips, visit websites on these topics, conduct experiments, and much, much more!

  • Kindergarten: Citizenship (Classroom/School), All About Me, The Human Impact on Earth (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  • 1st grade: Citizenship (School, Community, Rules/Laws), Government (National Symbols, Function/Roles of Authority), Patterns in the Sky (Moon and Stars)
  • 2nd grade: Community in the Classroom, Local Government, Structures and Properties of Matter
  • 3rd grade: Character Matters, Life Cycles and Traits of Organisms, State Government and the Right to Vote
  • 4th grade: Knowing Myself and Others Builds A Better Community, American Leaders, Structures, Functions and Information Processing (Senses and Internal/External Structures of Plants and Animals that Support Survival, Growth, and Behavior)

Happy reading!

Julie Dibee, Literacy Coach

Math News:

“Researchers have studied people who’ve reached a very high level of achievement to see how they got there, and they found that nobody was born with a special brain, but that they engaged in a very particular practice. The researchers described it like this, they said that the people who achieved the most are those who are always pushing at the edge of their understanding. Making mistakes, correcting them, making more mistakes.”

This quote, from a world famous mathematician and Stanford professor, Jo Boaler, describes a mindset for learning that we are encouraging in our students. We want our kiddos to believe that they are capable and able to do all the things - even the hard ones.

That brings us to the idea of productive struggle. When our students make mistakes, they can actually learn more from the mistakes they make than from all the correct answers. Some interesting points that she shared include the following additional traits:

  • Setting high targets for themselves

  • Using a variety of strategies when getting stuck on a problem

  • Understanding what perseverance means

Accuracy in math is an important goal, however, it is not the only goal. Our state standards require that our students develop a variety of strategies at all grade levels in math. Mistakes will be and should be made along the way. These mistakes are carefully reflected on and give insight into student thinking, as well as help inform the next instructional steps that teachers put into play to support the development of student understanding. And, according to Jo Boaler and the researchers, this process of productive struggle is good for all of our brains.


Jillian Myers

ESE/AGE Math Coach

Whooo Loves to read? Your ESE OWLS DO!

We are so excited to be able to spend time with our little owls! We have started the process of checking out books and are busy learning procedures. The second through fourth-grade owls have been learning how to request books using our virtual library. It is so exciting to see books back in our child’s hands!

Mrs. Watson

"Gym Shorts":

This month our little owls will be learning some social distancing games like; caterpillar rock, paper, scissors battle, and shadow tag. We will also get our hearts beating fast by doing some just dance and GoNoodle exercises. So happy to be with these little owls and get to see their smiling faces again. CAN I GET A HOOT HOOT!!!

Coach Kerkhover

ART Studio:

The Art students are off to a great start, understanding expectations and getting some art done as well. Students will be bringing art home every time they have art activity. We are establishing our routine for art class. I am so glad to see our students in class this year and I am excited to see what our Owl Art students will create in art this year!!

Mr. Van Slyke

Music Notes:

Evening Star Owls are having a hoot in music! We are all so glad to be together again in the music room! Music looks a little different this year, but we are still learning through singing, playing instruments, and moving to the music. Ask your little owls what they have already learned about steady beat, rhythm, and meter.

Mrs. Simpson

Global Connections:

This year in Global Connections we will introduce or continue our studies of the world. We will focus on understanding our world by comparing places and regions around the globe and focus on the cultures represented within our community. We have begun our exploration of some differences and similarities between our country and the world! Students have been surprised to see the various ways children from other countries get to school! We are having a great time learning together!


Mrs. Garrett


I can’t say enough how impressed I am with the technology skills of our Owls! Our virtual learning experience has definitely prepared them to transition more easily into our activities. We’ve placed a large amount of focus on technology expectations, device take-home procedures, and Chromebook care. Please remember to charge those Chromebooks nightly and return them each day for blended learning! Our younger Owls are learning to identify the different parts of a computer and how they are used while others are focusing on proper typing posture and procedures. We’re off to a great start!

Mrs. Jones

English as a Second Language:

Hi Families!! My name is Melissa Tomblin and I am the ESL teacher here at Evening Star Elementary. I will be working with Kindergarten through 4th-grade students that qualify for ESL services. My goal is to help students become more proficient in their English reading, writing, listening, and speaking so as to better support the core content being taught in class. I am so excited to work with your kids this year! Feel free to reach out anytime!

Melissa Tomblin


PTO Meeting:

Mark your calendars, our next PTO meeting is October 5th at 11:30 a.m. All of our PTO meetings this year are virtual. We would love to have you join us so you can share your thoughts and ideas. Be on the lookout for an invite later this month with the information you need to join us virtually.

The purpose of PTO is to aid the students and teachers of Evening Star Elementary by providing support for their educational and recreational needs while also promoting open communication between the administration, teachers, and parents. We want to take a minute to thank you in advance for your support of our students at Evening Star Elementary.

Staying connected with our PTO is easy! Click on the following link to learn more about future meeting dates, meeting minutes, and more. https://evening-star-elementary-school-pto.square.site/home

To learn more about what our ESE PTO has in store for us this year, read their back to school newsletter by clicking on the following link: https://www.smore.com/txwf0


If you would like to see what our cafeteria will be serving for breakfast and lunch for the month of September, simply click on the following link: https://www.bentonvillek12.org/Page/7010

You can also follow the steps below:

1) Access the District website: bentonvillek12.org

2) Under the Departments tab, choose: Food and Nutrition

3) Click on the Printable Elementary School Menus link

The breakfast and lunch menus for the month of September are available for preview.