Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 12/3-12/7

Put Students First • Seek Growth • Be Open to Change . Do Great Work Together • Value Differences

Shout Outs

Shout out to Debbie and Al for working collaboratively with me to make our Writing Performance Task such a success. Going on safari has never been so much fun! - Tammy

Al- I can’t thank you enough for making Balloons Over Broadway nothing short of amazing for my kiddos! Thank you. - Danielle

Karen Ratner- Thanks for helping this mama in a pinch. You’re a lifesaver! - Danielle

Robin Mounce- dates & points, oh my! I don’t know how you keep it all straight, but you do. Thank you. - Danielle

Team Two- so thankful for each of you! - Danielle

Kudos to Viola Olds and Jennifer Pleasant as they assist in a classroom at the last minute and maintain a warm, friendly atmosphere in the teacher workroom even when a machine is broken. Thank you for always smiling too! Patti P.

Shout out to Marcus Bellamy for helping me when I need it. - Mercy

Shoutout to Heather Armstrong for wearing many hats and being a great assistant! Thanks for reading aloud to my class when I lost my voice last week! - Michelle N.

Shout out to Anne Bussierre for giving her time to our 4th graders with the excellent watershed lesson. - Susan

Thank you Darlene Rodriguez for being so patient and accommodating for your students! You truly make a difference in their daily lives! - Jill

Thank you Megan Jones, Jackie Cochran and the SCA for the treats last week! - Jill

Please give a Short Out to Christine Hayes for organizing the Chromebook cords and cart in Mrs. Cochran's room. Thanks.


Shout out to Mr. Richardson! He stops what he’s doing to walk the late-night teachers to the door and watch them get into their cars. What a gentleman! - Patti C.

Thank you Wende for all of your help with the SCA counting money, helping duct tape and more! We appreciate you! -Jackie, Megan and Michelle

Thank you to May, Al, and PE staff for helping SCA with the duct taping of Ms. Backer and Ms. Porter! -Jackie, Megan and Michelle

Michelle Cannuli, Jenna Anderson, and Linda Koetter for all their help in the library while Mary Anne is out. Thanks so much. - Anne

Woohoo, second grade has a printer! Thanks, Robin! - Danielle

Al, Thanks for all the Chatter! - Danielle

If you have any shoutouts, please send them to Ms. Backer and Mrs. Jacobs by Thursday.

Principal's Message for the week:

As we enter December, we enter in a time where we feel like we are stretched in million different directions in the classroom and in our personal lives. We are excited to have full weeks of instruction but, yet, we feel like we are on a hamster wheel as we see winter break in the near future.

Remember, we all have a choice of what we choose to spend our energy on. Let's work together to continue to create engaging lessons that center around student led instruction! This week, I came across this image on Twitter and as the ideas are not anything mind blowing, they were great reminders for us. As you plan for instruction this week - use this image below to reflect and let's take a little advice from the happiest place on earth - Disney - to help keep us focused on our students instead of all of those other tasks.

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Twitter Challenge! Let's learn from each other while we spread Kindness around like confetti! #Coltspride

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Exciting Times

*Shout out to Claire Love for passing the first two components of her National Boards!

*Starting this week, Lori Nye will be joining the CFES family as our part time reading specialist. She will be working with upper grades on Thursday and Friday!

*Starting on December 17th, we will be welcoming Olivia Frierson as our new 1st grade teacher! She comes from Pembroke Elementary School! She will transition with Mrs. Stewart on December 17th and 18th. Mrs. Stewart will begin her new position on Wednesday, December 19th! So Bittersweet!

Colts Pride in Action

As part of our purposeful work to design a school culture where our PRIDE is encouraged and celebrated, each week a staff member or group of staff members will be highlighted for demonstrating one aspect of P.R.I.D.E

Engagement highlight:

BRAVO to 3rd Grade for a rock star Simple Machines expo! The students were so excited to share their cereal box machines! The entire presentation was student mic'd and student led!

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PBIS Corner

As we move into the Second Quarter - our morning meeting corner will take on a new focus of PBIS and some tips, ideas, and thoughts to consider.

As the holiday season approaches, we need to keep in mind that many of our children actually feel more stress at this time of year and students' behavior will reflect the stress. When this is the happiest time of the year for some, it can be the time of year that some actually dread because of their circumstances. We can't fix home-we can't fix crazy. Additionally, we have many deployed service members and the children truly feel the effects with deployments. Not only is it hard on the children, but especially hard on the parents. In those cases, sometimes parents just can't always be at their best. We truly can't change anything about the parents. But, we can focus on the student needs and let them know we are here to help and support them so they can learn. You all do that so well.

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An important note on allergies

The Department of School Leadership has asked principals to share an important safety reminder with our staff. Because many students and adults have sensitivities to fragrances, the use of air fresheners, essential oils, and similar items are prohibited in classrooms. If you have any of these items in your classroom, you will need to take them home. Thanks in advance for your adherence to this guideline. So sorry - I know how much you all love a sweet smelling room

In addition, with with December here and classrooms celebrating different holidays throughout this month, it is VITAL that classroom teachers are up to date and understand all student allergies. Any food that comes into your classroom should be checked and if you have any questions, please call Nurse Jill for a second set of eyes.

Updated Calendar Dates - Master Schedule

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) will use Feb. 18, Presidents’ Day, to make up instructional time lost during Hurricane Michael.

Given the length of time out of school thus far, the division will also extend the first semester from Monday, Jan. 28 to Thursday, Jan. 31. Consequently, the division’s previously scheduled staff day/virtual learning day will now be Friday, Feb. 1 and the second semester will begin Monday, Feb. 4.

Report cards for the second nine weeks/first semester will be sent home Monday, Feb. 11. The 2018-2019 school calendar has been updated to include the makeup day and semester changes .

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches millions of students across the world through a one-hour introduction to computer science and programming.

Here at Christopher Farms, the Hour of Code will begin during the week of Dec. 3rd - Dec. 7th, but we will be extending it just a bit to make sure every child has the chance to code, and have fun doing it. We will be coding until Dec. 17th.

Schedule for upcoming weeks

Dec. 3rd - Dec. 7th

Kindness is our Character Trait

4th Grade Fire Safety This Week

Monday, December 3rd

  • Santa's Workshop Begins (Innovation Lab)
  • Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Yoshida out in the AM
  • Mrs. Backer out in the PM
  • 2nd Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 2:40 - 4:20 - Girls on the Run

Tuesday, December 4th

  • 8:00 - SPED TA PL series
  • 3rd Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 3:00 - PBIS (cafeteria)

Wednesday, December 5th

  • K PLC - Math Focus
  • 1st Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • Girls on the Run 2:40p-4:20p

Thursday, December 6th

  • 4th Grade Fire Safety
  • 10:30 Citizen of the Month Lunches on the stage
  • Mrs. Backer out in the PM
  • 5th Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 2:40 - 4:00 - Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34, Rm 34a, Art Room)
  • 3:00 Spanish teachers PLC

Friday, December 7th

  • 4th Grade Fire Safety
  • Santa's Workshop Ends
  • 4th Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • Supper w/ Santa 5:30p -8:30p


Dec. 10th - Dec. 14th

Monday, December 10th

  • Mrs. Backer out in the AM
  • Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Yoshida out in the PM
  • 2nd Grade PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • 2:40 - 4:20 - Girls on the Run

Tuesday, December 11th

  • 3rd Grade PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • 3:00 - PBIS training (Cafeteria)
  • Specialists grades are due by 5 pm.

Wednesday, December 12th

  • K PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • Mrs. Backer out in the AM
  • 1st Grade PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • Girls on the Run 2:40p-4:20p
  • Teachers grade are due by 5 pm

Thursday, December 13th

  • 5th Grade PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • Mrs. Backer out in the AM
  • Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Yoshida out in the PM
  • 2:40 - 4:00 - Eco Club Meeting (Cafeteria)
  • 2:40 - 4:00 - Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34, Rm 34a, Art Room)
  • 3p - 4p - PTA Meeting

Friday, December 14th

  • 4th Grade PLC - LA focus - attendance/social emotion radar
  • Progress Reports emailed to students performing below grade level (and to anyone else you would like)- please alert your special education teacher if a special education student is getting a progress report.
  • CFES Holiday Party 4:00


Dec.17th - Dec. 21st -

Monday, December 17th

  • 2nd Grade PLC - Math focus
  • 8:30 Coaches Meeting
  • Mrs. Porter out in the AM
  • Mrs. Backer and Yoshida out in the PM
  • 2:40 - 4:20 - Girls on the Run

Tuesday, December 18th

  • 8:00 SPED TA PL
  • 3rd Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 3:00 - Faculty Meeting (All Teachers and Staff) (Cafeteria)

Wednesday, December 19th

  • K PLC - Math Focus
  • 1st Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 8:20a - 9:05a - AM Winter Concert (Cafeteria) (AM-K, 1,2,3)
  • 1:30p - 2:15p - PM Winter Concert (Cafeteria) ( PK, PM-K,4,5)
  • 7p - 8p - Evening Winter Concert (Cafeteria)

Thursday, December 20th

  • Gifted Testing
  • 5th Grade PLC - Math Focus
  • 2:40 - 4:00 - Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34, Rm 34a, Art Room)

Friday, December 21st

  • Adjusted Dismissal @12:10


Past Week

11/26 - Mercyd McBee

11/29 - Jennifer Rockwell

12/2 - Francis Barbarisi


12/9 - Michelle Johnson

12-9 - Janice Beda

12/12 - Nicole Yoshida

12/13 - Mary Stewart

12/21 - Beth O'Brian

12/26 - Fatima Dorbin

12/28 - Wendy Harris

Important Links from the principal packet

Student Centered Literacy Activities

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Celebrating our VBEF Grant Award Winners!

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Keep these coming!

Please check out our form below to see how Mrs. Porter and myself will be celebrating our students and continuing our positive culture and environment.