September 5, 2018


Dear Families,


            Welcome to third grade! I am so excited for the start of the 2018-2019 school year with your wonderful child at Gordon!  We will be taking the first few days of school to get to know each other and developing our Gordon STARS community. We will also be learning our classroom routines, schedules, and expectations. This is going to be an awesome year!


Open communication is key for me, so this is just the beginning!!:) This letter is a quick run-down of some important details before the 3rd grade curriculum night on September 27 from 6:30-7:30. You will be receiving a class composed newsletter each week. My email, which is the best way to communicate with me, is I am not always able to check my emails while teaching, so if there is something important, like a bus or pick-up change, please call the office. You may also call my school phone at 360-396-3834. Please remember that it rings directly into the classroom, so before or after school is best.


New Student Survey - I have attached a short “New Student Survey” online through my website. It would be helpful if you could spend a minute or two providing me with some information about your student. I am happy to provide a hard copy if that works better for you.


Take-Home Folder - I call this a pee-chee. I’m showing my age here! Thankfully this one is blue, not orange with the basketball player and times table… This folder is not only used as our mail carrier between home and school, but I use it as a form of developing personal responsibility and skills that will be helpful throughout school and life. I establish a routine related to taking the folder home each day. I highly recommend that you and your child establish a routine around checking, doing work, replacing work, and returning the folder to their backpack each day. With your help initially, this routine will become second nature and they will be responsible with their materials independently as they have more and more to be responsible for.


Homework - I will explain the homework in detail during the curriculum night, but for now, you can expect reading to be assigned most nights. In addition, math fact fluency practice will become part of the homework expectation. I also strongly encourage typing practice at home. There are free typing programs ( where the kids can set up accounts and practice a progression of lessons.   


Absences - Please call the Gordon office at 396-3800 to let us know of your child’s absence. If your child is too ill to come to school, but well enough to do some work at home, let me know and I can oftentimes gather work together for you.


Birthdays - I don’t make a huge deal about birthdays in third grade. Typically a parent picks a day during the month to bring in treats (I’ll let you know if we have dietary restrictions). If you are available to stay during the time we have the treats, great, otherwise they can be brought in before school. If your child has a summer birthday we can celebrate their half birthday or you can pick another month that works for you.


Snack and Water Bottle - Please provide a healthy snack for your child each day. Each child is responsible for bringing their own snack. We typically have snack mid-morning while I read to them. I’ve found that a snack that is easily eaten with their fingers, and isn’t messy, is the best for a quick cleanup. I ask that the kids don’t bring pudding and things that require a spoon and are sticky if spilled. Our carpet only gets cleaned during the summer, and sugar ants have been a problem. If it is a snack that is easily saved for later if it isn’t finished works best. Most kids keep a water bottle on their desks. I try and remind them to take them home to wash.


Back to School Night is Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6:30. During our time together I will go over the third grade curriculum, some of the amazing projects that we do in third grade, and the details of our classroom.


Volunteers - Volunteering is a great way to participate at school! I have been so fortunate to have volunteers to work with math groups, spelling groups, field trips, Art Docents, and just about anything a parent is interested in doing. After we have established our classroom community and routine, you will have an opportunity to help if you are interested!


This year is going to be a wonderful and memorable year for us! Dr. Laurynn Evans, our new superintendent, in her back to school message to the NKSD staff said something that I take this to heart. She said that the students are our “north star”, meaning that my job is to get to know each child as an individual and not just teach them the curriculum. I will be teaching them a rigorous curriculum and fostering their social and emotional growth as well. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters in education. They go hand in hand.




Jeanne Bastiani