Heights Elementary

October 1, 2020 Volume 7 Issue 2

*Our Children * Our World *Our Future

Mission: Heights Elementary IB World School is dedicated to developing balanced, lifelong learners through educational excellence, a global perspective, reflection and action.

Vision: To Be A World Class School.

About Heights

School Hours: 7:55 am—2:10 pm

Doors open at 7:30 am

Breakfast: 7:30-7:45 am

Heights Contact Information:

Address: 15200 Alexandria Ct. Ft. Myers, FL 33908

Telephone: 239.481.1761 Fax:239.481.3154

Website: het.leeschools.net

Twitter: @HeightsIB

Facebook: Heights Elementary

From Mr. Palow

Students respond better to emergency drills and practices when they understand the reasons and facts behind these drills. Over the past couple of weeks your student's has been going over the drill evacuations that Lee County School District has required all schools to follow.

Our top priority is keeping our students and staff as safe as possible. By practicing drills, we are helping teachers/staff/students feel better prepared for all emergency situations. The steps that need to be taken in each drill are gone over in class, and our monthly drills help students to practice different scenarios. Each year, in accordance to the State and District policies, we are required to have emergency drills each month.

We practice our drills at various times of the day, so students are familiar with what to do if they are in any part of the school, not just in their homeroom class. Some of the drills will occur during lunch, during their enrichment class, or during recess so that we can practice different scenarios. In class, the teachers are discussing with the their students the procedural aspects of the drill, to help students know the steps to follow. They are helping them understand that this is only a practice drill and that we just want to be prepared in case an emergency ever does occur. We want our students to understand that we will do anything and everything to keep them safe.

At home, you can help your child better understand the reasons for the drills. Discussing the reasons with them and helping your child understand that the #1 goal of the staff and administration at Heights Elementary is to protect our students and ensure their safety while they are on our campus. The more your child understands the drills the more prepared and calm they will be if a real emergency should occur.

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After School Program: Dodie Lytle

IB and Exhibition: Michelle Edwards

MTSS & 504 Accommodations: Lindsey Thorstad

Contact information Changes: Michele Curry

Transportation: Mike Licata

Gifted testing: Ashley Jarzyk

Clinic: Cheri Mack (Clinic Assistant) or Katie Rodriguez (School Nurse)

Lee Home Connect and Covid 19 Concerns: Anika Carter

What's Happening?

Oct. 5th: I-Ready reports go home (1st-5th grade). Interim grades may be view in Focus.

Oct. 14th: Individual Student Picture Day (Lee Home Connect Student picture day will be Nov.10)

Oct. 30th: End of 1st Quarter (Early Dismissal Day -12:10)

Oct. 30th: No after school care available

Oct. 31st: Halloween

Click for the Quick Heights Parent Survey

Please provide us with some feedback about the start of the school year.

Choose Joy!

Don't wait for things to get easier, simpler, better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, you will run out of time. We can't often choose our circumstances but we can better control our reactions and emotions. Choose JOY!

Updated Interim and Report Card Dates

Quarter 1:

October 5, 2020 –Interims

November 10, 2020 –Report Cards

Quarter 2:

December 7, 2020 – Interims

February 11, 2021 – Report Cards

Quarter 3:

March 8, 2021 – Interims

April 27, 2021 – Report Cards

Quarter 4:

May 17, 2021 – Interims

June 17, 2021 – Report Cards


Paper copy interims will no longer be sent home on interim days. Parents may review their student's grades at anytime on Focus. Your student's grades will be up to date on the assigned interim days. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the school.

Parent FOCUS Account

How to Register

  • Visit the Focus Parent Portal using the orange button above

  • If you are creating an account for the first time, select the "Click here to create a Focus Parent Portal Account" link at the center of the page.

  • Select the "CREATE ACCOUNT" icon on the bottom of the page.

  • Enter the information in all the required fields and click "Submit" to create your account.

  • Once all required information has been entered click "I would like to ADD A CHILD who is already enrolled".

  • You will need a Student ID, Birth Date, and Portal PIN for each student account you wish to add.

  • Note that the student Portal PIN will be emailed to the Parent's email address on file. If you did not receive this PIN, contact your child's school.

  • Enter the information in all the required fields and click "Add Student" to create your account.

  • Your student's account is now linked to your parent portal account.

  • To add another child, click "I would like to ADD A CHILD who is already enrolled." Enter all the information required and click Add Student. (Note that this step can be completed as many times as necessary, or later, if needed).

  • Otherwise, click “I am Finished Adding Students Please take me to the Portal

**Note in the future you will need to use the username provided, and the password you create to access your portal again.

Focus Parent Portal

Real-time view of assignments, grades, attendance and progress monitoring results


What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is an online program that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

What happens next?

The i-Ready Diagnostic will provide results that help the teacher identify your child’s strengths and determine next steps for instruction. We look forward to sharing these results with you throughout the year and providing a learning experience that will engage your child while teaching important skills and concepts.

If you have any questions about i-Ready, please do not hesitate to contact the school at 239-481-1761. You can also learn more about i-Ready by

visiting i-ReadyCentral.com/FamilyCenter.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for being a partner in your child’s learning!

IB Profile Word for October: Knowledgeable

Exploring knowledge and engaging in issues and ideas that have local and global significance. Learning many New Things, Show and Tell What You Know.
IB Trait: Knowledgeable
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PTA News

Join the PTA!


Oct 13th: Zoom General Mtg and Board and Budget vote - you must be a 2020-21 member to vote

Oct 14-18th: Silent Auction -bid on parking spots, name places around school and Principal for the day! Watch our FB page for more information.

Follow our FB page -


Red Ribbon Week: Oct. 26th-Oct. 30th

National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, was established as a grassroots, nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention. Nancy Reagan was an Honorary Chair of NFP. Since its founding thirty years ago, NFP has devoted its efforts to the well-being of youth. Today, NFP is a national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy. Their mission is to lead and support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug free youth.

Each day during Red Ribbon Week has a different theme reminding students to make good healthy choices:

Monday, October 26: In the Red Day- wear red

Tuesday, October 27: Sock it to Drugs- wear crazy socks

Wednesday, Oct. 28: Put a cap on drugs -wear your favorite hat

Thursday, Oct. 29: Team Up Against Drugs- wear a team jersey OR Height’s Shirt

Friday, Oct. 30: Say BOO to Drugs - Storybook Character Day or Halloween shirt (Scary costumes are prohibited)

Guidelines for Storybook Character Day Costumes: Oct. 30th

Students should come to school dressed in their costume but may bring a change of clothes with them. Costumes should be modeled after STORYBOOK CHARACTERS but not depict violence, blood, or gore nor should there be any weapons (i.e. swords, bows/ arrows, toy guns. etc.). Shoes must be worn. Hats are allowed but must be removed for the remainder of the school day. Scary costumes and/or scary masks are prohibited.

***Please bring the book that corresponds with your character.

Halloween Freeze Dance for Children | Freeze Dance Music That Stops | Dance Songs for Kids

School Street Entrance

Just a reminder that the only vehicles that will be allowed to enter the School Street gate are the vehicles with the special yellow Heights car tag. All other vehicles should enter through the main entry off of Gladiolus. Parking at anytime on School Street is prohibited at all times. Please be courteous to the neighboring Heights families and refrain from parking in their yards or blocking their driveway.


FortifyFL is a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows you to instantly relay information to appropriate law enforcement agencies and school officials.

What's for breakfast and lunch?

Heights offers FREE breakfast and lunch to all student.

Breakfast is available from 7:25 am - 7:45 am. Grab and Go Breakfast will take place in your students assigned grade level hallway. Students will eat their breakfast in their classroom. Students with food allergies will need to report to the cafeteria to pick up their breakfast. Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria daily.

What's for Breakfast or Lunch at Heights?

Click here to see the Heights Menu

More Reminders about Student Drop Off:

  • Due to safety and supervision concerns, student should remain in the car until 7:25.
  • For Face to Face Families: For the safety of our students and staff parents are prohibited from entering the building to walk their student to class.. To assist with social distancing and to eliminate larger gatherings, parents will need to drop students off from the carline instead of parking and walking them to the front doors. Our PreK and Social Communication families are still permitted to park and walk their student to the front door where their teacher will meet you and the student each morning. We understand this is an inconvenience for many families but we want to try our best to make sure we have a safe and healthy start to the school year.
  • Please make sure your student is ready to exit the vehicle when you pull up to the school. They have their backpack, mask, lunchbox, and water bottle all set when arriving. This will assist with allowing the drop off procedure to go smoothly.
  • Pull all the way forward when drop off your students. This will reduce the wait time for our parents and students in the drop off line.

Switching Learning Options:

At this time the School District of Lee County has put a hold on any students transferring from Face to Face learning to Lee Home Connect or Lee Home Connect to Face to Face learning until the start of 2nd quarter (Nov. 2). If you have any questions please contact Mr. Palow or Mrs. Carter at the school (239) 481-1761.

Watch for Symptoms:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

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Water Bottles

An emphasis this school year is for the students to use a water bottle to drink from throughout the school day. Please send a water bottle with your student each day. Contact Mr. Licata (MichaelVLi@leeschools.net) if your student needs a water bottle. Heights has three water bottle fill up stations thanks to out Heights PTA. Students may also fill up their water bottle in the classroom.

Early Sign Outs:

If you must sign your child out prior to the end of the school day, your child must be signed out prior to 1:40 pm. After 1:40 pm students will be sent their usual way home. A member of the office staff will meet you at the office doors to take your request and they will also walk your student to you at the office doors. Just a reminder parents are prohibited in the building until further notice. Thank you for understanding

Birthday Treats

Parents must contact the teacher if they wish to bring a birthday treat. We request healthy treats. Treats are to be store bought with the ingredients label visible and individually packaged.

Due to the recent pandemic we have changed the birthday treat process.

No cupcakes, cakes or treat items that are not individually packaged by the store.

After scheduling a time for treat drop off with your student's teacher, parents may drop the items off at the front office. Someone from the office staff will meet you at the front door. Please remember your mask.

Invitations to private student birthday parties may not be handed out during the school day unless the entire class is invited, or all girls/all boys are invited.

*Make sure you have enough for the entire class. You should confirm this number with the teacher.

*Birthday treat will be handed out in the classroom or at recess by the teacher. We will no longer hand out birthday treats during lunch time.

Coming Soon

Nov. 10th: Picture Day for Lee Home Connect Students (Schedule TBA)

Nov. 11th: Veterans Day (Schools Closed)

Nov. 23rd-26th: Thanksgiving Break! Students return November 30th

Dec. 21st-Jan. 4th: Winter Break! Students return January 5th

Jan. 18th: Dr. Martin Luther King Day (Schools Closed)

Jan. 29th: Early Dismissal at 12:10 pm/ End of quarter 2

Notification to Parents Regarding Out-of-Field Teachers

Florida State Statute 1012.42 recognizes that teachers at times must be assigned duties in a class outside the field in which the teacher is certified. The following teachers at Heights Elementary are certified, but may be assigned one or more classes outside their areas of certification and are required to take appropriate steps to comply with the statutory regulation:

Makenzie Carner.

In addition, the following teachers are engaged in training to add the endorsement, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), to their certificates:

Rachael Komrowski, Jordon Stamper, Austin McElyea, Janet Elrubaie, Wendy Sokhanvari, Christina Cerwinsky, Briana Grelinski, Stacey Head, Taylor Wahl, Makenzie Carner, Madison Barker, Nicole Carroll, Amy Monastero, & Amber Shaw.

The School Board of Lee County

Mary Fischer, District 1 (Chair)
Debbie Jordan, District 4 (Vice Chair)

Melisa W. Giovannelli, District 2
Chris N. Patricca, District 3
Gwynetta S. Gittens, District 5
Betsy Vaughn, District 6
Cathleen O'Daniel Morgan, District 7

Kathy Dupuy-Bruno, Esq., Board Attorney

Gregory K. Adkins, Ed.D., Superintendent