Gardnerville Elementary School

Cougar News: March 22 - June 2022

Greetings from Principal, Mr. William Harvey

Hello GES Families-

As we approach the anticipated start of Spring, there are a few upcoming important dates and events that I want to make you aware of. First, March 7th and 8th are Professional Development days for teachers, so students will not be at school. Next, the GES PTSO and Staff are excited to announce the return of Family Bingo Night on March 17th, more information will be coming home regarding this event. Please make sure you stay up to date with events and happenings at GES by checking the GES Website and/or Facebook frequently, since Spring can be a busy time of year in school.

Spring in school also means we are heading toward a busy testing season. All 3rd-5th grade students will participate in the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBAC) for ELA and Math, with just 5th graders also taking the SBAC Science assessment. In addition, in May students will take the Spring Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) tests in Reading and Math. We are very aware that students may experience testing fatigue, so we have created a testing schedule that allows assessments to happen over a span of weeks, while also not testing every day of the school week. Although we do have test make-up days built into our schedule, please try to have your students at school on the days the tests are first administered, thank you!

As of now, here is a snapshot of important testing dates:

· ELA SBAC- 4/12-4/14

· 5th Science SBAC 4/27-4/28

· Math SBAC- 5/3-5/5

· K-5 MAP- various days in May

I am very proud of my staff and all of our students for continuing their journey towards personalized learning for all students. I have mentioned previously, this is known in DCSD as EPIC Learning. Most recently, staff have been working on making learning more transparent for students by utilizing learning roadmaps and data notebooks. You may have heard your child talk about a learning roadmap that lays out the learning progression for a unit of study. A learning roadmap guides students toward understanding what standards and topics are to be learned in their grade level. Furthermore, using a data notebook, students can then track their own learning by monitoring their progress on classwork and assessments. I have been visiting classrooms and asking students to share their data notebooks with me, and I am highly impressed at how well students are able to articulate what they are currently learning, what are their next steps in learning, and what actions they need to take to be successful. Great job, everyone!

Last, but certainly not least, I want to share with you a recent change to the Gardnerville Elementary School administrative team. As you may know, Ms. Ravenscroft split her time between GES and SES, she has recently changed her work schedule to work solely at SES. I want to thank her for all that she has done in her time at GES. With this vacancy, Mr. Sean Ryan joins GES as our new Assistant Principal. Mr. Ryan comes to us after having served in administrative roles at the Lake Schools, PHES, and DNO. Please join me in welcoming him to our GES community.

Together In Education,

Bill Harvey, Principal

Calendar of Events

Upcoming important dates:

  • March 7th and 8th - No School (Staff Professional Development)
  • March 13th - 'Spring' ahead 1 hour
  • March 14 - 18 - Book Fair Week
  • March 15 - PTSO Meeting 4 pm, Office Conference Room
  • March 17 - Pizza BINGO Book Fair Night, 5:30 - 7 p, MPR
  • March 21 - Early Release - School ends at 1:44 pm
  • March 25 - Spring Picture Make-Ups

  • April 4 - Early Release - School ends at 1:44 pm
  • April 12 - PTSO Meeting 4 pm, Office Conference Room
  • April 18-22 - No School (Spring Break)
  • April 27 - Book Mobile @ 8:20 a.m.

  • May 2 - Early Release - School ends at 1:44 pm
  • May 5 - Family STEM Night, 5:30 - 7 pm, MPR
  • May 16 - Early Release - School ends at 1:44 pm
  • May 17 - PTSO Meeting 4 pm, Office Conference Room
  • May 19 - Music Concerts - grade level, schedule pending
  • May 25 - Book Mobile @ 8:20 a.m.
  • May 30 - No School (Memorial Day)

  • June 2 - Last Day of School - Minimum Day, School ends at 12:45 pm
Kindergarten and New Student Registration

A child must be 5 years old on or before August 22, 2022 or have completed a PreK program and be five on or before September 30, 2022. Click on the link to register.

Big picture

What's Growing On?

The Gardnerville Elementary School GIFT Garden - Spring 2022

The GES Garden has been mostly sleeping over the winter months. Although several hoop houses have been growing radishes, kale, broccoli and beets. It is truly amazing what will grow in our hoop houses during the winter months! The garden team has applied for the Nevada Mini Grant Cash for Classroom Projects. We are hoping to receive this grant in order to buy two more mini green houses.

What’s next??

Our spring theme is pinks and reds! Classroom gardening will be begin soon with our mini green house. Come check out our red noodle beans and our Easter egg radishes! We are planning to bring back our favorites like our potato bins, celery, tomatoes, lemon cucumber, grapes, pelleted carrots of many colors, and many more greens. Be on the lookout for possible chicken visitors come May!

How Can You Help??

  1. We would love volunteers to help with garden lessons with our garden coordinator extraordinaire Marci Barrie. If you would like to help, please contact the office for a volunteer packet!

  2. We will need garden support over the summer. We are looking for families that would be willing to check on the garden a couple of times during your chosen week. Harvest, weed, and make sure the water in the garden is looking good. If you would like to help with this, please contact Lauren O’Neill at 782-5117 or via email!

  3. We are always looking for donations to support our garden!!

Best, Lauren O'Neill, Reading Specialist

Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)

Please join us for the Pizza BINGO Night on March 17th in the MPR, 5:30 - 7 pm. We look forward to a very fun evening with our Cougar families.

Meetings are the third Tuesday of every month in the school office conference room. The next meeting is March 15th at 4 pm. Due to Spring Break, the meeting in April is on the 12th. We are always glad to welcome new attendees, so feel free to reach out or pop into one of our meetings. We look forward to seeing you!

2021-2022 Board Members

Philip Ruffo, President

Maggi Vandenburg, Vice President

Andrea Holdridge, Treasurer

Whitney Everett, Secretary

Mark your calendar! Come enjoy pizza ($3.00) and play BINGO with your family on Thursday, March 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Mark your calendar! Come enjoy pizza and play bingo with your family on Thursday, March 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

School Counselor - Shaunda Vasey, M.A., NCC

6th Grade Registration

On March 9th, Carson Valley Middle School counselors will come to GES to speak to our fifth graders about middle school courses. This is super exciting. Be sure to turn in your forms on time so that your child has the best chance of getting his or her desired elective choices.

Parent Survival Tips for Middle School Transition

For children going into middle school, there are many anxieties, apprehensions and fears to deal with and overcome. Middle schools are larger than elementary schools, the school work is harder, there are more classes and more teachers – all with different expectations and personalities. If you have a child who is entering middle school for the first time, know that it is normal for your child to express concern.

  1. Don’t be too anxious about your child going to middle school. Talk about the middle school experience in a positive way! Your enthusiasm and support can help make this BIG change in your child’s school life a positive one.
  2. Help your child develop an organizational strategy.
  3. Talk about social skills. Talk about traits that make a good friend. Discuss how words and actions can affect other people. Practice skills needed for difficult social situations.
  4. Openly communicate with your child. Keep the lines of communication open between your child and school staff. Be informed, listen, and talk to your child.
  5. Encourage your child to get involved in school activities! Have them join a team, club, or other extra-curricular activity and attend after-school events.
  6. Help your child to be his or her own advocate. Encourage your child to discuss problems and solutions with teachers on their own, but be ready to help as needed. If a problem arises in a particular class about assessment/homework, email the teacher directly.

Home of the Cougars!

We educate students from Pre-K, Kinder through 5th grade.

Principal, William Harvey

Assistant Principal, Sean Ryan

Head Secretary, Raquel Johnson

School Secretary, Sonia Alvarado-Lyons

Health Office

Attendance at school is very important. Health and wellness are a major factor in good attendance and achievement. So, to keep your child healthy…

  • Feed your child a well-balanced diet. Limiting processed foods.
  • Take your child for physical and dental checkups.
  • Keep your child at home if they are showing signs of illness. If you are unsure whether your child should attend school based on the symptoms they are exhibiting, reach out to the school’s health office for advice. Keeping your children home when they are sick, prevents them from spreading illness to others especially those who are immunocompromised.
  • Help your child practice cleanliness. Insist on regular hand washing, bathing, and clean clothes. Washing hands after every bathroom visit.
  • Children need daily exercise. Limit screen time and opt for outdoor play when weather permits.
  • Make sure your children get plenty of rest. Most young children need 9-10 hours of sleep to function at school. Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system.
  • Emotional health is as necessary as physical health. Happy, stable children perform better in school. Quality time with parents, where conflict and stress are kept to a minimum, is important to a child’s emotional health as well as physical health.

With screens virtually everywhere, it can be challenging to monitor a child’s screen time. “Screen time” is referred to as activities done in front of a screen, such as the TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, electronic devices. So how do you manage your child’s screen time? Start by limiting screen time to 1 to 2 hours a day. You can decrease screen time by doing the following:

· Removing electronic devices from your child’s bedroom.

· Do not allow screen time during meals or homework.

· Do not allow your child to eat while watching electronic devices.

· Do not leave shows/movies/videos on for background noise. Turn on the radio instead or have no background noise.

· Suggest other activities, such as board games, puzzles, construction toys like Legos, or outdoor play.

· Decide with programs to watch ahead of time and turn the device off when those programs are over.

· If it’s hard not having a video on, try using a sleep function so it automatically turns off.

Too much screen time has been linked to:

· Obesity

· Inadequate sleep schedules and insufficient sleep
· Behavior problems
· Delays in language and social skills development
· Violence
· Attention problems
· Less time learning

With the warm weather months quickly approaching us, here are some tips to keep those little outdoor explorers safe:

· Apply sunscreen of at least 15 SPF 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to reduce the intensity of UVRS that cause sunburn.

· Drink plenty of water and fluids to prevent dehydration.

· Limit sun exposure, especially between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. when UV rays are strongest.

· Make sure outdoor play areas are safe to prevent injuries.

· Protect yourself and your children from mosquitos and other bugs by using insect and tick repellent.

· Always supervise children when around a body of water to prevent drowning.

· Provide adult supervision when children are playing outdoors to prevent injuries and respond quickly if problems arise.

Fourth grade hearing and vision screenings will begin in Spring. Letters will be sent home to parents. If you wish to opt out of these screenings, please have your child return the letter to their teacher or health office. Letters will be sent home in the next couple weeks.

Danielle Goldstein, GES Health Aide – health office hours are 8:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

775-782-5117 ext 2507

Lost and Found

Please stop by the MPR to see if a jacket, lunch box, or hat can be reunited with your child! We have a collection of glasses, keys, and miscellaneous small valuables in the Office, as well. Items remaining at the end of the school year will be donated to charity.

Reading Adventures

With the cold weather and Spring around the corner, what could be better than to share with your child a wonderful book that made you love reading?! Dust off that old copy of Nancy Drew or The Cat in the Hat or The Gorilla Did It and read it to your family. Share the reasons why you enjoyed the story and your favorite parts. Then take your reading family on the following adventures:

  1. After completing the story, cook a book theme dinner! Make name cards for the characters and rename some of your family’s favorite dishes to go with the story.
  2. Design a family reading challenge. Each family member could write three questions about the book on slips of paper. Younger children may dictate. Put the slips in a cup and let each member of the family draw out a question and answer it. The winner with the most correctly answered questions gets to be “King or Queen Reader” until the next match!

By sharing your love of reading, you will inspire your child to look more closely at the importance of reading. Value reading and children will too!

Book Fair Week - March 14 - 18

Open times: March 15th and 18th, from 2 - 3:30 pm at the MPR/Stage, and during our planning family Pizza BINGO Book Fair Night on March 17th from 5:30 - 7 pm. Your purchases support literacy at GES!

See you at the Book Fair! Lauren O'Neill, Reading Specialist

Infinite Campus - Parent Portal: Is your information current?

Please take a moment to ensure ALL of your demographic information (address, phone numbers, and emergency contact) is up-to-date. In the event your child is ill or in the case of an emergency, it will enable the Health Office or Office to reach you quickly.

In order to make corrections, log into Infinite Campus (for Douglas County School District and select Parent Portal). Follow the steps below in order to update this valuable information:

1. Select your student

2. Select 'More' on the sidebar to your left and select existing online registration.

3. Follow the the steps as indicated.

Note: It is important that you click on Send Update after each entry or amendment to SAVE. You may repeat this as often as necessary.

Infinite Campus is a valuable resource for parents and will help to expedite requests that you might have. Please call the Office for further assistance.

Reporting Student Absences

Please call our attendance line before 8:30 am at 775-782-5117 to excuse your child's absence. You're also welcome to send an email to or a written note to the Office at the earliest opportunity. Unverified absences will be updated to a truancy after 3 days. We are able to accept doctor/dental notes to waive absences and tardies. Thank you for your ongoing communication with the school.


Spring has sprung and the library is blossoming with new and well loved books. It is time to “check them out”.

In March we celebrate “NV Reading Week”. In April, we start the month with “National Library Week” and we continue celebrating with “School Library Month”. What a great season of celebrating Books and Libraries. Our bulletin board is fluttering with origami butterflies and titles students have enjoyed.

Here are some books and series that are capturing interest:

  • If your student loves the Dogman and Captain Underpants books by Dave Pilkey, they might enjoy his new series Cat Kid.
  • Author Stacy McAnulty, proud Earthling, is continuing her nonfiction series “Our Universe” with Mars! Earthlings Welcome. It begins with an invitation to all inhabitants of Earth (Planet Awesome) to visit Mars (Planet Marvelous). This series is a fun and amusing way to discover facts about our Universe.
  • Crows Genius Birds, is the newest title in the “Science Comics” nonfiction series which has really taken off with students. Taking the newest scientific information into account, various authors cover subjects from Sharks and Dinosaurs to Robots and Trees and many more… The narrative style creates an enjoyable and readable information book.
  • Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird and illustrated by David Small is a fast paced and fun novel about a small town farm girl who wants to someday see the world. She encounters a retired legendary circus queen and finds herself trying to stay on the back of a racing Ostrich, her ticket out of town if she can just stay on…

Enjoy your Spring. Mrs. Petite, Librarian/Media Specialist

Morning Routine

Please remember there is no supervision on the playgrounds until 8:40 am. Drop off or allow your child to come to school after 8:40. Exception - students eating breakfast may enter the Multi-Purpose Room at 8:30 am.

Remember to leave the drive-through area clear for flowing traffic. Cars may not be left unattended and drivers are to pull forward to empty spots along the curb, allowing other cars to get into the parking lot. Thank you to all of you who have made arrangements to meet your walkers at a designated 'outside' meeting place.

Cell Phone Use at School

Many of our children carry cell phones today and for good reasons. Students at GES may have their cell phones for use before and after school, yet cannot be used during the school day. Student cell phones must be turned off upon arrival at school, after 8:40 a.m. Phones must remain turned off until school is dismissed at 3:14. We also encourage safe storage of cell phones during the school day. To contact your child between 8:40-3:10, please call the school office at 782-5117 to relay important messages to your child. Cell phones may be confiscated for improper use and kept at the Office for parent pick up.

Volunteer/ Visitor Sign In

It's important for all parents, approved volunteers, and visitors to sign in at the Office and wear a visitor’s sticker or badge whenever they are in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom, or on the playground. This is critical for the protection of your children and also important for us to account for all individuals on campus in case of an emergency. Before school, you are welcome to drop your students off at the front sidewalk, or even walk them to the edge of the playground, without signing in.

School Nutrition


There are a couple different ways to add lunch money to your students lunch account. You can pay with your credit card online through Nutrition Services using your Infinite Campus. You can also send your student to the office with cash or a check which will be applied to the student account the same day. 2nd-5th grade students may add funds for snacks.


GES is working hard to help provide students with a healthy school environment and to follow the School District’s Wellness Policy; therefore, we are encouraging parents to provide individually wrapped, healthy snacks (or non-edible treats) for birthdays, achievements, and other celebrations, instead of sugary snacks, such as cupcakes. Please communicate with your student’s teacher if you would like to suggest another idea to celebrate your students special day. Thank you!

Gardnerville Elementary School is a great place to learn because every member of the GES family matters. We provide meaningful, intentional, and purposeful learning experiences that honor what is best for students. With high expectations, we prepare students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of society.