Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – October 2, 2017

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which highlights customer satisfaction, workforce empowerment, and increased productivity, has come to symbolize America’s commitment to excellence.
~William J. Clinton

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Members of our adult community of learners were devastated to hear the news of the violence and loss of life in Las Vegas this morning. As always, we here at Nottingham will do our best to support you and your children with tools for a facilitated conversation. Please see below for recommended guidelines in terms of addressing this with your child.The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) offers the following suggestions:

• Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Children gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
• Limit exposure to television and the news.
• Be honest with children and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
• Listen to children’s fears and concerns.
• Reassure children that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
• Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
• Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Student Services:

Dr. McCormac and members of our Student Services staff are an integral piece of our efforts to educate the whole child. We’re proud of their collaborative good work on behalf of our Knights. For those of you new to the Nottingham Community of Learners, I wanted to share Dr. McCormac’s article on Anxiety in Schools: Addressing Student Anxiety in the American School Counselor Association’s September newsletter. Dr. McCormac has also received the significant honor of serving as a past VA Elementary Counselor of the Year:

Gifted Resource Parent Meeting:

Many thanks to our lead critical and creative thinker, Ms. Van Valen, Resource Teacher for the Gifted, who recently shared with parents/ guardians the APS and NTM processes for identifying gifted learners. In addition, she shared several photos to illustrate what classroom instruction looks like using resources aimed at gifted learners. Please see Ms. Van Valen’s Presentation here.

APS Community Engagement: Two Community Meetings RE: Middle School Boundaries
APS will host two community meetings to kick off the resetting of middle school boundaries.
Tonight, Mon. 7-9 p.m.10/2/17 at Yorktown High School (This meeting will be livestreamed.)
Also, Weds., 10/4/17, from 7-9 p.m., at Kenmore Middle School.

Challenging Racism: Learning How Workshops for Parents
Americans are talking about race in a new way… but it is not always easy. To help, APS has been sponsoring yearlong Challenging Racism: Learning How workshops for parents since 2004. The workshops provide a parallel experience to the teacher/staff Conversations About Race and Equity (part of the APS effort to close the Achievement Gaps). Through reading, stories, activities and conversation, participants learn to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. These conversations encourage a basic understanding of racism, institutional racism, White privilege, the roots of racism, and its modern manifestations around us. Each of the 11 sessions builds concrete skills for engaging in challenging conversations related to race, second language and other forms of bias. The location for the next series will be Discovery Elementary School, beginning 10/11/17. For more information and to register go to:

Lost & Found: Now that the weather is starting to turn with cool mornings and evenings, please label your children’s outerwear. We appreciate the many parents/ guardians who ensure that their children’s names are on/in jackets, sweatshirts and other clothing that they are likely to leave around. All lost items with names are returned to classroom teachers. Our Lost and Found is conveniently located near a well travelled corridor, near the PE and Cafeteria spaces.

Dates to Keep in Mind Online Scheduling: Parent Teacher Conferences-
Parent-teacher conferences are all day, Thursday, October 26th and Friday, October 27th. More information will be forthcoming re: Online scheduling.

Digital Device Initiative in Grades 2, 3 and 4 – APS Personalized Learning
Teachers of Knights in grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 have begun their Digital Device initiative work. Together with their teachers, our Knights have established technology rules and guidelines and reviewed iPad expectations. For those parents/guardians interested in more information on the district initiative for Personalized Learning. Please see the APS Personalized Learning Device Handbook webpage at this link for parents in both English and Spanish:

Dismissal Policies / After School Playdates
Thank you for working with your child to encourage on time arrival at school. If you know that your child will need to be out of school, please send emails 24 hours in advance. If a teacher is absent, he/she will not receive the email to know about a change in schedule, pickup, etc. Please copy Ms. Embrey on your emails at If you must make a change during the school day, contact Ms. Embrey in the main office at 703-228- 8326.

If your child will be heading home on the bus with a classmate or fellow Knight, they must bring written permission from a parent/guardian. Both children must have a note. Our APS Transportation Department requires that bus drivers have a written note from each parent if a child is going to ride a bus that he/she is not assigned to ride. These notes must be checked by the classroom teacher before the children ride the bus.

Walk and Bike to School Day 2017
To promote the health, environmental, and community-building benefits of walking and biking to school as often as possible, Nottingham Knights and Parents/ Guardians are reminded to join us in our Walk, Bike and Scooter to School Day 2017 this Wednesday, October 4. 2017. Walk and Bike to School Day 2017. More information about walking and biking in Arlington any time.

Music Twitter Handles: Here at Nottingham, we are fortunate to have a strong vocal and instrumental music program. Music is in full swing! Please consider following Mrs. Simonetti and Ms. Rhodes on Twitter. Their handles are: @NTMMusicMrsSim and @NTMMusicMsR.

Malcolm Baldrige Visit
Tomorrow, October 3rd will be another highly productive day here at Nottingham! I’m pleased to announce that Nottingham was one of just a few elementary schools selected by the school division for a Baldrige Site visit. The committee will be with us from 10:30 am -12:30 pm., and Mr. Koutsouftikis and I look forward to serving on teacher and faculty panels designed to highlight our collaborative work.
We will provide a brief report out at tomorrow evening’s PTA meeting and Panel on Anxiety.

Parents/ Guardians of Second Grade Knights: Please join me at my Principal’s Chat on Wednesday, October 4 at 8:30 in the library.

We are here to support you and your children and we look forward to working collaboratively with you to create an enjoyable, safe, and successful school year. Below is a list of which administrator is supervising which grade level:

Ms. Pelosky: Grades 1, 3, and 5
Mr. Koutsouftikis: Grades K, 2, and 4


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

Mary Beth Pelosky
@NTMPrincipal @NTMKnightsAPS