Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – December 19, 2017

As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. — Peggy Toney Horton

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Season’s Greetings from our “home” to yours! The purposeful planning of our teachers and the hard work of our Knights is still on display as we work collaboratively to finish academic units of study, culminate Project Based Learning units and finish assessments before the winter holidays begin. With the winter weather finally here, please note that we make every effort possible for our Knights to go outside for recess. Thank you for doing your part to ensure your child/children are dressed for the weather and that their names are in their coats, jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves. I think we are all anticipating the joy, exhilaration and solitude of the first significant snowfall.

It’s been wonderful to see so many parents/guardians here at Nottingham, taking the time to volunteer to share family holiday traditions, help with a grade level gathering or volunteer for Art Ace. Nottingham traditions like the second grade Nutcracker Toy Soldier activities have taken place, and our Girls on the Run group has finished up strongly for the season.

When we return from Winter Break, following our Responsive Classroom principles, teachers will be asked to dedicate time in their Morning Meeting to reflect upon and revisit the Hopes and Dreams/Classroom Rules/Expectations crafted by each homeroom. Age level appropriate, they will discuss if the class rules and hopes are still a priority for them as learners or if new goals need to be set.

ImagiLab Update
Our ImagiLab STEM/STEAM Makerspace program is off to a great start this year! Throughout the fall and continuing through the new year, Knights can enjoy an opportunity to visit ImagiLab, both as a whole class and in small groups at recess time. Projects in ImagiLab vary from week to week, but they all have some elements in common: unstructured time to collaborate, solve problems, create and learn in a hands-on way. Recently, Third grade classes created a project using simple machines to rescue an animal in danger. Second graders built flotation devices for an injured duck. December is coding month in ImagiLab, and our Knights have had the opportunity to experiment with different coding tools and robotics, such as Dash and Dot, BeeBot, Robot Mouse, Ozobots, and various coding games using apps such as The Foos, Scratch Jr, and Kodable. Questions re: ImagiLab? Contact Librarian Nicole Gustafson – < or Regina Koehler – <> .

Technology Update
Instructional staff who work with Knights in grades 2-5 have been working closely with our Instructional Technology Coordinator, Mr. Ron Crouse to begin the installation of Apple Classroom on all APS-issued student assigned iPads.

Apple Classroom is an iPad app for the teacher. It provides new ways to guide learning and control student iPad devices in the classroom. With Apple Classroom, the teacher can perform actions on each student’s iPad to guide their experience during class. For example, the teacher can help a student or an entire class open an app, view a teacher-pushed webpage, monitor student activity, remotely lock and mute student devices, share student screens and even project student work on other iPads or share it with the whole close through AirPlay and the many integrated Apple TVs at Nottingham. This new tool and electronic teacher interaction help students focus on exactly what we want them to learn.

This software tool only works within the school and teachers can only control and monitor devices of students of which they have enrolled in their unique class. By design, there is no extended ability to monitor any device outside of our school through Apple Classroom. If you have any specific questions about this new initiative, please contact Mr. Crouse directly to

For several years now, Arlington Public Schools has used Google Apps for Education for instructional purposes. Google Apps for Education includes Google Drive (which includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawing), Google Sites, and Google Classroom. Every student in Arlington has a Google Apps for Education account and Nottingham classrooms are using these tools to collaborate in all subject areas, specifically in the Language Arts domain of Writing. Teachers of Knights in grades 2 – 5 are using Google Drive applications in a variety of ways. Google Apps for Education is free to public schools and their students. It is deployed and managed by the Arlington Public Schools. I enjoy seeing the various ways our Knights and their teachers are using Google Apps for education blended learning experiences in the classroom environment. To learn more about Google Drive, please check out the following video links that provide tutorials:

Exemplary Project Update
Parents/Guardians of Fifth Graders – Please join us in the library on Thursday, December 21st from 1:00-1:30 to view creations and presentations made by your Knights as a part of our Exemplary Project. The Exemplary Project, Knights STEAMing Ahead, focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math with an emphasis on project based learning. The fifth grade Knights have worked hard to create noise-eliminating headphones in conjunction with our study of sound in science. They are excited to share what they have learned with you! This event will be held immediately before the fifth graders’ winter celebration.

Girls on the Run (GOTR) Update (A message from Beth Yoder)
Thank you for a wonderful season! I wanted to share that GOTR Nottingham 2017 successfully donated thirty three pounds of cereal to needy families in Arlington. More importantly, however, these girls stood up for many members of their community, increased awareness, and demonstrated that little people can do big things! Kudos to our GOTR group and their sponsors!

A Word from the Clinic:
Mrs. Cuesta- Public Health Nurse/School Health shares the following: I am sure you can ask any student how many days are left until Winter Break and we want to be sure that everyone is able to enjoy the holiday festivities. Please remember to keep your child at home when he or she is sick. A Knight who has a fever or is vomiting should remain at home until he or she is free of fever or has stopped vomiting without medication for 24 hours.

National Geography Bee- An update from Social Studies Lead Sarah Jacoby
Become a Geo-Genius! Nottingham’s annual Geography Bee will be held on Wednesday, January 17th. Fourth and fifth grade Knights can participate in preliminary rounds held in homerooms to qualify for the championship round. Practice geography skills or download the study app at

Parents/Guardian of fourth and fifth graders, please save the date for January 17, 2018 for our annual Geography Bee. More information can be found at <>.

Updated Contact Information
If you have had a change of work or cell phone contact information, please provide the changes to your child’s classroom teacher as well as Ms. Embrey in the main office by Friday, January 5, 2018. Thank you for your efforts to ensure that all current information is updated in our APS/Nottingham student database.

Lost and Found
If you are in the building prior to the winter break, please take the time to look through our growing Lost and Found collection. As the weather has gotten progressively colder, our Lost and Found has grown! Please have your child/children check for missing hats, gloves, jackets, water bottles, etc. Any unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity.

Winter Break Dates
Please note Nottingham will stay closed for winter break through Monday, January 1. We look forward to seeing our Knights and their teachers bright and early (and on time), Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Dates to Remember – Please mark your family calendars.
12/22 – 1/1 Winter Break
01/5 Bingo Night 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
1/15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
1/16-1/19 No Name Calling Week
1/17 National Geo Bee 2:00 p.m./MPR
1/24 Winter Concert: Chorus Performance 7:00 p.m. /MPR
1/26 Teacher Work Day-No School For Students

At this time of year, as we enjoy the bounty of the season, I want to be sure and wish you and your family peace, joy and wellness in the year ahead. As always, thank you for entrusting us with the gift of caring for your children.

Best wishes for a safe, happy start to the New Year!

Mary Beth Pelosky
@NTMPrincipal @NTMKnightsAPS