The Comet Chronicle

Challenger Elementary Newsletter April/May, 2019

Principal's Message

It's an exciting time for the Challenger Comets! We are in the home stretch our school year, the weather is getting better so it's more fun to be outside, our big Color Run fundraiser is coming soon, we have a whole week of school spirit days next week, state testing is around the corner, and our staff and students are working hard everyday in their classrooms. This time of year is often the time students struggle to remember to follow school rules. Challenger Comets are expected to be safe, respectful, responsible, and resourceful. Please review these rules with your child often so that they are hearing the same thing at home as they are at school. As you will see below, the students are trying to earn an end of year school wide celebration based on the number of Comet Coins they earn. They all have their eyes on the 4000 coin prize. I know they can do it!

Smarter Balanced Assessments; Grades 3-5

The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) is a system of valid, reliable, and fair next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 10. The system—which includes both summative assessments for accountability purposes and optional interim assessments for instructional use—will use computer adaptive testing (CAT) technologies to provide meaningful feedback and actionable data that teachers and other educators can use to help students succeed.

SBA will go beyond multiple-choice questions to include extended response and technology enhanced items, as well as performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to complex real-world problems. They can best be described as collections of questions and activities that are coherently connected to a single theme or scenario. The performance tasks will be taken on a computer (but will not be computer adaptive) and will take one to two class periods to complete.

Along with the SBA, fifth grade students will also take an additional assessment in science, called the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The WCAS will assess all three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards. For more information about this assessment follow this link:

Additional information is available on the ISD website:

5th Grade

4/25 Thursday Math CAT

4/26 Friday Math Performance

4/29 Monday ELA CAT

4/30 Tuesday ELA Performance

5/2 Thursday WCAS (Science)

4th Grade

5/9 Thursday ELA Performance

5/10 Friday ELA CAT

5/13 Monday Math Performance

5/14 Tuesday Math CAT

3rd Grade

5/16 Thursday Math CAT

5/17 Friday Math Performance

5/20 Monday ELA Performance

5/21 Tuesday ELA CAT

Everything should be done to avoid taking a family trip during Standards Based Assessment (SBA) testing. The data collected during these assessments informs our practice and supports your child's learning. Naturally, our preference is for families to travel during vacation periods outlined by the ISD. If your family needs to travel outside of those windows, please be aware of two things:

Per State law:

  • 5 or more unexcused absences in a month require a letter and a petition to be filed with the courts.
  • 10 or more unexcused absences in a year require a letter and a petition to be filed with the courts.

Things to note:

· Any absence is marked unexcused if you do not call prior to the absence.

· A child arriving 2 hours or more after the start of the day is not a tardy. At that point, it is considered an absence.

· Pre-Arranged absence forms are posted on our website. Forms are due to the office at least one week BEFORE the first day of the absence. Forms received outside of that window may not be received in time for processing and could result in an unexcused absence.

· Pre-Arranged Absence Request forms may not be completed retroactively.

The Comet Color Run is Friday May 3 @4:30 PM

Color Run Spirit Week:

Join in on the fun and show your spirit for our big fundraiser of the year.

4/29 Monday - Pajama Day

4/30 Tuesday - Comet Spirit Day

5/1 Wednesday - Wacky Wednesday (Mismatch Day)

5/2 Thursday - Crazy Hair Day

5/3 Friday - Comet Color Run shirt day

This is the PTA's ONLY fundraiser for the school year!

*This year we are using a 3rd party fundraising website that allows you to send emails to extended family, friends, neighbors, etc. to help us raise money for our school.

1. Click “Not Registered For This Year’s Event"
2. Enter your (parents/guardian) name and email address, then click “Submit”
3. Follow the instructions on-screen to register students and send emails.
*There will be one PledgeStar page per family. Those who donate can choose to pay one amount which will be divided by the number of students in the family or they can give a certain amount to each child.

*Every student who sends an email/text to 5 people through PledgeStar by Friday, March 22nd will get a prize**

DEADLINE FOR PRIZES: Friday, April 26th *note: t-shirt deadline below*

View Flyer Sent Home Here

Individual Prizes:

$50 Raised$100 Raised$150 Raised

T-shirt to participate at the
color stations

**T-shirt deadline is April 19th**Comet Color Run Watch/PedometerChallenger Comet Water Bottle

*All students who reach this level will be entered into a drawing every Friday to win prizes!

Top 20 kids who bring in the most $$ will be entered in a drawing for a Nintendo Switch, Kindle Fire 7, Echo Dot, Xbox Live voucher & more!


  • Every class who reaches their classroom goal (average $100 per student) will get an Ice Cream Party!!
  • Traveling Mascot: Top Daily Classroom with highest $$ will get the Challenger Comet Bear.

Every year the Challenger PTA does a fundraiser to raise money for all the programs we sponsor throughout the school year: Back to School Popsicle Social, Eager Reader, Book Swap, Book Fair, Festival of Cultures, Science Fair, Science To Go with Kate Poaster, Teacher Grants for classrooms supplies and enrichment, Art Programs, Reflections, Teacher Appreciation events and lots more! In order to run all these programs we need to raise about $50,000 for the school year (cost is about $75 per student).

All donations are 100% tax-deductible and we accept all company matching programs.

Additional Information About the Color Run:

  • The event will be at Challenger Elementary. The course will go through the field, in front of the school and the back parking lot.
  • We will not be using the powder for the Color Run. It is a very safe and non-toxic spray that will only be sprayed onto the t-shirts.
  • T-shirts will be sent home on Wednesday, May 1st. Please wear them on Friday, May 3rd for a Spirit Day!
  • LAP PRIZES: Everyone who registers will get a Color Run Punch Card. Every lap you go around the school you will get a hole punch on your card for prizes.
  • Every student must have adult supervision during the Color Run
  • Adults can participate in the Color Run Spray Stations. We will not be ordering t-shirts for the adults this year so feel free to wear a white t-shirt and join your kids!

100% of the money raised will go directly to the Challenger PTA

We need lots of volunteers to make this event successful. Please click here to sign up:
Color Run Volunteers


If your company participates in Corporate Matching, please submit your donation and send the confirmation email or a screen shot to and she will add it to your child's total donation raised.

Note: The official name of the PTA is "Issaquah Challenger 2.6.6". The mailing address could be out of Tacoma as this is where the WA State PTA offices are and our mailing address.

Lost and Found

Please check the Lost and Found for any of your missing clothing items, hats, gloves, water bottles etc. We will be clearing out and donating all the remaining items on Friday, April 26.

Comet Coin Update

Challenger students are trying to earn a school wide celebration for the last day of school. The goal is to earn 4,000 coins between April 15 and June 26. The celebration will be on June 27 and the number of coins earned will determine the activities we have at the celebration. Please remind your child(ren) to follow our school rules every day so that they can get the grand prize!

1000 Coins Earned

  • Bubbles
  • Chalk
  • Recess Equipment

2000 Coins Earned

  • Tattoos
  • Paper airplanes

3000 Coins Earned

  • Fun Snack
  • Photo Booth

4000 Coins Earned

  • Jam-Bulance
  • Dunk Tank

We will be keeping track of the overall total earned in the Atrium for all of the students to see.

5th Grade Promotion

5th Grade Promotion will be held on Thursday, June 20 at 1:20 PM. More details to follow...

Important Dates:


24 SBA Testing Begins-5th Grade

29 School Spirit Week Begins (see schedule above)


3 Popcorn Friday

3 Color Run

7 4th Grade Vocal Concert; 6:30

9 SBA Testing Begins-4th Grade

16 Site Council

18 Challenger Mariner Night

20 SBA Testing Begins-3rd Grade

27 No School-Memorial Day

The Last Day of School is June 27, 2019