Four Nests... One Family News

September 13, 2021

Rockledge Elementary School

School Hours: 9am-3:40pm (Doors open at 8:55am daily)

Hello Rockledge Families,

We packed in a lot of learning and experiences during our three day week. On Friday, our community remembered the heroes and experiences of September 11, 2001 by recognizing the 20th Anniversary of Patriot's Day. Students, staff, and visitors all wore red, white, and blue in commemoration. We also had special announcements defining patriotism and heroism, focusing on the importance of coming together and taking care of each other.

We have lots more fun planned at the Rock this week. First, we will be finishing up our Color Spirit Days! It has been so much fun coming together as a community to support our kindergarten students learning their colors. See the final three colors of the week below. We will kick off Monday with the color black.

September 15th kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month, and we will begin this celebration with a read aloud presented by a special guest, be sure to ask your children about it Wednesday evening. Thursday, there will be NO SCHOOL, PWCS will recognize Yom Kippur. And Friday, join us in wearing polka dots for International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration.

Your Principal & Assistant Principal,

Mrs. Steptoe-Coleman

Mrs. Everett

Upcoming Important Dates

September 15- October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

September, 17: International Dot Day

September 16: School Holiday- Yom Kippur (Schools Closed)

October 5 & 7: Back to School Night (details coming soon)

October 8: Fall Pictures (during school day)

October 11: Indigenous People's Day/ Professional Learning Day (No School for Students)

October 14th: Advisory Council (6pm)/ PTA Meeting (7pm)

Color Spirit Days

It has been exciting over the last couple of weeks to see our Rockledge community support Kindergarten in learning their colors through the Color Spirit Days. This week will be our final of color fun.

Big picture

International Dot Day

Celebrate International Dot Day by wearing something with polka dots on Friday, September 17. This day is a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration.

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15- October 15

Students will kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) with a special read-aloud at 3:15pm on Wednesday, September 15.

About the Nest System at Rockledge

This past week we had Nest reveals for 1st through 5th grade students that are new to Rockledge this year. Kindergarten will be having a similar celebration this coming week to reveal their Nests. As students are assigned to Nests they will receive their first Nest shirt. Click on the image to see this year's brochure about the Rockledge Nest System.

The Rockledge Nest System is used to promote positive character, academic success, school spirit, a family atmosphere, and a culture of excellence in our school. Staff carefully assign students and their siblings to a Rockledge Nest. The students will remain a member of the same nest throughout their entire tenure at Rockledge. The nest system will be used as a vehicle to inspire and motivate students to be their personal best-self, every day. Students may earn nest points by following school rules, also known as the Rockledge Rule and Eggspectations (expectations), and by demonstrating positive character traits aligned with our character education program.

Instruction & Assessment Updates

Families' Vision for Learning

As we journey into a new school year, Rockledge Elementary School will be revisiting our current vision statement. As part of the process, we would like you to share your personal educational values with us. We will use this information, along with information from our staff and students, to review and revise our vision statement. We appreciate your input in this very important process.

Click HERE to share your vision.

PALS Literacy Assessment (Kindergarten-2nd Grades, Select 3rd Grade Students)

Prince William County Public Schools will participate in the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) in grades K-3 to measure a child’s knowledge of important literacy skills. This assessment takes place in the fall and spring. Your student will be participating in the PALS assessment.

This assessment measures a child’s knowledge of several important literacy fundamentals: phonological awareness, concept of word, knowledge of letter sounds and spelling. PALS provides a direct means of matching literacy instruction to specific literacy needs and provides a means of identifying those children who are relatively behind in their acquisition of these fundamental literacy skills and are at risk of reading difficulties.

Teachers can use the results to more effectively plan their instruction to meet the needs of each student. Families can use these results to partner with their child’s teacher and school to extend skills and develop a plan for continuous growth.

Student Growth Assessment (Grades 3rd-5th)

Dear Rockledge Parents and Guardians,

Last week you received information regarding the Virginia Growth Assessment for students in grades 3-8. Students at Rockledge in grades 3-5 will be participating in the Fall VA growth assessments in both reading and math. The purpose for the Fall assessment is to gather baseline data to measure student progress throughout the year. This assessment is approximately 20 questions for reading and 25 for math. Assessments will be administered in the classroom following breakfast. Students with EL service delivery plans or IEPs will receive their accommodations as they do on any statewide assessment. All students are expected to participate in the assessment. Virtual students will be expected to attend in person for testing on the dates listed below.

Rockledge Student Growth Assessment Schedule:

Tuesday September 14th: 5th grade reading

Wednesday, September 15th: 4th grade reading

Thursday, September 16th: no school, Yom Kippur

Friday, September 17th: 3rd grade reading

Tuesday, September 21st: 5th grade math

Wednesday, September 22nd: 4th grade math

Thursday, September 23rd: 3rd grade math

You may review additional information regarding the growth assessments on the PWCS testing website: or on the Virginia Department of Education website:

If you have any questions about this assessment please contact Assistant Principal Everett, your school test coordinator.

PTA Updates

Rockledge PTA Needs YOU!

We are looking for energetic and motivated volunteers to help fill our board and chair positions for this school year. Please see the attached flyer for open positions and important dates. Candidates can be parents, grandparents, or any other relative or community member that wants to help make a difference – you just need to complete your 2021-2022 PTA membership.

Membership can be purchased here:

Help make your voice heard and join us today!

Have Questions? Email for more information or to submit a nomination!

Daily Attendance Notes

Absences & Tardies:

If your child is going to be absent or tardy, please call the office between 8am-9:10am. Under some circumstances, a doctor's note will be required. Parents must bring their students to the reception office and sign them in if they are tardy, the student will be given a tardy slip and sent to class.

Change in Dismissal Plan:

Please make sure your child knows how they are getting home each day, before coming to school. If there is a change in your child's dismissal procedure, we require written notice from the parent/ guardian. If you email the teacher this notice, copy Mrs. Geck ( and Mrs. Rodriguez ( to the email so that the front office is aware of the change in dismissal. There will be no changes in dismissal or student sign-outs made after 3:15pm daily, unless there is an emergency.

For full attendance guidelines of PWCS, click here.

Code of Behavior

The Code of Behavior (COB) includes important information to guide students and adults toward success in our School Division. It is vital for parents and guardians to understand the policies, responsibilities, expectations, and rules summarized and to emphasize the importance to students. With your help, we can ensure a positive and safe learning environment in all our schools.

Use these “rules of the road” to navigate opportunities and challenges in PWCS, while protecting the health, safety, and rights of PWCS students and staff, and the quality of our learning environment.

Health Mitigation and Safety Updates

Updated Health Mitigation FAQs

PWCS continues to make updates to the FAQ page highlighting guidelines of implementing safety measures associated with the pandemic. Click here to see updated information and charts that serve as a guide for Rockledge as we continue to make plans and provisions for the safety of our community.

Daily Health Screening

In order to support maintaining a healthy and safe school environment; families are asked to complete the daily health screening with their children. Answer the questions daily to determine whether you should send your child to school.

By clicking on the image below you can access the screener in multiple languages.