Hello Discovery & West Families

February 2021 Newsletter

Winter greetings to you all!

In the past month, students have quickly returned to a regular school routine, while still being diligent to follow all of our Covid precautions. Teachers have been busy completing various assessments such as the STAR assessment, classroom common assessments, EGI assessment for our kindergarteners, and the WIDA State assessment for our EL students. In the coming weeks, student in grades 3, 4, 5 will also complete the GFPS Olweus Bullying Questionnaire and the North Dakota Student Engagement Survey. As a School-wide team, staff have been reviewing all assessments and determining how best to serve students in a differentiated manner. In order to ensure that all students receive the support they need to be successful, some students will receive interventions and may be placed in a small group with students from other classrooms. We will continue to ensure safety precautions are in place which include, but are not limited to, all able participants wearing masks, frequent hand-washing, surface sanitization, and documentation of group participants. Parents will be notified of intervention plans, should your child qualify for additional academic support. This is a great step forward as we are able to reach even more students!

Our PTO continues to support our school in so many ways, even without being able to meet in person throughout the school year. Recently our PTO purchased a washer and dryer for our custodial office. This helps our school to have additional onsite cleaning options, something especially helpful with extra Covid cleaning precautions. Thank you to our PTO's continued efforts for support students and staff throughout this school year. This month, our PTO is hosting a cookie fundraiser featuring speciality cookies from Bricks and Barley. Flavors such as Red Velvet Sprinkles, Peppermint Truffle, Valentine's Monster and Unicorn are a few of the cookie options to choose from. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, our hope is that families might choose to purchase a speciality cookie for someone special, sharing kindness with someone else while also supporting our PTO event. Please check out the cookie ordering options at this link. Use password "discovery" to access the site.

Many of our PTO Board Members have served on our PTO Board for many, many years and currently have a 5th grade student and therefore won't be eligible to serve on our board next year. Please consider volunteering to be a PTO Board Member so that we can continue to offer the same opportunities for our students in the future. Please reach out to our current PTO President, Nikki Balkowitsch at nickybethkb@gmail.com if you'd be interested in helping.

Thank you for your continued partnership! Your continued support is truly appreciated.


Mrs. Ali Parkinson - Principal

Mr. Loren Hoheisel - Associate Principal

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Stay in School Update

There is a positive correlation between regular attendance and academic success. The Stay in

School Program is a collaborative effort between school, family, and community which supports

students and families in meeting the expectations of school attendance, through face-to-face or

distance learning. Please see the letter below for information regarding the new Stay in School process.

Grades 3-5 Olweus Bullying Questionnaire

3rd-5th Grade Families,

Please see the attached letter regarding the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire.

5th Grade Families

If you are considering a transfer request for next year, the completed form is due to the requested middle school office by February 26, 2021. Forms are available at any elementary or middle school office. Please see the letter below for more information.
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Kindergarten Registration!

Incoming Kindergarten Families-

It’s time for kindergarten pre-registration! In order to help better prepare for kindergarten registration, which will be held later this spring, we would like you to take a few minutes to complete our online pre-registration form. This Google Form (http://bit.ly/39nNPbg) will allow us to capture information so we can begin your student’s enrollment now and cut down your waiting time at registration.

If you have any questions, please contact us. Thank you!

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Notes from the Office

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Stay tuned for more information regarding upcoming Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences to be held on March 2, 4 and 5!

Spring Enrollment:

Enrollment for next fall will be done electronically. You will need to have a PowerSchool Single Sign On account. Most of you have this set up already. Those of you that haven't, have been sent the information to create an account. This should be completed by March so that you are set up for when the time comes to go online to register.

For current students, "registering" will consist of going through the screens, making updates or changes and submitting.

New students will register online for next fall.

Please let us know if you will not be attending Discovery next fall.

ArtWise Art Show:

This year's ArtWise show is April 13-18, 2021. It will be held at the Columbia Mall. We hope you can come out and check out all the fun art work displayed!

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Arrival/Dismissal Reminders

Please ensure that students are arriving at their designated door that is specific to their grade level each morning. On the cold weather mornings, we allow students to enter the building prior to the bell and wait for the bell to ring in their learning commons.

All students that arrive after 8:25 am must check in at the school office. If you are dropping your child off after 8:25 am, please drop them off at Door #1.

Please make sure cross walks are kept clear of vehicles while waiting in the thru lane. Students have shared that they are not feeling safe to cross at these designated areas if a vehicle is parked/waiting in the crosswalk striped area. Thank you!

Parents Have a Significant Influence in Their Children’s Decisions to Experiment with Alcohol and Other Drugs

One of the most influential factors during a child’s adolescence is maintaining a strong, open relationship with a parent/guardian. When parent(s)/guardian(s) create supportive and nurturing environments, children make better decisions. Though it may not always seem like it, children really hear these concerns, which is why it’s important that parent(s)/guardian(s) discuss the risks of using alcohol and other drugs. How do you start these conversations? Visit www.parentslead.org for information and resources.



Taking care of children isn’t always easy, especially in today’s world. The good news is there are steps you can take to help protect your kids as they grow older. Effectively monitoring your kids through every stage in their lives is one important way to reduce their risk of becoming involved in potentially harmful situations or engaging in risky behaviors. Start monitoring your kids early on, in ways that are age-appropriate. In fact, the earlier you begin monitoring, the easier it will be to continue as your kids gets older and the more they’ll expect it from you. How do I monitor my kids? Visit www.parentslead.org for information and resources.

Family Services

Family Services:

We’re here to assist all families! If you have needs for your child, please visit with AJ Lester (alester260@mygfschools.org), Discovery’s Social Worker and Alisa Bowman (abowman260@mygfschools.org), West’s Social Worker. They are both here to help make school a successful place for your child. For more information, check in with either social worker directly.

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