Dolphin Parent Connection

January 2021 Volume 6, Issue 5

Message from the Principal

Hello Red Mill Families,

Happy New Year!! We hope everyone enjoyed a restful winter break. The month of January is a busy one for our students and teachers. Attendance will be important as students will be taking mid-year assessments to monitor progress (see below) and completing assignments for the second quarter report cards. The time from now until Spring Break is a crucial time in your student's learning. Even in the midst of the pandemic, it is important that students are reading daily, attending and engaging in their virtual instruction, and completing assignments in a timely manner. If your child is absent, please continue to report absences to the Red Mill office indicating the reason for the absence by calling 648-3560 or emailing

As we get back into the swing of our virtual learning routines and await decisions from the School Board regarding the return of Option 1 students face-to-face, here are some reminders:

  • Attendance counts on Mondays, so students must login and review the Monday Morning Message for directions on learning expectations and assignments to complete.
  • "Live" instruction is Tuesday- Friday starting at 8:20 AM each day. Students are expected to be on time and present for live instruction throughout the school day including PE, Music, and Art. Setting multiple alarms or having the daily schedule posted in the student's learning space may help you and/or your child to remember the day's learning events.
  • Ensure your child has a quiet learning space free from distractions like TV, video games, pets, other siblings, or food.
  • During live instruction, students' cameras should be on and the student should be visible. They should be actively participating and asking questions as needed.
  • Be sure your child demonstrates his/her knowledge. It can be tempting to help by giving hints or reminders to your child but that doesn't allow teachers to get an accurate assessment of what your child knows independently. Thanks for your help with this.
  • It is also important for students to shut down and charge their Chromebooks daily.

We are here to support you to make your child's virtual learning routine something that works for your family. We do realize that there are families facing medical or housing emergencies, and other situations related to the pandemic.

I want you to know that we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to your child's teacher, our school counselors, and our office team if we can be of any assistance to your family. Your child's social emotional needs are important to us, and we want to partner with you. We also invite you to check out the free parent resources listed below. I personally plan to sign up for the parent webinar from Love & Logic. I have utilized their resources in the past and have always found them very helpful. If you are a military-connected family, free tutoring is also available (see info below) funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Michelle Miller


Congratulations to Two of Red Mill's Rock Stars.

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

· Monday, January 4th: Asynchronous Virtual Learning Day

· Tuesday, January 5th: Return to Live Instruction

· Wednesday, January 13th: SCA Leadership Council (selected 5th graders) meet virtually @ 2:50 PM

· Monday, January 18th: Martin Luther King Day: No School & No Asynchronous Work assigned this day

· Monday, January 18th: ALL Gifted and Academy Programs (Plaza IB MYP, Old Donation School, Gifted Art, & Dance) Due by 5:00 PM

· Week of January 25th: The Great Kindness Challenge (More details coming soon)

· Tuesday, January 26th: Make-up Picture Day 9:00-11:00 & 4:00-5:00 (Those taking retakes and make-ups must sign up for a time HERE.) Picture Day Code is EVT7X6WX9.

· Friday, January 29th: End of Second Nine Weeks

· Friday, January 29th: Volunteer of the Year Nominations due to Red Mill PTA (see PTA section below)

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Red Mill Elementary YouTube Channel

Click here to watch our Virtual Morning Announcements

Free Parent & Student Resources

Encouraging Good Behavior with Positive Rewards

As we begin a new year, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the hard work and dedication that our students have shown. This has been a very demanding year for both students, teachers, and families. The thought that children should be rewarded for doing what is expected has been a common faux pau as we tend to expect children to “do what they are supposed to do” just because we have asked. Why give a reward for doing what is expected?

Over the next few newsletters, we will be providing a series of informational articles to help build positivity and behavioral momentum both at home and within the school setting. Positive reward systems not only build students’ intrinsic motivation and confidence, but it is an extremely effective discipline tool when used consistently. We hope you will follow this new section as 2021 starts fresh. Click this link to read more about why rewarding good behavior is something you should consider!

School Counselor Corner

January is an exciting time for our 5th grade students, as they will finally register for middle school courses! Students will complete registration using a Google Form, and parents will be able to view these selections by accessing their student’s e-mail account. Please note that the application deadline for ALL Gifted and Academy Programs (Plaza IB MYP, Old Donation School, Gifted Art, & Dance) has been extended to January 18th – it is not too late to apply!

Students in grades K-4 will learn how to turn those New Year’s resolutions into achievable goals, with a focus on the SMART goal format. Please see the attached resource for additional information on SMART goals and a template – you may even find it useful yourself!

Save the date for the Great Kindness Challenge, January 25-29, featuring many activities based in the home or virtually. More information will be coming soon!


Erin Whitt and Karen Racicot

Attention 5th Grade Parents: Middle School Options Information Flyer

Gifted News

Office Hours for Students:

Mondays 8:45-9:15 Google Meet code RMENAT

Email anytime at

2020-2021 Gifted Screening Information for 1st and 5th Grade Students:

Grade 1: There are currently no updates regarding a make-up screening for Red Mill 1st grade face-to-face option 1 students. Information for gifted screening of grade 1 remote option 2 students also has not been updated. If you are planning to have your child considered for gifted services for grade 2, please submit the application using the link below.

Grade 5: To ensure consideration for gifted services, all fifth-grade students enrolled in Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) are screened, using the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), for possible gifted intellectual program identification. Due to time restraints caused by returning to in-person instruction later in the school year than usual, we will be unable to screen fifth grade students. Therefore, if a parent/guardian would like their student to be considered for gifted services, they may initiate the referral by submitting an online application available at

Application: The newly revised application is now available at

*Student's current school log in credentials (user, password) are needed to access the application.

Application Deadlines:

  • Students currently in Grades 2-5: Monday, January 18, 2021 5:00 p.m.
  • Students currently in Grade 1: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 5:00 p.m.
  • Visual Arts Program Portfolio: February 1, 2021 5:00 p.m. *completed student portfolios should be turned in to Mrs. Natividad at Red Mill by this deadline.

Gifted Application FAQs: *identified gifted students applying for ODS and tested within the last two years will not be retested

ODS Selection Process Info:

Red Mill's Tentative Gifted Testing Dates:(applicant parents will be notified of any changes)

Current Grade 2-5 applicants Thursday, February 11, 2021

Current Grade 1 applicants Thursday, March 25, 2021

Gifted 2.0

Food Service Menus

The USDA has extended our ability to provide meal service at no charge for all children (under the age of 18 years) at all VBCPS schools. While students are in school for face-to-face instruction, students can receive a free breakfast or lunch. If receiving virtual instruction, VBCPS Food Services is providing meals for pick-up Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30, with the Friday bag containing meals for Saturday and Sunday. Beginning December 1st, weekday bagged meals distributed by VBCPS Food Services will also include a supper meal. If a different pickup time is needed, please contact our cafeteria manager, Diane Swan, at to make other arrangements. The menus for January are posted below.

PTA News


Nominations Wanted. Do you know someone who would be a perfect fit for this title? Red Mill Elementary will be recognizing one person as the "Red Mill Volunteer of the Year," and we would like you to think about who is deserving of that award. Tell us how your nominee positively impacts our school and its students. You may also consider giving us additional information like other duties he/she has or any obstacles he/she overcomes in order to meet volunteer obligations. Please e-mail your nomination to: by January 29th. Type "Volunteer of the Year" in the subject line.

Easy Fundraising

Please link your Harris Teeter Vic Card, download the Box Tops app and scan your receipts and link your Amazon Smile account to Red Mill PTA.


Please “like” our Facebook page in order to receive the most current PTA information.

Joining the PTA

Please go to the following website to pay your $5.00 dues. You will receive a Papa John’s coupon code for joining. The code will be emailed to you after you pay your dues.

Need Ebook Options for Your Students? Click Below for a Summary of Options.

Having Trouble with Your Chromebook?

Please contact our Technology Support Specialist, Sue Thuma, if your child's Chromebook has an issue, such as speakers, headphone jack, touch pad, keys, etc. You can reach her at

Looking for Support from Our Military and Family Life Counselor? Click Below.

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Accessing Student Report Cards

As a reminder, student report cards are available for parents to view in ParentVue. Log into ParentVue and choose "Documents" from the drop down menu. A screen shot is provided below. If you have not signed up for an account, go to
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VBCPS Media Opt-out Form

Guidelines for Student Participation in Virtual Learning

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 4, student cameras must be turned on at the beginning of class for teachers to verify attendance. In addition, cameras should be left on during live instruction and group work and may be turned off during independent work.

The Department of Technology is working on a solution for students to be able to either blur their background or to use a virtual background when their Chromebook camera is activated for video conferencing via Zoom or Google Meet. In the meantime, parents are encouraged to assist their children with identifying a suitable location in their home when engaging in synchronous instruction.

If you wish to discuss these requirements or have specific concerns, please contact your child’s principal, who will work with you to resolve those concerns.

2020-2021 Student Face Coverings and the Code of Student Conduct

For the 2020-2021 school year or until further notice, all students are required to wear a cloth face covering at bus stops, on school buses, and in school buildings unless they provide documentation from a healthcare provider that they are unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition. Face coverings are subject to the same expectations outlined in Policy 5-41 and may not depict lewd graphics, display offensive or obscene language, advertise alcohol or an illegal substance, or have any gang-affiliation. With the same parameters a face shield is an acceptable substitute, if a cloth face covering cannot be used. Staff is required to direct the student to place the face covering over the mouth and nose. When a student is not wearing a face covering nor wearing it properly, the teacher shall tell the student to wear the face covering and/or to do so properly. Should a student refuse to wear a face covering after being told to do so by staff, then the student will be cited for violating the COSC.

Not Receiving Text Messages from the School?

Our records indicate that we still have some families 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.

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.