November Newsletter

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Garfield Elementary School Newsletter

November-December 2017

Garfield Cheetahs are Responsible, Respectful and Ready

Food in Classrooms

We continue to see and serve students at Garfield who have food allergies. For some it can create discomfort, for others it is life threatening. As we are informed of these medical conditions we have different levels of safety so we make sure we do not risk the health of our students. You may have children who are in a POD or classroom where certain ingredients are not allowed. These ingredients are typically nuts, milk and eggs, though it can be other ingredients.

As a school, we have put in place a number of measures to promote the safety of kids: We monitor snacks for rooms where allergies are most serious; we alert classrooms and PODs if extra precautions need to be made; and we designate a table in the lunchroom where no nuts are allowed, along with providing information to families on how we can best keep kids safe.

This has required changes for how we hold parties and celebrations. In all schools, foods that are brought for classroom events and parties must be store bought-and include an ingredient list. If you’ve looked at an ingredient list recently, this can be a challenge. They are lengthy and sometimes use words that are hard to understand. In fact, one of the hardest to find, but most frequent, is a note that says the product has been made in a factory where nuts are processed. This, too, becomes a danger to our students with these allergies and cannot be present in rooms or PODs.

As a community, I would like to ask your support for these students in following these guidelines:

  • All special event foods are store-bought and have an ingredient list

  • If your child is in a POD or class with these restrictions, please read ingredient lists before purchasing. We cannot serve these items and will return them to you if they have any chance of having an allergen.

  • Please consider vegetables and fruits for classroom events. This option supports our interest in developing healthy eating habits and generally does not have the same frequency of allergens that come with processed foods. We’ve noticed kids who are part of our garden classes develop a surprising liking to foods.

Thanks for your help with this effort and please call or stop by with any questions.

Brendon Chertok, Principal

Attendance Matters!

This year, the Olympia School District is joining the rest of the state to focus on school attendance. Attending class regularly is the first step to school success, and it helps students feel better about school.

Did you know?

  • Students who miss just two days per month are considered “chronically absent.”

  • Kindergartners who are chronically absent are less likely to read at grade level by third grade.

  • Ninth graders who are chronically absent are much more likely to fail at least one core course (math, English or science).

  • Failing a core course in ninth grade makes it more likely that a student will not graduate from high school on time.

  • State law requires students ages 8-17 to attend school or a district-approved home school program.

What can you do?

Encourage good habits at home, and make school a priority. Set a regular bedtime and morning

routine. As much as possible, schedule appointments or trips for times when school is not in session.

Of course, sometimes there are reasons for a student to stay home. If your student is too ill to come to school, please take care of them at home so other students can avoid getting sick. If your student does need to miss school, call our attendance line to let us know. Keep track of your student’s absences - it’s easy for them to add up without realizing it.

Let’s do this!

We miss our students when they aren’t here. Each student makes a difference. If you need help getting your student to school, or your student seems nervous about going, please tell us. We’ll work together to find a solution.

District continues partnership with Timberland Regional Library

The Olympia School District is continuing its partnership this year with the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) to bring students access to a wider range and depth of information via the library’s vast electronic services collection.

The MyTRL program, which launched last fall, provides students in elementary, middle and high school access to the public library’s large and updated collection of research resources, eBooks, digital magazines, and kids and teen homework help.

MyTRL allows for students to view and check out electronic library resources that are automatically returned, so no fines incur. Students who already have a public library card may use this additional digital card, benefitting from the convenient login credentials.

Students who wish to check out print materials may apply for a full access card online or in person at the Timberland Library. Students are automatically opted into the program unless parents indicate otherwise in Skyward Family Access or by notifying the child’s school in person. Students whose parents opted them out of the program last year continue to remain opted out this year.

For more information, visit the Timberland Regional Library website. Additional details about the partnership are also available on the district's Instructional Technology web page.

Calendar of Events


1 Walk N Roll 8:10 a.m.

3 Picture Retakes

10 No School – Veterans Day

13 Cookie Dough Sales Due

17 Veterans Day Assembly 2 p.m.

17 PTA Movie Night 6:30 p.m.

21 Lions Hearing and Vision Screening

22-24 No School – Thanksgiving Break


6 Cookie Dough Pickup Day

8 PTA Bingo Night

13 Holiday Spirit Pickup Day

18-29 No School – Winter Break

Walk N Roll

What a great Walk N Roll kick-off in October! Lots of Garfield students and families walked to school. Let’s keep that energy going for next month!

When? Wednesday, Dec. 6

Where? Meet up at the corner of Division and Madison (near Evergreen Villages Apartments).

What time? Meet at 8 a.m., walk to school at 8:10 a.m. Remember school begins at 8:40 a.m., so be sure to be on time.

Look for Mr. Chertok and members of Olympia Police Department and Olympia Fire Department on your walk.

Walk N Roll Tip of the Month: Be Safe, Be Seen! Wearing reflective clothing and bright colors makes it easier for others to see you. As the weather worsens, do everything you can to be seen—bright clothing, reflectors, flashlights and walking in groups all help you to be seen.

Walk N Roll is a program of Intercity Transit with a focus on encouraging youth to walk, bike and use transit. See you out there Walking N Rolling and Dec. 6.

Staff Recognition

Staff gathered in October along with Olympia School District Superintendent Patrick Murphy and Board President Eileen Thompson to recognize Michell Orwig, who was awarded "Classified Employee of the Year" for the whole district. Michell has been an instrumental part of the Garfield family for many years. Please join us in congratulating her on this honor.

OSD 2017-18 Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Olympia School District will provide equal educational opportunity and treatment for all students in all aspects of the academic and activities program without discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. The district will provide equal access to school facilities to the Boy Scouts of America and all other designated youth groups listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society. District programs will be free from sexual harassment. Auxiliary aids and services will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.

The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, reports of alleged sexual harassment, concerns about compliance, and/or grievance procedures: Jeff Carpenter, Title IX Officer, (360) 596-8544; Ken Turcotte, Section 504 and ADA Coordinator, (360) 596-7542; and Scott Niemann, Affirmative Action Officer and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, (360) 596-6193. All three individuals may also be contacted at 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA, 98501.

Michell and Brendon
Brendon and Michell, Classified Staff of the Year


1st and 3rd grade reading buddies 1st and 3rd grade reading buddies


Super Hero Resource Staff Super Hero Resource Staff


Garfield Family We love our Garfield Families!