The Leighton News

January 28, 2022

From the Principal

Dear Leighton Families,

I continue to be amazed by how fast our weeks are going as we are getting ready to welcome February. The month of January is a time where we get to celebrate our students' growth through benchmarking as we get to see the amazing growth each child has made in all areas of the curriculum through our math and reading frameworks as well as our social-emotional/ PBIS framework. We have so many amazing educators, interventionists, paraeducators, specialists in the building that support our learners through a whole-child approach to teaching and learning. We work to ensure each child is future ready and has a well rounded education while embedding our 6 competencies and strategic vision into all we do! My favorite part of the day will always be the time I spend with our learners in classrooms, specials, at lunch or at recess, and hear the excitement they exude from what they learned that day, the new friend they made, or how they accomplished an important goal. We have the distinct honor of working with each of your children each day and we value each moment that we get to see them shine.

We are looking forward to celebrating our teachers and school counselor during the week of February 7th which is Teacher Appreciation and School Counselor week . Thank you to our amazing PTO who always puts together a week of wonderful surprises and appreciation for our educators who work so hard each day to provide the best possible learning environments.

We will also be kicking off Black History Month as we celebrate diversity and learn about influential historical figures. We consistently embrace all the things that make each of us special and support our learners in celebrating those things.

Parent/ Teacher Conferences are also coming up on February 17th and February 23rd from 5:30-8:30 or by appointment with your child's teacher. We will be holding conferences Virtual again this year but a face to face meeting can be arranged if necessary.

Remember to bundle up for the weather. January, February, and March are notorious for cold temperatures. If the "feel like" temperature is between 15-20 degrees, students will be going outside for recess as they need this time to socialize, run around, play, or just take a break.

As we round out January, we wanted to once again thank our Board of Education for all of their support, dedication, and commitment to continue helping our schools be some of the best around and our students continue to thrive through the amazing resources and services we provide. We also want to recognize and share our condolences to the Kohanski Family. Mr. Kohanski served on the Board of Education for twenty-four years, and, as President, for twenty- two years. Mr. Kohanski's commitment to education and our community was inspiring. Our hearts go out to the Kohanski Family and friends.

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your continued partnership and support this school year!

Kind Regards,

Mrs. Michelle Nizen, Building Principal

Mrs. Maria Goodman, Assistant Principal

Counselor's Corner

Dear Parents ~ I would like to offer a virtual experience for our Leighton students this year surrounding College and Career Readiness. In order to do this, I need to ask for your help......if you would like to participate, please just follow the steps below:

1. Please create a short video clip talking about your career choice

2. Some of the things to consider when creating your video:

a. How or when did you decide this was what you wanted to do?

b. What training did your career involve? Did you go to college or a trade program/training?

c. What is the most rewarding part of your career choice?

d. What is the hardest part of your career choice?

e. How are all of the things our students learn daily relevant in your career choice?

f. Our 3 Big Ideas for the district are Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be a Problem

Solver ~ why are those characteristics vital to your career choice?

3. Anything else you'd like to share about your career choice

4. Please have your video to me no later than March 18, 2022 -

THANK YOU so much for your support and time with this project. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Be sure to visit my Google Site (often) for updates, resources, and fun things we are doing!!

Tami S. Mazzella

School Counselor


Leighton Elementary Welcomes Lindsay Verdova as the New Building Secretary!

We are excited to welcome Lindsay Verdova to our Leighton Family as the new Building Secretary upon Board Approval on Monday, January 31st Board Meeting. She will begin on January 31st and is very excited to be a part of our Leighton Family. Lindsay’s experiences as an owner and manager showcased her keen aptitude with various clerical duties as well as her student centered philosophies and enthusiastic, positive disposition.

Get to know Lindsay a little bit more below:

Hello Leighton families! My name is Lindsay Verdova and I am so excited to be the new secretary here at Leighton Elementary! I am originally from the Detroit area (GO BLUE!), but have been living in Ohio since attending the University of Dayton 20 years ago. That is where I met my husband Mark and we have been married for over 15 years. We have been proud Aurora residents for the past 8 years and have two beautiful, active daughters in the district; Aubrey who is in the 7th grade at Harmon and Ella who is in 3rd grade here at Leighton! We also added our mini golden doodle, Coach, to our family almost 1 year ago. Before taking on this position, I have been in the fitness world as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for the past 12 years. Fitness and wellness is something I care about deeply and is one of my biggest passions in life. Leighton has always held a special place in my heart as I was the PTO VP for Leighton back several years ago. I love the teachers and the staff and of course the students! They are at such a fun age and I can't wait to get to know all of them! In my free time when we aren't busy at my daughters many sporting events, I enjoy working out, spending time with friends, visiting family and trying new restaurants with my foodie husband. I look forward to meeting you all!

Valentine's Day Parties

We are excited for the upcoming Valentine's Day Parties on Friday, February 11th 2022. Your child's teacher will be communicating information about upcoming Valentine's Day celebrations as well and can share student names in your child's class. In order to keep the tradition of passing our Valentines to classmates, we have a few important reminders. Please do not send any food or candy in with your child's valentines. A small trinket is ok but we ask that candy is not attached due to allergy concerns.

The times for the parties are the following:

3rd- 10:00 -11:00 ( Parent Volunteers come at 10:00 to set up with parties starting at 10:10 and wrapping up by 11:00)

4th and 5th- 2:15-3:15 (Parent Volunteers come at 2:15 pm to set up with parties starting at 2:25 and wrapping up by 3:15 before buses arrive)

Thank you to our PTO and all of our parent support to make our party days so memorable and fun for our students! We appreciate all you do!

Spotlight on PBIS

We continue to capitalize on opportunities to teach and reinforce our 3 pillars of Being Respectful, Being Responsible, and Being a Problem Solver through our daily words and actions and celebrate our students' successes with "caught being good tickets." Each week we teach our students "focus skills" based on the data from the previous week including any referrals or situations that have arisen. This week's focus skill is I can have a safe body and keep hands, feet, and unkind words to myself. Our UDL (Universally Designed) lessons hone in on each focus skill allowing us to explicitly teach those skills, reinforce them, and connect them to our strategic vision including our 6 competencies of a learner (critical thinker, collaborator, innovator, resilient, balanced, and empathetic). Ms. Mazzella also capitalizes on teaching these skills in her classroom lessons focused on various topics including friendships, growth mindset, perseverance as it relates to school work, etc. We are looking forward to announcing our Golden Fork winners every 2 weeks for demonstrating our 3 pillars in the lunchroom and at recess while following all the expectations. Congratulations went to Mrs. Parker, Ms. Most, and Mrs. Samelko who earned the Golden Fork and will be getting ready to pass it along to the next winning classes to display outside their classroom doors. Lastly, our monthly PBIS office raffle was today Friday, January 28th. Students turned in their caught being good tickets to the office and a building-wide drawing took place, where caught being good tickets were read over the announcements and students picked a prize from our PBIS rewards cart. We captured that moment with a group photo below.

Here are some great resources to support your PBIS efforts at home. Thank you for your partnership!

Lastly, we are excited about our PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention Supports Programming and the engaging, safe, and supportive learning environments it fosters. Part of the program's effectiveness is looking at feedback from all stakeholders including students, staff, and parents. Please take a moment to complete our PBIS family survey linked above if you have not already done so to help us continue to enhance our PBIS program. This will be the last week to do so. We always look forward to your feedback!

January's PBIS Building Wide Raffle!

Big picture

PTO News

Yearbook Orders: Yearbooks are now on sale! The sale runs through February 21st. Please use the link to purchase your yearbook

Password: leighton22

Teacher Appreciation Week 2/7-2/11: We want to shower our teachers with gratitude during this week. Each day will incorporate a different way of showing our gratitude to our teachers. Be on the lookout for information to come from your head room parents for what each day will be.

PTO Meeting: 2/9/22 Our next monthly meeting will be held on this date. Please stay tuned for location/time.

PTO ELECTIONS: There are board positions for next year! It's a wonderful way to volunteer in your child's school! Please consider joining the PTO board and helping to plan fun and meaningful events for our elementary schools!!! If you have any questions, or would like to talk to a current board member, see the emails below:

PTO President: Katie Stump
Craddock Vice President: Lindsey Twarogowski

Miller Vice President: Erin Toler

Leighton Vice President: Natasha Rodriguez-Olah

Treasurer: Ashley Keating

Secretary: Bridget Sable you would like to join the PTO please click the link and fill out the form.

Head Room Parent Communication:

If you would like to receive communication from your head room parent, please click on the link and fill out the form.

Important Dates and Reminders


9 PTO Meeting

11 Valentine’s Day Parties

17 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

18 NO SCHOOL ~ Teacher Professional Day

21 NO SCHOOL ~ Presidents Day

23 Parent/Teacher Conferences (5:30 PM to 8:30 PM)

Please see some reminders in regards to our car rider line

1. When a teacher shows the stop signal with their hand or does not motion for your child to exit the car please do not let them get out of the car.

2. Please DO NOT pull around cars unless a teacher motions you around. This is for the safety of our students.

3. Please make sure your child is ready to go when they reach the front of the car line.

Thank you for your help in making the car line run as smoothly and safely as possible.


Click on the link below to view the school lunch menus. We are excited to have the Nutrition Group supporting our lunch program this year. Our students have been enjoying the variety of options. We HIGHLY encourage you to check the menu each week to see if any changes will be occurring.

Student Attendance

Please remember that when you take your child out of school for a doctor or dentist appointment, the State of Ohio requires that a doctor's note be brought back to the school for attendance purposes. You can give the note to the secretaries in the main office.

Clinic Updates

As a reminder, please monitor your child for any COVID-related symptoms and contact our school nurse if you have any questions. We appreciate your attention to this.

  • Check your child each day for COVID-related symptoms. If your child is showing any symptoms whatsoever, it is best to keep him/her home to monitor.
  • Students sent home with a fever, may not return to school until they are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. This means if your child was sent home on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. with a fever, he/she may not return to school until Thursday. If your child does return the next day, our school nurse will be calling for you to come to pick him/her up. Thank you for your support and efforts in this area.
  • We have COVID-19 home testing kits available that we can send home with any child or family should you question symptoms or exposure. We will be able to answer any questions about these kits should the need arise.
  • Please make sure your Final Forms medical information is up to date. We will closely read the health sections to address any medical concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Tanski in the clinic at 330-954-2285 or email her at

**** If your child will be absent for an extended period, please reach out to your child's teacher and they will get school work ready for your student for the period of the absence. You may pick up the work outside the main office on a table that will be labeled with your student's name. We are a google district and utilize google classroom in our 3-5 classes. Please check in with your child's teacher about any google classroom posting and/or assignments in his/her absence.

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures and Transportation

As a reminder, you can find our arrival and dismissal procedures here.

Thank you for all your assistance on helping us make sure our arrival and dismissal procedures are safe, smooth, and rapid.

For transportation information go to: (cut & paste into your browser)

The login information is as follows:

User name = jane.smith (That is the students first name period last name with no spaces) Password = students date of birth 01012021 with no characters or spaces between mmdayyear

Please be reminded we now have GPS on all of the school buses. You can see when the bus is to arrive at your home. Download the app "versatrans my stop" from the app store and sign in the same as above. If you have any questions or concerns with transportation, please email us at