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Hello Susitna Optional Families

Thank you all who were able to attend our SOPG Parent Meeting last week. Sad to say our Education Speaker about Bullying, Jan Davis was unable to attend due to a family emergency. We will reschedule her to talk hopefully for the March Parent Meeting.

Copy of Parent Meeting Highlights will be posted to the website. Click here

****I have updated the email list. If you are receiving this email and your child no longer attends Susitna Optional or you would rather not receive this please unsubscribe to these emails at the bottom.

Thank you,

Sara Crewdson

SOPG Board Member

Reminder: Art Intensive for Kaladi Art Show is Wednesday (9:15-11am)

If you are available to help out our students during this time, please come join us in making the Art for our Kaladi Art Show.

Susitna Optional is making a difference in the Anchorage community!

British Petroleum Wives presented Susitna Optional with a framed thank you last year.

Upon request, Susitna Optional donated two pieces of student art from the Kaladi Art Show that was sold for $5,000 each at their big fund raising event for Children's Lunch Box.

Additionally, student art at the Kaladi Brothers Show earned $2,000 which was given to Adams Camp.

Three pieces of student art was also donated to the Empty Bowl for their silent action.

Looking forward to this years Kaladi Art Show! Lets keep making a difference!!

Upcoming Events!

Jan 13th - Art Intensive for Kaladi Art Show (9:15-11am) Volunteers Needed, contact Mrs. Gene at for any questions.

Jan 18th - Martin Luther King Day - NO SCHOOL/NO CAMPFIRE

Jan 22nd - Game Night (AKA:Sledding Night) (5pm-8pm) - Sign up Here! (Need Volunteers!)

Jan 27th - Parent Work Night - (3:30-7pm)

Jan 29th - K/1 Learning Lunch (12-1pm)

Feb 3rd - Parent Work Night at Kaladi Brothers on Patterson-Preop for Art Show (Sign up)

Feb 5th - Kaladi Art Show (on Patterson) (4-8pm)

Feb 15th - Presidents Day - NO SCHOOL/NO CAMPFIRE

Feb 17 & 18th - Parent Child Conferences (1/2 days, 12:20pm dismissal)

Feb 26th - Dr. Seuss Birthday Breakfast (8-8:45am in Gym)

Feb 26th - PACT - Need Volunteers (Click Here)



Located by the MPR

*All items left at the end of year will be donated!

JEC PRESCHOOL KINDY 101 - Jan 19th @ 5pm

We are already getting questions from parents of preschoolers who are kindy-bound this fall about kindy options, ASD holidays/breaks, before-and-afterschool care, how the lottery works, etc.

So we are going to have a "Kindy 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Kindergarten But Didn't Even Know You Were Afraid To Ask" meeting at the JEC, Tuesday January 19th at 5pm.

We would LOVE it if any of you could attend, represent Susitna, the Optional Program, parents of recent kindergartners, etc. We have several former JEC kids now at Susitna.

Please contact:

Selena Hopkins-Kendall

JEC Preschool Administrator

ph 337-1672 cell 830-9442

GO MATH EDUCATION- Jan 19th (6-8pm) @ ASD Education Center

Learn more about Go Math! from teachers and curriculum experts. Each parent session will have smaller group sessions based on grade level. The night is structured this way so that parents with students in multiple grades can attend multiple sessions. Instructors will go over specific math problems that students will learn during the second quarter. There will be a computer lab for parents to practice accessing the online math materials.


Visit our School Month Tours start in February Every Tuesday

Community members, businesses and parents are invited to visit any ASD school during the month of February to learn more about the community's public schools. While schools welcome members of the public year-round, this coordinated effort provides parents and community members an opportunity to learn more about the many educational opportunities available.

The safety of our students will always remain our top priority. All people on tours will be checked in through normal procedures that visitors follow. Principals and school staff will be leading the tours and tour groups will never be unsupervised. Students will continue classroom activities during tours and the tours will not interfere with student learning. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Feb 2nd @ 9:30am

Feb 9th @ 9:30am

Feb 16th @ 9:30am

Feb 23rd @ 9:30am & 6pm

Please let your friends and family know to visit our school!

We Need Volunteers to Lead Tours in February! If you can help Lead a tour please contact Lucinda or call the front desk 741-1400

Please Log Your Hours!!

Please Note: Emails have gone out over Winter Break with your Total Hours Logged.

Please Log your Hours! Click HERE!

Please refer to the Disclosure of Hours on the website for more information. Donations toward hours are also available: $20/per Hour
Your involvement really does make a difference for the teachers and in your child’s development.

Thank you to the Families that have Logged their hours so far!

For inquiries about your hours logged please email SOPGSUSITNA@GMAIL.COM.

If you still need a few hours, no worries, here are a few ideas on ways you can volunteer.

  • Helping in classrooms (wash tables, read with a child), help after school (Copy and Laminating projects), parent work night (Next couple are Jan 6th & Jan 27th, anytime between 3:30-7pm), doing work from home (just ask your teachers)

  • We still need volunteers to help in Field trips, and upcoming events like Art Intensive (Jan 13), Sledding Night (Jan 22), Kaladi Art show set up (Feb 3), PACT (Feb 26 & Apr 29), Family Dance Night (April 29), Spring Intensives (May 5 & 6), Spring Bike trip (May 16) and year end picnic (May 19).

  • HELP COORDINATE OUR EVENTS - (Each worth 26 Hours)

  1. Spring Intensives: Coordinator to help Ms. Brittany as needed.

  2. SOPG Last Day of School BBQ: Assistant Coordinator to help Sara Crewdson plan and operate this event.

If you are interested in helping coordinate an event this year, or would like more information please email me at

Please check out Our Website and sign up under volunteers needed if you can help!

Donations towards hours are now available. You have the option of payment/donating of $20/per hour. If you find that your current situation doesn’t allow for volunteer time or you come short on hours, you can donate to make the difference. Please contact Amber if you are interested or need more information. Disclosure of Volunteer Requirements

Thank you again for all your help,

Susitna Optional Parent Group

SOPG is specifically dedicated to supporting the Open Optional Program at Susitna Elementary. We perform functions similar to a PTA and we work closely with the teachers in the Optional Program, as well as Susitna's PTA. Key responsibilities include: assisting with PACT days (Parents and Children Together), Intensives, with Community Outreach projects, and with events like the Fall Ice Cream Social, The Spring Family Dance, spring/fall Bike Ride/Picnic, and the Year-End Barbecue.

The Susitna Optional Parent Group, or SOPG, is a volunteer parent group comprised of parents or guardians of children in the Open Optional Program at Susitna Elementary. SOPG is led by a volunteer advisory board consisting of a Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Members at Large.

The Current SOPG Board Members are

(to email click on member name)

Chair: Rhiannon Benedetti
Co-chair: Sara Crewdson

Secretary: Jessica Blackson
Treasurer: Amber Epps & Kathy Hammon

Members at Large: Ida and DJ Litteral

Members at Large: Angel Solter

Members at Large: Melanie Scallo

Members at Large: Need Volunteers Please!

Please Join: Facebook Group Page

Welcome to Susitna Optional Parent Group! "A caring community of critical thinkers" This group page is hopefully another way to help us all keep connected throughout the year for information about meetings, events, volunteering, parent hours, etc.

Check out our SOPG Website

The purpose of this site is to provide information about the Susitna Optional Parent Group, as well as those just interested in learning more about the Open Optional Program at Susitna Elementary.


Your involvement really does make a difference for the teachers and in your child’s development.