Principal’s Notes from Nottingham – Mid Summer Updates

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Here’s hoping you and yours are enjoying a somewhat slower pace to the cadence of your days!  Mr. Koutsouftikis and I have commented that things sure seem quiet around here. He has been able to reconnect with some of our Knights at Tuckahoe’s summer school site and I am enjoying welcoming new families to Nottingham and orienting our new teacher colleagues.

We hope to see you at A Knight to Remember, our Nottingham Family Social Event, scheduled for Thursday, September 1, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. You are welcome to pack a picnic dinner for the whole family and bring your blanket, lawn chairs, and favorite lawn games for some old-fashioned family fun.  Use this opportunity for you and your child/children to reconnect with friends and make new ones!  For dessert, there will be ice cream and popcorn vendors selling treats.  The movie, Zootopia, will be playing in the Multipurpose Room for those who prefer indoor entertainment.

I am looking forward to some beach and family time and will soon be heading up the Northeast corridor to spend time with family and friends. Even principals have summer learning/homework, and this summer is no different. I was fortunate to join other APS principals in attending the Visible Learning Conferences highlighting a literacy focus. This is the very important work of researcher John Hattie and his work on effect sizes as they relate to learning and achievement.

This summer I was delighted to be selected to receive a fellowship to China from the Confucius Institute. I joined a group of eight school leaders from the DC, VA and William and Mary school communities on school visits in Beijing and Shanghai.  It was an amazing experience and I proudly shared our APS and Nottingham instructional best practices while sporting my Nottingham spirit wear in the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

Read for the Win: Off to a Great Start! I wanted to bring you up to date on our library summer reading program. Mrs. Koehler wanted to share the following regarding our first library opening:  We had 56 visitors total, I estimate 40 of those were children. Compared to previous years, our numbers are up! Thank you to Nicole Gustafson for giving your time on Friday and mingling with the families! I have a picture of our bulletin board where Knights wrote their reading goals and book recommendations.   Please join Mrs. Koehler for another opportunity to “Read for the Win!” in Nottingham’s library   tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. This week’s theme is “Reading Takes You Places.” Knights will be invited to create and color a paper flag of their favorite country. Knights will be extended the Olympic size challenge to read a book that takes place in another country or read a book about a culture other than their own.  We want our Knights to keep in mind that history of the Olympics is not just that of a sporting competition but also a way for the citizens of the world to learn about other cultures.

A friendly reminder that Knights and their families are invited to check out up to ten (10) books. This wonderful family activity presents opportunity for parents and guardians to search for “Just Right” and read aloud books with their children. Mrs. Koehler will be ready to further student participation in the Arlington County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, “Read for the Win.” Enjoy a mid-week break with a trip to the school library.

Mark your family calendars for the next two library openings:  Friday, August 5th – 5:30-7pm, Tuesday, August 23rd – 5:30-7pm.  Summer Olympic Information for those of you who love to follow the Olympics: Dates are – August 5 – August 21, 2016

2016 – 2017 Staffing Update

Mr. Koutsouftikis and I hope that you will join us in extending your gratitude to the following colleagues who will be leaving our Nottingham Community of Learners:

  • Melissa Sevier / Grade 4 Teacher:  Thank you for the incredible time I have spent here at Nottingham Elementary. My husband’s Air Force career will presumably relocate us out of the area this coming Fall. I have felt welcomed and supported by the faculty, staff and families here at Nottingham. It has been a true privilege being a part of this phenomenal community the past two years. Thank you for the wonderful memories!
  • Diana Chicas-Garcia / FLES Teacher Thank you Nottingham students for the great year! While I will not be returning to Nottingham in the fall, I will be around the corner working full time at Williamsburg. I have thoroughly enjoyed bonding and learning with my students and will treasure our memories. Keep up the great work Knights and I will see you when it’s your time to become a Wolf!How to Talk to Children About Violence Those of you who follow me on Twitter are aware of the many resources I share with Parents/ Guardians and teachers regarding the socio- emotional gifts and challenges of childhood. In light of the recent tragedies here at home in America as well as abroad, sadly, I believe it its timely to reissue this information to you:  How to Talk to Your Children About Violence:  http://www.apsva.us/post/talk-children-violence/

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

Mary Beth Pelosky, Principal
Marybeth.pelosky@apsva.us
@NTMPrincipal  @NTMKnightsAPS