Susitna Elementary News


February 2, 2017

Volume 4, Issue 6

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Hello families and friends of Susitna! January sped by and we are excited for all the activities and sunlight of February.

There is one thing in particular that is coming this month that I want to mention to you. As you may have heard in the news, the Anchorage School District is implementing ALICE this year - a new protocol to follow if there is an intruder inside our school. Your students will be receiving information in health class, library class, from their teachers and over morning announcements. We will practice with the students to ensure understanding and confidence of what we are doing to keep kids safe in Susitna. We are sharing books that introduce the topic through the teacher being a shepherd, the students being sheep, and the intruder being a wolf. The purpose is to help students and staff know what to do if they are ever put in an unsafe situation with a school intruder. ALICE stands for:

A: Alert

L: Lockdown

I: Inform

C: Counter

E: Evacuate

Please look at the materials your students are bringing home. And, as always, please feel free to call me with any questions. Thank you for sharing your students with us, and thank you for trusting us to provide your students' education and safety. Let's have a great month!


Upcoming Dates of Importance


3rd -

-Subway Lunch for Dreamers Spotted

- January Birthdays celebrated at 3:00 p.m.

- Basketball Game @ O'Malley 4:00 p.m.

- Kaladi Art Show 4:15 - 7:30 p.m. @ Kaladi Brothers

- UAA FREE Planetarium Event 5:30 P.M. Conoco Phillips Building (info in Community News)

4th - Forum on Every Student Succeeds (info in District News)

- ski 4 kids (info in Community News)

6th - 13th - Candy Grams and Chains of Caring (see student council news)

7th - School Tours, 9:30 a.m.

- Club and After School Activity Pictures Taken by Lifetouch

- PTA Meeting 4:00 p.m. Always looking for new members. All are welcome.

10th - Final Basketball Game @ Trailside (makeup game) 4:00 p.m.

13th - 24th - Climate and Connectedness Student Survey (grades 3-5) (info District News)

14th - School Tours, 9:30 a.m.

15th - Read with the Aces hockey team 1:30 p.m.

16th - Elizabeth Peratrovich Day (Info in District News)

17th - Popcorn Friday

- Begich Music Tour Assembly (grades 3-5)10:30 a.m.

19th - Susitna goes to the Aces game 3-6 p.m. Sunday (ticket info to follow)

20th - Presidents Day - NO SCHOOL/NO CAMPFIRE

21st - School Tours, 9:30 a.m.

22nd - 23rd - Spring Book Fair/ Parent Teacher Conferences/Half days 9-12:30 p.m.

24th - Inservice Day - NO SCHOOL

28th - School Tours, 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

- 4th Grade NAEP Testing


3rd - Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash (info Library News) 8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

4th - Iditarod starts 10 a.m. downtown

5th - Iditarod race restarts 2 p.m. On the lake at the Willow Community Center

6th - 8th - Young Americans Workshop (Info Community News)

7th - Science Fair Projects DUE TODAY!

- PTA Meeting 4:00 p.m. All Welcome!

- JA in a Day - Junior Achievement

8th - Susitna Science Fair 6 - 8 p.m.

9th - Talent Show 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

10th - End of 3rd Quarter, NO SCHOOL


Parent Teacher Conferences Coming Soon

Online scheduling of parent teacher conference is on the ASD website under the PARENT TAB. The week of February 20th - February 24th. We will have Presidents Day on Monday which means NO SCHOOL. Tuesday is a regularly scheduled day from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday are HALF DAYS, which means school and busses will run from 9 a.m. and pick up students at 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be different on Wednesday and Thursday too. See below for the lunch schedule. Friday is an inservice day for teachers so that means NO SCHOOL on Friday. Please plan ahead for childcare.

Conference Days Lunch Schedule

2/3 Optional & 3rd Grade - 10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

4/5 Optional & 4/5th Grade - 10:50 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Kindergarten - 11:25 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.

K/1 Optional & 1/2nd Grade - 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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Musical Notes


3-5th graders (and 2/3 optional) are playing the recorder again. They are $4. If you need help paying for a recorder please email

Drama Club permission slips are due Friday, February 10. Drama club will perform "The Elephant's Child" and rehearses Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00-8:45 a.m. It is open to 3rd-5th graders only.

TALENT SHOW - Do you have a special talent you would like to share with the school? Come try out for our talent show. Tryouts are Wednesday February 8, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. See Miss Vanderpool or the school website for permission slips.


Susitna Music

Susitna’s Talent Show 2017 Permission Slip

The Talent Show will be held on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 from 6:30-8pm



1. Music with lyrics MUST be suitable for K-5 audiences. PLEASE NOTE: Songs with inappropriate lyrics are NOT allowed. You may NOT change the original lyrics for your act.

2. Lip-sync only acts are not permitted. Lip-syncing can be part of a dance or other performance. If you are singing with pre-recorded track, please make sure that it is “karaoke” in style. Please make sure there is no main vocal track on your music. There are several sources for karaoke style music (such as iTunes). See below for act suggestions.

3. The school dress code applies to costumes!

4. Acts are limited to a maximum of three (3) minutes, but some acts may need to be cut down due to time constraints. Please participate in no more than ONE act.

Please return the permission slip to Miss Vanderpool by Friday, February 3rd, 2017.

Preview of acts (Try-outs) will be held After school Wednesday February 8th 3:30-5:00:

Please bring your music and any additional props to the audition!

Students may leave after they have auditioned if their parent comes to get them.

There will be dress rehearsal on Wed March 1st, 2017 from 3:30-5 pm and possibly 2 additional rehearsals to be announced later.

You do need your costume and music for the dress rehearsal March 1st!

Talent Show Guidelines:

1. Students may participate in only one act other than their class acts.

2. Any music lyrics must be appropriate for a K-5 audience and follow the rules of Susitna Elementary.

3. All permission slips must be in by February 5th .

4. When submitting a permission slip:

o Make sure the form is complete

o If performing as a group, ALL permission forms for every member are to be turned in at auditions. No additions to the form are allowed after the form has been submitted.

For more information or questions contact Shawnee Vanderpool at 742-1400 or


A permission slip is needed for each participant.

Please return by Friday, February 3rd.

Student Performer Classroom Teacher

Other Performers in the Act: Teachers

Type of Act (circle one):

Dance Instrumental Singing Skit Other:________________

Description of act: ________________________________________________



Music Title(if using a cd):___________________________________________

__________________________________________ Phone: _______________

Parent/Guardian Sponsor Signature


My child will be picked up by 5:00 from each rehearsal by

_______________________________. Phone:_________________________

Each rehearsal is mandatory. If a child selected to be in the show does not attend, the act will be cut and the next act will replace it. Please contact Miss Vanderpool if a child cannot attend auditions or a rehearsal at

Physical Education Activities

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Junior Native Youth Olympics

Susitna Basketball Team

Our team is working hard at practice to get ready for the game tomorrow here at Susitna. This is our final home game. Come out and support the team. The final game is next Friday, February 10, 2017 at Trailside Elementary School. Final practice will be next Thursday after school. Thank you to our coaches Ms. Williams and Ms. Therriault
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Health News

The next unit will cover Families Dynamics, Going to the Doctor and Dentist, and Growing up for our older students. We will also discuss appropriate touches while remaining active in Health Class.

Mr. Peterson

Susitna Health Teacher

Breakfast Menus

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Lunch Menus

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News from the Librarian

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United Way Grant

Mr. Benfield, stopped by the library and Mrs. Benfield put him to work. He is putting together a mobile book organizer! Thank you for volunteering putting the mobile book organizer together. Thank you United Way for the donation to Susitna Library.
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5th Grade Battle of the Books

Each year Battle of the Books is for 5th and 6th graders. While we only used our population of 5th graders, they represented Susitna very well. Mrs. Mott shared the joy of reading by guiding these amazing students through the Battle of the Books. Way to go Team Susitna; Quentin Kirkpatrick, Evan Vernon, Genika-Marie Valdehueza and Lia Yang.
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Spelling Bee Competition

Our 2017 Spelling Bee Champion is Kelty Smith. He took first place with nearly 20 participants. Cyrus Warren was our runner up. Kelty will be representing Susitna at the Statewide Spelling Bee.

Alison Anteau

Susitna Elementary School

5th Grade

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First Friday Optional Art Show at Kaladi Brothers - February 3rd

Susitna Optional offers our 10th annual art show with original art from kinders to 5th graders. Art will be displayed and sold at First Friday Art and through out the month at Kaladi Brothers on Patterson and Tudor. All proceeds will be given to Children's Hospital at Providence Hospital. Please come join us. We hope to see you there any time between 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
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Optional Lottery Reminder

All parents with children already in the program and have a new kindergartener coming in need to register for this years lottery. 5th graders going to Begich also need to apply for the optional program at Begich. See below for the how to's about the lottery and important information.

Key dates for spring lottery:

  • January 1, 2017 - Lottery system will begin accepting applications for the 2017/2018 lottery.
  • March 23, 2017, 5 p.m. – Application deadline for lottery.
  • March 24, 2017 – Date of lottery.
  • March 27, 2017 – March 31, 2017 – Schools validate accepted and wait lists.
  • March 31, 2017, 5:00 PM – Parent notification of lottery results. Both accepted and wait-listed families will be notified. Parents will have 2 school days (48 hours) after notification to accept or decline results of lottery.
  • March 31, 2017 - Lottery system will reopen for applications for July lottery.

ASD Online > Welcome > Zone Exemptions & Lottery > Lottery steps

Online zone exemption & lottery system

ClickOnline application

In order to participate in a school or program outside of your child's neighborhood school, an application must be submitted. ASD's online system allows parents to easily apply to the desired school or program. If your child is currently attending a school/program as a result of a lottery or zone exemption placement, a new application is not necessary for that school each year. Your child may continue attending until aging out of the school/program.

The online system streamlines the zone exemption and lottery processes into one single process. It provides a consistent and equal opportunity for students who request participation in an alternative school or program (lottery) or school outside their boundary area (zone exemption).

Parents log into the system where they can apply to multiple schools or programs for each school-age child and check the status of each application. Once the lottery has been run, the wait list number or acceptance into the school or program is also listed for each application. Parents are notified by email of changes to the application status as well as acceptance into the school or program. The system is accessible from both traditional laptop and desktop computers or mobile devices to apply, check status and confirm or decline positions.

The system is easy to use and delivers a fair, transparent and centralized solution. It produces randomly selected student lists that have been organized and ranked according to the district's lottery policy. No student shall be denied participation because of a learning disability, handicapping condition or special need. Lottery procedures are determined by school board policy 322.3.

Lotteries are held two times each year: during the last weeks of March and the week prior to registration in the fall.

‌Learn more

Read through the following pages to learn more about zone exemptions and the step-by-step lottery process. Many frequently asked questions have been addressed on our FAQ page.

How to use the online system (

Online lottery video‌

Online lottery parent video

This video explains the online lottery application process for both ASD parents and new-to-ASD parents

Have a Zangle account?

Parents who have children enrolled in or attending an ASD school must log in to the online system using their Zangle PIN and password. If unsure of your Zangle PIN and password, contact your child's school for assistance. Parents can also access the system directly from Zangle ParentConnect by clicking on the "Lottery/Zone Exempt" link at the top of the page.

New to the Anchorage School District?

Parents who are new to the Anchorage School District can create an email account in the online system at Once an account has been established, parents can apply to whichever school or program suits their children's needs.

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Open Optional Family Sledding Night Recap

Sledding night was lots of fun with games, sledding, and tasty chile/soup cook off Congratulations to the winner our own Ms. Hoffbauer for receiving the golden ladle for the best tasting soup. P.S. It wasn't rigged.

Focus on Physical Activity


Below are physical activity questions and answers we can all use. In the media age with televisions, Internet, video games, etc., most of us do not get enough physical activity.

How much physical activity should children get?

Children should aim for 60 minutes of activity per day (adults should get at least 30 minutes).

What counts as activity?

Walking the dog, playing on a sports team, walking as a family, riding bikes, playing tag, hiking, swimming, skiing, jumping rope, or anything that causes your heart rate to go up.

What benefits will children gain from being active?

Being active for 60 minutes per day has been shown to improve concentration and focus, increase classroom attendance and behavior, and boost academic performance.

How can children be more active?

• Give children toys that encourage physical activity like balls, kites and jumping ropes.

• Encourage children to join a sports team or try a new physical activity

• Limit TV and internet time and keep the TV and computer out of the bedroom

• Facilitate a safe walk to and from school a few times a week

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator

• Walk around the block after a meal

• Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials, - so push-ups, crunches, or jumping jacks instead.

• Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park day, swim day or bike day.

How should you get started increasing your family’s activity?

• Start small: be physically active for 10 minutes per day and increase by 10 minutes per week until you are 60 per day

• Set goals as a family: commit to specific goals, such as “go for a 30 minute walk 3 times this week as a family.”

• Make it a part of your daily routine: get in the habit of being active by scheduling it at the same time every day, such as right after school or after dinner.

Physical fitness helps build strong muscles and healthy bones. It also helps reduce the risk of obesity and depression as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Just one more tidbit of information: Inactivity may raise health risks regardless of weight. The participants in a newly published study at the University of Florida with an inactive lifestyle were more likely than the active participants to have a blood sugar level of 5.7 or above, which the American Diabetes Association considers prediabetes. About one-quarter of all inactive people and more than 40 percent of inactive people 45 and older met the criteria for prediabetes or diabetes, according to the a newly published study at the University of Florida.

The study doesn't establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. However, these inactive people may have unhealthy "normal-weight obesity or 'skinny fat,' " -- a high proportion of fat to lean muscle, the researchers said.

The lead researcher, Arch Mainous III, said, "Our findings suggest that sedentary lifestyle is overlooked when we think in terms of healthy weight. We shouldn't focus only on calorie intake, weight or [body mass index] at the expense of activity,"

SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, Jan. 19, 2017

Classroom News

Low Cost Subscription for Math Whizz

Hey parents! Do your kids seem to say "I'm bored" during the summer? Do you want them to maintain their current math skills or get ahead in math possibly? Well if you do this is perfect for you. Math Whizz is offering paid parent subscriptions that will allow your child access to all of the Math Whizz with their own license good until October 2nd. The cost is only $17.00 per child. If you would like a subscription for your child please send a check for the total amount to school and we will order your license and send a password home to you. This is an amazing price and a great opportunity for our students to access math over the summer.

Box Top Heroes

Thank you to all of our Susitna families for continuing to bring in box tops. This year Music is benefitting from the money earned by box tops brought in. Music is adding new musical instruments to the classroom. Ms. Vanderpool can enhance Susitna students musical learning with the added instruments. Thank you one and all for allowing Susitna staff the opportunity to give our student population quality learning options.

Student Council News

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Alaska Native Foster Families Needed

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Climate And Connectedness Student Survey

2017 School Climate and Connectedness Survey

February 13-24, 2017

Grades 3-12 only and school-based staff

The School Climate and Connectedness Survey is an on-line statewide survey that measures how students and staff view their school climate, and how connected students feel to adults and peers. These are all factors directly linked to improved academic achievement and reduced risk behaviors. The survey is voluntary, anonymous, confidential, and does not ask questions about students’ families. If you do not want your child to take the survey, please notify the school office in writing. The survey will be administered at the school through their classroom teacher.

Family Satisfaction Survey

The online survey will be available from February 13-24, 2017. We will make the link available as soon as we get it. Please contact the school if you need assistance. Survey can be taken on any device including smartphones.

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Multicultural Fair

“The Colors of our Cultures

We have important news to share with you! Susitna is having a Multicultural Fair on Saturday, May 13, 2017, 12-4 p.m. It will be a time to celebrate the many cultures that make up who we are at Susitna. There will be feasting with shared foods from our many traditions (potluck). There will be cultural entertainment from local musical and dance groups, including our own children. We will have special guests and door prizes – something for everyone. There is no entrance cost but a dollar per person with a $5 max per immediate family and bring a full potluck dish from your culture to share.

We will have activities, a parade of flags and much more to share our rich cultural heritage. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us. Bring family and friends to have a wonderful time.

If you have questions or want to contribute in anyway, please contact a member of the planning committee. Donna Gum, Kristi Therriault, Shawnee Vanderpool, Ann Benfield, Anne McCarron, and Rachel Jimmy.

We look forward to seeing you in May!!

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Project Ki'L

Susitna will again be participating in Project Ki'L, an ASD educational grant which will emplower Alaska Native students in grades K-5 for success. It has a strong emphasis on cultural responsiveness, social-emotional learning (SED), and effective teaching strategies. Our activities will have an academic focus (especially math), while preserving and furthering Native cultural elements. Staff members will receive professional development by experts in Native culture and languages, and SEL, gender-based strategies. While the project has a boy focus, girls can also attend. Please watch for more information coming soon!

Project Ki’L empowers Alaska Native students for success in school through the project’s strong emphasis on cultural responsiveness, social-emotional learning (SEL), and effective teaching strategies. Project services span from elementary through middle school and will build in an academic focus, while preserving and furthering Native cultural elements and effective student engagement. For teachers and school staff, the project provides professional development designed by experts in Native culture and languages, SEL, and gender-based teaching strategies, to meet the unique needs and learning styles of Native youth.

Project Ki'L is focused on six milestones:

  • Promoting strong academic identity and achievement while retaining strong cultural ties for all Native youth
  • Supporting all Native youth to be on track in the completion of algebra by 8th grade
  • Encouraging all Native students in attending school daily
  • Ensuring all Native youth have a positive cultural identity
  • Supporting educators with culturally responsive and gender specific strategies to improve Native youth academic outcomes
  • Ensuring all Native youth exhibit strong social-emotional skills.

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day is coming up on Thursday, Feb. 16. Peratrovich is a renowned Alaskan civil rights leader who was decades ahead of her time. After moving to Juneau, her family faced appalling racism that made it difficult for them to find a home and excluded them from many public facilities. In response, Peratrovich, her husband and then Gov. Ernest Gruening introduced an anti-discrimination act to the Legislature in 1943. During the fierce debate that ensued, Peratrovich gave incisive testimony in its favor, which is credited with splitting the bill's opposition and facilitating its passage in 1945. The bill was signed into law on Feb. 16 of that year.
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News from the Community

UAA Planetarium Offers Free Event for Students

The UAA Planetarium will host a special night Free to ASD students and educators at 5:30 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 3. At this event, educators and students will view "UNDISCOVERED WORLDS: The Reach Beyond our Sun." Seating is limited and on a first-come basis. Please arrive early to ensure a seat. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. The planetarium is located at 3101 Science Circle on the second floor of the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building.

The Young Americans

YOU are invited to UAA in March 2017 for an Incredible opportunity!

Here is what you need to know..

- An International Performing Cast arrives March 6-8 from Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Singapore to work with ALL students from Anchorage in grades 3rd-college for a 3 day workshop.

- Check out Workshop Registration & Show details for their Alaska premiere in Anchorage at

-This event will be held at UAA Fine Arts and with a show at the Wendy Williamson March 8th @7pm. There are some scholarship options available. Don't miss out!

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Anchorage School Board

Tam Agosti-Gisler - President

Elisa Snelling

Starr Marsett

Kathleen Plunkett

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Superintendent - Dr. Deena Bishop

School Business Partners