Yellow Jacket Gazette

January/ February 2022 Edition

A Message from the Principal

Hello Wonderful Jenkins Families,

We are now nearing the end of our second quarter of school which is Thursday, January 27th. Our students continue to work on their leadership skills while also participating in rigorous and engaging academic tasks.

As a reminder, it is very important that we are able to get in contact with you as we continue our partnership. Please take a moment to ensure that your child’s teacher and Jenkins Elementary have the most up-to-date contact information for you. If you have not done so already, please also make sure to complete the New School Year Packet in Parent Vue. Completing this packet provides the most up-to-date address, parent contact, and emergency contact information for your child.

In November, PWCS shared information regarding a new Code for Inclement Weather Days: Code Orange. Please review the Inclement Weather Codes for more information. You can also find out more information from the Inclement Weather FAQs.

In preparation for inclement weather and times when absences from school may be necessary, we have begun to send student devices back and forth between school and home. Please ensure that your child is charging their laptop, turning it off, and bringing it back to school each day. Having the laptop at home provides an opportunity for your child to continue practicing skills learned at school by going on Lexia for at least 20 minutes, IXL, and other programs. Also, please speak with your child about responsible use of their laptops. If your child is having difficulty with bringing their laptops back to school, we will be sure to contact you to see how we can ensure that our students are being responsible with their laptops.

We are also looking for parent volunteers. Parent volunteers can assist with many different tasks in the school, such as, making copies, assisting teachers with bulletin boards, assisting in the classroom and class projects, etc. If you are interested in being a volunteer at Jenkins Elementary, please reach out to your child’s teacher for more information.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we continue to work to build lifelong learners and leaders.


Mrs. Xanthe McFadden, Principal

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Leader In Me 7 Habits of Happy Kids – Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind: Have a Plan

As a Leader in Me school, our students and staff are learning about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Our goal this year is to share information about the 7 Habits with our families and community members in an effort to instill leadership in all aspects of our students’ lives. At each event and in each of our Yellow Jacket Gazette newsletters, we will highlight a habit and share how you can use each habit at home.

Habit 2 is Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan. This habit is about having a plan and setting goals. (Covey, 2008)

  • I do things that have meaning and make a difference.
  • I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision.
  • I look for ways to be a good citizen.

How can you use Habit 1: Be Proactive at Home?

  • Ask your child, “Why is it important to plan ahead?”
  • Have your child lay out their clothes for tomorrow before they go to bed tonight.
  • Have your child get out a pencil and piece of paper and write down three goals they want to do. Put the paper in a safe place where your child can see it.
  • Have your child tell you what they want to be when they grow up.
  • Talk to your child about how we all have something we need to get better at, like doing our homework, brushing our teeth at night, or obeying our parents. Have your child pick one thing they need to do better. Then ask them to start doing it. (Covey, 2008)

Covey, S. (2008) The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Simon & Schuster, New York.

Student and Family Support

Hello Jenkins ES families! The Student and Family Support Team, which includes the professional school counselors, school psychologist, and school social worker, would like to share some practical activities to help your child manage emotions and navigate social situations.


Whose Clothes?

Ask your child to sort the laundry with you and make a logical guess about which clothes belong to which family member. Help them use the information available - for example, who wears this size, who wears that style, who likes this color? This encourages thinking about others and builds problem-solving skills while developing responsibility.

Chore Detective

Tell your child that you are going to play a game similar to "I Spy". Have them be a detective and look for areas in the house that need cleaning or tidying up. Make a list of the things they can do without help, things you can do together, and things that need to be done by an adult. You can add to the fun by using a magnifying glass or funny hat, so your child feels like a real detective!

Don’t Be your Children’s Referee

Soccer season just started! On Saturday morning, you will find me watching games and cheering for my girls’ teams. When the rules aren’t followed, the referee steps in to ensure a smooth running of the game. The referee is the final decision maker about the play and the one that enforces the rules.

You may be wondering, what does soccer have to do with parenting? A lot! Let me illustrate. When children fight with their siblings, many parents step in as a referee–they take a side to enforce rules: “Your brother is right. You cannot take his magnet tiles without permission.” They may continue by saying: “Apologize to your brother and say you won’t do it again.” The kids go back to playing, and five minutes later you need to intervene again. This time they are punching each other and you need to take out your red card.

Does this situation sound familiar?

The challenge with this scenario is that when parents fix the situation or intervene taking sides, the kids don’t learn how to solve conflicts or disagreements on their own. If we don’t teach children the skills they need in order to navigate sibling relationships, we will get stuck being the referee of their relationship. It’s no fun and actually counterproductive in the long term.

A better alternative is to use a mediation approach. That is, helping kids to come up with their own solutions and supporting them to follow through on those agreements. Although this is not an easy task, or something that will happen right away, it is worth the effort. Check out this article to learn how to do it.

~Student and Family Support Team

Vicky Castro, School Social Worker

Krisha Parker, School Psychologist

Beverly McNairy and Jacquelyn Scott-Bell, Professional School Counselors

Counselors' Corner

The Guidance Department is continuing the discussion of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Habit 3 is Putting First Things First. Please reinforce this Habit by continuing your discussion with your child on believing in themselves and understanding that “Growth” is learning from the mistakes we make. Improvement means a little better each day. Support your child in their effort to overcome their challenges and reinforce that perseverance is the key to success. If we give up, we automatically lose. The Power of Yet! See the link to the video on the Power of Yet. This is a song to help students cultivate a growth attitude. Encourage your child to ask their teacher to see the school counselor if needed.

Power of Yet Lyric Video. C.A.P.S. C.J. Luckey

Beverly McNairy – KGN-2nd Grade

Jacquelyn Scott-Bell – 3rd -5th Grade

Math Corner

Happy New Year 2022!

As we approach this new calendar year, most of our grade levels are working within one of the Fractions units. Here are some suggestions of things you can do at home to help your child with these skills.

If your child reads for 2 hours, that’s a fraction of their day (2/24, or 1/12) well spent! Here’s how to weave fractions into their daily lives.

Reading Time

Encourage your child to create a fraction bookmark. They can draw lines to divide a strip of cardboard into equal sections, one for each chapter in a book they plan to read. When the chapter is finished, they get to color one section of the bookmark before sticking it into a book. Can they tell you what fraction of the book that has been read?

Snack time

Make fruit salad with your child. Before eating, have them count how many pieces of each type of fruit are in the bowl. Example: 7 grapes, 5 mandarin orange segments, 3 banana slices, 2 apple chunks. Now they could add to find the total number of pieces (7 + 5 + 3 + 2 = 17) and say what fraction of the serving each fruit makes up (grapes = 7/17 , oranges = 5/17).

Game time

Invite fractions to family game night. Play Scrabble, assigning fractional values to letters. Ten-point letters like Z and Q could be worth more (maybe 2 ½ points) and 1-point letters like A and S worth less (perhaps 1/4 point). Your child will add fractions to calculate scores. Or play bingo with fractions instead of numbers. Equivalent fractions count—so if 4/5 is called, a player could put a chip on 8/10.

Best wishes for the year ahead,

Angela Savage

Literacy Corner

We love to read and write at Jenkins ES! Good readers and writers make even better leaders. In the months of January and February we will have our first ever One School, One Book event. All of Jenkins will read the same book at home while completing various activities at school. We will have a final in-school celebration on Friday, February 18. We cannot wait to have students and their families enjoy reading together!

Now that we're ending Quarter 2 and will soon begin Quarter 3, students will continue to read a variety of genres and build their writing. Check out some activities below that can help your child continue their learning when at home!

*When reading dialogue with your child, make each person in the story have their own voice. Make loud voices, squeaky voices, quiet voices, and any other unique voice.

*If there are pictures or illustrations with the book, talk about them with your child. What do you see? Is there anything new or interesting about the illustration/picture? How does it connect with the text?

*Create a special place in your house to read. You can put pillows in a corner, build a fort, or use a fun table cloth on the kitchen table to make your reading space extra fun!

Enjoy connecting with your child through literature. The best readers are also the best writers!

Ms. Wilson and Ms. Vanzetta

Reading Team


In the library students have checked out over 4,500 books during the month of November and December! Students are encouraged in all grade levels to take their books home and read with their families. Thank you to all that supported the book fair in November! The library was able to purchase over $250 worth of new books for students to enjoy! During January and February students in upper grades will learn about online resources that are available to them on Canvas and how to use these resources to help them with research. Kindergarten will be studying different authors and first and second grade will be reading and voting on their favorite Virginia Choice book! If you need any support with books or resources, please reach out to me.

Happy reading,

Jackie Youngblood


We are excited about art in the New Year! Fifth grade is jumping into a clay unit focusing on slab and hand-building while creating portrait vessels. Fourth grade is working on profile portraits inspired by collaborative and contemporary artists Craig & Karl. Third grade is working on a printmaking unit in class. Second graders and first graders are starting a faux “stained glass” colorful winter drawing. Kindergarten will learn about secondary color mixing while using model magic clay to build colorful bugs in art class.

As a reminder, please wear old clothes on art days since creating masterpieces is messy work!

Congratulations to Evelio Euceda Jr. Evelio's art work will be displayed at the 2022 PWCS Student Art Exhibit at the Hylton Performing Arts Center from Jan. 11 - Feb. 20! This exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Masks are required in the building. We are extremely proud of Evelio!

Mrs. Weldner

Physical Education

The new year brings a lot of new skills during physical education for our Jenkins Yellow Jackets. We will be covering basketball lessons filled with dribbling, passing, and shooting. Roll into gymnastics and yoga with tons of balancing, some basic tumbling, and older students learning to build a routine. Students will also be learning all about their cardiorespiratory system (heart, lungs, and blood vessels) and nutrition to keep their bodies energized and healthy and participate in heart healthy exercise of jumping short and long ropes!

In January, we will be kick starting the Kids Heart Challenge through the American Heart Association. Students will bring home an envelope detailing how to they can be a heart hero by raising funds for the American Heart Association. Fund raising is not required for any students. All students will participate in the Jump Rope for Heart/Kids Heart Challenge during their encore time on February 14th. This event will be filled with fun heart healthy activities.

Please remember to send students to school dressed for the weather (jackets, gloves, hats, scarves). PE classes will be held outside as long as the temperature (including wind chill) is above 32 degrees. The 3rd HomeFit Kids Fitness Calendars are on student Canvas Physical Education pages.

Happy 2022!

Coach Bowman and Coach Thomas

Jenkins Physical Education


♫ Attention Yellow Jacket Students and Parents! ♫

My name is Mr. Anthony Carlton, and I am the music teacher at John D. Jenkins Elementary School. This letter is about Chorus, an optional music activity. We began our year with 4th and 5th graders beginning Chorus. Our first concert will be Thursday, Feb. 3, 2021! RSVP will be required for attendance to the event. Yellow Jacket Chorus parents/guardians, please keep a lookout for more information in your email and Class Dojo. Practices will continue to be held on Thursdays from 8:15-8:55 AM.

After the concert, we will begin our second semester of chorus and 3rd-grade students will be invited to join as well as any 4th or 5th-grade students who couldn’t make it in our first semester. More information will be sent out before beginning our second semester. Students will participate by arriving on time for practice so that we may start promptly at 8:15 AM. If your student signs up to join Chorus, they are committing to come to practice every week, so please block out this time for their practice.

If you have any questions, please send me an email at

Mr. Carlton

Music Teacher


Students in 5th grade strings have been learning to play notes on the D and A strings. Students have learned to pluck the strings and play with the bow. They have also worked on ensemble skills: maintaining attention in rest position, following a leader, and playing music with a steady tempo. Students had a opportunity to showcase what they have learned at a demonstration concert for their classroom teachers and classmates on Friday, December 17th during the school day. This presentation was recorded so it could be shared with families. We also took time to reflect on their performance.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with such fantastic musicians! I look forward to seeing even more progress/growth in the coming months.


Mrs. Heim

Strings Teacher

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

Happy New Year everyone!! We hope everyone had a restful winter break. The Jenkins PTO is partnering with the school leadership team to help bridge a culture of literacy between the home and school community. As a part of the One School, One Book Initiative, the PTO will contribute $1,600 to help aid in the purchasing of the book “Pet Wars” for each Jenkins family. Stay tuned for more information about this four week literacy initiative.

Were you unable to attend the meeting? No worries you can find the notes from our December meeting below.

December 2021 PTO Meeting Notes

Shout out to everyone who joined our December PTO meeting both in person and virtually. We hope to see many more faces during our next meeting on February 8, 2022. Our Advisory Council Meeting starts at 5:00 p.m. and our PTO meeting will begin at 6:00pm.

Save the Date:

PTO Upcoming Events

Virtual Family Paint Night- (February 2022)

Upcoming Fundraisers

Mod Pizza- February

Cherrydale- March-April

Shoe Drive (No profit)- April

100th Day of School→ In conjunction with activities and projects teachers may do with students to acknowledge the 100th Day of School, the PTO would also like to help encourage celebrating this day as well. Students will have the opportunity to be creative on Friday, February 18, 2022 (Date TBD given inclement weather). This is a time where students can be creative and make their own 100 Days of School clothing to wear to school. Below you can find a few examples. You can also incorporate content specific activities such as skip counting by 1’s 5’s, and 10’s, creating a collage of their favorite 100 items, or even exercising. Can’t wait to see students’ creativity.

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Thanks again for all you do for us to provide such great things for our children and schools!

– The Jenkins PTO Board

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