From the Castle

Parent Newsletter for Thomas Dale High School-November 2018

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Greetings from the Castle!

Knight Families and Community Members,

For this month's Principal's Message, I decided to use a video instead. Please click HERE for a short message from me.


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)

HAVEN’T JOINED THE PTSA YET? THERE’S STILL TIME! Membership is $10! Simply enroll via the National PTA website. Help TDHS reach its goal of 100% parent, teacher and student participation!

Shout out to (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.

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!

Congratulations to Lori Edwards on being elected the PTSA’s Treasurer!! Lori is a valuable asset to the PTSA leadership and we look forward to accomplishing the benchmarks placed by the National PTA. Keep up the good work, Lori!!


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.

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

Warm regards,


Contact Information:


MOBILE: (804) 621-5406


  • Attendance Matters. Parents, would you like support ensuring your child has great attendance, if so, please review information from CCPS.
  • School Cleanup Day. The next school cleanup day will be November 10, from 9-11am. Students who would like to participate should meet at Main Campus - Door 2, near the bus loop.
  • College Fair on October 28. Click HERE for the flyer for this Sunday's College Fair at CTC@Hull.
  • Community Partners Meeting. Want to be a part of our community school? HERE are the minutes from our last Community Partners Meeting. Our next meeting will be on November 13 at 1:00pm in the Main Campus Library. Join us!
  • 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).

5 Questions Our Students Ask Themselves Every Day

In a January Blogpost, David Geurin identified 5 questions that students ask themselves every day about school in general, focusing more on their emotional well-being. The deeper meaning of these questions is what is really driving the work we are doing this year to create a positive learning environment built on strong relationships, in a space where we are all connected to each other and to something greater than ourselves.

Here are the five questions:

  • Am I important to someone here?
  • Do I belong here?
  • Am I good at something here?
  • Who will listen to me here?
  • Is my presence here making a difference?

Through the three structures of our Monday Enrichment (Morning Meeting, Club/Activity Meetings, and Genius Hour), we create a system that allows us to address our students' basic social and emotional needs.

This week, I invite you to take on David Geurin's challenge:

  • Show others they matter to you
  • Lift them up and make them feel like they are valued for who they are
  • Show them they are heard
  • Notice the unique talents and gifts they have to offer the world
  • Show them how they are making a difference

Let me be the first to tell you and show you through my actions, not just my words how much I love, appreciate, and care deeply about Thomas Dale students.

Yearbook Sale

Yearbooks are $50 until October 29th, then prices go up to $60. There are two ways for you to purchase a yearbook for your child:

1) Bring check or cash to Room 205 on the Main Campus. Make sure to include your student's full name in the memo line!

2) Go to and type in the School Code 4232 to access an online ordering system.

Thank you for supporting the Thomas Dale Reflector!

Thomas Dale Swag

Do you need new Thomas Dale spirit wear? The Life Skills program has the 2018-2019 school year spirit wear you need. This year we have short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, sling bags and sweatpants. Please complete the link below to pre-order what you want. I will stop taking orders on November 9th. I will send an e-mail to let you know when the orders are in. Money will be collected once the orders are filled. Thanks for your support.

Click HERE for the order form.

Winter Sports Packets

It's the time of year! Winter sports are upon us, and below you can find an information sheet for each of the winter sports. Just click and enjoy!

College and Career Readiness

There will be a "College Fair" on Sunday, October 28th from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at CTC @ Hull, 13900 Hull Street Road, Midlothian, Virginia. This "FREE" event will have more than 100 schools participating. This is an excellent opportunity for students and families to speak individually with an Admissions Representative from the schools that will be represented. In addition to speaking with College Reps, Session Opportunities will also be offered: The College Admissions Process, The Financial Aid Process, The Community College Experience.

On Thursday, November 1st, the K-12 Career Readiness Expo will be sponsored by Chesterfield Technical Schools. This event will be held at CTC @ Hull Street Road, Midlothian Virginia from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Students and families can explore career and technical education opportunities that can prepare students to succeed in the future. This 'FREE" event will offer hands-on exhibits, presentations and refreshments.

Two Teachers' Request for Historical Goods

Members of the Chester/Thomas Dale Community,

Our names are James Thompson and Richard Anthony and we teach U.S. History at Thomas Dale. We are coming to you with a simple request, though let me explain the purpose. We do not teach in the normal sense. Our rooms are more akin to a museum (or grandpa’s house) than a classroom. We have a wealth of artifacts we use to teach everything from Jamestown to the fall of the U.S.S.R. However, there are gaps in the timeline, and this is half the purpose of our request. The other half is a desire to preserve history and more so the stories of people.

If at any time you clean out your garage, your parents house or that weird hole in your wall--think of us. If you have a box of old items you no longer want--think of us. Items of a parent or grandparent, and you wish their memory to help others learn--think of us. We promise to take great care of your items, whether they are discards or mementoes. If you wish to see how we will do so, we are happy to meet with you and show you our classrooms. Items need not be old in any real sense, pretty much anything from the 90s back. We will also come and pick the item up if needed.

Local history and the stories of the ordinary person are far often more important and interesting. We thank you for any help you are able to give.


Richard Anthony and James Thompson

Basic Overview of Items (Not Conclusive):

  • Letters

  • Diaries

  • Typewriters

  • Phones

  • Cameras

  • Household items

    • 1970s or older vacuums

    • Kitchen items

    • Radios

    • High back chairs

    • Butter churns

  • Books

  • Military uniforms and other non-weapons items.

  • Pictures (especially TD and Chester)

  • Civil War Era items.

  • Toys from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

  • Unique or discontinued board games from the before the 90s.

  • Vinyl Records

  • Magazines, newspapers, collection of ads.

  • Road Maps (especially Chester, Central VA or just VA)

  • Movies on reels

  • Pre-1980s lunch boxes

  • Random ads or other antique/vintage papers

*Big Wish Items*

  • Jukebox

  • Antique/Vintage metal signs

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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Our last Dale-gate of the Football Season is on November 2. 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 28 - College Fair at CTC@Hull

November 1 - K-12 Career Readiness Expo at CTC@Hull

November 2 - Last Dale-gate of the Football Season

November 5 - Teacher Work Day (No school for students)

November 6 - Parent-Teacher Conference Day (School Hours, 10am-6pm; No school for students)

November 7 - Specialty Center Open House at Main Campus

November 10 - School Cleanup Day

November 13 - PTSA Meeting (Main Campus Library)

November 14 - Coffee with the Principal (West Campus, Door 9 at 7am)

November 14 - Sunset Snacks with the Principal (Main Campus, Door 1 at 7pm)

November 14-17 - Chicago: High School Edition (Musical Performances)

November 21-23 - Thanksgiving Break (School is closed)

November 27 - Registration Fair and Knights Rising

November 30 - Next Issue of From the Castle

Stay In-the-Know! There have been almost 3,000 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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