Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Aug 5th

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

Welcome to Colt Country!

This is one of my favorite times of the year! We are working so hard to get Colt Country ready for all of our staff! We hope you are ready to saddle up for success!

Preparing for another school year is always so exciting! It is an opportunity to not only meet new faces, both kids and staff, but an opportunity to change their lives. We have the honor to be able to help our kids be successful in life, not just academically, but socially and emotionally. As the super proud principal, I love that I have the honor to show our new staff members why The Farm is the best place to teach!

Our focus this year will be SEL- Social and Emotional Learning. We will have on-going conversations on how to meet the social and emotional needs of our students. Specifically we will unpack what it means to be a Christopher Farms Colt through this specific lens this year. We will be having a specific focus on a character trait each month. We will be RELENTLESS in our efforts to meet the needs of ALL of our students. All while, continuing to give all staff the tools to help with student behavior that center around Love and Logic.

We will continue our SEL work by making Morning Meetings the foundation of beginning each day. Patti Porter and Nicole Yoshida had the opportunity to spend time this June learning about The Responsive Classrooms. We will hear from them during our Monday meetings about why this is so important, and how that connects to PBIS as well as other things we do here at the Farm. Morning meetings will be accounted for in our master schedule. I have personally witnessed great things come from them in our classrooms. Our monthly character trait will be highlighted in our Morning meetings.

"You cannot demand a withdrawal from someone you have never invested in"- Michael Bonner

We have some upcoming dates that we are excited about and hope you can join in!

*We are holding our first Summer Reading Challenge on Tuesday, August 13th. We will be opening up CFES for two different times (Session 1 2:00pm - 3:00 pm) (Session 2 6:00 pm - 7:00pm). During this time, we will be working with some Fractured Fairy Tales, completing a read aloud and fun literacy activities. We are hopeful to get our students brain back in reading mode and giving our families some ideas to do at home. This is the brain child of some fabulous staff members during our last Ed Camp in May. Please email Robyn if you can come volunteer for one of the sessions.

*Our 2nd summer event is the return of Popsicles in the Park. This year we will be visiting 8 parks on Thursday, August 22nd. We will meet at CFES at 12:45 and then carpool together until we end back at CFES. Please see the flyer below. We hope that you can join us for a couple parks!

For now, please continue to enjoy that summer sun and soak up the relaxation. Recharging and self care is vital to having a successful year! Oh yeah, if you have ten minutes, I suggest watching this video of Matthew McConaughey - It is quite powerful :)


Matthew McConaughey - This Is Why You're Not Happy | One Of The Most Eye Opening Speeches

Schedule for upcoming weeks

August 22nd - 1:00 - 4:10 - Popsicle in the Park - Come join in on the fun!

August 23rd - Welcome Back Teachers!

August 27th - Welcome Back all Staff!

August 29th- Open House K-5th, 5:00- 7:00

"When can we get into our classrooms?"

Effective 8/7/19, Rooms 17, 18, 21-32 - are all waxed and will be ready to go by Wednesday, August 7th by 9:00 am!

We will send an Alert Now Text message next Monday and let you know the latest update. We will need to do all hallways in the school so this may take a day or two.

Beginning Tuesday, August 19th, all other classrooms should be ready to go. HUGE kudos to the best summer custodial team in the Beach!

As a reminder, in order to create a welcoming and nurturing learning environment, here are our expectations for classroom set up effective the first day of school:

  • Be cognizant of too many colors/words/posters on the walls. Take a close look at everything you hang and ask, "Is this necessary right now?" Younger brains get over-stimulated and distracted more easily.
  • Is there space to make the room their own? Think of the classroom as a canvas and students can help create together as you collaboratively create the classroom community.
  • There should be no visible stacks of paper. Anything from last year should have been filed away, shredded, or recycled.
  • Cool down spot? Where do your students (with less-developed behavioral coping mechanisms) have as a "safe space" for cooling down?

*New Teachers: you will need board space for learning targets, space for student work, anchor charts, word wall(s) and (K-3) Math Calendar.

Reminder: Be cognizant of the fire code rules and do not have paper protruding from over top of your doorways. All curtains will be sprayed with fire retardant.

Staffing Update

Please welcome the following to The Farm: (Please see our community newsletter for their picture and welcome paragraph)

  • Adriana Cubillos-Greer will be our new 2nd grade Spanish teacher
  • Ana Couce Armada will be the 5th grade Spanish teacher
  • Cindy Matney is our new 1st grade teacher
  • Joy Graham is our 12 month custodian
  • Jacob Boyer will be our 10 month custodian
  • Manny Hernandez is our new Strings teacher
  • Mackenzie Robinson is our new ESL teacher
  • Shacori Conyers will be our 3rd grade Special Ed Assistant
  • Laura Perez will be joining us full time as a PE Assistant
  • Heather Armstrong is our new Kindergarten Assistant

We have been busy this summer interviewing for a variety of positions. We are still working with Human Resources to finalize our last few vacancies. We will be filling Perm Sub, .5 General Assistant, and SPED TEA. Stay tuned....

Beach District Athletic Pass

Effective immediately, the Office of Student Leadership will no longer print Beach District Athletic Passes and distribute them to schools or central office departments. Instead, all school division employees may receive complimentary admission to any regular season athletic event hosted by a Virginia Beach high school or middle school simply by presenting a valid Virginia Beach City Public Schools ID badge at the ticket gate. Complimentary admission will not be offered for post-season events and is extended to employees only. Guests of the employee will need to purchase a ticket to enter the event.

Digital Learning Summit

During August, Instructional Technology Coordinators (ITCs), ITSs and teachers will be providing professional learning for instructional staff in the division. Interested staff should register for the August Digital Learning Summer Summit in Frontline. Once registered, staff will have the opportunity to select from a variety of sessions such as: Schoology, Chromebooks, Digital Breakouts, Transformational Learning, 1:1 Classrooms, GSuite and Planning in the Digital Classroom.

August Digital Learning Summer Summit: Tue, Aug 13 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Larkspur MS

Flex Day for August 22, 2019

The 2019-2020 employee calendar approved by the School Board identified Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, as a flexible staff day. Employees scheduled to work on that day may work a flex schedule.

The flex day only applies to the following group of employees (per the Employee Work Schedule Calendar for School Year 2019-2020): All teachers whose schedule begins on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, Library media assistants and school nurses.

Staff who do not attend on August 22 may extend the workday during the first two weeks in November to prepare report cards and hold parent conferences. The employees will keep a log of time worked and will provide that information to the timekeeper at their school.

• Eligible employees who do not choose to make use of the flex day and who do not wish to report on August 22 may choose to take personal reasons leave with approval of the building principal.

Sick Leave Bank

Virginia Beach City Public Schools offers benefit-eligible employees membership into the Sick Leave Bank. Eligible VRS Plan 1 or Plan 2 employees may enroll in the Sick Leave Bank by donating the hourly equivalent of two (2) workdays of sick leave. Because they are only eligible to participate during their first year of employment, VRS Hybrid employees may enroll by donating the hourly equivalent of one (1) workday of sick leave.

Open enrollment for all eligible employees begins August 1, 2019 and continues through October 15, 2019.

The Office of Employee Relations will contact all timekeepers about the process and will provide them with the attached informational flyer. Additionally, this information will be posted on the VCBPS’ intranet homepage under, “Hot Topics.” For specific details regarding the various sick leave banks, please refer to School Board Regulation 4-45.2, Sick Leave Bank. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Employee Relations located in the Department of Human Resources.


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