Mustang Minute

Mustang Minute

Mustang Minute

Wednesday, January 4 – Friday, January 27

Monthly Family Newsletter

Mount Erie CARES

(Cooperation, Attitude, Respect, Effort, Safety)

Monthly Update – New Beginnings

       Welcome to 2017. Although we’re not quite half way over with this school year, the start of a new year can make it feel like that. It’s certainly an appropriate time for reflection about our work as a school and learning community. I recently looked closely at survey data from parents at the school. Last fall, 55 parents responded to a district sponsored survey as part of the broader Strategic Plan effort by our Superintendent mark Wenzel. The resulting information was both informative and supportive. There’s a lot of good work happening at the school. With comments such as “family centered”, “quality instruction”, and “caring attitude,” it’s clear the school is doing important work. It feels good to hear that. The staff here work incredibly hard to reach out to each and every student, to personalize learning and help ALL kids achieve.

There were some suggestions for additional opportunities needed at the school. A lot of what parents seemed to be looking for were in the area of more enrichment and extension activities for students. As always, we’d love to support additional opportunities for students to explore and learn. Most often the challenge is finding adult sponsorship for clubs. Fortunately, we’ve been able to add a Tuesday morning Spanish Club. It’s open to all students and meets in the library at 8:15. New parent Melissa Martinez is leading that program. Additionally we added a Tuesday Chess club for students in 3rd and 6th grade. It meets at 12:30 and is sponsored by another parent - Sherean Rogouski. If you have an idea or interest in offering a class for students, please talk to me. It’s never too late to start. Happy 2017. We look forward to seeing you at the school.


  • End of the semester is 1/27. Report cards will be mailed at the end of the following week.

  • Parent conferences are scheduled for 2/14 - 2/16. We’ll be using an electronic sign up again. Be on the lookout for a signup email.

Weekly Events


Wednesday, January 4

  • Late Start Wednesday – First bell rings 9:35 a.m. Second Bell 9:40

  • Welcome Back - Happy 2017

Thursday, January 5

Friday, January 6

  • Morning Staff Meeting 8:20 - Teachers unavailable

Monday, January 9

  • Brownie Troop - 4 - 5 Library

Tuesday, January 10

  • Autism Therapy Class - 8 am School Gym

  • PTA Meeting - 6 - 7:30 Library - All members

Wednesday, January 11

  • Late Start Wednesday – First bell rings 9:35 a.m. Second Bell 9:40

  • Teachers working in Professional Learning Communities

Thursday, January 12

Friday, January 13

  • No School for Students - Teacher Professional Work Day

Monday, January 16

  • No School for Students - National Holiday - Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 17

  • Autism Therapy Class - 8 am School Gym

Wednesday, January 18

  • Late Start Wednesday – First bell rings 9:35 a.m. Second Bell 9:40

  • Teachers working in Professional Learning Communities

Thursday, January 19

Friday, January 20

  • Parent Forum - Coffee and Treats 9:15 School Staff Room

    • Topic - Assessment in schools

Monday, January 23

  • Brownie Troop - 4 - 5 Library

Tuesday, January 24

  • Autism Therapy Class - 8 am School Gym

Wednesday, January 25

  • Late Start Wednesday – First bell rings 9:35 a.m. Second Bell 9:40

  • Teachers working in Professional Learning Communities

Thursday, January 26

  • School Board Meeting - Board Room 6:15 pm

Friday, January 27

  • End of the semester

General Information

MAP Testing

Winter MAP testing begins this month. Teachers will administer both math and reading assessments in class using individual student devices.

Library Card

Every student at ASD has a library card waiting for them at the library. If they have not been picked up by the class, students can go down individually and get their Anacortes Public Library Card. This applies to students who live outside of the the city limits and the card is now free! Contact:

Diana Farnsworth

Public Services Manager

Anacortes Public Library

360.293.1910 ext. 31


You can follow me and the school on Twitter this year. I plan on sending 2-3 tweets a week about the school, students and teachers. Load the free Twitter app.

  • Look for peterdonaldson@MTEprincipal

Early Dismissal

        We’re experiencing a real challenge with parent requests for early dismissal. We have parents coming into the school as late as 3:20 – 3:25 attempting to pull their children from class. This is the busiest time of the day for our school office and it’s quite often almost impossible to locate a child at that time and get a message for dismissal to them. Our first request if you’re coming at that time would be to wait until 3:30. If you have to have your child out prior to that time, we’d encourage all parents to send a written note at the beginning of the day that can be shared with a teacher. Hopefully, the student can be here waiting for you when you arrive. Thanks for your help here.


Attendance is a critically important issue for our school and for students. Kids can’t learn if they are not here. We track attendance data closely and will be sending regular communication home if students are missing school. We are sending a letter home via mail on Monday, September 16 which explains in more detail the research behind missed school, the supports we offer to encourage regular attendance, and the consequences of chronic attendance. A few suggestions:

  • Please let your teacher know about family vacations that occur during the school year

  • Avoid vacation planning during our assessment windows.

  • If your child misses school, contact the office within 48 hours

Front Door Access/Building Security

Please check in with the office when you visit the school. You’ll be asked to scan your driver’s license and get a visitor’s badge from our new ID/Security system. It will only take a few minutes and after that you’ll be able to enter your name at the kiosk station upon each visit. Thanks for your help keeping our kids safe.

Application Information for

Free and Reduced Meals

In your back-to-school mailing you received an application for free and reduced-price meals. If you think that you might qualify for this program, you are encouraged to complete this form and return it the school office.

        The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches for millions of children each school day.

Safe Car Drop Off/ Pick Up

Do’s and Dont’s


·         Do anticipate that it will take a few minutes to safely drop off/ pick up children in the designated area.  Thank you for your patience.

·         Do drop off and pick up your children only in the designated loop area in the front of the building.

·         Do pull all the way forward to drop off/pick up your children whenever possible. This prevents traffic back-ups on 41st Street

·         Do have your child exit your car on the curb side only, and if they need to cross potential traffic in the parking lot, teach them to cross only in the marked crosswalks.

·         Do drive without distraction to stay alert – Please refrain from texting or cell-phone talking when dropping off or picking up your child.

·         Turn right ONLY when leaving the parking loop between 8:45 - 9:15 am and 3:25 - 3:50 pm

Do Not

o   Do not drop off or pick up in the in the bus loop or in the staff and visitor parking area

o   Do not drop off/ pick up your child on 41st Street

o   Do not park your car in the loading zone – even for just a few minutes

o   Do not drive around the inner circle passing cars waiting in line to pick up your child.

o   Do not turn left out of the driving loop during pickup and drop off times. We’re encouraging right turns to help with traffic flow.


If you have not already done so, please consider joining our incredible Parent Teacher Organization. Our school and your student receive countless benefits from this healthy, supportive relationship. Membership drives their efforts. Those efforts support programs, facility upgrades and special events for kids. The PTA is indispensable in our overall work to create an engaging, fun school for your children.


We have made some changes to our school behavior system which we call Positive Behavior Intervention Systems. Our primary goal is to minimize overall behavior problems with individual students so that learning and fun can happen first. However we understand that things do not always go as planned and some days are harder than others. I am always trying to find ways for students to reflect on their actions, redeem themselves and move on. Part of our system wide effort calls for a progressive series of steps each one designed to give students a chance to correct and get “back in the game”. When small leveled interventions are not successful, we’ll work closely with your child and with you through our counseling services and Mrs. Estenson and through my own office. Please see the Progressive Steps Document which has been added to our school webpage under the PBIS tab.

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