The Leighton News

January 27, 2023

From the Principals

Dear Leighton Families,

How did we get to the end of January so quickly?!? The first few weeks of January flew by us as we were emersed in Winter Benchmarking and Aimsweb Testing. This information helps our staff to ensure to provide differentiated learning opportunities for our students and support their continued growth and achievement while supporting any needs.

As January is coming to a close we sure have felt and seen the winter weather creep in! As the temperatures have dipped over the last few weeks, please ensure that your child is dressed for the cold weather. Students should dress in warm clothes including winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, snow pants etc . We typically go out to recess if the "feel like" temperature is between 15-20 degrees or above.

For our Third Grade families, the State has released our parent score reports. Your child will be bringing home a score report and an accompanying letter this Friday. The accompanying parent letter will explain the scores and your child's results. We are looking forward to celebrating our learners successes with you and continuing to help them grow!

We are looking forward to celebrating our teachers and school counselor during the week of February 6th - February 10th which is Teacher Appreciation and School Counselor week . Thank you to our amazing PTO who always puts together a week of wonderful surprises and appreciation for our educators who work so hard each day to provide the best possible learning environments. Please see the schedule of Teacher Appreciation Events below!

We will also be kicking off Black History Month on February 1st as we celebrate diversity and learn about influential historical figures. We consistently embrace all the things that make each of us special and support our learners in celebrating those things.

Parent/ Teacher Conferences are also coming up on February 15th and February 23rd from 5:30-8:30pm or by appointment with your child's teacher. We will be holding conferences in person but a virtual meeting can be arranged if needed. Be on the look out for communications from your classroom teachers to schedule a conference time.

As we round out January we want to continue to celebrate our amazing Board of Education this Month and we want to give a special thanks to each of them for all they do to support our students, staff, administration and schools. We appreciate each of our Board Members! Thank you Pam Mehallis, Miriam Conner, Stephen Sabulsky, Mike Acomb, and Tony Zayas for all you do!!

We are looking forward to a productive, learning filled second semester. Thank you for your continued support, partnership, and active role in your child's education.

Kind Regards,

Michelle Nizen, Building Principal

Ben Lehman, Assistant Principal

Leighton DQ Night was a huge success!

Thank you to all those who were able to come out last Wednesday, for what looks to be, an annual DQ Dine and Donate event. I can honestly say, a good time was had by all!! Randy Monahan, owner, shared that Leighton holds the record for the most orders made in a one hour time frame followed up by the 3 hours total we were there. WOW! With 30% of the proceeds coming back to Leighton, we made $2,250.00 that will be provided to the building. The total amount made in the 3 hours time span was $4,342.00. That is truly amazing and a testament to our supportive community! Mr. Lehman and I are already looking forward to next year!!

Counselor's Corner

National Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 12th -18th. Our February class lessons will focus on Acts of Kindness and I will be posting ideas to share at home on my Google Site.( Please be sure to check it out!!) I will also be sending home an Act of Kindness BINGO sheet with each student so that you can all complete it together at home!

I would like to start working on the lessons for the students pertaining to College and Career Readiness soon, but I need some help.......if you are interested in sharing information about your job or even the jobs you've had previously, please send me an email at and I'll be in touch. THANKS!!!

National School Counseling Week is February 6th-10th ~ School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big! Please know how grateful I am for your continued support in my role as Leighton's School Counselor. I so enjoy spending time with the students and hearing their stories or ideas. It is a gift to be in a position to have the ability to make a difference each day! THANK YOU!

Be sure to visit my Google Site (often) for updates and fun things we are doing!!

Tami S. Mazzella

School Counselor


Recognizing Traditions around the World: Chinese New Year Dragon made from our Leighton Students hands!

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Spotlight on PBIS!

Our 3 pillars of being respectful, responsible, and problem solvers make up the heart of our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework in our K-5 Elementary Buildings. Each week teachers have taught and reinforced these 3 pillars and what each of them looks like and sounds like in all areas of the school. This has been followed by teaching and reinforcing our 11 "focus skills" which support students in making good behavior choices and positively reinforces those choices so we continue to support and promote the prosocial behaviors we want to see! The month of January kicks off our "PBIS Reboot" where re teach or 3 pillars and what it looks like and sounds like in each area of the school. This week's focus skill is " I can be a good digital citizen ". Next week's focus will be "I can be a good friend"

Students are hard at work earning poms and filling up their classroom jars! When these jars are filled, student bring their classroom jars to the office and empty them into the Building Wide Pom Pom Pail!!

Our Pom Pom Pail located in the office is filling fast as excitement builds for our next building wide event! Our next building wide event will be a Bingo Event!

"Platinum platter" award winners abound as our classes are doing a great job demonstrating our 3 pillars during lunch and recess. Classes are always working to earn "positive compliments" during lunch and recess. Every two weeks, classes who earn the most "positive compliments" earn the right to display the "platinum platter" outside their classroom door for all to see and enjoy popsicles at lunch or an extra recess with Mrs. Nizen and Mr. Lehman.

Pom Pom Shout Out are shared over the announcements every day where we acknowledge students who have earned a special shout out for outstanding efforts in demonstrating our 3 pillars in their academic or behavioral pursuits. Students will receive a pom pom shout out classroom reward and those names are entered into a monthly drawing to pick out of our PBIS store at the end of the month.

Leighton Pride is Building Wide!

2023 Princess Prom Returns

After a hiatus due to a pandemic, the Aurora High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) presents a dazzling night of fun at Princess Prom. Aurora students, kindergarten through 5th grade, and their royal chaperone are invited to join us on February 4th from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. The proceeds of this magical event will help fund the NHS scholarships.

The cost of the event will be $25 and additional princesses are $10. Snacks, music, dancing, games and crafts, along with photo opportunities with your favorite storybook prince and princess are included in the magical night.

Ticket payment will be collected at the door the day of the event. Only checks made out to Aurora City Schools or exact change will be accepted as payment.

To reserve your space at the Princess Prom, please sign-up using the link below. Please realize that attendance is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. The link will go live beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 16th, and will close on Friday, January 20th, by noon. The link will close once full.

Teacher Appreciation Week: February 6th - February 10th

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Spanish Club Returns : Session 2

After a successful introductory session of Spanish Club, we are pleased to say that we will be offering a second session beginning in February. This is a pilot year for Spanish Club and we are using our sessions this year to gather feedback and data in order to learn what works best, and to strategically structure the sessions for next year.

For this reason, and due to the extremely large waitlist, it has been decided that this second session will initially be offered to the first 24 5th graders who are on the waitlist. Parents of these students have already been contacted, and we will continue to reach out to 5th grade parents further down on the waitlist if a spot becomes available. We will also be using this session to determine how to proceed for the third and final session of this school year (which will begin in April).

We appreciate the ongoing excitement for this club, as well as everyone's patience and understanding. Our goal is to include as many students as possible, while also making it the best experience we can for those participating!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Kayt Binns at or Lauren Brancazio at

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PTO News

February 1st

Our next meeting will be on February 1st, 2023 at 6:30PM at the C&I building (119 W. Pioneer Trail). Mrs. Kinkoph will be joining us as a guest speaker to discuss internet safety, share more about LES Media, and more! We'll also be doing a fun giveaway, and announcing the venue for this year's Mother/Son event. Hope to see you there!

February 6th-10th

Teacher Appreciation Week will be celebrated February 6th-10th. The week's schedule has been finalized and included in this newsletter. If they haven't already, Class Head Room Parents will be reaching out soon with class specific information. Based on feedback from our recent member survey, AEPTO will be providing staff lunches from Ol'chefski's on Wednesday 2/8, as well as staff breakfast on Friday 2/10. We're looking forward to this special week dedicated to celebrating our amazing teachers and staff!

A special THANK YOU to our head room parents for helping make this week a success!

February 14th

Valentine's Day class parties will be held on Tuesday, February 14th at the following times:

  • 3rd grade: 10:15-11 AM (volunteers arrive at 10AM)
  • 4th/5th grades: 2:30-3:15 PM (volunteers arrive at 2:15PM)
The Sign Up Genius links are posted on Schoolze, and volunteer spots are now available to all Leighton families. Please see the following links to view and sign up for any remaining volunteer spots.

3rd Grade:
4th Grade:
5th Grade:

Thank you for volunteering your time!

AEPTO is continuing to make the transition to the Schoolze app for communication, including updates, volunteer sign up opportunities and upcoming events.

PTO members should have received an email invite to join the Schoolze app. If you haven't already, we encourage you to register to help avoid missed communication. Non PTO members can also access some of the posted information by visiting https://aurora elementary

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you need the invite sent again, please reach out!

May 7th, 2PM - Solon High School Auditorium

AEPTO is partnering with the Harmon High PTO (HHPTO) to proudly present Magic Gives Back. “Magic Gives Back!” is a new and unique fundraising platform developed specifically for local schools and communities. Rick Smith, Jr., the magician, has been featured on the Ellen Show and Shark Tank. This program offers an opportunity to buy tickets to a Las Vegas-style Stage Variety and Illusion Show; an entertainment experience that everyone can experience and enjoy together with their family and friends.

This is a one-day only event and there are a limited number of tickets. Tickets will sell quickly, so please purchase as soon as possible to reserve your seats. The site is now live and you are able to purchase tickets.

Please see the previously sent email for more information and details on how to register for prize giveaways.

Gionino's Give Back Event - February 13th, 10:30AM-9PM
Treat your family and friends to some delicious pizza while also giving back to our community and supporting AEPTO. 20% of the day's proceeds will be donated back to AEPTO.

Kalahari February 16th
While we are happy to share that we sold out of all of our rooms, we do apologize to any families that were unable to take advantage of the discounted room rates. We hope to make this an annual community event in the future!

Monster Jam at Rocket Mortgage Field House - February 18th/19th
Special discounted tickets are being offered for the Monster Jam on February 18th and February 19th. Most shows are nearly sold out, so get your discounted tickets while they are still available. There are a few different show times to choose from, and you can use the following link and code to purchase tickets.
Code: NEOPTA22

AmazonSmile - discontinued
Unfortunately, we have received notification that Amazon has discontinued this program. Thank you to those who participated in the brief time it was available!

RaiseRight makes fundraising easy. Give back to the organization by purchasing gift cards for daily use or for gifting to others, and the retailer gives a % back to AEPTO. Cards can be ordered through a website or app, with some also being reloadable for regular use. 750+ top retailers participate and they determine the % back (up to 25%, with 6% being the average). You can sign up at using AEPTO’s code (8HBWMFJ4XLVS).

1/28: Cleveland Monsters Family Night, 7PM
2/1: AEPTO Meeting C&I Building, 6:30PM
2/4: Princess Prom, hosted by NHS
2/6-2/10: Teacher Appreciation Week
2/13: Gionino's Give Back Event, 10:30AM-9PM
2/14: LES Valentine's Class Parties - 3rd Grade 10:15-11AM, 4th/5th Grade 2:30-3:15PM
2/15: LES Parent/Teacher Conferences 5:30-8:30PM
2/16: Kalahari AEPTO Event
2/17-2/20: No School - Teacher In-Service Day and President's Day
2/21: MES Kick-Off to Kindergarten 6:30-7:30PM
2/23: LES Parent/Teacher Conferences 5:30-8:30PM

2/28-3/14: Foertmeyers Spring Flower Fundraiser (Pick up 5/7)
3/5: Ol'chefski's Give Back Event, 12Noon-7PM (or until sold out)
3/6: No School - this is a recently board approved change to the district calendar

If you need any additional information or have any questions please contact the PTO Leighton VP at

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Aurora Schools Foundation

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Leighton Elementary Ready Club

Hot Lunches/ Lunch Menu


Two ways to pay for school lunches: Parents can either send their student in with money to pay for lunches (and they can bring in any amount essentially) or pay online! Parents can go to the Aurora Schools Website and go to Lunch Accounts on the left side under the quick links tabs to get to the MY Payments Plus section and add money to their kids account in this manner as well. The cafeteria staff would appreciate any efforts to pay in advance online if possible over bringing in money. If you have any questions please reach out to Brandon Zimmerman at

Here is the link for My Payments Plus:

We are excited to be working with a new food service provider called the Nutrition Group! They are working to provide balanced and healthy meals to our children each day.

Click on the link below for the school lunch menus

Please reach out to Sal Arquilla at for any questions.

Car Riders: Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

Just a few important reminders in regards to pick up and drop off for car riders to continue to help us maintain a smooth, safe, and efficient pick up and drop off. Thank you so much for your support and help in following our safety procedures.

1. Please pull all the way up to the "unloading" zone at the top of the car line when dropping off or picking up. This allows us to load as many students as possible into their cars.

2. Please exit on the passenger side only as getting out on the other side presents safety issues for students.

3. Please DO NOT pull around cars unless a teacher motions you around. This is for the safety of our students. At times, cars may be stopped to wait for a student to get in. Please wait for the adult outside to motion cars through the traffic flow pattern.

4. Please make sure your child is ready to exit when they reach the front of the car line .

5. Please be sure to have your orange tag in your car window visibly so staff can see it when calling students to cars. If you need another orange tag, please ask a staff member who is outside.

Thank you for your help in making the car line run as smoothly and safely as possible.

Important Dates and Reminders


2-3 NO SCHOOL ~ Winter Break

4 School Resumes

4 PTO Meeting at C&I Building (10:00 AM)

6 Report Cards Distributed

11 Club and Candid Picture Day

16 NO SCHOOL ~ Martin Luther King Day


1 PTO Meeting at C&I Building (6:30 PM)

14 Valentine’s Day Parties

15 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

17 NO SCHOOL ~ Teacher Professional Day

20 NO SCHOOL ~ Presidents Day

23 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

Clinic Updates

Please remember that when you take your child out of school for a doctor or dentist appointment, the State of Ohio requires that a doctor's note be brought back to the school for attendance purposes. You can give the note to the secretaries in the main office. If you have any questions, please contact Joy Sharrotta at the main office at 330-954-2206 or email her at

As a reminder, please monitor your child for any illness -related symptoms and contact our school nurse if you have any questions. We appreciate your attention to this.

  • Check your child each day for any signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, vomiting or diarrhea they need to stay home. For cold/flu-like symptoms such as cough, congestion and sore throat that are not well contained, it is preferred they stay home. If you would like your student to have cough drops at school, please send them in with a note or email the clinic.
  • Students sent home with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea may not return to school until they are free of these symptoms without medication for 24 hours. This means if your child was sent home in the afternoon he/she may not be able to return to school the next day. If your child returns too soon, our school nurse may be calling for you to come to pick him/her up if your child is not feeling well. Thank you for your support and efforts in this area.
  • We have COVID-19 home testing kits available that we can send home with any child or family should you question symptoms or exposure. We will be able to answer any questions about these kits should the need arise.

  • Please make sure your Final Forms medical information is up to date. We will closely read the health sections to address any medical concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Tanski in the clinic at 330-954-2285 or email her at