Bird's Eye View

PHILIP MICHAEL PENNINGTON SCHOOL April Newsletter

SUPER POWERS: POWERS TO SUCCEED

From the Administration

Springtime is a time of renewal, brightness, hope and the potential to grow. Just like a gardener that tends to flowers and new seeds that have been planted, we at Pennington know that each of our "Seedlings" have unlimited potential to grow into beautiful, strong, and confident students and citizens.


We want to reiterate the importance that we maintain high expectations for our school community in order to achieve excellence. And because of all of everyone’s hard work, we have achieved School of Excellence for the 11th year, including 7 years in a row! However, we want to remind you that IF we do not enforce the policy/contract pertaining to conduct, volunteer hours, attendance, and the dress code, Pennington would not be the great program that we all know it is. It is crucial that our Student/Parent enrollment contract be honored and kept as a commitment to the school and it's expectations. Please remember that, in accordance with the enrollment contract, "If parents/students do not uphold this Enrollment Contract during the school year, the student's transfer will be denied for the upcoming school year and the student will return to their base school." This includes expectations for behavior, academics, community service, dress code, and parent involvement).


Please continue to discuss these requirements with your child and family as we work together to help everyone achieve excellence within our school and community.


As the hectic time of spring assessments and the final quarter of the school year comes upon us, we want to ensure that students, parents and staff are united in our common goal of fostering the development of the whole child. This includes making sure that communication links are consistent, students are showing responsibility for work and organization, and parents and staff are working together to help the students achieve, study, learn, and most important, have fun. The administration here at Pennington is dedicated to every child that is in our Family. We feel strongly about the Pennington Super Powers of being prompt, proactive, prepared, and polite. We see these principals and powers shine daily, and we love when our citizens help and work with each other. Our expectations are and continue to be held high, and we won't let students accept less than their best.


As always, we are in awe of your dedication and diligence in working with your child and the school family. Without the support of everyone within our walls, Pennington could not hold true to it's foundation of ONE TEAM ONE DREAM. We wish everyone the best as we progress toward the end of the school year, and look forward to seeing how high the Bluejays fly when June comes around.

PWCS SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE CELEBRATION!

Pennington celebrated its School of Excellence status on March 31, 2016. The celebration began with a congratulatory staff breakfast. During an afternoon assembly SCA Officers, Pennington Cheerleaders, members of the fourth grade, under the direction of Mrs. Stewart, Middle School Strings students, Lily Khochareun and Preethi Chidambaram, SCA President and eighth grader, Hannah Huffman demonstrated what excellence really is and why Pennington is a School of Excellence. The Second Annual Doris Pennington Writing Contest winners Presley Abreu and Sara Smith added their names to the Award Plaque. School Board member, Mr. Trenum joined Prince William County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Walts and Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools, Mr. Bixby in presenting Pennington with its eleventh School of Excellence banner and plaque. Mrs. Stockton and Mr. Dalton proudly accepted on behalf of the entire Pennington School Community. The Pennington family, PTO President, Deb Gregoire, Advisory Chairman, Jeff Smith and Big Blue were on hand to share in the festivities.

Following the assembly, all students and staff joined in a school-wide parade celebrating all things positive about Pennington complete with snacks and music. Congratulations to our entire Pennington family for the part you play in continuously making Pennington School a School of Excellence!

SPRING SOL SCHEDULE

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TEST TAKING STRATEGIES

The Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Virginia Public Schools describe the commonwealth's expectations for student learning and achievement in grades K-12 in all subject areas. These standards represent a broad consensus of what parents, classroom teachers, school administrators, academics, and business and community leaders believe schools should teach and students should learn. As we approach this busy time of year for SOL testing, it is important for us to continue working together to ensure Students’ success. Thank you for your support and below you will find a few tips which can help prepare your child at home.

Test Taking Tips

Test anxiety can negatively affect a student’s performance so with a few handy tips perhaps the level of stress can be reduced.

· Have a positive attitude, “I can do it!”

· Make a plan. Review a few minutes each night.

· Eat a nutritious breakfast.

· Arrive promptly at school.

Test time:

· Listen to directions.

· Read instructions.

· Use your time wisely but don’t rush.

· Reread tricky questions.

· Eliminate the answer choices that couldn’t be correct.


SHOW WHAT YOU KNOW

If you have any questions about these important tests, please contact your child’s teacher. We have also sent a copy of our SOL schedule and it is posted on our website. As these dates are quickly approaching, please consider these dates when thinking about absences, tardies or early dismissals. Thank you for your support!

NEW SECURITY FEATURE COMING SOON!

In the next few weeks, Pennington will have a new security system in place in an effort to create a more secure entrance into our school. Thanks to Mr. Jeff Smith and the Pennington Advisory Council, there is a new installation of a camera-based security camera at the front doors of the school. This is an identification system for the continued safety of our families and staff within out building.

As the installation is finalized and the proper training of staff has taken place, we will inform the Pennington community that we will begin the use of this system. Be on the lookout for information regarding this new feature that will aid in the safety and security of our Pennington Family!

Pennington's Uniform Policy ***PLEASE REVIEW***

Uniform Focus for APRIL:

PE SWEATPANTS REMINDER: Sweatpants are to only be worn on PE days. If a student does not have Pennington sweatpants with logo, they are permitted to wear blue sweatpants that match the expected pants. Students are allowed to wear blue sweatpants with pockets on the side (no cargo). Sweatpants are not to have stripes or multiple colors, and are to be worn at the waist, as stated in the school dress code policy.

PANTS - Not allowed are tight fitting, baggy, short-shorts, cargo pants/shorts, cropped, flare-leg, and pants/shorts with frayed edges or decorative designs.

SHORTS: Shorts are to follow the same regulations as pants. Cargo shorts are not permitted, and must be worn with a belt when loops are present.


Please take the time to review our Pennington Uniform Policy with your student. Students will be receiving reminders regarding the stated expectations for the daily uniform as well as the middle school PE uniform guidelines. These expectations are also outlined in your student's agenda. Students not complying with dress code policy will be required to change into the appropriate school uniform and receive consequences for repeated non-compliance. *You can click on the picture to view the guidelines, or a copy is available in the agenda or from the front office.

The Spring Book Fair is fast approaching - April 19 - 22!

We are getting ready for our Spring Scholastic Book Fair and I’ve attached our volunteer signup. We hope you will be able to help with our book fair. We are seeking parents willing to help students create wish lists, locate books, and assist with cashiering. We are counting on your help in serving all readers and to make this a great and groovy book fair! Sign up now at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0f4aa4a62dab9-spring

GIRLS + MATH + SCIENCE = SUCCESS!

The SUCCESS Conference is an annual event held each spring where students in grades 5 – 12 are treated to a day of workshops with professionals working in the Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math industries. The event is organized by the Woodbridge Branch of the American Association of University Women and SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Schools. This year the conference was dedicated to Sheila Mason School, a Prince William County Teacher, Musician and Social Activist. Twenty seven Pennington girls and twelve adults attended the conference at Marsteller Middle School on Saturday, April 2. A wonderfully informative day was had by all. Mrs. Weimer is Pennington’s SUCCESS Conference School Liaison. A hugh THANK YOU goes out to Mrs. Weimer and all those that support this annual event, and to the parents that went along for the fun and learning!

S.T.E.A.M. NIGHT EVENT A HUGE SUCCESS!

On April 6th, hundreds of students and parents attended Pennington’s first ever Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics event (S.T.E.A.M.) This event included hands on activities, art making, problem-solving and integration of multiple subject areas. Students and parents navigated the building where students participated in two different sessions. This event was a true collaboration also involving our 5th grade food servers and our Middle school strings department. Ms. Bullock MacGowan and Miss McCurdy would like to thank the many students, teachers and parents who made this night a huge success.

Congrats to Pennington's participants in the PWC-Manassas Regional Science Fair!

Bluejays proudly represented their science skills at the annual PWCS/Manassas Regional Science Fair in March! We congratulate all who participated and to those students who earned awards! We are proud of your hard work!


7th Grade 8th Grade

Steven Benson Lily Kochareun

Elayna Milligan Preethi Chidambaram

Elizabeth Pawlik Nnenna Ekoh

Aryanna Smith Savannah Solenberger

Matthew Gray Heather Moore

Riddhima Teluva Guvvala Alexandra Posey

Rachael Tang Kavya Annapareddy

Mallorie Fouser

Our Award Winners were:

Office of Naval Research Science Award- Preethi Chidambaram

Honorable Mention:

Behavior Science- Matthew Gray

Biochemistry - Riddhima Teluga Guvvala

Math - Alexandra Posey

Preethi Chidambaram

Microbiology - Rachael Tang

Environmental Science - (partners) Heather Moore and Savannah Solenberger

SAVE THE DATE!

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS AND DATES TO REMEMBER:

APRIL 11 - ADMIN/PARENT ROUND TABLE @5PM (RSVP TO MR. DALTON)

APRIL 11 - PTO MEETING @ 7PM

APRIL 14 - 5TH GRADE MUSICAL @ 7PM

APRIL 15 - PTO SPIRIT NIGHT

APRIL 18 - NO SCHOOL - TEACHER WORKDAY

APRIL 19-22 - SPRING BOOK FAIR!

APRIL 22 - STUDENT RECOGNITION ASSEMBLY GRADES 1-2

APRIL 23 - SPRING BEAUTIFICATION DAY

APRIL 25 - ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING @ 6PM

APRIL 26 - REPORT CARDS SENT HOME

APRIL 27 - MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUS CONCERT @ 7PM


MAY 3 - SPRING PICTURE DAY!

MAY 4 - BAND CONCERT @ 7PM

MAY 5 - ORCHESTRA CONCERT @ 7PM

MAY 6 - STUDENT RECOGNITION ASSEMBLIES GRADES 3-8

MAY 9 - SOL TESTING BEGINS (SEE TESTING CALENDAR FOR SPECIFIC DATES)

PLEASE REMEMBER THESE IMPORTANT RULES ABOUT PARKING LOT AND DROP-OFF/PICK-UP SAFETY!

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Bus Stop Reminder: Please remember to be at the stop at least 10 minutes before the bus is to arrive. The drivers cannot wait after their departure time for late students.

PLEASE KEEP FIRE LANE CLEAR

Parents, please refrain from parking in the front fire lane directly in front of the school when picking up your students in the afternoon following clubs. There are times when buses are required to return to school, and are unable to pull into this lane as it is blocked by cars. Buses need to have access to this to provide for the safe return of students on a daily basis. We thank you in advance for your proactive assistance in keeping this fire/bus lane free of cars in the morning and afternoon.

From the Counselor's Corner

Click on the Counselor Corner to stay up to date on all the information and events that are coming up in the Guidance department!

B.L.A.S.T. Summer Opportunities!

BLAST (Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology) will offer dynamic three-day residential summer experiences on the campuses of Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech and University of Virginia in the summer of 2016. Through innovative hands-on sessions taught by faculty members and staff, students will explore the fun and excitement of STEM while residing in a college dorm.

Current Virginia 8th and 9th grade students with at least a C+ average and a desire to explore STEM opportunities are encouraged to apply.
For more information Download the Flyer

REMINDERS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENT VOLUNTEERS!

Pennington Parents/Guardians are required to complete 10 hours of volunteer time per child per year (June 1st through May 31st) for each child attending Pennington.

You must be registered in the parent volunteer system before you can volunteer. If you have not already done so, please bring your current, valid, government issued photo identification (driver’s license, etc …) and come to the office to complete the required registration as soon as possible.

We will be providing an online parent volunteer hours update on our website within the next few weeks. At that time, you will be able to view the hours recorded for your family from June 1, 2015, through October 31, 2015. Your family’s hours will be listed next to your family’s Parent Pick-Up (not walker ID or carpool) number.

Tips for completing your hours:

  • Contact your child's teacher to see if he/she needs a volunteer
  • Attend monthly PTO Meetings
  • Attend monthly Advisory Council Meetings
  • Attend PEP meetings at Pennington
  • Attend Back-to-School Nights
  • Help the cafeteria hostess - daily from 10:30 until noon (first come, first served; no appointment necessary)
  • Chaperone your child’s field trip or other classroom activity
  • Participate in the Fall or Spring Beautification Day (Saturday)
  • Present your career or help with Career Day (the next one is November 13)


If you have questions about the parent volunteer program, you may refer to your parent volunteer registration packet, your student’s agenda, the Pennington website, or contact the volunteer coordinator in the front office at 703.369.6644.

Have you signed up to receive classroom news?

Please make sure that you are signing up for your student's classroom web pages! It is very important that you use this to stay up to date with essential information, including due dates, projects, and classroom news. If you have not done so, please sign up as soon as possible.

FOR THE SAFETY AND PRIVACY OF OUR STUDENTS

Please refrain from taking photographs or videos of your students or others during the instructional day. This is in an effort to maintain the privacy and security of our students, families and communities.

Parents as Educational Partners

Parents as Educational Partners, or PEP, is a group for parents of students within the PWCS ELL (English Language Learner) program. Mrs. Shepard, our ESOL teacher, has organized monthly meetings for parents to discuss important information regarding helping your students succeed. Please contact her at SheparDD@pwcs.edu or visit the PWCS ESOL SchoolFusion Page for more information about the program. Stay tuned for January's meeting dates, times and locations.

Translation Services Available at www.pwcs.edu

If you are in need of information regarding Prince William County Schools, you can access the translation and interpretation services on the School Fusion website. Go to www.pwcs.edu and click on the globe titled "All Languages Assistance" on the left-hand side. This link will guide you to the translation of many division-wide documents.