Welcome Letter

August 25, 2016


Dear Parents, Guardians and Kalama Elementary School Chinooks:


Welcome back to school! Our staff is rested, ready to go, and looking forward to the opportunity to open our doors and welcome our community into our building for a year of learning and adventure. I am especially excited to be a part of the first days of school as we set the SWIM pace for our students. (Show Kindness, Work Responsibly, Initiate Respect, Model Safety)

Our first activity will be Drop-In, Drop-Off on Thursday, September 1st, 5:00 - 6:30. You will have an opportunity to drop off school supplies with your child’s teacher and become familiar with areas of the school allowing you to connect places with names when your student talks about the day.  The PTO will be there with Kalama Gear and ice cream, you’ll have the opportunity to do volunteer paperwork, pay on your student’s lunch account, meet our “Chinook Station” (formerly known as LatchKey) supervisor, and learn about some of the activities available for your student. At this time you may purchase student ASB cards for $10.00. This will allow students free admission to all home sporting events. Our lunch prices have increased. An Elementary student lunch will be $2.65 and a MS/HS lunch will be $2.90. Breakfast will be $1.10 

Our first day of school will be Tuesday, September 6th.  We are happy to welcome a few “new” staff members back to our building. Mr. Maynard will be back teaching PE, Mr. Lane with be in the Library teaching Tech and Library Skill, and Mrs. Dull will be providing World Language Instruction to our 4th and 5th graders and Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Janssen are back and team teaching third grade. We are happy to have hired both Ms. Lizzie Sheldon and Mrs. Holly Von Roch for our Resource Room.  Mrs. Dolezal has moved to Kindergarten, Mrs. Coulson and Mrs. Garrison to 3rd grade, Mrs. Clark to 2nd grade, Mrs. Cooper to 4th grade and Mr. McDonald to first grade. Mrs. Amos and Mrs. Neiman will be in our intervention room teaching Reading and Math support, respectively. A major change in scheduling is that students will have recess BEFORE they come into the cafeteria for lunch. I’m happy to report that our first lunch for students will begin at 11:05.

Picture Day will be Tuesday, September 27th with a makeup day scheduled for Monday, November 7th. Picture packets are available in the office.

There are several traffic patterns that have changed. The crosswalk by the maintenance shed is not available any longer. All students walking that cross China Garden Road near the softball and baseball fields will be crossing at the cross walk closer to the stadium, near the bus barn. We will have two extra crossing guards to get them safely across the driveways to the school parking lot and on to the sidewalk to enter the building at the library door. The bike rack has been moved to the covered play area and we are adding another near the portables.  Buses will be dropping off and picking up students in front of the school. This will be a no auto zone from 8:00 to 8:35 and 2:40 - 3:15 every day. After the buses return to the bus barn, the front door of the school will be open and parents will be welcome to park in front of the school as they come in to volunteer, drop off students, or take care of business in the office. There will also be parent/visitor parking in what was previously the senior parking lot.

            Parent drop off and pick up will be in the gym parking lot. A map with clear directions will be posted on our website and available at drop-in and drop off.  Please follow directions and put the safety of all children FIRST!

Mrs. Dolezal and I spent many hours this summer going over in detail our parent/student handbook. Please take the time to read and find out about our discipline policy, changes in playground, lunch and computer use.  Our PBIS reward/student store is ready to start, and any donations are always appreciated. We will continue with Wednesday Club, with some awesome and engaging opportunities for all our students.

Mrs. Trevino and Mrs. Forsberg have worked to make an inviting entry way. We have added a “shout out” board to the front, allowing you to make a note to let everyone know good news about our staff. You are welcome to add to the board if you catch one of our staff doing something that deserves a shout out.

We will be officially introducing Ravenna, our Therapy Dog, to the students. She will be here full time and (with care taken for our students and staff with dog allergies) be available to support all of our students during the school year.

Some changes in fourth and fifth grade curriculum, we are offering a Leadership Program this year. Students filled out applications at the end of the year and will be attending a training academy August 25th and 26th. During the month of December, applications will be open for 4th and 5th graders to apply again. Many thanks to Mrs. King and Mrs. Bessey for heading this up! Mrs. Wells and Mrs. Edgecomb are on the cutting edge of offering a Robotics curriculum as well as a Lego Robotics Team. They have spent the summer attending trainings, writing grants, and planning for this great new adventure. 4th and 5th grade will also be learning Spanish as part of their specialist time. This early start into World Languages, other than English, is close to my heart and I hope to continue to build this program into a school-wide FLEX language experience.

For questions about bus schedules or route changes, please contact the bus garage at 360-673-5450.

I will continue weekly parent information e-mails. Please make sure you have a current e-mail address on file in our office so you can stay informed about what is going on here at our school.  Nuestra escuela es su escuela”, our school is your school, to coin a Spanish idiom. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.





Sheila E. StuhlsatzMaestra



Cell number: 360-957-9874


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