Panther Patter

April 2016

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Panthers,

We are already beginning the second week of a busy 4th quarter, with many important events to make sure are on your calendar. There is still so much to learn and do before the end of the year, so we ask everyone to give their best effort until the very last day of school. Parents, please make sure your children are present, on time, and ready to learn so they can be successful.


Although there are no FSA tests this week, there are several more tests in the weeks ahead. Here is a brief summary of the upcoming assessment schedule:

April 11 – 15: 5th Grade FSA Math (*CBT)

April 18 – 22: 4th Grade FSA ELA (*CBT), 5th Grade FSA Science (Paper-based)

April 25 – 29: 5th Grade FSA ELA (*CBT)

*CBT = Computer-Based Testing

Our 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade students have been working very hard to demonstrate the learning they’ve been doing all year on the FSA tests. I am proud of their positive attitudes, great effort, and persistence even when the tests get tough! Our teachers have done a wonderful job – collaborating to develop excellent lessons based on high expectations of the Florida Standards, and tailored to the needs of their students. Our students are ready because of their hard work and the dedication of our teachers.

School Grades

As you may know, schools in Florida receive a letter grade each year from the state’s Department of Education, based in large part on student tests scores. The 2014-2015 school grades were based entirely on the results of the FSA, taken by students last year in the spring. For elementary schools, the grade was based the average percent of students scoring a Level 3 (proficient) or higher in ELA (English/Language Arts – a.k.a. Reading & Writing), Math and Science. Sugar Mill’s 2014-2015 school grade was a “B”, just 2 points below the score needed for an “A”. Although a “B” represents a letter grade drop from 2013-2014, I am still proud of the hard work it represents. To earn a “B” within 2 points of an “A” is no easy achievement, and demonstrates the effort that was given on a new and challenging test. I’m even prouder of the work we’re doing this year. With our emphasis on collaboration, increasing rigor, and adapting our instruction to meet student needs, I am confident that we will continue to be a high-performing school for years to come.

Important News & Notes

In addition to the important testing information above, please note the following:

  • Summer VPK registration is April 5th from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. for students who will be 5 years old by 9/1/2016. Registration for Summer VPK will also be available during our Kindergarten registration days. Please see Mrs. Tomlinson for more information.

  • Kindergarten registration will be held on May 2nd through 6th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and May 3rd from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. “Buddy Day” will be on May 10th from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Please see Mrs. Tomlinson for more information about Kindergarten Registration and Mrs. Hepburn for information about “Buddy Day”.

  • The annual Climate Survey is still available until April 15th. We value your input and encourage everyone to participate. Use this link to access the Parent Climate Survey:

If you are unable to access the survey through the link above, you can copy and paste it into your web browser, or click the link on the front page of our school website. Computers are available at school for your convenience.

  • If you are interested in serving on our School Advisory Council (SAC) for next year, please let me know by Monday, April 11th. Elections will be held in May for the upcoming year.

Let’s have a great April at Sugar Mill Elementary, and remember P.A.W.S. – Panthers Always Will Succeed!


Dr. Nehrig

From the Assistant Principal's Desk

Hello Panther families,

I am so excited about finishing strong in our last nine weeks of school. There are a few topics we would like to remind you of before the end of the school year. In an effort to keep our students and campus safe, we are asking for our parent loop traffic to adhere to the school zone posted speed limits. Please be patient while waiting in line to drop off or pick up your students, leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Watch for pedestrians, giving them the right-of-way. Recently, we have observed an increase in the use of cell phones while driving in the parent loop. This activity can pose a threat to the safety of both students and parents. Parents, please stay alert while driving through the parent loop. If your children walk or ride a bike to school, remind them to travel in groups, stay on sidewalks, and only cross streets at designated cross-walks and where crossing guards are on duty. Bikers, make sure you are walking your bikes at cross-walks and while on campus. Together, we can all help teach our children to practice safety rules and remain safe. Panther families, we thank you for your cooperation.

We are pleased to announce that Sugar Mill Elementary is partnering with Leadership Class XX of the Port Orange/South Daytona Chamber of Commerce to beautify our campus and enhance the learning environment. They have adopted our school as part of a project called Show Your Port Orange Pride or Show Your POP. This effort is made up of local businesses and community people who want to help the community. The project will consist of repainting our world map located on the side of the main office, the seating circles in the school courtyard, and the half circle in front of the cafeteria. On Saturday, April 16th, Leadership Class XX will come to our campus with community volunteers to complete the painting project. Dr. Nehrig and I will be announcing some future projects and would love for you to consider being part of them. Be on the lookout for advertisement for needed volunteers! When our campus is safe and beautiful, our students, teachers and parents take pride. When we take pride in our school, academic achievement follows. Through our partnership with VCS facilities department, our families and our community, we will continue to improve in maintaining a school that supports student engagement in learning.

Let’s have a great April at Sugar Mill Elementary, full of learning, growing, and fun!

Springing forward,

Dr. Melani Rolle

FSA Testing Schedule

5th Grade April 11-15 and April 25-29

4th Grade April 18-22

Grade Level News

from Kindergarten

It’s officially the beginning of the fourth quarter. Please continue to work on all 81 SIPPS words with your child, even if they have mastered these words. We are continuing to practice addition, subtraction, and counting to 100 by 1’s, 5’s and 10’s. We will also be studying 2D and 3D shapes this quarter. Please practice the following skills together:

  • Add phonemes- say “at”, now add “s” (sat)

  • Substitute phonemes- say “ham”, now change the “h” to “j” (jam)

  • Delete phonemes- say “meat”, now change the “t” to “b” (beat)

Thank you for your continued support!

from First Grade

Dear Parents,

We hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break and are energized to finish our last quarter of the year. Upcoming Events include: The Jack Hartman Concert on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at Sugar Mill. The cost is $3.00 and your child will be coming home with a permission slip very soon. Please add to your calendar that the first week in April will be the only early release day during that month. Continue to send your child to school on time everyday so they do not miss crucial reading instruction. Our Reading SIPPS’s Lessons start promptly at 8:05 A.M. We are continuing to instruct your child with First Grade Curriculum until the very last day. Continue to practice the SIPP’s words and read with your child for 15 minutes each day. By the end of the year, your child should know all of the 184 SIPP’s words and should be reading independently on a DRA level 18. J

from Second Grade

We hope you all enjoyed spring break and the children are rested and ready to work hard for the last quarter. In math we will be exploring measurement and data, geometry, and algebraic thinking. In science students will learn about life cycles. The exciting news is that we will have a special concert by Jack Hartman at Sugar Mill on April 28th. This educational musical performance is always a big hit with the children! The cost is $3.00. Your child will be bringing home the field trip permission form soon. As always, we thank you for your continued support.

VPK Registration

2016-17 VPK REGISTRATION (for students who will be four by 9/1/16)

Begins Monday, April 11, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Parents must complete a Parent Interview Application and Literacy Survey (available at Sugar Mill) before registering for VPK.

Documents needed to register for Fall VPK after approval of your Interview Application:

Certificate of Eligibility (from the Early Learning Coalition)

Birth Certificate (Certified)

Social Security Card

Proof of Residence (two forms, such as mortgage, lease, utility bill, Driver’s License)

Shot Record (State of Florida form)

Physical (State of Florida form – current, date must be within one year of enrollment)

Kindergarten Registration

2016-17 KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION (for students who will be five by 9/1/16)

Monday through Friday, May 2 – 6, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Tuesday, May 3, 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Documents needed to register for Kindergarten:

Birth Certificate (Certified)

Social Security Card

Proof of Residence (two forms, such as mortgage, lease, utility bill, Driver’s License)

Shot Record (State of Florida form)

Physical (State of Florida form – current, date must be within one year of enrollment)

Pre-order your 2015-16 Yearbooks now!

This year’s book will be 72, full color pages. You may use the yearbook flyer that was sent home and enclose cash or a check for $20 made payable to Sugar Mill Elementary in the attached envelope, or pay online. To order online, go to and use ID Code 6956116.

FIFTH GRADE PARENTS ONLY may have a Happy Gram messages printed in the yearbook for $5 per message. Your child should have brought home the form, or you may get one from the front office. For questions or information, contact Mrs. Flaherty at 322-6171 ext. 39248 or

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