Bear Paws, December 2021

Sheridan Hills Elementary students learn during a field trip to Wood Lake Nature Center

Principal's Note

If you drop your child off in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon please follow these guidelines. With winter weather, we need to keep everyone safe, and we need to speed up our afternoon pick up.

  1. Do not park in the handicap spots at the front unless you have a sticker. We have parents who need to use those spots because of their needs or their child’s needs.

  2. Get your child into your car as quickly as possible. We prefer that parents do not get out of the car, but teach their children to quickly get into the car. The speed of our afternoon pick up is impacted by the length of time it takes cars to go through the line.  We can get students out faster, but are often held up waiting for parents to get their children into the car.
  3. The pick up and drop off lane is closest to the curb. The space between the parked cars and drop off lane should only be used for cars to pull out to leave the lot. Do not stop in that lane to have your children get in or out of the car; it is not safe.

Over the winter break please be sure that your child is reading and using their math skills while they are at home or traveling. COVID-19 has created many interruptions to our children’s learning and while we all need time for play and rest, our children need to practice the skills they have learned this fall. There are many resources out there. You could visit the public library or go online and use the resources we have at Sheridan. You can access multiple online resources on our school's Media Center page. There are many opportunities for your child to share and practice their math and literacy skills throughout the days of break. You can cook together (read recipes and do math), create and tell stories (be an author and illustrator), read to each other, play card or board games inside or have fun outside. It’s a great time to exercise all of our muscles.

Winter break can also bring out a wide range of emotions. As parents, we know that winter break can be a time of great joy and it can be a time of disappointment if things do not go as planned. We teach the importance of deep breathing and that it helps your brain calm down when you are upset. If over break your child is upset, remind them to take three deep breaths… and if you’re upset, try deep breathing. Learning how to manage our upset and calm ourselves so that we make good decisions is one of the most important lessons we can teach our children. Ask your child to teach you the breathing exercises they do at school.  

Enjoy your winter break and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

From our School Social Worker, Chelsea Hauer

Hello Families!

This month we will begin to focus on emotion management during our social-emotional learning time. Emotion management matters because students who can identify their emotions accurately tend to be more socially and emotionally competent. Children with high emotional understanding at the beginning of elementary school are more likely than other children to show academic gains by age nine. Everyone experiences strong feelings sometimes. Students will learn that some feelings are comfortable and some are uncomfortable. And physical clues such as a racing heart and a stomachache can help us identify our own feelings.

Kindergarten and first grade students will receive instruction in identifying feelings, managing feelings and calming down anger. After winter break, grades two through five will participate in lessons on similar topics as well as managing anxiety, handling frustration and coping with embarrassment. In the emotion management unit, students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger. At Sheridan Hills we teach students these 3 steps for calming down strong feelings:

  1. Stop - Stop your body, don’t react to your feelings, use a stop signal such as “chill out” or “hang on.”
  2. Name your feeling - “I feel _________________.”
  3. Calm down - Choose a strategy such as deep breathing, counting, self-talk (“I can handle this. I can do hard things.”) etc. Students are encouraged to try out a variety of calming down strategies and choose the one(s) that work for them. 

Learning to manage strong emotions is a critical life skill that will help children as they move through school and onto work and life. There has never been a better time to prioritize this learning for all of our students! You can practice and use the calming down steps at home. Even adults need to work on this! We’re all allowed to lose our patience and blow a fuse once in a while. And, we can be intentional about modeling emotion management with our children at home. When both the adults at school and adults at home are working to manage their emotions, kids see how important this really is!


Chelsey Hauer
School Social Worker

From our Health Assistant, Allisha Mazurkiewicz

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

More common: One of these, and you should stay home.

  • fever greater than or equal to 100.4 *F
  • new onset and/or worsening cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • new loss of taste or smell

Less common: Two or more of these, and you should stay home. 

  • sore throat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • excessive fatigue
  • new onset of severe headache
  • new onset of nasal congestion or runny nose

Keep in mind:

  • If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, everyone else in the household who is not fully vaccinated must stay home for 14 days from the last contact with the positive case. (Fully vaccinated means it has been two weeks after the second dose.) Everyone must still watch for symptoms for 14 days. If you are vaccinated and any symptoms develop, please stay home. It is recommended by the Department of Health that a person gets a COVID-19 test at that point.
  • If you decide to get your student a COVID-19 test, and it comes back negative, we still want students to be out of school until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • If your child is determined to be in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they must stay home and quarantine (if they are not fully vaccinated). If the exposure happens outside of school, please contact us to let us know and we can work out a return date, and provide work to do from home.
  • It benefits everyone to feel healthy and well at school. Please keep your child home home if they are not feeling well.

I appreciate everyone’s understanding in navigating everything that has come along with this year.

Allisha Mazurkiewicz

Sheridan Hills PTO News

Message from our PTO President

Hello Sheridan Hills Families!

Can you believe 2022 is just around the corner? Too soon, we will be celebrating the 100th Day of School, and looking forward to spring break! But before that, I hope everyone finds moments of joy and laughter during the upcoming days of winter vacation. Be safe and blessed with all the good fortune of a new year!

Happy Holidays,

Andry Jurcich


Please mark your calendar for our winter PTO meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We hope to meet in-person in the Media Center, but if there are health and safety concerns, we will have the meeting online and post the link on our website.

Everyone is welcome to attend, and we look forward to your participation. January’s agenda will focus on preparing for winter and spring events such as the Silent Auction, Reading Olympics, Fun Fair, Book Fairs, and Appreciation Weeks. If you would like to get involved with a specific event, please email

PTO Calendar of Upcoming Events:

Dec. 17, 2021: Winter Craft Distribution – Boredom-buster crafts will be distributed to all students. Share your creativity by posting on social media using #SheridanHillsPTO280.

Jan. 10, 2022: PTO Planning Session* – Time to gather and organize action plans for the second half of the school year.

Feb. 16, 2022: Winter Teacher & Staff Conference Dinner – Donate grab-n-go snacks and beverages to support our amazing teachers and staff during conferences.

Feb 16-17. 2022: Winter Scholastic Book Fair* – Help as a cashier during the book fair, and earn $10 Scholastic Dollars towards a Scholastic Books purchase. Kids can help, too!

Feb. 25, 2022: 2022 Reading Olympics – Our annual read-a-thon fundraiser kicks off and runs through March 25.

*In-person events are subject to RPS District’s COVID-19 protocols and recommendations. They may be canceled, rescheduled, or changed to virtual events.

Can you help?

Cubby Closet – Please contact Ms. Garza at 612-424-2325 for information about supplying hygienic resources for our growing pre-teen Bears.

Reading Olympics – Join the team planning this year’s read-a-thon fundraiser.

Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week – Organize a fun-filled week to express our gratitude to our school heroes.

Scholastic Book Fairs – We are in search of an assistant book fair coordinator to help manage this popular and vital school event. Please email for details.

Park Clean-up – Bring the family to join friends and neighbors in the great outdoors! PTO will provide cleaning supplies and treats.

PTO Contact Information:



Facebook: “Sheridan Hills PTO”

Hashtag: #SheridanHillsPTO280

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School Supply Lists

For easy school shopping, print and download a PDF list of school supplies by grade level.


In RPS, as educators, family members and lifelong learners, we acknowledge the patterns of inequality that still exist today. Together, as a community, we have the power to create change and to bring about racial, social and economic justice. 

Christina Gonzalez

Director of Student Support Services, Christina Gonzalez, has been awarded the Park Nicollet Foundation 2022 Community Service Award for her leadership, dedication and commitment to supporting students and families.