Susitna Elementary News


November 4, 2016

Volume 4, Issue 3

Please take a few minutes to read over all the exciting things happening at Susitna Elementary School. The newsletter is sent directly to your email address(es) once a month, so please make sure to keep the front office current on your preferred email contacts. Paper copies are available in the front office, or you can go to our school’s website to read this issue, or any others in the archive library.

Principal's Corner

Welcome to the second quarter of the school year! Our year has been so busy that it is easy to forget that it is already week 14 of the school year...or that Thanksgiving will be here in a couple of quick weeks and then the holiday break! From renovation to snow gear and everything in between, you have been a critical part of our school in action!

I am enjoying our weather - we have been able to be outside every single day lately. However, the temperatures are dropping and there is snow on the ground. It is critical that our students come to school with proper gear including snow jackets, snow pants, hats, gloves/mittens, and boots. It is time to put away shorts, sleeveless shirts, and sandals and embrace the Alaskan winter we love. Please check your students as they leave for school to make sure you are sending them with the "Big 5" of winter gear - snow jackets, snow pants, hats, mittens, and boots!

Later this week we will be celebrating academic achievement, citizenship, and attendance at our quarterly awards ceremony. If your child has brought home an invitation, I hope you will find time to join us to thank our students for working so hard each and every day. I also want to draw your attention to our new Attendance Wall near the office. Supporting our district's goal of 90% attendance, we are tracking our students' attendance. The MANY names on the wall are students who were in school at least 90% of the time during first quarter. It is really fun to watch students walk by and look at their names, the names of their siblings, and then checking up on their friends. Our students need to be at school when we open the doors at 8:45 every day so we can help them get smarter and smarter. We appreciate that you make sure our kids are here on time, every day!

I am enjoying my first year at Susitna - thank you for taking time to visit. Here's to another month of challenges and celebrations - thanks for being a part of Susitna!

Diane Hoffbauer, Ed.D.
Principal, Susitna Elementary School
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
(907) 742-1404

Upcoming Dates of Importance



1st through 18th - Student Council raising money for Cancer research

6th - Daylight Savings Fall Back One Hour

7th - Dance Club K-2 Meets on Mondays, 3:30-4:30pm

9th - Susitna Dreamer Awards Assembly in MPR 1st - 2nd grade 2pm - 2:30pm,

3rd-5th 2:45pm-3:15pm

9th - Dance Club 3-5 Meets on Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30pm

18th - Student Council sponsored HAT Day

22nd - Turkey Shoot 6-7:30pm in the Gym

24th - 25th - Thanksgiving Holiday - No School


2nd - Subway Lunch Celebration and November Student Birthday Celebration

5th - 9th - Worldwide Hour of Code - Susitna Participating!!


The SPEED LIMIT is only 5 mph.

Car riders should be dropped off in the car rider lane, unless adults want to park and walk across the crosswalk with them.

Please do not park in the car rider drop-off lane - it's just a "stop, drop, and roll" along lane!!

Please don't pull around cars as you go through the drop off lane. We have had some very close calls of drivers going around parked cars and almost hitting children and parents walking across the parking lot. Please come a bit earlier so you don't feel the pressure to rush through the drop off lane. Safety is our biggest concern for walkers and drivers alike.

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Worldwide Hour of Code

Susitna is proud to participate again in The Hour of Code the week of December 5 - 9. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. These one-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages to introduce students to computer science, demystify computer coding, and show that anybody can learn the basics. Every student will have the opportunity to participate in age appropriate lessons to nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. Participating in Hour of Code is another way we are trying to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in our school community. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st Century career path. This years code uses the MineCraft theme.
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Musical Notes

Young People's concert with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Tuesday Nov. 15th, 10 am at the Performing Arts Center. All 4th and 5th grades students may attend. $5 per person and we are in need of chaperones. Contact or your child's teacher if you'd like to chaperone. Permission slips and monies are due Nov. 11.

District-wide Honor Choir auditions for 5th graders take place Wed. Nov. 9th at Begich Middle School from 4:30-6P.M. You may arrive anytime between those hours for your short individual try-out. Miss Vanderpool must sign your audition form and write your vocal range before auditions. Try-Out sheets will be sent home in music this week.

Susitna Music

Healthy Futures and PE News

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Susitna Annual Turkey Shoot

“Gobble, gobble, gobble…Susitna’s Turkey Shoot is back!! This year’s Turkey Shoot will be on Tuesday, November 22nd. Come with a parent to shoot free-throws and try to win prizes. Cost is $10 per team, and a team is one Susitna student and one adult. Come on out and have some fun. Registration will start at 5:30pm, competitions begin @ 6:00pm. Contact Mr. Putman with any questions.”


Chris Putman

Susitna PE

Breakfast Menu

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Lunch Menu

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News from Health

I would like to invite any parents/guardians who may have questions or concerns regarding the Human Growth and Development Unit given during the month of January to a Parent Preview Night. It will be offered on the evening of Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 from 4-6p.m. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

Jake Peterson
Health Teacher Susitna Elementary School

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News from the Librarian

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Book Fair 2016

Transferring Student Information when starting or leaving a school


Notice to Parents:

In order to comply with FERPA rules, we must notify parents of the district’s procedures

related to records transfer. As part of their notification, we are changing the language

in the student handbook to read as follows:

“No Child Left Behind requires all school districts to transfer information related to

student suspensions and expulsions in addition to academic records when students

transfer to any public or private elementary, middle, or high school. When transferring

their students, parents do have the right to request a copy of the information that was

disclosed to the new school.”

2nd graders in the Classroom

A great horned owl from the Alaska Zoo came to visit Ms. Dottie and Mr. Froehlich's 2nd graders. They were able to look at and see a real Great Horned Owl. They also wrote about what they want to do when they grow up.

Attendance and Tardies

If your child has missed five or more days of school this quarter, or if s/he has been tardy repeatedly, you will be receiving a letter and a phone call reminding you of the importance of getting children here on time every day. Absences and tardies can really impact your child’s progress. So, thank you for understanding and helping us with this. Remember, FREE breakfast is served in each classroom beginning at 8:45 daily, so students can come in, eat, and be ready for the 9 a.m. bell!


Our students continue to receive fresh fruits and vegetables each Monday and Wednesday thanks to a USDA grant. It's part of a nationwide effort to increase student access to fresh fruits and vegetables in our schools. When sending in snacks for your child or the class, we ask you try to send items that meet our ASD Nutrition Guidelines.
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Hints to Encourage your Child to tell you about their day at School

The trick is to ask about things that are specific, but still open-ended. Move beyond "fine" and "nothing" by asking your child to describe his world. It's also great to start the conversation with an anecdote from your own day. Try one of these conversation-starters:

  1. Tell me about the best part of your day.
  2. What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  3. Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  4. Tell me about what you read in class.
  5. Who did you play with today? What did you play?
  6. Do you think math [or any subject] is too easy or too hard?
  7. What's the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  8. What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they're fair?
  9. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  10. Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?
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Three members of student council presented to each class about their upcoming fund raiser for Leukemia and Lymphona Cancer research.
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Susitna Optional News

Multi-age Kindergarten and First Grade

Multi-aged 2nd and 3rd Graders

Multi-aged 4th and 5th Graders

Chris and Jennifer's 4th and 5th graders

The 4/5 Optional classes recently took a science field trip to the AK Experience Theater and Earthquake Park to enhance their understanding of our dynamic earth, and in particular: earthquakes! We watched a film about the 1964 quake, and did a scavenger hunt of the interpretive signs at the museum. We learned a lot about the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America. We then went to Earthquake Park where we took a hike along the "inside the slide" trail and saw firsthand the lasting geological effects of the earthquake and landslide that ensued. Thank you to all the chaperones and drivers who made our trip a huge success!

~Ms. Jennifer and Mr. Allen

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Anchorage School District News

Data Dashboard

The dashboard was created this summer at the request of the Anchorage School Board. The system brings data points for academic status, on-track for graduation, student attendance, and student behavior to one easy-to-use location. While the data have been available for years, prior to now they were not easily accessible. The dashboard shows the district is working towards transparency and providing the tools necessary for educators to make data-driven decisions to continuously improve instruction for students.

Click on the link to take you to the dashboard.

Anchorage School Board

Tam Agosti-Gisler - President

Elisa Snelling

Starr Marsett

Kathleen Plunkett

Bettye Davis

Pat Higgins

Kameron Perez-Verdia

Superintendent - Dr. Deena Paramo

School Business Partners