Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – September 28, 2017

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. Joseph Chilton Pearce

Dear Parents and Guardians,

At this point in the academic year, we are well underway in our collaborative efforts to create a classroom community of learners! Mr. Koutsouftikis and I enjoyed seeing such a strong parent turnout for Back to School Night… Thank you for taking the time to share your Hopes and Dreams for your child with their classroom teacher. They offer helpful insight for teachers as they work to get to know each learner on a personal level. Our sincere appreciation 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 instructional space.

Instructional staff has finalized beginning of year assessments and are working together in their Collaborative Learning Teams (CLT) reviewing data for instructional groupings. Mr. Koutsouftikis joined Ms. Pugh, Mr. Giusto, Dr. McCormac and myself in our Responsive Classroom grade level meetings for Knights in grades 3-5. We enjoyed starting off these grade levels RC meetings with an interactive greeting after which Health and PE teacher, Ms. Pugh introduced our NTM rules and expectations:

The 3 T’s:
Take care of yourself – feel happy and safe.
Take care of others -be a friend – include everyone at all times (Buddy Bench).
Take care of Nottingham – respect and use others properties/equipment properly.

Knights were asked, “How are you showing CARES?” We concluded by reminding our Knights that Nottingham CARES:
*You are always part of this community *Your voice always matters *Your actions and words determine your true character *By you being a rule follower, you keep NTM a safe place to learn for all Knights *Always treat others the way you want to be treated *Always think before acting

ImagiLAB Makerspace Lunch Bunches
Knights are S.T.E.A.M.ing ahead in ImagiLAB! Lunch bunches started this week. Librarian Mrs. Gustafson, along with Librarian assistant, Mrs. Koehler will rotate through the grade levels and invite our Knights to come to the library during their recess time to work on fun Makerspace activities. Participation is optional, but any student who would like to attend is welcome. Activities vary depending on the grade level, but all are hands-on and require our Knights to design, problem solve and collaborate. Whole group lessons in the library will also take place periodically throughout the year at every grade level. We are grateful to the PTA for being so generous in supporting our ImagiLAB program, and we are looking forward to a fantastic year of making!

Principal Chat Dates
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 month of school.

10/4/17 – 2nd Grade 8:30 – 9:15 Library
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

Attendance
Thank you for your efforts to share the message that school attendance is important to school and life success. Good attendance will help our Knights develop good personal habits to do well throughout their time here at NTM, as well as in middle and high school, college, and at work. If you need assistance getting your child to school on time and every day they are not sick, please contact Nottingham social worker Elizabeth Brady or Dr. McCormac.

Bike and Walk to School Day, Wednesday., October 4th
Consider starting your day off by joining your child/children in participating in our annual Walk and Bike to School Event to be held Weds., October 4th. Knights are invited to walk, bike, and scooter to school. Once at Nottingham, Knights will receive walker/biker tokens to add to their collection, along with a special walk/bike sticker. They will be entered into a raffle for items including pedometers, bike computers, bike locks, Klean Kanteens and other fun bike and walk regalia! Accommodations are made for our early Extended Day arrivals, and Knights are encouraged to partner with other Knights in the community to travel together along a safe route that morning. Knights that ride a bike or scooter to school are reminded to wear a helmet everyday. Please share with your children that the same sidewalk rules apply around school campuses. Cyclists should be mindful of speed (maintain a low speed) and available space on sidewalks (dismount and walk their bikes when there are too many pedestrians/no space on the sidewalk to ride safely.) As we tell all of our Knights, this is by no means mandatory and we appreciate the extra effort it may take families to have their children go car or bus-free.

Panel Discussion on Anxiety in Children
We hope to see you at next week’s PTA meeting, Tuesday, October 3 in the Nottingham Library. There will be a casual question and answer session with a PTA officer from 6:30-7:00 pm; and the general meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm. Consider staying to attend our Panel Discussion on Anxiety in Children moderated by Elizabeth Brady, School Social Worker and Dr. Mary Beth McCormac, School Counselor.

Upcoming Important Dates to Remember

October 3 PTA hosting Panel Discussion on Anxiety in Children in Library 7:00 PM
October 9 Holiday (Columbus Day)
October 21: Reflections Entry Deadline- Theme: “Within Reach”
October 25: Early Release Wednesday 1:26 p. m,
October 26 and 27: Parent/Teacher Conferences: More details to follow from your child’s classroom teacher next Friday.
October 29: Halloween Parade and Festivities – 1-3 p.m.
November 18: PTA Fall Social and Auction: Knights of Columbus
Theme: Bluegrass & Boots

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

Mary Beth Pelosky
Marybeth.pelosky@apsva.us
Please follow me on Twitter: @NTMPrincipal @NTMKnightsAPS