SES Dolphin News

November 20, 2020

Dear Stafford Elementary Community,

Can you believe we are almost through the month of November? I am not sure where the time has gone; next week is Thanksgiving! We have truly enjoyed having the students back in the building. We have seen such growth with having our children receiving instruction from the teachers four days a week. Thank you for allowing us this time with your children.

I know that you received Dr. Kizner’s email about next week’s changes and a letter from us, clarifying the schedule for next week, but I want to reiterate that information again. On Monday, November 23, all children will sign into their Morning Meetings at 8 a.m. Afterwards, they will complete any asynchronous work, Dreambox and Lexia lessons, as well as finish any work that still needs to be turned in. On Tuesday, our hybrid Group A students will log in to their Google Meet from 8-11 a.m. with their teacher. Then from 1-3 p.m., our Group B students will log in to their Google Meet to receive their instruction with their teacher. All specials and small groups will continue as they have been scheduled. Therefore, the only change is that our hybrid Group A students will receive their instruction virtually on Tuesday, November 24.

Another piece of information that was discussed in a previous letter from Dr. Kizner, but I wanted to review is the attendance policy that SCPS is currently following. As you know it is important for our students to be attending class and completing their assignments every day. In order to succeed academically, our students need to be in attendance and engaged daily. Please keep the following in mind:

  • On Mondays, our students should be logging in to their Morning Meetings at 8 a.m. and completing their asynchronous work. For grade levels that don’t use Canvas for turning in work (i.e. Kindergarten), please make sure you are emailing your students’ work to your teachers. We must ensure that the children are completing work on Monday to count as in attendance. Mondays are the ONLY day that we can use work completion as proof of attendance.
  • Each week, Tuesday through Friday, our students need to attend their classes, whether face-to-face or virtual. Each student has four days a week of instruction with their teachers. The children are required to attend their instruction or they will be counted as absent.
  • It is important that if your child is absent, or you know in advance that your child is going to be absent, that you contact the school and let us know. You can reach out to your child’s teacher through email and carbon copy the front office at, or you can go to our school website and go to the Parent section. There you will find the button for “Report an Absence” which will take you to a Google Form that you can complete. You can always call the front office at 540.658.6340 and press number 1 to report your child’s absence that way too. All of these are great ways to stay in touch and report an absence.

It is a requirement of each school to ensure that families are notified when student absences begin to become excessive. When your child has five absences, we are required to send you a letter making you aware of the absences. At 10 absences, we send another letter that requires you to contact the school to set up an Attendance Conference. At this conference, we will work to create a plan to ensure that your child is able to attend school on a regular basis. At 15 absences, SCPS Office of Attendance becomes involved.

Please know that we will work with all of our families to ensure that our students are able to obtain their education. In order to do this, we need to have a strong home/school connection to work together. We will continue to build and maintain our relationships through open communication regarding attendance and assistance needed.

As we enter the holiday season, we want to wish everyone a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. As you and your families celebrate this holiday, please remember that COVID rates continue to change in our community. We ask that you please continue to:

  • Wear your masks, covering your nose and mouth
  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer with 60% or greater alcohol content when hand washing is not available

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has some very informative pages regarding Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings that you might find insightful. We share this information because we care for our school community and want everyone to be healthy and safe.

With COVID rates continually changing, we do not know what the future holds. Therefore, Dr. Kizner has asked that families discuss what plans they can have in place in case it is decided that our school system has to move from its current face-to-face/hybrid learning model to a virtual only instructional model. There is no saying this will happen, but it is always good to be prepared with a plan just in case. We know this a fluid situation and want families to be prepared if a change has to be made.

We hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, and healthy Thanksgiving Break.

S. Sanders, Principal

K. Hardman, Assistant Principal

Car Rider Arrival and Dismissal

Please remember that the children need to be in their seats at 8 a.m., otherwise they are counted as tardy.

It is always safer to let the children out on the passenger side of the car. This way the children are directly out of the line of traffic and safe on the sidewalk.

Our car rider staff will head back into the building at 8 a.m. Therefore, if you pull up to the car rider drop off at 8 a.m. or later, you will need to park and walk your child to the front doors to sign them in.

For dismissal, please make sure your car tag is up and visible to help the line move smoothly.

Please remember to keep an eye out for the signals of our car rider staff. They will alert you when and where to move, when you can pass cars, or if you should wait for the cars to move. We want to keep all of our families safe.

Meal Service and School Holiday Updates

As schools will be virtual on Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24, curbside meal service will take place. On those days, students will receive two breakfasts and two lunches per day.

Please use this link to determine curbside school meal service locations.

Please use this link to see cooking instructions for take home meals.

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Mark Your Calendar

* November 23-24 - Virtual Instruction will take place for hybrid Group A students from 8-11 a.m. The remainder of the schedule will remain the same.

* November 25, 26, 27 - Thanksgiving Break - No School

* December 11 - Interims

* December 21 - January 1 - Winter Break - No School

* January 4 - Schools Reopen

Food Drive

We want to thank everyone who contributed to the Food Drive this month. Your donations will go to helping Stafford Food Security, Inc. deliver meals to families in our community.

There is still time to donate. You can always take any non-perishable food items to their headquarters at 282 Deacon Road from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Thank you for all of your giving hearts!

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PTA Information

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Spirit Wear Pick Up

Monday, Nov. 30th, 4-6pm

1349 Courthouse Road

Stafford, VA

Our fabulous PTA will be in front of the school from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 to hand out previously ordered Spirit Wear.

If your child comes to school face-to-face, we can give the Spirit Wear to them to bring home. This will happen for Group A students on Tuesday, December 1 and for Group B students on December 3.

If the Spirit Wear is a surprise, then please be sure to come to the Monday, November 30 pick up to get your Spirit Wear!

School Mask Fundraiser

We continue to hold our SES Mask Fundraiser through Aloha Design & Tee. If you are interested, please go to their website to view and purchase the masks. The masks can be delivered to school with no charge and we will get them to your child.
Picture of three different masks, top picture blue mask with waves and school logo, bottom left is a grey mask with SES and school logo, bottom right is a black and white mask with Stafford Elementary School, Home of the Dolphins and our School Logo