Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – Sept. 20

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It was wonderful to see such a packed house on BTSN! Mr. Koutsouftikis and I enjoyed seeing the many creative ways teachers encouraged you to leave a motivational note for your child. This reiterates to them that you have seen their learning environment and can validate their learning opportunities. Many thanks to those of you who have volunteered to be room parents and to those of you who have taken on additional volunteer duties, whether it be helping out in our teacher workroom, serving on a PTA committee or volunteering in your child’s classroom.  We appreciate that you spent some time this weekend responding to our request to share your Responsive Classroom Hopes and Dreams for your child this academic year.  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 this video clip honoring the VA Elementary Counselor of the Year, our very own, Dr.  McCormac. You can view the video here:

Principal Chat Dates  –  8:45 – 9:30 a.m. / Library
Parents/ Guardians are invited to join me over the next few weeks in my grade level specific Principal Chats.  Dr. McCormac and a teacher representative from each team will be on hand as we delve deeper into the curriculum and do our best to answer questions that might have arisen over the course of the first few weeks of school. Please note the following dates:

  • 9/23/16 – Kindergarten
  • 9/27/16 – 5th Grade
  • 10/5/16 – 2nd Grade
  • 10/11/16 – 1st Grade
  • 10/14/16 – 4th Grade
  • 10/18/16 – 3rd Grade    Please note this date change.

Digital Device Initiative in Grades 2, 3 and 4 – APS Personalized Learning
Teachers of Knights in grades 2, 3 and 4 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 webpage at this link:

Student Council Elections – 9/ 21- 9/23:
Parents/Guardians of 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders: The 2016-2017 Nottingham Student Council (SCA) Classroom Representative election will take place tomorrow, September 21 through Friday, September 23.  A letter and permission slip were sent home in last week’s Friday folders.  If your child is interested in participating in the election, please complete the form and return it to their classroom teacher tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21. Each class will send two representatives to the SCA.  All meetings are the first Wednesday of the month, from 8-8:40 a.m. in the library.  Duties for the SCA representatives include:

  • Communicate ideas/input from student body to Student Council and vice versa
  • Give monthly reports to their classroom and to K-2 classrooms as assigned
  • Participate and propose ideas for Spirit Days, service projects, and represent peers

Letters will go home on September 26 to those Knights who were elected, congratulating them on their being selected as a Classroom Representative. The first meeting is scheduled for October 5. Questions regarding Student Council Association elections should be directed to Mrs. Moore or Mrs. Zipfel, SCA co-sponsors.

National Book Festival Saturday, September 24, 2016
Looking for activities centering on literacy for the whole family to enjoy? Consider taking advantage of our proximity to DC and head to the Washington Convention Center for the National Book Festival. 2016 Book Festival | National Book Festival – Library of Congress

School Picture Day – Thursday, September 29 School Picture information went home in last week’s Friday Folder. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity for a “snapshot in time,” please contact your child’s teacher.

Gifted Resource Parent Meeting:

  • Friday, September 30  / 8:45-9:30 a.m. / Library

Please plan to join Mr. Koutsouftikis and Ms. Van Valen, new Resource Teacher for the Gifted as she presents a parent presentation on Gifted Learners here at Nottingham.  All parents/guardians  are welcome to attend and learn more about the process for  identifying gifted learners, as well as what the classroom instruction looks like using resources aimed at gifted  learners.

Bike and Walk to School Day is Wednesday – October 5
Nottingham’s PE Staff is excited to announce that our annual Bike and Walk to school event takes place on the morning of October 5th!  We expect to see our Knights wearing their protective clothing for their chosen mode of transportation to school that day, whether it be biking, walking or ‘scootering” to school.  Upon arrival, Knights will receive biker/walker tokens to add to their collection and are given a special walk/bike sticker.  At the end of the day, our Knights that have a specially marked sticker will receive a prize. Students that ride a bike or scooter to school must wear a helmet to receive a prize. Prizes include pedometers, bike computers, bike locks, Klean Kanteens and other fun bike and walk regalia! Accommodations are made for our early Extended Day arrivals.  Knights who do not live in an area with a safe route to school are encouraged to partner with other students in the community to travel together along a safe route that morning.  As we tell all of our Knights, this is by no means mandatory and we appreciate the extra effort it may take to go car or bus-free.

A-Span Walkathon:  In conjunction with the National Walk/Bike to School Day – October 5
Please join Nottingham’s Student Council members in sending a message of support for local families in need.  Register your child for A-SPAN’s Nottingham Walk to End Homelessness in Arlington! In our efforts to remind our Knights of their role in helping community members, they will be viewing an A-SPAN informational video on Knights@9 in the next few weeks. For more information on the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, A-SPAN, and our efforts to support their initiatives in meeting the needs of local homeless people, please click on the following link:   Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN).  Knights will be walking with their grade level in this fundraiser to end homelessness right here in Arlington.  Registration forms will be sent home in Friday Folders, this Friday, September 23.  Please check your child’s Friday Folder for a registration envelope – or you can complete the form online now at this link:  Be sure to include Nottingham and Classroom Teacher Name in the special purpose box near the bottom of the page. The Nottingham class with the most participation receives the honor of selecting SCA November’s Spirit Day.

Social Studies
The Commonwealth of Virginia has mandated changes to the APS Social Studies Curriculum. These changes might have been communicated to you at Back to School Night.  However, I wanted to share this link for those of you interested in further understanding the Social Studies Curriculum changes. .

I hope to see many parents/guardians of our Kindergarten learners later this week.  Thank you for being a partner in your child’s education.

Mary Beth Pelosky
Please follow me on Twitter: @NTMPrincipal  @NTMKnightsAPS