Algonkian Elementary

September Newsletter

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Principal Page

We are finished our first month of school and students have had a great start to the year!

We want to thank all our families for their donations for the Walk-A-Thon. Thanks to Ms. Kerri Duffy for all her hard work organizing the Walk-A-Thon. Thanks to our PTA board , PTA members and all our volunteers for making this a successful day!

Each month we send a newsletter with updates from Art, Library, Music, PE, Technology, Health, SEARCH and our Parent Liaison. Please read their updates below.



  • Grades K-2 have been learning about how to take care of our library books, the parts of a book, and finding rhyming words in picture book texts. We read the books Library Books are Not for Eating, Book’s Big Adventure, and There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves.
  • Grades 3-5 have been learning about using Destiny Discover (our online library catalog) to search for available books and how to access ebooks (electronic or digital books) using MackinVia. MackinVia is available 24/7 through LCPSGo in the Library Resources folder and has almost 3,000 ebooks to choose from. We read an ebook found in MackinVia called Manfish, a biography about Jaques Cousteau. We also learned how to place holds on checked out books from our library and how to request books from other LCPS libraries using our Inter Library Loan system. We also read the book This is Not That Kind of Book and discussed Playaways (more details on checking out Playaways below).


Thank you to everyone who participated in the summer reading program through the Loudoun County Public Libraries! We came in FIRST PLACE for our Cascades library area and FIFTH PLACE out of ALL 61 elementary schools in the whole county! Way to go Bobcats! Another golden trophy is coming our way!


The library is looking for a couple parent volunteers willing to help shelve and straighten books each week. We currently have an opening on Wednesdays at 12:30. We may also have an opening in the near future for Thursdays at 9:30. Please email Mrs. Whitehouse if you are interested in volunteering.


Are you ready to “POP” into a good book? Wel “GUM” to the Fall Scholastic Book Fair! The Book Fair will run from Thursday, October 20th to Thursday, October 27th, with some after school shopping options. We will be open during Monster Mash on Friday, October 21st from 6-8 pm!!! We will need lots of volunteer help during school hours and our after school times. Sign-up genius link to volunteer and more details coming soon!


3rd, 4th, & 5th grade parents:

Playaways are very popular at the Algonkian library! Playaways are like MP3 players with an audio book loaded onto them. Because of the high cost of Playaways, we require students to have parent permission to check them out. Click below for more information and the permission form:


The Algonkian library is happy to accept book donations from families as long as they are hardcover books in new to very good condition AND a fit for our collection. Please contact Mrs. Whitehouse to make arrangements if you have books you would like to donate.

Feel free to email Mrs. Whitehouse with any questions:



Hello Bobcat Artists!!!

I hope that you all are doing well and having an ARTASTIC Month!

This month students will be creating a variety of projects inspired by artists from diverse backgrounds.

Kindergarten- Sketchbooks and Cave Drawings

1st Grade- Sketchbooks and Nocturnal Shadows

2nd Grade- Sketchbooks and Day of the Dead Origami

3rd Grade- Sketchbooks and Quilted Ghosts

4th Grade- Sketchbooks and Gargoyle Portraits

5th Grade- Sketchbooks and Day of the Dead Fairytales

Check out your Art Schoology Page for fun Art Activities and more!


What is going on in the music room?

Music classes are off to a great start this year. All grades attend music once a week for 55 minutes each time, except for kindergarten. Kindergarten attends music twice a week for 30 minutes each time.

Loudoun County’s music curriculum is based on the National Standards for Music Education and the Virginia Standards of Learning for Music.

Throughout the year each grade will study several elements of music including rhythm, melody, harmony/texture, form, expression, timbre, genre, and movement. In addition, students will learn to identify instruments of the orchestra and will explore different composers and their music. Students will be learning about a wide variety of music through singing, speaking, playing, listening, movement, and dramatization. 4th and 5th graders will be playing the recorder in music. Information about recorders will be sent home soon.

Each grade level will be involved in a performance this year. Detailed information will be provided prior each event. Please make sure to add the following dates to your calendars:

Friday November 11th Veteran’s Day Assembly

8:15- Breakfast for Veterans; 9:00- Assembly featuring 2nd, 3rd & 4th graders

November 14th – 18th American Education Week

Kindergarten and 1st Grade will perform songs in their classrooms (TBD)

Thursday March 16th 5th Grade Program

1:15 & 6:30 performances

Thursday April 27th Talent Show

6:30 p.m. performance – all students are welcome

If you have any questions or concerns about the music program here at Algonkian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

Health Clinic Specialist

Health Updates

Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed a restful summer and are recharged for a great year. A couple of reminders as we start the year:

If your child has allergies and you would like to have over the counter medicine stored in the health office, please complete the appropriate paperwork. All medication must be brought in by a parent or guardian in the original container, with a signed LCPS Medication Authorization form. You may find all necessary forms at -> Families -> Medication at School (Middle column) -> School Health Forms (Scroll to bottom) -> Health Documents _> Click on Authorization for Medication Administration.

  • Get your flu shot
  • Moisturize your skin. Dry skin can be a distraction for students in class.
  • Get plenty of rest. At 5-11 years, children need 9-11 hours of sleep per night.
  • Boost your immune system. You can do this by drinking plenty of water, washing your hands often to prevent sickness, and eating nutritious foods.

If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grades:

Completed Activities

*Space awareness (Personal and general)

*Playground Safety

*Movement pathways (High, low, big, small)

* Locomotor assessment (Galloping, jogging)

*Proper catching techniques (Above chest, below chest)

*Proper underhand throw or toss.

*Striking targets with thrown objects.

Future Activities:

*Short jump rope skills

Fourth and Fifth Grade Activities:

*Playground safety

*Recess Games

*Striking mobile objects with hands

*Fitness Test Preparation

Future Activities:

*Fitness Gram Fitness Testing – (Fall pretest)

*Basketball Skills unit

*Algonkian Basketball League Preparation

Please enjoy the great fall weather outside this month!

Kris Goodwin and Joe Terango

Physical Education Teachers

Parent Liaison- Casey Hansen

Happy Fall Bobcat Families! My name is Casey Hansen and I am excited for another year as your Family Liaison at Algonkian Elementary.

What is a Family Liaison? A Family Liaison is a staff member who works to bridge the communication between school and home by helping parents/guardians receive the information, help and support they need to ensure their child’s academic and social success at school. My goal is to make sure that every student has the necessary resources to help them be as successful as possible.

How Can the Family Liaison help me? I can provide assistance with the following;

· -Food needs, including weekend backpack meals, daily snacks and food for the holidays

· -Clothing needs such as winter coats and accessories

· -School supplies and backpacks

· -Various in-school items such as spirit wear, book fairs, yearly pictures, yearbooks, field trip expenses and PTA programs

· -County and community resources that can help with food, healthcare, dental needs, eyeglasses and much more

How Can I reach the Family Liaison? You can find me at Algonkian most Thursdays and Fridays. Email: I look forward to working with you!


Welcome Back Algonkian!

Algonkian Elementary is a Common-Sense Digital Citizenship Certified school. I will continue to share resources for parents on topics that hopefully are important to you.

We are starting this year off with Digital Citizenship lessons focusing on high security passwords and Privacy and Internet Safety. This link gives you choices to explore questions and concerns based on your student’s age.

Please have your students (grades 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th ) bring their devices in every day the week of Sept. 26th -30th, as Mrs. Jackson needs to update our student device inventory. . Students in third grade have already set their new passwords and Kindergarteners are learning how to care for their new devices.

If you scroll to the bottom of the linked page, there are a series of short videos to watch and possibly share with your student if you choose. Have fun and safe surfing the web!

Internet safety site for Parents:

Internet Safety Video for Kids:

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Our early SEARCH lessons focused on creativity. After listening to the story, Most Marshmallows by Robert Weinstock, students were given a sheet with a basic shape (circle, square, triangle, squiggle) and asked to turn it into something unique - something no one else would think to make. Our students’ creativity was amazing! From check marks that turned into giraffes to triangles that became dropped ice cream cones, they demonstrated their special ideas! Our current lessons are focused on reasoning and logic.

Kindergarten students are using the process of elimination, by listening to clues, to discover the mystery shape in the attribute block set.

First grade students are determining how to fill a train with attribute blocks so that each “car” on the train holds a block that is different in just one way from the block before it.

Second grade students are using similar thinking to add attribute blocks that are different in one way from adjoining blocks on special grids, then blocks that are different in two ways. The thinking skills become more complex as they grow.

Third grade students are learning about Strimko number grid puzzles. In these challenges, which share some characteristics with Sudoku, students must place numbers in a grid so that there is one of each number in every row, every column, and in every group of connected spaces (stream). It is harder than it sounds! Google Strimko puzzles and try one at home!

Our EDGE groups will begin meeting this week. EDGE lessons can be based on any of the SEARCH thinking skills (perceiving, reasoning, connecting, creating, or evaluating) and are intended to help develop student talents. This week’s focus will be creativity.

FUSION students have spent their language arts lessons reading and analyzing the poem, “Casey at the Bat”, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. It seems appropriate as baseball season winds down! More importantly, the poem relates how the mighty Casey fails to hit the homerun everyone expects and causes his team to lose the game. This provided an opportunity to talk about failure to students who may not have experienced much failure in the academic setting. Both the fourth and fifth grade classes could relate to the questions about whether some failures are felt hardest because we have not met the expectations of others or because we have not achieved our personal goals. It was a light-hearted way to talk about serious issues. In math we had a great lesson this week exploring place value as we identified mystery numbers. For some students this was their first exposure to prime numbers, square numbers, and square roots of numbers. We also learned a new term: digital roots of numbers. It sounds very deep, but simply means that you add together the digits of a number. If the sum is still a multi-digit number, you add those digits together. Students found that the digital root was often the key to figuring out a missing digit and solving the mystery. We began our exploration of Innovation by creating definitions of both inventions and innovations. Fifth graders were shown a video of the “Hike Bike” , a foldable innovation of the bicycle. They were intrigued by this motorized vehicle!

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Algonkian Elementary School

Principal: Brian Blubaugh

Assistant Principal: Karen Shields

Bookkeeper:Gayle Cowden

Registrar: Peggy Franzen

Health Specialist-:Meg Tuma