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Welcome back to all who have been in the Alcott community during the past, and a special welcome is extended to the families new to our school.  Throughout the year, please contact us if questions arise or we may be of help.
This newsletter is the first for this year, and future newsletters will be available a day or so before each new month begins.  Beginning next month, and continuing for the rest of the year, the newsletter will be posted on the Alcott School web site ( You may read it there and even print a copy for home use.  We will also print a limited number of newsletters for those who want a paper copy from school, and they will need to be picked up from the office each month.  

Your child may have had an enrollment sheet sent home with him/her on the first day.
Please take a minute to fill out the information completely regarding address, phone numbers, emergency contacts, etc…if you have not done so.  Then, return the enrollment sheet with your child to school as soon as possible.  Students who are new to the school will have completed the enrollment sheet when they were enrolled.
Also, all students should have had applications for free or reduced lunches mailed to them or given to parents.  It is important that these forms be filled out and returned, especially, if you think your child may qualify for free or reduced price lunches.  We are encouraging all parents to complete and return the forms even if they may not think they qualify.
You may also have received a “learning compact” between the student, parent(s)/guardian(s), and the teacher.  Lastly, you may also receive an agreement sheet for the use of school computers.  These should also be signed and returned to school as well. 
One of our school’s goals is to develop school pride and positive behavior. A way to achieve this is through the way students dress to come to school.  Please note the following:
Students should be appropriately covered at school.  Tops for girls and boys must be appropriate.  No “spaghetti straps” or scooped armholes in shirts or blouses should be worn.  Shorts need to be long enough and loose enough for students to be covered adequately.  Pants need to be worn at the waist and not lower to display underwear.  No inappropriate writing or pictures on clothing should be worn to school.  This would include tobacco or alcohol advertisements or pictures.  Also, caps or hats will not be worn in the building.  If a child wears a cap to school, the bill is to be to the front while on school grounds.  And, no wallets with chains should be brought or worn to school (HPS Elementary School Handbook p. 11).
We appreciate parents helping to be sure their child is dressed appropriately when arriving for school.  Thank you for your help.

The Alcott School PTO meets monthly throughout the school year, typically on the second Tuesday of the month.  All parents who have children at Alcott School are members of the PTO and are invited and encouraged to attend the meetings.  The PTO is a very active part of the Alcott community, so please consider attending this year. 
The first meeting of the PTO will be at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 8.  The meeting will be held in the school’s music room.  See you there.

There are two days in September that school will not be held.  Please note the following on your calendars at home:
-No school will be held on Monday, Sept. 7.  This is for Labor Day.
-No school will be held on Friday, Sept. 25.  Teachers will be participating in District in-service activities on that day.

Hastings Public Schools will dismiss at 2:30 on Wednesdays throughout the school year.  On these days, all staff members meet to work on curriculum and assessments for students.  The District has made a commitment to improved schools, and a part of the plan is for staff to work together so all students receive the same high quality education regardless of which school they attend.  Thank you for your support in this school improvement process.
Again this year, we ask that students not arrive at school prior to 7:55 A.M. unless they are arriving for breakfast.  Students may enter the building at 7:55 when the bell rings and go directly to their classrooms to get ready for the day.  Please note that school begins at 8:10.  Students arriving in their classroom after 8:10 are counted as tardy.  Breakfast will be served at 7:35.  When students finish with breakfast, they will go to their classrooms.  School breakfast will not be served after 8:00.  If your child will be eating breakfast at school, they must be here before 8:00 to be served.  Also, students will need to line up in the back by the art building near the north doors for breakfast.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS NO OUTSIDE SUPERVISION FOR STUDENTS PRIOR TO 7:55.  Following school, all students are to leave the school grounds to go home.  They cannot play on the playground without parental supervision.
Lunch and breakfast prices will remain the same this year (except for milk). The cost for meals are:
-Full price is $1.60 per meal
-Reduced price is $.30 per meal
-Full price is $2.60 per meal
-Reduced price is $.40 per meal
-Milk is $.45 per carton
Students will begin the school year at the lunch status (full pay, reduced, or free) they completed the past year.  Parents have 30 days to file new forms.  After that time, a student is considered full price if no application has been received and approved.
If a child is approved at the free or reduced price level, they qualify for both meals at that level.  Applications for free or reduced price meals may be obtained at the school’s office any time during the school year.
Students are notified when they run out of lunch money.  Lunchtime Solutions does not allow students to charge more than $10 against their accounts.  When an account is $10.00 negative, all purchases will stop.  If the student qualifies for free lunches, they will be able to receive a school lunch, but no extra entrée or a la cart sales will be allowed.  Students will not be allowed to purchase any extra items unless they have money in their account.

School hours for 2015-16 are as follows:
Grades K-5
-8:10 – 3:20 (except for Wednesdays)
We continue to take student safety seriously.  As such, the front north door is our only door for admitting parents and visitors to the school.  There is a bell system that is activated during school hours.  Visitors will need to ring the bell and wait to be admitted.  Also, visitors in the building should report to the office for a “visitor” badge while at school.  We will be asking parents to sign out students if they pick them up early.  This can be done at the office. 
Often students ask about riding bicycles to school.  Please refer to the student handbook that you would have received during the first week of school.  Please spend a minute to remind them of traffic safety.  Also, locks should be used with bikes.  Any scooters or skateboards will be treated like bikes, in that they need to be left at the bike racks.
Please remind students who walk to use good pedestrian safety.  Children should look before crossing the street and only cross at corners.  Also, remind children that they should never go with a stranger.  Working together, we can keep children safe.
Alcott School and PTO will be sponsoring a “Walk to School” activity (Oct. 8).  More information will be coming later, so please be watching for it.
Each month we mail out several copies of this newsletter, report cards, etc… to non-custodial parents. We need to update this information each year, so beginning with the October newsletter, we will only mail out newsletters to those who contact us and let us know to continue the mailings.  So, if you are interested in continuing to receive the newsletter please call or send a WRITTEN request to Alcott School.
Children need to be at school on time every day possible.  Nebraska law requires schools to notify parents when children are absent a total of five days per quarter or ten days per semester.  We notify parents when absences near these numbers.  Also, we notify parents when an unusually high number of tardies are present.  More information is given in the student handbook regarding attendance.  Please spend a minute to review it.
Please call the school if your child is going to be absent or tardy.  We do call if no call is received from parents.  Without notification, we need to consider absences as “unexcused.”
The staff at Alcott School has met to set our school goals for the 2015–2016 school year.  They include:

1)  Continue efforts to improve reading skills through developing vocabulary.
2)  Improve students’ mathematical problem-solving skills.
3)  Continue to improve students’ behaviors.
Please be looking for activities and teaching that will support these goals.

Schools in the Hastings Public Schools use a computer program called Power School for attendance, grades, and lunch accounting.  With this program, parents can be given the capability to check their child’s grades and lunch balances through the use of a home computer.  If you are in need of your child’s login and password, please contact the school office.  Power School is generally turned on for parents’ use the first part of September.

Again this year, we are moving conference for parents and teachers to an earlier date in the school year.  The first conferences will be scheduled on Sept. 22 and 2  from 4:00-8:00 PM.  Conference appointment times will be scheduled and sent to parents ahead of time.
Throughout the school year, Alcott provides grades 3-5 students time during lunch recess to complete homework that has not been completed.  During the month of September, we will be using this time to determine which students may need additional support during Homework Lab that is held after school.
We will again be having homework lab after school this year for 3-5th grade. Forms will be handed out later in September after Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Alcott will provide adult supervision to assist students in getting homework completed.  This help is supervisory and not necessarily tutorial.  The help is generally needed when:
  1. a student needs additional school support to complete school work, or
  1. a student does not have a place to complete homework away from school, or
  1. a student does not work independently on homework away from school.
If your child’s teacher feels that he/she would be an appropriate candidate, they will contact you either by letter, note, or phone call.
This year, you may be seeing and hearing about our literacy nights.  Throughout the first semester, we will begin having our literacy nights.  The purpose of these evenings will be to provide parents and families information about the importance of reading, sharing with parents on how they can help students, and to also inform parents and families on what we are doing at Alcott to help our students become more proficient readers.  Each literacy night will represent two grade-levels.  Information will be sent home in the near future.
All students will have school pictures taken at Alcott on Friday, October 2.  The Alcott PTO will assist with the picture taking.  Retakes are scheduled for Oct. 27.  Information regarding pricing and package options will be sent home with students at a later date.
Welcome back for the 2013-14 school year! The school year is well underway and students are adjusting to their new teachers, classrooms, and classmates. My name is Mrs. Choyeski and I am beginning my fifth year as the school counselor at Alcott Elementary.
I have recently visited each classroom to welcome all the students. I will visit all of the classrooms throughout the school year. The guidance curriculum will include topics such as decision making, communication, goal setting, career awareness, understanding ourselves and others, and academic support. I also work with the entire school to promote Manners Matter – Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful!
Below are some suggestions how you can help your child be successful at school:
  • Make sure your child goes to bed early and gets a good nights rest.  Children in elementary school should receive 10-11 hours of sleep to function their best in social, school, and family activities.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher and the school. Communication can be done through face-to-face contact, email, phone calls, writing in your student’s planner, and upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences.
  • Assist your child in completing homework and reading assignments. Set up a quiet place for studying, help your child get organized, and provide assistance when needed, but don’t do the homework for your child.
  • Make sure your child eats breakfast. Hungry kids can’t concentrate on learning, so good nutrition plays an important role in your child’s school performance. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts do better in school. Breakfast is served at school beginning at 7:35 a.m. each morning.
  • Create routines at home including after school, in the evening, and in the mornings before school.
  • Encourage your child and praise them for their accomplishments. The more enthusiasm a parent shows, the more excited your child will be about school.
  • Take an active role in your child’s education by becoming active in PTO, attending Parent-Teacher Conferences, and attending upcoming Literacy Nights.
-2rd-2:30 dismissal
-3rd-5th grade at the State Fair
-7th-No School (Labor Day)
-8th-PTO Meeting
-9th-2:30 dismissal
-15th-5th grade at Earth Jamboree
-16th-2:30 dismissal
-17th-5th grade at the Soil Festival
-18th-1st grade and 3rd grade to the Stuhr Museum
-22nd-Parent-Teacher Conferences from 4:00-8:00
-23rd-2:30 dismissal
-24th-Parent-Teacher Conferences from 4:00-8:00
-25th-No School
This year, you are able to follow Alcott Elementary on the Hastings Public Schools Facebook page.  This can provide you the opportunity to find out what is taking place at Alcott and the other building throughout the district.


You can also follow Alcott on its own Twitter page. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow us at @AlcottHPS. When using the Twitter search tool, you’ll be able to see a picture of our building. This is a protected Twitter account. As such, you can request to follow Alcott. I usually check for notifications a couple of times a week. This is used to share general information, celebrating student success, PBiS information (Manners Matter), etc…

In the future, Alcott will also have a YouTube channel.  We will use this to share what activities are taking place in the school such as school improvement, PBiS (Manners Matter), and celebrating success.

Finally, if you would like to receive weekly updates and the monthly newsletter via email, please visit with me in the school office.  During Open House, I did have a sign-up sheet for parents’ email addresses.  I will begin sending these out in the very near future.  If by chance you DID sign up and do NOT receive the email, it’s probably because I have it mis-typed.  Please understand that the omission is not intentional.  Please let me know and I can add you.



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