Principal’s Notes from Nottingham II – February 7, 2017

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

Oscar Wilde


Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you so very much to those of you who donate your time and energy in partnering with us and our PTA to ensure that Nottingham is a fun, safe place for children to grow and learn! We are recognizing and celebrating acts of kindness and I wanted to be sure and express to you our admiration and respect for your many contributions to our learning community, seen and unseen. Speaking of appreciation, special thanks to Meghan Thomas, Sock Hop chair, and all of her many volunteers for their efforts to help our Knights “rock the night away” at the Sock Hop. The pictures from the fun event are priceless!

hope you enjoyed the additional family time on Friday. Mr. Koutsouftikis and I joined the teachers in a busy day dedicated to data work, preparing report cards, collaborative planning, and finishing up the important midyear meetings that teachers and administrators have at this time of the year. Report cards will be sent home on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Of Thee I Sing by Barack ObamaThe next time you are in the building, I want to encourage you to stop by our front bulletin board, use your QR Code APP and scan the QR codes to hear about our Fourth Grade Knights’ personal hopes for their future!  Knights were asked to think about the impact they can have on the world around them. A study of the book Of Thee I Sing, by 44th President Barack Obama, highlighted several Americans who have had significant lasting contributions. Knights used the Seesaw App to reflect on their own future goals and state their own lasting contributions!

Nottingham’s staff has enjoyed an opportunity to express appreciation for the Virginia Elementary School Counselor of the Year, our very own, Dr. McCormac.  National School Counseling Week 2017, “School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential,” is designed to draw public attention to the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems.  No doubt you are aware of Dr. McCormac’s efforts to join our teachers in ensuring that our Knights achieve school success and plan for a career.


Early Release Wednesday:  February 8th, 2017

Please remember that, tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8th is an Early Release Day. Our Knights will be dismissed at 1:26 p.m., giving time for teachers to attend to their professional development.  All staff who are implementing the new writing program, including the Lucy Calkins’ Teachers’ College (TC) Units of Writing and the Step Up to Writing resources, will attend collaborative professional development sessions around the county. Instructional staff who are not implementing these literacy programs will receive content specific training at different locations around Arlington. Enjoy this gift of time with your children!


Knights Take Note Week:    February 6 – 10, 2017

Our mornings have been filled with music this week as we enjoy our annual Knights Take Note Week!  Our theme of Music Moves Us Forward! culminates in a performance by The String Thing Duet, featuring Nottingham parent Paul DeNola.  Paul is a member of the National Symphony Orchestra; his humorous presentation will show our Knights how seemingly formal instruments like violin and double bass can be as fun as they are fancy! On Thursday evening, the PTA is offering your child a chance to take center stage with Open Mic Knight (pun intended).  Piano and microphones will be available, and our musically inclined Knights will have 5 minute slots to perform their favorite song, show off their piano skills, and more. The event begins at 6:30, and will wrap by 8:00 p.m. Please join me in a musical note of thanks to our Music Masters Co-Chairs, Colleen Wright and Laurie Cordova!


Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences:  Please Mark Your Family Calendar

Spring conferences are coming up on March 2nd and 3rd.

  • Thursday, March 2 – Conferences will begin at 1:45 p.m. and end at 4:10 p.m.
  • Friday, March 3 – Conferences will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:15 p.m.
  • Parent/Teacher Conference information will be sent home by your child’s teacher on Wednesday, February 15.

We recognize that you may be satisfied with your child’s performance in school and that you already have 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.

Please note that:  The Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences are designed for teachers to fill you in on your child’s academic and socio-emotional growth.  Conversation regarding class placement for the next grade level would be premature at this time and thus the staff will not be addressing this subject during your conferences.


Writers’ Night – Mark your Family Calendar Thursday, March 30 – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Whole Child FrameworkOur annual Writers’ Night celebrates student growth, and we look forward to having you join in our celebration of our Knights’ hard work.  Guests and parent/guardians tour classrooms to interact with our personalized learning work, partake in a gallery walk, and review digital portfolios!  Our community of learners eagerly anticipate this night every spring.

This year’s theme is, The Power of Words, inspired by Conceptual artist, Barbara Kruger. In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important part. She marries smart word choice with clever pictures to make a big impact. A digital slide show will be presented to illustrate Fifth grade student creativity and the connection between visual and language arts. Please join us to acknowledge our Knights’ artistic achievements and our commitment in implementing the Whole Child framework, to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, supported, and engaged.

Exemplary Project Coordinator Kelly Bergeron invites parents/ guardians to visit the Knight Writer webpage regarding:  information on publications, ongoing activities, etc. https://nottingham.apsva.us/programs/the-nottingham-knight-writer-exemplary-project/


Enrichment Programs and Opportunities in Virginia

Cheryl McCullough, Supervisor, Gifted Services, shared a wonderful list of Summer Enrichment Opportunities in Virginia.  Not all listed programs are specifically structured for gifted students, so I encourage all Nottingham parents/guardians to take a look at the extensive list of offerings. Please see the  Enrichment Opportunities pdf for several opportunities for interactive, extended summer learning


Engage with APSEngage with APS: www.apsva.us/engage  

I wanted to bring to your attention that APS recently launched an Engage with APS webpage. In schools and classrooms, and with the help of our advisory committees, families and neighbors, APS is committed to partnering with the entire community to create the best learning experiences for our students.  Shaping the future for our children — now more than ever — requires a continuous, collaborative and coordinated effort from across our community.


Upcoming Events

  • 02/20/17 – Presidents’ Holiday – No School
  • 03/02/17 – Early Release – 1:26 p.m. – Parent/Teacher Conferences – p.m.
  • 03/03/17 – Parent/Teacher Conferences / No School for Students
  • 03/08/17 – Early Release – 1:26 p.m.

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

Mary Beth Pelosky
Marybeth.pelosky@apsva.us