Elitha Donner Elementary School

Home of the Dolphins – Crest the Wave of the Future!

Elitha Donner Elementary School

Attendance Awareness Campaign – September 2016


With summer coming to a close and fall just around the corner, the doors of countless schools across our nation will be opening and ushering in the start to another school year. In Elk Grove, roughly 62,000 students from pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through 12th grade will be coming through our schools’ doors with excitement and determination to make this year a memorable experience. September is Attendance Awareness Month. Countless educational researchers across this country have pinpointed “school attendance” as a leading indicator for whether students are successful or not in our classrooms.

Research indicates that negative attendance trends begin as early as 4 years of age in pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) and often these patterns follow students as they matriculate through school. According to the Attendance Institute, students that are Chronically Absent (students missing 10% of school) in Pre-K are over five times more likely to continue this trend into kindergarten. This is a critical point to consider because the new Common Core Standards are built on the assumption of perfect attendance. Research shows that having students begin their academic lives with a commitment to being at school every day results in these students being more likely to continue these habits. Also, this research indicates that there is a clear correlation between student attendance and student performance in the classroom.

According to research from the Attendance Institute, “Missing as little as 5 days of school has a negative impact on GPA, test scores and graduation.” It is important to appreciate that regardless of the reason “why” a student is missing school does not change the impact on learning. This may cause the student to miss critical aspects of their academic development, and may ultimately lead them to not meeting key learning benchmarks as they matriculate through school. In fact, many educators now look to “reading on grade level in 3rd grade” as a key performance predictor for future academic success.

The importance of good attendance follows all students through their academic lives as they matriculate through all grades. As students reach middle school, research indicates that 67% of all course failures are the result of attendance issues. Furthermore, the research also shows that as little as 5-9 absences a semester can drop a student’s GPA from 3.0 to 2.7. Lastly, attendance is the number one predictor of dropout and graduation rates. The importance of strong attendance habits begin the moment a student enters school and follows them throughout their educational lives.

Please join Elk Grove Unified School District in making school attendance for all students a priority. Elk Grove Unified School District joins school districts across this nation in embracing this commitment to our students and celebrating Attendance Awareness Month Campaign on all our campuses during the month of September. Please discuss with your child the importance attendance has in every aspect of their life and most assuredly being present and prepared every day at school.



Accessing Reading Wonders and Think Central Online Curriculum

Students can now easily access assignments, activities and test results in the Wonders Language Arts and California GoMath Think Central programs by using the Elk Grove Unified Classlink Portal.

Open a web browser, and type http://portal.egusd.net

Click Sign In with EGUSD/Google Username, i.e. 99999999@egusd.net and the EGUSD computer password for the Student.




Measure M November School Bond – How It Will Help Donner

The Elk Grove Unified School District Facility Master Plan identifies up to $11.8 million of facilities improvement needs at Elitha Donner Elementary School over the next ten years.

To address these needs, and facilities needs identified across the District, a school facilities bond, Measure M, has been placed on the November 2016 ballot. If Measure M is approved by the voters, the proceeds will be used to upgrade and modernize facilities to provide 21st Century learning environments at all schools.

Priorities identified at Elitha Donner Elementary School:

 Major building systems upgrades including heating and air conditioning, roofing and alarms or intercom
 Security measures including camera systems and fencing
 Technology improvements
 New shade structure(s)
 Restroom renovations
 Playfield and playground improvements
 Drinking fountains
 Interior and exterior paint
 Carpeting and flooring improvements

Project priorities will be determined by the Board of Education.Approval of Measure M does not guarantee all needed improvements will be completed due to the unpredictable nature of
construction costs and the uncertainty of State and developer mitigation funding sources.

School Bond Measure M Planning Project Frequently Asked Questions

The Facilities Master Plan is available here

A Track Back to School Thursday August 4th

Back to School Night

Track A – Thursday August 4th

Due to limited seating and the importance of the

information provided, we ask that only parents attend

the classroom sessions. Childcare will be provided in

the MP room.

New Parent Orientation

5:15 p.m.

Elitha Donner MP room

(Please join us if you are a new parent to Elitha

Donner or returning parent who would like a brief

informational review.)

Classroom Presentations

Primary Session (K-3 grades):

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Intermediate Session (4-6 grades)

6:05 – 6:35 p.m.

Please note there is only 1 session.

Health Information From The School Nurse

Medication Authorization for 2016 – 2017

Medication dispensed at school needs a medication authorization form completed by physician and signed by parent. The form has to be dated after June 30, 2016. The format of the form has been changed and the health diagnosis of student’s condition requiring medication is now being included from the physician on the form. Please make arrangements to get the authorizations completed. If you need a medication authorization form, please ask the office staff or the school nurse for one.

Student Medical Conditions

For your student’s safety, please update the school nurse with any new medical conditions or medical needs that your student may have. Medical conditions and medical diagnosis can be updated with a letter or note from the student’s physician. If there is a new medication or a change in medication needs for school, please complete the medication authorization form.
Per the Elk Grove Unified School District Protocols, any student with an injury and requires a wheelchair or crutches, must have a physician note that documents the injury and the Dr. order which prescribes the wheelchair or crutches for school use.

Peanut Table Opt- Out Letter

All students who have been identified to have a peanut or nut allergy will be seated at the Peanut & Nut Free table in the lunchroom. If you prefer that your child not sit at this table during lunch, please request the OPT – OUT Letter for Peanut and Nut Free Table Seating from the school nurse.

Healthy Student – Healthy School

Please be mindful that children coming to school with illness may cause other students and their teachers to become ill. Students must be fever free for 24 hours after having fevers. A fever per EGUSD protocol is a temperature = or > than 100 degrees (F). If your student has been vomiting – they must stay home for 24 hours after vomiting and be fever free before returning to school.

Itchy – Itchy Lice

The Elk Grove Unified School District has a “NO LIVE HEAD LICE” policy. This means when a student is found to have live head lice, the parent is notified. The student is sent home from school. The parent is instructed to treat their student for lice before returning to school.
Readmission is contingent on the student passing a head lice re-screening.

Paula Gonzalez, MS, RN/PHN
Elitha Donner School Nurse

New Language Arts Textbook Adoption

Elitha Donner students will be using a new Language Arts textbook this school year. You can learn more about this by reading this slideshow. Below are the speaker notes that go with the slideshow. As the new school year progresses you will see and hear more about this.

Our school site continues to receive information and professional development to prepare us to meet the needs of students.
This presentation provides information regarding what we are doing as a district to continue to implement the California Common Core State Standards.

EGUSD adopted new instructional materials for Transitional Kindergarten, which is an integrated curriculum that incorporates ELA , math, history/social science, science, and social-emotional skills, and for K-6 English Language Arts (ELA) and English Language Development (ELD).
Implementation of these new materials begins this school year.
Your child’s teacher has received necessary training in order to utilize the materials effectively.
You may notice when you get the opportunity to interact with the materials that technology plays an important role in helping you to access information in order to support your child.
Teachers will be making connections through English/Language Arts instruction to History/Social Studies and Science content for expository and informational text.

Students will have multiple opportunities to practice weekly vocabulary and a variety of opportunities to read text. This program is aligned with the ELA/ELD Framework and has a balance of literature and informational text.

Minimum of daily 30 min of instruction
Emphasize that we will focus on the integrated ELD as we discuss the different components of the program and we will spend a short amount of time on the designated ELD portion today, as there is a summer training day dedicated to designated ELD as well as a full day release in the fall.

Page 78 of Framework
1.) Integrated ELD, in which all teachers with ELs in their classrooms use the CA ELD Standards in tandem with the focal CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy and other content standards All teachers with ELs in their classrooms should use the CA ELD Standards in addition to their focal CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy and other content standards to support their ELs’ linguistic and academic progress. The goal section of each set of grade-level and grade-span CA ELD Standards specifies that in California schools, ELs should engage in activities in which they listen to, read, analyze, interpret, discuss, and create a variety of literary and informational text types. Through these experiences, they develop an understanding of how language is a complex, dynamic, and social resource for making meaning, and they develop language awareness, including an appreciation for their primary language as a valuable resource in its own right and for learning English. They demonstrate knowledge of content through oral presentations, writing, collaborative conversations, and multimedia, and they develop proficiency in shifting language use based on task, purpose, audience, and text type. .
Page 88 of Framework
2. Designated ELD, or a protected time during the regular school day in which teachers use the CA ELD Standards as the focal standards in ways that build into and from content instruction in order to develop critical language ELs need for content learning in English4 Designated ELD is a protected time during the regular school day when teachers use the CA ELD Standards as the focal standards in ways that build into and from content instruction in order to develop critical English language skills, knowledge, and abilities needed for content learning in English.

The first two days of instruction uses the  Reading/Writing workshop text.  This is where the teacher will teach and model specific skills aligned to standards.

On days 3 and 4 the students will have an opportunity apply the skills that were taught on the previous days to different selections of text in the leveled readers- and/or in the anthology.

We are moving away from worksheets and towards direct instruction with knowledge of the spelling patterns as the focus. Below you will find additional information about spelling.

In terms of grammar it should always be applied to writing, thus fewer worksheets applies here too.

Words will be selected based on challenge or the principles of spelling that they represent

Formal spelling in intermediate grades can be 2-3 times per week

Spelling can be part of homework

Additional Background:

Spelling is related to reading- spelling involves both an understanding of how letters and sounds relate, it also entails and understanding of the meaningful parts of words

Spelling is related to writing- when students can spell well, they are more wiling to use a wide vocabulary and they can reserve their cognitive resources for formulating and communicating their ideas rather than worrying about how to construct words.

Spelling problems may draw negative social judgements- writing quality is more likely to be judged negatively by teachers and evaluators when it contains misspellings.

Spell check will not solve all your problems- if you do not have enough spelling knowledge to approximate a word, you will not be able to get the computer to give you the correct spelling of the word you are looking for.

The writing is directly connected to the reading….  This is modeled for students with a student example. (The peer who appears in the Reading/Writing Book – reappears in the Close Reader as well as the Writer’s Workshop book) Responding to text is a key shift in the Common Core State Standards.

“DOK” means “Depth of Knowledge.”  The DOK level is directly related to the task that students are asked to do.   We use the DOK model in many content areas.

  • Assessments will focus on a skill, not a particular passage. Ideally assessments will have a cold read so that students can demonstrate their knowledge of the standards.
  • Assessments may be given every other week or when the teacher feels students have had enough practice for mastery. We are not recommending that teachers test each week as a matter or routine, but rather as students should be able to demonstrate mastery.
  • Assessment will assume many forms such as writing or speaking, not just multiple choice

Parents can access materials/resources through their child’s account. A handout is being provided to you with this same information.


Immunization Clinic – Friday July 15th 2016

The Elk Grove Unified School District Student Support and Health Services will be holding an immunization clinic on Friday, July 15, 2016 for students in grades Kinder-12 (see attached flyers in multiple languages). Families must meet the eligibility requirements as stated and a legal guardian must be present. Clinic will be held at the Education Center.

Immunizations provided for families who:
 have no health insurance or insurance that does not cover vaccines
 are Medi-Cal eligible
 are American Indian or Alaskan Native
If your child has health insurance please make an appointment with that provider to have your child immunized.
• All immunizations required for school entry will be provided for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
• A parent or legal guardian must accompany child.
• Bring your child’s Immunization Card (yellow card) or “Out of Compliance” letter from the school. NO appointment needed.
• Families will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Vaccine quantities are limited.

Immunization Clinic Information:
Friday – July 15th, 2016
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Robert L. Trigg Education Center
9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Board Room

July15 2016 EGUSD Immunization Clinic Flyer.doc–Spanish

July 152016 EGUSD Immunization Clinic Flyer – Chinese

July 15 2016 Tuesday EGUSD Immunization Clinic FlyerEnglish

July 15 2016 EGUSD Immunization Clinic Flyer-Hmong

July 15 2016 EGUSD Immunization Clinic Flyer_Vietnamese

News For 2016-17 School Year

Our school will remain on a year-round 4 track calendar. It will be necessary to make some involuntary track changes.  These track changes will be instituted based on registration date and time.  Although we do not like to make involuntary track changes, it is required so that we are able to maintain as many students as possible on our campus.  Every effort is made to avoid “offloading” students to other schools.  As we work through the process of assigning children’s teachers for the upcoming school year, every attempt will be made to accommodate our families’ schedules and requests in regard to specific tracks.

Elitha Donner ES will again participate in Early Out “College Wear” Wednesday each week.  The purpose of the schedule change is to accommodate time for teachers and staff to collaborate around improving teaching and learning, across the district.

This Schedule will take effect on the first Wednesday of the school year for

Tracks B, C, & D – July 20, 2015

Track change request forms for the 2016-17 school year are being accepted.  These requests are honored based on space availability on a particular track and by date/time in the order received.

Track and teacher assignments should be available on

Friday, June 24th after 4:00pm.

 All classes will posted on the windows of the front office.

Kindergarten Schedule

AM Kindergarten 7:45 am – 11:16 am – Tracks A & D

PM Kindergarten 11:04 am – 2:35 pm – Tracks B & C


Friday, June 24, 2016:      Our office will close at 2:00PM

June 27-July 4, 2016:        Closed

July 5-July 8, 2016:           Office hours 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

July 11, 2016                    Return to regular office hours 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Mon-Fri

Minimum Day hours 7:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.




Join us for Back to School Night.  Meet your child’s teacher and learn about the year’s expectations.  Please visit our informational booths before or after your classroom presentation to see many of the opportunities available at Elitha Donner.


Due to limited seating and the importance of the information provided, we ask that only parents attend the classroom sessions.  Childcare will be provided in the MP Room. 


5:15PM/Elitha Donner MP Room

New Parent Orientation

(Please join us if you are a new parent to Elitha Donner

or returning parent who would like a brief informational review.)


Classroom Presentations

  • Primary Session: 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. (Grades Kindergarten – 3rd)
  • Intermediate Session: 6:05-6:35 p.m. (Grades 4th – 6th)

Please note:  There is only 1 session.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase. 

Donner’s Winning Volleyball Season


The 2016 volleyball season was a season to remember. All of us worked hard to become awesome team players and at the same time developed friendships that will last a long time. These valuable players are Rachyl Benavides, Marlaina Begaye, Chase Daniel, Kaylene King, Jannelle Jay, Anthony Dobie, Maddie Surette, Angadveer Singh Cheema, Pablo Luna and the coaches Mr. and Mrs. Matsumoto and Angelo. This team has come out with a great streak of 13-1. Yes, there have been sicknesses floating around, some causing teammates to miss games, but even through those hardships, we have had each other’s back from game 1. “We have played some great schools and great teams, but we have managed to come through and be the victors of either having a score of 25-9 or 27-25.” said Maddie Surette one of the team’s second year players. The first day of practice, well coach knew that most of us were great athletes, but we had never picked up a volleyball in our lives. Let’s just say an athletic work in progress. We did come through unlike the first day of practice. “I always teach the team how to do the basic thing of playing the sport of volleyball correctly, pass, set and spike. This team learned that quickly, so I asked for a bit more topspin on the ball. The team conquered that move too. So, I started asking the taller kids to start blocking. Sure enough not only did the taller kids grab that skill, also some of the shorter kids, something I never expected. We ended up teaching this team so many things, they were from all sorts of levels from elementary school to even some college drills and of course everything in between.” said our coach Mr. Matsumoto. Half way through the season, we had decided that we would take the team to Sheldon High for a tournament. Unfortunately, Rachyl could not make it because she had a soccer tournament to go to. We ended up pulling the win after three difficult games against Joseph Sims, Stone Lake and for the championship Herburger. We finished off the great season with back to back wins of three games against Union House and Castello.
We have been blessed with such amazing coaches. They have coached a great thirteen years. Though this was their last year coaching I do hope that you will come out to watch the Donner Dolphin games that will happen for many years to come. These coaches have taught the teams to play the game of volleyball correctly. Teaching the students to pass, set and attack. Thank you coaches, you will forever be one of the greatest coaches to ever coach at Elitha Donner Elementary School!!

“I had so much fun this season so shout outs to all my teammates for helping me out and supporting me because let’s just say I wasn’t the best.” said Rachyl.

Written by Maddie Surette with editorial help from John Gable.

Bike To School Day May 4th

BTSD_2inch_ColorMay is National Bike Month and Bike to School day falls annually on the first Wednesday in May. On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, we encourage all students and their families to pump up their tires, strap on their helmets and bike to school.

The benefits to biking are enormous. According to research, students who take an active means of transportation to school have higher levels of concentration, academic performance and regular attendance than their counterparts who travel by car. Other benefits include: improved student fitness, decreased traffic congestion around schools and in parking lots, cleaner air and a stronger sense of community.

In order to further motivate students to bike to school, we are offering FREE HELMETS to any student who may not have a safe helmet. Helmet fitting will be conducted on Thursday, April 28 and Tuesday, May 3 from 2:45-3:15 in Mrs. Nelson’s room, G9. All students who come during that time will be fitted for a helmet, which we would like to see in use on Wednesday, May 4th!

Bike To School Day Poster

Skip to toolbar