The Leighton News

February 11, 2022

From the Principal

Dear Leighton Families,

Happy Friday! What a great week we had with the culminating event of our Valentine's Day Parties!! I was asked by a few students this week what my favorite holiday was and I believe they were expecting my answer to be Christmas because of all the holiday fun or 4th of July since it is during summer break, but my answer was "Valentine's Day" because it is a day where we can spread joy, kindness, and love to others! In a world where we can be anything and being kind is paramount, I feel very grateful and blessed to be a part of a great educational community filled with acts of kindness from all stakeholders each day! Enjoy the pictures below of our special Valentine's Day parties today!

We are also looking forward to celebrating World Kindness Week next week with our Random Acts of Kindness "Paper Chain" Challenge. Anytime a student shows another student a random act of kindness throughout the week, they will add their act of kindness to a paper strip that will be added to create a chain. Our building goal is to make a chain around the media center or the center of our building.

Our Imagination Destination Student Club will be selling Kindness Grams and Kindness Bracelets during lunch times next week. Kindness Grams are $.50 and bracelets are $.50. See below for more information. Thank you to our two facilitators of this student led group, Erin Toler and Stephanie Quinn. Bring your change and let's spread kindness!

Just as we will watch kindness grow this week, we are excited to continually watch our students grow as they soar with their strengths and continue to set learning goals that foster continued growth.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kind Regards,

Mrs. Michelle Nizen, Building Principal

Mrs. Maria Goodman, Assistant Principal

Safety Protocol Update

Please find attached Mr. Roberto's latest safety update including the Ohio Department of Health shift from universal contact tracing and exposure notification in schools to cluster based model, meaning contact tracing is no longer recommended unless there is a cluster outbreak as determined by the Portage County Health Department or if there is an outbreak concern brought up by the district.

As shared above the Portage County Health District has discontinued universal contact tracing and similar to last year, with the decrease in cases and supporting data, shields in the lunchroom have been removed in our K-5 buildings. All other safety measures are still in place including distancing, assigned seats, cleaning protocols between each lunch switch, and all students sitting in homerooms, as well as split lunchtimes so only half the number of students eat at a time. We also have all of our district/building wide safety measures in place including cleaning protocols, hand washing and sanitation protocols, distancing of 3 feet when possible, staggered times when appropriate in the building to reduce traffic, and consistent building wide reminders to staff and students about all safety protocols and procedures. We continue to be diligent and responsive to all situations and wanted to keep our families up to date. Thank you for your continued partnership!

Counselor's Corner

Hello and Happy February! Our class lessons this month surround kindness and acts of kindness. Please be sure to check my Google Site (link below) for information about Random Acts of Kindness ideas and also an opportunity to help with our College & Career Readiness activities.

THANK YOU so much for your continued support!

Be sure to visit my Google Site (often) for updates, resources, and fun things we are doing!!

Tami S. Mazzella

School Counselor


Snowman Contest - Recess Challenge

We had some fun in the snow this past week as we learned about a "Snowman Challenge" from Parks and Rec! Our lunch staff brought this opportunity to my attention and with all the snow from the large snowfall the week before, we all enjoyed building some snowmen. See pictures below that will be submitted to Parks and Rec for their "Snowman Challenge"! We had so much fun at recess this week and are excited to see how we did!
Big picture

Valentine's Party Pictures!!

World Kindness Week- Let's Spread Random Acts of Kindness!

February 14th through Februray 18th is World Kindness Week! You might remember the Kindness Tree that grew exponentially throughout February last year with all the acts of kindness students displayed and shared on a paper heart that acted like leaves on our kindness tree. It was awesome to watch the kindness grow and spread!

This year we are going to create a “kindness chain” that will stretch around the walls of the media center in the hallways for students to watch grow as they spread kindness! Each grade level will have a different color strip of paper. Each time students display an Act of Kindness they will fill out their act of kindness on a strip of paper and add it to the chain. We can't wait to see our kindness spread and grow around the heart of our building.

Our after school student club called Imagination Destination comprised of a group of 4th and 5th Graders wanted to help spread kindness a little more!! This student group is working to give back and is working to raise money for a service project to support injured and homeless Australian Wildlife.

This thoughtful group of 4th and 5th Graders will be helping to spread kindness by selling Kindness Grams during all lunch times Monday, February 14th-Thursday, February 17th to support their service project. Students can purchase Kindness Grams at lunch for $. 50 and include a handmade bracelet for another $.50. See flyer below. Bring your change and let's spread kindness!

Spotlight on PBIS

We continue to capitalize on opportunities to teach and reinforce our 3 pillars of Being Respectful, Being Responsible, and Being a Problem Solver through our daily words and actions and celebrate our students' successes with "caught being good tickets." Each week we teach our students "focus skills" based on the data from the previous week including any referrals or situations that have arisen. This week's focus skill is I can worry about myself.

Our UDL (Universally Designed Lessons) hone in on each focus skill allowing us to explicitly teach those skills, reinforce them, and connect them to our strategic vision including our 6 competencies of a learner (critical thinker, collaborator, innovator, resilient, balanced, and empathetic). Ms. Mazzella also capitalizes on teaching these skills in her classroom lessons focused on various topics including friendships, growth mindset, perseverance as it relates to school work, etc.

We are looking forward to announcing our next Golden Fork winners next week for demonstrating our 3 pillars in the lunchroom and at recess while following all the expectations. Congratulations went to Mrs. Parker, Ms. Most, and Mrs. Samelko who earned the Golden Fork last week and will be getting ready to pass it along to the next winning classes to display outside their classroom doors.

Our next monthly PBIS office raffle will be Friday, February 25th. Students will continue to turn in their caught being good tickets to the office and a building-wide drawing will take place, where caught being good tickets will be read over the announcements and students will pick a prize from our PBIS rewards cart.

Here are some great resources to support your PBIS efforts at home. Thank you for your partnership!

PTO News

Yearbook Orders: Yearbooks are now on sale! The sale runs through February 21st. Please use the link to purchase your yearbook

Password: leighton22

Mother/Son Bowling Night: Join us for a special outing for our boys and a special grownup in their life at Roseland Lanes on 3/5/22. Attached to this email is the registration form which also came home last week in student folders. Please send money in at the time of registration. Also, while we know how disappointing it is to hear, the Princess Prom is unable to be held this year. It is typically organized by the NHS at the high school. We, the PTO, are trying to come up with an alternative event for our girls until the dance will be able to be held again. We appreciate your patience while we work this out, and welcome any great ideas you may have!!

Bowling Registration Form:

PTO ELECTIONS: There are board positions for next year! It's a wonderful way to volunteer in your child's school! Please consider joining the PTO board and helping to plan fun and meaningful events for our elementary schools!!! If you have any questions, or would like to talk to a current board member, see the emails below:

PTO President: Katie Stump
Craddock Vice President: Lindsey Twarogowski

Miller Vice President: Erin Toler

Leighton Vice President: Natasha Rodriguez-Olah

Treasurer: Ashley Keating

Secretary: Bridget Sable

Head Room Parent Communication:

If you would like to receive communication from your head room parent, please click on the link and fill out the form.

Aurora Schools Foundation

Aurora Schools Fundation is a wonderful organization that helps Aurora Schools fund innovative projects through grants that go beyond the school budget. For instance, Leighton Elementary students are learning code due to a grant from ASF! Cara Morelo's, Math Coach, wrote a grant for 39 robots which provides an out of the box way for kids to work on math skills, problem solving, and coding. This grant was an expansion of a successful pilot program at Craddock with these robots. We are so blessed to have a wonderful PTO and Aurora Schools Foundation to support our staff, students, and teaching and learning! Please see the following website below for more information!

Website :

Important Dates and Reminders


9 PTO Meeting

11 Valentine’s Day Parties

17 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

18 NO SCHOOL ~ Teacher Professional Day

21 NO SCHOOL ~ Presidents Day

23 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

Please see some reminders in regards to our car rider line

1. When a teacher shows the stop signal with their hand or does not motion for your child to exit the car please do not let them get out of the car.

2. Please DO NOT pull around cars unless a teacher motions you around. This is for the safety of our students.

3. Please make sure your child is ready to go when they reach the front of the car line.

Thank you for your help in making the car line run as smoothly and safely as possible.


Click on the link below to view the school lunch menus. We are excited to have the Nutrition Group supporting our lunch program this year. Our students have been enjoying the variety of options. We HIGHLY encourage you to check the menu each week to see if any changes will be occurring.

Student Attendance

Please remember that when you take your child out of school for a doctor or dentist appointment, the State of Ohio requires that a doctor's note be brought back to the school for attendance purposes. You can give the note to the secretaries in the main office.

Clinic Updates

As a reminder, please monitor your child for any COVID-related symptoms and contact our school nurse if you have any questions. We appreciate your attention to this.

  • Check your child each day for COVID-related symptoms. If your child is showing any symptoms whatsoever, it is best to keep him/her home to monitor.
  • Students sent home with a fever, may not return to school until they are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. This means if your child was sent home on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. with a fever, he/she may not return to school until Thursday. If your child does return the next day, our school nurse will be calling for you to come to pick him/her up. Thank you for your support and efforts in this area.
  • We have COVID-19 home testing kits available that we can send home with any child or family should you question symptoms or exposure. We will be able to answer any questions about these kits should the need arise.
  • Please make sure your Final Forms medical information is up to date. We will closely read the health sections to address any medical concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Tanski in the clinic at 330-954-2285 or email her at

**** If your child will be absent for an extended period, please reach out to your child's teacher and they will get school work ready for your student for the period of the absence. You may pick up the work outside the main office on a table that will be labeled with your student's name. We are a google district and utilize google classroom in our 3-5 classes. Please check in with your child's teacher about any google classroom posting and/or assignments in his/her absence.

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures and Transportation

As a reminder, you can find our arrival and dismissal procedures here.

Thank you for all your assistance on helping us make sure our arrival and dismissal procedures are safe, smooth, and rapid.

For transportation information go to: (cut & paste into your browser)

The login information is as follows:

User name = jane.smith (That is the students first name period last name with no spaces) Password = students date of birth 01012021 with no characters or spaces between mmdayyear

Please be reminded we now have GPS on all of the school buses. You can see when the bus is to arrive at your home. Download the app "versatrans my stop" from the app store and sign in the same as above. If you have any questions or concerns with transportation, please email us at