Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – April 27, 2017

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.

– Hal Borland


Dear Parents/Guardians,

Arbor Day

Arbor Day FlagEarlier this spring we received notification that Nottingham was selected for the honor of being chosen as the elementary school site for the annual Arlington Arbor Day ceremony. During my remarks at this morning’s ceremony, in which Nottingham Knights were the fortunate recipients of two new Oak trees, I shared that it was my great pleasure to welcome Arlington Supt. of Schools, Dr. Patrick Murphy, members of our PTA, Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey, and School Board Member Tannia Talento who joined other esteemed guests from the VA Dept. of Forestry, Arlington County Parks and Recreation and the Arlington Union Forestry Commission.

Those in attendance learned that Nottingham’s Arbor Day celebration was centered upon the good works of an African woman, Wangari Maathai.  I first learned about her on my first trip to Africa in Kenya. Her story resonated with me as a teacher, in particular about the powerful impact of one determined person.  Knights learned that, “In Arlington and across VA, in fact across the nation, during the last week of April, students are learning about the importance of trees and the challenges of de-forestation. In preparing for this morning’s ceremony, I refreshed my memory about the first Arbor Day in the United States, in 1872 in Nebraska. It is estimated that one million trees were planted during the first Arbor Day.  Children then and now learn many facts about trees. Primarily, that they are needed as windbreak to keep soil in place, for fuel, for shade from the hot sun and for clean air.  An Arbor Day Proclamation was read, we received a flag commemorating the 21st Tree City USA Award and our very own SCA president, Grant C., did an outstanding job of reading a brief biography of Wangari Maathai’s life dedicated to Planting a Path to Peace.  In 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.   Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World | A Mighty Girl

Strong kudos are in order for Choral Music teacher, Ms. Cora Rhodes as she very ably led select musicians and choral members through three performances, most notably a newly written piece in honor of this visionary woman, Mama Miti. Lastly, the executive SCA leaders were joined by two representatives of our Planet Partners as we helped plant our very own trees of peace.


SOL Testing Window Information – Parents/ Guardians of Knights in Grades 3-5

SOL LogoMay 15 – June 16

Please keep in mind the SOL window as you schedule appointments or plan travel.  Thank you for helping ensure a smooth, uninterrupted test administration this year.

Our instructional staff has been planning for the fast approaching Standards of Learning (SOL) exams.  The following link serves as a helpful guide to all thing SOL  related as well as changes and practice items for mathematics, reading, VA Studies (4th Grade) and science (5th Grade):http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml.

Knights in Grades 3-5 will take the following SOLs this year:

  • 3rd Grade: Reading (May 18 & 19) and Math (June 1 & 2)
  • 4th Grade: Reading (May 18 & 19), Virginia Studies (May 26), and Math (June 1 & 2)
  • 5th Grade: Reading (May 18 & 19), Science (May 26), and Math (June 1 & 2)

Parents/ Guardians of Rising K Learners:

Parents/guardians of children six and under might be interested in these resources.Earlier this month, Mr, Koutsouftikis, the Kindergarten team and I all enjoyed the excitement that ensues when you are welcoming over 60 rising K learners for their orientation. We shared a welcoming letter from Nottingham’s PTA and the following links that might be of help to you.


Dyslexia: Helping Families and School Staff Learn More – Dr. Sandman-Hurley 

Mark your family calendars for May 11 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Charles Drew Community Center (adjacent to Drew Model School – Enter via Door 11) 3500 23rd Street South, Arlington, VA 22206

Arlington Public Schools is offering an evening event designed to help individuals understand the types of assessments appropriate for dyslexia, how to interpret assessment results, and what is included in an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Additionally, a description of an appropriate
program for students with dyslexia in both general education and special education will be discussed.

Dr. Sandman-Hurley Dr. Sandman-Hurley is an author and co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute, Past-President of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and has co-created and produced “Dyslexia for a Day: A Simulation of Dyslexia”. Registration is required, and space is limited. 


Math Day

All parents/guardians are welcome tomorrow, from 9:20 – 10:20 a.m. for Nottingham’s Math Day.

Thank you for being a partner in your child’s education.  

Mary Beth Pelosky
marybeth.pelosky@apsva.us