DISCOVERY Elementary School

Learners. Teachers. Trailblazers.

August - September (2019)

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Wow! Can you believe we're already starting year 5 at Discovery Elementary School?!? We are all so excited to embark on this journey together with our Discovery Community! In education, we're lucky enough to start anew each year full of new learning experiences and discoveries. We hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and you're as ready as we are to blaze a trail of greatness with you all. We are eager to see everyone on Tuesday, August 20th anytime between 4:00 to 6:00 at Discovery's Open House. Once again, welcome to our Discovery Family!


In this digital world, we strive to connect with our families via social media. Please follow us on Twitter @_aliparkinson and @Mr_Hoheisel. It is here you will find weekly highlights of events that are happening in our school under the hashtag “#TRAILBLAZEON”. Your child’s classroom teacher will also share with you the many ways you connect with them digitally through Twitter and SeeSaw.

Mrs. Ali Parkinson - Principal

Mr. Loren Hoheisel - Associate Principal

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Mark your calendars & secure your pick-up plans!

Elementary School Early Releases (1:30pm)

Sept. 18, Oct. 9, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, Nov. 27, Dec. 11,

Jan. 15, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, Mar. 11, Apr. 1,

Apr. 29, May 6, May 20

Notes from the Office

Early Dismissal Wednesdays:

Once again we will have 1:30 dismissal on select Wednesdays. Please refer to the district calendar for these Wednesday's. Fit 'N Fun will once again be available for your child. Fit 'N Fun is a program run by the YMCA, and it is held here at Discovery School on early dismissal Wednesdays. It runs from 1:30 - 3:00 pm. There is no cost, however, you must sign up for this program. You may sign up at the open house on August 20th. The sign-up window closes on August 23rd. Make sure to check out the Fit N' Fun documents at the bottom of this newsletter.

Telephone Calls:

Calls do not ring into the classroom during school hours to minimize interruptions. Messages for students can be left on the teacher’s voicemail.

Bus Tickets:

Bus Tickets are $10.00 for a strip of 10. You can purchase them at the school office. If you are writing a check, make it payable to GFPS. If paying in cash, please bring the exact amount due.

Peanut/Nut Free School:

When sending a snack or packing a lunch, please remember to check labels to make sure it does not contain or have traces of peanuts/nuts.

Birthday Snacks:

Due to the increase in students who have severe food allergies and the higher levels of severity, we no longer celebrate student birthdays with a “birthday snack” in our schools. Parents are welcome to find other non-food items to send to school if they wish. Please discuss with your child’s classroom teacher for ideas or preferences.


  • First Bell: 8:20 am
  • Tardy Bell: 8:25 am
  • Breakfast is offered from 7:40-8:20 am. Morning Program opportunities are available starting at 8:00 am. Students should not wander the hallways or hang up their coat/bag before the first bell rings.


The safety of our students is a top priority for us at Discovery Elementary School. As per district policy, schools will have parents meet their child(ren) at a designated location outside the school at dismissal time.

  • Teachers will bring their students to a location outside the school at their classroom’s assigned door. Students will meet their parent or person picking them up at a prearranged meeting place near the assigned dismissal door.
  • Door Assignments: will be available at open house.
  • Older siblings meet the youngest sibling at youngest sibling’s assigned door.
  • Bus/Daycare van students will walk through the school to Door #8 to board their bus or van.
  • All students in grades 1-5 will be picked up in the drive-through lane. Kindergarten students will be picked up in the east parking lot.
  • Check out the document below for more parking and safety reminders!

After School Program:

The YMCA will once again be conducting MASH at Discovery School from 3:00-6:00 pm. To register or get additional information please call the YMCA at 701-775-2586. Also, check out the picture below for another after-school option through Hopeful Beginnings offered from 3:00-6:00 pm.


We gladly welcome parents and visitors during special events and during lunch. Parents and visitors are required to check into the school office by utilizing DOOR 1. Please do NOT stop at your child’s classroom first.

Family Services:

If you have needs for your child, please visit with AJ Lester, School Social Worker ( She is here to help make school a successful place for your child. For more information, check in at the office or talk to Mrs. Lester directly.

Absences and Tardies:

If your child is absent or late call the attendance line by 8:30 am to leave a message. Communication between home and school ensures students safety and also teachers when preparing make-up work. If you are taking your child out of school early for any reason, please stop by the office to sign them out.

  • Attendance Line: 701-787-4361
  • School Office: 701-787-4359

Connect Ed Calls:

Discovery School will use Connect Ed for mass communication. This phone system is part of a Connect Ed calling system that allows principals or the Grand Forks School District to relay information to families in a timely manner. If you see a call from the GFPS on your caller ID, please pick it up and listen to the message. This is especially important if you don’t have voice mail or an answering machine. We then review the phone information to ensure that our numbers are current and that you received the message.

Caulfield’s Fall Pictures:

Fall Pictures are scheduled for Tuesday, September 24th. All students will have their pictures taken for the class composite. Only students that return the envelope with payment will receive a packet of pictures.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO):

Our PTO meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the Media Center. The PTO organizes and sponsors many events and activities throughout the school year. Please participate in Discovery’s Parent Teacher Organization. (Due to the Veteran's Day, the November PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12th.) The first PTO meeting of this school year will be August 12th at 6:00pm in the Library.


Intramurals are offered to 4th and 5th-grade girls and boys throughout the year. Before your child may participate, you are required to read the concussion information. The first session of intramurals will begin at the beginning of September, after Labor Day. A schedule will be sent home in the following weeks. A schedule will also be updated on our website calendar, a calendar will go home with each student and one will be included in each newsletter. Each session costs $12.50 and checks can be made out to GFPS. Intramurals are from 3:00- 4:00 on the scheduled days. If your child is participating in intramurals, please pick them up by 4:00 at Discovery Elementary School on those scheduled days. If you have any questions, please call the office at 787-4359.

Beginner Orchestra Parent Night:

Within the first 2 weeks of school, 4th graders will hear a presentation about the option of learning a string orchestra instrument at school. More information will be sent home at that time. Beginner Orchestra Parent Night will be held on September 9th from 4:00-7:00pm at Red River High School Commons

Monthly Parent Newsletter:

Our newsletter is sent home electronically to families each month. We hope our newsletter will keep you informed and involved in the activities at Discovery. Please take a few minutes to look over the newsletter and take note of upcoming events. If you prefer to receive a paper copy, please stop in the school office.

Class Assignments:

Teachers, specialists, and administrators thoughtfully drafted class lists and then met to make revisions. A large amount of time and effort went into making class assignments and therefore once class assignment letters have been mailed to each student, changes will not be made. Thank you in advance for not calling to request that changes be made after class lists have been completed.


Pets are prohibited on school grounds during school hours due to potential safety problems and the possibility of school property being an undesirable place for students due to animal-related issues. Please contact the building principal for permission to have pets visit classrooms.

Box Tops:

Don’t forget to send “Box Tops for Education” labels to school with your child/children as we collect those at Discovery and use the funds to purchase items for the classrooms, library, and children. Keep saving these throughout the school year!

Please review the Discovery traffic and safety tips!

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Lunchroom Information

Classroom Lunch Schedule

  • Kindergarten: 11:15-11:40
  • 3rd Grade: 11:30-11:55
  • 4th Grade: 11:45-12:10
  • 1st Grade: 12:00-12:25
  • 2nd Grade: 12:15-12:40
  • 5th Grade: 12:30-12:55

  • The Free and Reduced Lunch Application is available online, at the bottom of this newsletter, and in the school office If you qualify, please complete the form and turn it into the school office or kitchen during open house.
  • Full price breakfast $1.20 (Reduced price breakfast $.0)
  • Full price lunch $2.20 (Reduced price lunch $.40)
  • Adult price breakfast $1.75
  • Adult price lunch $3.10
  • Milk is included with a meal but is $.50 if chosen to purchase separately.
  • You can check your child's lunch account balance and meal purchases or pay for your child's lunch by going to It's super easy and convenient!
  • Parents are welcome to join their child for breakfast and/or lunch. If you plan to join your child, please notify the office by 9:00 am so we can add you to our participation count. If you're here eating with your child, feel free to come earlier or stay later to help volunteer in the lunchroom. We welcome all the help available. Breakfast will be served from 7:40 – 8:20 am daily.
  • Money can be deposited into accounts any morning before 9:30 a.m. If paying by check please make checks payable to the Grand Forks Public Schools. On the outside of the envelope please write the students’ name and account number. You can also deposit into your child’s account online through You will need your child’s ID code to create an account.
  • In accordance with the Grand Forks Public School Wellness Policy #6175 we strive to be superior in our nutrition standards. This means that no fast food or other restaurant food is allowed in the lunchroom for either student or parent.
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Morning Opportunities for Students

We recognize that our 8:20 am school start time might not coincide with every parent’s work schedule. To help accommodate this, we have created some morning opportunities for students to participate in. These offerings are intended to provide families with a supervised plan for your child, prior to the 8:20 am bell. Please read further for the list of morning options.

Cafeteria Breakfast Program

7:40 – 8:20 am

Breakfast is available to all students for the cost of $1.20 per meal. Students arriving for breakfast should be dropped off in the east parking lot and enter through the cafeteria doors (door #7). Please note that our cafeteria supervision starts at 7:40 am and so we ask that you do not drop your child earlier, as the doors will not be unlocked.

Library, Gym, & Instruction Para Room

8:00 – 8:20 am

We have designated, supervised locations where students can attend a morning program from 8:00 - 8:20 am. Students arriving for the morning program should be dropped on at the front entrance and enter in through door #1. Please note that we don’t allow students to go to the morning programs if they arrive after 8:10 am, as there is not enough time for students to attend the morning program before the 8:20 am bell.

Any students following Trailblazer's behavioral expectations will have the choice to go to the following morning programs:

  • Kindergarten & 1st-grade students go to the library for reading time.
  • 2nd - 5th-grade students can go to the gym for movement activities or the Instructional Para room in the green learning commons to use their chromebooks.


8:10 - 8:20 am

Supervision is provided outside the front entrance (door #1) from 8:15 - 8:20 am. Students not participating in any of the morning programs are asked to wait outside until the 8:20 am bell rings. When the bell rings at 8:20 am, supervisors will prompt students to enter the building according to their grade level. Please note that we ask students to remain in the cafeteria or morning program until the 8:20 am bell.

Annual FERPA Notice -- LINK

*Note: Complete and return ONLY if you are checking one of the boxes.

Emergency and Crisis Procedures

In order to ensure the safety of our students, all schools in the Grand Forks Public School District hold lockdown drills. In the event of a crisis situation, please be assured that our school has an emergency management plan in place and that school, district, and emergency staff will respond accordingly. We need your support and ask that you rely on media outlets and automated calling system for information during an incident, rather than calling the school. It is very important that you understand in a crisis situation, school phones are needed to manage the situation and lines must remain open. You must also know you need to wait for instructions on student release rather than coming to the school. Emergency personnel responding to the situation need the area clear to do their job. After emergency responders determine that a safe student release is possible, arrangements will be made to reunite children with their families. In the aftermath of a crisis, it is important to remain calm as children are greatly influenced by their family’s sense of well-being, and anything that families can do to reassure students will be helpful. At the same time, families need to be compassionate listeners when their children speak of the crisis.

Discovery's MASTER Calendar

Check the calendar often for upcoming events.

Selective Screenings for Preschool Children

In order to identify students between the ages of 3 to 5 who have a disability, the Grand Forks Special Education Unit holds a selective screen one time monthly throughout the school year (September-April). The purpose of the screen is to identify children who have a disability that may affect their school performance when they are of school age. Data collection in the areas of early intervention have demonstrated benefits of providing services early in the life of a child to significantly reduce the impact of disability during the school years.

Screening are completed based on referral to the screen due to concerns about a child’s development in one or more of the following areas: speech/language, cognition, general development, social/emotional, fine and gross motor skills, vision and hearing. If you have questions about the screenings or have a child you would like to refer to the screen, please contact Nicole Reybok, Coordinator, 746-2205 ext. 7147 or Diane Schuster, Office Manager 746-2230.

Also, check out the graphic below about the Early Childhood Special Education Peer Program.

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PowerSchool Information

PowerSchool Sign On Link

Below is the link to sign on to your PowerSchool account or to create an account. You can not access the 2019-2020 Registration link/portal through the PowerSchool app.

PS link -

This link is also on the website. Click the Registration tab at the top and then on the right hand side, the second link is the PowerSchool link.

If you have any questions or need your child's information to create your PowerSchool account, please email Shawna at

Important Documents:


Resources from our Nurse:

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