Dolphin Parent Connection

April 2019 Volume 4, Issue 8

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

April Is...

National Poetry Month

National Library Month

National Autism Awareness Week

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Month of the Military Child

· Monday, April 1st: 5th Grade (Reed & Schmidt) to Laser Quest

· Monday, April 1st: Beginning of 4th Marking Period

· Tuesday, April 2nd: 5th Grade (Murphy) to Laser Quest

· Tuesday, April 2nd: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, April 3rd: 5th Grade (Petermann & Pierce) to Laser Quest

· Wednesday, April 3rd: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, April 3rd: Helping Hands Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, April 4th: Spring Picture Day

· Thursday, April 4th: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, April 4th: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Thursday, April 4th: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Friday, April 5th: PTA Variety Show @ 6:00 PM (Red Mill ES)

· Monday, April 8th: Report Cards Issued

· Tuesday, April 9th: 4th Grade (Koach & Chavarria) to Planetarium

· Tuesday, April 9th: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Tuesday, April 9th: SCA Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, April 10th: Purple Up Day to Honor our Military Kids

· Wednesday, April 10th: 4th Grade (Martinette, Volkman, & Sahr) to Planetarium

· Wednesday, April 10th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, April 10th: Anchored4Life Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, April 10th: Maker Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, April 10th: Grade 1 "How Does My Garden Grow" Performance @ 6:30 PM

· Thursday, April 11th: Last day to order flowers from Helping Hands (see order form below)

· Thursday, April 11th: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, April 11th: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Friday, April 12th-Sunday, April 21st: Spring Break

· Monday, April 22nd: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Tuesday, April 23rd: Kindergarten Registration @ 9:00 AM (

· Tuesday, April 23rd: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Tuesday, April 23rd: Grade 1 Field Trip to Portsmouth Children's Museum

· Wednesday, April 24th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, April 24th: Maker Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, April 24th: Helping Hands Spring Flower Pick-up @ 4:00-5:30 PM

· Thursday, April 25th: Grade 1 Gifted Testing for Select Students and all ODS Applicants

· Thursday, April 25th: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, April 25th: SCA Jr Newspaper Club @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Thursday, April 25th: Spirit Night at Lucky Oyster @ 4:00-8:00 PM

· Friday, April 26th: Grade 4 Jamestown Outreach

· Friday, April 26th: Helping Hands Spaghetti Dinner @ 5:30 & 6:45 PM

· Monday, April 29th: MineCraft Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Tuesday, April 30th: Spring BOGO Book Fair Preview

· Tuesday, April 30th: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, May 1st-Tuesday, May 7th: Spring BOGO Book Fair

· Wednesday, May 1st: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:50-4:15 PM

· Wednesday, May 1st: Helping Hands Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Wednesday, May 1st: Young Authors Night @ 6:00-7:30 PM

· Thursday, May 2nd: SOL Reading Tutoring @ 2:45-4:00 PM

· Thursday, May 2nd: Kindergarten Field Trip to Cullipher Farm

· Thursday, May 2nd: Grade 1 "Ready, Set, Grow" Outreach

· Friday, May 3rd: Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast @ 9:00 AM

Spring Cleaning: Lost & Found

Has your student lost a coat or sweatshirt recently? Our Lost and Found is overflowing with unclaimed items. If your child has recently misplaced an item, we encourage you to please stop by the school and check out Lost and Found, which is currently located in the cafeteria. All unclaimed items will be donated over Spring Break. Also, to encourage the return of lost items, please label your child’s coat with his/her first name on the clothing tag. This will greatly assist the school with returning found items.

Smart Watches and Technology Devices

In order to provide classrooms where all children can be successful, we must ensure they are safe and orderly. Consequently, everyone - from our administrators and teachers to our students and families - partners together to do their share in this effort. This is especially true now as technology has become a more consistent part of the school day. While the VBCPS Code of Conduct does provide a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, the policy states that students may not access privately owned devices (including cell phones and smart watches) unless for educational purposes deemed by the teacher to support and enhance instructional activities. Likewise, no voice, video, or image capturing may be used unless specifically instructed by the teacher. Finally, students may not use smart watches or cell phones to communicate with persons without permission from the teacher during school hours. While we value the need for the connection between students and their families, we ask that all communications needed during school hours occur through the student’s teacher or the main office and not directly with the child. If you have any questions about the BYOD policy, please visit for more information.

Helping Hands Info

Our Helping Hands Club has a busy month planned. They are currently accepting flower orders for their Spring Flower Sale. Please see the attached order form and flower options. Also, Helping Hands will host their annual Spaghetti Dinner on Friday, April 26th. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards supporting Next Generation Animal Services and Wild Baby Raccoon Rescue.

Currently Collecting Worn and Tattered US Flags

Do you have a worn and tattered United States flag that needs to be recycled? Red Mill Elementary will continue to collect old and worn US Flags through the remainder of the school year. Our local Boy Scout troops are taking these flags and properly disposing of them for us. A collection box is located in the Red Mill Elementary foyer.

Order Your Yearbook Now!

You can still pre-order yearbooks for the 2018-2019 school year. Standard yearbooks are $20 and personalized yearbooks are $25. You can order yearbooks online at with ID Code 13007619 or pick up a yearbook form in the main office. The deadline to order online or to order a personalized yearbook will end on 4/11/2019. Preorders for standard yearbooks will still be collected at school until yearbooks arrive. Yearbook fliers will be sent home again within the month. Yearbooks should arrive the first week of June. Extra yearbooks will be sold until they are all sold out!

School Counseling Program Notes

Our classroom lessons in April will focus on personal and social responsibility. Students will explore how their actions impact the world around them and will develop a better understanding of what it means to be an informed and responsible citizen.

April is the Month of the Military Child, and throughout the month we will highlight the unique experiences of our military-connected students. We invite all students and staff to celebrate with us on April 10th, as we recognize the strength and sacrifice of our military-connected students on Purple Up day. Why purple? Purple indicates that all branches of the military are supported; Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue all thought to combine together as a single color, purple.

Did you know that our Anchored4Life club provides resources for families experiencing a deployment? Be sure to let your child’s classroom teacher know about upcoming deployments to take advantage of this valuable (but free!) tool.

Please feel free to contact me by phone (648-3572) or e-mail ( if you have any questions or concerns.

PTA News

The Dolphin Splash Variety Show will be held Friday, April 5th in the Red Mill cafeteria, starting at 6 PM. Students have put together many forms of entertainment for you including singing, dancing, acting, and more! Seating will be limited. Doors will open at 5:30 PM.

Spring Fling: Join us for our Spring festival at Hunt Club Farm the evening of Friday, May 10th from 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Entertainment will include a DJ, games, a hayride and, of course, farm animals. Everything is FREE if you RSVP by Friday, April 26th. Food will be available for purchase on site. Please note: Hunt Club has asked for a headcount so they know how many employees will need to work. We are sending home a form with students. Please fill it out if you plan to attend.

5th Grade Parent Volunteers Needed: We could still use a few parents of 5th graders to help with the end-of-year party and graduation. For more info, contact or Jen Cardona at

ISO: Scholarship Judges: High school seniors who attended Red Mill can apply for a scholarship. Heather Holmgren is the chairperson for this and needs one or two more judges. It should take just a couple hours of your time at the end of April. If you’d like to help, e-mail Heather at

Dolphin Academy just wrapped up. We’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped make it possible. This year, the organizers for the after-school enrichment program were Rebecca Straseskie and Terry Stevens. The PTA would like to congratulate Ms. Stevens who was recently given the Red Mill “Volunteer of the Year” award! We thank you for all your hard work and will miss you next year.

Reflections 2019-2020: We know the Fall schedule can get hectic. That’s why we’re announcing the theme to next school year’s PTA Reflections contest now! The program helps students express their thoughts and ideas and showcase their artistic abilities by creating original work related to a specific theme. Next school year’s theme is “Look Within.” Categories include: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts. For more info, see this website:

Box Tops Fundraiser: Remember to clip Box Tops labels on food packages! These labels would just be thrown away or recycled, so why not clip them and help your school at the same time? Be sure to put them in an envelope or baggie with your child’s grade and teacher’s name. There are mailboxes in the school foyer.

*Check out our Facebook page for the latest: Search “Red Mill PTA” and look for the dolphin cover photo or click here:

Next school year 2019-2020: The PTA can’t provide these types of events without volunteers, so please consider how you can help – whether it would be for a position on the PTA board or chairperson for an event. There are many positions to be filled. E-mail if you have any questions about these positions or if you’re ready to sign up!

Year-Round Positions Available:

1) Secretary

2) Copy Room Coordinator

3) After-School Club Chairperson

Seasonal Positions Available:

1) Reflections Art Contest Chairperson (Fall)

2) Dolphin Academy Co-Chair (Spring)

3) Winter Family Fun Night Coordinator (Jan & Feb)

4) Winter Wonderland Chairperson (for overall event in December)

5) Winter Wonderland Kids’ Craft Leader (Nov/Dec)

6) Winter Wonderland Silent Auction Co-Chair (Nov/Dec)

7) 5th Grade Crossing Over Coordinator (May/June)

8) 5th Grade Social Coordinator (Spring)

Camp Invention at Red Mill This Summer

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), Red Mill Elementary School is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention® program to children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. It’s an exciting, week long summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children work together to create solutions to real-world problems and build critical 21st-century skills while rotating through several high-energy, hands-on modules.The campy will run July 15th--19th from 8:30 AM--3:00 PM. Register using promo code PLAY15LISTING to save $15 (expires 5/10) OFF $235. Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so register early. Register here for Camp Invention at Red Mill Elementary

Introducing our NEW 2019 program,SUPERCHARGED!

Camp Invention is a high-energy, hands-on STEM camp. Your child will love what’s in store this year:

  • CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING Children team up to rebuild ships and design underwater equipment in Deep Sea Mystery™.
  • STEM APPLICATION In DIY Orbot™, participants explore circuit boards, motors and gears as they design a remote-control bot to take on obstacles from sports to dance.
  • INNOVATION Children collaborate with inventor superheroes and take on the role of engineers, fabricators and innovators to conquer villains in Innovation Force™.
  • CONFIDENCE Kids become successful entrepreneurs in Farm Tech™, as they code bots to turn a polluted wasteland into a money-making machine and create devices to save animals.

Worth A Second Look

Not Receiving Text Messages?

Our records indicate that several families are not receiving text messages from the school with important reminders and transportation changes. If you have not received any text messages from Red Mill this school year, you may have not yet Opted in to receive text messages. See below for directions on how to Opt In or Opt Out of text messages.

How do I know if I have Opted-in?
You can check if you are opted-in by texting “Y” or "YES" to 67587.

How do I opt-out?

You may opt-out at any time by texting “STOP” to 67587.

What if I opted-out but later decide I would like to opt-in again?
As long as your child’s school has your text-enabled phone number on record, you may request to begin receiving text messages by texting “Y” or "YES" to 67587. If the school does not have your text-enabled number on record, you will need to contact the school.

See full FAQ at

News from Our Nurse, Ms. Hart

Attention all 5th grade parents!

Your child will need a Tdap immunization for 6th grade. Get this vaccine now so that you can avoid the August Rush. Please bring proof of the vaccination to the clinic this spring.

Upcycling News

We are currently Upcycling things that you can’t recycle at home:

  • Plastic bags (grocery bags, vegetable bags, dog food bags and any bag that doesn’t crinkle): These items cannot be recycled by the City of VA Beach so please consider bringing them to us so that we can recycle them through Trex.
  • Egg Cartons: We give these to our local egg farmers.
  • Shoes: We donate to a local dog rescue, and the shoes go to third world countries where families can start their own shoe businesses.
  • Please note that we are not collecting batteries. Batteries can be taken to the local library for recycling.

Student Electronic Resources

Wondering what educational resources your child is accessing while using his/her Chromebook at school? Click the link below to see a listing of some of the division resources students are using at school. Most of these resources are also available at home for students through Clever. If you have questions regarding students' technology use, please send questions to with the subject line "Technology Use." We will continue to highlight additional electronic student resources in future issues of Dolphin Parent Connection.

Dismissal Change Reminders

Our staff works hard to ensure each child makes it home safely every day, but we need your help. As a reminder, if there is to be any change in dismissal procedures for your child, whether it is an early pickup or going home a different way, please have your child give his/her teacher a parent note first thing in the morning (preferred way) indicating the change. You may also email the office before 2:10 PM with the dismissal change at the following address: Please do not simply email your child's teacher or use Class Dojo for communicating dismissal changes. Teachers are busy teaching and cannot guarantee that he/she will see the electronic communication. Also, if your child is involved in an after school activity and cannot attend on a particular day, a note is needed indicating that your child will not be staying for the activity. Otherwise, we must assume your child should be staying after school .

School Cafe

If you would like to do any of the following regarding your child's lunch account, please visit

  • Make Payments
  • Set up Auto Pay
  • Set Purchase Restrictions
  • Get Low Balance Alerts
  • Submit Applications
  • View Purchases
  • View Menus

Take Some Stress off Your Plate

If you would like to celebrate your child's birthday in school, but do not want to have to worry about ensuring you have allergy-free items for your child's class, consider letting our cafeteria staff take care of that for you. Diane Swan, our cafeteria manager, will take the stress away from you. See the attached Birthday Celebration order form.

Destination Graduation

Students and their parents are encouraged to visit the Academic and Career Planning webpage to view and engage with K-12 career resources, middle and high school academic and career planning documents, and career pathway guides. Likewise, the Destination Graduation site offers students and families grade-level specific information and resources to help students and families navigate the journey from preschool to high school graduation.

Accessing School Resources From Home

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