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September 2019 Challenger School Newsletter

Welcome to Challenger School’s 2019–2020 School Year!

We are excited to begin another year of learning and fun. To our new students, parents, and staff: welcome! And to those who are returning from previous years: welcome back!


 The Challenger Difference


Why We Celebrate Constitution Day at Challenger School

by Hugh Gourgeon, Challenger CEO

By the time Constitution Day arrives, we have begun to re-establish our school routine and may feel like we have caught up from the whirlwind of summer activities. This day of federal observance provides an opportunity to reflect on what makes the United States of America the first nation ever to be founded on moral principles.

Under the Constitution, actions (including governmental actions) are subordinate to individual rights. This is why we celebrate the Constitution, a document created not to protect the rights of society or grant power to the people, but rather a framework of law that protects individuals and minorities from the abuse of a higher authority.

Read the full article here.


 This Month


Important Dates

September 2
Labor Day—No School
September 3–5
Evening for Parents (K–G8)*
September 7
Challenger Emergency Notification System Testing
September 11
Washington, D.C., Parent Meeting (G8)*
September 17
Constitution Day and Patriot Day Assembly (K–G8)†
September 20
Student Council Elections
September 26–27
Western Day (PS–K)

* Parents are encouraged to attend
† Special function uniform required


Evening for Parents (K–G8)

Please make plans to attend our Evening for Parents the week of September 3. This special event is designed to promote a positive working relationship between you and your child’s teacher for the benefit of your child.

During the evening, you will visit your child’s classroom, where teachers will present important information about your child’s class and answer questions you may have. Look for an invitation with dates and times.

Emergency Notifications—Keep Us Updated!

In the event of a campus evacuation, emergency, or unexpected closure, Challenger will use an automated notification system to inform your emergency contacts via email, text, and automated voice messages.

For example, should Challenger need to evacuate your child’s campus, an emergency notification would alert you of the evacuation and give instructions for where and how to pick up your child. By replying to the notification, you would let us know that you had received the message and had accepted responsibility for your child. As more information became available, additional notifications would go out.

The automated notification system allows us to communicate far more quickly and consistently than we could with individual phone calls from staff. To ensure you receive important notifications, please visit the Parent Portal to make sure your contact information is current. We plan to perform a test of the system in early September.

DAR Essay Contest (G5–8)

Students in fifth through eighth grade will soon receive information about the national American History Essay Contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

This annual contest provides Challenger students the opportunity to refine their writing, research, and creative skills. Specific guidelines will be distributed in class.


Challenger students have traditionally done very well in this contest at the local, state, and national levels. In fact, Sunnyvale (CA) student Ishana W. was honored at a DAR ceremony in Washington, D.C., this past summer as the national fifth grade winner. Congratulations, Ishana!

Eighth Grade Washington, D.C., Trip (G8)

All parents of eighth graders are invited to an informational meeting on Wednesday, September 11. You’ll be able to learn about the plans for this year’s trip to our nation’s capital. An invitation with additional details will be coming home with your son or daughter.

Constitution Day and Patriot Day (K–G8)

Patriot Day—September 11
Constitution Day—September 17

Challenger elementary students will commemorate these two special days with an assembly this month.

As our students understand and respect man’s inalienable rights, they begin to develop values that will help them to think for themselves and cherish the liberties secured for them by the Founding Fathers.

Remember, special function uniform is required for assembly days.

Student Council Elections (G5–8)

Students in fifth through eighth grade will vote to select the 2019–2020 student council for their campus. Those who wish to run for student council offices should request candidate applications from their teachers.

Western Day (PS–K)

We enjoy the historic American culture of the Old West in this celebration during the month of September.

To get into a western mood, preschool students may come to school dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. Kindergartners may accessorize their uniforms with bandanas, belts, cowboy boots, and hats. (But leave the six-shooters back at the ranch, please.)

Our young cowpokes will sing campfire songs, “spin yarns,” and do other activities centered around America’s Old West heritage.

We reckon that students will have a rootin’-tootin’ good time!


 Announcements


Facts, Fun, and Information!

This newsletter is a great resource to help you stay abreast of upcoming curriculum events and student achievements.

In addition to this newsletter, K–8 students receive an insert called Classroom News, which offers academic classroom information for parents.

Preschool parents receive the Fun Facts insert, which explains what children will be focusing on and suggests activities that you can do at home.

To stay updated and informed, be sure you have signed up for the Parent Portal on our website. (See link on the bottom of any page of the site.) Via the portal, you can view account balances, print statements, request changes to student information, and submit questions directly to your campus. Contact your campus if you need instructions for setting up your account.

Additionally, keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and watch for the occasional notice that we’ll send home!

Campus Expansions and Improvements

Several of our campuses have new or renovated facilities this year!

In Nevada, our Desert Hills campus now has a second grade and a brand new elementary wing; in Texas, the Legacy campus in Plano is set to open soon; and in Utah, the Salt Lake campus has reconfigured entrance, office, and performance spaces for the 2019–20 school year.

Additionally, Almaden, Strawberry Park (both CA), Traverse Mountain, and West Jordan (both UT) are enjoying updated playgrounds.

Beginning This Year Report (PS)

We are so excited to see your child’s progress! The “Beginning This Year” report will come home in early October. You will see your child’s skill level at the outset of his preschool year and look ahead to all he will learn.

Oxford University Press Online Resources

We are pleased to provide Challenger students access to the Oxford University Press online references.

Since much of the reference information found on the Internet is unreliable, these professionally curated references will further inspire Challenger students to embrace the value of clarity and precision in their thinking and writing.

Contact your campus for login and password information.

Parent Workshop (PS)

Thanks to all who attended our Parent Workshop last week. Your support and implementation of Challenger’s learning and behavior techniques will help maximize your child’s achievement and development.

Important Dates

Mark your calendars now for our two main breaks during the school year. Challenger will not be in session during the dates listed below:

Winter Break
Dec. 23–Jan. 3 All Regions


Spring Break
March 16–20 TX
March 23–27 ID
April 6–10 CA, NV, UT


Be sure to follow Challenger on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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