The Eagle Soars

Sunflower Elementary - December 7, 2018

Things to Put on Your Calendar!

Monday, December 10

PTO Dining Night at Planet Sub 4:00 - 10:00 pm

Shining Star Recognition of James "Red" Ingle at Board of Education Mtg 6:00 pm

Wednesday, December 12

4th Grade Choir Caroling at Leisure Homes

Thursday, December 13

Happy Bear presentation for Kdg and 1st Grade

Building Junkbots 3:30 - 4:30 pm (see below for registration information)

Friday, December 14

Sunflower's Got Talent (during grade level specials)

PTO Parents' Night Out 6:00 - 9:00 pm

View our online calendar (select individual events for more details):

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Congratulations to James (Red) Ingle, Evening Custodian at Sunflower Elementary, for being selected as one of second quarter Shining Stars for USD231!

Red will be recognized at the Board of Education meeting at 6 pm on Monday, December 10, for his outstanding service to USD 231 students and staff.

If your schedule allows, join us at the meeting and show your support for Red and his strong work ethic. Way to go, Red!

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The LIT Lab's Makerspace is looking for several items for upcoming projects. Things that would be useful would include soda cans/bottles, plastic cups, googly eyes and paper towel rolls. We can also use plastic baby wipe containers, outgrown socks (holes are ok) and cork!

Building Junkbots (Robots from Recycled Materials)

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, USD 231 is offering a FREE after school "Maker" session!

Join Dr. Tracy Platt, USD 231 Technology Integration Specialist, for after school fun for one night only! In this FREE session, students will be working with "Building Junkbots" -- Robots from Recycled Materials.

Grade Level: Grades 3-4

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Location: Sunflower Library

Cost: FREE

Date: December 13

**You may only attend at your home school**

**20 students max per session**

**You must arrange to pick up your child at 4:30 pm**


Happy Bear Presentation for Kindergarten and 1st Grade

On Thursday, December 13, we will welcome a special visitor, Happy Bear. Happy Bear is the main character in an entertaining, interactive 25-minute live play. During the performance, the students will teach Happy Bear about a very important type of safety...personal safety.

Happy Bear is part of P.S. It's My Body! which is a child abuse prevention program at Sunflower House, a center that serves Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. Sunflower House has performed the Happy Bear play for more than 34 years in area elementary schools and preschools. A trained Sunflower House staff member will present the program, which will discuss recognizing welcome and unwelcome touches. The play incorporates humor and audience participation to allow children to teach Happy Bear about personal safety.

By talking with our young children about these important safety issues, we will create a safer community for all children. If you have further questions about the Happy Bear program, please refer to the Happy Bear section of this website:


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It's 3rd Grade's Turn for a Family Fun Fitness Night!

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Cold Weather and Recess Policy

With winter weather upon us, please review the information below from the elementary handbook regarding recess.

There will be no outside recess when:

  • The temperature is 20 degrees or below,
  • The wind chill index is 20 degrees or below, and/or
  • There is significant precipitation.

Teachers may take their class out briefly for fresh air at their discretion. Students should be prepared for sudden changes in Kansas weather. Dress appropriately!

Holiday Assistance

We cannot believe the holiday season is upon us. For many, this season is filled with joy and laughter. We also understand that the holidays can be a stressful time for some and we want to help. If your family could use any support during the holidays, please contact our counselor, Mrs. Marlene Gabriel ( All information shared will be confidential.

Nurse's Notes

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Park and Walk Parking Lot

It takes a village to protect and keep our children safe. As a reminder, if you choose to remain in your vehicle when dropping your child off in the morning, please proceed to the drop off lane.

If you are using the crosswalk to safely escort your child to the building, the "Park & Walk" lot is available for this purpose. This is used for the same purpose in the afternoon during dismissal.

A Note from the District Office

A change in the student use of microwaves in Sunflower’s cafeteria will be taking place beginning January 7, 2019. The microwaves currently accessible to students will no longer be available. No other elementary school in USD 231 has microwaves available for student use. There are several reasons for the removal of Sunflower’s microwaves. Chief among them is student safety. A microwave can pose potential risks for children. The most common microwave injury is burns. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children can be burned by removing dishes from the microwave, spilling hot foods or liquids, opening containers, and eating food that is cooked unevenly or has hot spots. Secondly, Sunflower has seen an increase in the number of students needing to use microwaves at all grade levels. This has resulted in longer wait times and a decrease in the amount of time students have to eat their food. Finally, time spent assisting students with pre-packaged meals limits the active supervision adults can provide to all students.

It is recommended foods prepared at home be transported in insulated containers so they are ready to eat with no further heating or preparation needed. USD 231 Nutrition staff are not able to re-heat foods brought from home in the Sunflower kitchen.

I appreciate your support as we make this change at Sunflower Elementary School.

Christi Whitter

Director of Elementary Education

Enroll Now for the Next Session of Young Rembrandts!

Make this a memorable winter by signing up your elementary child in a Young Rembrandts drawing class. Your child will learn about basic design and composition as they draw the Fish Below Ice and Great Wall of China. If your child is fond of sports, they will enjoy drawing our illustration featuring a Hockey Player. Besides strengthening your child’s drawing and coloring skills, he or she will also learn about art history as we present lessons featuring master artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Franz Marc. Enroll your child today!
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Join the USD231 Team

Applications are being taken online for District-wide Paraeducator positions. Paraeducators assist licensed teachers in student training. They work in primary, secondary and high schools and qualified paraeducators also work with students with special needs. The aim of a paraeducator is to facilitate a positive learning environment for students and allow for their personal, social and intellectual development. Please call Human Resources at 913-856-2016 for more information on how to apply, or click on the picture to the right to start the application process.

Sunflower Site Council Meetings 2018-2019

The Sunflower Site Council will be meeting at 6 pm in the library on the following dates: 9/11/18, 11/13/18, 2/5/19, 4/9/19.

All meetings are open to the public.

Kansas schools are required to establish site councils composed of the principal, teachers and other school personnel, parents, business representatives, and other community groups.

Site councils have a responsibility to provide advice and counsel in the following areas: evaluating district and school performance goals and objectives,

determining methods to meet those goals and objectives,

and other areas as requested by the board of education.

Remember, the work of the site council is advisory only;

it makes recommendations, not decisions.

Sunflower PTO

Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has been an integral part of Sunflower Elementary for many years. Through fundraisers and fun events, they are able to provide funds to teachers, classrooms, and the school.

We invite everyone to join the Sunflower PTO Facebook page. By searching "Gardner Sunflower PTO" under Pages, you will be able to join the group and receive updated PTO information.

Follow Us on Social Media!