From the Castle

Family Newsletter for Thomas Dale High School-March 2020

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Greetings from the Castle!

Knight Families and Community Members,


February flew by, and it is hard to believe it is already March! In a few short days, we will change our clocks forward for more daylight as we look forward to warmer days! With the change of seasons comes testing, the excitement of spring break and warmer weather, and the focus on finishing strong. This has been quite the roller coaster of a year, and I look forward to a strong finish!

In this issue, I will provide short videos and guiding questions to help you engage in a reflective dialogue with your child about our recent focus on RESPECT. Within our focus on getting back to basic responsibilities, we addressed three main expectations: Be on time, Be where you are supposed to be, and Be respectful. None of these are new "rules" nor new expectations; I just owed it to our students to define what they actually mean and what they look like at Thomas Dale. I'm sure many of you hear stories from your children about the last week-and-a-half of February at Thomas Dale. It was something I needed to do to set clear expectations for our students. You should be proud; they responded quite well and showed me they are fully capable of holding themselves accountable to these basic responsibilities.

Additionally, mark your calendars with all our upcoming events at the end of this issue, connect with our calendars, and follow us on social media!!!

I believe in you, your children, and our staff. We are working as hard AND smart as we can to deliver on the promise of Every Knight, Every Day! Let's DO this!!!


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:

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  • Send some love to a Teacher or Staff Member! It is a great feeling to receive some love from our families and community! Take some time to send someone at Thomas Dale some love. It is quick and easy, simply click HERE and go!
  • 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).

Connect with the PTSA!

The PTSA is looking for a great parent to fill our Secretary position. If you are interested, please email for more information.

There’s still time to JOIN~ PTSA dues fund lots of activities and projects at the school:

1. Teacher Appreciation activities

2. Scholarships for graduating seniors (applicants must be members to receive)

3. Knights In Need: a pool of funds designated to help students with fees and other issues that are identified by the administration


It’s EASY as 1-2-3

Online membership available!


Student & Teacher Scholarship packets will be available in April. Don’t forget you must be a member of the TDHS PTSA in order to be considered for a $1,000 scholarship award.

Connect with Your Child

Our school wide expectations serve as our definition of what it means to be a Knight.
  • Kindness - We treat each other with compassion, gratitude, and empathy.

  • Accountability - We take personal and social responsibility for our decisions.

  • Respect - We hold ourselves and others in the highest regard, and we leave no trace.

  • Engagement - We are fully present in every experience and interaction.

There were a few things we took time to re-set recently. Take some time to talk with your child about our "back to basics" routines we did during the last week-and-a-half of February. I appreciate your support to help develop their capacity to deliver on some basic responsibilities:

  • Be on time (Accountability)
  • Be where you are supposed to be (Engagement)
  • Be respectful (Respect)

Below are the 5 videos shown each day during the last week of February to our students to define the problem and the expectations regarding RESPECT at Thomas Dale, as well as describe what RESPECT looks like. I recognize that this did not seem to apply to all of our students. First, there were definitely enough students that I needed to go school-wide with this; and, for our students who are holding the standard, I needed them to see that I am doing something about the problem we were having.

I am also including a few talking points with each video to help you engage in meaningful dialogue with your child.

  • Monday's Video (Discuss what RESPECT means to you, what it looks like in your house, and what it looks like within the community)
  • Tuesday's Video (Discuss how you treat "strangers" with RESPECT and how you value relationships with others)
  • Wednesday's Video (Describe a time when you felt disrespected and how it made you feel; Give an example of an interaction that did not go the way you hoped it would. What could have been done differently to make it a better interaction? What, if at all, was your part in the interaction going wrong?)
  • Thursday's Video (List some concrete examples of how you exercise respect as a parent; ask your child to name some things they can do to show respect to others)
  • Friday's Video (Share with your child how you prefer they communicate with you - up front - when they will not be able to meet an expectation, make a deadline, or have issues they need you to know about)

Testing Information

This year is moving so fast and it’s hard to believe that we are now into March, which is the beginning of testing with SOLs and other required assessments. On Wednesday, March 11th, all students enrolled in English 9, 10 and 11 will be administered a Performance Based Assessment (PBA) which is aligned to the English curriculum. Both campuses will operate on the same adjusted Bell Schedule, which includes a testing block from 8:30-11:30. ODD Day Tech Center students will report to the Tech Center as scheduled and Seniors will have a Senior Study Hall (Attendance will be taken for Seniors for the Study Hall). Students should report to school on time, ready to test. Chromebooks will be used for testing so they should be charged the night before; bring chargers as a back-up. Please contact your student’s English teacher if you have questions.

Also, on March 25th, the College Board SAT will be offered free of charge to all 11th graders in Chesterfield County. This national test will be administered during the regular school day. Please contact your student’s School Counselor if you have questions.

More detailed information about these test opportunities will be shared on our social media platforms.

Connect with the Principal

Don't forget to mark your calendar for one of the "Coffee with the Principal" or "Sunset Snacks with the Principal" dates! See below for the dates.

Morning Coffees are held at 7am at the West Campus (use Door 9). Sunset Snacks are held at 7pm at the Main Campus (use Door 1).

I'd love to connect with you and learn about what's on your mind and in your heart!

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Chromebook Chargers

Does your child still have his/her charger?

We still have so many students that do NOT have Chromebooks and/or chargers. Of course, having a fully-charged Chromebook is crucial for daily instruction. It becomes even more important during our testing season, which starts with our English Performance Based Assessment for writing on March 11. Students who do not have chargers from last year can purchase them during lunches in the cafeteria/commons at both campuses on March 9 and March 10. They are $25.00 if you buy them from the school.

Upcoming Events

Stay connected to OUR CALENDAR and mark yours!

Make sure you stay connected on our Social Media outlets as well!

March 3 - No School for Students

March 4 - Sophomore Class Assembly during Engagement (Herff-Jones Class Rings)

March 5 - Medford Basketball during Lunches at Main

March 8 - Daylight Savings Begins

March 9 - Spring Sports Parent Meeting (6:30pm, Main Auditorium)

March 10 - PTSA Meeting (6pm, Main Library)

March 10 - Community Partners Committee (1pm, Main Library)

March 11 - Coffee with the Principal (7am, Door 9 at West)

March 11 - Writing Performance Based Assessment for 9th, 10th, and 11th Grades

March 11 - Vaping Community Conversation (6pm, Main Library)

March 11 - Sunset Snacks with the Prinicipal (7pm, Door 1 at Main)

March 12 - 3rd Quarter Chromebook Check

March 19 - Job Shadow Day

March 25 - SAT for Juniors (Regular Schedule for all other grade levels)

March 26 - Dr. Jones Book Club (7pm, Main Library)

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