Wacousta Elementary Weekly Newsletter

January 12, 2024

9135 Herbison Rd, Eagle, MI 48822 | glcomets.net | Phone: 925-5940 | Fax: 925-5970 | Attendance: 925-5971

Message from the Superintendent

January 11, 2024

 

Wacousta Families,

It has been quite a week for the Wacousta Elementary family! Yesterday’s power outage and today’s lockdown represent events that rarely, if ever, happen during a school year, but it happened two days in a row this week, including our second outage of the year. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your kindness, understanding, and flexibility as we navigated these events. We fully appreciate and understand the toll that having to find a way to pick up your child, manage work and childcare, and navigate the emotions that come with these types of events has on you and your children, and I want to be sure to acknowledge the stress that these last two days caused, but more importantly, the grace you showed our team in dealing with them.

As we always do when events outside the norm occur, we will be taking time over the next week to debrief what happened, how we responded as a district team, and how we can improve our processes if something like either of these events happens again. The challenge is that every situation is different, even if it is the second power outage of the year!

A good example of that difference is that we could not navigate yesterday’s power outage the same way we did in the fall, because it was simply not feasible to have kids stay outside in the cold and snow for long periods of time. Lack of power means lack of bathrooms and lack of heat, so we had to make sure we had a plan if families could not arrive right away, which is why we included the bus ride to Sawdon for some students. 

As far as today’s lockdown is concerned, we had some parents who were concerned that we did not include more information about the event that caused the lockdown, as well as about the fact that we canceled school, even though the lockdown was lifted a little after 9:00. When we are alerted of a threat in the area, as was the case this morning, our immediate concern is securing the building for the safety of those inside. A lockdown at a transition time, like morning drop off, causes an extra layer of concern, because we do not want kids outside, nor do we want to open doors to let anyone in. So, we sent the buses to Sawdon in order to safely connect kids with families; but, once that plan was in motion, we could not change it mid-stream, because we did not want to create any additional confusion. Thus, our communication focused on the safety aspect and directions for families to make sure everyone stayed away from the area, and that we prioritized student, family, and staff safety given the information that was available to us. At the time we communicated, we had no idea how long the lockdown would be in place, so we made the decision to cancel school altogether, so that families could plan accordingly. If we had known it would be lifted shortly after the start of the day, we probably would have had a different plan, but we acted as quickly and efficiently as we could with the information we had and in the timeframe in which we received it. I hope that helps explain some of our thinking, but we always invite feedback from your perspective as parents, because it helps us improve; feel free to reach out me or Mr. Groves with any other questions or feedback.

Again, thank you very much for working with us through these unusual circumstances over the last couple of days. It is days like these that show the true character of our community, and I could not be prouder of being a Comet from Wacousta. I appreciate you all very much. Have wonderful evening; as always, I am #proudtobeacomet!

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools

Upcoming Dates

 

2023/2024 School Year
Jan. 15  Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School
Feb. 2  Snack Shop
Feb. 14  Student Count Day
Feb. 16 Half-Day w/dismissal at 12:10
Feb. 19 Presidents' Day - No School
Mar. 1  Snack Shop
Mar. 8  Snack Shop
Mar. 12 Parent Teacher Conferences 5:00 - 8:00
Mar. 13  Parent Teacher Conferences 5:00 - 8:00
Mar. 15 Parent Teacher Conferences 1:00 - 4:00
Mar. 15 Half-Day w/dismissal at 12:10
Mar. 22 - 29 Spring Break - No School
Apr. 1 School Resumes

Lunch Info

Week of Jan. 15- Jan. 19
Mon - No School

Tues - Chicken Nuggets w/whole grain biscuit
Wed - Cheeseburger

Thurs - Beef Hotdog
Fri - Confetti Pancakes w/Chicken Sausage Patty


Daily- Muffin Fun Lunch

You can find the Lunch Menus at https://www.glcomets.net/parentcommunityresources/lunchmenus/

Winter Spirit Week - Food Drive

January 16 - 19

Student Council has been busy developing a way to join Spirit Week fun for Winter Homecoming, as well as create a way to give back to our community.  Please refer to the flier below for ways to support your child's participation next week.  Tables will be set up by the library for donations. All items and monetary contributions donated will go to directly to Christian Believers Church Food Pantry.

Notes From the Office

Student Arrival - Morning Drop Off

We have student's getting dropped off in the morning before we have staff available to supervise them.   Student safety is our number one priority.  Students may not be dropped off prior to 8:40 a.m. when we can accommodate supervision each day.

Student Clothing

Please remember to put your students last name in their outwear: jackets, snowpants, boots, hats and gloves.  Doing so helps us get misplaced items back to the rightful owners!

Lunch Time Volunteers

Thank you to everyone who volunteers for our lunch time help!  You are so greatly appreciated during this busy time of the day.  If you haven't had a chance to volunteer previously, we are still in great need of support each day.  Please consider donating a few hours of time.  You can sign-up using this link.  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E084DAEA629A4F85-lunch#/

  • Officers:
  • Jessica Ladd, President
  • Liz Bliesener, Vice President
  • Melissa Graeser, Treasurer
  • Tracy Johnson, Secretary

Box Tops for Education

Please continue to collect Box Tops for Education! This program is completely online now. To get the app please go to www.Boxtops4education.com

You can follow the Wacousta Elementary School PTIA on Facebook and email us at ptiawacousta@gmail.com

Health Update

Arrival and Dismissal

When calling in for any of the following reasons please identify your student by first and last name, grade, and teacher.

School Arrival:  Students may not be dropped off prior to 8:40 a.m. since we do not have supervision available. If your student will be getting breakfast it is important that they arrive at the drop off time and go directly to the cafeteria.  Arriving late, makes them late for class start time at 9:00.

School Dismissal:  School ends at 3:55 p.m.  All students should be picked up no later than 4:05 p.m. If you are picking up your child at the end of the day and want to meet them at parent pick up, please do not get in the parent pick up line.  We ask that you park in a parking spot and walk to meet your child.  ALSO, PLEASE DO NOT GO PAST THE CONES TO COLLECT YOUR CHILD.  WE HAVE ADULT SUPERVISION TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE STUDENTS.  If you remain in your vehicle, please continue to move up in line and we'll get your student(s) to you. ~Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Half-day dismissal:  Is at 12:10 p.m.

Late Arrivals:  If you know your child is going to be arriving late, please call or email the school office to let us know.  It is also helpful to let us know if they need a school lunch and which option they'd prefer.  We'll make sure to get that ordered for them.

Parent Pick-Up:  If you are planning to  pick-up your child after school, or change from parent pick-up to riding the bus, please call the school office no later than 2:30 p.m.  We distribute the pick-up list to teachers and staff at this time and are unable to accommodate last minute changes.

Absences:  If your student will be absent or becomes ill and cannot attend school, please call the office and let us know your students name, teacher, reason for absence and symptoms if ill.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Illness Reminder: We ask that your child be 24 hours free of fever, vomiting or diarrhea before you send them back to school after they have been out sick.  We appreciate your cooperation with this!

COVID Reporting

To report a positive Covid case, please complete the Covid Reporting Form.

Medication

All medication needs to be brought to school by a parent/guardian.  This includes all over the counter medication (cough drops, Tylenol, etc).  Prescription and over the counter medications require a doctors order for the school to administer them, that includes creams or lotions. You will find medication documents at this link: medication and health information Click on School Health Information and Forms.

Birthday Celebrations

Due to the number of life-threatening allergies we have in our building, we respectfully request that you do not send in any type of food for birthday treats.  Mr. Groves celebrates each child by announcing their name during the morning announcements and he personally presents them with a birthday pencil.

If you so choose, you are welcome to bring in a non-edible treat for your child's classmates but they may not include any type of gum or candy.  Some parents choose to send in something small like a pencil or stickers, but that is up to each family.  It is definitely your choice and we understand that not all families are able to do something like this.

We also request that you do not send birthday invitations to school.  If you would like an address list, we will have School Directories available in the near future for $1.00.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

Lost and Found

Is your student missing their jacket, hat, gloves, water bottle, lunch box?  Our lost and found table and coat rack are beginning to fill up again.  Please stop in before the Thanksgiving break to reclaim items your student may have misplaced.

Extra Clothing/Clothing Closet

Future forecast? COLD and SNOW.  Please make sure your student wears a jacket, has a hat, gloves, boots, snow pants, so they are prepared for the weather. Please also check your students backpack for appropriate extra clothing.  Shorts and short sleeved shirt days have expired.   An extra pair of socks comes in handy for the wet days when our feet just can't stay out of the puddles!

If you are in need of assistance with clothing and outwear please contact the office. You can also find community support information below in the "District and Community News" section of this newsletter.

Thanks for your support and cooperation in keeping our kiddos warm and dry this season.

District and Community News

Recognitions and Acknowledgements in the Upcoming Days
  • Jan. 15 » Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Jan. 15 » Sankranti
  • Jan. 15-18 » Pongal
  • Jan. 21 » World Religion Day
  • Jan. 28 » Christa McAuliffe Day 
  • Jan. 31 » International Day of the Zebra

Is something missing? Please share with John Ellsworth, GLPS Director of Communications, any  additional Recognitions & Acknowledgments you think we should include on this list or upcoming lists – email him at EllsworthJ@GLcomets.net.

THANK YOU to the GLPS Board of Education!  January is School Board Recognition Month – the Governor even issued a proclamation.  You can learn more about all seven members of the GLPS Board of Education on our website: GLcomets.net/Board.

Community Resources

Wacousta Newsletter - March 1, 2024
Wacousta Newsletter - February 23, 2024
Wacousta Newsletter - February 16, 2024