From the Desk of Mr. Yoshida

Birdneck Elementary Quarter 4 2018-19


Hello Birdneck Families,

I just watched our students leave on the buses for Spring Break and they were super excited about vacation. It's going to be quiet around here and I look forward to their return on April 22nd. When we return, I will be introducing Courtney Wilson, our newest member of our administrative team. Ms. Wilson is coming to us from Hampton City schools and will serve as the administrative assistant working alongside Mrs. Jordan and myself. If you see her when you visit please take a moment to introduce yourself and welcome her to the Birdneck Family. I hope you all have an amazing holiday and take some time to enjoy your families.

This is the Month of the Military Child and we have been celebrating our students here at Birdneck with a spirit week. This month is close to my heart since I grew up a military brat myself. My father spent 33 years in the Navy and he was my hero growing up. I can still hear him saying "RV, you are the man of the house now! Take care of your mom, brother and sister until I get home from the cruise." My family must have moved 6 times before I even made it to first grade. Here at Birdneck our mobility rate is over 40%. Moving and changing schools can be exciting and challenging at the same time so we want to say welcome to all of our new students and families and thank you for joining the Birdneck Family here in Virginia Beach. If there is anything we can do to help you adjust to Birdneck ES or Virginia Beach, please let us know. For those of you deployed this week or sometime in the near future, we wish you the best on your journeys. Please keep in mind that our staff and counselors are always here to help students with these transitions and that we understand what it is like to be a military child.

It is also Arts Month. Our music and art programs here are phenomenal. If you have a chance to see Mrs. Robinson, our music teacher or Mrs. Snell, our Art teacher, please thank them for all they do and for the amazing job they do at our school.

Have an awesome Spring Break,


R.V. Yoshida : Member of the BIRDNECK FAMILY since 2016


April 11 - PTA Skate Night at Haygood 5:30-8:00

April 12 - April 21 Spring Break. School starts again on April 22.

April 26 - Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast 8:30 in Birdneck Cafeteria

April 29 - May 10 2nd Grade Swim Program ( Seatack Rec Center)

May 1 - Language Arts SOL Parent information night

May 6 - 11 Staff Appreciation Week

May 8 - Munchkins with Moms 7:15 am in Cafeteria

May 8 - Kindergarten Field trip to Norfolk Zoo

May 10 - Progress Reports issued

May 16 - Spring music concert/ General PTA meeting

May 16 - School Planning Council and PTA Board Meeting

May 18 - PTA Yard Sale Fundraiser

May 27 - School Closed Memorial Day Holiday

June 6 - Robotics Competition at Convention Center

June 13 - Grade 5 Promotion Ceremony 9:00 am

June 14 - Last Day of School

June 21 - Report Cards Mailed

Grit and Growth Mindset

Helping students have a growth mindset and teaching grit will yield success. All successful people fail and look at failure as a learning opportunity. School work, sports, innovations, job success and any other accomplishments all have the same formula when it comes to success. Hard work and a positive growth mindset have to be present.
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SOL Testing Schedule

May 14 - Grade 5 Reading Day 1

May 15 - Grade 5 Reading Day 2

May 16- Grade 4 Reading Day 1

May 17 - Grade 4 Reading Day 2

May 20 - Grade 3 Reading Day 1

May 21 - Grade 3 Reading Day 2

May 22 - Grade 5 Math Day 1

May 23 - Grade 5 Math Day 2

May 24 - Expedited/Make up Testing

May 28 - Grade 4 Math Day 1

May 29 - Grade 4 Math Day 2

May 30 - Grade 3 Math Day 1

May 31 - Grade 3 Math Day 2

June 3 - Expedited/Make up Testing

June 4 - Grade 5 Science

June 5 - Grade 5 Virginia Studies

June 6/7 - Expedited/Make up Testing

Importance of Attendance and Being on Time to School

Attendance and tardies for many of our students have become a concern here at Birdneck. Our doors open for students at 7:50 am. The BNES news show begins at 8:00 and at 8:10 our official day begins. Students will be considered tardy if they arrive at school after 8:10. It is important that students arrive on time each day for academic and social emotional learning.

We do want students to stay home when sick with a fever, virus or there are family emergencies. However, did you know that attendance not only effects the learning of individual students, it also is a part of accreditation for schools? 30 days is 210 hours of instruction that students can not afford to miss. If students miss more than 30 school days they may be recommended to repeat their current grade. Chronic absences has a direct correlation to students struggling both academically and socially.

It is also very important that all students arrive at school on time and ready to learn by 8:10 each day. It disrupts learning when children enter classrooms after the teacher has begun instruction and students miss the routines that set them up for success for the rest of the day.

2019 STARTALK Elementary Chinese and Russian Summer Academies

The World Languages program of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has been selected to receive funding from the National Security Agency for the 2019 STARTALK Elementary Chinese and Russian Summer Academies.

This is a free, four-week, immersive experience for students which runs from June 24 to July 18 at Kempsville Elementary School. All fourth-grade students are eligible. Students who have attended the academy in prior years (2009-2018) have received national recognition for their proficiency levels after 16 days or less of instruction. Applications will be sent to each elementary school for distribution to all current fourth grade students. In addition, participants from the 2018 STARTALK Elementary Chinese and Russian Summer Academies will be invited to attend advanced sessions, which will run concurrently. With your support and assistance, VBCPS anticipates another successful summer preparing students to become globally competent citizens and critical language learners.

To facilitate the application process, please share the following information with students, parents and staff:

•Printed applications will be ponied to each elementary school by May 1. Upon receipt, distribute the applications to all current fourth graders. Applications are also available for download on the website:

•Applications must be returned by May 24 for consideration. Remind fourth-grade teachers that parents should return the applications to Jennifer Carson, world languages coordinator, in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

•A total of 90 students will be chosen by lottery. Lottery selection will take place May 29 and selectees will be notified by email the same day.

•Busing will be available to all students who attend the program.

•Invitations for the advanced class will be sent to individual 2018 STARTALK participants.

For questions, please contact Carson at or 757-263-1469. Thank you.

What is my child learning in Math - Quarter 4

The 2018-2019 school year ushers in the full implementation of the 2016 Math Standards of Learning! VBOs, content specifications, pacing guides, assessments and supporting documents have been updated to be in alignment with the 2016 standards. Here is a glimpse of what the instructional focus will be during the third quarter.

Kindergarten: Quarter 4 for Kindergarten will start with investigations of fractions. During this unit, students will also finalize counting forward by ones and by tens and decomposing and composing numbers. The final unit of this school year for kindergarten will focus on computation. Students will identify one more and one less than a number, investigate part-whole relationships for numbers to 10, and solve single-step story and picture problems for sums and differences.

Grade One: Students will revisit computation by creating and solving story and picture problems. Computational fluency will focus on part-whole relationships with numbers and basic facts within 10. Students will explore equality as well. Following computation, students will revisit numeration where they will finalize skip-counting by twos and study magnitude of one, two and three digit numbers. The final unit for first grade will cover measuring in nonstandard units and comparing length, weight and volume

Grade Two: The final two units for second grade will cover fractions and probability and statistics. During fractions, students will grow their fractional understanding by naming, modeling and representing fractions and comparing unit fractions. In the probability and statistics unit, students will collect, organize and represent data using pictographs and bar graphs. Then, students will use data to predict probable outcomes.

Grade Three: Measurement will continue into Quarter 4 for third grade. Students will estimate and measure length, volume, weight/mass, perimeter and area in U.S. Customary and metric units. Then, students will move into probability and statistics. During this unit, students will collect, organize and represent data in a variety of ways as well as explore the concept of probability as a measurement of chance and investigate possible outcomes for a single event.

Grade Four: Fourth grade students are continuing to study measurement. During this unit, students will estimate, measure and solve practical problems in U.S. Customary and metric units. Students will also find equivalent measures between units. Fourth grade students will close out the school year with data investigations using bar graphs and line graphs and represent probability with number lines, models and practical problems.

Grade Five: The last quarter of fifth grade will be spent on probability and statistics. Students will study line plots and stem-and-leaf plots. Students will explore measures of center through practical contexts of mean, median and mode. Students will conclude the last unit of fifth grade with a study of sample spaces and using the Fundamental Counting Principle.

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What is my child learning in Language Arts - Quarter 4


KINDERGARTEN: The following “big ideas” will be the focus of language arts instruction:

 Understand fiction tells stories and nonfiction tells facts.

 Retell stories in own words including beginning, middle and end.

 Use word references (e.g., word walls and simple dictionaries) when reading and writing.  Demonstrate comprehension by identifying the topic and simple facts of a nonfiction selection.

 Write in a variety of forms, including writing to inform/explain, to offer an opinion and to narrate an experience (personal narrative).

Students will continue to retell stories, increase vocabulary and identify simple facts in a nonfiction selection. Students will continue to compose narrative and expository text and use descriptive words in their writing. Unit 7 will immerse students in writing poetry and Unit 8 will provide opportunities for students to generate opinions and reasons to support their thinking in writing. Students should be engaged in reading, writing and discourse around fiction and nonfiction texts. Instruction will be based on students’ stage of literacy.

FIRST GRADE: The following “big ideas” will be the focus of language arts instruction:

 Retell stories and events using beginning, middle and end, including key details.

 Identify the main idea or theme.

 Retell nonfiction texts, identifying the main idea and important details.

 Identify and use text features such as pictures, headings, charts and captions.

 Write in a variety of forms, including writing to inform/explain, to offer an opinion and to narrate an experience (personal narrative).

Students will continue to be engaged in reading, writing and discourse around fiction and nonfiction texts. Students will continue to retell fiction and nonfiction texts, demonstrating comprehension of the central message of the text. Students reading nonfiction text should identify important information to support main idea and use text features to locate facts and information in text. Students will continue to compose narrative and expository text and use descriptive words in their writing. Unit 7 will immerse students in writing poetry and Unit 8 will provide opportunities for students to generate opinions and reasons to support their thinking in writing. Students should be engaged in reading, writing and discourse around fiction and nonfiction texts. Small group instruction will occur daily and be based on students’ stage of literacy.

SECOND GRADE: The following “big ideas” will be the focus in language arts instruction:

 Continue to make inferences in both fiction and nonfiction texts.

 Demonstrate understanding of the theme or main idea in fictional texts.

 Demonstrate comprehension of fiction and nonfiction through summaries, which include main idea and details.

 Develop comprehension and understanding of reference materials.

 Write to persuade based on an opinion and incorporate research into expository writing.

 Consider the audience when writing and make decisions about the most important ideas and details to include in a writing piece.

 Explore central ideas in poems and interesting words students read in poetry to get ideas for their own poems.

Students will draw conclusions based on details from both fiction and nonfiction text as well as identify and explain the author’s purpose. Students will identify and discuss the theme and the main idea of fiction and nonfiction selections. Students will have the opportunity to explore reading and writing poetry in Unit 7. Students will determine the main idea and supporting details and identify the reason an author gives to support points in nonfiction text. During Unit 8, students will focus on persuasive writing and incorporate research to support opinions.

THIRD GRADE: The following “big ideas” will be the focus of language arts instruction:

 Draw conclusions about character, theme and main idea.

 Apply reading strategies (determining importance, questioning, inferring, summarizing) to construct meaning when reading a wide variety of genres.

 Analyze a text closely to determine the message and central idea an author intended for his or her readers.

 Continue to develop narrative, expository and persuasive writing.

 Ask questions of other writers in order to make revisions.

 Revise and edit around sentence formation, including avoiding run-on/fragments, improving sentence variety and revising word choice.

Students should be engaged in close reading of texts to draw conclusions about plot, character, theme, main idea and author’s purpose. Asking and answering inferential and literal questions should be visible in all classrooms when students are reading to comprehend or to analyze an author’s craft to apply techniques to their own writing. Opportunities to discuss a text with peers and to discuss their own writing pieces will provide students with a great opportunity to revise their thinking based on others’ perspectives. During Unit 7, students will be immersed in opinion/persuasive texts in both reading and writing. During Unit 8, students will complete a performance-based writing task which will integrate content, technology, research, reading and writing objectives. This real-world, authentic learning experience will incorporate many 21st Century learner skills.

FOURTH GRADE: The following “big ideas” will be the focus of language arts instruction:

 Make inferences and draw conclusions to support comprehension of theme and main idea.

 Determine important information to support the main idea, opinions and conclusions.

 Make connections across texts and personal experiences to deepen comprehension.

 Develop the strategic use of questioning to support literal and extended comprehension.

 Explore the genre of poetry and write a variety of poems.

Students will be provided multiple opportunities to apply skills and strategies through whole and small group instruction as well as independent practice. Students will be exposed to multiple genres of text throughout the quarter. They will continue to make connections and draw conclusions about theme and main idea, as well as ask and answer literal and inferential questions. While reading nonfiction, students will continue determining importance in order to summarize and state the main idea. Students will be writing for a variety of purposes. During Unit 7, students will conclude their study of poetry writing. Students will immerse in poetry and explore their skills as poets. During Unit 8, students will “revisit the writing community” in Being a Writer and have student-led discussions about writing, reflecting on the progress they made as readers and writers this year. Students will get the exciting opportunity to engage in an integrated language arts and coding task!

FIFTH GRADE: The following “big ideas” will be the focus of language arts instruction:

 Draw conclusions and make inferences from text, including inferences about the main idea.

 Analyze author’s purpose and choice of language when reading to enhance comprehension and when writing to apply techniques and style to their own writing.

 Make judgments and form opinions about a text, using evidence from the text as support and to develop an opinion piece.

 Explain the various organizational patterns in nonfiction texts.

 Develop multiparagraph expository and persuasive essays, using research-based information as appropriate.

 Focus revision and editing around organization and sentence formation, including avoiding run-ons/fragments, improving sentence variety and revising word choice based on purpose and audience.

 Extend inquiry-based writing tasks.

Students should continue to apply reading strategies and think critically to support comprehension of fiction and nonfiction texts. Students will read a wide variety of texts closely to determine important information, identify main idea/theme and the author’s purpose. They will apply knowledge of text structures found in fiction and nonfiction texts to improve comprehension. Students will further develop the strategic use of questioning to support literal and extended comprehension. Students will continue developing short reports based on topics from content and student interest and will revise and edit for sentence formation, sentence variety and word choice based on purpose and audience. Students will immerse in persuasive texts in order to write their own persuasive piece during Unit 7. Students will complete a performance-based writing task during Unit 7 which will serve as an end-of-year writing assessment for the state. This task will integrate content, technology, research, reading and writing objectives. In Unit 8, students will apply the reading strategies of drawing conclusions and relate the study of theme to poetry. Writing instruction will include exploring figurative language to create tone and voice within writing.

What content is my child learning in Quarter 4?


Science/Social Studies - Students will investigate matter, including position, motion and properties of objects as well as the flow of water. Students will investigate and understand that materials can be reused, recycled and conserved. Students will form an understanding of past and present by sequencing and making connections using artifacts and primary source

First Grade:

Science/Social Studies - Students will use scientific inquiry skills to understand patterns in nature, including the relationship between the sun and the Earth, weather and seasonal patterns, and natural resources. Students will use artifacts and primary sources to form an understanding of people, places and events in Virginia history.

Second Grade:

Science - Students will investigate systems in nature, including the process animals and plants go through as they grow, the living and nonliving relationships in a system and how plants benefit nature.

Social Studies - Students will practice using a decision-making model to demonstrate an understanding of economic concepts, including the differences between wants and needs, the effects of limited resources, and how money and barter are used to obtain goods and services.

Third Grade:

Science - Students will use scientific inquiry skills such as designing experiments to form an understanding of structures in nature, including the importance of soil, patterns and cycles in nature, the effects of natural and human impacts, and the different sources of energy.

Social Studies - Students will use social studies inquiry skills such as using artifacts and geographic information to understand the empire of Mali. Students will use their understanding to compare and contrast civilizations and to make connections between time and place.

Fourth Grade:

Science - Students will use scientific inquiry skills to construct models and apply science concepts to current events and applications in order to understand how plants and animals, including humans, in an ecosystem interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem.

Social Studies - Students will use social studies inquiry skills such as artifact and primary source analysis and research to understand life in the Virginia colony.

Fifth Grade:

Science - Students will use scientific inquiry skills such as investigation and classification. Students will investigate and understand the characteristics of plants.

Social Studies - Students will use social studies inquiry skills to analyze artifacts, compare and contrast ideas and cultural perspectives in Virginia history. Primary and secondary sources will be used along with charts, graphs and pictures to understand how Virginia changed in the 1900s and the traits of the government and economy Virginia today.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law. Under ESSA Section 1112(e) parents of students attending Title I schools are to be provided these two notifications.

Section 1112(e) (1) (A) of ESSA states that as a parent of a student in Birdneck Elementary, receiving Title I funds, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers instructing your child. Federal law requires the school division to provide you this information in a timely manner if you request it. Specifically, you have the right to request the following information about each of your child’s classroom teachers:

  • Whether the teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.

  • Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status because of special circumstances.

  • Whether the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification or degree he/she received

  • Whether paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if so, their qualifications.

    Section 1112(e) (2) of ESSA states that parents of students in Title I schools have a right to know about state or division policies regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by ESSA, including any policy or procedure.

    If you would like to receive information, about the qualifications of your child’s teacher, please contact your principal, R.V. Yoshida. If you would like information regarding student participation in state assessments please contact your school’s testing coordinator.

Join our PTA

Support Birdneck Elementary students by joining the PTA. Our PTA is AMAZING! We collaborate together to create opportunities for our students and community to learn and have fun in the process. Don't miss out on the benefits from joining the PTA. Receive over $300 in savings... all for just $5 for a membership. Registration forms are available in our front office. Please know that becoming a member of our PTA does not obligate you to volunteer or do anything but does still help support our school. Our goal is to have 100% participation!!!!!!!!!

Please visit the PTA website at

Track your volunteer hours

Did you know that logging your volunteer hours could help the division receive federal grant funding? Thousands of individuals serve as volunteers each year. Whether it be serving as tutors, guest speakers, providing assistance in classrooms, cafeterias, libraries or main offices, organizing student enrichment and recognition activities or supporting special events, athletics, school planning councils and advisory boards. In fact, during the 2017-2018 school year, more than 35,000 Volunteers and Partners in Education donated nearly 400,000 hours of service to VBCPS. The value of this service is estimated at $9.7 million. VBCPS can use this calculation to quantify the value of service and apply for federal grants that ultimately benefit our schools and students. Record volunteer hours here.

Education Connection Resources

Please click here to view our Math and Science Connection newsletters. There are many activities that help students connect academics learned at school in practical ways at home in a fun and collaborative manner. I highly encourage you to use these resources with your students at home.



We build relationships to encourage, inspire, and empower others to meet the challenges of today and to foster the love of learning.


We are dedicated to nurturing an inclusive environment to ensure engaging, student-centered learning resulting in confident, independent learners.


We believe in a collaborative community in which teachers, administrators, students, and parents work together for student success.

We believe in creating a safe, nurturing, and positive environment in which all students can strive for excellence and achieve their individual potential.

We believe we will prepare our students for success by providing 21st century learning and developing within our students critical thinking, effective communications and problem solving skills.