Grant Dispatch

December 2019/January 2020

Sustainability--School-Wide at Grant

Our school-wide theme this year is sustainability. In working with the district science coordinators, organizations in Columbia, and our grade level teachers and specialists every grade will integrate learning standards to focus on sustainability. One of the new ways to address sustainability throughout the building is a new format for the Grant Dispatch.

To reduce paper usage we will be sending the Grant Dispatch electronically via email. If you would like to receive the Grant Dispatch in paper form please contact the office at (573) 214-3520.

Letter from the principal

Dear Grant Families,

I hope this Dispatch finds you and your family well as our first semester of the year ends. As we approach the upcoming winter break, this is an appropriate time to review how your child can come best prepared to school daily. Our morning bell rings at 8:20 am and learning begins shortly after. All students are invited to enjoy before school recess from 8:05-8:20 or eat breakfast before the school day starts. There is no morning supervision before 8:05 so please drop off your child at 8:05 or after. To ensure our students are getting the most learning in their day, it is essential to be at school every day and on time. Please try to schedule doctor appointments and trips after school hours and when we are on breaks. Finally, because Grant School values the opportunities for students to move, be outside, and engage in play, we go outside even when the weather is cold. Unless temperatures and/or the wind chill are below district recommended levels or the playground is unsafe due to snow or ice, we will go outside for recess. Please remind your child to come to school ready for outside recess with a coat, hat and gloves! If your child is missing items, encourage them to check our lost and found.

Thank you for attending parent/teacher conferences this fall. We always strive to have 100% completion rate for our conferences and currently we have completed 99%. Students and teachers work hard all trimester and look forward to sharing their learning with you during these conferences. The conferences also serve as a communication opportunity and a way to continue the partnership between school and home. If you haven’t had a conference yet, please let your student’s teacher or the office know when you are available to meet.

Our PTA is extremely supportive and busy throughout the year working hard for our school, students, families, and staff. As second semester approaches, PTA will host school events such as the Hoedown Dance in January, Readathon in March and Funesta in May. Thank you for supporting the PTA in your attendance of the events, offering to volunteer at our many events and participating in the two fundraisers for the year.

The Grant community, including PTA and staff, comes together to show support for our students and families through Wish Granted, the committee that provides support for a student or family. Each winter, Wish Granted gathers resources for food baskets and small gifts for nearly 40 families. If you would like to contribute to Wish Granted’s efforts to provide food to our students over winter break, please drop off a check or cash in the office. Thank you for your support. Programs such as these donate essential items for students and their families.

Upcoming Dates:

Dec 19 Winter All School Sing-Along 1:50 pm in the gym; Classroom Parties 2:30-3 pm

Dec 20 All-School Field Trip to Mizzou for MU Women’s Basketball Game

Dec 21-Jan 5 No School Winter Break

I want to extend to you and your family a wonderful winter break. The Grant staff will be eager to greet all students following winter break, on Monday, January 6. Happy New Year!


Jen Wingert

Mrs. Poage Wins Missourian's Progress in Sustainability Award

The Columbia Missourian's Progress Award in Sustainability was awarded to our very own Mrs. Kerry Poage for her work with her fifth grade class and their food waste initiative here at Grant School.

Mrs. Poage was nominated by Jody Cook, the Volunteer Programs Specialist with the City of Columbia, who worked closely with her 2018-19 fifth grade class for seven months while watching them reduce Grant School's waste by nearly 60%.

Check out the article in the Columbia Missourian about Mrs. Poage and the other Progress in Sustainability Nominees, including Grant student, Emma Winter!

Spirit Week

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Please Note december calendar change

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Coach's Corner

We have been working very hard in P.E. class throughout the month of November and first part of December. We started the month by working on volleying skills, then were working on jump roping skills, and just finished working on dribbling with hands with 3rd-5th graders. K-2nd just finished working on twisting, curling, and bending their bodies during several fun activities. All grades will be working on dribbling with our feet next and then we will all be practicing our rhythmic movements by learning some dances. Some of the dances and movements that we will learn are like the ones that will be used during the school hoedown in January.

It has quickly become very cold and snowy which means it is boot season. Please continue to remind students to wear or bring tennis shoes for P.E. class.

Thank you for all of your support! I hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday season!

--Coach Lisa Wagner

P.E. All stars of the month

Kindergarten - Mendon Speichinger-Crisp

1st Grade - John Mayom

2nd Grade - Griffin McNally

3rd Grade - Ellcie Bunch

4th Grade - Amari Scott

5th Grade - Briana Lemuz-Guerra

Congratulations and keep up the great work!

Grant Generals Basketball Tryouts--Jan. 22

It is getting time to start thinking about the next season of Grant Generals basketball. We are part of the CPS Home School Communicator’s Basketball League. This is a competitive league for fourth and fifth grade boys and girls that plays its games in April and May 2020. Grant has a long standing tradition of being a very good team in this league. My coaches and I focus on the fundamentals of basketball, sportsmanship, and putting the team before yourself to make others around you great.

There will only be one tryout date again this year. That date is going to be Wednesday, January 22, 2019 from 3:45-5:15 p.m. There will be more information to come on what to wear and bring for the day. My coaches and I look forward to seeing all of the boys and girls at tryouts. Weather permitting make sure you are working on your dribbling and shooting. See you there!

—Coach Kuensting and Coaches

Hall of Fame Art Contest

Attention students! We need your art for the Hall of Fame art contest! To enter, write your name, the title of your piece, and your teacher's name on the back of your best art and turn it in to the office. Any original art you have created at home or school can be submitted. There is no limit to the number of items you can submit, but only two pieces will be chosen from each grade level (KD-5) to be framed by our Partners in Education, Central Bank of Boone County. The entry deadline is March 6.

--Ashlee Christiansen

Counselor Connection

Check out to learn about our School Counseling Program, read about what your student is learning during our bi-weekly counselor lessons, and find out about community resources!

--Lena Sheets

Nurse's Notes

Please make sure your child is bundled for the weather. We have three recesses per day. They need a coat, warm hat, and gloves or mittens.

--Nurse Julia

Media Matters

Hello Grant All Star readers! We hope you enjoyed your November. We certainly were busy in the Library and the Eco Schoolhouse. Below is a snapshot of our November progress and our December focus. Please visit our web page to see media games, practice, and resources for all.


Media Classes: As students finished their Digital Citizenship, we moved to Word Processing as our focus. Grade levels used word processing programs like Google Docs or Microsoft Word/Publisher to type information about a classroom project. Kindergarten wrote about being healthy at school, First Grade wrote about Nocturnal Animals, Second Grade focused on Erosion, Third Grade typed about Weather, Fourth Grade typed about Trees, and 5th typed about Greensburg, KS - the “greenest” city in America. This work is being displayed on bulletin boards across from the library.

Library Program: The biggest news about the library program is our Book Fair was super successful! We raised a lot of money for buying books for the library and classrooms. Thank you so much for helping out and making it to our book fair. See you in February!

We also hosted a fantastic Book Club in November on the book The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya. 5th Grade also enjoyed a Native American storytelling and music presentation in the library.

Eco Schoolhouse: In November, the Eco Schoolhouse was used to explore robotics and coding programs with Mrs. Poage’s 5th grade class. Also, 2nd Grade did a short Project Based Learning unit on Erosion. They are applying their knowledge around Grant School and Stewart Park.


Media Classes: After our success with word processing, we are taking most grade levels into multimedia presentations. Students will be using Google Slides or Microsoft Power Point to build presentation slides on classroom topics or their grade level PBL projects. This work also supports research skills and nonfiction features students will use in class.

Library Program: In December, we are running check outs as usual. Our book display cabinets are hosting State Award winners and Winter themed books for check out. We also have a host of new book purchases to get out on shelves this month.

Eco Schoolhouse: In December, 2nd Grade is continuing their Erosion investigations and Mrs. Poage’s class will continue their robotics/coding classes. 5th Grade is also working on a slideshow to display the Eco Schoolhouse’s sustainable features.

--John Nies

Music Notes

Our counselor/music collaboration of singing a song to learn about the counselor's monthly character trait has provided additional opportunity to talk about the character trait, been fun for the students and allowed them to perform the song in their classrooms. Here are the links for the songs we have sung so far:




We enjoy a tradition of watching The Nutcracker performed by The Royal Ballet in all music classes at the end of the year. It is a favorite activity among all grades, so ask your child about it. ​

On January 8 all fifth graders in Columbia will participate in a field trip to the annual Fifth Grade Fine Arts Extravaganza where they will learn about visual art, vocal and instrumental music, and theater opportunities in 6th grade and beyond. Also, Instrument Enrollment Nights are being planned in January for fifth graders to try instruments, decide their three top choices, and begin the enrollment process for sixth grade. WATCH FOR LETTERS COMING ELECTRONICALLY AND IN FRIDAY FOLDERS!

Mark your calendar for the Grant ALL STARS Choir performance of “Snow Biz” on Thursday, January 23 for the morning school assembly at 9 AM and the evening performance at 6:30 PM. PLEASE USE DOOR 6 (OFF GARTH) FOR THE EVENING PERFORMANCE.

Fourth grade parents/guardians/families...get ready because fourth graders will officially begin playing their recorders in 2020, and if all goes well, they may be bringing them home to practice as early as mid January...just a warning!! CPS provides recorders for each student. You do not need to purchase a recorder, however if your child expresses an interest, a recorder would be a great gift at this time of giving.

--Pam Sisson

Snow Biz! Show Times: Jan. 23, 9 AM and 6:30 PM on the Grant School Stage

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Hoedown Dance, January 31, 6:00-7:30 pm

Please join Grant PTA, students, families, and staff at the Annual Grant School Hoedown on Friday, January 31, 6:00-7:30 p.m. You don’t want to miss this fun (and FREE) evening of square dancing. So put on your best western wear and come ready to swing your partners, circle left, allemande, do-si-do, and promenade! Students will learn how to square dance in P.E. so they will already know all the calls. Please bring a snack/treat/finger food to share. Western wear is optional but adds to the fun of the evening. Don’t forget your cameras! ENTER THROUGH DOOR 6 (OFF GARTH).

PTA News

Dear Grant Families,

As we wrap up the first semester of our 2019-2020 school year, we are looking forward to spending time with our families and gearing up for a very busy Spring 2020. Your Grant PTA will be asking for help from all Grant families as we organize several fun events in 2020 (Hoedown, Readathon, Funesta, and more). Please keep in mind that we are all volunteers, and need help from our entire Grant community in order to continue the amazing spirit we have here. Thank you for everything our amazing volunteers do.

In lieu of a regular PTA meeting, we will have an Open House Gift Wrapping session for our Wish Granted committee on Tuesday, December 17th from 3:30 – 6:30 pm in the School basement classroom #1. This is my favorite meeting of the year as we visit with each other and share the holiday spirit. We cannot have students help with the wrapping (confidentiality reasons), so please do not bring your children to this event.

SPEAKERS AT PTA Meetings: Starting in January, we have invited community members to attend our meetings and speak on various subjects. Tuesday, January 14th: Kristi Shinn – Director of Curriculum & Instruction for CPS, will speak at 6 pm and then take questions. Discussion: The Standards Reference Grading practices that CPS is rolling out in our schools. This work addresses curriculum standards across all subjects, proficiency scales per standard as well as includes an upcoming new grade card that will be aligned with the standards.

OPT OUT FUNDRAISER: Our Fall PTA fundraiser came up short of our goal by $1,800. 100% of these donations go to support students and teachers at Grant Elementary. If you still have donations that you would like to contribute, it is never too late!!

LANGUAGE CLUB: The final day of Language Club was Thursday, December 5th.

We are looking for a volunteer to organize Language Club for the 2nd Semester. We are the only CPS Elementary School with this type of program, and we need Grant families to keep it going!! Please reach out to Lisa Tye or the Grant office if interested.


Holiday Present Wrapping (in lieu of PTA meeting) – Tuesday, December 17 from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Open House – come and go. Please stop by to help wrap gifts for Wish Granted Committee.

January PTA Meeting – Tuesday, January 14, 5:30 pm with CPS guest, Kristi Shinn

Grant Hoedown – Friday, January 31, 6:00-7:30 pm

JOIN GRANT PTA TODAY! Click this LINK to complete the membership survey.

Grant PTA Leadership
Lisa Tye, President
Kalei Holder, Vice President
Carin Huffman Grinch, Treasurer
Laura Page, Secretary