Dolphin Parent Connection

February 2020 Volume 5, Issue 6

A Message from the Principal

Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports...Installment 2

In last month's issue of Dolphin Parent Connection, I talked about the importance of taking time to review, practice, and model your family's behavioral expectations and routines, just like we do at school on a regular basis as part of our school's Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports. Oftentimes, we make the assumption that kids should just know how to behave. However, just like any other skill we want our kids to learn, good behavior takes explicit instruction and practice.

Being a parent is challenging and requires lots of patience...some days more than others. Below are some of the PBIS principles we aim to implement here at school regarding positive reinforcement and consequences. We hope these will help us all navigate through challenging behaviors we encounter from our own children at home.

One of the most essential principles is to consistently provide positive reinforcement of expected behaviors until that expected behavior becomes an established routine. Positive reinforcement may include a point or sticker chart. One point or sticker could be earned for meeting each expectation. Your child could have a goal and earn a reward for reaching the goal, or you may choose to have a “menu” of rewards that your child can “buy” with their points or stickers. These rewards do not have to cost money and could include options such as "playing a board game with a parent" or "going on a hike at a local park."

The good news is that verbal praise is the most effective positive reinforcement tool for teaching and maintaining positive behavior. However, praise should be specific and clearly linked to the behavior you are reinforcing. For example...

  • Say: “I like how you are picking up your toys,” instead of, “Great job.”
  • Say: “You must feel proud of your report card,” instead of, “I am so proud of your report card.”
  • Say: “Thanks for being responsible and putting away your bike,” instead of “I LOVE you when you pick up your bike.”
  • Say: “Great job following directions at the grocery store today.” Don’t add: “Why can’t you do that every time?!”

When consequences are needed for a problem behavior, it is important to keep these helpful tips in mind.

  • Remain calm.
  • Remind your child of the expectation.
  • Re-teach/model the expected behavior and have your child practice .
  • Use consequences appropriately. Decide ahead of time what consequences there will be for problem behaviors.
  • Give the minimum amount of attention required to the misbehavior.
  • Save talking for when your child is listening.
  • Use a consequence that is age appropriate and related to the misbehavior. Example: If you child leaves his/her bike out, then they lose bike privileges for a day. Non-example: If you child leaves his/her bike out, then they do not get dessert at dinner.

We hope these tips help to make the connection between what we do at school and what you can do at home to increase positive behaviors.

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

· Monday, February 3rd: SCA Valentine's Day Candy Grams sale begins this week

· Monday, February 3rd: PTA Variety Show auditions held this week

· Monday, February 3rd: Report Cards Issued

· Tuesday, February 4th: Running Club @ 7:15-7:45 AM (open to all Shamrock Final Mile participants)

· Tuesday, February 4th: Art Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (4th graders)

· Tuesday, February 4th: Music Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (4th graders)

· Wednesday, February 5th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 5th: Anchored4Life Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (3rd-5th graders)

· Friday, February 7th: PTA Volunteer of the Year Nominations due

· Monday, February 10th: First Grade Gifted Application Deadline @ 4:00 PM

· Tuesday, February 11th: Running Club @ 7:15-7:45 AM (open to all Shamrock Final Mile participants)

· Tuesday, February 11th: PTA Board Meeting @ 12:20 PM

· Tuesday, February 11th: Kindergarten 100 Days of School Celebration @ 1:00 PM

· Tuesday, February 11th: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 12th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 12th: SCA Meeting @ 2:45-4:00 PM (3rd-5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 12th: Helping Hands @ 2:45-4:00 PM (2nd-5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 12th: Spirit Night at Red Robin @ 4:00-8:00 PM

· Friday, February 14th: SCA CandyGrams Delivered at 2:00 PM

· Monday, February 17th: Presidents' Day: No School

· Tuesday, February 18th: Running Club @ 7:15-7:45 AM (open to all Shamrock Final Mile participants)

· Tuesday, February 18th: Art Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (4th graders)

· Tuesday, February 18th: Music Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (4th graders)

· Tuesday, February 18th: Battle of the Books City Regional Battle @ 5:00 PM (Kellam HS)

· Wednesday, February 19th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 19th: Helping Hands @ 2:45-4:00 PM (2nd-5th graders)

· Thursday, February 20th: Gifted Testing for Select Students in Grades 2-5

· Friday, February 21st: PTA Dolphin Splash Variety Show @ 6:00 PM (Red Mill Cafe)

· Monday, February 24th: Garden Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (3rd-5th graders)

· Tuesday, February 25th: Running Club @ 7:15-7:45 AM (open to all Shamrock Final Mile participants)

· Tuesday, February 25th: 4th Grade Field Trip to VA Symphony in AM (Sandler Center)

· Tuesday, February 25th: Maker Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, February 26th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM (5th graders)

· Thursday, February 27th: Class Pictures & Club Pictures throughout day

· Monday, March 2nd: SOL Math Tutoring @ 2:45-3:50 PM (select students in 3rd-5th)

· Tuesday, March 3rd: Staff Work Day--No School for Students

· Wednesday, March 4th: Progress Reports Issued for Select Students

· Wednesday, March 4th: PTA Dolphin Academy @ 2:45-3:30 PM

· Wednesday, March 4th: STEM/Robotics Club @ 2:45-4:15 PM (5th graders)

· Wednesday, March 4th: Anchored4Life Club @ 2:45-4:00 PM (3rd-5th graders)

· Thursday, March 5th: SOL Math Tutoring @ 2:45-3:50 PM (select students in 3rd-5th)

· Friday, March 6th: Family Paint Night @ 6:00-7:30 PM (registration details will be sent soon)

SCA CandyGrams On Sale This Week


The Red Mill SCA will be selling Candy Grams Feb. 3rd-7th to raise money for SCA projects. Send a sweet smile to your student, friends, teachers, administrators, or staff at RMES!

What are candy grams?

Non-chocolate candies with a special message attached

How much do they cost?

$1.00 each *or* send an entire class a candy gram for only $10

How can I order them?

Choose your favorite message on the order form and fill it out for as many candy grams as you’d like to purchase.

When is my order due?

Completed order forms must be turned into the SCA Mailbox in the office by Feb. 7.

When will they be delivered?

The SCA will hand deliver them on Friday, Feb. 14th in the afternoon.

In order for candy grams to be guaranteed, orders must be paid in full with exact change or with a check made out to RMES SCA. Incomplete forms will not be processed. 100% of the proceeds benefit RMES SCA.

See order form below.


You're invited to Red Mill Elementary’s Spirit Night at Red Robin!

Join us on Wednesday, February 12th from 4-8pm at Red Robin Red Mill Commons, 1088 Nimmo Parkway. 20% of fundraising sales will go back to Red Mill Elementary.

The more who join us, the more we earn. We hope to see you there!

Simply mention our organization's fundraiser to your server for your sales to be applied to the total donation. Visit for more information on Red Robin's fundraising programs.

2019-2020 Yearbooks On Sale Now

You can pre-order your 2019-2020 RMES Yearbooks. Yearbook order forms are available in the Art Room. You can also pre-order yearbooks online at with code 13007620. Standard yearbooks are $20.00 and personalized yearbooks are $25.00.

Recess Donation Items for Parkway Elementary

My name is Jenna Peterson, and I am a Kindergarten teacher here at Red Mill Elementary. At Red Mill, we have an awesome collection of tricycles, wagons and other toys that our younger students get to use in the courtyard for recess. Recess in the courtyard is our students’ favorite type of recess. Their social and emotional skills are developing by sharing, taking turns, and being creative with their imaginary play, and they are making their fine and gross motor skills stronger. These are important things to work on and have a huge impact on the development of a kindergarten and pre-K student.

Some schools, however, do not have these items to play with at recess. A school that I used to teach at, Parkway Elementary, is one of those schools. Parkway is a Title 1 school and has a high percentage of students living in poverty. We would like to help the students at Parkway have an opportunity to play with toys like these. We are looking for gently used or new items to be donated to Parkway Elementary school to be used for their courtyard recess time. They have 5 kindergarten classes and two preschool classes that would greatly benefit from these donations. Below are some of the items we have in our courtyard that the students have loved. You may drop off your donation at Red Mill Elementary starting Wednesday, February 5th through Thursday February 20th. The items will then be dropped off at Parkway Elementary. Please help spread the word and thank you for your support!

January PE News

Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile

Register to run with Red Mill in the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile! Saturday, March 21st, 11 AM

In preparation for the Operation Smile Final Mile in March, Ms. Parker will be sponsoring a morning fitness club for students registered to participate in the Final Mile race. If your child is registered to run in the Final Mile race on March 21st and is interested in participating in the fitness club, we will meet in the gym from 7:15 – 7:45 AM on Tuesdays beginning January 28th until March 17th. Students may be running outside so they should have appropriate clothing for the weather. In case of rain or extreme cold, the fitness club will participate in indoor fitness activities in the gym. Students are still responsible for recording their progress on their mileage trackers at home. Your student must be registered for the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile in order to participate in this club. Please print and return the attached permission slip to Ms. Parker.

Gifted News

First Grade News:

The gifted application deadline for current first grade students is Monday, February 10, 2020. All applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m.

First grade gifted applicant testing is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Grades 2-5 News:

An Assessment Specialist for gifted education will be at Red Mill Elementary on Thursday, February 20, 2020 to work with gifted applicants in grades 2-5. A good night's sleep and a nutritious breakfast are the best preparation for testing. Having your child present on this date is appreciated, but a make up date will be scheduled if needed.

Visual Arts & Dance News:

Visual Arts portfolios and dance applications will be reviewed. Selected applicants will be invited to ODS later in the spring for full day evaluations. Full day evaluation details will be provided when scheduled.

If you have questions, please reach out to Tamyra Natividad, Gifted Resource Teacher, at

School Counselor Corner

In the month of February, classroom counseling lessons will focus on becoming Resilient Learners. Students will be learning to seek and accept new and difficult challenges, view set-backs as opportunities to learn and grow, and adapt to change. To learn more about what it means to have a growth mindset and how to cultivate this at home, visit

February 3-7 is National School Counseling Week. Please join me celebrating, and visit to learn more about the unique role and contributions of Professional School Counselors.

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

Helping Hands Club Information

  • Save the date for our Annual Spaghetti Dinner on March 20th.
  • Our Spring Flower Sale will be March 16th--27th with a pick up date of April 3rd. Order forms will be available soon.
  • Helping Hands is still collecting Coats for families through February.
  • We also collect shoes & Egg cartons all year.

PTA News


Variety Show: We could use a few volunteers this week to help with auditions as well as the night of the show! Good luck to all students bravely showing us their talents! The “Dolphin Splash Variety Show” will be the evening of Friday, February 21. You can contact Keegan Daley for more information: 716-381-7200, Also, if you’re interested in volunteering, see our SignUp Genius:

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Nominations Wanted! Do you know someone who would be a perfect fit for this title? Red Mill Elementary will be recognizing one person as the "Red Mill Volunteer of the Year," and we would like you to think about who is deserving of that award. Tell us how your nominee positively impacts our school and its students. You may also consider giving us additional information like other duties he/she has or any obstacles he/she overcomes in order to meet volunteer obligations. Please e-mail your nomination to: by February 7th. Type "Volunteer of the Year" in the subject line.

SCHOOL YEAR 2020-2021: Much of our PTA executive board will be turning over in the Spring. If you’re interested in becoming further involved in our school, please contact us.

5th GRADE PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you have a 5th grader and would like to help plan the celebrations for the end of the school year, please let us know if you can help with either the end-of-year social, crossing over ceremony, or wall handprint painting.

Dolphin Academy: Help needed! We are planning to host our Spring Dolphin Academy on Wednesdays after school in March. These free extra-curricular offerings allow students to explore a variety of educational, yet fun classes, including sports, music, science, art, and other types of classes. We are in need of a couple of assistants who can help plan and/or be there for check-in and dismissal. Also, if you have a talent you’d like to share in a session with our children, let us know! Thank you to Rebecca Straseskie who is working to plan this!

Scholarships: The Red Mill PTA is offering two $1,000 scholarships to any graduating senior, moving on to higher education, who attended Red Mill Elementary School for a minimum of two years. The application can be found on Scholarship Central at and the deadline to enter is April 21st. If there are any further questions, you can contact the chairperson, Heather Holmgren, at

Box Tops Labels: Clipping Box Tops labels found on food packaging turns into hundreds of dollars and helps fund “Beach Bags” of food for students in need. You can still clip and turn in any labels found on grocery items, but the program is turning digital. Please download the Box Tops app on your smart phone. Then, if you see a label that says “scan here,” please scan that or simply scan the grocery receipt. Then, the app will do the work for you and send it to our school once you’ve chosen Red Mill as the beneficiary. Thank you to volunteer Bekah Kelly for coordinating this fundraiser.

Next meeting: The PTA will hold a board planning meeting on Tuesday, February 11 at 12:20 pm at the school. These types of meetings are usually smaller, but any parent is welcome to attend. We’d like to say “thank you” to all who logged on for our January Facebook Live meeting.

Contact us: E-mail or go through our Facebook page – Red Mill PTA - with any questions or concerns.

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Virginia Beach Little League Spring Registration Info...Click Below

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Kellam HS Kids Night Out

Kellam High School’s SCA is holding a Kids Night Out on Friday, February 14th from 5-10 pm. This event will be for children 12 and under but all younger children must be potty trained in order to be dropped off. We’ll have games and activities for them as well as dinner!

Pricing for this event is as follows:

$30 for first child

$20 for each additional child in the same family

Cash and check will be the accepted form of payment due at drop off.

Below is the direct link to the google form in order to sign up for the event.

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Dismissal Change Reminders

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 .

Free Access to Virginia Beach Public Library Digital Resources

Did you know that Virginia Beach students have digital access to the Virginia Beach Public Library? Through a partnership between Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) and Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL), all K-12 students have year-round public library digital access.

Browse for resources using this link VBPL's Digital Library or access the Virginia Beach Public library through Clever. When prompted for a library card or account number, enter the following:
S + VBCPS Student ID number. Example: S1234567
Password or "PIN"​: Date of birth in MMDD format. Example: a Jan. 1 birthday would be 0101


  • Students only need their login and password to access digital resources 24/7. No physical library card is issued. ​
  • Student accounts include public computer access at all VBPL locations except for the TCC/City Joint-Use Library.
  • VBCPS accounts expire 30 days after a student graduates or leaves the VBCPS district.
  • Access to Hoopla and Newsbank resources is not included in VBCPS student accounts.
  • ​Students may also hold a Youth Library card (with parent signature) to check out physical items from the library.

Not Receiving Text Messages from the School?

Our records indicate that we still have some families 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.

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

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 Resources from Home

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