September 2023

Welcome Back to the 2023-2024 School Year!!

Coming soon to Arno…

August 31

Meet the Teacher 

Onalaska ISD - Meet the Teacher

Meet the Teacher (Schedule below)

    • Meet the Teacher Night will be an Open House on August 31 from 6:30-7:30pm.

    • Students are encouraged to attend Meet the Teacher Night with their family.

    • Meet the Teacher attendance will be staggered to help with parking  Please arrive and depart promptly according to the schedule below.

  • Families will be divided into two groups by alphabet with 20 minute sessions (6:30-6:50 and 7:00-7:20)
  • Last Names A-M — 6:30-6:50pm
  • Last Names N-Z — 7:00-7:20pm
  • If your family has multiple last names, please follow the schedule for your oldest child’s last name

Sept. 5

Fireworks GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

First Day of School!!

Sept. 7

First PTA Meeting 6:30

Sept. 8

Fire Drill 2:00

Sept. 14

ALICE Drill 10:00

Sept. 21

Tornado Drill 10:00

Sept. 22

PTA Fun Run!!

Sept. 27

Fire Drill 12:50







Introducing Arno’s Staff Commitments!  The staff at Arno reflected on what we want our students to be able to accomplish through our Mission and Vision, and have drafted the Collective Commitments, which is what we are committed to doing to help our learners to achieve their personal best.  These will now be a regular feature in the blog. 


  • Academics are student-centered, which allow for various learning styles to showcase student achievement.

  • We will develop and maintain a positive, respectful relationship with each student by using flexibility and adaptability to meet individual needs

  • We will foster safe learning environments that allow students the opportunity to establish a growth mindset



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Important Attendance Information

Please read the attitude article on the importance of student attendance, which is mandatory by the laws of the State of Michigan.  Please be aware that we are required to follow up with families either verbally, in writing, or both when absences reach the 10 full day mark.

The attendance/tardy process:

  • Ten full day absences- 1st attendance letter sent home

  • 5 additional absences- 2nd attendance letter sent home

  • Ongoing after 15 absences- referral to our liaison officer for truancy


  • Students are considered tardy after 8:40am

  • After 8:40 am, Parents will be required to walk their student into the office to sign them into the building

  • If a student has accumulated 5 tardies, the parent will need to sign an acknowledgement letter of the tardies

  • After 15 tardies, a meeting will take place with the principal to discuss possible solutions.

Excessive tardy arrival/very early dismissal

  • Student arrival after 9:30am will equal a half-day AM absence

  • Student dismissal that takes place prior to 2:30pm with count for a half-day PM absence

  • Picking up your student between 2:30 and 3:30 does not count against them



December Library Checkout - The Gilmore Guide to Books

Media Center Book Checkout

Mrs. Jensen and Mrs. Mantua do such an awesome job in the media center and would like to remind families of the following:

  • All students will have a chance weekly to check out books

  • All books checked out are due the following week during the student’s media center special time

  • Any books that are returned damaged, or not returned at all are subject to a book fine



From the PTA

Hello Cougar Families! 

Your new 2023/2024 school year PTA Board is as follows:

President: Xina Bagger

Vice President: Meaghan Bachman

Treasurer: Kristy Varkoly

Secretary: Sarah Wald


The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is an all-volunteer, parent-run, non-profit organization that works cooperatively with school administration and educators to provide opportunities for our students and families to socialize by providing fun family events and in-school opportunities. We have provided our students and families with school assemblies, Field Day, Family Fun Nights, the Daddy Daughter Dance, the Mother Son Night, Christmas events, playground and gym equipment, student technology, Staff Appreciation Week, Spirit Wear and so much more!

Meet the Teacher Night is Thursday August 31st at 6:30pm. Please stop by our table by the main doors to meet your board members, learn about the PTA, how to become a member, and get a chance to win Detroit Tigers tickets!

Our 1st PTA Meeting will be held on Thursday September 7th at 6:30 pm in the Arno Media Center (and every FIRST Thursday of the month thereafter). Childcare is always available, thanks to our National Junior Honor Society volunteers!  We might just have some cool giveaways, like Detroit Tiger Tickets!


A Membership Drive will run from September 6th through October 7th and our theme this year is “Membership is Sweet”.  The class that receives the most memberships will win an Ice Cream Social!  Forms will be sent home on the first week of school and a link will be posted on our Facebook page. You can find us on Facebook by searching @arnoelementarypta – be sure to like our page, we occasionally give away cool stuff like Detroit Tigers tickets – a member only perk! Check out the flyer below for more details on the PTA and scan the QR Code to link you directly to our Arno PTA membership page! Please consider joining – the cost is $9 and your membership helps support so much we do for your child.


We have a lot planned for the upcoming school year and are very excited to kick off the season with our annual Arno Fun Run, which will be held on Friday September 22nd. This is our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year. More details to follow.

Please remember that your input/suggestions/concerns are both encouraged and appreciated so that we know how to better our events. So please reach out via email ( or attend our meetings! And remember, PTA members get early access to info, first dibs on volunteer events, a chance at our raffles, and can vote on events/funding/student advocacies! Please consider becoming a member this school year!  As always, we appreciate your support! Please consider volunteering or serving as a chairperson at one of our events. If we do not have a chairperson for an event, it is at risk of being cancelled. For more information or if you would like to volunteer, please email the PTA at

Stay tuned for more exciting news/events/announcements/reminders from your PTA via email, memberhub and/or our Facebook page! We are so excited for the 2023/2024 school year and can’t wait to share these great experiences with our Caring Cougars!

PSD Now Using ParentSquare for School-To-Home Communication | News Detail Page


We will be continuing to try out the new communication system that requires everyone to sign up, and includes an app.  I sent out the information in June, but we resend once we get going again into the year.  The goal is to start using this system in place of the MiStar application- it allows you to see communication on your phone, and allows for signups, forms, and other features.  If you haven’t signed up yet, please consider doing so soon.  Stay tuned for more information- there is a QR code below that you can use to get the app and sign up.


How parents can cope with their own back-to-school anxiety - Expert advice for moms by a mom

Parent Connect- Student Placement Info

It’s time to complete the “Back to School Updates” located through your parent connect portal. This takes the place of school buildings sending home emergency cards/paperwork to be updated. The instructions are below along with the steps to request your PIN and password if needed.

ALL enrolled students, including new enrollments for this school year, are required to have the “Back to School Updates” completed by a parent/guardian, before their teacher placement will be available to view.

Please click on “Need Your Login Information,” on the Parent Connect Login page left tab, to access your PIN and password before emailing for assistance. (When emailing for PIN and password please include your students name, school and your name and email address.)

The 2023-24 Back to School Updates are now available to complete. You can access the Back to School Updates from your “Back to School Updates” tab found in the upper right corner of your parent connect page once you login. The link below will provide further instructions.

Back to School information – final
 : Back To School Supply Box Grades K-5 - School Supply Kit Back To School Essentials - 32 Pieces : Office Products

School Supply Lists 

This year we are continuing to use to post all of our supplies.  You can access the lists down below from the click-button.  This feature also allows you to choose a store, if you wish, which auto sets up the list for purchase and lets you finish the process without ever setting foot in a store.

Arno Elementary – Our School – Arno Elementary

Arno Staff 2023-2024

Young fives Cassie Harrison
Kindergarten Megan Johnson
Kindergarten Nickie Roller
Kindergarten Cristina Mercer
First Grade Julie Martinchick
First Grade Barb Pushman 
First Grade Dawn Watson
Second Grade Nicole Amonette
Second Grade Alexandra Cervantes
Second Grade Megan Schultz
Third Grade Sarah Kalis
Third Grade Renee Guyot
Third Grade Rachel Warneck
Fourth Grade Sara Bleau
Fourth Grade Emilie Talamonti
Fourth Grade Aaron Huntington
Fifth Grade Ciara Zuke
Fifth Grade Lindsay Garza
Fifth Grade Erin Higgins
Cross Categorical Classroom Jessica Eskew
ECP Program Sarah Kaminski
Adaptive PE Deak Swearingen
Media Lit Arno/Bennie Katie Jensen
Media Tech Arno/Bennie Carrie Solak
Art Arno/Bennie Elisabeth Cunningham
Art Arno/Lindemann Rachel Trapani
Speech-Language Pathologist Andrea Alvarez
Vocal Music Todd Burke
Instrumental/Vocal  Music McKenna Murphy
Physical Education Arno/Bennie Lisa Smalley
Social Work Arno

School Psychologist

Marisa Tringali

Debbie Green

Resource Room Aly Kubik 3-4-5

Nina Martin K-3

ECP Speech Taylor Cuddy
Reading Coach/Title I Beth Wesley
ESL Jennifer VanMael
Math Coach Erin Jackson

Door Assignments 2023-24

*Please note we can also arrange for siblings to go to the same doors

Door Assignments

How do You Do That?! - Ewandro Magalhaes

Line-up Procedures

Line-up procedures will remain the same as last year with outdoor lineup

  • Students should line up at their assigned door

  • Parents will not be permitted to enter with students/stand in the halls- normal protocol to sign in with the main office has not changed

  • Students will enter the classroom at the 8:30 bell

Security Procedures


We are asking for your assistance to ensure that our security procedures during the school day are effective. As many of you know, our school has a security camera, intercom, and buzzer at the front main entrance for use during the school day. To help us assist you when you would like to enter the school:

1. Please press the buzzer to speak with someone in the office

2. You will be asked to state your name and reason for visiting

3. You may be asked to show your photo ID into the security camera above the outside door

4. Office staff will then be able to buzz you inside

5. All visitors must immediately register in the office

In addition, we are asking you to not let any visitors in the door as you enter (and they come up behind you) or as you exit the building.

The teachers and staff are committed to student safety and security and we would like to thank you for your assistance in helping keep the students of Arno safe.

Home - Prairie Crossing Elementary

General Information


  • Please report all absences to the school office by 9:00am.
  • If your 6th grader still have a district-owned Chromebook from last school year (5th grade), please be sure that it’s dropped off in the office.  Please make sure the charger is included.
  • All kindergartners will be issued a district-owned Chromebook during the first week of school.
  • Information will be coming from your teacher on Chromebooks and chargers and if they will go back and forth from home to school daily .
  • Please ensure that your child’s Chromebook is fully charged each night before coming to school.
  • Students will need headphones or earbuds that will remain at school.  Label with your child’s name.
  • Supply lists are on the school websites or blog, and sent to families.  Supplies are able to be dropped off during Meet the Teacher Night or brought on the first day of school.
  • Individual water bottles are recommended.  Please consider a pop-top or straw-type if possible to avoid spills onto school materials or technology.  Label with your child’s name.
  • Please practice independence with shoe tying, zippering, buttoning, and other clothing features with your child.
  • All grades will administer the NWEA to students in person by October 1.  Your child’s teacher will provide these details to you.
  • Our PTAs provide support to our schools in many ways.  Please look for upcoming information on ways to join our PTA.


  • All visitors MUST go to the main entrance and use the doorbell to inform the office staff what you are at the building for. Office staff will let you know from there what you should do. Please do NOT enter the building when doors are open during arrival and dismissal- NO exceptions.
  • Whenever possible, please refrain from bringing forgotten items to school after the start of the school day. This includes homework, classwork, textbooks, etc.  If you are dropping off something, you can leave it in the grey shelf outside and it will be given to your child.
  • When picking up a child early, please ring the doorbell and let the office staff know who you are picking up.


  • Doors will open upon the morning bell at 8:30am.  Students may enter at the assigned entry door (see attachment).
  • Students should not be lining up prior to 8:20am as there will not be outside supervision for students.
  • All doors close at 8:35am
  • Arrival beyond 8:35 am will be considered tardy and students must be buzzed in through the front doors of the school.


  • All Breakfast and Lunches are FREE this school year, provided by the State of Michigan.  We will continue to take daily counts, but you will not have to online any longer to pay. 
  • Please apply for Free & Reduced Meal Benefits by October 1, even if you think you may not qualify.  Our schools receive additional funding for the number of students eligible for Free & Reduced Lunch.  Applications and directions are available on the Food Services page of the AP website:  Food Services Website
  • Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria this school year.  Front doors will open at 8:00 and students must finish by 8:30 to be dismissed to class.
  • Please avoid sending lunches with peanut butter products whenever possible.
  • Please practice the process of opening food packages with your child.  Encourage your child to open food packages independently.
  • Whenever weather permits, students will have outdoor recess.  When we approach winter please be aware that we go outside as long as the temperature is 20 degrees or above.
  • During inclement weather, recess will be held indoors.


  • All special classes (Art, Music, Phys Ed, Media Lit & Media Tech) will be held in specials classrooms.  Schedule will be provided by your child’s teacher.

Please consider the following for specials:

  • Phys Ed classes require students to wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothing.
  • Media Tech classes will require headphones and Chromebooks.


  • Dismissal time is 3:30pm at assigned dismissal doors. Early Release dismissal times will be 11:30 again this year.
  • Parents with multiple children: please meet your youngest child at his or her exit door first.  Make a plan with your older children about where to meet you (wait at their door, meet at a designated spot, etc.).

Lunch time sign stock illustration. Illustration of businessman - 113379992

Lunch Times

**All breakfast and lunch is free for everyone per the State of Michigan

Grade K             10:50-11:30

Grades 1/2       11:15-11:55

Grades 4          11:40-12:20

Grade 5            12:05-12:45

Grade 3            12:30-1:10

Breakfast Times

All Grades       8:00-8:30


National School Lunch Program

Breakfast and Lunch Program

We would like every family to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form, even though it is free.  The number of approved free and reduced applications greatly affects the amount of Title I funding from the Federal Government, which is used for our at-risk program here at Arno.  I urge everyone to fill out the form, even if you think you may not qualify.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office.

If you are not sure about the guidelines or have any other questions, please call the office @827-1050

Allen Park Public Schools Food Service Link

Bus animation | Bus cartoon, Animation schools, Motion design animation

Field Trips

Parents, please be aware that if you volunteer to go with your child on a field trip, there is a I-Chat security form to fill out, and we do not allow any siblings to attend as part of that trip. If you are unable to find child care for a younger sibling, you would have to withdraw from the field trip.  Thank you

What you need to know about PBIS? - TherapyTravelers


Arno Cougar’s PBIS expectations are set to provide all of our learners a positive environment and include Being Safe, Being Respectful, and Being Ready.  We will be working on these expectations during the first week of school with all grade levels as we implement stations throughout the building that each class will tour and hear from a speaker about expectations for each area.  Students will hear about the bus, the hallway, the cafeteria, assemblies, and the main office.  In addition, we are looking forward to the Super Cougar lunch with the principal (monthly), Cougar cash, Cougar Store, and Monthly Rewards.

This year is going to be awesome!

Be Careful Safety First Safety Sign MGNF971

Traffic Pattern


As we all need to get our children to school, safety is always the primary concern.    We will do our best to help ensure an orderly drop-off/pick-up daily, but we need your help in making that happen.

** No child should run across the street to get into a car.

**Help our traffic issues around school by parking a block or so away and WALKING your child before and after school.

**School traffic flow MUST go clockwise around the school. Make sure that your passenger door is ALWAYS closest to the curb.



2023-24 School Information

Office is open daily:           7:30-4:00

School day for students:  8:30-3:30

Breakfast:                               8:10-8:30

Latchkey hours:                  7:00-8:30


Student arrival time:          8:20

Half-Day dismissal             11:30

*If your child is not picked up consistently 20 minutes past dismissal, you will be required to enroll in latchkey services. 


Put On Your Smile…

Please mark your calendars for October 5 for picture day, retakes will be on November 16. Information will be coming home soon.

Although we cherish every birthday here at Arno, we wanted to remind everyone that birthday food treats are not allowed and will not be brought down to the classroom.  Pencils, bookmarks, donations to the recess bin, donate a book to the classroom, etc are acceptable alternatives.  Thank you for your support!!

We do not accept deliveries on behalf of students (balloons, flowers, food items) Parents may drop off a special lunch (for their child only, not the class) or choose to take their child out to lunch on their special day. Your child’s teacher will have more information on how birthdays will be celebrated in the classroom. As educators, caregivers and loved ones we all want the best for our students. Thank you for joining us in giving students healthy opportunities to celebrate important events and achievements.


Higher Conscious Habits on Twitter: "#September #Septemberwish #Love #Inspiration #Motivation" / Twitter