From the Castle

The Ultimate Guide - Updated on 12/1/21

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Greetings from the Castle!


#DeeperUnity is about Inclusion & Belonging, Access & Opportunity, Restoration & Healing, and Relationships & Connections. As we continue to work on creating an environment that is safe, welcoming, and loving for each student at Thomas Dale, we welcome your engagement, commitment, and investment in your child's future and the future of our school community. We have an amazing school year ahead of us. Historians in the future will point to this year as the beginning of the new chapter in education. We are writing history together! Let's DO this!!!

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

(NEW!) Week At-A-Glance

Here is what you need to know about this week!

Monday (11/29)

  • Math Winter MAP Testing

Tuesday (11/30)

  • The "baseball lot" will need to be clear for the Driver's Ed presentation on Dec. 1 & 2.
  • Math Winter MAP Testing
  • Virtual Meeting for English Learners at 7pm (

Wednesday (12/1)

  • The "baseball lot" will need to be clear for the Driver's Ed presentation on Dec. 1 & 2.
  • English 9/10 Winter MAP Testing

Thursday (12/2)

  • The "baseball lot" will need to be clear for the Driver's Ed presentation on Dec. 1 & 2.
  • English 9/10 Winter MAP Testing

Friday (12/3)

  • Seminar Peer Leaders (11th Grade) will meet in Room 104 during Seminar; they should report directly to 104

Let's have an AMAZING week in the Castle!

(NEW!) Course Selections for 2022-2023

We have an updated timeline!

On January 4th and 5th, our school counselors will visit all history classes to discuss graduation requirements and options for selecting courses for next school year (yes, it is hard to believe we are already doing this!).

On January 6th at 6pm (previously scheduled for December 9), we will hold our annual registration night virtually. Much more information to come!

On January 11th and 12th, students will select their courses for next year through StudentVUE while in each of their classes. The window to select will be open on only those two days; however, each student will meet with their counselor in a one-on-one setting for any changes that need to be made.

(NEW!) CCPSOnline Registration Information for Summer and for 2022-2023

For more information, visit

School Year 2022-23

Registration opens on February 1 and closes on April 29.

Classes start on August 22, 2022 and end on May 26, 2023.

Summer 22 Accelerate (6 Weeks)

Registration opens on February 1 and closes on April 29.

Classes start on June 20, 2022 and end on July 28, 2022.

Summer 22 High School Repeat (4 Weeks)

Registration opens on May 2 and closes on June 1.

Classes start on June 27, 2022 and end on July 21, 2022.

(NEW!) Squire Magazine for the Arts

The Fall digital edition of the Squire Magazine is published! This is a great place for students to display their hard work and creativity. The winter edition submission deadline is January 19th. Students can submit writing, artwork, photography, and audio/video performances. Submission guidelines are here.

REMINDER: Mask Up in School!!

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(NEW!) Communication from CCPS

Would a mentor be helpful for your child?

MEGA Mentors makes it easy to sign up and access a mentor for students in grades 3-12. Visit the Mega Mentors website to see curriculum and discussion topics. Register by filling out the MEGA Mentor form in English or Spanish. For more information, email or call 804-639-8774.

Strong Men and Women in Virginia History Contest

High school students in Virginia are invited to honor outstanding African Americans by participating in Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia’s Strong Men and Women in Virginia History student contest. Projects are due by Dec. 31.

COVID-19 vaccine for children

The COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is available at the Chesterfield Health District’s Community Vaccination Center. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be offered for children ages 5 to 11 at the Chesterfield Health District’s Community Vaccination Center located in the Rockwood Shopping Center at 10161 Hull Street Road in Midlothian.

The Community Vaccination Center is open 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Parents who wish to get their children vaccinated should make an appointment at or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682). Advanced registration is encouraged. Those with an appointment should arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before the appointment time. A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18.

The Community Vaccination Center also offers first, second, additional primary doses and booster shots at no cost to the public. The Moderna vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson are available for anyone 18 and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is available for anyone 5 and older. A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18. Walk-in appointments are available for primary series (age 12 and up) and booster doses only. For more about vaccinating children and teens, parents can visit the CDC website.

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(REMINDER!) Online Store Open

Order Thomas Dale apparel online between now and November 28th! All items will ship directly to your home address 5-6 weeks after the store closes.

Click here to access the online store!

(Reminder!) Make-up Pictures for 9th, 10th, and 11th

We have a date for make-up pictures: December 9. Mark your calendars, more information is forthcoming!

(REMINDER!) Chromebook Lost/Damaged/Stolen Information

The first incident of a lost/stolen Chromebook should be charged $100, no matter the age of the Chromebook or the condition. Subsequent instances are charged at a depreciated value over the normal three-year replacement schedule of a Chromebook. Chromebooks in their first year would be charged $300, second year $200, and last year at $100. Chromebooks older than three years would continue to be charged $100 for each incident. Technology Support Analysts can assist with determining the age of a Chromebook. All students in grades 8-12 should have received a new Chromebook in Fall of 2021 as part of the normal cycle. Elementary Chromebooks vary in age.

Accidental Damage
A damaged Chromebook is reviewed by our vendor for warranty repair and damages are deemed accidental or intentional. Damage deemed accidental after vendor inspection is generally covered under warranty and no charges would be issued.

Intentional Damage
The actual cost of repair or replacement should be charged to families with intentional damage, not to exceed $185. A damaged Chromebook is reviewed by our vendor for warranty repair and damages are deemed accidental or intentional. Charges should not be levied until an itemized report is available from the vendor and sent to the school for review.

Replacement Accessories
Accessory items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear will be replaced at no cost to families. Lost/stolen/intentional damage should be charged as follows:

  • Chromebook Case - $17
  • Power adapter (charger) - $20

*Note that families may purchase an alternative power supply for home use, additional use, or replacement. The specifications are a Type USB-C, 45-watt power adapter. The link below describes an appropriate model. However, any adapter meeting the requirements will work.

Link to replacement adapter:

(UPDATED!) Mark Your Calendars

Below, you will find the important dates for the school year that we have marked. There are many more important dates that I will add and keep here as we know them. For example, graduation, exams, SOL testing, Prom, etc. are not yet set. As they are, this is where I will add them in addition to sending separate notifications.


  • 29th-30th (MAP Testing for Math)


  • December 1st-2nd (MAP Testing for English)
  • 9th (Make-up Pictures for 9th, 10th, and 11th)
  • 13th (Fire DRILL, 9am)
  • 20th-31st (No School)


  • 4th-5th - Class Presentations for Course Selection for 2022-2023
  • January 6th - Virtual Registration Knight (Previously scheduled for December 9)
  • 14th (No School for Students), End of 1st Semester
  • 17th (No School)
  • 31st (Report Cards Issued)


  • 11th (No School for Students)
  • 21st (No School)
  • 24th (College and Career Symposium, 6-7:30pm)


  • 3rd (Snow Date for College and Career Symposium)
  • 18th (No School for Students), End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
  • 23rd (SAT Day for Junior Students)
  • 29th and 30th (Cap and Gown Distribution, 4-7pm, Bus Loop Drive-Thru)
  • 29th and 30th (Junior Class Ring Distribution, 4-7pm, Bus Loop Drive-Thru)


  • 1st (Report Cards Issued)
  • 4th-8th (No School)
  • 15th (No School)
  • 26th (VIRTUAL meeting for families of ELs)


  • 3rd (No School)
  • 12th (12th Grade Awards Ceremony for Community and Scholarships, 6-7:30pm)
  • 13th (12th Grade Academic Awards Assembly, 10:30am)
  • 25th (Graduation at 7pm, VCU Siegel Center)
  • 30th (No School)


  • 2nd (Last Day of School for Students)
  • 3rd (No School for Students)
  • 17th (Report Cards Mailed Home)

A DEAL for Juniors and Seniors!

All Juniors and Seniors who pay their dues by January 27 will be entered for a raffle to win free Prom Tickets!!! We will draw 5 names, and each winner will get TWO FREE TICKETS to Prom! January 27 is the cut-off for entry, and we will draw names on January 28. All Juniors and Seniors who pay their class dues by January 27 are eligible!

Click HERE to pay Junior Dues ($20)

Click HERE to pay Senior Dues ($25)

Our Prom Planning Committee is hard at work and will soon have a finalized date and location...we will communicate that as soon as it is locked in. We do know, however, that we will start selling tickets on January 31 for an Early-Bird price.

CCPS Calendar Update

At its Tuesday, Nov. 9 meeting, the School Board voted unanimously to update the current school calendar to make four days full workdays for school division staff and a holiday for students:

  • Friday, Jan. 14
  • Friday, Feb. 11
  • Friday, March 18
  • Friday, June 3

Signing Students Out of School Early

Hello Parents/Guardians,

The end of the day can be quite hectic as your student is finishing their class and preparing to be dismissed. We ask if you are planning on picking your student up early, please do so before 2:45pm. We also ask that you please bring a photo ID with you for security purposes.


Office Staff

Yearbook Information!

Senior yearbook ad early bird pricing ends on November 1st. Visit and use code 4232 to purchase yours before the prices go up! Sizing and pricing can be found here.

Main Campus Mindfulness

Would your child benefit from spending 5 minutes on a Mindfulness exercise? Send them to Room 1009 at Main Campus every Wednesday from 8:15am-8:20am. Ms. Bentzen can accommodate up to 24 students.

A few key points: doing this is completely optional for participants and this is a practice rooted in neuroscience, not religion. For a sample of an exercise on breathing, check out THIS SCRIPT.

Dues for 9th, 10th, and 11th

Class dues for each grade level can be paid using the links below! These funds help us pay for the activities and events throughout each year and also stay with your child's class through the four years of high school. Thank you so much for your attention to this!

9th Grade ($10)

10th Grade ($15)

11th Grade ($20)

Numbers to Celebrate

We have many reasons to celebrate!!! There are three numbers that matter most for high schools, and they are the three data points I mark our success by: On-Time Graduation Rate, Dropout Rate, and Chronic Absenteeism.

Here are our 2021 numbers for the "Big 3"...

  1. On-Time Graduation Rate: 95.3% (first time we have cracked 95%)
  2. Dropout Rate: 2.76% (we were at 6% 3 years ago)
  3. Chronic Absenteeism: 6.1% (we were at 14% 3 years ago)

These are tremendous data points that reflect the hard work, dedication, and commitment to our students and the Thomas Dale community.

Thank you for your partnership, commitment, and engagement in your child's educational experience with us. This is most certainly a big deal and something worth celebrating.

Every Knight, Every Day!!!

Scholarship "Green Sheet" is READY for Seniors!!

Greetings Seniors!

The first edition of Thomas Dale's Scholarship Green Sheet is now available!! Please take a look HERE to find generous opportunities to assist with, OR, pay for your next four years of education. This first edition includes a majority of nomination type opportunities. However, subsequent editions will include more of the local scholarships that are open to all seniors who possess the eligibility requirements. We wish you the very best as you progress through your senior year!

EveryKnight, EveryDay!

Mask Update - Masks are Required

On Friday, schools and families received updated information regarding the requirement of masks. I've pasted that message below for your reference. Students must wear a mask. Students who have requested a mask exemption will be provided a face shield, which they must wear.

Masks are required for all — staff, students, volunteers and visitors — regardless of vaccination status. Please ensure all masks are well fitting. For students who have worked with their school nurse on a documented mask exemption, it is important to note that if a mask cannot be worn, other mitigation strategies will be used. The student will be offered a face shield, and if the student is unable to wear a face shield, a desk shield will be provided. If the parent or student refuses either accommodation, they will be referred to administration. Let’s all please work together to ensure the safety of everyone.

Dismissal Procedures

If you are picking your child up from MAIN, please use the Staff Parking Lot. All students are directed by staff to exit the building from that side. Parents/Families will be directed to one of three exit paths (marked below). The black arrow will be the primary, the yellow arrow will be used once the buses on that side depart, and the blue arrow will be for exiting around the building like drop-off.

It takes EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US following the procedures. It makes the process difficult if we have people who ignore these directions and choose to do their own thing. Remember, Thomas Dale has MANY moving parts that we must coordinate at the same time for a safe and efficient dismissal.

  • West Campus: buses, pick-up, walkers
  • Main Campus, buses, pick-up, walkers, and student drivers
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Senior Parent Knight (Materials)

It was an excellent session, and we are so thankful for those who joined us live! If you were unable to join us, or you would just like to review the presentation, here's what you need!

Chromebook Exchange and Deployment

Did your child miss Chromebook Deployment Day? Not to worry!

Your child can get his/her Chromebook from the Chromebook Help Desk at either campus.

  • from 12:50-1:50pm at the Main Campus (Room 504)
  • from 2-2:45pm at the West Campus (Room 116)

School-Wide Expectations and Student Handbook

This post is in every update to The Ultimate Guide. I'm bringing it to the top as an Updated post, so that you see it again and take some time to review what it means to be a high school student. We predicted that we would need 6 weeks of school to establish relationships and community and to re-establish routines, procedures, and rules associated with the operation of a high school.

Some of our students - not all - are testing the boundaries of the rules and acting in a manner inconsistent with what I am positive you've instilled in them. I need your help with reinforcing that there are rules and expectations associated with being a high school student. This year's challenges alone are enough to make things difficult. None of us needs irresponsible behavior making it even more so.

Thank you for your support and partnership, and thank you for taking time to talk with your child about rules, expectations, and appropriate behavior at school. Below you will find two important links: the CCPS Student Code of Conduct and our Student Handbook.


I wanted to ensure the STUDENT HANDBOOK is included in every release of The Ultimate Guide.

In it, you will find our school-wide expectations (Kindness, Accountability, Respect, Engagement) as well as pertinent information regarding the operations and procedures of our school day.

Also, many of you will begin getting school clothes ready for the new year. Please take time to review the dress code within the student handbook.


We will make fee payment for extra-curricular and non-academic fees available online throughout OSP service. HERE is the link. Student athletic passes and Adult Fall Season passes are also available for purchase at this time.

The only academic and course-related fees will be the Dual Enrollment tuition for John Tyler Community College. Dual Enrollment fees can be paid using the link above.

Are You and Your Child Part of the School's Canvas Course?

Join now (if you aren't already)!!!

Thomas Dale High School Students and Families

Direct Link through Canvas:

OR Canvas Join Code: WPCL6C

Canvas While Quarantined

If your child has to quarantine for an exposure or isolate for a positive case, please have them log into their Canvas Courses daily to check for work, learning experiences, or assignments loaded by their teachers. All of our teachers are loading their content in Canvas, and your child will be able to keep up while quarantined.

What to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to quarantine

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to quarantine due to exposure, please send an email to ME ( and to our Nurse (

You can also call the clinic at 804-768-6245 extension 6636. Do NOT leave a message on our Attendance Line.

Arrival Procedures and Maps

Arrival and Dismissal are 2 of our most hectic times of the day. It takes every single one of us following the guidelines below to make it SAFE and as smooth as possible.



  • Students who ride the bus OR walk to school will enter through Door 1 or Door 9 (Door 9 is reserved for students who intend to get their free breakfast)
  • Students who get dropped off in the morning will enter through Door 9
  • All students should report directly to their 1st period class after they pick-up their grab and go optional breakfast (except on Day 1 for Camp Squire, they report to Seminar-marked as Homeroom on their schedule)



  • Students who ride the bus OR walk to school will enter through Door 2; there are a handful of designated buses that will drop off at Door 33
  • Students who drive will enter through Door 5 or Door 2
  • Students who get dropped off will enter through Door 14 (Families who drop their children off will enter Main Campus from W. Hundred Road, drive around the right side of the building all the way to Door 14, drop off, and then continue around the building to exit out through Old Centralia Road. Vehicles arriving for drop-off WILL NOT enter Main Campus from Old Centralia Road - this is extremely important.) This entrance is ONLY for student drivers.
  • All students should report directly to their 1st period class after they pick-up their grab and go optional breakfast
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Dismissal Procedures and Maps

Dismissal is even MORE hectic, because it is all happening in a condensed timeframe!



  • Students who ride the bus will be dismissed from class first, beginning at 2:55pm (the first two days of school will be a bit earlier to allow the students more time to find their bus)
  • Students who walk OR get picked up in the afternoon will do so through Door 9 beginning close to 3:05pm



  • Students who drive will be dismissed beginning at 2:55pm (earlier on the 1st day of school). Students will exit through Door 2, 4, or 5 and report directly to their cars to drive off of campus immediately
  • Students who ride the designated buses at Door 33 will be released before 3:00pm as well
  • Students who walk will be released beginning at 2:55pm and exit through Door 1 or Door 2.
  • Students who get picked up will be released beginning at 2:55pm and exit through Door 31 or Door 33. Families who are picking up will need to park in the STAFF LOT on the east side of the building closer to Curtis Elementary; you may park in a slot or begin the line-up procedure, behind the few buses that are parked at Door 33. No vehicles will enter Main Campus in the morning from Old Centralia Road - this presents a safety issue for our students.
  • Students who ride the bus will be dismissed from their last class of the day by bus number beginning at 3:00pm. Students will remain in class until their bus is called, and then report directly to their bus.
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Bus Route Information

To get your child's bus information, please click HERE.

If you need directions on how to navigate the above link, please check out THIS DOCUMENT.

From the TDHS Libraries

Would you like to visit the library before or after school? Do you want to visit the library during the school day? Check out our library procedures.

Join the Get Knighted Reading Challenge! Read 4 Virginia Readers' Choice titles, and vote for the best YA book in Virginia. For more information, click here.

StudentVUE and ParentVUE App on Phones

Lots of folks are having issues with the parentvue app on their phone. That's because it has CHANGED! HERE are directions on what to do to fix the problem. You do NOT need a new activation code. The old one still works, you just have to reinstall the app and follow the directions I have given you here.

The URL has also changed if you use your computer for ParentVUE. For now, you will be redirected and can just bookmark the new URL. The URL is: - This URL also works for students!

Building Management Plan

For full transparency and to ensure every single one of us in the Thomas Dale community is on the same page, I'm including our Building Management and Operations plan so that you can see how we will operate once school begins. I am also including several infographics regarding different components of the school day below.

Some of the information/links in the plan will have teacher-only access for internal communication purposes. Where appropriate, I've updated viewing rights and a more community/family oriented communication.

Additionally, CCPS has created an informational site that will be helpful as well:

Click HERE to review our Building Management and Operations Plan.

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CCPS School Calendar for 2021-2022

Please check out the 2021-2022 SCHOOL CALENDAR.

One important note that we all need to be aware of is the start to the school year.

  • August 23 is the first day of school for 9th grade students
  • August 24 is the first day for all other students

Need to Schedule a Meeting with an Administrator or Counselor??

If you or your child need to schedule a meeting, please access THIS PAGE. You will have links to pick a time to meet with our administrative and counseling staff. A list of administrators, counselors, and student loads are included at the bottom of The Ultimate Guide - just scroll to the bottom.

Send a Teacher (or more!) Some Love and Appreciation

Our teachers are (and have been) working extremely hard to do something that has never been done before. It is oftentimes difficult for them to get their "buckets filled," and one way to do that is when they get a note of appreciation from others.

Take just a few moments, and you can have your child do so too, to send some teacher love and appreciation to the greatest teachers in the Commonwealth of Virginia!

Simply click HERE to get started, and they will receive and electronic copy of your note.


This year, our Learning Management System will be Canvas. All of your child's classes will be in Canvas, which he/she can access from Rapid Identity.

Your child will need to join the Thomas Dale High School Students and Families course in Canvas by clicking HERE.

Once your child has joined, I need you to join as well by following THESE INSTRUCTIONS. You will also need to use these instructions to become an Observer/Parent for each of your child's courses once they are loaded on August 15. The Student and Family course linked above is available for you to join now.

When you and your child are in the Thomas Dale Students and Families Canvas Course, make sure you go through the modules; there is one for students and one for parents. This is an important step to understanding Canvas.


Please take a moment and make sure all ParentVUE information is accurate. You can use THESE DIRECTIONS if you need to make a change.

Counselor and Administrator Information


HERE is the website for Counselor information.


HERE is the website for Administrator information.

  • Principal: Chris Jones
  • 9th Grade students with last name A-K, L-Z: Karen Lee
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name A-Di: Jeff Millner
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name Do-J: Jeanine Grabham
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name K-Ra: Heidi Hicks
  • 10th-12th Grade and 9th Grade Specialty Center students with last name Re-Z: Beth Clark
  • 10th-12th Grade students NEW to Thomas Dale: Catherine Mazzola
  • Coordinator of Special Education: Krista DeVauld
  • Specialty Center Coordinator: Jamie Barrack
  • Director of Student Activities: Ricky Talman