Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – October 17, 2016

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly

–John Bailey, Autumn

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Third Grade Principal’s Chat is scheduled for tomorrow morning, October 18 – 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. in the library.

Kudos and thanks to our PTA and especially to the parents/ guardians who donated and cooked for the Chili lunch for our recent Parent-Teacher Conference days. Staff certainly appreciated the efforts of Tavya Casad in choosing and coordinating the menu which included delicious Italian Store sandwiches/salads! Mr. Koutsouftikis and I know that teachers were happy to receive and exchange information about each individual Knight. These detailed conversations give instructional staff a deeper understanding of your hopes and dreams for your child.

A-SPAN Walk-a-Thon – Another Successful Year
Kudos and thanks to our Nottingham’s SCA Co-sponsors, Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Zipfel, for coordinating our recent A-SPAN Walk-a-thon. This year our SCA sponsors worked hard to have our Knights continue to develop empathy for those community members who may find themselves in challenging circumstances. Parents/guardians: Your generous contributions resulted in a significant effort to support Arlington’s own A-SPAN in reducing homelessness and food scarcity right here at “home.” Together, our Community of Learners raised: $4,222!  A-SPAN was thrilled and grateful for all the support and participation from our Knights, their family members and our staff.

Laurie Keller Visit
Thank you to our wonderful PTA for sponsoring last week’s visit by author/illustrator Laurie Keller.  Ms. Keller is the author of the popular Arnie the Doughnut series, Scrambled States of America, Do Unto Otters, and others.  Our Knights enjoyed her talk about the writing process and also learned how to illustrate their own characters.  Ms. Keller pointed out that, even in a room full of artists drawing the same picture, each and every one will be different and unique.  Her great sense of humor kept both Knights and their teachers laughing. Nottingham Librarian, Mrs. Gustafson, reports: A great time was had by all!

Character Counts
This month our Nottingham Community of Learners will be honoring Unity Day (October 19), Character Counts Week (October 17-21), and Mix It Up at Lunch Day (October 25).

Wednesday, October 19th Knights are encouraged to wear orange to “Take a stand to end bullying.”  During Character Counts Week, staff will be joining our Knights in dressing in the color of the character traits. On October 25th, Knights will be asked to sit at different tables with children they do not normally sit with. Our goal is to continue our efforts in creating a school climate where respect and inclusiveness are core values!

Unity Day – Make it Orange and Make it End! – October 19, 2016
Teachers will hold a classroom discussion to define the word “Unity” and what each Knight can do to make Nottingham a safer place to learn. Please take the time to check in with your child (as age appropriate) regarding their key takeaways.

Character Counts! Week – October 17 – 21, 2016:
Please encourage your child to show their colors in a joint NTM wide effort!

Date Character Trait Color Think
Tuesday, 10/18 Respect Yellow/Gold Think, “The Golden Rule”
Wednesday, 10/19 Unity Day and Fairness Orange Think of “Dividing an orange into an orange into equal sections to share fairly.”
Thursday, 10/20 Responsibility Green Think, “Being responsible for a garden or finances.”
Friday, 10/21 Choose either
● Caring
● Citizenship
Think “Of a heart”
Think, “Regal Purple”


PTA Sponsored Halloween Parade – Sunday, October 30 – 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
If you and your family celebrate Halloween please consider marking the family calendar to join in the fun at Nottingham’s annual Halloween Parade!  The festivities begin at 1:00 p.m. on the back lot.  Several former Knights will be performing as part of the Yorktown Band, adding some “pep in the steps” for our Knights and their families.

Treats for Troops: November 1 through November 7
Our Student Council Association, SCA, will once again be sponsoring our annual Treats for Troops campaign.  Starting on November 1st, Knights are asked to bring in leftover candy to donate for our US troops/service members, serving both here and abroad.  Knights are also encouraged to create cards thanking service members for their efforts.  There will be bins ready for students to donate their candy and cards from November 1 through November 7 by the main office.  Knights are asked to drop off their treats / cards before heading to their instructional space.  The SCA Officers and Representatives will package treats and cards on 11/9.

PTA Meeting – November 1 -Nottingham Staff Presentation
Please consider joining Mr. Koutsouftikis and Mrs.  Bergeron, Exemplary Project Coordinator, at our November 1st PTA meeting. Together with members of our English Language Arts team, she has prepared a presentation on our countywide Lucy Calkins (LC) Writing Units of Study Professional Development. Last year at Nottingham, we were delighted for our upper grade classes to be selected to receive LC Reading Units of Study to incorporate into their Language Arts blocks.

Humanities Program:  Knights’ Unite Evening Event – Nov. 17
Dinner is 6:30 PM / Teatro performance at 7:30Sanitos y Contentos, “Happy and Healthy”

This DC Spanish theater group will perform a thirty-five minute play at this year’s Knights Unite event. Their performance will tell the story of Miss Lettuce (Señorita Lechuga), a bright, bubbly vegetable, visits to talk about the benefits of eating vegetables and fruits when she is attacked and overcome by Mrs. Laziness (Doña Flojera), who tells everyone they should avoid exercise and only eat candy and sweets. With the audience’s, and Mr. Cucumber (Don Pepino)’s help, Miss Lettuce triumphs over the vile Mrs. Laziness, and good health and happiness overcome sloth, greed and laziness. Teatro de la Luna bring Spanish theater to schools throughout the DC metropolitan area.  We are excited to have them at Nottingham!

Book Drive
Thank you to all families who participated and helped get books to students and families who may not have access to books at home. 1,403 books were donated during the 2016 book drive, about fifteen banker boxes full!  Staff took books for classroom libraries and Mrs. Gustafson found books for the school library, however, the majority of the books will be donated to other schools through Arlington Bookshelf Program.  We are proud to share the joy of literacy throughout Arlington! Congratulations to Mrs. Wine’s class, together they donated 217 books!Thank you to parent volunteers who collected books from the classroom, sorted the books in the library and helped pack them for delivery.

Picture Make-up Date Scheduled
Due to scheduling changes the make-up day had to be postponed and has been rescheduled to:

  • November 21, 2016

I hope you and yours were able to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather this weekend! Thank you for being a partner in your child’s education.

Mary Beth Pelosky
@NTMPrincipal  @NTMKnightsAPS