Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 9/10-9/14

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

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Principal's Message for the week

#Hurricane Flo made quite the name for herself! I want to thank you to every single staff member who took this storm serious and made sure that the Farm was well prepared. We are beyond grateful that our area was spared. However, there are many other areas in the Carolinas that were not and need our positive thoughts.

As we go into week 3, we need to keep in mind that our students were out for almost a whole week. Building that classroom environment is imperative to a successful year. It is the foundation. Just like many of us, many of our students and families had a stressful week and not on their normal routine. They will be depending on us to help get back into the groove. Stay strong and consistent teaching and positively reinforcing ALL routines and expectations.

Over this past week, I caught up on some reading and read an article in Educational Leadership titled, “Finding Your Classroom Greatness”. It reinforced for me the idea that there are not “good” classes and “bad” classes. All classes have to find their greatness. For some classes that happens fast and sometimes finding class greatness takes a little longer. One particular quote that I keep coming back to is that “A classroom community does not show up on the first day along with glue sticks and Kleenex”. Building that sense of community in each classroom is essential to finding your class greatness.

I am impressed with how many of you have jumped on to adopting the structured Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting is a critical time to build classroom community, to build rich relationships not only between teacher and student but between student and to student and to build student's skills that they need to contribute to classroom greatness.

The teacher who wrote the article used the Nike “ Find Your Greatness “ Ad campaign. The Ads consist of short vignettes. The teacher used many of the videos (1-2 mins each) to help build the community of greatness. As I continue to build my relationships with each staff member, I am reminded of the greatness that is among everyone at the farm. Let's capitalize on that and enjoy the journey of building on our greatness to make it even better!


Nike: Find Your Greatness


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: Not ready to tackle all four parts of morning meeting? Start small ... just start with the first two - Greeting and sharing. Think about the procedures that you want to build to ensure a productive morning meeting. How will students know its time to come to the carpet?How will students know where to sit each day? What is your quiet signal? How do students share? .

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

Positive Environment and Culture:

BRAVO to all of our brave classroom teachers who implemented a form of morning meetings every day this week! Children were smiling, clapping, sharing, and most importantly-- feeling loved and seen. Thank YOU for doing what's best for kids.

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!


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.

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

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Shout Outs

-Big shout out to all teachers and staff members for helping out to get CFES #Hurricane Ready!

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

Hashtags of the week






9/18 Darlene Rodriguez

9/19 Edit Kernodle and Cynthia Shutter

9/22 Viola Olds

Things that are worth a second look

Do you have an Innovative Idea? Do you have a passion project you are ready to explore?

For the 2018-2019 school year, $150,000 will be awarded to Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) in Virginia Beach Education Foundation grants. VBCPS staff members are encouraged to apply for these grants if they have ideas for innovative projects they wish to implement to engage students in hands-on learning activities not already funded by the school division. The Innovative Learning Grant application is available on under Hot Topics and is due Oct. 12, by 4 p.m. Each approved grant awards up to $2,000 for innovative learning projects that benefit students. If you are interested in more in applying, please see Ms. Backer.

Announcement of Constitution Day Resources

Public Law requires that Sept. 17 be designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Constitution Day commemorates the day on which the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia in 1787. Traditionally, each year since 1952, the President proclaims the seven days beginning on Constitution Day as Constitution Week. Constitution Week will be from Monday, Sept. 17 through Sunday, Sept. 23. During this time, all citizens are encouraged to celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm the rights and obligations of citizens.

All educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on that day. Schools may determine what kind of educational programs are appropriate for their students. Some informational resources pertaining to the Constitution that may be useful in planning educational activities are listed on the USED’s website. The team at iCivics has a curriculum unit with lessons, visit the website here. Information about citizenship and civics is also available at other nonpartisan websites including the Bill of Rights Institute.

Schedule for upcoming weeks

Week 3 - LA PLC - please check that your agendas are updated, roles are assigned and all coaches/specialist have been sent your agenda.

Monday, September 17th

  • New Monday...New Week...New Goals!

  • Mrs. Pleasant starts officially today!

  • 2nd grade PLC

  • Gifted Parent Meeting @ 4p (Rm 36)

Tuesday, September 18th

  • 3rd Grade PLC

  • Faculty Meeting @ 3p (Library)

Wednesday, September 19th

  • PM Fire Drill

  • K PLC

  • 1st Grade PLC

Thursday, September 20th

  • 5th Grade PLC
  • PTA Meeting @ 3pm (Library)

Friday, September 21st

  • 4th Grade PLC

  • 5th Grade Air Show Field Trip