Chugach Optional Elementary Newsletter - November 2023
Message from Joel
Dear Chugach Families,
It is hard to believe that we are officially in the second quarter of the 2023-2024 school year! I would like to thank all the staff, students, and families for your positive thoughts as I went through my medical issues in September, and I am happy to report that all is going well with my recovery. It has certainly been a big help in that process being able to return to Chugach.
This weekend we will be setting our clocks back an hour for daylight savings time, and I would like us to take this as a reminder that we are entering the colder days of winter. Monday, when I was out helping with recess duty, I noticed a number of children who were without jackets and not dressed for the temperatures. Please make sure your child has the proper gear for the weather and conditions as we want to make sure we stay as healthy as we can as the flu season is here and we have had a number of staff and students out sick recently.
As we all know, parking is a tricky issue here at Chugach. Please make sure that you we keep the reserved spaces open for those that are assigned them, and that we don’t leave cars unattended in the fire lane or blocking other cars in. I would also like to put a reminder out to please watch your speed in the parking lots (Chugach, Municipality, New Hope) and along the side streets adjacent to the school. As the mornings are darker and icier we want to make sure that everyone is safe as they arrive and leave Chugach each day.
As many of you know there is a conflict currently going on in the middle east that has escalated between Hamas and Israel. In order to help facilitate discussions parents may wish to have with their student(s), the ASD has a resource guide available on the following links.
How to talk to kids about violence, crime and war From Common Sense Media
From the San Diego County Office of Education
Helping Your Students Cope With a Violent World: From Edutopia features strategies for helping children make sense of violence, feel empowered, and inspire them to feel hopeful.
How to Talk to Children about Violence in Israel and Gaza 14-minute podcast from NPR
Lastly, I hope everyone has a great November and December, and I look forward to seeing you at the Auction this Friday (6-9 pm) at 49th Street Brewing.
Chugach Auction is Friday!
The Chugach Auction is this week! Join us this Friday, Nov. 3 from 6-10 p.m. at the 49th State Brewing Co. for a fun, 70s-themed parents-night out to support our school. Come as you are – bell bottoms are optional! Visit chugachoptional.betterworld.org to get your auction tickets now before ticket prices go up on Wednesday. While there, you can also get your parking spot drawing tickets, start bidding on the silent auction items, and peruse the live auction items so you are ready to raise your paddle Friday night!
November's Important Dates
Wednesday, November 1 - 5/6 BOB (11:30am-12:30pm), Garden Club (2:50pm-4:30pm), 3/4 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Thursday, November 2 - 5/6 BOB (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Friday, November 3 - Parent Coordinator Meeting (8:30am-9:30am), Uppers Water Safety @ West Pool (8:30am-11:30am), Basketball 3/4 & 5/6 (3:00pm-4:00pm), CHUGACH AUCTION @ 49th State Brewery (6:00pm-9:00pm)
Monday, November 6 - CEC Board Meeting (8:30m - 9:30am), 3/4 BOB (11:40am-12:20pm), Lego League (3:00 - 4:00pm), 5/6 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Wednesday, November 8 - Uppers Cardboard Boat Regatta @ West Pool (8:30am-11:30am), 5/6 BOB (11:30am-12:30pm), 3/4 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Thursday, November 9 - 5/6 BOB (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Friday, November 10 - In-Service Day - NO SCHOOL
Monday, November 13 - School Picture Retake Day! (8:30am - 11:30am), 3/4 BOB (11:40am-12:20pm), Lego League (3:00 - 4:00pm), 5/6 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Wednesday, November 15 - 5/6 BOB (11:30am-12:30pm), 3/4 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm), Community Assembly Meeting (6:00pm-7:30pm)
Thursday, November 16 - 5/6 BOB (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Friday, November 17 - Early Release Day (Dismissal@11:15am)
Monday, November 20 - 3/4 BOB (11:40am-12:20pm), Lego League (3:00 - 4:00pm), 5/6 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Wednesday, November 22 - 5/6 BOB (11:30am-12:30pm), 3/4 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
November 23 & 24 - THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY - NO SCHOOL
Monday, November 27 - 3/4 BOB (11:40am-12:20pm), Lego League (3:00 - 4:00pm), 5/6 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Wednesday, November 28 - 5/6 BOB (11:30am-12:30pm), 3/4 Basketball (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Thursday, November 16 - 5/6 BOB (3:00pm-4:00pm)
Amazing Sunrises @ Chugach Optional
It is that time of year when we are treated to some AMAZING sunrises over the Chugach Mountains from our school's front door. This picture was taken by Polly on October 26th.
Request for donations for New Hope
It’s getting cold! NEW HOPE (across the street from Chugach) is looking for winter coats, hats, socks, boots, mittens, gloves, toiletries, belts, and underwear—in all sizes and for boys/girls and adult male/female. They are currently asking community members for donations. Let’s come together and gather items to help our neighbors! https://www.newhopeak.org/
A donation box will be available in the front of the school. Please drop off items throughout the next couple of weeks.
We have a new Cafe Manager for Chugach Optional!!! Makoto Rising has been busy doing trainings at another school for the last two weeks and will start working at our school the week of November 6th. Hot lunch service will begin on Wednesday, November 8th.
With the arrival of hot lunch service, school lunch will no longer be free at Chugach Optional. School lunches cost $4.75 and includes milk. If only milk is being purchased the cost is $1.
It is recommended that parents pre-pay their students meal account through Parent Connect. Prepaid meal accounts help the lunch lines go faster and gives students more time to eat. For information on how to pre-pay a students meal account click here.
Families can also apply for Free and Reduced-Price meals by completing an application on the ASD website Student Nutrition page.
@ our library
As our first quarter ends and we are getting ready for a busy winter holiday season, thank you for pausing and connecting with your child(ren) about library books, especially overdue library books. During library time, we talk about how we are thinking about others when we remember to return our library books because other friends may want to check out the books that we are forgetting at home.
In an effort to say money and trees, I don’t send home paper copies of overdue books.
During library time, I have taught our Middles and Uppers how to use the library catalog to see what books are checked out, when books are due, how to renew books and how to put holds on books.
But how can you support them at home?
CLEVER and Chugach Library Catalog links!!!
We now have a direct link to Clever and our Chugach library catalog on our Chugach website under ‘Student Resources’. Clever is ASD’s ‘portal’ to our online links. Each teacher has a Clever page. On my Clever page (Amy @Chugach Library), I have videos that show how to use the library catalog if needed.
If you need support with your student’s ASD credentials, please connect with me - I can help!
If library books are lost and need replacing, please connect with me so we can make a family plan.
Thank you to Carrie and Maya for your ideas and background support to make this happen for our community!
Any questions or thoughts, please feel free to connect with me in the library or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the CEC.....
Hello Chugach Families!
We have had a busy October!
First, a big thank you to the Chugach community for supporting Big Simple, our classroom fundraiser. We raised more than $26,100 and reached 97% of our goal! We will keep the Big Simple donation page available online in case you would still like to donate.
Thank you to Paulina Larenas-Bajwa and all the volunteers for a super fun Fall Carnival! We are grateful for all of the family group booth coordinators and volunteers as well as our carnival committee, including Marcelisa Bowen and Paolina Hernandez for decorations, Kurt Marsch and Jaime Metoyer for organizing the cake walk and baked goods, Nick Bajwa and Tor Christopherson for supporting the carriage rides, Renee Sink and Jen Ireland for helping with the puppet show, and Sarah DeGraffenried and Peregrina Roberson for taking care of all the delicious food. How about that 6th grade haunted house? Thank you to Amy Alderfer, Julie Burdette-Meyers, Yuki Varnell, Jennifer Flanagan, and Urszula Dlugosz for leading our 6th grade students, who never cease to amaze us!
Speaking of 6th grade, let’s celebrate that Chugach will be keeping 6th grade as an option for families as the district moves forward with its plan to move 6th grade to middle school. We will provide answers to questions as information becomes available.
Don’t forget to join us at the Chugach Auction this Friday. It’s a great night to enjoy our community of parents and raise funds for our operating budget. Don't forget to buy your tickets by visiting https://chugachoptional.betterworld.org/.
Our next Community Assembly Meeting (CAM) will be Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 6-7:30 p.m. We will hear from Chugach parent and pediatrician Susan Beesley, who will introduce us to mindful parenting.
We hope to see you there!
The CEC Board
School Pictures - Retake Day
Kudos to Our Community and Chugach’s Philosophy
Part of Chugach’s Philosophy is supporting our students’ intrinsic desire to learn and to help others. For the past 18 years, Chugach has taken part in Kids Heart Challenge sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA). Chugach continues to be the top earning school in ASD. I had a planning meeting with AHA for Chugach’s event in February and I wanted to share a compliment and insight from the conversation with them.
AHA: “Let’s do a class vs class challenge or an incentive prize for those that register before the opening event or a give aways of shirts to staff members.”
Polly: “No, thank you.”
AHA: “I’m confused. I’m trying to give you prizes and incentives to raise money and you keep turning me down. You are the number one school in the whole district in raising money for the American Heart Association! What motivates your students?”
Polly: “We are intrinsically motivated to raise money to help others because it’s the right thing to do!”
AHA sat back: “You are right! What an amazing school and community you have!”
As we are celebrating our 50th, I wanted to share that our philosophy makes a difference. We are supporting our students becoming productive citizens by thinking of others – not because they are going to get a prize, but because it is the right thing to do and it feels good to help others.
November Community Assembly Meeting
Please join us at the next Community Assembly Meeting (CAM) on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6-7:30 p.m. in the library. We will hear from Susan Beesley, a Chugach mom of Robin (Mikelle's family group), Locke (Kris's family group), and Sam (Chugach alum). Susan is also a pediatrician who specializes in behavioral health and mindfulness-based interventions. She will present about mindful parenting, introducing us to mindfulness and an overview of mindful parenting topics such as attunement, mindful communication, walking the middle path, and equanimity.
Waterbottle Filling Station Update
DON'T FORGET - CHUGACH AUCTION - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD
Anchorage Fire Department Visit
The Anchorage Fire Department dropped by to visit with all three of our Primary Family Groups on Monday, October 30th as part of fire safety month. Students had a great time hearing about fire safety and checking out the fire engine.
- Chugach Optional students go outside for morning and lunch time recess in almost all weather. The only exception is when the outdoor temperature falls below -10F. Please make sure your student(s) come to school with the appropriate outdoor gear.
Please encourage your student(s) to be prepared.
- All parents, visitors, and volunteers who are going to be in the school after 9:00 am need to sign in at the office.
- Please refrain from parking in any of the "RESERVED" parking spots, the fire lane or the loading area. Also, please do not park in such a way that you block others from getting out of their parking spots. We know parking is tight but for safety and courtesy reasons these areas/spots must be respected. Chugach families are welcome to park at the New Hope Church across the street and in the Municipal EOC parking lot but please do not park in their reserved parking areas and be mindful of your speed at all times.
- We are in need of Noon Duty attendants at the school. Please go to the ASD website to apply if interested in these positions.