From the Castle

Parent Newsletter for Thomas Dale High School-October 2018

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Greetings from the Castle!

Knight Families and Community Members,

October is HERE! For many of us, it feels like it is really December with all the work we've put in to create a warm, welcoming environment where our students are loved and cared for. For me, it has been the best first month of school I've ever experienced. Dale is an amazing place with amazing people, and we are only getting started!

This month, we've:

  • Had a pep rally
  • Adjusted to difficulties with transportation
  • Experienced a weather phenomenon
  • Hosted four home football games and Dale-gates (including the Battle of Chester twice)
  • Engaged in ChesterFest
  • Built a strong foundation for trust, communication, and relationships
  • Started a fresh approach to Enrichment, including our social-emotional focus on Mondays
  • Improved our Welcome-Ability with our first 2 phases
  • Implemented video announcements
  • Established a comprehensive approach to student appreciation and recognition, including our first Student of the Month for each grade level
  • Opened lines of communication through our improved website, our new newsletter (this is our 3rd issue) and our social media outlets (Twitter: 732 Followers; Instagram: 1,109 Followers; Facebook: 2,623 Friends and Followers)
  • Started the beginnings of amazing things to come

I cannot underscore enough that the best is yet to come.

We believe deeply in the power of relationships and want to continue building them with you and our students. We do not take any interaction for granted and realize that one simple exchange between people can either leave us feeling better or worse. We choose to create a safe space where you always leave feeling better. Drew Dudley refers to these as "lollipop moments" in everyday leadership. I invite you to view THIS SHORT VIDEO to get a better idea of what he means by taking every interaction as the most important one.

We are working extremely hard to create the best for your children, one Knight at a time. I invite you to engage us in conversation to help us develop our relationships and strengthen the home-school connection. Please pay particular attention to our calendar and the list of upcoming events at the end of this issue of From the Castle.

Here's to an even more amazing October than September ever dreamed of being!!!


Don't forget to follow us on Twitter: @GoTDKnights, Facebook: Thomas Dale, and Instagram: @GoTDKnights. Our website is updated regularly for more information:

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From the Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA)

Your PTSA is on social media…Check us out on Facebook. Just type in Thomas Dale High School PTSA!!

Shout out to Jordan Edwards (Freshman), Jordan Walker (Junior), Jacob Brooks (Junior) and Daijah Townes (Senior) for agreeing to serve as 2018-19 STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES on the PTSA Board. We still need more students to serve as a voice!! No Experience Needed just a desire to assist with student activities. Simply attend our next meeting.

Our Annual Yard Sale hosted by the PTSA will be held on Saturday, October 13th from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the West Campus side parking lot. Rent a space for $20/vendor. Registration not required! This is community event - all vendors are welcome! Spread the word!!

Is your child an artist, singer, poet, photographer? Put their creativity to work by participating in the PTA’s Reflection Competition. Each year students of all ages are encouraged to submit an original work of art in the medium of their choice – dance choreography, film production, literature, music competition, photography and or visual arts.

This year’s theme: Heroes Among Us.

Packets available in the Counseling Office beginning Friday, September 28th!


Your input is encouraged as we endeavor to provide quality programs for the Thomas Dale family. Please contact US anytime about PTSA events and activities! We are here to assist you in any way.


Can’t make BACK to SCHOOL NITE…Simply enroll via the National PTA website. Help TDHS reach its goal of 100% parent, teacher and student participation!

Wishing each of you a great school year and thank you for your support!

Warm regards,


Contact Information:


MOBILE: (804) 621-5406

Back-to-School (K)night and Open House

It will be our pleasure to open our doors to you and welcome you to Thomas Dale for our Back-to-School Knight and Open House. Join us on Wednesday, October 17, from 6:00-7:30pm to:

  • Meet your child's teachers
  • Build trust and open the lines of communication
  • Establish partnerships
  • Engage in what's next for Thomas Dale High School and the Chester community
  • Build relationships that last a lifetime: "Once a Knight, Always a Knight"

Open House will be held on Main Campus, so all teachers and classes that are normally on West Campus will be housed in the Main Commons. Our evening will be un-structured, so feel free to drop in anytime between 6pm and 7:30pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

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  • Career and Resource Fair for Students. Please click HERE for information regarding the First Choice Community Employment Center's 2nd Annual Career and Resource Fair.
  • Volunteer Opportunities. The Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother Program is looking for volunteers. If you are interested in participating please click Here.
  • Thomas Dale is proud to be a high-quality public educational setting and center of the Chester community. Because of the nature of our service and purpose, there are a few reminders about what is not permitted on school grounds at any time: weapons, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products of any kind (including vapor).

National PSAT Test Date: Wednesday, October 10th

The PSAT test will be administered to all Sophomores and Juniors, free of charge, during an extended PSAT testing block on Wednesday, October 10th. Student's scores can be used to determine Dual Enrollment eligibility, AP course potential and to create an individualized practice for the SAT. Also, Juniors can potentially qualify for scholarships. The PSAT is composed of four sections and each section is timed. (Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, Math Test with No Calculator, Math Test with Calculator). Students are encouraged to bring their own calculator that they are familiar with using and #2 pencils. Mechanical pencils are NOT allowed. If students do not have access to a calculator for test day and would like to borrow one, a calculator will be provided but it will NOT be a graphing calculator. They also received a Student Study Guide this week and are encouraged to use this for practice before taking the test on October 10th. The Study Guide includes PSAT Information, test-taking advice and tips and an official practice test. It is important for students to report to school on time, prepared to test. Once testing has begun, students will not be allowed to have early dismissal from the testing location until the test is completed. The PSAT Bell Schedule is available below. Please feel free to contact your student's English teacher if you have any questions.
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School Counseling Corner


We are so excited to welcome our new Knights to the family! We hope that their educational journey with us will be both informative and rewarding.


School Counselors are gearing up for SOS (Signs-of-Suicide) Presentations which will occur during the time frame of October 8th through October 22nd. The SOS program, which is geared to all 10th graders, offers training to assist students with depression awareness and suicide prevention. During each lesson, students will view and discuss the Friends for Life video which helps them to recognize warning signs of suicide and seek help by using the ACT Model of Acknowledge. Care. Tell. Presentations will be presented through H/PE 10 classes (students not currently in H/PE 10 will be assigned a session to attend). In addition to this method of support for our students; we always welcome faculty, family, friend and self-referrals.


Junior year, what many consider the MOST important year. While it IS vital to a student's academic success; it does not hold any more weight than any other grade level. We encourage each student to take full advantage of high school and the opportunities it affords them both inside and outside of the classroom.


During the week of September 17th, School Counselors visited each English 12 class to disseminate information regarding post-secondary options. We covered everything from military information - to resume assistance for the young people who are headed directly to the work force - to the college application and funding process. We culminated this 2 day event with a senior parent night session hoping to close the information gap between school and home. We presented a plethora of information, intending to familiarize families with the process, hoping our parents and students would take away the fact that your counselors are here to support you.

Go Thomas Dale...Every Knight, Every Day!!

From the TDHS Libraries

Library hours: 8:00AM - 4:00PM

We will celebrate our summer readers in October in the main campus library! Students who participated in the library’s summer reading contests will receive an invitation soon!


October 5 - Venom - Enter to win a graphic novel.

October 8-12 - Teen Read Week - “It’s Written in the Stars”

October 16 - National Dictionary Day

October 22 - CCPS Night at the Chester Library

October 26 - National Frankenstein Day

Check out the library website at

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook



Community Engagement

Want to be a part of the Thomas Dale experience?

We need YOU! Volunteers, substitute teachers, job experience hosts, guest speakers...we are leaning on your leadership and helping hands to work ourselves towards a community school. Be a part of this excitement...don't just watch it pass you by!

  • Mondays (from 9:20-10am) be a mentor or teach a Genius Hour
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays (from 9:20-10am) be a tutor
  • Be a guest speaker for a class
  • Run a Dale-Gate session
  • Teacher Assistant
  • Office Associate Assistant
  • Chaperone a Field Trip or Dance

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Before each home football game, we will host a Dale-gate. It's how Thomas Dale tailgates! Join us to enjoy friends, family, and good food. See you there!
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Upcoming Events

Stay connected to OUR CALENDAR and mark yours!

October 1 - Specialty Center Fair at CTC@Hull

October 2 - All-County Band Exhibition

October 4 - Cheer Invitational

October 8-13 - Homecoming Week

October 9 - PTSA Meeting

October 9 - Come Home Alive, Teen Safe Driving (West Campus)

October 10 - Coffee with the Principal (7-8am at West Campus)

October 10 - PSAT Testing (Alternate Bell Schedule)

October 10 - Sunset Snacks with the Principal (7-8pm at Main Campus)

October 11 - Specialty Center Fair at CTC@Hull

October 12 - Dale-gate and Homecoming vs Petersburg

October 12 - Early Release Day for Students (12pm - Adjusted Bell Schedule)

October 13 - Homecoming Dance

October 17 - Back-to-School Night and Open House

October 24 - Junior Ring Ceremony

October 26 - Next issue of From the Castle

October 30 - Specialty Center Open House (Main Campus)

Stay In-the-Know! There have been almost 2,400 views of our newsletter, From the Castle! Click below for previous issues.

(Re-Print) Bell Schedule

Our bell schedule reflects a commitment to high-quality instruction, support and challenge based on students' needs, and a focus on the social-emotional development of our Knights. Balancing the rigors of academics with the realities of teenage life in 2018 and beyond, we aim to provide a learning environment where students can pursue their goals, dreams, and personal pathways in a place that is welcoming, connected, and full of joy!
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