Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bear Cub Newsletter May and June

 Bear Cub News
                         Academy of Tucson Elementary School
May and June, 2011

Principals Message
As I reflect on my first year as Principal of the Academy of Tucson Elementary School, it’s hard to believe that this is our final newsletter of the year. I have enjoyed getting to know the students, staff, and families of The Academy of Tucson and have been privileged to be a part of this wonderful community. I am happy that you have entrusted us to serve and guide your child in their journey towards academic and personal success.

Once again we have had some exciting things happen since the April newsletter. To recap, we made it through AIMS/Stanford testing in part because of the conscientious efforts of parents/guardians who made it a priority to get their child to school and because of the hard work displayed by the students and teachers. The fourth graders had a wonderful time on their Grand Canyon trip and surprising to me a majority of the students had never been to the Grand Canyon. Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Fata, and Mrs. Van Hise put in endless hours getting prepared for this adventure. We also appreciated all the parents/guardians who agreed to be chaperones for the trip. Our parent organization had a McDonald’s Family Fun Night and it was a success due to all of those who participated in the event. We also celebrated the culmination of Brownie Troop 1131’s water bottle and recycling project.

May until the end of the school year will be very busy with different activities and celebrations so please keep current on what’s happening at the school through teacher communication, this newsletter, our website and PASS. Because I am getting this newsletter out to you a little later than usual, we had a terrific day on Wed. the 11th at Water Day. Mrs. Mitchell was instrumental in making the day a success as well as all the parent and family volunteers. In addition to Water Day we had presentations on sun safety and water safety. We were fortunate to have representatives from the OTT Y and Tucson Fire Dept. speak on these important topics prior to the summer vacation. The first week in May was Teacher Appreciation Week and the parent organization did a fantastic job recognizing our teachers. There were recognition gifts the entire week and a delicious luncheon served to the teachers on the Wednesday of that week.

The next upcoming event is our music concert on May 17th at Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church at 6:00 pm. Grades 3 & 4 need to be at the church by 5:30 and Grades K-2 need to be there at 5:45. There will be overflow parking available at the “Cool Church” adjacent to the Presbyterian Church. We look forward to seeing you at the concert. A special “Thanks” goes to the Bacon family for their recent donation of a new American Flag and Arizona Flag to the school. They look great!

We are in the process of closing out this school year and getting ready for the 2011-2012 school year. You will receive a mailing from the school in June and then one in July. The July mailing will designate which class your child has been assigned to and any other pertinent information for the upcoming school year. I am including our revised dress code policy in this newsletter so that you have the necessary information to make appropriate clothing choices during one of your shopping excursions over the summer. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. In closing I hope you have a safe and restful summer!


May 17th: Spring Music Concert
May 27th:  After School Play Day
June 2nd:  Kindergarten Promotion (Teachers will
             notify families of times)
June 3rd:  Fourth Grade Promotion Ceremony
             (Teachers will notify families of times)
             Last day of school with students/Early
             Release Day

Parents Corner:
The PAC organization is working on their goals for next year and would appreciate any input that you have. They have done a terrific job in sponsoring many events and supporting the students and staff at the school. If you have some ideas or suggestions for next year, please do not hesitate to come to one of the meetings, contact one of the members, or drop off a note to put in the PAC cubby in the front office.  
Science Fun Fest:
There will be a planning meeting for Science Fun Fest for the 2011-2012 school year on Wed. May 18th at under the Ramada. Please plan to attend if you can. For those of you that are not able to attend but have ideas or suggestions for next year, feel free to contact Jaime Lines at:
Yearbook Update:
The yearbook is at the printers and will be ready to distribute soon. A special “Thanks” goes to the students who participated in the after school yearbook club and to Ms. Sanchez and Mrs. Siath for all their time and effort they put into this project to make it a success.
Safe Routes To School Grant:
The Academy of Tucson Elementary School was fortunate to be the only charter school in Tucson to be awarded funding to participate in the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Grant.
 This grant is part of a national and international movement to create, safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from school. It can also play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend towards childhood obesity and inactivity. The program is a comprehensive community-based program based on the “Five E’s” (education, enforcement, encouragement, engineering, and evaluation).”
A team of grant coordinators, parents, and Mr. Mitchell will be hosting an afterschool play day on Friday, May 27th at . This event will focus on how to properly use the new playground and fitness equipment purchased for the school from the grant. A parent/guardian must accompany the student to the event. Check your child’s Friday and/or Monday folders for more detailed information.

Updated Dress Code Guidelines:
Docker Style (Flat fronts or Pleated)
Flat pocketed cargo pants
Cotton/Twill/ Corduroy
Navy, Khaki, Black
Fitted at waist; NO sagging, spandex, or denim
Flat pockets OK;  no tight fits; NO oversized pants for males
All clothes should be in good repair
Any fabric except denim
Navy, Khaki, black
Length:  tip of middle finger with arms to side or longer; no front, back or side slits more than 1 inch above knee
Polo Type or Uniform Jumpers
Polo: Cotton/poly blend for, Jumpers:
Polo Type: Any color or stripes
Navy, Khaki,
Length: tip of middle finger with arms to side or longer; not front back or side slits more than 1 inch above knee
Walking shorts
Cotton/Twill NO denim
Navy, Khaki Black
Length: tip of middle finger with arms to side or longer. 
Polo type: collar/sleeves
Not form fitting
Cotton/poly blend
Any color or stripes
Short or long sleeves;   max top two buttons may be unbuttoned; tucked at waist and tails long enough to stay tucked when arms are raised
Crew Neck
Cotton/poly blend
Solid color or stripes
Solid color T-Shirts can be worn as a substitute for collared shirts 1st and 4th quarter only because of the hot weather. The only exception to this is that Academy of Tucson T-shirts can be worn anytime throughout the year.
Any type
Any fabric
Any color
No inappropriate language, graphics, stickers, patches, logos
Any style/ appropriate sz.
Sweatshirt fabric
Any color
No inappropriate language, graphics, stickers, patches, logos
Athletic, sandals w/back straps, dress shoes

NO flip-flops,  slides or platform shoes  ALL heels of shoes/boots must be FLAT (NO heels)
NO Heelies tennis shoes
Baseball, floppy/hoods

May NOT be worn inside buildings or hats worn backwards

Interpretation of appropriate dress will be determined by School Administration.  If questions exist, check with specific school BEFORE shopping for clothes.  Fair and consistent application of this dress code will be applied at each campus.  Slight variations may exist due to age differences.  For example:  Elementary School children are required to wear a school polo shirt on field trips. Polo shirts can be ordered from the school office. Students should be groomed in a manner that does not draw attention to themselves.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Bear Cub News

 Bear Cub News
        Academy of Tucson Elementary School
April, 2011

Principals Message

This is our second month for sending out the Bear Cub News electronically. We learned from the March mailing that we needed to adjust a few formatting issues so that the newsletter could be read more easily for those families who are online users. For those of you who are not on the list to receive mailings electronically, you can still join by filling out a form in the front office.

It was another very busy month of activities at the Academy of Tucson Elementary School. We had a fantastic day on March 11th with “Science Fun Fest.” The students were involved in various science projects and presentations throughout the day. The culminating event was launching rockets from the field with the entire school looking on. We also had students from our high school volunteering to help along with many dedicated parents and community members. The PAC committee also sponsored a family fun night at Skate Country on March 18th in conjunction with the middle school. Then the following Saturday the PAC organization had their first rummage sale which went very well. It was successful because of all the hard working volunteers and families who donated items to be sold. On March 31st we had parents, Daisy Troop 1619 and associates from Kohls at the school to work on a campus clean-up project. They did a wonderful job raking, shoveling sand, trimming trees, cleaning up trash and sweeping.

A special note of congratulations goes out to two of our fourth grade students who placed at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Anthony Cariseo placed 1st with his project titled “Does Water Pressure Increase with Water Depth?” and Alexis Cruickshank-Taylor who placed 2nd with her project titled “Don’t Go Breaking My Hair!” We are very proud of their hard work!

Now that we are in April there are some important events to put on your calendar. The first one to remember is that we will be taking AIMS/Stanford tests the week of April 11th.  The second event to take notice of is the PAC organization will be hosting a McDonald’s night on April 20th from 5-8 pm. Our Drama Club will be performing their play on Friday, April 8th at under the ramada and then again at Saguaro Canyon Church on April 15th at .

We will have a break towards the end of the month to help tide us over until Memorial Day. Have a terrific April and restful Spring Break!                                                          

April 5th:  Open House
April 6th:  Early Release Day/College Dress Spirit Day
April 8th: Parent Advisory Meeting 8:00 am/Drama             Presentation 8:30 am            
April 11th-15th: Stanford/AIMS Testing
April 15th: Evening Drama Presentation
             Saguaro Canyon Church
April 18th: Kinder Promotion Pictures
April 20th:  1st Grade Field Trip-Agua Caliente
             Family McDonalds Night
April 22nd-25th: Spring Break
April 28th-29th: Fourth Grade Field Trip-Grand

Physical Education Update:

Dear Parents and Students,

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in Jump Rope for Heart! Your generosity and support helped us raise over $2,000 to support the American Heart Association’s efforts to create healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
We blew away our goal of fifteen hundred dollars, which earned us a one hundred dollar U.S. Games gift certificate. It will be used to buy new dodge balls J Super job Academy of Tucson students and supporters!

Mrs. Mitchell

AIMS/Stanford Testing:
The week of April 11, 2011 our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students will be taking either AIMS and/or Stanford 10 tests. It is imperative that students arrive to school on time and are well rested and fed. We need to test all students in those grade levels so please arrange your schedules to not be gone or have your child out during that time.

McDonald’s Family Night:
The PAC organization will be sponsoring a McDonald’s Family Night on April 20th from . A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the school. Members of our PAC organization will be assisting to work the event. If you are able to help out, contact Liz Larsen at 751-9376 or at If you unable to volunteer, please stop by with your family for dinner. The event will be held at the McDonalds on Broadway/Camino Seco.

Parents Corner
There will be a parent advisory meeting under the ramada at on Friday, April 8th. Please come and join us if you can.
The PAC organization had four very successful events in March. Science Fun Fest, Skate Country Family Night, Rummage Sale, and Kohl’s Associate Community Outreach Event.
The Science Fun Fest Committee would like to “Thank” the following people for all their support:
Jaime Lines, Mindy Seagraves, Trisha Anthis, Susan Forrer, Mary English, Lori Huggins, Czarina Hurn, Mindy Blevins, Elaine Thompson, Chelse Martin, Sandy Cariseo, Sean Granica, Michael Coleman, Tracey Shupe, Cindy Curtis, Tina Thomas, Mark Bowers, Robert Tramblay, Sue Babcock, Kristen Stuck, Daniel Hurn, Stephane Joubert,Sharon Tramblay, Mark English, Drew Mork, Konrad Brayer, Krista Brayer, Ed Moll, Shanna Blair, Wendy Allardice, Christina Apalategui, Brianna Banuelos, Blake Rhodes, Brandon Corkill, Alexsis Espiriti, Alexis Freeman, Rachel Hapner, Joelle Joosten, Stefan Mixton, Jackie Montagu, Matt Montoya, Erik Peterson, Drew Petzer, Danielle Smith, Yolana Villaescusa, Alex Carr, Beth Davis, Bobby Conser, James Kanyor, Annetra Geier, Melissa Saunders, Jill Mausert, Ariel Chuang, Jennifer Bell, Tanisha Kaina, Patty Scozzarella, Johanna Erbe, Sarah Fata, Brenda Simpson, J.P. Feddick, William and Valerie Hentig,  and Beverly Cadwallader.  
As you can see, there were over 60 people who either donated or volunteered and in some cases, both!  Awesome! 

Special thanks also goes to the Rummage Sale Organizational Committee: Margie Laube, Stephanie Werner, Liz Larsen and to all the volunteers who helped to coordinate the event as well as all the families who donated items to be sold. We could not have done it without you!     
Special appreciation goes to Mindy Seagraves for all her footwork in organizing the Kohl’s Community Campus Clean-up event and to those parents who assisted in the clean-up efforts: Gwynn Nakamura, Jan Gardlund, Mark Bowers, Stephanie Werner, Jamie Lines. Also we are thankful for  the Kohl’s Associates who came to help redistribute the sand on our playground.

Tardiness/Attendance at School: 
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.
It is also important to have students be at school. The only time a student should not be at school is if they are sick or a family emergency. The teachers plan to have all of their students in class on a daily basis.

Open House For Prospective Students/Kindergarten Screenings:
We will be having open house events for prospective students who are new to the Academy of Tucson Elementary School. This is a designated time to tour the school, get questions answered about the school, meet teachers/principal and complete registration forms. The following are the dates and times of the Open House Events through May:
Tuesday-April 5th
Tuesday-May 3rd
Please Note: If new families are unable to attend any of the open house events, call to schedule a tour of the school in order to become familiar with the Academy of Tucson. We accept registration packets year round.

Spring Dress Code:
Since it is getting warmer outside, we are allowing students to wear plain colored T-Shirts until the end of the school year. Students still must wear the appropriate   blue, black, or khaki colored pants, shorts, or skirts.  Jeans are only allowed on designated Spirit Days. 

Parent Reminders:
Parents please make sure to pick-up your child in a timely manner from school and after school enrichments. Also, please do not allow your child to stand on the swings or adjust their height by twisting the chains on the swings. Please monitor your child at all times while on the playground.

College Spirit Day:
The Academy of Tucson Elementary School Student Council is encouraging classmates to think about where they might want to go to college after they graduate from high school. In an effort to celebrate “College Days” we are allowing students to wear a shirt of their favorite college on Wednesday April 6th. Students can wear jeans if they have a shirt representing a college. (Refrain from wearing professional sports teams gear)

Brownie Troop 1131 Water Bottle Presentation:
On Mon, Apr 18 after the Pledge of Allegiance, Brownie Troop 1131 will share their Wonders of Water presentation to the school, “For Plastic Don’t Settle, Use Metal!”  This year they’ve focused on the environment and are encouraging students, teachers and parents to use a reusable, metal water bottle, instead of a one-time use plastic one.  They are creating a Public Service Announcement and will give each student and teacher their own stainless steel water bottle donated by singer, Jackson Browne.

Monday, February 28, 2011

March Newsletter

 Bear Cub News
                         Academy of Tucson Elementary School
March, 2011

Principals Message

March is quickly approaching and I thought it would be appropriate to have this issue of the Bear Cub News focus on the events being held in March and to give you updated information on the Parent Advisory Committee.  I am organizing this newsletter on Friday Feb. 25th and we are in the midst of having our Rodeo Round-Up Luncheon. I am thankful for all the dedicated PAC members who are organizing this event. We are also enjoying our time learning about “Eli” Mrs. Fite’s horse. The afternoon assembly I’m sure will be fun because the 2nd graders will be doing a cute dance dressed up as “pillowcase cowboys.” The kindergarten students will sing and the student square dancing club will show off two of their dance routines. We will also have an outside square dancing club come be a part of the assembly. Eva Siath, one of our 4th grade students, will play her violin and she has even composed one of the pieces she will be playing. In the morning, Fire Station 21 came to the school to talk with the 3rd grade students about fire safety and explained the various parts of their fire engine. It’s hard to believe that all of this will happen in one day. Whew! Well continuing on, we seem to have worked out the kinks with the Bear Cub E-Mail account so this will be the first month that I will send out the newsletter electronically.  Also, please take the time to read over the newsletter so you do not miss out on any important dates and/or activities. Wishing you the best in March!


March 4th:   PAC Meeting
March 11th:  Science Fun Fest
March 18th:  Skate Country Night/End of 3rd Quarter
March 23rd:  Parent Teacher Conferences/Early
               Release Day
March 24th:  Parent Teacher Conference/Early
               Release Day
March 26th:  Academy of Tucson Elementary School
               Rummage Sale

Parents Corner
There will be a parent advisory meeting in the intervention room at on Feb. 4th. Please come and join us if you can. This meeting will replace the March 11th meeting because of Science Fun Fest.
Bear Cub E-mails Update: Mrs. Gardlund has the class e-mail lists completed. She also worked with Mr. Dool who is the school technology coordinator to get a different e-mail account. Please disregard the old e-mail address. The new one is: (add to your contact list)

Science Fun Fest:  
This event is quickly approaching and will be on March 11, 2011. You should have received a flyer asking for help either as a volunteer or monetarily with this event. Thanks to those of you who have already returned your forms. 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
Science Fun Fest will be an all day event and is shaping up to be a scientifically enriching time. Students will be exposed to rainwater harvesting, paleontology, and reptiles. For the 4th/5th graders they will have the opportunity to make and launch rockets. Another wonderful aspect of this event is that we will have high school students volunteering to assist in the day activities as well as parents and outside business professionals.
The Science Fun Fest organizers are in need of kids plastic gardening tools (rakes, shovels, hand-held diggers, scrapers, etc.) Please mark them with your child’s name and bring them to school by Fri. March 4th. They will be returned after March 11th.

Skate Country Night:
On March 18th from students and families can enjoy a fun filled night of roller skating at Skate Country on
22nd street
and Pantano. This activity will be open to the Academy of Tucson Elementary School/Middle School. The funds raised by this event will be deposited into each school’s PAC accounts. More information will be coming.

Rummage Sale: It’s Spring Cleaning Time:
The Academy of Tucson PAC group will be hosting a rummage sale at the elementary school on Saturday March 26th from . They are in need of donations as well as volunteers to work this event and help to price items.
Donations will be accepted on the following days/times:
Wed. March 23rd starting at (small to medium items) This is an early release day. Help is needed to take donations.
Thurs. March 24th starting at (small to medium items) This is an early release day. Help is needed to take donations.
Friday March 25th starting at (small, medium, and larger items such as furniture) Help is needed from to take donations, set-up, sort, and price.
Help is also needed on the day of the rummage sale which is on Saturday March 26th. The time frame for volunteers is from . Please contact Margie Laube at any of the following numbers: 546-2247, 820-5006, 324-5786
PAC Members will be at the North end of playground to accept your donations. Please make sure that items are clean and in good, workable condition. Please be patient when dropping off items.
This is an advertised event and proceeds from this sale will go into the PAC account to assist with school activities throughout the year.

Brownie Troop Recycling Project:
The Brownie Troop that meets at the Academy of Tucson Elementary School is kicking off their water bottle recycling project. One of their goals is to raise awareness for the need to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. They will be working with the school community to recycle plastic water bottles and to educate students and families on how to choose   more environmentally friendly water bottles for future use. Posters will be put up around the school and the Brownie participants will be going into classes to talk about their project.

Open House For Prospective Students/Kindergarten Screenings:
We will be having open house events for prospective students who are new to the Academy of Tucson Elementary School. This is a designated time to tour the school, get questions answered about the school, meet teachers/principal and complete registration forms. The following are the dates and times of the Open House Events through May:
Tuesday-March 1st
Tuesday-April 5th
Tuesday-May 3rd
Kindergarten Screenings will be held on March 5th and then on an as needed basis after March. PARENTS WILL BE MAILED A LETTER DESIGNATING THEIR CHILD’S SCREENING TIME. Note: The screenings are not used for admittance purposes.
Please Note: If new families are unable to attend any of the open house events, call to schedule a tour of the school in order to become familiar with the Academy of Tucson. We accept registration packets year round.
Middle School (MS) and High School (HS) Open House Schedule:
March 1st-MS
April 5th-MS
May 3rd-HS
May 10th-MS

Music Classes at the Elementary School:
We are happy to welcome back Mrs. Flory, our music teacher, from her maternity leave! Students will be attending their regular music classes starting the first week in March.
Mrs. Flory is in need of a piano accompanist for the Middle School on Mondays or Wednesdays. If you know of someone who would be willing to volunteer their time please have them contact Mrs. Flory at

Character Counts/Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Song:
The Academy of Tucson Elementary School has started singing their character building song after the Pledge of Allegiance has been recited. We wanted to share the words with you so that you can sing along with us if you are at the school in the morning. The song is courtesy of our wonderful faculty and staff.
TRRFC-Tune is to Yankee Doodle Dandy:
At Academy of Tucson we will show, ways to be Terrific. Be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, and fair. Always a good citizen, caring for each other, Character Counts at Academy and we think it’s TERRIFIC! (Hands in the air)

Library News from Mrs. Teitelbaum:
Parents, our Book Fair was a huge success and thanks to all of you who made it happen. Our library was able to purchase 171 books from the fair. I have processed all of the books and they are available to the students for checkout. Our sales were $4100.00 and the “Lunch with a Loved One” was a success as well.
Our winner for the peanut shell guessing game was Carina Cruikshank-Taylor. She is a 5th grader at the Academy of Tucson Middle School. Congratulations Carina!!
The Bookman’s Challenge is going strong. I received the numbers and we are currently in 6th place. We take the number of books read across all grades at our campus and divide it by the number of students we have enrolled. The first month our students read an average of 37 books each!! That is approximately one book per day per student. Congratulations to Ms. Sanchez’s class as they read a total of 1,865 books during the first contest month. Way to go! Let’s keep up the great work Academy Students.

Note From Art:
Fourth grade classes are submitting books to be published. They have been working hard in their Language Arts and Art classes to produce the words and illustrations. The book titles are as follows:
Mrs. Fata’s Class: “The Best School Ever”
Mrs. Brown’s Class: “Rock on at the Academy of Tucson
Mrs. Van Hises’s Class: “19 Awesome Reasons to Attend the Academy of Tucson
These books are scheduled to be published March 10th. Great Job 4th Grade Classes!

PAC Perpetual Fundraising Opportunities:
Attention all Parents and Bear Cubs from March 1 until April 30, bring in your Box tops, Campbell Soup labels and Tyson A+ for education labels to help your child’s classroom earn a pizza party and our school some extra dough!
Do you know that the Academy of Tucson Elementary School collects: Box Tops for Education,
Campbell Soup labels (found on soups, Goldfish crackers, etc.), Tyson Food labels and empty ink cartridges
              Boxtops - Please help our school earn free money by clipping box tops from General Mills and other products! Each box top is worth 10 cents to PAC. Some products are Betty Crocker, Kleenex boxes, Ziploc, Pillsbury, Chex Cereal, Green Giant, Welch’s, Avery..for a complete list go to or go to  and click on "Earn" to register to earn more money for AOTE by shopping online and joining Barnes and Nobles Reading Room.  
Campbell Labels for Education - register your Shopper Card Number for e-Labels for Education at once you are registered every time you shop at your favorite supermarket*, and purchase any eligible Labels for Education products, total points earned will be credited to your school's Labels for Education account automatically. In addition clip Campbell product labels and turn them in to AOTES. AOTES receives credit towards educational material for each Label we receive.
            Coke Rewards Go to
The reward points are on the bottle caps and the inside of the box.  You can create your own account or bring them into the school and we will enter them for you.  If you already have an account and don't know what to do with your points, we will be happy to have them.  Under "Spend Your Points" click on Donate to your school.  Follow the steps and your donation will help support the school.
            Tyson A+ for education labels Check your Tyson brand products for the A+ for education labels, go to to see the A+ labels.   PAC receives 25 cents for each A+ for education label received. 
             Recycling Ink Cartridges and toners - We need your help collecting used ink & toner cartridges. Bring your empty printer cartridges into Ms. Fite & she'll turn them into needed supplies for our school! Every ink cartridge recycled gives the school .25 cents. Don't throw those cartridges away! Bring them to school & turn them into cash.

             Drink juice pouches We collect
ALL types of juice pouches (Capri Sun, etc.).  Please cut the top off the pouch and rinse out with water then the school can send them in to help raise money for our school.

            Safeway cards eScrip* - is a fundraising program where families can sign up and support the school of their choice by simply shopping at Safeway with their Safeway Club Card.  To sign up your Safeway card go to        

            Target Take Charge of Education -  Go to  to enroll your Target Red Card or Target Visa Card and earn 5% for AOTES each time you use your Target Red or Visa Card.

    donates 5% of your purchases to the Academy of Tucson Elementary School.