March Newsletter 2020

Hello Dragon Families!

Happy Read-Across-America Week!  One of my favorite educational quotes is, “The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is….to show them that reading is a PLEASURABLE activity.  And that means…. finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.” – Neil Gaiman.

My hopes are that we can keep this as a focus as we celebrate early childhood literacy this week.

I understand there has been some confusion about Friday’s dress-up day.  I have to apologize for not explaining that day when I put out the communication out to everyone.  It is notated as, “Thing 1 and Thing 2” day.  Traditionally at Phoebe it has been “Twin Day.”  At my previous site we had Thing 1 and Thing 2 day and students dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat.” At this point I will say that whatever students have for that day (twin or thing 1 – 2) will be acceptable.  So sorry for the confusion.  

There has been communication sent out from the district regarding COVID-19.  We are very conscientious about the spread of disease and germs.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has communicated that proper hand washing is an effective way to stop the disease from spreading.  Susan Sivils, our school nurse, will be coming to talk to our students this week about proper hand washing procedures.  

STC’s production of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory is now open to first graders! To sign up for an audition, visit  Auditions spots are available March 9th – 11th.

Tickets to this year’s Spring Silent and Live Auction are now on sale!

We will officially kick off our Pennies for Patients program tomorrow. Your child will be coming home with their own collection box and a flyer that explains all of the exciting Hero Gear students can receive by collecting money in their box. Your “pocket” change makes a difference. Last year Phoebe Heart donated over $3,400.00. This year, we are also encouraging students to set up an online page to receive donations, so that our school can make our biggest impact ever for the Mission of LLS. Join our squad by clicking on the link: When heroes work together, we change cancer!

On March 9th we will have a dollar free dress day supporting St. Baldrick’s and childhood cancer research.  

On March 17th – wear green spirit day!!

Attached you will find several flyers of upcoming events.  Take a look!

Thank you,
Michelle Hansen
Phoebe Hearst Elementary

February 2020 Newsletter

Good Evening Phoebe Families,

On February 20th from 5:00-7:00pm, PTO will host a Screenagers showing in the cafeteria.  Screenagers is a documentary that reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance. Here’s the details to RSVP…    

Families have expressed interest in including older children to view the screening. The answer is absolutely – with the recommendation that you view the trailer first. The documentary’s recommendation is age 10 and up.

For those with elementary children not ready for the screening, parents can sign up for their kids to attend a free art night put on by Dream Enrichment that will be at Phoebe at the same time of the screening. If you plan to attend, please RSVP using the following link: SCREENAGERS

The Cotton Shoppe will be open for the month of February.

Open enrollment is happening right now.  Please let any one know that has a child interested in attending Phoebe to go online and fill out the form.  Also, if your child will be moving to middle school you will need to go through the open enrollment process again if your child plans to attend a middle school that is NOT their home school.  Please call the office if you have any questions.

Thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Michelle Hansen
Phoebe Hearst Elementary

Please see attached Newsletter for February.  

January 2020 Newsletter

Hello Dragon Families,

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a restful holiday.  We have a few events that I wanted to share with families as we head into January.  

On February 20th from 5:00-7:00pm PTO will host a Screenagers showing for parents in the cafeteria.  Screenagers is a documentary that reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.  During the showing your school aged children are invited to come as well to attend an art night put on by Dream Enrichment.  If you are interested in attending please fill out the sign-up survey.  SCREENAGERS 

On January 14th from 6:30-7:30pm in the cafeteria will be our PTO general board meeting.  At this meeting we will have the pleasure of hearing from Kari Hanson-Smith our GATE coordinator for the district.  She will explain the assessment process that is coming up as well as field any questions that parents might have.  Please plan to attend this very informative meeting.

Have you been wondering how you can get more involved in the school day with your children?  We have a need for some lunch time help with supervision.  If you are interested in helping out during lunch please contact Yuliya in the office or fill out the form link.  We really need your help!   LUNCH VOLUNTEER

Please see the attached flyers for upcoming events and after-school enrichment opportunities. Also, if former choir students are wishing to continue, parents may contact Ms. Kami Davis for details. Rehearsals will be at the same time on Tuesdays in the library.

Here’s to a happy morning tomorrow on our first day back from break!

Thank you,

Michelle Hansen

Attachment 1 (newsletter and acting class flyer); Attachment 2 (lunch menu, reading log and other flyers)

November 2019 Newsletter

Dear Dragon Families,

This first month at Phoebe has been absolutely wonderful. I have felt the warmth of the community surrounding our students and I am thrilled to be a part of it. The jog-a-thon and Harvest Festival were amazing events and we raised quite a bit of money to fund much desired programs at our school. Thank you to all involved that made those events happen. It is my pledge to always put students first. Here’s to an incredible year. If you have not already done so, please stop by and introduce yourself. My door is always open.

Please note that the schedule for minimum days on November 15th, 18th-22nd are as follows:

Kinders:  8:00-11:40 (Kinders are walked to the cafeteria and dismissed from there.) They must be picked up by 12:10.

Grades 1st – 3rd: 8:00-12:10 (Lunch is available.) Students must be picked up by 12:40.

Grades 4th – 6th: 8:00- 12:24 (Lunch is available.) Students must be picked up by 12:45.

Thank you,

-Ms. Hansen

November 2019 Newsletter

December Newsletter

Dear Phoebe Families,

As we neared Thanksgiving break a few weeks ago, our school days were dampened by unhealthy air that limited our students’ ability to go outside; eventually, we were unable to even attend school. The eerie and unsafe conditions were a grim reminder of the things we can take for granted – our belongings, our homes, and even the air we breathe. This December, the Phoebe community will be doing what it can to support the families of Paradise and surrounding areas who suffered tremendous loss at the hands of the destructive Camp Fire. Each class will be assigned a family to ‘adopt’ this holiday season, and we will use our room parents, teachers, students, and families to collect gift cards, write letters, and offer comfort to those affected. It is my hope that our efforts make an impact, even a small one, on the lives of the families with whom we connect. For our own Dragons, I hope that the process strengthens their pathos and reminds them of the things for which they should thankful. I am proud of our school community for taking this on and I thank PTO President Jennifer Simmons and her team for the wonderful idea.

Attached are our PTO newsletters, flyers, and the menu for the month. Please look for subsequent emails regarding our awesome Robotics team, our undefeated flag football team, and the return of the Spelling Bee!

Mr. McGill


September 2018 Newsletter


Dear Phoebe Families,

If it were possible to bottle up all of the excitement and energy that goes into the first few days of school and then sell it, we’d certainly be rich!  As always, thank you for a start to this year that reflects your investment in this community and to our school – it’s clear to me that everyone is ‘all in.’ As you schedule this busy month, please mark on your calendars the first PTO General meeting of the year (9/5 at 6:30pm in the cafeteria), Back to School Night (9/12 at 5:45pm on the blacktop), and Family Movie Night (9/14 at 6:30pm, bring blankets!).  

This year, we are refining the way we look at academic achievement.  Traditionally speaking, academic achievement is presented as a ‘snap shot’ for a particular year – a percentage of students who met or exceeded standards, and a percentage of students who nearly met or did not meet standards. Unfortunately, that data lacks context – How did individual students do?  Where did they start? Are individual students trending up or down? Digging deeper, we can look at our progress over four years using our standardized achievement scores to make the case that we have improved as a school:

  • We have gone from 77% of students meeting ELA standards and 74% of students meeting Math standards in 2015 to 87% of students meeting ELA standards and 81% of students meeting Math standards last year.  
  • More students have mastered and are exceeding their grade level standards (57% of 3rd-6th graders in ELA and 52% of 3rd-6th graders in Math) than ever before.  

However, that information does not tell us enough if we are going to meet the needs of each student and continue to grow.  This year, we are defining achievement in terms of how much an individual student has improved by year’s end, not just their scores in a given year.  Furthermore, we are identifying trends in achievement for students over their time here to better align our resources and interventions.  The work is exciting and our staff enters this year energized to take on the challenge. If you would like more specifics, feel free to send me an email or stop me in the hallway any time!

Finally, I have attached informational pamphlets for our district’s wellness policy that will provide you with updated guidelines for nutrition at school.  Should you need additional information, feel free to contact the office or your student’s teacher. Additionally, all the flyers for afterschool classes are included for you to fill out and return to the front office.

I hope you to see you out at all of the community events in September, have a great month!


Mr. McGill