Swanson Elementary March News

March 3, 2023

Message from the Principal

Dear Swanson Families,

Thank you so much for you continued patience, kind words of encouragement, and warm friendly smiles in the pick up and drop off lanes everyday. Palmer is an amazing community and we are so thankful for our parents.

Swanson is proud to be a Title 1 school. We are starting to plan our final event of the year in May. Any time you have questions in regards to Title 1 events, the budget, how we support academic learning please stop in or call me anytime. I am very proud of our Swanson students and the growth they have made this year and eager to start planning next years Title 1 plan.

If you are interested in joining our Title 1 Planning committee please call 861-5300. We will start meeting the end of March.

Happy March,

Principal Halfacre

Swanson Report Card to the Public

Please read the letter regarding recent data the State of Alaska has published. Note that Swanson Elementary does not have data from the Alaska STAR assessment because that test is given in the third grade.


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No school March 10-17

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Hello Swanson Families!

My name is Cassandra Gerard and I am Swanson’s part-time counselor. I spent a large chunk of the beginning of the school year on maternity leave but have been back since January. I have had the pleasure of running small groups to work on social skills and social-emotional learning for students who may benefit from a smaller classroom setting. If this is something you feel your child may benefit from feel free to contact me or their classroom teacher for further information. Thank you for all that you do and I am looking forward to another wonderful quarter with your kiddos!

Cassandra Gerard

School Counselor

Swanson Elementary School

(907) 861-5336

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Order your Swanson yearbook!

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SY23-24 Boundary Exemptions

The electronic Boundary Exempt form for 2023-24 will be available in ParentVUE beginning February 15th. Information for families is available on the website under ParentVUE/Registration.

2023-2024 Calendar Adoption

The 2023-24 Calendar was adopted by the school board at the Wednesday, February 1 School Board meeting.


Please send your child in with the proper cold weather gear. Hats, gloves, snow pants, and winter boots are all required for students to go outside. Students go outside for recess and P.E in all conditions and with temperatures as low as -10 degrees.
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  • MSBSD is proud to offer SchoolCafe, a safe and secure way for parents and students to access meal activity and information.

    A Quick Reference Sheet is available to help you get acquainted with using SchoolCafe

    Through SchoolCafe, parents and students can:

    • Access school menus 24/7 from any Internet-enabled device
    • Apply for Free & Reduced meals
    • Find allergen information (also linked here)
    • Find nutrient information (also linked here)
    • Access nutrition/fitness information
    • Rate food items and share feedback
    • ... and more!

    Click here to register for or sign into SchoolCafe.


  • Breakfast $2.25

  • Lunch $3.75


  • MSBSD offers SchoolPay for online and credit card meal payments. More Info...

  • The District will:

  • Send a low balance notice to the student’s parent or guardian on a weekly basis.

  • Determine if the student has been identified as being eligible for free or reduced price lunches under the USDA’s current Income Eligibility Guidelines.

  • If the student has not been identified as being eligible for free or reduced price lunches, the school shall make reasonable efforts to contact the student’s parent or guardian to have the parent or guardian fill out an application to determine if the student is eligible for free or reduced price meals under the USDA’s Income Eligibility Guidelines.

  • If the student is not eligible for free or reduced price meals or the parent or guardian does not fill out an application, the school shall make reasonable efforts to contact the parent or guardian and to offer assistance filling out an application, if appropriate.

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Free and Reduced lunches


  • Parents can submit applications to enroll their student(s) in the free and reduced meal program. Applications should be submitted annually and may be completed online through SchoolCafe or via a printable meal application. Paper applications cannot be submitted via email or fax, but must be submitted to the student's school or directly to Nutrition Services (690 E Cope Industrial Way, Palmer, AK 99645).

    The application process will require the following information be provided:

    • Total household size
    • Income for all household members (Income guidelines are available here)
    • Student name(s)
    • Additional information that is helpful, though not required, includes the student's birth date, enrolled school, and MSBSD ID number

    Questions regarding the application process can be directed to (907) 861-5100.

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Spring concerts

After Spring Break, students will begin practicing for the Spring Concert! The ukulele club will perform at the second grade concert.

Concert Dates:

2nd Grade May 10 5:30pm

1st Grade May 9 5:30pm

Kindergarten May 8 5:30pm

Paula Berg

Swanson Elementary

Music Teacher

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News from the Library

Beginning the week of March 20th, our library billing system will automatically connect to SchoolPay online. This new process should streamline billing when needed for damaged or missing school materials and simplify payments for you. If your child currently has a bill for a missing, lost, or damaged library material or Chromebook, a payment option will automatically be created in your child’s SchoolPay online account. If you see a duplicate charge or a payment option for something you’ve already paid, please contact our school office right away. If a charge appears for library materials you were not expecting, please contact the school library for assistance. Once payment has been made, your child’s library account should automatically be updated and borrowing privileges will be restored. While we hope this process goes smoothly, sometimes things come up that we’re not expecting. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to this new integration of technology.

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Dear Parent/ Guardian,

Currently, there are some cases of head lice in the community. Please check your child(ren) periodically and if you find evidence of head lice, immediate treatment should be given. If your child requires treatment, please contact your school nurse so she can provide guidance.


CDC - Lice - Head Lice

Education and information about head lice, information for parents, information for schools, head lice treatments, head lice diagnosis, and head lice prevention information.



Head Lice: What Parents Need to Know

The following information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help you check for, treat, and prevent the spread of head lice.


Hazel O’Neill Román, BSN, RN, NCSN

School Nurse, Swanson Elementary

Phone: (907) 861- 5300/ (907) 861- 5318 (Direct)


Health Services Link

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Upcoming events/Save the Date

March 10th~ Work day for teachers (No School for students)

March 11th- 17th~ Spring break

April 28th~Professional Development Day (No School for students)

May 11th~ Title 1 Final Event of the year "Ready, Set, Grow" 4:30-6:00

May 19~ Last day of school