Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

February 2, 2016

What would schools be like...

What would schools be like, if every kid got the opportunity to learn more about what they are really interested in? What if schools partnered with their communities to bring in experts in fields like fly tying, water color painting, gardening, architecture, cooking, and more? What if schools had teachers that have the opportunity to share their own passions and interests?

Our staff has developed a program that starts by asking students, “What are you most interested in?” And, at the same time they ask our community, “What passion would you be willing to share with our students?” The result is our School Enrichment Model (SEM).

The SEM is a schedule of multi-aged clusters that are interest-based. Students with similar interests are matched with instructors (teachers and community members) with one goal in mind, produce the “something” that would be the logical product of real people who have this interest. Make learning real.

The first SEM schedule occurred in early December. Students produced everything from soap to trout flies. They learned karate skills, water color techniques, grain grinding, and more. And, they were excited about what they learned. Each student walked away with more than a physical product or skill, they walked away with an exciting story to tell or write about, a new interest to read about, understandings about the angles that made their bird houses stay together, and the list goes on. Every student learned more about their passion.

Our next SEM schedule will be occurring during the last few weeks before Spring Break. Students are already signed up and excited about the opportunities. They will be dancing, drawing, building, and all manner of other methods of “learning more” about their interests. And then, they will share their passion with others.

“What would schools be like…?” They would be like Tustumena.

Thank you for being part of this community.

Doug Hayman


Love of Reading Week - February 8-12

Monday * Bookmarks – Students will make bookmarks to share later in the week with their buddy readers.

Tuesday * Door Decorations – The Children will decorate their classroom door with a reading theme (favorite author, book title, or anything to do with reading). * Readable Hat or T-Shirt Day – Children may wear school appropriate readable t-shirt or hat.

Wednesday Pajama/Sweats Day and Read-In - Classes will wear pajamas or sweats to school and get comfortable to read. Teacher determines time and length for read-in. Students may bring a blanket, pillow or stuffed animal to snuggle in and read.

Thursday *Buddy Reading/Bookmark Exchange

Friday – Valentines Party

Registration for Pre-K and Kindergarten

Our pre-registration is over, but you can still stop by to pick up or drop off registration packets for our Pre-K and kindergarten programs. Just stop by the office or call 260-1345.

The Mighty Meatball Italian Restaurant is open February 12th 5:30pm $5 each

Good food prepared and served by the sixth grade students of Tustumena Elementary. The "trade up" auction is to follow"

Health Tip from Mrs. Abel

“Grief is a normal response to loss (death, divorce, a move, or any major change). It may include feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. To help others deal with loss, provide consistent routines, be honest, give choices when possible, give them a chance to say goodbye or talk about who or what was lost when they are ready, listen without judgment, respect their way of grieving, allow them a break from grieving if needed (don’t push the topic if they don’t want to go there), and consult with a professional if needed.”

Up coming events


3- Early Release - 2:05pm

4-5 - No School- Parent/Teacher conferences

9- Grades 5 and 6- Battle of Books

10- Grades 3 and 4 - Battle of Books

12- Mighty Meatball- 5:30pm

16 - PTO meeting

18, 25, and March 3 - SEM 2pm to 3pm each day- Need Volunteers

27 - Saturday- District Forensics Match - Need Volunteers

29- Site Council 4pm


11- No School- Inservice Day

14-18 Spring Break

Collaboration Day and In-Service Day agendas

February 3-

  • ALICE protocol discussion and planning for next drill to include transportation to KCC
  • SEM schedule and planning

March 11-

  • SEM analysis and archiving for 2016-17 school year
  • Walk through of ALICE drill
  • Teaching the new way- Intentional questioning
  • Standards-based reporting

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