The Roar of the Mountain Lions

Monterey Elementary - September 2023

Principal's Message

Dear Monterey Families,

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! I am thrilled to be welcoming your children back to school! We have had a wonderful start to the school year! Our continued commitment to fostering resilience, perseverance, grit, empathy, and the ability to communicate effectively in diverse learning partnerships will undoubtedly help our students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Our team will continue to embed critical thinking and collaboration across all content areas. We will also continue working diligently to meet the diverse needs of our students through reading and writing in every subject every day. We will emphasize meaningful, timely feedback to help students work towards academic growth and success. All students in grades K-5 will participate in a specials rotation to experience Music, Art, Library, Physical Education, and Spanish. As our school mission and vision states, at Monterey we support our students in not only their academic growth but also their social and emotional growth. Our deliberate work will be to instill tools for self-regulation and emotional wellness. Practices such as naming emotions, communicating needs, self-advocacy, and breathing exercises help our students have ownership over their responses to their emotions. We use a team approach to learning the personal narratives of each student in our care while working in partnerships with their respective families to determine how best to meet the needs of our students.

One of the greatest characteristics of the Monterey learning community is the genuine care and compassion shared between staff, students, and parents. Monterey Elementary is a place where staff and families come together to ensure that the children entrusted to our care grow to be productive, confident, compassionate, members of a global society. I look forward to an amazing year as we seize each day at Monterey.


Morgan Strother

Proud School Principal of Monterey Elementary

Attendance Reminders

If your child will not be at school or will be tardy, please call our main office at 540-853-2933. If your child missed school due to a doctor’s visit, please provide the doctor’s note. We will mark their absence EMD (Excused Medical). The only excused absences that do not count towards “truancy” are excused medical notes and court notes. All other absences are considered unexcused.

The Virginia State Compulsory Attendance Law states that after 5 unexcused absences, the parent will receive an attendance letter from our student support specialist, Mr. Anthony Drakeford. After 10 unexcused absences, a second letter will be sent as well as a meeting will be scheduled with administration and the student support specialist. If your child is experiencing any sick symptoms, please call our school Nurse to discuss a plan of action. Thank you for helping our school community prioritize learning and ensuring that your child(ren) is at school daily.

Car Rider Information

We have a large amount of cars coming through our parking lot in the morning and afternoon. In the mornings, parents and guardians, please remember to have your students ready to leave the car as soon as our staff is ready to take your student out. In the afternoons, we will try to keep the line going as fast as possible. Please look below at our car riders map and the expected flow of traffic if you still need any clarification. We appreciate you following our procedures for safety reasons.

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Code of VA Safety Drills

Each year, Virginia law requires schools to conduct fire drills and lockdown drills. Within the first month, Monterey Elementary will conduct their first round of required drills. As part of these drills, there will be announcements broadcast throughout the school. We ask that parents speak with their children about the importance of taking these drills seriously and following all instructions. We thank you for your understanding as we work to maintain a safe learning environment for our students. The drills will take place as follow:

    • One fire drill in the first 10 school days,
    • A second fire drill at any time within the first 20 school days,
    • One fire drill every month thereafter for the remainder of the school term,
    • A lock-down drill at least once during the first 20 days of school, and
    • Conduct at least two additional lock-down drills during the remainder of the school term.

Message From the PTA

The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is looking forward to another fantastic year as we partner with our school community! The PTA helps provide teachers and students with supplies, supports technology needs, provides funding for guest speakers and school wide events, and sponsors free family functions at school. There is a $5 fee for each member that joins. A portion of this fee pays for local and state PTA membership fees and a portion goes directly to our school’s PTA.

Fall Ice Cream Day:

Friday, September 8th is the PTA sponsored Fall Ice Cream Day. A variety of ice cream will be on sale for $1 during recess. Please send in money on Friday only, exact change is preferred. If you would like to send in extra for a child who forgot, it would be appreciated.

Pawathon (Fall Fundraiser)

The PTA will kickoff the fall “Pawathon” fundraiser on September 22nd. The Pawathon is a walkathon where students seek donations to sponsor them to walk. Students will earn prizes for funds raised. Please be on the lookout for more information coming home with your child on Sept. 22nd.

Why should I join?

As a member of our PTA, you are supporting your student's school and educational successes. You are also a voting member. When you come to a PTA board meeting you can vote on how we should spend funds or how to improve a program. Please consider joining the PTA.

Follow these simple steps to join:

1. Go to

2. Choose the appropriate membership type (ex. Parent, Student, etc. - all memberships are $5.00**)

3. Fill in contact information

4. Click add to cart

5. Either check-out or add more members

6. You are now PTA'ing!!!

** There is a small convenience fee of 68 cents to sign up through Memberhub.

Ways to support the PTA:

Consider linking your Kroger account to Monterey Elementary PTA through the Community Rewards. Kroger will donate a percentage of what you spend to our PTA at no cost to you.

We are always looking for more parent helpers and would love to have your help. Follow the Monterey Elementary PTA Facebook page for information about upcoming meeting and opportunities to help—

PTA Meetings:

If you would like to attend any PTA meetings, please e-mail Ms. Laughlin at for more info on how to access our meetings.


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What's Coming Up?

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Monterey Elementary

Morgan Strother~Principal

Anthony Swann~Assistant Principal