Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

February 1, 2013

Spring is on the way???

Punxsutawney Phil or Tustumena Bill, neither one of them is likely to see his shadow this Ground Hog’s Day, so I guess that is good news according to legend. Of course, in Kasilof, February 2 not likely to be the end of winter but it could be the beginning of consistent weather. (Even if it is snow)

Regardless of the weather, the school year is marching right along. For example, by the end of the February, our sixth grade families will be gearing up for the 2013-14 school year by attending the SMS, KMS, or other middle school orientation programs. The earlier you register the greater the likelihood your child will receive the elective classes they are most interested in.

The meetings about school configuration in the greater Soldotna area continue. Our site team had an open discussion about the option of configuring the schools as K-6 schools (Tustumena, Sterling, K-Beach, Soldotna Elementary, Redoubt, and Montessori,) feeding into two middle schools grades 7-9, and one high school. There will be an open meeting at each of the schools on February 11 at 7pm. The Tustumena meeting will be held in our library. Community members are welcome at any of the meetings. The information presented will be the same at each meeting but the questions may have different perspectives depending on the site. Administrators will gather feedback at the end of each meeting. This feedback will inform a report that will be presented to the School Board. For more information you may wish to visit these two links: http://bit.ly/SoldotnaAreaSchoolsKPBSD. or the January 10 meeting recap link is direct to the PDF: http://bit.ly/10January2013.

UPDATE: as of 2-1-13

· The Peninsula Clarion ran an article yesterday. This is the link in case you didn’t see it. There was an error in the initial print version that has been corrected online, and also a correction note was printed in today’s paper: http://bit.ly/12e8LsS “Schools to Talk About Change” by Rashha McChesney

Just for further proof that the school year is blazing by, our 3rd end of quarter in-service day is just a little over a month off. On March 8 there will be no school for our kids, but our teachers will be focused on collaboration. As I have observed the Tustumena teachers this year one thing stands out- they are exceptional teachers. The best resource for them to improve their practice is working with each other, so we will spend most of our time on March 8 examining effective and efficient practices of collaboration focused on improving student learning. I am looking forward to spending time and working with these professionals as we sharpen skills. The cliché I use most often to describe our professional development is “As iron sharpens iron,” We will also spend time clarifying how our vision and practice supports the overall vision of KPBSD. ( The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will empower all students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and insights necessary to live rewarding, productive lives, prepared to contribute to the global community.)

I am looking forward to seeing each of you at our Parent/Teacher conferences on February 7 and 8. If you have any questions for me, please stop by my office.


Douglas Hayman

What's coming up.

February 1- D/W Battle of the Books grades 3/4

February 1- Carnival- 5:30 to 8:30

February 6- D/W Battle of the Books grades 5/6

February 7-8, Parent/Teacher Conferences

February 11- Soldotna Area School Configuration Information meeting - 7pm- Library

February 14- Valentines Day

February 14- 4th Grade NAEP Testing

February 15- Mighty Meatballs Itailan Dinner 6th Grade Fundraiser

February 19- PTO meeting- 4pm

February 25- Site Counsel Meeting - 4pm

February 26- SMS 6th Grade Parent Night Orientation @ SMS 6:30 pm

Love of Reading

We’re Celebrating: “Love of Reading”

February 11th-15th 2013

Here are some of the exciting events that will be occurring during “Love of Reading Week”!

Monday – *Door Decorations – Decorate door with a reading theme

Tuesday-- *Bookmarks – Make/Decorate bookmarks to share later in the week

with buddy readers

* Readable Hat or T-Shirt Day – May wear an appropriate readable

t-shirt or hat.

Wednesday- -*Pajama or Sweats Day-- Read-In -Wear pajamas or sweats and get

comfy to read. Students may bring a blanket, pillow or stuffed


Thursday-- *Valentine’s Day

Friday-- *Buddy Reading/Bookmark Exchange

*Reading Rainbow/ Popcorn

Lots of kids out with the bug.

More news for flu's

10 Things to

Help Stop the Spread of Germs


1. Cover your coughs & sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into your elbow.

2. Throw out used tissues in the trash.

3. Wash! Wash! Wash your hands! Wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday”song twice).

4. Clean hands with 60% alcohol-based hand cleaner when you can't get to a sink with soap. Be sure to rub your hands until they are dry (no water needed).

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way. 6. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

6. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

7. Avoid sharing food and drinks.

8. If you are sick with flu-like symptoms the Department of Health recommends that you stay home from school or work and not return until one to two days after the symptoms end.

9. Call or visit your health care provider for further advice if you become ill.

10. Do your best to stay healthy—Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, manage your stress and eat nutritious food.

From SMS

A piece of SMS’s communication plan is to send home a letter to families of your 6th graders to invite them to our Feb 26 Parent Information Night. I have attached the letter. I need your help with this piece: could you, please, see that it is copied and sent home with your 6th grade class/es by Feb. 5? It would be greatly appreciated.

Future communication about the transition plan:

1) SMS will mail a post card to your families as a follow up to the letter.

2) Plus, Mr. Truesdell will also do an “alert now” call to 6th grade families close to the Feb 26 evening event.

3) I’ll write next week to you, your secretaries and 6th gr. teachers regarding our upcoming visits and the need for lab time for registration on PS; very similar to last year’s visit & lab use. Any questions, please call me.

Thank you for your help with all of this,

Karen Ruebsamen

SMS Guidance Counselor


More from SMS

January 31, 2013

Dear Families of Sixth Graders,

We at Soldotna Middle School are very excited to begin discussions regarding your child’s plan for seventh grade! Whether you are considering Soldotna Middle School (SMS) or another school in our district for the 2013-2014 school year, we invite you to come to a parent information night on February 26, 2013, at 6:30 PM. There will be refreshments, entertainment by our Music Department and a video highlighting our co-curricular sports. Each family will receive a DVD that explains aspects of SMS’s daily routines and a special course guide of the electives that we offer. Student Council will lead tours through our building and the administration will be available to explain the district’s enrollment process. SMS’s teachers will be available to meet and greet our most welcomed families.

Please reserve this spot on your calendars, Tuesday, February 26, at 6:30, for a fun filled hour of learning all about Soldotna Middle School. We look forward to meeting you.



Sarge Truesdell