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Book of the month

During the Month of November, I will be reading the book Say Something by Peter Reynolds. This story encourages students to speak up for themselves and others to make our school community a better place.  We value each student and what they bring to our school site and I want to encourage them all to speak up for what they need in order to make school a more positive experience for them.  Every student brings something unique to our community and we want them to SAY SOMETHING if there is something else we could give them to help them be more successful. I encourage you to read this story with your child and continue this discussion in your homes as we work to make a stronger community together.

Staff Spotlight

This month, I would like to spotlight the work of Ms. Carol Zilinskas and the amazing work she does with her students in the classroom.  Ms. Z is a 5th grade teacher on our campus and has been a member of our faculty for 7 years. Carol love to celebrate her students work and is always looking for more ways to engage her students in interesting topics while taking care of the whole child. She continues to search for new ways to present to her students and keep the classroom exciting for them.  She encourages students to make mistakes and learn from them as she feels this growth mindset is critical to their learning process. Carol uses humor to engage students and works hard to connect their learning to the real world for them to understand that what they are working on is relevant to their lives. Ms. Z loves writing and she works hard to show students that it can be more fun than they may have previously thought.  We are lucky to have Carol as one of our own and our students are better for the time they spend in her classroom.


Principal's Corner


November Message

Neil Armstrong Community –

    Happy November!  This month kicks of the holiday season and a few atypical weeks for our students and teachers here at school.  As we enter November and the season of thanks, I want to say thank you to all of you, our amazing community.  This is such an amazing place to work and I feel lucky that I get to come to work each day as part of a dedicated staff and work with all of your amazing children.  All of us here at Neil Armstrong appreciate you, our community, and your families. You are what make this such a special place to be!

     As I reflect on October, we had so many amazing things to celebrate that I want to highlight.  Our Carnival was a huge success again this year and a big shout out to Leslie Klatt and Melanie Rainwater for coordinating such a fantastic event. Conference week was a great time for our teachers to connect with each family and develop a plan to support each student. Our Maker’s Space build was completed this October and was a remarkable event to be a part of and watch.  The students loved the opportunity to build together and learn about the joys of construction. The space is already in use and students are loving the hands on learning opportunities this is providing them.  The Cal High Homecoming parade was a lot of fun for our students as they were excited to cheer for their older role-models and look forward to the day when they get to Cal High.  October wrapped with an energetic Halloween parade, Cal High band performance for our students, and Halloween celebrations in the classrooms.  These events are truly special on an elementary school campus and are such a joy for me to be a part of. None of them are possible without the parent volunteer support to bring them to life and for that I am very grateful to you, our community.



I want to highlight a couple of changes that have taken place which effect the 1st – 5th grade students and you may have heard about. 

  • I have moved the 3rd graders to eat lunch with the 4th and 5th grade students.  This has helped our younger Eagles to minimize the distractions for them in the lunch room and is helping them to eat a bit more efficiently. 
  • Although the time to eat is the same this year (if not a few minutes more) the students are so excited to socialize and spend time together which causes them to eat very slowly.  When students eat slowly, they end up just throwing away anything they didn’t eat. This leads families to think students are actually eating when they in fact may not be. Last week I started asking students who bring their lunch to not throw anything away [unless it would make a mess in their lunch box (i.e., open yogurts, banana peels, juice containers that don’t seal)].  This is my effort to communicate with each family what your child is or is not eating when they are at lunch.  Students tell me they don’t like what is packed, so hopefully if you see it come back home, you can ask them about it and adjust what is being sent if they truly don’t like it. You are also able to see the volume of food they are or are not eating.  Students are asked to re-pack baggies, half-eaten sandwiches, vegetables, etc. in the lunch boxes.  The students tell me, “my parents will be mad if I bring trash home.” but please know they are being asked to do so in order for you to see what is being eaten.  If students buy lunch, this practice does not work as there is nothing to bring their food back home in.  If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask and I would be happy to discuss this with you. 
  • For the 1st and 2nd graders, I have created a system for student to stay inside and keep eating if they are not quite finished when it is time to go out and play.  They can either tell me themselves that they need more time to eat, or if I see their whole lunch is still there and they haven’t eaten much, I may ask them to stay back and eat because they have been distracted in the 25 minutes they had to eat.  Eating is so important for the students learning, because when they are hungry with empty bellies, they are not able to focus as well. Again, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Please know that every change that is made here on campus is to better support all of our students. As a parent, you may not see the need to make a particular change, but I am happy to talk it through with you to help you see what I am seeing and why the change was necessary.

    Looking forward to November, we have the Eagle March coming up this week.  Thank you to the families who have helped us raise money to benefit our school and our students.  The generosity of our community is very apparent through the programs we are able to provide to our students and we are very thankful for that.  The schedule for Eagle March has already been sent out and we hope you can join us in cheering on the students as we all march together to support our school.

   Here are some of the other things we have coming up!

11/7 – Eagle March on the Blacktop – check out our website for grade level times.


11/18-11/22 – Book Fair in the Library

11/22 – Grandparents Day



Have a wonderful month with your family and enjoy the upcoming holiday season!


Mr. Jared Gagnon


Neil Armstrong Elementary School



Mr Gagnon
Principal Jared Gagnon
Contact Information
Contact Jared Gagnon  Jared Gagnon Principal

Safety Corner safety logo

In the interest of keeping all of our students safe, it is critical that all parents adhere to traffic signs and markings. 

- If you could PLEASE not park your car in loading/unloading zones as these are for quick pick-up and drop-offs only. 

- Please do not drop off, turn around in, nor drive through our back staff parking lot. This is for staff only. It can be very hard to see people coming from between the cars as well.  Thank you for not driving through that lot!

- Please encourage students to walk on the sidewalks at all times.


I know power outages and smoke have been on everybody’s minds recently. Always know, health and safety of our students is always our top priority.  We will continue to monitor all situations and adapt to what is the best for our students and make decisions accordingly. 

Housekeeping Items

- Please bring your license to school if you are volunteering as this is how we check in at school.

- Please make sure your Be-a-Mentor is updated. Especially verify your insurance information is updated if you think you would ever be interested in driving on a field trip. THIS EXPIRES EVERY 6 MONTHS! This process takes some time and it is best to do it now and not last minute because if you are not cleared, you can not drive.

- The Gaga pit has been repaired, but has been closed for the past couple weeks while we remind students the appropriate way to play.  Tensions can run high in the pit especially when students aren’t playing correctly.  It will open again next week.

- Just a reminder that we do not allow balloons in the classrooms for birthdays.  We also ask that you not pass out items to select students in your child’s class. Students are sensitive to this exclusivity and know when they are not included.  If you do not wish to invite each student to a party or pass something out to all students, please refrain from doing it on campus.