Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – February 16, 2018

The world needs more kind acts and one small act can literally spread around the world. Source: Random Acts of Kindness Week

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Enjoy a restful holiday weekend. We hope you are able to share some additional family time with your loved ones!

Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences: Mark Your Family Calendar
We look forward to seeing many of you at our APS Spring Conferences, scheduled for March 1st and 2nd.
Online sign-up for conferences will open today at 6pm.
Please use this link to access the Parent/Guardian Conference sign-up:
· Thursday, March 1 – Conferences will begin at 2:00 p.m.
· Friday, March 2 – Conferences will begin at 8:30 a.m.

We recognize that you may be satisfied with your child’s performance here at Nottingham and that you already feel that you enjoy regular communication with your child’s teacher. You may not feel a conference is necessary at this time. Some of you may have recently met with your child’s teacher for a variety of reasons, in which case a phone conference would suffice or you may choose not to conference at this time. Please communicate your preferences to your child’s teacher.

Knights Take Note Week:
Kudos and thanks to parent Colleen Wright for a successful Boogie Nights themed Knights Take Note Week! The Music Masters crew arranged for DJs every morning before school, and hosted parent/teacher/friend performances at Tuesday’s Nottingham Jams sessions. I enjoyed dancing with lots of fifth grade knights as we were serenaded by 5th grade teacher Susie Matthews and music teacher Cora Rhodes. Our annual Open Mic Knight found knights showcasing their talent as they performed for each other. Our Boogie Nights KTN Week culminated in an all-school assembly with a performance by the Cherry Blossom String Quartet! It was a real treat to have NTM parent Clif Ogea and two former parents Yvonne Brant and April Maddox perform as part of the ensemble. Knights were treated to a musical lesson focused on 2 pieces of music played in different tempos and times. On Tuesday, February 13th, the Army Chorus group “Army Voices” worked with and performed for our Chorus students. Ms. Rhodes shares that, “Our Knights were delighted to hear songs performed in many styles and learned about the responsibilities and duties involved in being in an Army performing group!”

Knights STEAMing Ahead
Our third grade Knights have been learning about Matter via the Engineering Design Process. This critical component of Nottingham’s Knights STEAMing Ahead Exemplary Project takes the learner on a journey, encouraging critical and creative thinking with encouragement to tinker and learn from structural mishaps. I enjoyed seeing lots of parents/guardians who were invited view the artistic creations made especially for them. Our third grade Knights were excited to share poems, sculptures, and paintings related to Matter. They were tasked with sharing their lessons learned through their design process in which they created their own play dough to mold their sculptures. Kudos to the Valentine’s Day Dream team who created and conducted this valuable Project Based Learning Unit: Art teacher, Ms. Sam O’Connor, our 3rd grade team and Exemplary Project Coordinator Becky Johnson!

Love The Bus Week:
Yesterday, Nottingham Knights received bus rider tokens for “Love the Bus Week.” Love the Bus Week is a national event hosted by the American School Bus Council to express appreciation of school bus drivers. Bus drivers report before sunrise and often complete their last route after dark. Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), APS’s partner in supporting APS Go!, is raising awareness of the importance of riding buses for the APS community. Riding the bus, just like biking, walking and carpooling, is one way that the APS community can support healthy, sustainable transportation. Special thanks to the 5th grade Knights who helped craft letters of thanks to our bus drivers.

Crossing Guard Appreciation:
Crossing Guard Appreciation Week is an annual Safe Routes to School celebration recognizing Crossing Guards for the critical role they play in the safe routes to school network. Thousands of APS students regularly walk and bike to school with assistance from the 30+ Crossing Guards who make up the Arlington County Police Department Crossing Guard Unit. To show our appreciation, Nottingham Knights who serve as patrols made cards and shared expressions of appreciation that will be given to the Crossing Guards later this afternoon.

Bike Unit
Knights in our second grade Physical Education classes will be participating in a Bike Safety Unit this month. Our outstanding Health and PE team will work with our second graders on safe riding skills; understanding traffic signs and signals; hazard avoidance; proper bike maintenance; and communicating with other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians while riding.

Virginia Elementary School Counseling Week
2018 National School Counseling Week, “School Counselors: Helping Students Reach for the Stars,” was created to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. No doubt you are aware of Ms. Bisbee and Dr. McCormac’s efforts to join our teachers in ensuring that our Knights achieve school success and plan for a career!

Parents/Guardians of Fifth Grade Knights:
Digital Learning Day – Thursday, February 22, 2018
We have a strong infusion of instructional technologies here at Nottingham and with the inclusion this year of 1:1 Apple iPads for all students in grades 2-5, our students integrate learning with their devices on a daily basis. As you know, our current fifth graders have had opportunities with their personalized device for the past four academic years. This year, our fifth grade teachers and students will generally showcase multiple uses of instructional technology methods on the afternoon of Thursday, 2/22. Each teacher will communicate their showcase schedule in a parent newsletter directly to you. If you are able to visit, please talk with the students as to how the devices have assisted in their learning and motivation.

For more information about Digital Learning Day, follow this link:

Middle School Transition Timeline
As always, parents and guardians of our fifth grade Knights, please continue to check Dr. McCormac’s blog for updates to transition activities. A direct link to the blog:

Nottingham front office secretary Mardi Moorman will be taking over as our Volunteer Liaison. As always, we appreciate our Parent Volunteers and look forward to highlighting the many and varied ways our parents/guardians volunteer for our Knights in their classrooms. Friendly reminder that a Volunteer Application and Non-Disclosure Form should be completed before volunteering in the classroom.
A reminder that parents attending Field Trips must also complete a Field Trip Application Form.

Summer School Registration Begins March 1
Registration for Summer School begins on Thu, March 1. Arlington Public Schools provides a variety of summer programs for students in PreK through Grade 12 during summer 2018. Most classes begin on July 9.

Note – Lost and Found: The next time building, please browse through our Lost and Found items. They will be located across from the library in the front lobby. All unclaimed items will be donated to charity after March 5, 2018.

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

Mary Beth Pelosky
@NTMPrincipal @NTMKnightsAPS