Dolphin Parent Connection

May 2019 Volume 4, Issue 9

Preparing for the SOLs

In a few short weeks, the SOL testing season will be upon us. The scheduled dates are shown below. We want to make sure you understand how we are preparing your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader. The most obvious and effective way has been through the work your child has put in all year. We do not spend the year simply preparing your child for a test. Instead, we spend the year helping your child master the required grade-level academic skills determined by the state and district and helping your child continue to grow both emotionally and socially. Our belief is that if we focus on these two key aspects, the Virginia SOLs will take care of themselves.

We also know, however, that there are strategies specific to taking tests that will not only benefit your child on the Virginia SOLs but also on future tests in school and life. Therefore, you have probably noticed that your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader has begun reviewing for the SOLs and may have practice in a test-like format for homework. This work, undoubtedly, helps your child review the content, but more importantly, we want students to practice the test-taking strategies they have been learning in school. While each subject and grade uses a variety of test-taking strategies, we will once again use the acronym "B.R.E.A.T.H.E." to remind our students of the most important ones. Please see the graphic below for an explanation of the acronym. We will be talking about these strategies on the morning announcements, and the teachers will be talking about them in the classroom.

We firmly believe that preparation is the best prevention for anxiety and apprehension. If an adult or student feels prepared for the task ahead, they are more likely to experience less anxiety. Our goal is that every student feels prepared, both academically and emotionally. Having a firm grasp of the academic content and a strong understanding of effective test-taking strategies will help your child feel prepared. Lastly, we ask for your help in ensuring that your child has a good night sleep before testing, eats a protein-rich breakfast the morning of testing, and wears comfortable clothing to school on the day of testing. These steps will also help create the best possible testing conditions for your child.

If you have any questions as we approach testing, please reach out to me or Mrs. Nicole Keros.

Thank you,

Dr. Michelle Miller

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Upcoming Events and Important Dates

May Is...

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

· Wednesday, May 1st-Tuesday, May 7th: Spring BOGO Book Fair

· Wednesday, May 1st: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 1st: Helping Hands Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, May 1st: Young Authors Night @ 6:00-7:00 PM

· Thursday, May 2nd: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, May 2nd: Kindergarten Field Trip to Cullipher Farm

· Thursday, May 2nd: Grade 1 "Ready, Set, Grow" Outreach

· Friday, May 3rd: Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast @ 9:00 AM

· Monday, May 6th--Friday, May 10th: Teacher Appreciation Week

· Tuesday, May 7th: 5th Grade Field Trip to Williamsburg

· Wednesday, May 8th: School Nurse Day

· Wednesday, May 8th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 8th: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 8th: Anchored4Life Club at 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, May 9th: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Thursday, May 9th: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, May 9th: Chorus & Strings Concert @ 6:30 PM

· Friday, May 10th: Progress Reports Issued

· Friday, May 10th: SCA Elections Held

· Friday, May 10th: PTA Spring Fling @ 5:00-8:00 PM (Hunt Club)

· Tuesday, May 14th: SOL Testing Begins

· Tuesday, May 14th: SCA Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, May 15th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 15th: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 15th: Helping Hands @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, May 16th: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Thursday, May 16th: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Tuesday, May 21st: Grade 2 Field Trip to Cullipher Farm

· Wednesday, May 22nd: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 22nd: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Thursday, May 23rd: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Thursday, May 23rd: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Monday, May 27th: Memorial Day--No School

· Tuesday, May 28th: PTA Board Meeting @ 1:00 PM

· Wednesday, May 29th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 29th: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM

· Thursday, May 30th: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

PTA News

Note from the PTA President: Happy Spring! We are nearing the end of our school year! The Red Mill PTA executive board would like to thank you, our school families, for your support this year through joining the PTA, attending events, and even volunteering your time and money. Our entire board, including myself, was new to this venture. It’s been a learning process, but we are enjoying providing fun and educational events for our students as well as helping in fundraising efforts to provide a state-of-the-art learning environment. Below, you’ll see ways that you can help next year. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about the volunteer positions and know that we truly appreciate the help.

Upcoming PTA-sponsored Events:

  • Spring Fling: Our Spring festival will be held at Hunt Club Farm the evening of Friday, May 10 from 5:00 – 8:00… and we’ve had an overwhelming response from Red Mill families. Please remember to carpool if possible because of limited parking. We do need some volunteers to help with the check-in process. It would require one hour of your time. You can sign up through the Red Mill PTA Facebook page or click this link to sign up:

  • Teacher Appreciation Week: The PTA will be honoring Red Mill’s teachers and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week: May 6th-10th. We will be providing teachers with lunch on Tuesday, May 7th. We will also be providing teachers with a Trail Mix Bar on Wednesday, May 8th. We are looking for items to be donated for the Trail Mix Bar. Please send in all items by Friday, May 3rd. If interested, please go to this link to sign up.

  • 5th Grade Parents Needed: The end of the school year is of course a special one for 5th graders! We could use a few parents to help with the End-of-year 5th Grade Social and Crossing Over Reception. For more info, contact or Jen Cardona at:

  • Summer Reading: Summer will be here soon! Remember, the PTA sponsors an ice cream social in September for those who read at least five books over the summer. Simply have your child write a log of what they read or print out their log from the Public Library Reading Challenge if they choose to participate in that.

  • Reflections 2019-2020: We know the Fall schedule can get hectic. That’s why we’re announcing the theme to next school year’s PTA Reflections contest now! Next school year’s theme is “Look Within.” Categories include: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts. For more info, see this website:

  • Recent past events: We really enjoyed seeing all the talent at our Dolphin Splash Variety Show last month! Thank you again to Anna Walker, Alex Gilligan, Sue Tobin, and all who helped make it a success and, of course, all our students who worked so hard.

Latest Updates:

*Check out our Facebook page. Search “Red Mill PTA” and look for the dolphin cover photo or use this link:

Next school year 2019-2020: The PTA can’t provide these types of events without volunteers, so please consider how you can help – whether it would be for a position on the PTA board or chairperson for an event. There are many positions to be filled. E-mail if you have any questions about these positions or if you’re ready to sign up!

Year-Round Positions Available:

1) Secretary

2) Copy Room Coordinator

3) After-School Club Chairperson

4) Corporate Programs/Fundraising (Box Tops, Amazon)

Seasonal Positions Available:

1) Reflections Art Contest Chairperson (Fall)

2) Winter Family Fun Night Coordinator (Jan & Feb)

3) Winter Wonderland Chairperson (for overall event in December)

4) Winter Wonderland Kids’ Craft Leader (Nov/Dec)

5) Winter Wonderland Silent Auction Co-Chair (Nov/Dec)

6) Dolphin Academy Co-Chair (Spring)

7) Talent Show Chairperson (Spring)

8) 5th Grade Crossing Over Co-Chair (May/June)

9) 5th Grade Social Chairperson (Spring)

Field Day Is Coming

Mark Field Day on your calendars! This year will once again be an all-day event on Wednesday, June 12th. We will need volunteers to help make it a success. The volunteer sign-up list will be sent out in a couple of weeks.

Order Your Yearbook Now!

You can still pre-order your standard yearbook by picking up a yearbook form in the main office. Preorders for standard yearbooks will still be collected at school until yearbooks arrive. Yearbooks should arrive the first week of June. Extra yearbooks will be sold until they are all sold out!

Cinco de Mayo in the Red Mill Cafe

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School Counseling Program Notes

Students in grades K-2 will work on honing the skills of being thinkers and inquirers during the month of May. Just in time for state testing, students in grades 3-5 will be revisiting coping strategies. Fifth grade students will also continue their preparation for middle school - please encourage your fifth grader to see me with any questions about the transition!

Did you know that our Anchored4Life club provides resources for families experiencing a deployment? Be sure to let your child’s classroom teacher know about upcoming deployments to take advantage of this valuable (but free!) tool.

Please feel free to contact me by phone (648-3572) or e-mail ( if you have any questions or concerns.

Every Kid in a Park

Every Kid in a Park is sponsored by the National Park Service and is available to fourth grade students. Every Kid in a Park provides one free Every Kid in a Park pass to fourth grade students through August 31 of the school year. This pass admits the student, any other youth under the age of 16 and up to three adults to any site which charges an entry fee. For more information, or to print a pass, visit:

Red Mill Fifth Graders Raising Money for Vanguard Landing

Red Mill Elementary Fifth Graders Derek Stevens & Nick Bus are raising funds via Give Local 757 for Vanguard Landing in honor of Nick's older brother, Noah, who has Down Syndrome. Vanguard Landing (VGL) is an amazing charity that is raising funds to build a 75 acre inclusive community right here in Virginia Beach for adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities where they can live, work and play. Their campus will offer both residential and day programs. The need is great for this community to be built as seen from the waiting list to get in to VGL. And the need is NOW. Please, consider supporting this extraordinary charity with any amount - even $10 or $20 will make a difference if we all pitch in. It truly does take a village. Join us (Team Legacy) & be a part of leaving a legacy for our neighbors. Contribute to Vanguard Landing and help Derek & Nick reach their goal of raising $2000 on Giving Day - Tuesday May 14th! You can go to the below website and schedule your donation now for May 14th.

Thanks! Derek & Nick

Virginia Beach Public Library Summer Newsletter

Camp Invention at Red Mill This Summer

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), Red Mill Elementary School is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention® program to children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. It’s an exciting, week long summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children work together to create solutions to real-world problems and build critical 21st-century skills while rotating through several high-energy, hands-on modules.The campy will run July 15th--19th from 8:30 AM--3:00 PM. Register using promo code PLAY15LISTING to save $15 (expires 5/10) OFF $235. Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so register early. Register here for Camp Invention at Red Mill Elementary

Introducing our NEW 2019 program,SUPERCHARGED!

Camp Invention is a high-energy, hands-on STEM camp. Your child will love what’s in store this year:

  • CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING Children team up to rebuild ships and design underwater equipment in Deep Sea Mystery™.
  • STEM APPLICATION In DIY Orbot™, participants explore circuit boards, motors and gears as they design a remote-control bot to take on obstacles from sports to dance.
  • INNOVATION Children collaborate with inventor superheroes and take on the role of engineers, fabricators and innovators to conquer villains in Innovation Force™.
  • CONFIDENCE Kids become successful entrepreneurs in Farm Tech™, as they code bots to turn a polluted wasteland into a money-making machine and create devices to save animals.

Other Summer Camp Information

Worth A Second Look

Upcycling News

We are currently Upcycling things that you can’t recycle at home:

  • Plastic bags (grocery bags, vegetable bags, dog food bags and any bag that doesn’t crinkle): These items cannot be recycled by the City of VA Beach so please consider bringing them to us so that we can recycle them through Trex.
  • Egg Cartons: We give these to our local egg farmers.
  • Shoes: We donate to a local dog rescue, and the shoes go to third world countries where families can start their own shoe businesses.
  • Please note that we are not collecting batteries. Batteries can be taken to the local library for recycling.

Not Receiving Text Messages?

Our records indicate that several families are not receiving text messages from the school with important reminders and transportation changes. If you have not received any text messages from Red Mill this school year, you may have not yet Opted in to receive text messages. See below for directions on how to Opt In or Opt Out of text messages.

How do I know if I have Opted-in?
You can check if you are opted-in by texting “Y” or "YES" to 67587.

How do I opt-out?

You may opt-out at any time by texting “STOP” to 67587.

What if I opted-out but later decide I would like to opt-in again?
As long as your child’s school has your text-enabled phone number on record, you may request to begin receiving text messages by texting “Y” or "YES" to 67587. If the school does not have your text-enabled number on record, you will need to contact the school.

See full FAQ at or

Student Electronic Resources

Wondering what educational resources your child is accessing while using his/her Chromebook at school? Click the link below to see a listing of some of the division resources students are using at school. Most of these resources are also available at home for students through Clever. If you have questions regarding students' technology use, please send questions to with the subject line "Technology Use." We will continue to highlight additional electronic student resources in future issues of Dolphin Parent Connection.

Dismissal Change Reminders

Our staff works hard to ensure each child makes it home safely every day, but we need your help. As a reminder, if there is to be any change in dismissal procedures for your child, whether it is an early pickup or going home a different way, please have your child give his/her teacher a parent note first thing in the morning (preferred way) indicating the change. You may also email the office before 2:10 PM with the dismissal change at the following address: Please do not simply email your child's teacher or use Class Dojo for communicating dismissal changes. Teachers are busy teaching and cannot guarantee that he/she will see the electronic communication. Also, if your child is involved in an after school activity and cannot attend on a particular day, a note is needed indicating that your child will not be staying for the activity. Otherwise, we must assume your child should be staying after school .

School Cafe

If you would like to do any of the following regarding your child's lunch account, please visit

  • Make Payments
  • Set up Auto Pay
  • Set Purchase Restrictions
  • Get Low Balance Alerts
  • Submit Applications
  • View Purchases
  • View Menus

Destination Graduation

Students and their parents are encouraged to visit the Academic and Career Planning webpage to view and engage with K-12 career resources, middle and high school academic and career planning documents, and career pathway guides. Likewise, the Destination Graduation site offers students and families grade-level specific information and resources to help students and families navigate the journey from preschool to high school graduation.

Accessing School Resources From Home

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