Chugiak Chatter

April 10, 2020

Dear Chugiak Families,

As I sat down to write for this edition of the Chatter on Thursday, Governor Dunleavy was announcing that Alaska’s school closure will continue through the end of this school year. Though some indicators suggested this decision may be on the horizon, the confirmation brought a finality that felt surprising nonetheless. When hearing of the closure, some initial thoughts may focus on the spring traditions that will be missed this school year. We all share in the sadness and disappointment that reality brings.

Yet with the certainty of knowing we will continue our distance learning model through May allows us to plan in greater detail for memory-making of a new, unique sort! In this letter you will find a wonderful offer from Tricia West for connecting kids and families with one another. Thank you, Tricia! Teachers, staff, and parents are now free to plan memory-making events that will connect us in mind, heart and spirit, if not in person. If your child is not already keeping a 2020 writer’s notebook or journal, I encourage you to set them to the task! Looking back on this period of time five or ten years from now will be remarkable when captured in the words and thoughts of a six, eight, or ten-year-old.

Included in this letter is a link to some Conscious Discipline posters, videos, and games you may enjoy to get kids moving and boost their energy mid-day. Additionally, here is a 30 minute webinar from Becky Bailey about supporting your children if they are experiencing stress or anxiety from the uncertainty of our current situation. Adults who are interested in exploring some strategies for positive and productive childcare while kids are not in school, may wish to follow that link to a one-hour recorded webinar hosted by Randy Sprick. Dr. Sprick's classroom management and schoolwide discipline programs are in use at Chugiak. One gem from this piece is that “we have to get parenting (or grandparenting!) right at least 51% of the time.” I like those odds!

The official school closure announcement raises questions about our plan for collecting students’ items from classrooms. I am in communication with the school district about parameters and timelines for returning belongings to students and families in a safe, efficient manner. While the timeline is unclear as of today, the process will be communicated as soon as plans are arranged and you will able to collect your child’s belongings in the coming weeks.

As always, you and your families are in our thoughts. We wish you all well and invite you to contact us with any questions or needs you may have.


Heather Mildon

Parent Resources

Zoom for Parents

Do you Have Zoom Questions? Want a Zoom Play Date?

Great news! Tricia West, Chugiak parent volunteer and PTO member, is offering Zoom Tips & Tricks sessions for parents. You are invited to come connect with other Chugiak parents through a scheduled Zoom session in which Tricia will share how to start and manage your own account, schedule and host meetings, or answer Zoom-related questions you may have. Once you're up and running with Zoom, you might like to host a lunch or play date to connect your kids with their classmates. During this Zoom session, you might connect with another parent or two who would like to schedule a kid connection. Zoom sessions for next week are listed below. We hope to see you there! If you cannot make one of the sessions or would like to connect with Tricia independently to ask other questions, she invites your contact via email at

· Monday: 4/13 at 11:30am - zoom meeting ID: 148-377-102

· Tuesday 4/14 at 4pm - zoom meeting ID: 888-470-252

· Wednesday 4/15 at 6:30pm - zoom meeting ID: 781-797-725

Big picture
Positive and Productive Childcare While the Kids Are Not in School
Big picture

Our New Official School Business Partner

Welcome to Bear Mountain Espresso and their newly "official" status as a School Business Partner with Chugiak Elementary! We are appreciative of their support for Chugiak Elementary now and in recent years, and are equally excited to formalize our connection through a School Business Partnership.

Bear Mountain Espresso is located at 19235 Old Glenn Hwy, not far from Chugiak Elementary. Their rockstar baristas are there to serve the community from:

  • 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and
  • 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on weekends!

The Anchorage School Business Partnerships (SBP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission To engage community to inspire youth toward a vibrant future. SBP provides connections, tools and resources for meaningful partnerships between schools and local business organizations. Participating businesses range from large for-profit corporations, state entities, to one-person operations. Each partnership is designed to serve both student needs and the business mission.

We are sending Bear Mountain Espresso a warm welcome and a hearty thank-you for partnering with us in support of kids and community!! If you would like to learn more about School Business Partnerships now or in the future, please give us a call at Chugiak!

Letter from the Librarian

Wondering what to do with all of those library books? I will keep you posted if/when we can turn them in, but for now, keep them, hold them, read them, smell them, love them!

Need a new way to read? Check out these ideas!

  • Read outside in the sunshine
  • Read under the covers with a flashlight
  • Make a blanket fort and read inside
  • Read with different voices
  • Call a friend or family member and read to them

I miss you all and can't wait to see you all again! Until then, keep reading, keep using your imagination, and keep smiling!

Jackie Welge

Big picture

Teacher Poetry Month Challenge

If you haven't visited the school website to view these teachers' short videos, do it! You will not regret it. Here's the link!

New content is added occasionally so keep checking back. Aren't they great?

Interested in taking the challenge?

Our School Community is the Best

As you know, meal distribution continues at Chugiak Elementary. Patsy, our Café Manager says the number of meals passed out increases daily. While catching up today, she shared several stories that reinforce what we all know about our school community. She told of the generosity of neighbors bringing Pizza Man lunches for the workers at the school, a kind drop off of hot cocoa another day, a generous donation of home sewn masks, and always the overwhelming gratitude for the meals and a friendly face. Patsy and her crew say thanks and we concur. You guys are the greatest!