Posted on September 22, 2017

Newsletter September 22, 2017

Dear Kessler Cougar Families,

Kessler Cougars have had a busy week! Wednesday, Kindergarten celebrated National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Picture day was Tuesday and what great smiles!


Additional Important Information:

Reminder – We are doing an offsite evacuation drill on Thursday, September 28th. Please have your children wear comfortable shoes. Note: Students will still need to be picked up at school after our drill.

Please remind you children to dress appropriately for the weather we are having. Also stop by lost and found. We are building quite a mountain of coats, sweatshirts, gloves and lunch boxes.

For 4th and 5th grade parents:

Yesterday, your child came home with standardized test scores from 2016-2017’s Smarter Balanced Test. These are nationally normed tests we give to understand how our students are achieving relative to students across the nation. The ELA (English Language Arts) and the Math tests have been given for several years. The Science test was given for the first-time last year to fourth graders. Student performance on these tests helps us to evaluate our own curriculum and our classroom teaching, as well as giving us a peek into how your child is doing as a learner.


We usually save these to give out at Parent/Teacher conferences in order to explain the scores. We’ve been directed to send them out early this year. This information can be confusing. Please know that these tests are only one assessment we use to understand your child as a learner. We also use STAR Math and Reading data, classroom tests and activities, as well as our observations to help us meet the educational needs of your son or daughter.


After you take time to review this information, please feel free to contact me or your 4th or 5th grade teachers with any questions you might have.


Have a restful weekend!


Lisa Lowney




Posted on September 8, 2017

Newsletter September 8, 2017

Dear Kessler Cougar Families,

Today, we had our first monthly birthday ice-cream celebration with the Principal. We set up two special birthday tables during lunch to honor our August and September birthdays. Can you believe, we had fifty-two birthdays? I had a blast meeting students and learning about the fun ways they celebrate their special day. Students received a birthday pencil and an emoji eraser. 😊

This week students worked on Lunch Room expectations. They are making good progress being SAFE, RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, and a LEARNER in the Café. Excellent job students!

Kindergarteners had a full week! We hope they have a restful weekend! It is wonderful to see their progress as they adjust to being a student at Kessler.

Upcoming Events:

  • Carnival Classic – Sunday, September 10th from 11:00-3:00
  • Reminder – We are doing an offsite evacuation drill on Friday, September 15th. Have your children wear comfortable shoes
  • Picture Day, Tuesday, September 19th


Have a super weekend! See you at the Carnival Classic on Sunday!


Lisa Lowney



Hello Kessler families,
Yes, it’s true.  The music room is in need of old socks.  If you have a clean, mismatched sock sitting in your drawer, and you no longer hope to find its partner…
Then please consider donating it to the music room.  We are collecting socks to use as erasers for our individual white boards.  Long, athletic socks work best.
Thanks for supporting us in this unusual way!
Mrs. Curtis,
Music Teacher
Posted on September 1, 2017

September 1st News

Good Afternoon Kessler Families,

We have had a wonderful week getting to know your children and they are amazing! This week, we practiced playground expectations, and the Cougar Creed. As you know, because of the air quality, we spent quite a bit of time inside. Kids made the best of their indoor recess time. I appreciated their patience!

Upcoming information:

Monday, September 4th   Labor Day – No School

Tuesday, September 5th   we look forward to greeting our Kindergarteners

Friday, September 8th    practicing our first fire drill

Sunday, September 10th   11:00 am – 3:00 pm Carnival Classic, Memorial Park

Friday, September 15th    Please have your students’ wear appropriate shoes as we will be taking a walk to our evacuation site.

Wednesday, September 20th    Picture Day.


Kessler staff hope you have a fun weekend with family and friends!

Lisa Lowney

Posted on August 21, 2017

Welcome Back Newsletter

Dear Kessler Families,

I want welcome all of you back to school and welcome all returning students, new students, families and friends to Kessler Elementary.  I hope your summer was filled with lots of fun activities and you are excited to gear up for an amazing 2017/18 school year! I personally can’t wait to meet and greet you on our first day! It is an honor and I am thrilled to be your new Principal. Kessler is an outstanding school with great teachers, students and families.

Getting to know all of you and building positive relationships is so important as we begin a terrific year. I would like to share a little background about myself. I have worked in administration for eleven years and taught special education eleven years all working for the Helena Public Schools. Working with adults and children bring me the most joy! My passion is helping children become lifelong learners, feeling safe and secure in their school environment, and feeling confident and successful academically and socially. For enjoyment, I am an avid fly fisher, love travelling, camping, and hiking, but most of all spending time with family. My daughter will be heading to middle school this year and my husband is retired.

And… of course our yellow lab Mickey brings fun and excitement to our lives!


Communication between school and home is key to student success. Please feel free to email or contact our office anytime to visit about joys, concerns, and questions about events, etc. I look forward to visiting with you. Let’s get this year started! Go Kessler Cougars!



Lisa Lowney

Kessler Principal



  • Kelly – Kindergarten
  • Jones – Second Grade
  • Fischer – Title I
  • Leslie – Kindergarten Physical Wellness


GRADE LEVEL TEACHERS – We have had teaching staff movement this year in addition to our new staff. Please notes our grade teachers and the grades they are teaching this year:

  • Hankins and Mrs. Kelly – Kindergarten
  • McGraw and Mrs. Gates – First Grade
  • Buresh and Ms. Jones – Second Grade
  • Kimball and Ms. Wacker – Third Grade
  • Alberts and Mrs. Ford – Fourth Grade
  • Crase and Mrs. Suchy – Fifth Grade



Back-to-School Open House on Tuesday, August 29th. Families visit classrooms from 5:30-6:30 p.m time to meet teachers and drop off school supplies.  At 6:30 I will be giving a short welcome back speech in the gym.  Parent Partnership will be selling Pizza in the Gym until 7:00 so please plan to enjoy time with family and friends while supporting our Kessler Cougars. Thank you Parent Partnership!


As you have noticed when visiting Kessler to see class lists in our foyer, a new parking in progress Thank you so much to our Transportation Department and Facilities Department! It is going to be incredible! Please keep an eye on our webpage and Facebook for additional details, as we know more about completion and the logistics of entering, exiting, and ultimately keeping our Kessler Cougars safe.


Posted on June 2, 2017

Newsletter June 2, 2017

Happy Friday, Cougar Families! I hope this glorious taste of summer weekend has you ready to do fun stuff and enjoy the sunshine. Montana is always beautiful and is really strutting its stuff right now.

This will be my final Friday newsletter to you as your principal. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with your adorable, brilliant, funny, caring, and ever-growing children these past 5 years. They have taught me so much about life, about being a principal, about how to be a good citizen, and about how to have fun. I’m so incredibly proud of them and the things they do. Thank you for your trust in me, the great conversations about your kids- even the tough ones, and your continual support of this school. You make a huge difference in what we are able to do here. I’ve been fortunate to have the unbelievably committed staff that is family at this school. They have giant hearts for the kids and work tirelessly to make each school day challenging and exciting so the kids can achieve their utmost. Thank you to all of you.

Next Thursday will be our last day of school and we will have a Field Day to close things out. Apparently….I am to close out my time at Kessler in a dunk tank. As of today, the weather looks warm and wonderful. I am hopeful for the warm. Parent Partnership ALWAYS needs additional help with this event and additional active members to help the group grow and thrive. Come out and be a part of last day fun. I’m getting dunked to raise money for a water bottle fill station for the building.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mr C

Posted on May 19, 2017

Newsletter May 19, 2017

Happy Friday Cougar Families! Looks like the weather is prettying up for the weekend! That’s GREAT! I hope you all have fun things planned for you and your kids this weekend.

School is winding down for the year. We are under 100 hours of schooling left before summer, but we still have LOTS to get done. Please remind your kids that we have work to do, school expectations are still in place, and they need to be kind, focused learners up until the end.

Yesterday was our Volunteer Appreciation event. It always reminds me of how fortunate this school is to have so many people willing to share their time and talents with the kids. It makes such an enormous difference in their lives. Big thank you to Mrs. Curry for putting it together and having yummy nummins for all of us to enjoy.

Spring Benchmark testing is taking place right now. It’ll give us a chance to share with you the growth your child has made this year. I’m proud of their hard work and the amazing things the teachers have done this year to know each of the kids and make the lessons fun and engaging for all of them.

My time here at Kessler School is winding down. I’d like to thank all of you for the trust you placed in me by sharing your amazing children with the school. I love all of them and I am excited to see what the future holds for them. I have been blessed to serve here for five wonderful years and I am most thankful for the things the kids have taught me over those years. This staff is fantastic and loves your kids and will continue to love your kids. I know life will go on at Kessler, but know that a piece of my heart will forever sit in this building and with the people who make the Kessler community amazing. Thank you!

Have a safe and fabulous weekend!

Mr. C

Posted on May 5, 2017

Newsletter May 5, 2017

Happy Friday, Cougar Families!

As yesterday was May The Fourth Be With You, today is Revenge of the Fifth!

Our year is winding down, but far from over. Still a lot of learning to be done! We will be completing the Spring Benchmark testing over the last two weeks of the month. Talent show is next week. Several filed trips are in the works. Many things going on.

This link is to an interesting article about kids and social media. Give it a read if you have a chance.

Parent Partnership will meet next Thursday at 6:00 in the library. Many volunteers needed for upcoming Field Day and also for officers for coming years. Come out and be a part!

Here are the teachers for next year at Kessler:


Emily Hankins and Britney Kelly

First Grade

Holly McGraw and Nancy Gates

Second Grade-

Ashlie Buresh and Angela Jones

Third Grade

Shanna Kimball and Jessica Wacker

Fourth Grade

Justine Alberts and Michelle Ford

Fifth Grade-

Claudia Crase and Ali Suchy

Have an absolutely wonderful weekend! Weather looks like it is finally Springy! Thank you for all you do for Kessler School!

Mr C
Posted on April 21, 2017

Newsletter April 21, 2017

Hello Kessler Families! I hope you’re enjoying this Montana Springtime weather! It’s definitely like a box of chocolates.

We re closing out Smarter Balance testing with grades 3-5. This is the state assessment of where the kids stand academically. We are told we can expect the results back before the end of the year. We had that promise last year and got them in the fall….so we shall see.

As the seasons struggle with change, the kids struggle with keeping up with their belongings. Lost and found is continually overflowing. Please stop by to check for things. We’ll bag it all up next week and take it to the thrift store.

As the school year works toward closing, please reinforce with your kids that we work until the final bell on the final day. There is a lot of Spring Fever right now. Playground issues are on the rise and classroom distractions are increasing as well. We are all eager to run barefoot in the grass, but there is much left to be done this year.

Next week is Secretary’s Week. As all of you know, Mrs. Carter is the REAL boss at Kessler Elementary School. She has guided me along for these 5 years and I would be truly lost without her doing so. The entire Kessler community is blessed to have this amazing woman be a caretaker for all of us and our kids. If you are around the building next week, please be sure to thank this special, special lady for the tremendous things she does to make this school run so smooth.

Have an incredible weekend. Hug your kids. Read with them. Laugh with them. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up.


Mr C

Posted on April 7, 2017

Newsletter April 7, 2017

Hello Kessler Family!

Another week is in the books and we are marching towards the finish line. Seems like the year is picking up speed as we go. Really seeing the growth in your kids- physically, socially, and academically. They have done well this year. I’m so proud of all of them. I’ve seen tremendous acts of kindness, sharing, caring, helping, and being great Kessler citizens.

As I announced earlier this week, I will be going to Bryant Elementary next year. I sat in on the bond meeting Wednesday night and it really hit me hard. My time at Kessler has been fantastic. (And isn’t over yet! We will finish the year STRONG). Mrs. Lisa Lowney will be the principal next fall. She is currently the Special Education Director for the district. She has come by to meet with staff and is eager to become a part of this incredibly caring community here at Kessler. She is planning on being at the Parent Partnership meeting next Thursday and will be sending out a welcome letter to all of you very soon. As I have told the staff, this place is about our kids. Let’s keep our focus on helping them be the best they can be.

3rd-5th grade begins Smarter Balance testing next week. If you have a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, please help them be rested and calm for the testing. They are super smart and this is their chance to really shine. The testing will take the next couple of weeks and we hope to have the results back before the end of the year.

I hope you have a great weekend. I had a friend from Indiana send me this yesterday….seems about right..He said it’s “signs of Spring in Montana”.


Thank you for all you do to help us help our kids.

Mr. C

Posted on March 24, 2017

Newsletter March 24, 2017

Happy Friday Cougar Faithful! I hope you all have wonderful Spring Break plans in the works! We will plug into the chargers so we can be juiced up to run for the finish. Hard to believe we are about to start the fourth quarter.

Here is a link to a survey about our food service program. They have asked for parent responses. If you have a moment, please complete it real quick. Thanks!

When we get back, 3rd through 5th grade will be working on Smart Balance testing. This is the annual testing mandated by the government to help assess how the kids are progressing. It’s something we need the kids to be well rested for and ready to go. the teachers will keep you posted on the dates of testing.

HUGE thank you to Parent Partnership for an AMAZING Spring Carnival last week. WOW! That was spectacular! Big fun and such a wonderful turnout! A parent reported $70 being lost at the carnival. If you happened to come across that, please turn it in to the office so we can get it back to the family. Thanks!

Parent Partnership would like to thank everyone who came to the carnival, bought a basket, helped with food, helped run games, helped set-up or clean-up, sold tickets, and everything else needed to put on such a fun event! We would especially like to thank the volunteers from Capstone Church and Big Sky Fellowship who provided the climbing wall, two bounce houses and the tasty cotton candy free of charge. Both churches can be found on Facebook. The  next Parent Partnership meeting will be April 13th at 6pm in the Kessler Library.

Have fun and be safe!
Mr. C