Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – October 5, 2017

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools. ― Henry Beston

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for a strong showing and whole family efforts to encourage your child to participate in our Bike and Walk to School Day. Mr. Koutsouftikis and I were thrilled to learn of so many Knights eager to prove to Ms. Pugh and Mr. Giusto that they had indeed biked, walked or scootered to school! We had just over 250 walkers and 100 bike riders.

Kudos and thanks to our Patrol sponsor, Mr. Giusto! Last week I joined Mr. Giusto and Corporal Tiffany Haig, School Resource Officer, (SRO) as she briefly addressed our fifth-grade patrols at their monthly Patrol meeting. Our patrols take their responsibility for ensuring student safety very seriously and were eager to demonstrate that they have learned their oath. Here at Nottingham, our patrols wear their belts in school all day on Fridays, further modeling for our community of learners that they are a resource and a problem solver for other Knights.

Mr. Koutsouftikis and I look forward to seeing many of you in the building for our Parent/ Teacher Conferences. In partnership with you, we join our instructional staff in focusing our efforts on nurturing our Knights in their academic journey of self-discovery. Family involvement and communication between school and home are important elements in creating a strong learning environment. We consider parents/guardians a true asset to our learning community and we look forward to continuing our partnership to enhance the educational experience for each Knight. Thank you for working with your child/ children to strive for on-time arrival to school in order to ensure good attendance and a smooth start to the instructional day. All instructional staff have reviewed our CARES Code of Conduct and daily work to encourage our Knights to demonstrating safe, respectful and caring behaviors. Yesterday I joined Dr. McCormac and SCA advisor’s Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Zipfel in reminding our student reps of their responsibility to serve as role models for our Knights and to demonstrate strong inclusivity in developing new friendships within their classroom and around Nottingham.

Online Scheduling: Parent/Teacher Conferences
**Online Sign-Up: Beginning noon on Wednesday, 10/11/2017

Parent-Teacher conferences are all day, Thursday, October 26th and Friday, October 27th. Online scheduling for these conferences will begin at noon on Wednesday, October 11th. If parents/guardians are unable to attend a Parent-Teacher conference in person, they are encouraged to use the online scheduling link to schedule a “phone conference” on either October 26 or October 27. If parents sign up for a phone conference, they must input their best contact phone number on the form. Please visit for access to the conference schedule links and remember that the links do not go live until 12:00 pm on Wednesday, 10/11. Please note that parents of siblings will be receiving an assigned conference time from their children’s classroom teacher no later than the morning of Wednesday, 10/11. If for any reason you are unable to schedule your conference online, please contact your child’s classroom teacher who can work with you to find a mutual time. This will be viewed only by your child’s teacher. To access the conference schedule link, click on

APS School Health Advisory Board Releases Food Allergy Guidelines

I wanted to bring the following information to your attention: Arlington Public Schools (APS) aims to provide a safe, academically enriching, and socially accepting setting for all students. These guidelines specifically address the needs of students who live with life-threatening food allergies. All APS schools are encouraged to implement these evidence-based recommendations, which outline prevention and response protocols:

Managing Allergies and Anaphylaxis Among Students is a collaborative effort between APS, parent volunteers serving on the APS School Health Advisory Board (SHAB) and the Arlington County-School Health Bureau. Its purpose is to set uniform and consistent APS-wide guidelines, which establish a safe environment for students with food allergies and support parents regarding food allergy management. Nottingham staff continues to focus on ensuring that these new guidelines are followed and that all of our children are safe at school. For your reference, this website has some excellent information that should help parents and students find “children-friendly” non-nutty food.

APS Honors Chorus, Band & Orchestra Auditions for 5th Grade Knights

Parents/guardians are asked to encourage their 5th grade children to audition for Honors Chorus, Band, or Orchestra. These music performance groups are an excellent learning opportunity for our Nottingham Knights! Online audition sign up, music rehearsal tracks, rehearsal and performance information, and more can be found on the following link:

APS Dyslexia Conference: October 28, 2017: 9:00am – 3:00pm Kenmore Middle School 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA 22204 Arlington Public Schools’ first Dyslexia Conference will address building knowledge, interventions, accommodations and more.

Ameer Baraka, actor, educator, activist and author of The Life I Chose, and Miya Ali, an adult with dyslexia and daughter of Muhammad Ali, will join us as Keynote Presenters. Registration is required and space in sessions are limited, so interested participants are encouraged to register early. View session descriptions. Register online now. Parent Resource Center (PRC) at 703.228.7239 or

Upcoming Principal Chats:

10/10/17 – 4th Grade 8:30 – 9:15 Library
10/16/17 – 5th Grade 8:30 – 9:15 Art Room
10/16/17 – 3rd Grade 9:15-10:00 Art Room

We are here to support you and your children and 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

My last APS Talk had a defunct link, please see the following link for an article on Anxiety from Dr. McCormac. Dr. McCormac’s Presentation.

School Picture Day – Save the Date: Thursday, November 9

School Picture information will be sent home via a Friday Folder in late October. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity for a “snapshot in time,” please contact Janet Embrey at 703-228-8326, or

Changes in Routine:

Friendly reminder that Monday, October 9, APS students and staff will be off in honor of Columbus Day. Wednesday, October 25, is an Early Release day, dismissal is at 1:26 pm.

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

Mary Beth Pelosky, Principal
@NTMPrincipal @NTMKnightsAPS