Welcome Back to School!

Sunflower Back to School Newsletter-August 2022

Back to School: Info for Parents & Students BOY 22-23 - Google Slides
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Form the Principal

Dear Sunflower Families,

We wanted to take a moment to say “Hello!” We miss all of our students when they are not here, and we are looking forward to the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

We hope to visit with you soon to see if you are needing anything from us or if we can assist you in any way. You can always call us at 785-832-5870 if there is anything you need or if you have any questions for us.

Our plans for the 2022-2023 school year are coming together, and we are excited for and very much looking forward to the first day of school for kindergarten on Wednesday, August 17th and all other scholars on Thursday, August 18th. In continued partnership with our Sunflower students, staff, and families, we will continue to focus on several areas during this upcoming school year:

  • Safety and Security: Our number one priority each and every day is that students, staff, and visitors are safe at school. We will continue to use our existing procedures, and we will continuously review and modify as necessary any of our procedures, protocols, and practices to ensure that we maximize school safety and security.

  • Social and Emotional Supports: We know that establishing and continuing to strengthen our trusting relationships with students and families is a critical and foundational step to helping our students learn. We will continue to be mindful of and act upon the social and emotional needs of students, staff, and families.

  • Attendance and Engagement: We will continue to be committed to working closely with students and families, and we want our schools to continue to be places where students and staff have fun, thrive, and look forward to learning each day.

  • Communication with Families: We enjoy sharing our successes with families, and we want to hear from you as well regarding your thoughts about successes and challenges.

  • Curriculum and Instruction: We will continue to plan fun and exciting instruction for each subject area using Kansas Standards. Working together as partners, we can absolutely minimize and/or eliminate any learning loss that may be impacting our students.

  • Evaluation of Learning: We will continue to gather reasonable amounts of data and information about your child(ren) through observations, questioning techniques, and discussions, along with more formal assessments or tests. Combined, this information will continue to tell us what your child(ren) knows and is able to do as well as how much they are growing and achieving.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Please continue to have a great summer and please let us know if there is anything that you need or if you have any questions.

As always it is an honor to serve as the Principal of Sunflower Elementary.

Melissa Blevins

Class Placement

Class placement emails will be sent after 4pm on August 11th. We will also send a postcard to your scholar with a fun scratch off so you may want to wait to share the teacher until your child gets their postcard. Within the class placement email will be a Sign Up Genius link to sign up for a conference on Monday should you want one. Otherwise we will see you at supply drop off on Monday from 3:00-4:30.

Please note that we created our class lists at the end of last school year. We take a LOT into consideration when placing students, academics, social-emotional status, friendships, etc. We are intentional about placing scholars who need extra supports in classrooms where there may be co-teaching with a special education teacher or ELL teacher. In addition we have many new Sunflower scholars who have been added to our rosters since the end of the year. In addition, we are going from 22 sections to 18 sections so we have a reduced number of classrooms to place students in. Due to all of these reasons we do not take requests for class placement nor do we move students to different classes.

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Welcome New Staff!

Arrival and Dismissal Safety and Logistics

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Message From Food Services

  • The Covid food grants are expired
  • You must put money in your child's account for breakfast and lunch this year
  • You can add money at www.myschoolbucks.com
  • You will need your child's student number to set up your lunch account
  • We will be providing your child's student number with your car tag at P/T conferences and supply drop off
  • Your child must have all enrollment documents submitted before they are given a student ID, if enrollment is incomplete they will not have one
  • To apply for free and reduced meals you must fill out the application online at www.usd497.org/Foodservice
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School Supplies

  • The school supply list is linked below
  • If you are in need of school supplies fill out the survey linked below so we can have the ready for your scholar by the first day of school
  • Just a reminder that we only have bottle fillers at school so every scholar will need to bring a water bottle clearly marked with their name daily. They should go home each night for proper cleaning.
  • It is very helpful to mark backpacks, lunch boxes and jackets with names as well. We donate large loads of clothing, lunchboxes, water bottles and other items quarterly.

Visitor Policy

We are so excited to welcome visitors and volunteers back into our school this year!

  • All visitors must have a prearranged visit/appointment with a staff member before coming into the school.
  • All visitors must sign in and wear a visitor badge while in the building.
  • All visitors must check out at the office upon leaving.
  • For safety reasons we will not allow family members to walk students to classrooms on the first day of school or any other school day. Families may walk students to the front doors and we will have members of the PTO and staff helping students find their classrooms. You will also be able to view the classroom ahead of time at P/T conferences and supply drop off.
  • Due to the limited seating in the cafeteria, we will not have any lunch visitors this school year.

Powerschool Help

New Families: There are directions linked below this message showing you how to set up your Powerschool account.

Returning Families: You will be prompted to change your password the first time you log into Powerschool this year. See the graphic below for guidance.

Parent Portal: https://usd497.powerschool.com/public/home.html

Parent Tech Support Webpage: https://www.usd497.org/domain/7934

HELP Desk: 785-330-4357

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Research shows that school attendance is directly correlated with academic achievement and social-emotional well-being. A student who misses 10 days of school a year is considered chronically absent. I have linked the USD497 attendance policy below.

We know students will need to be absent when they are experiencing illness and we do not want to promote sending scholars to school if they are symptomatic. However, we ask that you are mindful about scheduling appointments and vacations during the school year.

Our attendance team is here to help so please reach out to us if you need any assistance.

Lastly, if your scholar is going to be absent please make sure you contact the school before 10am. You can reach us at 785-832-5870 or email the attendance secretary at christine.bessey@usd497.org.

From the Nurse

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Important Dates For Your Calendar

August 11-Class List Placement Email Sent after 4:00PM

August 14-Kindergarten and First Grade Popsicles on the Playground at 1:00

August 15 and 17-Parent/Teacher Conferences

August 17-First Day For Kindergarten Only-Dismissal at Noon

August 18-First Day For All Students-Dismissal at 3:50

August 22-BGC Starts