MARCH 2020


Dear Voyager families and community members,

We only have three and a half months left of school, and we intend to make every minute count! A lot is happening at Voyager, including Spirit Week, the arrival of a new play structure, STEAM Rocks Night, spring conferences, Smarter Balanced testing, and many other classroom- and building-wide activities.

Throughout these opportunities, we are always on the lookout for making connections with students, other staff, and our families. We value the important partnerships we have built with all of you and continue to rely on your support. We are on the same side and want to work with you to make a difference for your children.

We continue to practice mindfulness throughout our building. Thanks to the very generous support of our PTA, we were able to bring back a week of yoga/mindfulness, allowing students two full sessions of mindfulness and gentle exercises. The experience was powerful and continues to benefit students even now that the official week is over. As a building, we have continued our morning chime during announcements, while teachers continue to walk students through different breathing and movement exercises.

We also spent the week re-teaching expectations through explicit teaching, modeling, and practice. Short breaks are the perfect opportunities for a reset! We were surprised to learn that many of our students are not able to verbalize our school expectations. Can you? If you know our acronym S.A.I.L. and you know what it stands for, you know our expectations. Ready?

S. Show respect

A. Act responsibly

I. Inspire others

L. Learn and work safely

Please help us remind all students of these expectations. We look forward to catching and recognizing students showing S.A.I.L. behaviors! Be sure to ask your child about our new way of celebrating S.A.I.L. slips. It’s quite exciting and we look forward to our first school-wide celebration (hopefully!) at the end of this month!

As always, please reach out with questions or concerns.

Best wishes, Katja Rimmele, Principal & Treasure Hunter


What are we doing to prevent COVID-19 in our schools?

As a public agency, we do not need to take any special precautions beyond what is normally recommended to prevent the spread of viruses in schools. In order to help students and staff reduce their risk of getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, we encourage everyone to take simple steps. These steps will also prevent COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after you blow your nose. Help young children do the same.
  • Advise against touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Follow our school's routine cleaning and disinfection program, and emphasize cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Encourage everyone to cover their coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
  • Provide adequate supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer.

For confidentiality reasons, we cannot share information about specific students or staff who might be ill at home. We take the lead from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department for specific school-related responsibilities and notifications to staff and families.


Hello Voyager Vikings!

There two things to share with you all as we head into the second half of the school year:

First, please click HERE to view an article from ATTENDANCE WORKS.ORG as a reminder emphasizing the importance of school attendance, and the data around the effects of missing school. As we head into the spring, please be mindful of taking vacations outside of the district scheduled vacation breaks to ensure your students academic success. The end of school comes up on us fast, and we want all Voyager Vikings to finish strong!

Second, we wanted to let everyone know that the Voyager staff has updated the school-wide recognition process using the SAIL slips. (Show Respect, Act Responsibly, Inspire Others, Learn and Work Safely) We all have committed to increase our focus on catching students being respectful, acting responsibly, inspiring others and living/working safely every day!!!

Starting this month, each class will focus on earning 100 SAIL slips. Once a class hits 100, the reward will be a lunch with Mrs. Rimmele and I! The SAIL slips gathered from all classes will eventually be dumped into the new SAIL tank which is now in the display case in the Kindergarten hallway. (picture also attached to this email)

Each month, we will draw ten names from the tank, which then results in a SAIL recess for the whole class that the student is in. Eventually, there will be a line across the front of the tank to mark how full it is getting. When that line is reached, there will be a whole school SAIL reward/celebration!! (We are still working on what the whole school reward will be.)

Have a great spring! GO VIKINGS!!


This month, our focus is on continuing the Child Protection Unit Lessons for grades 2 and 3. Please be sure to check out the Second Step website for more information. Letters were sent home to parents that included a "code" to access information for specific grade levels, but if you still need one, email Rachel Farley at

Our Student Council will be hosting a fundraiser this month, "Pennies for Patients", which supports research and treatment for patients with Lymphoma or Leukemia. The fundraiser runs from March 9th-12th and donations can be sent in with your student or to the main office (they accept all forms of cash, including pennies).

Small Group permission forms have been sent home to parents. If you haven't returned one yet, please do so as soon as possible. Small groups start the week of March 2nd and will continue for approximately 6-8 weeks. If you have any questions, please email Rachel Farley for more information.

Rachel Farley

School Counselor

Voyager Elementary: M, Th, alternating W

Purdy Elementary: T, F, alternating W


Last week in the gym we had a guest instructor, Kristi Fischer, of Kidding Around Yoga with Kristi. You might remember her from last year’s Mindfulness Week. Thanks to the PTA who financially backed bringing Kristi and her program to our school. This year the students during PE and Character worked on Yoga and Mindfulness. Students learned some introductory yoga poses through songs and stations that they worked through. They also focused on mindfulness through breathing intentionally using Hoberman spheres and focusing on positive messages. Such as 'Peace begins with me'.

Look for pictures from the week on Voyagers Facebook page.


In Music, we've been practicing melodies on xylophones. Primary students are still focusing on playing together as a group, while intermediate students are studying how melodies and bass lines work together.

The Viking Choir will perform on the evening of March 17th with the Artondale Choir and the Kopachuck Choir at Kopachuck Middle School.


Kindergarten and 1st graders are starting a unit on whales! They will learn all about these amazing mammals and wow you with their facts. This unit is always a favorite. 2nd and 3rd graders are learning all about the properties of materials. They should know the difference between something melting and something dissolving; just ask them! We will soon move on to learning about worms and composting and will start our own little garden. 4th and 5th graders are learning all about the properties of waves. We've made a lot of noise along the way and will soon build a model of the eye.

Our school collected 95 pounds of plastic for the Trex recycling contest in February! Thank you for all of you who have saved the plastic from our landfill. We can all do our part to help the planet.

Don't forget to put STEAM Rocks on your calendar for March 12th. If you would like to host a station that can show students about science, technology, engineering, art or math, we would love to add you to our event. Art related stations are high in demand so brush off those brushes and skills and show our students some new techniques. If you don't have your own idea, but would love to volunteer, that would be great as well. Please contact Mrs. Schwab at

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!

Rhonda Haug and Catherine Schwab

STEM Specialists


March already?!

I want to share highlights from mindfulness week which was last week during PE and character with Kristi Fischer of Kidding Around Yoga.

All students practiced mindfulness by listening to a chime, laying still and visualizing a peaceful place, and practicing deep breathing. They also rotated through 16 stations featuring yoga poses and breathing exercises. Ask your child what the favorite station was, and if one was particularly calming. I plan to incorporate what we did into my classes to remind students of various ways to be calm.

We will resume our Second Step curriculum this month by discussing problem solving steps (STEP) and how the brain responds to emotions.

S= Say the problem without blame.

T= Think of solutions that are safe and respectful.

E= Explore the consequences of those solutions.

P= Pick the best solution and make a plan.

Please contact me with any questions.

In peace,

Kathy Johnson

Voyager Elementary


Spring 2020 Bookfair March 16-20

Our Spring Book Fair is right around the corner....we could use your help! Please sign up for a shift or two, whatever works into your schedule. The students and myself "thank you" for your willingness to help make this a successful Book Fair! See the link below:

Tammi Falconer

Voyager Library Tech.



VPTA March General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, March 10th

6:00 pm

Round Table Pizza

We will also be discussing the upcoming Auction Night, the status of the new play ground structure, the remaining programs for this year and volunteer opportunities.

VPTA 2020 Auction Night!

Save the Date for our upcoming Auction Night Fundraiser!

Saturday, April 4th

The Club @ The Boatyard

Tickets go on sale FRIDAY!

We are also currently accepting donations for items to be included in the Silent and Live Auction. Please contact Kendalyn Harris at for more information.

Interested in being an Event Sponsor? See the following flyer for Sponsorship Opportunities.

Click HERE for information on sponsorships for the Auction.


We are currently looking to fill the 4 VPTA Board Positions for the 2020 - 2021 School Year. Please contact either Kendalyn at voyager or Angie Costa-Hodskins at for more information on how you can be a part of the Board! If we do not have a board we do not have a PTA!

We are looking for a chairperson, or two, to plan this year's Sock Hop Family Event. If you are interested in chairing, please contact Kendalyn at for more information.


Will your child be 5 by August 31, 2020? If yes, NOW is the time to register for kindergarten.

Starting kindergarten is an exciting and emotional time for parents and their children.

Early registration makes sure parents will receive information about upcoming opportunities and helps ensure a smooth transition. We will be sending emails with dates and times of upcoming events when we have them scheduled.

Visit for information and to register online.

If you have issues with your registration, please contact the office at 253.530.4800


Click HERE to view information from the Gig Harbor Fire Department.


Yearbooks are on sale online ($20/each). Starting February 1st, the cost will increase to $24. After March 1st, all sales will be first-come, first served.

The best way to order is online so you can track your order. Please visit to order your yearbook.

You can still order via order form hard copy (order forms available from the office) with cash or check made out to Voyager PTA.

Parking Lot Safety

We have been made aware that cars are speeding through the parking lot during drop off/pick up with little regard to pedestrians.

We have, at a minimum, 100 students who come through our doors, including families with younger siblings. We ask that you yield to pedestrians when you are in our parking lot and the drive through lane. Please use caution when driving and be on the lookout for children.

Parking continues to be scarce at Voyager and we understand that you have to utilize the main road for parking. Please exercise caution in those areas, especially at the beginning and end of the day.

Please know that our staff is not able to regulate traffic. They are responsible for the safety of students, ensuring that students are matched with the appropriate parent(s)/caretaker(s). We rely on all of you to use common sense and caution when driving to and from school.

Thank you for your support.


Every year we ask parents to log into their ParentPortal account and complete the year-round update. If you do not have a ParentPortal contact the school office.

Please click HERE to view the instructions on how to access/use your ParentPortal. If you have not completed this process, please do so as soon as possible, as this is the information we use to contact you. We would like you to complete this form even if you do not have any changes.

Thank you to everyone who has completed their update for this year.



To make credit card payments (field trips, book fines, class shirts etc) and access purchase history, follow the instructions below: Credit card payments are accepted on-line only. (Processing fees will be applied at time of checkout)

1. Go to

2. Click on Bookkeeper

a. Consider bookmarking this page for quick access in the future

3. Log in using your student's ID number as the User Name and student's last name (ALL CAPS) as the password.

4. Click on your student's name

a. Any fines and fees due will be RED just below your student's name.

i. Click on View.

ii. You can View the fine or fee in more detail or Select the items you wish to pay.

iii. To complete, click on Pay Selected Fines/Fees. (if your child has outstanding fines, they will show up)

5. Add items to your cart and click on Checkout to complete your payments.

6. To see Purchase History or reprint a receipt - Look under Reports.

When contacting the Office Manager, please consider using email as your first method of contact; Lynn Tachell,


* If your child will be absent or late, please contact our attendance line at 253.530.4807.

* Please call or send a note to the office when your student has an afternoon transportation change, this includes clubs.

* After school transportation changes need to be made by a parent/guardian and needs to be submitted before 2:45 pm each day. Please be sure to include the name of the teacher, and the first and last name of child. If your child is riding the bus with someone, please include the bus number and stop.

* When picking your child up early, please plan on arriving at least 10 minutes early, so that we have time to locate them and get them to the office. We do not call students down until you check them out at the office.

* To ensure the ongoing safety of the students at Voyager, we require ID from any individual we do not know.

* If you ARE NOT a parent/guardian and you wish to have lunch with a student, you must have prior approval from the parents/guardian. Please send a note with your child or call the office to inform us if you're planning on having someone visit your children during lunch.

* Please remember that helium balloons are not to be brought or delivered to school. They are a distraction in class and we have students with allergies to latex and other issues.


The Peninsula School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the District’s Title IX and Compliance Officer, Dan Gregory, at (253) 530-1009, email or the Section 504 and ADA Coordinator, John Yellowlees, at (253) 530-1081, email . Mailing address: 14015 62nd Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332.