October Buffalo Buzz

Newsletter page 1 describing student attendance

October newsletter explaining picture day , pumpkin patch field trips and square one art.Notes from the nurse, Halloween parade information and Parent Teacher Conference information2nd and 3rd music program note, library update on book fair, library volunteers and balloon raceWalk a Mile information, lost and found and chess club information

FRE PTO informational page 2018 FRE Student Council MembersMajor Saver Fundraiser and USD 475 BlastFRE Site Council Information Kiss N Go and Lunch Information for FRE

Breakfast reminder, Truancy information, Arrival and Dismissal Policies for FRE

October 2018 calendar for Fort Riley Elementary

“Tardy Tater” and “No Tardy Parties”!

To promote students arriving on time, each class has a Mr. Potato Head.  Each day that all the students in class are on time, Mr. Potato Head gets a piece of his body. When the toy has ten pieces, the class gets recognized on morning announcements and is awarded with a No Tardy Party.  The No Tarty Parties are simple ways for the class to celebrate; such as wearing pajamas, bringing a stuffed animal to class, wearing silly socks, hats or crazy hair.   We are hoping to teach students the importance of arriving on time so teachers can make every minute count in the day!

Congratulations to Mr. Reever’s class as they were the first to earn a No Tardy Party!!!

By making your child’s school attendance a priority, you will be taking an important step in supporting your child’s school success, and setting a good example.

One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child’s attendance record may be the biggest factor influencing his/her academic success.

Benefits of daily attendance

By attending class regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and take quizzes and tests on time.

There are other benefits as well:

  • Achievement: San Diego Unified School District found that students who attended school regularly were more likely to pass reading and math assessments than students who didn’t attend school regularly.
  • Opportunity: For older students, being in school every day gives them a chance to learn more about college and scholarship opportunities, and to take the important exams they need to build a successful academic record.
  • Exposure to the English language: Regular school attendance can also help students who are learning English by giving them the chance to master the skills and information they need more quickly and accurately — even in other subjects!
  • Being part of the school community: Just by being present at school, your child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community, learning valuable social skills, and developing a broader world view.
  • The importance of education: Your commitment to school attendance will also send a message to your child that education is a priority for your family, going to school every day is a critical part of educational success, and that it’s important to take your responsibilities seriously — including going to school.
  • Build pattern of attendance: It is very important to build patterns of attendance starting as soon as a child begins school. The child’s attendance pattern in kindergarten & 1st grade are predictive of their absenteeism in middle & high school. The child’s reading level tends to be below grade level & they fall behind in math by the time they are in 3rd grade.  Chronic absenteeism impacts school connectivity & academic progress.  Missing 1-2 days per month from kindergarten can equate to one entire school year of missed education by the time the student is a senior.
  • When Your Child has to Miss School: Please contact the school’s front office immediately at — 785-717-4450.  The absence needs to be excused. Also, contact your child’s teacher for missed homework lessons. Mandatory school attendance is a policy USD475 takes seriously.  Consequences of missing class includes falling behind in lessons, lower participation grades and poorer performances on quizzes & tests. Plan on being gone for extended period of time? Stop in front office & fill out the Extended Absence form.



Time:  8:00 – 11:30

Location:  Library Conference Room

  Red Ribbon Week

22 – 26 October

Each day will have a  theme & information will be sent home with the student


15 OctoberReading Celebration (1st – 5th grade students have to meet their reading goals) — Britt’s Pumpkin Patch ($5/per Student) ($3/Adult)

19 October4th Grade — Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Museum (Abilene, KS)

24 OctoberKindergarten — Britt’s Pumpkin Patch ($5/per Student) ($3/Adult)

Permission slips will be sent home & will need to be returned prior to the trip (this is mandatory)

** Chaperones will follow the bus to Britt’s Farm*

SQUARE ONE ART — Fundraising Project

Materials will be passed out on Monday, 24 September to all students

Projects will need to be turned in by: Thursday, 11 October

Forms for ordering the art projects as gifts will go home: Tuesday, 6 November

Order Forms will need to be turned in (to Teachers) by: Friday, 16 November

Square One Art is a fundraiser where a student created picture is put on an item such as a phone case, keychain, magnet, coffee cup, etc.  Parents or family members will be able to place orders on-line . These art projects will be in by Christmas and will make great presents for family members.

Over the next 3 weeks, students will work in class on these projects; creating unique, one-of-a-kind masterpieces.  Over the next few weeks, more information will be sent home with each student explaining everything in detail.

From the Nurse

A physical exam dated within one year of the first day of school is required for all students aged eight and under. This exam is only required once, upon arrival to the district. You now have 60 days to turn this form in.  Also, if you haven’t already, please turn in immunizations records ASAP.

I would also like to remind parents that cold/flu season is near and to remember that your child needs to be kept home if they are experiencing fever (>100.0), vomiting, or diarrhea. They should remain out of school until they are without fever, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours WITHOUT medication or they must have a doctor’s note. Also, encourage your children to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer and to cough or sneeze into the bend of their elbow. Let’s do all we can to keep our kids, teachers, and staff healthy!

The nurse will be completing vision screenings at the end of this month.  Your student will be bringing home their results only if the screening was abnormal. If you have any questions about the above information, please contact our school nurse, Pamela Grace, at 785-717-6667.


Parent Teacher Conferences

Dates & Times are as follows:

Tuesday, 23 Oct:  3:20 – 7:00

Wednesday, 24 Oct:  3:20 – 7:00

Thursday, 25 Oct:  7:30 – 10:40

Conference forms are being sent home the 1st week of October with your child.  Please check their folders for this form as it will have your scheduled appointment time(s).  Please circle; ‘I ACCEPT’ or the  ‘PLEASE RESCHEDULE’ option on the form & return these forms back to the TEACHER as soon as possible.  It is our goal to do our best to  meet your need(s) for a particular conference time.  Our continued goal is to have  100% attendance with all the parent/teacher conferences.  We value this time with you, so we can update you on your child’s progress in school & their well being.  We look forward to meeting with each & everyone during these conferences.

Halloween Parade

Wednesday, October 31st @ 1:45pm

Good Weather: Outdoors in back along sidewalk

Inclement Weather: Indoors in Gym

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a building-wide parade & then return to their classroom for treats.  Costumes are to reflect non-threatening figures.  Weapons & blood are not permitted.  Parents are invited to view the parade.  If the weather is good; the parade will be outdoors along the back sidewalk.  If the weather is inclement, the parade will be inside the gym.  Students may prepare their hair at home & come to school that day with the hairstyle as long as it does not interfere with student learning.  Students will be given a maximum of 10 minutes prior to the parade to get into their costume & apply make-up as needed.  Students are not to come to school in their costumes or in make-up.  The costume should reflect the school’s dress code.

** If you prefer that your child not participate in the Halloween activities, you may sign them out from the front office or your child may go directly to the library during these activities

** Please send a NOTE to the teacher indicating this preference **

Musical Notes


We are off to a great start in the Music room this year!!!  I have enjoyed getting to know all of our new students and having many students return from last year.  The children have been very busy singing, saying, dancing and playing.

2nd and 3rd graders are preparing for their Music Program, “Hee Haw!”, which will be presented on Thursday, October 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the school gym.  All 2nd and 3rd grade students are expected to attend!  Students are to come to the program dressed in western wear:  cowboy hats, jeans, jean skirts, bandanas, boots, vests and western shirts, etc.  (They don’t need to purchase anything.  Just wear things that you already have!  I think you will really enjoy this program that the students are working hard on!

The students have learned The Buffalo PRIDE Rap to perform at our PRIDE assemblies throughout the year.  We have also learned “One Nation” and “Because of You” for our Freedom Walk celebration.  I am so proud of their performance singing for the soldiers and emergency responders.  Our students do such a nice job singing together in the gym.  They will perform these songs again at our Veteran’s Day observance.

2nd – 5th grade students learned and experienced what an “ostinato” is as they worked on “Instruments Rule”.  They also learned how to play tubanos and many unpitched percussion instruments.  4th & 5th grade students are now doing lots of review of basic music skills using the barred instruments (xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels).  We want to THANK our PTO for purchasing another soprano xylophone this summer for our classroom!!!  Our PTO has been very supportive for many years purchasing us additional barred instruments as we get closer to our goal of having a barred instrument for each child to play by themselves in music class. These 4th and 5th grade students are reviewing melodic direction on the instruments (high/low/up/down/getting higher/getting lower), note/rest values/identification, steady beat, mallet technique and experiencing playing in an ensemble.  Kindergarten and 1st grade students are also experiencing activities using the barred instruments and unpitched percussion instruments.

Upcoming programs are:  “On With The Snow”, Thursday, December 13th at 6:30 p.m. (1st Grade), and the 4th/5th Grade Program (Title TBA) on Thursday, May 9th at 6:30 p.m.  We are looking forward to a great year in Music!!!

Mr. Gooden; Music Teacher

Extra-Extra…Read All About It – Library News:

the Great Balloon Race is almost over!

Kids are doing an amazing job checking out great books, and each grade is already across or rapidly closing in on the finish line! Our next challenge—Pack Your Bags—begins 15 October.         Students will be filling their suitcases for the next adventure, and the more books each class reads, the sooner they’ll embark!


We’d love a few volunteers to decorate the library’s front windows (facing the parking lot) with a seasonal PRIDE message to welcome students as they arrive each morning! This job is perfect for you & a friend if you like helping at FRE, you’re all about creative projects & you’d prefer a quiet task that would just take one visit each season. Please contact KariDuntz@usd475.org or stop by the library if you have a fun fall message you’d like to deck the windows with!

Save the date: Scholastic’s Enchanted Forest of Books alights November 8th-16th. Come discover fresh new titles & stock up on holiday gifts. Funds raised support KFRE News production & this winter’s author visit. Book purchases or help manning a register for an hour would be great ways to support these awesome FRE projects!

Buffaloes’ WALK A MILE DAY!


USD 475 and The Geary County Healthcare Foundation have teamed up to participate in the National Walk a Mile Day on Friday, October 5th.  At 1:45pm; starting from the gym, students will walk a one mile route through the Forsyth neighborhood.  At the end of the day we will have a drawing for two names from the students that participated in the walk for a chance to WIN a NEW Razor Scooter (KG – 2nd) or a NEW Bicycle (3rd – 5th) – both WITH HELMETS!  After our school drawing, all of the names will be entered into a District Wide drawing for the GRAND PRIZE of an XBOX and 2 games to be drawn live Monday, October 8h, on KJCK 1420 during the 8:15 a.m. news.

Parents and adults are invited to come participate and a separate District Wide drawing will be held for all adults that participated in the walk for a FITBIT FLEX BAND!

We hope to see you there!

Mr. Irvine

PE Teacher

Ps… Bring your socks & shoes 


CHESS CLUB meets in the Library from 3:00 – 3:50pm

3rd – 5th grade Chess Club will meet: Tuesday, October 2

The last session is:  Tuesday, October 9

We will begin another session after Winter break for grades 3 – 5

K – 2nd grade Chess Club begins:

Tuesday, October 30 and goes through Tuesday, December 11

There are still openings available for K – 2nd grade!!!

Please email carolstrathe@usd475.org if you would like a  permission form sent home with your student

**Student must have a ride home at 3:50pm or have permission to walk home after Chess Club is over ***


Lost & Found

Lost & found items can be found in the large wooden crate located in the front foyer, across from the Café.

If your child has lost an item, please take a moment and check inside the wooden crate.

Hello Fort Riley Elementary Parents!  The FRE PTO is excited to start working on upcoming events for the 2018-2019 school year!  The PTO held their first meeting on Monday, 10 September 2018, and elected     Angela Eide as the PTO President.  Currently PTO is still looking for a Vice President.  Throughout the year, the PTO assists and/or sponsors events such as Square Art, Spirit Nights, Spirit Wear, Buffalo Trading Post/Christmas Shop, Carnival and the Field Day.  Please look into your schedule and see where you can help, as there are teachers at FRE that still need help with box tops, class parties and many other needs.     If you have any questions for the PTO— please email fre.pto@yahoo.com

Box Tops for Education

The FRE PTO is still looking for a few good volunteers to  help out with the collection of Box Tops! If you are willing to help, please contact Kelly Propst or your child’s classroom teacher.

Kelly Propst (Box Tops Chair) kellydpropst@gmail.com                  915-525-3823

** October PTO Meeting  **

Tuesday, 16 October @ 3:15

Location:  Library

This year we are also collecting Coke Rewards. These come on most Coca-Cola products. Single bottles, 12 pack, etc. Please send them in with your child to give to their teacher. Coke rewards are redeemable for cash for FRE!! Thanks for all of your help in our new program!

STUCO is off and running. We are delighted to introduce you to our new STUCO leadership team. They are Kenzie Burgess, Katie Cook and Finn Scott. These three will take the leadership roles with the following representatives from their prospective classes:

1st GradeHill- Charleston LaPoint and Sylas Bagardo, McGinn-Cade Timothy and Zoey Hamm, Wilson- Scarlett French and Blake Eide

2nd GradeBrinker-Ally Frazier and Taylor Cotto , Burch- Aeslynn Dodd and Jonathan Buckson, Maxwell- Andrew Bozarth and Jaedyn Salas

3rd GradeLacey- Sarah Effiong and Kolton Rushing, Porritt- Riley Bishop and Janay Watson, Traxel- Shianne Cammisa and Brayden Hiapo

4th GradeCharleston- Leah Gordon and Alexandrea Gomez, Robinson- Avery Showalter and Kawana Sugai, Smice- Savannah Alcala and Sara Bloodworth

5th GradeBienhoff- Gretchen Heely and Markeria Webb, Gasper- Noah Zeferjahn and Cadence Childers, Reever- Jonas Cook and Joscelyn French

Important StuCo Dates

November 2: Our second Popcorn & Juice sales will be November 2nd. The forms will go out on October 19th with the deadline being October 30th to turn in the form & the $1.00 to the classroom teacher.

We have two fabulous volunteers working hard to popping corn and get the juice boxes ready for each class. If you would like to join this team, we would be glad to have you.  Contact the classroom teacher if you would like to volunteer.

Major Saver

Collection Dates:  Wednesday, 26th September

Thursday, 27th September

Friday, 28th September

Monday, 1st October

Tuesday, 2nd October

LAST DAY:   Wednesday, 3rd October

THANK YOU for supporting the Geary Couonty School Foundation

Your purchase supports USD 475  teachers & students through classroom grants, scholarships, & special recognition

* The students can Earn Cool Prizes

** Earn  Major Saver Martians

***  Earn  an Additional Bonus! – Collect them all!!

Purchase your Major Saver Card for only $10 from any student that attends Ft. Riley Elementary school or any school within USD475

If you have questions; please call: 816-554-7999


The district offers multiple ways of notifying parents of school delays, closings &  bus delays as well as upcoming school events.  The district utilizes:  Phone calls, E-mail, Texting, and  the USD 475 mobile app.  These are the fastest & most accurate ways to receive updates.  To receive text messages, parents & staff are automatically enrolled when their correct contact information (phone # and email address) are in Skyward.  Parents can update their information by logging into their Skyward Family Access account to make sure the correct phone number is listed.  If your number is not correct, you can update it by   doing the following:

  • Click on the link for Student Information (to the left, in the blue menu bar)
  • In the upper right corner of the new window, there is a link for “Request Changes for (student name)”
  • Click on the “Request Changes” button & you will be taken to another screen that will allow you to make changes to your cell phone information.
  • Contact the front office of the school if you are unable to make these updates – 785-717-4450
  • If a parent does not have a Skyward Family Account, please contact the front office at the school

Site Council News


Are you a concerned parent, problem solver, or just want to be part of a team at Ft. Riley Elementary? If so, maybe Site Council is for you!

If you are interested in learning about curriculum, test scores, and activities at Fort Riley Elementary please join us!  We meet  once a month and the meeting lasts approximately one hour.

If you have any questions about Site Council, please call Fort Riley Elementary at 785-717-4450

If you haven’t yet been able to join us for a meeting, we hope you are able to attend this month’s meeting.

We look forward to a  great year of working together and making this a wonderful year for the students of Fort Riley Elementary!!

Next Site Council Meeting:

Tuesday, October 16th @ 4:00 PM

Location:  Library

Are you interested in Volunteering?

WELCOME to a new year at Ft. Riley Elementary!  The staff is so excited to start this school year together with all the students and their families!  You all have a place in our FRE family and there are many wonderful opportunities to volunteer.  We consider it a privilege to work with you and your children.  We are excited to find different ways and areas for you to volunteer throughout the school year.  We have volunteer opportunities in the classroom, library, PTO, and with various special events.  If you’d like to spend part of your day with us we can always use your talents and would LOVE to have you!!

If you have any questions  about volunteering or ideas about helping to improve our school,       please contact your child’s teacher. It’s going to be a WONDERFUL year!!!

Help us stay safe and on time in the mornings!

Þ Kiss-N-Go Lane is the most time efficient.

Þ If utilizing our parking lot we ask that you park your car and walk your child into the building

Þ Students exit from the passenger side, in the right lane only

Þ Pull all the way forward in the lane

Þ Be efficient and ready to get out of the vehicle

 Thank you for your support & cooperation in keeping our students & staff safe


You are always welcome to come eat with your child.  You are also welcome to bring your own sack lunch.

Kindergarten                 1st Grade
10:55 – 11:15                      11:20 – 11:40

2nd Grade                      3rd Grade
11:45 – 12:05                   12:10 – 12:30

4th Grade                      5th Grade
12:35 – 12:55                   12:50 – 1:10

Student Meal Prices

Breakfast – $1.80

Lunch – $2.65

Reduced Breakfast – $.30

Reduced Lunch – $.40

Guest Meal Prices

Breakfast – $2.25

Lunch – $3.70

When sending in lunch/milk money, please put all money in a sealed envelope with your child’s & teacher’s name on it.  All meal & milk money comes out of the same Food Service account. If your account is negative, snack milk & milk for home lunches will not be allowed to be purchased. Please make sure you are aware of the current  balance & are up to date with all payments.  Questions: 785-717-6604


Breakfast is served to all students from 7:15am – 7:35am.  Please do not have students arrive any later than 7:35am if they are eating breakfast.  This will help ensure students are in their classroom by 7:45am and ready to learn.


If you drop off your child by car in the morning, please utilize the Kiss-N-Go drop off lane in front of the school.  The five  minute reminder bell rings at 7:40 with the tardy bell then ringing at 7:45.  Please be sure to allow enough time in the family’s morning routine, so that your child arrives to school a few minutes prior to 7:45.  If your child arrives after 7:45, please bring them into the front office to be signed in and to receive a pass to class. 


Please remember we cannot allow students to be dismissed between 2:45 – 3:00pm.  If your child has an appointment, the front office will work with you in regard to dismissal.   The dismissal bell rings at 3:00 and this is when the students will be dismissed.

Hug-N-Home Visor Tags

If you do not have a window sign for your child, please let the teacher or the front office know.  These signs help teachers match up and identify the correct car and individual with regard to who the student will be going home with at the end of the school day.


Please remember to call the school as soon as you know that your child will be absent or tardy that day.  If you know in advance, please send in a note to the teacher and/or the front office so that the absence can be documented properly.  If your child has a doctor/dental appt. please ask for an appointment note and turn that into the front office, as well. If your child will be gone for an extended amount of time     (3 or more days), stop in the office and fill out an Extended Absence Form. Any questions, please call – 785-717-4450.

State Statute and USD 475’s Board of Education

Policies on Truancy

In compliance of Kansas Stature 72-1113 & 72-111 as described in Senate Bill No. 38, schools must report students not in compliance with Kansas Compulsory Attendance Laws.  The guidelines state a student is not in compliance if any of the following occur:

  • He/She accumulates three consecutive unexcused absences
  • He/She has five unexcused absences in a semester
  • He/She has seven unexcused absences in a school year
  • He/She has accumulated excessive amount of unexcused tardiness
  • He/She has excessive (over 6) excused absences and does not provide a note from a doctor. The state requires school districts to determine the definition of unexcused absences and/or tardiness.  Geary County USD 475 Policy JBD designates building principals determine unexcused absences as follows:
  • Any absences or tardy not called in or noted by a parent the morning of the absence
  • A note from a doctor is requested and not received
  • Keeping a child home to babysit
  • Keeping a child out of school because of parent’s dis- satisfaction with the school
  • Leaving school without permission
  • Non-emergency personal family leaves
  • Other reasons determined as unexcused (i.e. shopping, visits to friends, etc.)
  • Please make sure your child is on time every day so that they can be in their classroom seat no later than 7:45 a.m. Let’s all work to prevent necessitating any truancy actions from taking place.


Mr. Upham