December Edition 2019
Need a part time job? Falmouth needs you!
We are having difficulty securing substitutes when some of our staff members are absent. Please consider applying and attending the substitute training on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 from 10am til Noon at the Stafford County School Board Office chambers, 31 Stafford Avenue, Stafford, VA 22554.
Hello Falmouth Falcon Families,
Often in education, we will use acronyms of which our families are not always familiar. Given that, I wanted to take a moment and share one important acronym and explain its meaning to help provide clarification and education.
At times, teachers or administrators may make reference to the Student Education Committee (SEC). The Student Education Committee (SEC) is a team assembled to assess any/all concerns and needs for all students referred to it for assistance. Committee members include parents/guardians, school administrator/designee, classroom teacher, and/or others invited to participate. The person initially referring the student (teacher/parent/specialist) will begin the meeting by sharing concerns and how those concerns are related to the educational needs of the student. All important information regarding the student will be discussed. The team may recommend strategies and/or interventions to be tried in the student’s classroom(s). The team may refer the student for an evaluation of their eligibility for special education and related services and/or a Section 504 evaluation (medical diagnosis affecting academic performance). If the team recommends an evaluation, and parents/guardians provide consent, the student will be assessed by qualified personnel in all areas related to the suspected disability.
An SEC meeting differs from a parent/teacher conference as a parent/teacher conference focuses on improving communication between home and school and addressing specific academic/behavior issues of that child. The parent or teacher can invite an administrator and/or support staff member to attend the conference, if applicable, to help address the concerns of the student’s academic needs and performance.
I encourage you to contact either Mrs. Janette Massino or Mr. Nick Kennedy if you have questions about the SEC process.
Have a wonderful December!
Ms. Johnakin-Putnam (Ms. JP)
***TRANSPORTATION SAFETY INFO***
As Principal of Falmouth Elementary, I am responsible for the safety of everyone on the property at all times. With that, I am asking everyone to refrain from all distracting activities (cell phones, reading, eating) while driving on school property. Also, it is important to keep everyone in the vehicle properly restrained until our car rider staff members approach to assist your child out of the vehicle. Remember, the law requires all occupants of your vehicle under the age of 18 to be properly restrained anywhere in the vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.
Lastly, please make sure you are following the directions of our trained crossing guards as they keep our Falmouth Elementary grounds safe. They are doing a fantastic job of keeping cars, buses, and pedestrians safe during drop off and dismissal, but they need your help and attention throughout the school year.
**GENERAL CAR RIDER REMINDERS**
Morning Car Rider Reminders
1. We ask that you continue to be courteous of other drivers as you form the single line of traffic and enter the school bus lanes, then turn right next to the building.
2. Please have your son/daughter ready for release, pull up as close as possible to the car ahead of you and begin releasing students along the sidewalk in the area designated.
3. Please refrain from using cell phones and other distractions that may take your attention away from being observant. This will allow us to get more cars into the driveway, more students released, and ensure a steady flow of traffic.
4. As you leave the school driveway, please be careful and cautious of pedestrians and traffic on the connecting streets.
5. If you need to walk-in your son/daughter for various reasons (bring in items, meeting, etc.), please use the left lane to enter the parking lot and use the appropriate crosswalks. Please do not drop-off your son/daughter in the parking lot because you wish to not follow the traffic pattern. You place your child’s safety in danger when you drop them off along the street or in the parking lot and allow them to walk across without adult supervision.
Afternoon Car Rider Reminders
1. Please form two lines of traffic.
2. Please place your car rider number plate in the windshield of the car for the callers.
3. Please refrain from using cell phones and other distractions that may take your attention away from being observant. This will allow us to get more cars into the driveway, more students loaded, and ensure a steady flow of traffic.
4. A staff member will monitor students as they load the cars.
5. A child should never cross in front of or behind another vehicle without the supervision/assistance of an adult. Be watchful of other cars exiting and/or faculty members crossing the driveway.
6. Please be patient and courteous as both parents and students learn the procedures. The process does move quicker as everyone learns and follows the procedures.
Ms. JP (Principal)
Exciting Things are Coming!
***FALCON CLINIC NEWS***
The SMILE Dental Program will be visiting Falmouth on December 16th. A small dental office is set up in one of our classrooms and students receive a full dental exam and treatment. Registration forms will be coming home with students at the beginning of the month. You can also call the front office if you are interested in utilizing this program.
Listed below are the Stafford County Health Services guidelines which parents should use in determining if a sick child should stay at home and when a previously sick child is ready to return to school.
Medical Exclusions and Reasons to Stay Home From School
• Fever 100 degrees or higher within the past 24 hours
• Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
• Severe earache pain
• Swollen or extremely painful joints from an injury
• Suspected contagious diseases. Examples include:
o Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
o Pediculosis (head lice)
o Scabies, ringworm or impetigo
o Undiagnosed rashes
• Antibiotic treatment which has just begun. Students given antibiotics for communicable infections should stay home for the first 24 hours.
Flu season is here and the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. Please see the CDC website form more information regarding the influenza vaccine for the 2019-20 season.
As always, please contact me at any time if you have any questions or concerns regarding your student’s health!
Phone: (540) 373-7458
The Hour of Code is coming December 9-13! Every class will get a thirty-minute introduction to computer science during library that week. Students can then find an additional 30 minutes either in class and/or at home to meet or go beyond the full hour. To learn more and check out some of the tutorials we will be using go to:
***NEWS FROM OUR MATH SPECIALIST***
Knowing Your Math Facts
Math facts are necessary for mathematical success. Math facts are like your ABCs, if you know them, then math work gets easier. Addition and subtraction facts are just as important as multiplication and division. Help your children learn their addition and subtraction facts easily. If you learn your doubles then you can use them to find the near doubles. For example, 6 + 6 = 12, use that to find 6 + 5 = 11 that is one less than 6 + 6. 6 + 7 = 13 that is one more than 6 + 6. You can do this with all your doubles. Make sure you show the inverse, 12 – 6 = 6 so 13 – 6 = 7. Work smarter not harder.
Learning strategies for multiplication is just as easy. Use what you know to find other facts. Build on the easy facts. Learn your 2’s then double them to find your 4’s, double your 4’s to find your 8’s. For example: 2 x 3 = 6 double it so 4 x 3 = 12 double again 8 x 3 = 24. Again, use what you know to find other facts. Learn your 3’s and double to learn your 6’s. You can do the same thing within the facts. If the 7’s are difficult, use what you know. For example: 7 x 7, break up one of the 7’s into a 2 + 5 find 7 x 2 then 7 x 5 and add them together, 7 x 2 = 14 and 7 x 5 = 35 so 35 + 14 = 49.
After you know your facts, use them to practice through games. There are lots of great activities on free websites like:
and of course use the SCPS clever app to go to Dreambox
Ms. Smetts, Math Specialist
***NEWS FROM THE READING ROOM***
Can it really be December already? Time flies when you’re having fun!
Literacy Links- Literacy Links will come to an end on Friday, December 13th. Our fabulous Falcons have been doing a fantastic job of reading! They have been writing the titles of the books they have read on colorful strips of paper, and these links are stretching throughout our hallways! Ms. JP and Mr. Kennedy are motivating our students by doing fun and silly things, such as taking a pie to the face on our morning announcements. Keep reading and finish strong, Falcons!
Midyear assessments- Due to the early start to our school year, midyear testing will occur this month. Please help your children to do their best by ensuring that they get plenty of sleep and start the day with a good breakfast!
Winter break- It is very important that our Falcons continue to read over the winter break. Some tips include:
reading aloud the many beautiful winter and holiday-themed books
visiting our wonderful local library to check out books and take part in their events for children
taking advantage of travel time by renting an audio book for the whole family to enjoy
We wish you a restful and joyous winter break. Happy reading!
Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Hall, Reading Specialists
We can’t believe that we are almost done with half of the year! Now that the weather is getting colder, we will almost exclusively be inside for PE until around the end of March. We want to emphasize that tennis shoes/sneakers are the best footwear for PE, and even though students start wearing boots more often to school, they are not ideal for optimal movement and safety.
Our Kindergarten to Second grade students just finished 4 weeks of various scooter activities culminating with Scooter Sharks and Minnows. They are currently working on learning how to jump rope and in many cases, improving their already-existing rope skills. We like to set a goal of 10 jumps per grade level and most of our students reach that goal with practice and positivity!
Third through Fifth grade students finished scooter hockey and a new game called Berserk Ball where they tested their throwing accuracy in a high intensity game against three other teams. After that, we spent a week playing Newcomb. This was one of our Field Day games that students got an extended chance to play. Next, these older students will get the scooters out again for a game called Scooter Beach Ball.
Fifth grade intramurals have been very successful this year. Every Wednesday morning, an average of more than 30 students have participated in a variety of games that we continue after regular PE classes have moved on to the next unit. Intramurals are open to Fifth grade students every Wednesday from 8:30 - 9:00 AM.
Mr. Emerson and Mr. Brown, PE Teachers
We are so proud of our winners for WordMasters! They worked so hard and we have two more competitions this year! The Spelling Bee will take place on December 6th at 2pm. Those students who won for their grade level will advance to this school-wide bee. The winner and runner-up will attend the county-wide bee in January.
This month those students in 4th and 5th grade will also compete in the Geography Bee. The school bee will take place in January. Thank you to teachers and parents for your continuous support for these competitions!
Ms. Pickett, FOCUS Teacher
Please click on the links below for valuable information.
Ami Brown, M.Ed. and Jennifer Crane, M.Ed.
FES School Counselors
Hello again FES families, we all know that internet safety is an important topic so I have included a list of five tips for students:
Don’t give out personal information to others
Never send pictures to strangers
Keep passwords private (except for parents)
Don’t download anything without permission
Tell an adult if your get a mean or strange message
Mr. DuPont - ITRT
***LOST AND FOUND***
*** IMPORTANT REMINDERS FROM THE FRONT OFFICE ***
Changes to the way a student will be traveling home from school will not be taken after 3:00pm This is our busiest time of the day and it is not always possible to ensure that changes can be made safely after this time. Sending a note to school with your child in the morning is the safest and easiest way to notify us of a change. It is appreciated if you do not arrive between 3:15 and 3:45 to pick up your child as this is a very busy time in the office.
Reporting a Student's Absence
To assist the office staff, please be sure to call the office number to report your child's absence at (540) 373-7458 prior to 9:30am. If you would like to complete the Report An Absence form online, YOU MAY CLICK HERE
Lost and Found
Please take a moment to label all items including lunchboxes and jackets for your children. It will assist us in returning lost items to the proper students instead of filling our Lost and Found.