The Cougar Call

John B. Cary Newsletter: June 2021

Chalk Talk with Principal Powell

Quote: “Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.”-United Nations Declaration

A Letter to our Young Cougar Scholars

Dear Young Cougar Scholar,

I am writing this letter to you as your Principal or soon to be Principal. I want you to know that I consider myself as a Curator of your dreams and am working to provide a school environment that supports your development as an innovator and scholar. So I want you to know that at Cary Elementary we care about who you are and who you are becoming.

Young Cougar Scholar I want you to hold fast to your dreams. Please understand that big thinkers hear the word NO a lot. But also understand the world will only get better with your innovation, with your big idea. I encourage you to test your big ideas while you are in school. Know that as you matriculate through Cary ES, I will ask you every day, “What question did you ask?” Asking questions is one of the best ways to move closer to your big idea and your dreams.

Young Scholar I want you to know there will be tough times. Big thinkers often have to endure cheers and jeers. However, know that you have the right stuff to persevere and be successful. With disciple and focus you can and will bring your dreams to fruition.

Lastly, Young Cougar Scholar, I want you to think about your own thinking. These are two habits that will help you to fine tune your big idea or dream. One, keep a notepad near your bed. This is a great idea because ideas may come to you before you go to sleep and sometimes when you wake-up. Try it and let me know what you think. Idea number two, keep a journal. Writing in a journal serves as a great way to capture thoughts. Try this… After class or after a fun activity, write down your thoughts about what you just experienced. Oftentimes, there are great ideas or problems that need to be solved that will lead to your big innovation.

Cougar Scholar, the world is waiting on you. Be the big thinker you are destined to be. Be the best Young Cougar Scholar. Live up to your full potential. Have a great summer!!

Principal Powell

Curator of Children’s Dreams

Scholarly Success with Dean Singleton

Happy June to all scholars and families! We are extremely excited to close out the 2020-2021 virtual school year strong. Kudos to all our scholars, families, teachers, staff, and community partners for the ongoing support. Below is the information for the massive end of year RPS collection event. Please plan accordingly.

As we continue through the final marking period, please keep in mind that our school-wide goal is for all scholars to be present and on time EVERY DAY. Attendance is imperative as we progress through end-of-year testing. Below is a list of upcoming testing dates. Please encourage all scholars to do their best work.

Important Testing Dates:

  • June 7 - 17: In-Person SOLs or Virginia Remote Student Progress Test

RPS will offer summer sessions of virtual tutoring for students in grades kindergarten - 8 at no cost to RPS families! Sessions are from July 12 - August 12 and students will be paired with an RPS teacher for reading and math tutoring. All tutors are certified RPS teachers including LIEP and Exceptional Education teachers. All sessions are 45 minutes long and take place Monday-Thursday.

On behalf of the attendance team, we would like to give a huge shout to Ms. Manning’s class for having the top attendance for the month of May. Kudos to your scholars for being present and on time every day. A special thank you to all of this school year's attendance champions. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or feedback. I’m happy to help!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Now-June 17: I-Ready Testing (Grades K-5)
  • June 7-17: In-Person SOLs or Virginia Remote Student Progress Test (Grades 3-5)
  • June 9 at 9 AM, 12 PM and 6 PM: Cary Community Conversation Part 2. Click here to join.
  • June 10 at 6 PM: RPS Scholastic Standout Ceremony streamed via RPS Facebook, RPS en Español (in Spanish), and RPS YouTube
  • June 16: Virtual Field Day
  • June 17 at 2 PM: 5th Grade Drive Thru Moving On Ceremony at Cary
  • June 17-June 24: End of the Year Collection Events at Cary. See flyer below for additional details
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End of Year Collection Events

June 17 - June 24 will be reserved for end of year collection events. Students should turn in all the following RPS issued items items: Chromebooks, laptops, hotspots (if applicable), tablets (if applicable), all device chargers, library books, and instruments (Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades only). Students participating in summer school may keep their Chromebooks and hotspots throughout the duration of summer school. A collection event will be scheduled during the summer to collect their devices. See the flyer below for additional details.
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PTA News

Come join John B. Cary Elementary PTA membership sign ups starting in September! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact PTA President, Timika Vincent at See you soon.

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Mr. Bennett’s Exceptional Education Connection

Summer is almost here!

By now, we have held vertical transition meetings for our 5th graders in special education moving to 6th grade. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can answer any questions about your student’s transition to middle school.

Have a wonderful summer!

Culture and Climate Team

We look forward to having a great reopening in the fall. If you have any suggestions to make our school culture and climate wonderful and supportive please submit them here.


We are so excited for you to check out the activities we have planned this month. Click the links below to check them out!

Encore Schedule for June

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Virtual ENCORE

3rd - 5th Virtual ENCORE

Feel free to visit any of the choice boards used throughout the year for activities your scholar can continue throughout the summer. To access those activities, please click here.

Counselor Connection with Mrs. Cauthorne

Dear Cougar Families,

It is hard to believe that June is here and our school year is coming to an end. What a year it has been! We have navigated uncharted waters and we are now able to see the light at the end of the tunnel as some parts of normalcy return. That being said, many lives have been forever changed over the past year. I am proud to see how our Cougar community came together.

We handled challenges with compassion, grace and flexibility, as we continued to provide students with the best learning opportunities possible. I sincerely thank each of you for your partnership in education. Our teachers worked tirelessly to meet students’ needs this year. Our teachers are truly heroes! Students have shown a resiliency that is unparalleled. Kudos to parents as well for supporting our students through the many changes we have faced this year. Heartfelt congratulations to all!

I look forward to our return in the fall as we come back stronger than ever. To our fifth grade families: I wish you the very best as you head off to middle school and continue your education. Remember….once a Cougar, always a Cougar!

Remember you can contact me at any time by calling the school, (804)780-6252, or emailing me at:

Thank you for all of your patience, understanding, and support this year. We could not have made it without each and every one of you. Congratulations to everyone for finishing up the 2020-2021 school year! From the students to the parents and finally the staff, everyone has done an absolutely amazing job of handling all the situations thrown at them this year. Have a great time this summer with family and friends- enjoy each other and make a lot of fabulous memories!

Kindest Wishes,

Mrs. Cauthorne

School Counselor

Prepare for Your 5th Grader’s Next Step

Will your child be moving up to middle school in the fall? To help him/her get ready:

• Learn about the school. Look at its website and social media together. Sign up to receive updates about operating plans, summer programs and other matters.

• Emphasize opportunities. Help your child learn about middle school classes that mesh with his/her interests.

• Reinforce effective study habits, such as organization, time management and regular review.

Immediate Lifelines

  • RBHA Mental Health Crisis Support: (804)-819-4100
  • YWCA Richmond Emergency Shelter: (804)-643-6761
  • Housing Crisis Hotline: (804)-972-0813
  • Safe Harbor Domestic Violence Line: (804)-612-6126
  • Richmond Child Protective Services: (804)-646-0438
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-(800)-273-8255
  • RPS Family Support Line: (804)-780-6195
  • Feed More Hunger Helpline: (804)-521-2500 x631
  • RVA "211": Visit or dial 2-1-1

Dr. Holland's Learning Studio

Have a wonderful summer! I have put together an art choice board for summer. Choose one a week for summer fun or save them for those days when you really need to be inspired. Remember to do your best work and have fun!

Mrs. Harris’ Bookshelf

Happy June! I can’t believe we are at the end of the year already! I for one, can’t wait to get to my library and meet everyone in person next year! During these last few weeks of June I am going to explore the JBC Summer Virtual Library and introduce students to more summer reading programs. I will also help students create an account for the Scholastic Summer Reading Program. It is free and students can earn prizes and books! Families, if you would like to know more about this program click the image below.

JBC BOOK RETURN - When the pandemic started students were given many books from our library to keep them reading! Please return all library books during the End of Year Collection events hosted from June 17-June 24. I will be outside the school with a tub and families that bring back books will receive a free book and bookmark! I would like to get back as many books as possible for our library!

Keep reading over the summer Cougar Scholars!!!

Mrs. Henderson’s Music Moment

Can you believe we have arrived at the last few weeks of this virtual teaching and learning school year? What an interesting, challenging, and unchartered journey we have taken together; yet, we all hung in there! We persevered! We all learned how to log into classes; present our screens; turn our cameras on; mute our mics; access/navigate so much technology; upload/turn in assignments; use the chat box appropriately,..and the list goes on and on! Whew!

I’d like to let you all know that I have enjoyed being on this journey with you- our students, parents and families; our John B. Cary staff; our RPS district-wide administrators; our school PTA Team; and all of the visitors/guests who took the time out of their busy schedules to share their time, expertise and knowledge with all of us.

Lastly, to our bright and awesome students, please remember that learning never stops. Please take the time - and make the time - to practice your reading, writing, and math skills. In addition, don’t forget to use the knowledge and skills you learned and gained from your Encore classes! Enjoy the outdoors! Explore and enjoy the beauty that nature offers us! Be safe! Stay healthy! Most of all, have an amazing summer!

Click on the link below for some fun summer-learning music activities for all grade levels.

Fitness Fun with Ms. Ward

Wow, it is hard to believe we have almost reached the end of the school year! This year was unique, especially navigating our Physical Education class virtually. Throughout it all, we all persevered. Be on the lookout for details for our Virtual Field Day taking place on June 16! Thank you all for a wonderful school year. Have a great summer and do not forget to exercise 60 minutes a day!
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The Reading Corner with Ms. Hill

WOW! Is it June already? This year has gone by way too quickly.The students have been extremely busy with testing the entire month of May and into the beginning of this month. We are seeing some significant growth for reading and that is amazing!! Kudos to all teachers, students, and families. Parents, thank you for being a constant support for our scholars during this virtual school year. We could not have done it without you. One major aspect about reading is it has to be a collective effort in order for it to be effective. Well collectively... we did an AWESOME job!

Summer Reading Resources

It is important to read to and read with your child during the summer so that he or she does not lose that reading stamina as we approach the next school year. Read for at least 15-20 minutes daily. It is true, the more a child reads, the better they will become and the more words they will know. Please continue to read with your child. Below are a few resources that you can use during the summer. The new Scholastic Homebase computer program is AWESOME! Check it out!

Mr. Harvey’s Math Minds

It’s the end of the school year, and although most students look forward to vacation, the summer months can have a detrimental impact on students’ academic progress. It’s called the “Summer Slide”: skills gained during the school year melt away with the heat. Below are some suggestions to help counter Math “Summer Slide”.

What Can Families Do to Keep Math Skills Sharp During the Summer?

As children's first and most important teachers, families have a major role to play in motivating children to continue to see how math can be applied to the world around them. There are many activities families might enjoy to encourage math all summer long.

What’s for lunch?

Estimate the cost of lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurant by rounding the cost of each item then finding the approximate cost. How close did you get to the total? Did you include tax? How much is that? Sort coins according to type, count the number of coins and then multiply to find the total value of pennies (x 1), nickels (x 5), dimes (x 10) and quarters (x 25).

Weighing in at…

In the dairy section look at the various sized containers holding liquids. How many cups in a pint or quart? Compare a 1/2 gallon to a gallon, etc.

It’s Time!

Summer trips, music lessons, reading, baseball games, and videos are all fun things kids like to do during the summer. Have your child create a schedule of their day, including the start and end times. Have them keep track of the time spent on activities to practice elapsed time. Make it really interesting by having them use an analog clock throughout the day to tell time.

Measure Up?

Measure the four sides of a square or rectangular picnic table using inches, and then add the four sides together to find out how long the table is around. This will reinforce perimeter. Measure two different book lengths using centimeters then inches. Why are the measurements different? What else can you measure outdoors?

Additional Activities: Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4

Summer Virtual Tutoring Opportunities

Virtual tutoring opportunities will continue throughout the summer! Please visit for additional information and check out the flyers below!
RPS Virtual Tutoring
RPS Tutoria Virtual
Technology Quick Fixes

Sometimes your technology just needs a quick fix to be up and functioning. Check out these frequently asked questions to resolve your device issues.

John B. Cary Elementary School

Home of the Cougar scholars. You just can't hide that Cougar pride!