Otsego Elementary Extra

Principal's Weekly Update - December 8, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Kendra Hartenstein

Miss. Hartenstein is an Intervention Specialist that works with grades K-5 at Otsego Elementary School. Miss. Hartenstein has been teaching for 4 years and has been employed at OES for three of those years. She earned a Bachelor’s degree as a Mild-to-Moderate Intervention Specialist from Bowling Green State University in 2014. She is currently working on a Master of Education in Special Education with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Bowling Green State University. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, kayaking, traveling, and spending time with family.

Holiday Shop Volunteers are still needed!

Volunteers are still needed to help students choose gifts for their list that fit their budget, wrap gifts, checkout, setup both days, and inventory on the final day. Sign up online: otsegopto.com

PTO Drop and Shop

Tonight, Friday December 8th.

6pm - 9pm at the Elementary

Elementary students only. $10/child at the door, $20 family max

Drop off the kids and enjoy a night out to holiday shop or a quiet dinner while they play some games, eat pizza, watch a holiday movie, eat popcorn and write a letter to Santa!

PTO Holiday Shop!

During the dates of Tuesday December 12 and Wednesday December 13, PTO will set up a Holiday Shop at our school. The Holiday Shop will contain over 100 different items ranging in cost from 25 cents to $5. All of the students will be invited to shop and purchase gifts for their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, relatives, and friends. Some of the gifts include jewelry, magnets, ornaments, mugs, tools, key chains, and many other quality items at reasonable prices.

The Holiday Shop is fun for the students and also educational. This experience will teach your child about the value of money, budgeting, and comparative shopping in a safe, non-commercial environment. There will also be parent volunteers on hand to help the children shop.

Please use the Shopping List envelope provided to help your child plan their shopping list. Mark the appropriate line for each person on the list along with the amount of money budgeted for the individual.

An envelope will be sent home this week - so look out for it! Return it to the school with the money enclosed. Cash and checks are accepted. PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO OTSEGO PTO. The envelope will serve as a guide for the volunteers that will be helping the children.

We need your help to make this project a success. We are asking for volunteers to help throughout the day. A few hours of your time would be appreciated. If can help, you can sign up online any otsegopto.com! Click on our “volunteers” page. Questions? Please email opto@otsegoknights.org.

Thank you!

Otsego PTO

Knight In Shining Armor Nominations

Please use the following form to inform OHS Student Council about a family in need within the school district. While the family does not need to have students in the district, we do ask that they are a member of the Otsego Community. Please use this form to share information about their current situation as well as how they can best be assisted.

Please be sure to understand that while Knight in Shining Armor (KISA) would love to help all community members in need, we are still a new program, and may not have the funds to do so. With that being said, we will consider each request on a case by case basis. Filling this form out does not guarantee that we will be able to assist the family, but we will try our hardest to do so!

Here are some things that we have done with KISA funds:

  • School supplies were purchased for multiple families.
  • Gas money has been provided to get to and from medical treatment.
  • Food cards have been provided to help families afford meals while going through medical treatment.
  • Cash donations have been made to families to help assist in paying bills during medical treatment.
  • Gift cards and supplies have been provided to help make ends meet after housing emergencies have occurred.

Please refer to this link at any point during the year as a need arises, and KISA will do their best to help out!


Prepare for Outside Recess

Students will be going outside for recess everyday unless it is raining/sleeting/snowing in excess or below 20 degrees with wind chill. As the weather is starting to get colder, please make sure your child has a coat for recess. Students that we feel are not dressed properly will be kept inside. If it is below 50 degrees, students can NOT go outside with only short sleeves.

Donations Needed

Parents! As many of you may know, the technology in our district has greatly expanded this year. We are now a 1:1 district, with each student K-12 having access to a Chromebook in their classroom. This provides great learning opportunities for our students and allows them to be 21st century learners! As we have been implementing Chromebooks into the curriculum with our youngest learners, we have found the trackpads on the Chromebooks are tricky for little fingers to manipulate, and they do much better with a mouse. Many students have mentioned old technology at home that is no longer in use. If you have an old mouse at home that you no longer need, please consider donating it to the Elementary. Our little hands would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

~Jessica Martinez, Computer & Technology

3rd Grade Music Performance: The Grumps of Ring-A-Ding Town

INFOhio Early Learning Portal for Preschool Children

Preschool educators and family members now have a new resource with which to engage preschool children. Visit the INFOhio Early Learning Portal; an easy-to-navigate site contains more than 50 websites and apps chosen and evaluated by educators and librarians with expertise in early learning and literacy.

The free INFOhio Early Learning Portal helps preschool children:

  • Learn letters, numbers and basic knowledge;
  • Interact with other children and adults;
  • Engage in meaningful play; and
  • Develop focus and problem-solving skills.

Each resource supports Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards for school readiness.

Parents and educators also will find tips on appropriately integrating technology into a preschool child’s learning.

There is also a customizable one-pager preschool teachers can send home with children, with suggestions of apps the teacher can encourage parents to try out!

Nearly all resources in the portal are available for free.

Facility Use

We are getting a lot of texts, emails, and calls about the facility uses. We really want to use the program that we purchase for requests. Please Click Here to use school dude for facility requests. This is the most efficient way to request the facilities. We have a ton of requests and we do want to miss any.

Reminder to anyone that wants to use/rent our facility. Joyce Wright takes care of all facility uses for the entire campus. To access the program you’ll go to otsegoknights.org – Buildings – Facility Rental. Click Here

The facilities page of our web-site has detailed instructions on how to get started. The first time you access the program you’ll be asked to register as an organization. Once that step is complete you’ll be able to go in and request a rental date. Multiple dates can be added with one request.

Don’t hesitate to contact Joyceif you have any rental questions. You can reach me at 419-823-4381 ext. 3100 Or you can email me at jwright@otsegoknights.org.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Morning Drop-Off

  1. Please use the entire length of the drop off zone (even past the crosswalk) to keep the line moving. If all cars pull up as far as they possibly can we can fit more vehicles along the sidewalk and more students can exit at a time. This will make drop-off go quicker while maintaining safety.

  2. Students should only be let out on the side of the car that is next to the curb. This is to avoid students being hit by a moving car in the lane farther away from the curb. If your student needs to get out on that side of the car, please park in a parking spot and have your student walk into the building using the crosswalk.

  3. Please do not stop in the crosswalk. If you are dropping a student off, please do not stop your car in the crosswalk. This is a safe place for students to cross, and when there are cars in the crosswalk it creates a safety concern.

  4. The second lane is for driving only. No students should be let out of the car in the lane farther from the curb. Students should only be exiting cars onto the sidewalk so that we can ensure their safety.

  5. Please remember to NOT park your car in front of the school! The line needs to keep moving to efficiently get students into the school in a timely manner, and when there is a parked car in the drop-off line, the whole process gets backed up. If for some reason you need to leave your car, please use the available parking spaces.

Afternoon Pick-Up

  1. Please use the entire length of the pick-up zone (even past the crosswalk) to keep the line moving. If all cars pull up as far as they possibly can we can fit more vehicles along the sidewalk and more students can get into their vehicles. This will make pick-up go quicker while maintaining safety.

  2. Please do not stop in the crosswalk. If you are picking a student up, please do not stop your car in the crosswalk. This is a safe place for students to cross, and when there are cars in the crosswalk it creates a safety concern.

  3. The second lane is for driving only. No students should get into their car in the lane farther from the curb. Students should only be entering cars from the sidewalk or by using the crosswalk so that we can ensure their safety.

  4. Please remember to NOT park and leave your car in front of the school! The line needs to keep moving to efficiently get vehicles out of the pick-up zone in a timely manner, and when there is a parked car in the line, the whole process gets backed up. If for some reason you need to leave your car, please use the available parking spaces. If you are parked while you are waiting for your student (and you are IN the car), that is fine.

THANK YOU so much for your understanding and compliance with these procedures to ensure our students’ safety. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time!

Phone Number Changes


If your phone number has changed and needs to be updated in our system PLEASE call the office with that information. There have been many recent issues where we do not have the right number or it has been disconnected when trying to contact a students parent or guardian. It is crucial that we have a working number in the event of an emergency.

Thank you

A Note from the School Nurse:


This year we have the following over the counter medications listed on the enclosed document stocked in each office. Please fill out the form and return to school with your child. We are hoping to cut back on parents needing to bring medication in and/or prevent sending students home. Hopefully this makes it easier on parents, teachers and staff.

Several students have been bringing cough drops with them to school without a note. Students may not take these without written permission from a parent/guardian. We have this listed on the form as well.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to call me at 419-823-4381 ext. 4002.

Thank you,

Jane Gray RN, BSN

Food Service


We have a large amount of negative lunch balances this year. Please check your child's back pack for low/negative balance letters. These are sent home twice a week, Tuesday's and Thursday's.

You can also track your child's purchases and balances by setting up an account on the K12 payment center. You do not need to pay online to track your child's account. You can also set up alerts to warn you of the low balances.

Per the school policy children are allowed to charge only 3 lunches. Once they are over 3 lunches they will receive an alternate meal. They are not allowed to charge breakfast or ala carte items.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Jeanne Jeffers

Director of Food Service

Otsego Local Schools


419-823-4381 ext.1104


Sign up to receive text messages from our Transportation Department!

The transportation department will send out a Remind alert when a bus is running at least 10 minutes late.

Using the directions below, sign up for one or more of the notification groups.

You may opt-out any time by texting ‘unsubscribe’ to the appropriate group.

High School & JH Buses (Bus Routes for grades 6-12 & Penta)

Text: @otsbus6-12 to 81010

Elementary Buses (Bus Routes for grades PK -5)

Text: @otsbuspk-5 to 81010

If you have any questions about bus routing information, please contact Eva Vasher at evasher@otsegoknights.org or 419-823-4381 ext. 3156

Important Dates


December 12-13 - PTO Holiday Shop

December 20 - Spirit Day - Wear Your Ugly Holiday Sweater

December 22-January 2 - NO SCHOOL, Holiday Break

January 3 - NO SCHOOL, District Professional Development/Work Day

January 9 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

January 10 - Grade Cards Sent Home

January 15 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 6 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

February 16 - NO SCHOOL, District Professional Development/Work Day

February 19 - NO SCHOOL, President's Day

February 20-23 - Jump Rope for Heart

March 6 - PTO Meeting, 6pm

March 27 - 2nd Grade Music Performance, 7pm

March 30-April 8 - NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

With 2017 coming to a close and the holiday season well underway, it is easy to feel joyous. For some (including our kids) however, the holidays can be a challenging time. This maybe due to a recent change in family structure, such as divorce or the passing of a loved one. Other factors can include stress over holiday schedules, such as having to split time between family members, the increased pressures of the holidays to find the perfect gift, time constraints, and unrealistic expectations. I would like to address some ways that we can support our children and ourselves during this busy season.

First, set realistic expectations. It is normal for young children to feel jealousy and/or sadness when a gift or experience does not meet their expectations. To minimize this, it can be helpful to have a conversation as a family about your interests and budget for the holidays. If it is possible, allow you child(ren) in on the holiday planning and preparation.

Make a plan. The holidays are a time we spend with those we love. However, it takes most of us out of our daily routine. As adults this presents it's own challenges but can be even more difficult for children who thrive when on a consistent schedule. Make a plan for the activities that need to be completed, and focus on giving back while doing so, can be a fun way to provide them with structure, love, and support.

Finally, while the holiday blues can be normal for some, please watch for any of the following symptoms as they maybe signs of a deeper issue:

Sadness and/or irritability
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
Changes in eating habits
Weight changes
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling ongoing fatigue and exhaustion
Feelings guilt
Trouble thinking or paying attention
Thoughts of being worthless and/or hopeless

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms please contact your healthcare provider right away. Have a happy and safe holiday season. May you spend the rest of 2017 with those you love, creating memories that will last a lifetime. And may 2018 bring you many blessings, laughs, and adventures.

Best Wishes,

Miss Syrowski

Don't forget to check out our counseling website for ongoing updates and information. http://oesknightscounselor.weebly.com/

Otsego PTO

Check out the PTO on Facebook and follow on Twitter @OtsegoPTO


The next PTO meeting is January 9th at 6:00 in the Elementary Library.

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Follow Us on Twitter

Preschool: @OtsegoPreK

Kindergarten: @OtsegoK

1st Grade: @OtsegoFirst

2nd Grade: @OtsegoGrade2

3rd Grade: @OtsegoGrade3

4th Grade: @OtsegoGrade4

5th Grade: @OtsegoGrade5

School Counselor: @OEScounselor



Please help our students by collecting tabs from aluminum cans. Each tab is easy to remove and can be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. The tabs help fund various projects for Ronald McDonald Houses and its visitors. Send the tabs in a bag to the school and our students will do the rest!


You can help the school earn money for supplies by collecting Box Tops. Our PTO collects and counts them and puts the money straight back into the school. (We earn 10 cents per Box Top). If you are able to collect a lot of these, it would be great if you could turn them in in groups of 50, but we will take them even if they are not grouped together.

Heard a rumor or have a question?

Please send me an e-mail or give me a call!

Bonnie Armitage

Administrative Assistant

Jenny Helberg

Administrative Assistant

Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl

School Resource Officer