Chief Charlo Elementary School News - March Edition

Plains Indian sign language presentation at Chief Charlo

Big picture

Fourth-graders were treated last week to a presentation from Aspen Decker, the Native Community and Museum Education Coordinator of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, along with her daughter, Maninłp Xʷełx̣ƛ̓cin, who is the Great-Great-Great Granddaughter of Chief Charlo and also speaks Salish. Decker talked about the history of the Salish in western Montana and Missoula, and taught students some spoken words in Salish as well as some Plains Indian signs for grizzly bear, black bear, bison, and more. The visit concluded with a “hunting game” incorporating sign language.

But first, a special surprise was unveiled by Cameron Decker, an educator and Outreach Coordinator for the Missoula Art Museum, who gifted the school with an original painting of Chief Charlo - whose name in Salish, as students learned, is “Slmxe Qwoxqeys,”

or “Claw of the Small Grizzly Bear.”


KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION is currently happening. Child must be 5 on or before 9/10/22. Visit your school or to register.


* Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour THIS weekend!!


VIRTUAL PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES will be held the week of March 14th. Be on the look out for an email from your child(ren)'s teacher to sign up for this very important meeting.


Enjoy this year's Spring Break, March 21-25


Chief Charlo March At-A-Glance


March 1 - Kindergarten Registration Begins

March 3 - Early Out - ALL students dismissed at 2:30pm

March 10 - Early Out - ALL students dismissed at 2:30pm

March 14 - Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences begin -

* WATCH for Sign Up Genius link from your student's teacher *

March 17 - ALL students dismissed at 11:00am

March 18 - NO School

March 21-25 - SPRING BREAK

March 28 - Students return to school

March 31 - Early Out - ALL students dismissed at 2:30pm


March 9 -- Virtual PTO Meeting, 6:00-7:00pm, * Use Zoom link to join:

March 14 - Papa Murphy Dine Out Night (S Russell location only) - Watch for necessary flyer

March 15 - Butter Braid Fundraiser - forms DUE

* To order Butter Braids via internet use the following link:

Big picture

Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences

Look for an email from your child(ren)'s teacher to sign up for this VERY IMPORTANT conference. Conferences will begin March 14.

The school's PTO will be providing the staff a taco bar style lunch on Wednesday, March 16.

If you are interested in volunteering your time or an item, please sign up with the following link:

Big picture

~ Counselors' Corner ~

Kelso's Choices

Dear Parents,

This month we are introducing a program to our kindergarteners. We are starting “Kelso’s Choice”, a Conflict Management Skills Program, geared towards students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Skills Program effectively teaches young children peace-making skills. It is a proven resource to increase confidence, reduce tattling and is a preliminary tool to prevent bullying.

This conflict-management curriculum is based on the premise that every child is capable of becoming a peacemaker. Designed around Kelso the Frog, students are first taught to discriminate between “big” problems that must be shared with an adult, and “small” problems that they can resolve. After mastering this distinction this program offers nine options students can choose from to resolve minor conflicts on their own.

The program encourages students to try two choices from “Kelso’s Wheel.” Each choice in itself helps to teach a life skill to the child. For example, if a child chooses to “Apologize”, we go over what apologizing looks like, sounds like, feels like, etc. If a child chooses to “Make a Deal”, we practice how to compromise and make a trade off in a positive way. Each choice is broken down so that children understand the meaning and function of the behavior they choose. Children are given a choice, so that they can make the best decision that fits them best. For example, some students may use a more assertive approach (“telling them to stop”), while others may select a less assertive choice (“ignore” or “walk away”).

As students reach 3rd grade, they learn to differentiate the verbal choices from the nonverbal choices, and the choices are narrowed to skills they have mastered.

The program is a powerful and timely tool to build vital life skills for the young people in today’s world. The program philosophy is simple: each child is smart enough and strong enough to resolve conflict.

I have attached a copy of the Kelso’s Choice Wheel for grades K-2, and the K.C. Choice Wheel for grades 3-5. By using this program, we believe that our students will develop effective problem solving skills, and will help them to deal with conflict in a positive manner and make appropriate decisions. We encourage you to become familiar with the program and talk to your child about what they have learned. By working together, we can develop healthy life skills for our children to use at home and at school.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Kelley Donisthorpe

Elementary School Counselor

(406) 728-2400 ext. 4976

Big picture
Big picture

~ Chief Charlo Library ~

Big picture

A Visit from the Cat in the Hat

* The Cat in the Hat (aka Chief Charlo Librarian Mrs. Greil) makes its annual appearance in Mrs. Avgeris's 1st grade classroom to read a book honoring Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Farm to School and Garden Committee

Farmer in the Classroom
On March 2nd, Farmer Erin returned to Chief Charlo to teach second graders all about honey bees as a part of Garden City Harvest’s monthly Farmer in the Classroom program. Students learned how honey bees are connected to food and farming, the different types of bees in a hive, and how bees make honey. To cap off the lesson, students taste tested two different types of local honey.

Garden Committee Meeting
On March 3rd, Chief Charlo's garden committee met for our first spring meeting. We discussed plans for the garden renovations, 2022 growing season, and spring lessons. We’re always looking for new voices, so please consider joining us! Contact Erin, School Garden Manager, for more information.

To learn more about Garden City Harvest Farm to School programming, visit or contact Erin Austin, School Garden Manager, at or (406) 285-1109.

Families in Transition (FIT) Program

The Families in Transition (FIT) Program is here to assist Chief Charlo students and families experiencing housing instability (McKinney-Vento Act) and/or economic hardship. FIT works as a bridge between those families, our school and the district staff to empower students to stay in school and remain successful both in school and as lifelong learners. FIT also provides families access to community resources and services.

FIT is here to support your family, because we care about all of our Wolves - BIG and small!!

Coryll Rupert (FIT Coordinator)

728-2400, X4983


Chief Charlo Families in Transition (FIT) Program

Click on link above to learn what services are provided through the Chief Charlo FIT Program

Big picture

Summer Camps are Just Around the Corner

Missoula County Public School Information

MCPS Main Web Page

Forward Thinking, High Achieving - find Schools, Web Connect, Staff Directory, Student Registration, Volunteer Application, and MUCH more.

MCPS Native American Student Services Department

Mission: Help Native American students achieve academically, culturally, and socially to graduate and become successful lifelong learners. Locate your individual school's Native American Specialist and learn about resources available to your child.

MCPS District COVID Information

Click button to learn more about MCPS COVID-19 Task Force, individual School Data and additional info.


Current Board Members:

Heather Bomb, President:

April Miller, Vice Presidents:

Amy Mill, Treasurer:

Elyse Johnson, Secretary:

Meeting Schedule: We meet virtually the SECOND WEDNESDAY of each month. Meetings start at 6:00pm.

Interested in becoming a member? Everyone is welcome! Membership is free due to our amazing sponsors. The Chief Charlo PTO encourages families to join, stay informed, and help out in any way you can. It's never too late to join and be part of the FUN!!

Check us out at

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Information

Click on the above link to learn more about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act