Dear Parents,

I’m thrilled to be teaching 5th grade again this year and am so thankful to God for this opportunity to get to know your child better. I’m looking forward to a fabulous year with Vander Kooi’s Joys!


Please join us on Monday, August 15 from 8:00-8:30 A.M. in Peoples Church sanctuary as we begin the year with an inspiring convocation led by Superintendent Jeremy Brown and our high school worship team. All students are expected to attend and parents, grandparents, etc. are more than welcome to join us.


I look forward to meeting each of you at Back to School Night on Tuesday, August 23, when I will share further details about our year.


Newsletters are posted online every Monday. Please take the time to read them as they contain information about class activities, areas of curricular study and upcoming special events.

Power School offers a variety of information including attendance, grades, assignments, assignment descriptions, special notes to parents and quarterly report cards. Please check Power School often and stop by our elementary office for help if you have trouble logging on.

Black Homework Folders will be taken home daily and returned in the morning with the homework that is due.

Student Planners are not provided by the school. Families are strongly encouraged to purchase a planner so that students can record daily assignments. 

Contact: If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at You may also send a note with your child. I will check emails after school each day and occasionally during the day, as time allows. In the event of an emergency, please call the elementary secretary, Kerry Roberts, at 299-1695 extension 103.


Beginning on Tuesday morning, students should go directly to the blacktop area north of Building 5 and east of Building 6.  After the 7:55 A.M. bell and whistle, they will line up with their classmates and I will escort them to class.

School begins at 8:00 A.M. sharp. Students who arrive between 8:00 and 8:15 will report directly to the classroom and will be marked tardy by me. Students who arrive after 8:15 A.M. must report directly to the elementary office and will be marked tardy by Mrs. Dooley.

School ends at 2:45 P.M. Please arrange pick up promptly. Children not picked up by 3:00 P.M. will be taken to the elementary office to call parents and wait. The pick-up location is at the pirate ship on the west side of Building 5. All children must wait with the teacher until an adult walks over to pick them up. They may not go and meet you at your car.


Please refer to the student handbook to familiarize yourself with dress code expectations.  Teachers have been asked to check daily for those who are not adhering to the dress code.


Milk and juice will be offered for K-6 students and are 40 cents each. You may purchase a milk or juice card for $8.00 each. Each card is good for 20 drinks. These are available in the Elementary Office. You will be notified when it is time to purchase a new one. This is offered as a convenience to you and is not mandatory.


Students will be given color-coded subject area folders, notebooks, lined paper, pens, pencils, a dry erase marker, a white board with its eraser. Colored pencils, felt pens, scissors and rulers are also available for use.


Electronic devices such as dictionaries, I-pads, notebooks, and computers may be utilized at school for learning only. This means electronic devices MAY NOT be out at school unless students are instructed to do so by me. No overnight storage is available  so students will need to take devices to and from school on a daily basis.


Birthdays are special to all of us and we want to celebrate your child’s birthday by singing to them and praying for them for the year and for their future. Parents may bring an easy-to-eat treat on the special day which will be served prior to morning recess. This week we will celebrate June, July and  August birthdays and I will provide the treat. Summer birthday wishes go to Michael Herrera, Pareesa Kashefi and Diego Vigil.


Please be sure to alert me as well as the elementary office of any allergies or health concerns you have about your child.


Recess is scheduled every day in the morning from 9:50 to 10:10 and after lunch from about 12:00-12:30. Snacks may be eaten during the morning recess. Because of various children’s food allergies, they are not allowed to share or trade food. We will have P.E. twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Be sure to have your child wear clothes and shoes that are appropriate for workouts. Water bottles are required and should be brought to school and kept at your child’s desk.


Elective forms will be sent home on Monday and should be turned in by Wednesday, August 17 with a parent signature. Students will be given their first choice whenever possible, but should select 2nd and 3rd choices as well since some classes fill up.


Students should wear their FCS shirts on Fridays to show their school spirit.  Please be sure to have them wear their FCS class shirt, once it is printed, on field trips, too.


Students are required to read a book from an assigned genre each month and complete an activity for that book. This is to be done independently at home; specific class time will not be given to read the book or complete the activity. The required reading for August is a genre of the student’s choice. Students will create a book jacket for their selected book which is due on Wednesday, August 31. We will review how to make a book jacket in class and the grading rubric will be sent home.


This week we will discuss ways to show respect to one another and ways to handle conflict. Students will collaborate on “respect agreements” which will help them better understand what respect is and how to demonstrate this quality at all times.


Students will memorize scripture weekly and take a written test each Friday. The memory verse for this week is Zephaniah 3:17 and the test will be this Friday, August 19. Students will be graded on writing the verse accurately, including correct wording, spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and the scripture reference.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.     Zephaniah 3:17


Students will be given a word list each Monday along with activities for defining, dividing the words into syllables, and practicing the words. Students may take the Challenge Words for extra credit.

Spelling words are tested each Friday.  Lesson 1 words will be tested this Friday, August 16.

 Lesson 1

 Words with Short Vowels and Vowel Digraphs

  1. absence
  2. against
  3. album
  4. circuit
  5. bronze
  6. chess
  7. biscuit
  8. depth
  9. cabinet
  10. drench
  11. glimpse
  12. nozzle
  13. feather
  14. plastic
  15. publish


  1. adolescent
  2. convocation
  3. acknowledgement
  4. amended
  5. relegated


  • First Day of School: August 15
  • Back to School Night: August 23
  • Elementary Fall Pictures: September 2
  • NO SCHOOL (Labor Day): September 5
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences: September 12-16
  • Grandparents Day: September 30
  • NO SCHOOL (Teacher Inservice): October 10
  • End of 1st Quarter: October 14
  • NO SCHOOL (Veterans Day): November 11
  • NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving Break): November 21-25
  • HALF DAY/End of 2nd Quarter: December 16