Friday, December 10, 2010

Wonderful Day!

Hello To All,

I just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful day at the Academy of Tucson Elementary School on December 9, 2010. The day was terrific because of the efforts of our teachers, students, parents, and the community. Students experienced an abundance of fun and activity at our "Winter Field Day" thanks to Mrs. Mitchell our P.E. Teacher and to many parent volunteers. Then Mrs. Teitelbaum our Librarian/Art Teacher  arranged for an author visit by Dow Kump, a novelist of children's books, to present his book "Project-OO" and to teach students how to become Star Writers.

Best Wishes,
Michelle Poppen

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Bear Cub Newsletter

Academy of Tucson Elementary School                                      

Principals Message
The festivities at this point in the year have officially started with the passing of Thanksgiving and the coming of the holiday season. We appreciate the cultural and spiritual diversity of our school community and hope that whatever traditions your family celebrates brings forth a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2011!

November Recap: Once again, I am fortunate to boast about the wonderful learning experiences that The Academy Teachers have shared with your child throughout November and are diligently preparing for new adventures in December. November proved to be an exciting month because field trips were taken to Patagonia, Catalina State Park, the Desert Museum and Sabino Canyon in order to enrich our Science Curriculum. Students went to the De Grazia Studio as an extension of our Art Curriculum and the first grade classes sang patriotic songs at one of the Naturalization Ceremonies to promote citizenship as a part of our Social Studies Curriculum. We were also privileged to have a Korean War Veteran from the Joe Foss Foundation speak to our second and third grade classes in order to reinforce why we have certain holidays including Veterans Day. As with any of our field trips, we are appreciative of all the parents who volunteered to drive. The Star Gazing and Movie Night was a success due to the collaborative efforts of our fourth grade team and Mrs. Carlson along with Mr. Allardice from the middle school. I would also like to thank all of you who took the time out of your busy schedule to attend the parent teacher conferences. A special note of “thanks” goes out to all of you who were able to donate to our food drive and to Mrs. Thompson who organized this worthwhile event. Last but not least, the Thanksgiving Celebration hosted by the Kindergarten team and students was a terrific start to the Thanksgiving break due to the hard work by the teachers and the participation of the families who were able to attend.

December Information and Events: As you can see, November was an exciting month and December is shaping up to be just as exciting. First and foremost we will be having our Winter Field Day on December 9th which Mrs. Mitchell, our P.E. teacher, is hard at work organizing. We are happy that so many of you have agreed to volunteer for this event.The student council is sponsoring Spirit Days in conjunction with the Winter Field Day.  We will also be having holiday celebrations within each of the grade levels for families to participate in. Please make sure to read the newsletters from your child’s teacher in order to have the latest information of when these celebrations will take place. Since Mrs. Flory, our music teacher, is now officially on maternity leave we are looking to have our music concert second semester instead of first semester. Stay tuned for more information. Also, it is important to note that the classroom teachers will be incorporating music into their instructional time to ensure that students receive music enrichments until Mrs. Flory returns to school in late February. During the holiday break we encourage students to practice their reading, writing, and math skills through various activities such as reading books, writing letters to family and friends, playing games that encourage counting and getting outside to play.

One of the reasons why we encourage the continuum of learning during vacations and/or half days is to make sure that students do not forget what has already been taught. We are also mindful of the fact that since we had a late start to the school year, we do not want students to be behind in what is expected of them for our testing schedule in April. Contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions on how you can help your child over break. I apologize for being so long winded in this newsletter but there have been many things to get you updated on. Please contact me if you have any questions about what was presented in this newsletter and have a HAPPY HOLIDAY!


Dec. 1st: Early Release Day
              Release Times:
Dec. 7th: Spirit Day-Crazy Hair Day
Dec. 8th: Spirit Day-Twin Day-Can Wear Jeans If
           Dressing Up
Dec. 9th: Winter Field Day/Spirit Day-Favorite Sports Team-Can Wear Jeans If Dressing Up
Dec. 22nd: Early Release Day-End of Second Quarter
Dec. 23rd-Jan. 3rd: Winter Break

Please note that only those students who are in the OTT Y aftercare program are allowed to stay after school on early release days.

Parents Corner
The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) met on December 2nd to review the bylaws and to continue the organizational process for the year. The PAC agreed to have their meetings the 2nd Friday of the month at . Pleases plan on attending. An additional meeting will be held on December 10th at in the office to work on the calendar for this year. You have already started to see the efforts of the PAC through the e-mail directory that is being organized thanks to Mrs Garlund. You will also be receiving a testimonial form in your Friday folders to complete in order to include in our future brochure thanks to Mrs. English. Your PAC representatives are the following: Co-Chairs-Margie Laube & Jan Gardlund, Secretary-Susan Forrer, Treasurer-Maya Hendrickson. We have coordinators for other committees which will be shared in our next newsletter. We are finalizing what those coordinators will be responsible for.

Tax Credits A quick reminder that your school fees can be paid through tax credit donations made out to The Academy of Tucson. If you would like your tax credit donations to go on this years tax return, they must be received by December 31, 2010. Also, any friends or relatives can donate to The Academy. $200 can be claimed on your federal tax return for a single parent family and $400 for a two parent family. Contact Mrs. Fite at 886-6076 for more information.
                                                                                                      Community Outreach
The Brownie Troop will be holding a toy drive on campus from Dec. 6th-Dec. 21st. This project will help to support the “Marine Toys for Tots Program.” If you wish to donate to this worthy cause, you can bring a new unwrapped toy to your child’s classroom. The presentation of the donated toys will be on Dec. 21st.

If you are out shopping on Sunday Dec. 5th or Dec. 12th at Park Mall, stop by Macy’s from to hear The Academy of Tucson High School’s Advanced Choir perform. They are terrific!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Event Update

Hello Academy of Tucson Elementary School Families,

The Star Gazing and Movie Night was a tentative event on our schedule and we received confirmation yesterday (11/1/10) that it will take place. The date of the event is on 11/10/10 at the Academy of Tucson Elementary School from 6:00-8:00 pm. Telescopes will be stationed on the soccer field and a family friendly movie will be playing on the basketball court. There will be snacks and pizza available for purchase. You may want to bring a blanket or a lawn chair to watch the movie. Please come and join us for a night of fun!

Have a wonderful day!
Ms. Poppen

Monday, October 25, 2010

General Updates

October 25, 2010

Dear Academy of Tucson Elementary School Families,

I just wanted to give you some quick updates for October and November: 1_Picture Retakes are on Wed. October 27th, 2_Spirit Day is on Friday October 29th and it is an early release day, 3-Please turn in any outstanding general permission forms, school team agreements or emergency packet forms to Mrs. Fite or your child’s classroom teacher, 4-Parent teacher conferences are from Nov. 1st-Nov. 5th and all of those days are early release days, 5-We are off for Veterans day on Nov. 11th and we are off for Thanksgiving on Nov. 25-26.

We will not be having any after school enrichments on Oct. 29th and Nov. 1st-Nov. 5th. The only students that may stay after school on those days are the students who are in aftercare with the OTT Y program.

Best Wishes,
Michelle Poppen

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Newsletter

Bear Cub News
           Academy of Tucson Elementary School
October 8, 2010

Principals Message
It is hard to believe that we are already a week into October. We just completed the Book Fair and it was a success because of the efforts of Mrs. Teitelbaum, the volunteer support and family participation. We also had a wonderful turn out for our chili dinner that was sponsored by our 4th grade team and students. There are a few more important dates in October to consider, which I have made reference to in the calendar section of this newsletter. Also, please take the time to schedule your parent conference with your child’s teacher for the first week in November. In respect for the diversity of our school community, the Academy of Tucson Elementary School does not celebrate Halloween. Individual classrooms may have their own celebrations in relation to Fall or the harvest time of the year. Have a terrific October!                                                                     


October 12th: Mad Science Presentation
October 14th: Parent Advisory Meeting
October 27th: a. Picture Retakes
                 b. End of First Quarter
October 29th:a. Early Release Day
                     Kinder dismissal @
                     1st-2nd dismissal @
                    3rd-4th dismissal @
                b. Skate Country Fundraiser
                   at Skate Country on 22nd
                c. Spirit Day-Jeans are allowed
                   only if the student wears an
                   Academy of Tucson polo or

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Communication between home and school is an essential part for providing proper conditions for student success and achievement.  Discussion of a child’s accomplishments and learning style supports the mutual understanding that exists between parent and teacher.  In order to discuss your child’s progress, please make sure to schedule a conference time with your child’s teacher. Conferences are mandatory for all students.
Dress Code
Please take the time to review the dress code with your child.  Shorts and pants are to be Docker Style solid colors of navy, black, khaki. Skirts are to be of the same colors as listed above. Shorts and skirts are to be fingertip length when arms are hanging down straight at their side.  Girls may wear leggings under a dress code skirt.  Shirts need to be a solid color or a print (strips, polka dots, etc.) Beginning second quarter, October 28th, students will need to
wear polo shirts. (T-shirts except for Academy of Tucson T-shirts will no longer be considered in dress code after October 28th) The staff of the Academy of Tucson Elementary School will closely be monitoring and enforcing the dress code policy.
Academy of Tucson Shirts           Each student is required to have an Academy of Tucson Elementary School polo shirt to wear on field trips.  If a child does not have a polo shirt, they will not be permitted to travel on the trip with their class. 
Spirit Day is the last Friday of each month. In order to wear jeans on that day, students must be in an Academy of Tucson shirt.  Please note that jeans can only be worn on Spirit Days and designated field trips. 

Timely arrival to school and class is essential for student learning.  Since tardy students interfere with the learning of those who come on time, late arrivals are considered discipline violations. 
The first bell rings at . This is the signal for students to line up with their classes.  The second bell rings at . All students arriving after the second bell must be signed in by an adult.
Parents Corner
There will be a parent advisory meeting under the ramada at on Oct. 14. Please come and join us if you can. We will be discussing this year events and opportunities.
The first Science Fun Fest meeting took place on 8/30/10 at the school. For those of you interested in learning more about this event or to volunteer please contact Jaime Lines at, Mindy Seagraves at or Trish Anthis at

    Our PASS (Parental Access Support System) system is up and running!  You may go on-line to see your children’s grades.  Teachers will update information at least once a week. You can also access calendar updates from the PASS system. Additional ways in which we will be communicating with parents  from the Academy of Tucson include our website, blogs, student folders, and school marquee. Make sure to check the message section on PASS for classroom information and other important school messages.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Overview of Upcoming Events

September 27, 2010

Dear Families,

The Academy of Tucson Elementary School will be hosting a number of events for students and families in October. There will be two fundraising events in October 2010 to support the library and the 4th grade classes for their Grand Canyon Trip.

On Oct. 1st we will have the Book Fair Family Fun Night from with an all you can eat chili dinner. Dinner will be served from for a cost of $5.50 for adults and $4.00 dollars for children. The general book fair continues from Oct. 4th-7th and will be held in the Art Room from in the morning and from in the afternoon. Remember though that we have early release days on Oct. 6th and Oct. 29th. Also on Oct. 29th families are welcome to join the Academy of Tucson Elementary School at Skate Country on 22nd/Pantano from . This will be another fundraiser to help support the 4th grade classes and their Grand Canyon Trip. Picture retakes are on Oct. 27 instead of Sept. 27.

If you wish to review the letter from Mr. Stewart in regards to our asbestos free buildings, please refer to the letter on our website.

Best Wishes,
Michelle Poppen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities and Events for the 2010-2011 School Year

September 21, 2010

Dear Parents,

             Now that we are back in full swing, I would like to inform you of some of the Academy of Tucson Elementary School community events and volunteer opportunities  for the year. Please note that the dates are tentative.

Through out the Year: 
  • Traffic Monitors
  • Lunch Monitors
  • Playground Monitors
  • Bookfair ( October 1- October 7)
  • Skate Country (October 29th)
  • Tentative Star Gazing Night (Nov.10)
  • Tentative Winter Concert
  • Winter Field Day (December 8)
  • Bookfair (January 28th - February 4th)
  • Carnival (January 29th)
  • Love of Reading (The entire month of February)
  • Rodeo Round-up (Friday, February 25th)
  • Teacher Appreciation (All Month)
  • Skate Country  (March 18)
  • Science Fun Fest-Date TBD

  • Water Day (May 19th)
  • Spring Concert Date TBD

If you would like to help plan, organize, or send in supplies for any of the events, please send in the volunteer slip on the following page. Thank you for all your support!


Michelle Poppen

Volunteer Opportunities

Name of Parent:___________________________

If you are interested in keeping our pick–up and drop-off process run as smoothly as possible, while keeping our children and families safe, volunteer to become a traffic monitor. Mr. Webber is the coordinator
_______ Morning Traffic Monitor ()
               Dates available:  _____________________________________________

______ Afternoon Traffic Monitor ()
             Dates available: _______________________________________________

______Lunch Monitor () Mr. Webber is the coordinator of this he can also
            make you aware of some needed items for lunch.
            Dates available:________________________________________________

______Playground Monitor: Mr. Webber is the coordinator
            AM ()___________
            Dates available:________________________________________________

            Lunch ()____________
            Dates available:________________________________________________

_______Bookfair (October 1st-October 7th) Mrs. Teitelbaum
              Dates available:________________________________________________

_______Bookfair (January 28th-February 4th) Mrs. Teitelbaum
              Dates available:________________________________________________

_______Bookfair and Carnival (January 29th) Mrs. Teitelbaum/4th Grade Teachers

_______Rodeo Round-up (February 25th)

_______Science Fun Fest (March) Specific Date TBD

______ Water Day (May 19th)

There will be more opportunities to volunteer and we will notify you of those events as the year goes on. Please return these forms to the classroom teacher or the front office.

Friday, September 17, 2010

September Bear Cub Newsletter

Bear Cub News
Academy of Tucson Elementary School
September, 2010

*Very Important Update: The newsletter that came home with students on Friday the 17th had the incorrect date for curriculum night. The correct date in Sept. 21, 2010 instead of Sept. 22, 2010. This newsletter has been corrected with the appropriate date.

                Principal’s Column
        What a wonderful start to the school year! As the new principal, I have enjoyed getting to know the students and families of the Academy of Tucson school community. We have had a busy two weeks at the Academy with the celebration of Grandparent’s Day and the completion of picture day.  We have a few more featured events for September, which I have highlighted throughout this newsletter. I also wanted to inform you of the four primary ways in which our school community will be communicating with you: 1) Friday Folders, 2) Website and links to staff blogs, 3) PASS, and 4) Student Planners. I also want to encourage you to get involved in your child’s education through supporting their academic endeavors, participating in school events, and volunteering when you can. Thank you for choosing the Academy of Tucson for your child’s education!

 School Day Schedule

Start Time: 7:45 for grades Kindergarten-4th

Lunch Break Times:
         Kindergarten: 10:55-11:35
         First & Second Grade: 11:20-12:00
         Third & Fourth Grade: 11:45-12:25

Dismissal Times:
        Kindergarten: 2:15 (dismissed from back parking lot)                                      
        1st & 2nd grade: 2:25 (Pierson, Purdy and Siath dismiss from
                                          circle, Lakavage, Birkholz and Sanchez
                                          dismiss back parking lot)
        3rd & 4th grade: 2:35 (Mitchell and Thompson dismiss from
                                      circle, Van Hise, Brown, and Fata
                                      dismiss from back parking lot)

Early release dismissal times:
        Kindergarten: 11:15 (dismissed from back parking lot)                                      
        1st & 2nd grade: 11:30 (Pierson, Purdy, and Siath dismiss from
                                        circle, Lakavage, Birkholz and Sanchez
                                             dismiss from parking lot)
        3rd & 4th grade: 11:40 (Mitchell and Thompson dismiss from
                                            circle, Van Hise, Brown, and Fata
                                             dismiss from back parking lot)

Parking Lot 
Please help us keep our parking lot safe! Do not pass cars waiting to pick up or drop off children.  If you have children being dismissed at two different times, please park your car in a designated parking spot and walk to their dismissal spots.  Remember to be kind, courteous, and patient with one another; we are role models for our students. 

For any Kindergarten parents interested in carpooling, please contact Liz Larsen (Parent) at Liz has kindly offered to establish carpools to help cut down on the congestion in the parking lot.

Lunch Menu

Monday : Kentucky Fried Chicken (chicken strips)
Tuesday: Cousin’s Subs (Hot Dog)
Wednesday: Bianchi’s (Mac & Cheese)
Thursday: Eegees (Grinder)
Friday: Domino Bianchi’s (Pepperoni Pizza)

All lunches brought from home will be stored in a classroom refrigerator until lunch time.

Parents Corner
  • There will be a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting at the ramada on October 14, 2010 at 8:15. The Parent Advisory Committee’s main purpose is support the endeavors of the school community by assisting with fundraising and special event coordination.
  • Please make sure to go through the office to check-in if you are volunteering on campus or need to drop something off for your child. If you will be on campus for a period of time you will be issued a visitors pass.
  • We appreciate your efforts in getting your child to school on time. If for some reason your child is late to school they need to check-in at the front office before going to their classroom. Thank you for closing the front gate when you come on campus.      Upcoming Events:

  1. Curriculum Night-September 21, 2010 from 6:00-7:30 pm
    • The Kindergarten teachers would appreciate students attend this event with parents.
    • The 1st-4th grade teachers would appreciate having parents only attend this event because they will be discussing specifics about the curriculum and expectations in the classroom.

Schedule for Curriculum Night:
·         6:00-6:10 Park and get to designated areas.
·         6:10-6:30 Kindergarten/1st Grade in classrooms
                   2nd/3rd/4th Grades under the ramada
·         6:30-6:35 Kindergarten/1st Grade transition from classrooms to
                2nd/3rd/4th Grade transition from ramada to classrooms
·         6:35-6:55 Kindergarten/1st Grade under ramada
                2nd/3rd/4th Grades in classrooms

If you have children in multiple grades split your time according to your needs.

  1. Bookfair: October 1st- October 7th in the Art/Music/P.E. Room
·         Family Night for the Bookfair will be October 1st from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm
·         All you can eat chili dinner will be served, by the 4th graders, from 5:30-7:00 pm. Proceeds will go towards their Grand Canyon field trip. $5.50 for adults and $4.00 for children. (Includes: chili, cornbread, and a drink)
·         October 4th-7th the Bookfair will be open until 3:30 pm.
·         Volunteers are needed for this event please contact Mrs. Teitelbaum for more details. or call at 886-6076.
News From Our Specials Teachers


In art, we will be learning about the seven elements of art: line, shape, color, texture, value, form, space. It would be very helpful if you talked to your child about the primary colors: red, yellow, blue and the secondary colors: green, orange, purple. We will be learning about each element and then making a piece of art using one of the elements. I am looking into an 'online student art museum' called Artsonia. More to come...........


The students are learning about the library process. They checked out books the first week of school and are learning how to return books,get on a wait list for a book, book care, and how to locate a book in our library. We will also be talking about the Dewey Decimal System and looking at each section. We are preparing for our bookfair 'Here's To Our HEROES! Reading Saves The Day!' This bookfair will run from October 1st through October 7th and it is a Buy One, Get One FREE. This is a great time to purchase books for gifts or to increase your home library. Please look for fliers coming home in Friday folders.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th through October 15th. I will be reading 'Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez'. National Mix It Up at Lunch Day will take place on November 9, 2010. We will be encouraging the students to eat lunch with a person they don't generally eat lunch with. It's a great time to get to know someone that you may not know.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back To School Family Letter

Dear Families of The Academy of Tucson Elementary School,

It is an exciting time at The Academy of Tucson Elementary School because September 7, 2010 marks the start of the 2010-2011 school year. We appreciate the patience of the students and families of our school community with the later start to the school year.

As the new principal at the school, it was wonderful to introduce myself to those of you who attended the meet and greet event on September 3, 2010. It was also fantastic to see the eager and smiling faces of the students who will be attending the school.

The teachers have been working diligently to prepare their rooms for the students who will be in their classes. The staff at The Academy of Tucson Elementary School, look forward to assisting you and your child throughout their educational journey during this year and the years to come.

Please realize that we encourage the individual development of our students while focusing on the academic excellence of students in a college preparatory environment. We are hard at work on a daily basis developing great minds and responsible citizens.

We encourage you to participate in your child's education and have created many opportunities for you to assist in their academic experience. My door is open to you for any points of discussion and we look forward to an awesome school year!


Michelle Poppen
Principal AOTES