Wednesday Word

September 22, 2021

WW Sept 22

From the Principal

Dear Sunflower Families,

We are asking for some help in a few areas this week and going forward in order to keep our scholars and families safe and to model respect and responsibility for our scholars.

1. Arrival-We ask that students do not gather outside prior to 8:30. It is part of our Covid safety plan and we do not have adult supervision out there until 8:30.

2. Dismissal-Please model kindness and patience and wait your turn in the car line. We are having several people who are jumping the line in roundabout. This is frustrating for others who are waiting their turn. We have been consistently done with the car line in 10-12 minutes. Once it gets started it does not take that long to get through if everyone is doing their part.

3. Dismissal-If you park on Inverness and pick up walkers, please cross at 27th and Inverness instead of crossing in front of the cars turning left into the circle drive. It is a very busy and unsafe place to cross the street. It is much safer for you and your child to cross at the less busy area of 27th and Inverness.

4. Dismissal-If you park on Inverness please do not make a U-turn in front of the cars making a left into the circle drive. This is incredibly unsafe and an accident is bound to happen.

5. Devious Licks Challenge-While Tik Tok is for kids 13 and older we do know we have students who are on it or are accessing it through an older sibling. If your child has access, please talk to your them about this challenge and how it does not align with our BEST expectations of being respectful and responsible. We have experienced a couple of incidents that may be related to this challenge. If you are unfamiliar with this challenge it encourages youth to do something destructive at their school, typically in the bathroom. We appreciate your help with this.

Finally a HUGE shout out to the family member who showered our car line staff with kindness by passing out free Sonic drink coupons! We so appreciate this random act of kindness!

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

Melissa Blevins

Lock Down Drill

Today we conducted a state required lock down drill. As a staff we are committed to ensuring the safety of all students and know the value of practicing for such an event. As a school we have taken precautions and along with district staff, have developed a crisis plan in the event circumstances require us to secure our school. The drills allow all of us, staff and students, an opportunity to practice our plan.

Teachers worked with students prior to the drill to inform them of the purpose of the drill and how to keep themselves safe in the event of an emergency. We are asking parents to visit with their child after the drill to ease your child’s mind or answer any questions he or she may have.

Picture Day is September 27th!

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From the Nurse


Lawrence Public Schools conducts Hearing and Vision Screenings mandated by the state of Kansas. To ensure all students can access curriculum and instruction, the district screens students' Hearing and Distance Vision for concerns that may require further follow-up. The district conducts mass hearing/vision screenings at the schools for students K-12. In some grades, not all students participate in the screenings. COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: All staff and students involved in Hearing and Vision screenings will wear masks and follow USD 497 COVID prevention and safety measures.

Parents/Guardians who DO NOT want their children to participate in hearing and vision screenings during the 2021-2022 school year, must complete an opt-out request form for EACH STUDENT by 8 a.m. the day before the hearing and vision screening is scheduled to be conducted at your child's school. If completing a paper form, the paper form must be received by 8:00 a.m. the day before screening by the School Nurse or Health Office Attendant.

If you want your child's hearing and vision screening to be completed, DO NOT COMPLETE THE OPT-OUT REQUEST FORM. The district will automatically conduct the screenings in accordance with its protocols for hearing and vision.

Sunflower Hearing and Vision screens are scheduled for October 8th.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.


Lawrence Public Schools Nurses, Nursing Facilitator, and Audiologist

From the Counselor

How to Get a Hold of Your School Counselor (especially for scholars):

If you ever have any questions or concerns that you would like to share with the school counselor, Julie Heatwole, feel free to contact me via email: or phone: #785-330-4860.

An added feature for scholars to reach out to me is leaving notes in my NEW mailbox. This mailbox is just outside my office door. It is a locked mailbox, so all notes/letters placed inside will only be seen by me (I have the only key!). So, everything they share stays confidential. I added this feature as a way for our scholars to feel more comfortable leaving messages for me. Maybe they need help, or need someone to talk to, or there is a bullying situation that should to be addressed. I want to do my best to be available for all. Thank you!

Sunflower Student Council

Did you know that Student Council is back up and running?!?

Here's a CONGRATULATIONS to our Fall 2021 Student Council Members:

Henry R, Hudson P, Emma L, Silas D, Bailey Cate F, Jordyn D, Manar A, Lavender W, Eric M, Lea F, Lilly R, Hudson B, Elliot S, Ethan S, Rose V, Isiah B, Marley D, Youngseok O, Claire M, D.J. C, & Kieren C!! They are representing our student body throughout this fall semester! Way to go Sunflower!

Harvester's BackSnacks and BrainFood Programs!

Sunflower will be starting up our two awesome FREE programs for our scholars in K-5th at the end of September! Harvester's BackSnack program provides a FREE bag of non-perishable food and snacks like cereals, fruit snacks, water, vegetables, soup, granola bars, and more! The BrainFood program provides FREE books that our scholars may pick out and keep forever! These programs will occur throughout the school year and be distributed to our scholars on the last day of each school week. There is no paperwork to complete and no eligibility requirements other than these programs being helpful for you and your family! All you need to do is contact Julie Heatwole (school counselor) at #785-330-4860 or to let her know you would like your scholars to participate in these programs.

Sunflower Food Pantry & Hunger Action Month

We are proud to announce that for the 9th year we will host a Food Pantry at Sunflower Elementary.

We are currently working out the details with covid protocols, needs and changes in space.

The pantry is a joint effort between Sunflower and Just Food, the food bank of Douglas County. We also depend on the help of private donations.

Please consider dropping off a donation during the month of September to help those in our Sunflower family experiencing challenges during this unprecedented time.

Non perishable donations can be dropped off when the building is open and placed in the blue barrel just inside the front doors. Please avoid arrival and dismissal times as these are very hectic.

Some current needs are cereal, soup, fruit, canned tuna/chicken, pasta, sauce, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes and feminine hygiene products. Individual portion cups for quick meals are always appreciated.

Questions can be directed to Allene Schworm

Please follow the link if you are interested in utilizing this service. This will ensure we have an adequate supply for our families. There are no requirements.

Future Firebirds Clinic

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Little Firebird Soccer Clinic

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From Sunflower PTO

Last chance to place orders for Spirit Wear! Please place orders by Friday 9/24.

Parent Liaisons

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered! We still need volunteers for the following classrooms;

Brown-1st Grade

Kreutzer-3rd Grade

Hagan-5th Grade

**Follow our Sunflower PTO Facebook page. We post a lot of information and events on our page.

PTO Marathon Club

Sunflower Marathon Club 2021-2022

We are excited to kick off Sunflower Marathon Club and our first day will be Wednesday, September 29th.

The goal of Marathon Club is to provide a sustainable fitness opportunity for Sunflower students and their families. The kids will be challenged to achieve a full marathon distance of 26.2 miles by walking or running twice a week throughout the school year. All mileage is tracked when students attend. As soon as a student has completed a full marathon, they earn a t-shirt, have their name read in the morning community, and get their picture posted on the gym wall. In addition to these tangible awards Marathon Club hopes to:

  • Promote lifelong wellness
  • Provide students a sense of accomplishment
  • Create a fun, non competitive atmosphere for all participants
  • Improve concentration in the classroom

We will be running on Monday mornings and Wednesdays after school. Start time on Monday morning is at 8:00 am, and on Wednesday immediately after school with a pick up time of 3:00 pm. Volunteers will not be in place earlier than 8:00 am. For safety reasons, please do not drop off kids earlier than 7:50 am. All students need to be checked in and running by 8:10 am. We will not allow kids to start later than 8:10 am as they need to be finished by 8:30 am. Likewise, volunteers will not be present at the school later than 3:15 pm on Wednesdays. Please pick up promptly at 3:00 pm.

All Sunflower students K-5 are encouraged to participate. If you are a parent of a Kindergarten student, for safety reasons, we would ask that you participate with your child. All other parents are invited and encouraged to participate as well.

Our weather policy is in line with that of the District's guidelines for outside recess. We will cancel if there is rain, lightning, snow, ice, temperature or wind chill of 30 degrees or less. Cancellations will come via Remind by 7:00 am Mondays and 1:30 pm Wednesdays. We will also put out an in school announcement on Wednesday so they will know in advance of dismissal.

We will be using Remind for communication. Remind is a secure way to communicate between club and parents without exchanging actual phone numbers or emails. This is how you will receive cancellation messages for the club! The Remind link for Sunflower Marathon Club 2021-2022:

You can earn extra miles for Marathon Club - we are challenging the students and their families to participate in any race. Bring in your race number, we will credit you for that mileage. We especially encourage runners to participate in runLAWRENCE events as they have been a generous supporter of Sunflower Marathon Club.

Safety is the biggest concern. This year the club will meet on the west playground behind Sunflower near the swings & Sunflower garden. Runners will be running on the Southwest Middle School track or the field adjacent to the playground. The route will be staffed by parent volunteers who will be spaced so that walkers/runners can be seen the entire length of the run. Parents, we really need you! If you would like to be a Marathon Club volunteer we would love to have you join us. Use the attached consent/sign up form to let us know you are available.

Remember, you can reach us for questions at our email address:

To participate - please fill out the google form by September 27th:

Walk to School Day

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Important Dates

9/27 - School Picture Day

9/29 - Marathon Club Begins

10/5 - Site Council Meeting @ 6:00pm

10/5 - PTO Meeting @ 7:00pm

10/6 - Walk & Bike to School Day

10/15 - No School - Teacher Conference Prep.

10/21 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/22 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

10/25 - No School