From the Castle

Parent Newsletter for Thomas Dale High School-June 2019

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Greetings from the Castle!

Knight Families and Community Members,

June has arrived! Although the end of the year did not sneak up on us, it has definitely come in a hurry! On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff of Thomas Dale High School, I want to thank you for an awesome year! For the last From the Castle of the school year, I wanted to take some time to celebrate our accomplishments.

As I've shared before, our school focuses on 5 "levers" to ensure that we are constantly improving and working to reach our potential: Positive, Healthy, and Joyful School Culture; Collaborative Processes for School Improvement; High-Quality Instruction; Student Voice and Leadership; and Community Engagement. I wanted to re-cap the work we did with these 5 levers in 2018-2019, and over the summer, I will share with you our work that will continue into 2019-2020.


Positive, Healthy, and Joyful School Culture

  • Focus on relationships

  • Morning Meeting

  • Clubs/Activities Meetings

  • Genius Hour

  • Empathy Interviews

  • Appreciation, Celebration, and Recognition

Collaborative Processes for School Improvement

  • Formation of organizational teams: Administrative Team, Instructional Leadership Team, Principal's Advisory Council, Culture by Design Team

  • Common Planning for Subjects in the Master Schedule

  • Focus on Effective Communication and Shared Leadership

High-Quality Instruction

  • Instructional Coaching (Administrators)

  • Increase in Observation/Feedback

  • Building Instructional Leadership Capacity (ILT)

  • Professional Development Pathways

Student Voice and Leadership

  • Formation of Student Advisory Council

  • Students in our Professional Development sessions and luncheon

  • Empathy Interviews

  • Students on interview panels to select new faculty/staff

  • Knight Mentors

  • Student Leadership Conference, Leadership Workshop

Community Engagement

  • Formation of Community Partners Committee

  • Job Shadow Day

  • Genius Hour Facilitators

  • Meet-and-Greets, Coffee/Snacks with Principal, 100 days presentation

  • Social Media

As a school dedicated to continuous improvement, we need to know how you feel we are doing. Please take a few minutes to fill out a quick feedback survey and let us know! Click HERE to give us your feedback!


Don't forget to follow us on Twitter: @GoTDKnights, Facebook: Thomas Dale, Instagram: @GoTDKnights, and SnapChat: @GoTDKnights. Our website is updated regularly for more information:


  • EXAM SCHEDULE. Please click HERE for the Exam Schedule.
  • Thomas Dale is proud to be a high-quality public educational setting and center of the Chester community. Because of the nature of our service and purpose, there are a few reminders about what is not permitted on school grounds at any time: weapons, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products of any kind (including vapor).
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Kindness and Integrity

Now, more than ever, our children need a sense of purpose and a belief that anything is possible!

As part of our shared vision, Thomas Dale Knights will develop a deep-seated belief that anything is possible. This begins with having a Growth Mindset - that through hard work, persistence, effort, grit, and resilience, we can learn, improve, and grow; that our abilities are not fixed. Recently, our Homeroom teachers during Monday Morning Meeting engaged our students in dialogue about Growth Mindset.

Although a teenager's greatest source of influence is their peers, you still have the power to impact their choices - particularly in their belief about how to improve. I ask you to engage your child in dialogue about how they react to difficulty, how they persist in the face of adversity, and how they approach a problem they face.

We will continue to use Morning Meeting time next year to explore other topics and issues that we face and how to work through them and be a better version of ourselves as a result of dialogue with others.

I intend to help our students develop and embody a growth mindset. Each interaction we have contributes directly to our students' learning and achievement, our school culture, and to the future of our society within and around Chester. This matters to me, and I need it to matter to you as well. If you would like to keep the conversation going with your child's teachers, counselor, administrator, or ME...I encourage you to do so!

Click HERE for the video: Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset.

Click HERE for the facilitation guide, there are 5 good questions to use when having this conversation with your child.


From the Library

Please see flyers below for information about summer reading. Also, click HERE for a pdf version of Summer Reading Bingo!

For more information on the Thomas Dale Library Summer Reading Program, check out this link.

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Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2019!!!

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Upcoming Events

Stay connected to OUR CALENDAR and mark yours!

June 1 - Outdoor Track State Championships (Todd Field, Newport News)

June 2 - Graduating Class Baccalaureate (Main Auditorium, 3pm)

June 4 - Early Release Day (Bell Schedule)

June 4 - Chromebook Collection

June 4 - Graduation Practice (12:15pm)

June 4 - Boys Soccer State Quarterfinal (7pm, Virginia Beach)

June 5 - No School for Underclassmen

June 5 - Graduation (10am, VCU Siegel Center)

June 6 - Summer School Registration (9am-2pm, Main Library)

June 10 - Underclassmen Exams, 1st Period and 2-Even (Dismissal at 12:35pm)

June 11 - Underclassmen Exams, 2-Odd and 3-Odd; Odd Tech Center Exam (Dismissal at 12:35pm)

June 11 - PTSA Meeting (6pm, Main Library)

June 12 - Underclassmen Exams, 3-Even and 4-Even; Even Tech Center Exam (Dismissal at 12:35pm)

June 13 - Underclassmen Exam, 4-Odd (Dismissal at 10am)

June 14 - No School; Make-up Exams Only (Dismissal for make-up exams will be 10am)

Stay In-the-Know! Click below for previous issues of From the Castle.