Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 9/24-9/28

Put Students First • Seek Growth • Be Open to Change Do Great Work Together • Value Difference

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Colts P.R.I.D.E in action

Principal's Message for the week

I have the sense many of us are feeling the same emotions at this point in the school year. Just like maintaining our home and family in our personal lives, our job and school family require a lot of maintenance, chores, prioritizing, and very hard word to make everything fit into the day. It is not a surprise to any of us that the start of the year is invigorating, hopeful, and totally exhausting. The big picture is easy. Together we set our goals and directions, but completing all of the varied daily details each one of us face is, at many moments, overwhelming! Lesson plans, building a strong classroom community, personalized learning, schoology– the daily list seems endless. Add to the busy day an electronic device or copier that turns a two minute chore into a frustrating fight, and more of your patience has been chipped away.

There are no easy solutions or answers I can offer you but to tell you that you are not alone. Alexander is not the only one that had a terrible, horrible day sometimes! I do want you to realize that I know how hard you work, how you always stay focused, and how dedicated and professional you remain everyday despite the quantity of tasks the day requires. At this point, I am hopeful that most of the start of the new year chores are accomplished and that we will all begin to feel more comfortable as we find the flow to our daily routine. This week formal mini classroom observations will begin and goal setting meetings will start as we begin to really dig into transforming our lessons and find innovative ways to personalize our instruction for each of our students.

If you need a lift, your colleagues, myself, or a friend are always willing to help. And, if all else fails, there’s generally a chocolate stash somewhere in my office! Thank you for all your hard work, I appreciate you!



Please check out our form below to see how Mrs. Porter and myself will be celebrating our students and continuing our positive culture and environment.

Morning Meeting Moment

TIP OF THE WEEK: As you get more comfortable in the routine, be mindful of the ratio of teacher talk:student talk. A strategy like keeping the same sharing routine all week, but varying the prompt, can get students accustomed to the routine, and will not necessitate constant reminders and voiceovers from you, as the teacher. Let's make that student voice louder.

Colts Pride in Action

As part of our purposeful work to design a school culture where our PRIDE is encouraged and celebrated (Innovative Leadership Disposition, Transformational Learning), each week a staff member or group of staff members will be highlighted for demonstrating one aspect of P.R.I.D.E

Reflection and Innovation highlight:

BRAVO to all of our facilitators who led during our true first week of PLCs. You led confidently, you went outside your comfort zone, you were open to feedback, and you are already adjusting to make this week's PLC better.

Facilitating is a difficult task and you took it on full charge. As we go into week 2 of PLCs with a math focus; be as specific as possible with what you want for your desired outcomes. This allows for all members of the PLC to know if your PLC has met their goal. Don't forget to evaluate each meeting; it is quick step but a vital step in our process.

Help Wanted!

We are still in need of SCA sponsor or co-sponsors. This is a stipend position and a ton of fun! It is a way for our students to show their leadership and spread their school spirit!

Virtual Learning Days

Teachers, Please view the Virtual Learning Day (VLD) Screencast link below. You must be logged into your VBSCHOOLS Google account to view the screencast. It is important that all students receive a task (please do not refer to it as homework) on each Virtual Learning Day. Two tasks are already created for you and posted in Schoology/Courses/Resources/Virtual Learning Day. You may use the tasks created, modify the created tasks, or create your own task. You will have a 10 day window – you may consider using 5 days leading up to the VLD and then 5 days afterwards to follow up and for students to share their final product. It is important that we follow through on this new initiative as we are so lucky to have this opportunity vs. making up days. *Prior to the VLD, please make sure students have supplies at home. (construction paper, markers, etc.) This is a GREAT opportunity for students to have voice & choice!

I would like for each grade level to be consistent with the tasks they assign. I will touch base with each grade level chair in PAC on Tuesday to address questions you may have and finalize the grade level's plan for the VLD.

Looking to go deeper with your understanding of the LA curriculum; check out all of the different PL opportunities.

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Start the countdown!!!





Get ready for a day of CREATING.

Watch the live stream, ask the presenters questions

and MAKE all day.

Create what you wish existed!

Share what your students create using #GlobalMakerDay on Twitter.

Check it out here...

License Renewal Updates

When you renew your license through VDOE it is now for a 10 year period instead of the original 5 years. Your required number of points for renewal is now 360. VBCPS will be covering the license renewal fee. (This doesn't include additional endorsements fees.)

Do you want your voice heard on the district level? Are you interested? Let your grade level chair know!

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Things that are worth a second look


October 20, 2018 - 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM @ Salem High School

  • 7:30 Registration, vendors, & breakfast
  • 8:00 Welcome & featured speaker
  • 8:30 Breakout sessions
  • 9:30 Keynote speaker: Kelly Cartwright
  • 11:45 Breakout sessions

Featuring Dr. Kelly Cartwright-Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Teacher Preparation at Christopher Newport University; Expert on reading comprehension, children’s thinking, and the development of literacy processes. Author of Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension: A Guide for Educators and Word Callers: Small Group and One-to-One Interventions for Children Who Read but Don’t Comprehend

BOY Assessment

Ten Marks Reminders:

All students have been assigned the Ten Marks Baseline Assessment to monitor growth towards our math PCI goal. The assessment will open beginning Monday, September 10 and close Friday, September 21st.

A few important things to remember:

  • The assessment should be completed at school, not at home. If possible, try to have them finish it in one class session to prevent the chances of them accessing it from home that evening.
  • This baseline assessment will cover all math objectives for your grade level. There will be questions the students don't know because they haven't been taught yet. Please stress to students that they will not know a lot of answers, and that is normal. They should just guess and move on. Naturally, we expect baseline scores to be low

Reading Assessments:

The testing windows open on September 5 for DRAs and RIs. Independent DRA level need to be entered into Synergy by October 5 and RIs need to be completed by October 12.


  • Begin testing one level up from where they were at the end of the year.
  • Be sure to complete the Teacher Observation Guide and Student Booklet completely. These will be collected.
  • ·Make a list of students with a significant fluency issue so we can give them the PAST assessment.
  • ·If you have questions/concerns about the DRA testing, please let Patti know.
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Open enrollment - action needed!

Open Enrollment is Oct. 1 through Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. This is the annual opportunity for staff to review and make changes to benefits and covered dependents.

It is required that staff elect or re-elect the following benefits through the BENEFITFOCUS platform during Open Enrollment to have coverage in 2019: health, dental, legal, identity theft protection, health savings account, health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts. (Please note: any other benefit plans do not require re-election.)

The Consolidated Benefits Office (CBO) is available to assist staff in enrolling and understanding their 2019 benefits at the following events:

• Understanding Your Benefits: The VBO is offering two Vendor Fairs. These will be fun and informative with a chance to win an iPad with an Apple Pencil, gift cards and more.

  • Thursday, Sept. 20 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Building 19
  • Saturday, Sept. 22 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Plaza Annex

Shout Outs

Shout out to Damion for wiping away the tears of my little one who slipped dumping her tray after lunch.

Shout out to Edie Kernodle for all her help before, during, and after Hurricane Flo! I couldn't do it without her! - Abbe

Shout out to everyone who donated to hurricane relief in N.C. on super short notice! - Michelene

Thank you CFES family for the warm words and concern for me during my recent illness. Hospitality thank you for my card. Fifth grade, YOU ROCK! You all were an awesome help to Mrs. Pleasant who filled in for me and had dinner delivered to my house for my birthday from my favorite restaurant, Outback Steak House. I love you guys!" - Donna

Shout out to Andrea Hill, she stepped in to help when we were shorthanded and receiving a very large order. - Colleen

Shout out to Ms. McNeely for giving a test with Schoology! - Al

Shout out to all the teachers involving students in morning meetings! - Robyn & Patti

Thank you to all teachers and staff again for covering all of your important items last week. You are truly dedicated to the students at "The Farm." - Robyn & Patti

Shout out to Mrs. Minehan for giving her students a spaghetti tower STEM Challenge! - Al

Shout out to Ms. Jones for learning all about the 3D Printer and planning to use it in Art this year! - Al

Shout out to all First Grade Teachers for having all their students rocking in Chromebooks! - Al

Shout out to Sharon Yager and Karen Ratner for helping get our daily pick up first graders to the library hall. They couldn’t get there without you!! - Ceci

Thanks Robin, for always helping right when I need you!! You are awesome!! - Ceci

If you have any shoutouts, please send them to Mrs. Backer and Mrs. Jacobs by Thursday.

Hashtags of the week






9/26 Tammy Newton

9/30 Tammy Willett

Schedule for upcoming weeks

Monday, September 24th

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

  • SPED Meeting @ 3p (Rm.14)

Tuesday, September 25th

  • IPT Training @ 9:15a (Rm.35)

  • PAC Meeting @ 3p (Library)

  • Lynhaven Golf Cashola Night 5p - 8p

Wednesday, September 26th

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

  • PBIS Meeting @ 3p (Library)

Thursday, September 27th

  • Immersion PLC Meeting (Alanton Elementary)

Friday, September 28th

  • Fire Drill


Monday, October 1st

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

Tuesday, October 2nd

  • Leadership Meeting @ 3p (Library)

Wednesday, October 3rd

  • Fall Picture Day

  • Girls on the Run 2:40p - 4:20p

Thursday, October 4th

  • Keep on trucking you're almost there!

Friday, September 5th

  • 4th Grade IPT Testing 9a-11a