Ptarmigan Elementary School

August/September 2023-2024 Newsletter

Principal's Corner

Ptarmigan Families,

The 2023-2024 school year is off to a great start! I truly enjoyed meeting many families at our Open House that was held in August.

Our three main school goals this year revolve around attendance, academics, and behavior. When a student attends school on a regular basis, their academics will soar. Even missing a day, means your student could miss the introduction of a reading or math skill and that will negatively impact their academic progress. Parents we need your help! I have already noticed that several students are missing more than 1 day of school and we have not finished the month of September. Medical appointments are important but ensure your student attends school before or after that appointment. Parents/Guardians should be calling the attendance line when your student will not be at school. The direct line to report absences is # 907-566-0400.

Every Monday our school day starts at 10:00am so our staff can meet in our Professional Learning Communities to look at student data and make adjustments to instruction. Students are able to come into their classrooms to eat breakfast at 9:50am but students should arrive at school no earlier than 9:40am since this is when we have staff posted outside.

Let’s make this school year better than the last! We can do this if you partner with us to ensure all students reach proficiency or better.


Mrs. Ramey

Ptarmigan Elementary Principal

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September 4th:

  • NO SCHOOL. Observation of Labor Day Holiday

September 5th:

  • Implementation of Dismissal Procedures w/ Dismissal Tags for Parents/Guardians

September 5th- 15th:

  • MAP and mClass testing window

September 7th:

  • Spirit Day: Jersey Day (to celebrate the 1st day of Football Season!
September 8th:
  • Spirit Day: Ptarmigan Color Day (wear Blue and Yellow)

September 15th:

  • Spirit Day: Wear Red, White and Blue to celebrate Constitution Day which is this weekend


  • ALICE drill (Violent Intruder/Active Shooter drill) at approximately 1:30pm

September 22nd:

  • Spirit Day: Tie Dye Day


The attachment below has important drill information. We will be having an ALICE drill on September 19th at approximately 1:30pm. ALICE drills are Violent Intruder/Active Shooter drills.
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Are you interested in ordering Ptarmigan Spirit Gear? Print the order form below and turn money and completed form in to the front office or your student's teacher. The first round of orders are due 9/15/2023.

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Hello, Ptarmigan students and families! I am Julie Craft, the new school nurse. I am so excited to be here and settling in with the rest of the new staff and students.

I recently moved to Alaska to be close to friends and in the process, I have fallen in love with the people, the weather (when I left to drive up north – it was 105 degrees - YUCK!), the schools, and the mountains!

I have spent most of my life and all my nursing career in Kansas. I have been a school nurse for over 10 years and have worked with various ages and abilities. I recently accomplished a BIG educational and professional goal and received my Doctorate in Nursing Practice and am just starting to figure out life on the other side of graduate school. I look forward to applying my super nursing knowledge to help take care of our students and families, so please feel free to reach out with your health questions or concerns. I am here to help.

Currently, I am working through care plans and immunizations. If your student has a health concern like asthma, allergies, or other diagnoses that might affect their abilities to participate in school activities, please let us know. If you have completed your care plans for your student/s, this school year – Thank you! It’s always better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have one. If something changes through the school year, please reach out and we can update information.

If you are still needing boosters to bring immunizations up to date, there are resources available. All public-school students in Alaska are required to have immunizations current or have an exemption on file for in-person learning. If you need information on vaccinations clinics or exemption forms, please contact the health office.

Again, I am honored to be able to be of service for the Ptarmigan community. I look forward to getting to know you and the kids.

Health and Happiness to you and yours!

Julie Craft, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

907 742-0417

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Welcome back Ptarmigan families! I hope you all had a wonderful summer.

This year Open Library will be on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:00-9:30. This is a great time for your student to come down to exchange books or get assistance in finding a specific resource.

Students in K-2 grades will be able to check out one book at a time and students in 3-5 grades will be able to check out two books at a time. We will begin the school year by practicing how to use our shelf markers and how to treat books with care. We will also start to learn where different resources can be found in our library including nonfiction, fiction, fairy tales, holiday books and beginning readers.

If you would like to search to see if we have a specific book in our library, please use the online catalog which can be located here:

If you have any questions, please let me know. I look forward to working with your family this year.

Mrs. Alyson Giammalva


MAP Testing September 5th-15th

Dear Parent,

Sometime in between September 5-15, your child will take a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a computer or tablet. MAP Growth scores help teachers check student performance by measuring achievement and growth in Reading and Math. Teachers use results to tailor classroom lessons and set goals for students.

MAP Growth tests are unique, and it adapts to your child’s responses to measure your child’s skill level. If your child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. These results will provide a more complete picture of what your child knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below their grade level.

These scores will be available on Parent Connect a few days after your student has completed the assessment. Please make sure your student gets a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast.

Thank you,

Mrs. Ramey & Ms. Black


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Ms. Keely Owens (shown left)

Hello my name is Keely Owens, I was born and raised in Fairbanks, and I moved to Anchorage in 2019. This is my first-year teaching preschool. I plan on going back to school to get my Masters degree. I have two older sisters and a younger brother. I also have a niece who is 1 and my nephews who are a month old. I love to stay inside snuggled up with a warm beverage by the fireplace. I'm excited to be part of the Ptarmigan family.

Mrs. Sarah Reed (shown right)

My name is Sarah Reed and I am new to ASD from the Matsu. My husband and I live in Palmer with our two dogs and cat and enjoy hiking, skiing, kayaking and running Hatcher Pass in our free time. I have degrees in early childhood education and TESOL and have taught kindergarten, second grade, English language learners and gen ed and special ed preschool previously. We've had the privilege of living in many states and countries, but we have chosen to settle here in Alaska. Thank you for welcoming us!

Alaska Safe Children's Act

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This letter is to let you know that your child’s class will be receiving age-appropriate lessons on child sexual abuse and assault prevention education as required under the state’s Alaska Safe Children’s Act (Erin’s Law).

Erin’s Law Education is comprised of two lessons (one lesson at the beginning of each semester) taught during the Health classes. Combined, these lessons meet the full requirements for students under the Alaska Safe Children’s Act (Erin’s Law) and are designed to help prevent childhood sexual abuse. These lessons will be presented in a non-threatening way, along with the skills needed for self-protection and will be handled in a sensitive, respectful manner.

Information about the lessons can be viewed HERE.

If you do NOT want your child to receive the instruction under the Alaska Safe Children’s Act, you must write a letter to the school principal requesting that your child be excused from these specific lessons.

Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to provide learning opportunities to improve the safety and well-being of our students.


Mrs. Kim Meck

Ptarmigan Health Teacher

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"Notes" from the Ptarmigan Music Room

The New School Year is starting with beautiful music at Ptarmigan.

All classes are singing and dancing in the music room. Fifth graders start the year off with a focus on Patriotic Music and our beautiful Alaska Flag Song. Fourth and Third graders are dancing and celebrating the new school year with the “North Wind” dance from Australia. Our second through Kindy are learning about musical citizenship, how to respect the music room and its instruments and improving our singing voices.

Ptarmigan Choir is back…….be looking for permission slips to join this fun performing group. It is for all 3-5 graders, and we will be practicing on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:00 am. We will have a concert in early December.

Lots of music, lots of fun and lots of opportunity for your child to sing, play and explore music!

Mrs. Benton

Classroom Music Specialist

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Anchorage School District Board:

Margo Bellamy (President), Carl Jacobs (Vice President), Dora Wilson (Clerk), Kelly Lessens (Treasurer), and Members: Dave Donley, Pat Higgins, and Andy Holleman.

ASD Superintendent Dr. Jharrett Bryantt.


Ptarmigan Elementary School

888 Edward St.

Anchorage, AK. 99504

Phone: (907) 742-0400

Fax: (907) 742-0425

To Leave a Message on the Attendance Line: (907) 566-0400