Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

December Edition

2828 Pleasant Acres Drive

Virginia Beach, VA 23453


Follow us on Twitter @cfescolts

Principal: Robyn Backer , @Robyn Backer

Asst. Principal: Patti Porter, @sunsetzzz15

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Message From Ms. Backer, Our Principal

Happy December!

The image at the top of this message is on the idea of "kindness" and is one of my favorite quotes. I absolutely love it and think this should be the norm. Recently, I read a blog in which an educator shared different questions that he would ask his own kids:

He said, "I used to ask my kids, “what was your favorite part of the day”, then I added “Who did you help today?” He shared that it was only a matter of week's before his oldest daughter's 'favorite part of the day' was also the answer to 'who did you help today'. A question like this is so much more powerful than, ‘What did you do at school today?’, or ‘What did you get on your test?’, or ‘Did you have fun?’ Simply asking the question, “Who did you help today?” tells a kid what you value.

Recently, we celebrated "World Kindness Day" and here is the thing about that day. I both love and dislike it. It is obviously a great focus, but "kindness" should never be relegated to a day, yet should be the norm as this particular educator above reminds us. Part of the reason I believe this is that when we are unkind to one another, understand that this does not just impact one person directly, but all those that are watching.

Rather than just one day - why not take on the motto of "Kindness every day" . While this doesn't mean we don't challenge each to do things that are new, difficult or challenging; it means that we do so in a manner that is focused on lifting others while ensuring they know that we care about them.

I share this with you during this month that is full of celebrations from all different religions and background. Most of these celebrations include gift giving and in my mind there is no better gift that you can give than kindness.

Happy Holidays!

-Ms. Backer

Message from Ms. Porter, Our Assistant Principal

Teachers will be acknowledging students next week for the Communication part of the Colt's trait for the month. So, if your child comes home with a sticker saying "Don't wait, Communicate!" ask them what they did as part of the Colt's trait for the month and our PBIS structures to stand out from their peers. Ask your child how they have communicated in their classroom. Have a cheerful and joyful month of December!

-Ms. Porter

December Upcoming Events

  • December 2nd- Santa Workshop, 2nd-6th
"Sweat it Out Day"- wear your favorite sweats/workout clothes to school

Girls on the Run 2:45-4:15

SCA Meeting 2:45-4:00

  • December 4th- Newspaper Club 2:45-4:00

Girls on the Run 2:45-4:15

  • December 6th -Watch Dog Dad in the building

3rd Grade Simple Machine Expo 10:15-10:45

Citizen of the Month Lunches

Supper with Santa 5:30-9:00

Holiday Craft Fair -same hours as above

  • December 9th- Girls on the Run 2:45-4:15
  • December 11th- Watch Dog Dad in the building

Chorus Field Trip to Nursing Home- 12:30-1:20

Girls on the Run 2:45-4:15

  • December 13th-Watch Dog Dad in the building

Progress Reports issued

  • December 15th- 5 Below Fundraiser begins, and lasts through the 21st

Girls on the Run 5K run @ the Mariner's Museum in Newport News 9:00am

  • December 16th- Girls on the Run end of season party 2:45-4:15
  • December 17th- Chorus field trip to Administration buildings 12:40-1:40
  • December 18th- Winter Chorus Concert for Students 8:30 and 1:30

Winter Concert for the parents 7:00-8:30

December 19th- 5th Grade Electricity Expo 9:15-10:00 Cafeteria

PTA Meeting 3:00 Library

  • December 20th- Half day for students

PJ Day- Wear your favorite ones to school

  • December 23rd-January 1st- School closed for Winter Break

** Lost and Found **

Our lost and found is overflowing again! We have jackets and sweatshirts piling up. Please ask your child to look through it, either first thing in the morning, after PE, or when the teacher gives the OK. Parents are also allowed to come in any time during the day. Cold days are here, and we want to make sure everyone has something warm to wear.
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Reading Mentor with the VBPL

The Virginia Beach Public Library is excited to begin offering Read With Me. This is a program that pairs struggling or emerging readers with community volunteers who serve as reading mentors. These pairs meet once a week for up to one hour at the MEO Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. During a typical session, the child will practice reading aloud to their mentor. The reading mentor will read aloud to the child on a topic they are interested in while the child follows along (co-reading). The mentor will help the child with any reading based homework they are struggling with.

If you know a reader who may benefit from participating in this program, please share the attached application. Space is limited. Applications can be returned via email to, or submitted at the MEO Central Library Information desk.

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Parking for PM Dismissal

  • If you park on Pleasant Acres Drive for AM drop off or PM pick up, please do not park in front of the crosswalk. It gets very crowded and hard for the cars and buses to pull out because it cuts down on the space on the street. Please park behind the crossing guard, so the street is not so congested when exiting.

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December Counseling Corner

Happy Holidays. Tis’ the season to celebrate. We here in the CFES counseling corner would like to celebrate the contribution that Mrs. Riccio, our Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC) has made to our Farm family over the last 7 years. She will be missed dearly. We’ve asked teachers to help us with a project for her departure. If your child has worked with her over the years, please encourage them to participate in this project. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Yoshida prior to Dec. 6th.

Communication is Key! This month in our monthly counselor lesson we will be exploring the different ways we communicate (Nonverbal, Verbal and Text/Written) and learning some key communication skills such as making eye contact, using “I Messages” and being active listeners. Our 5th graders will communicate their interests as they choose their middle school electives for next year, as they complete their course registration this month.

5th grade families, please note the upcoming program information sessions and middle school open houses that will be held over the next couple months. We hope you will take advantage of these information nights to help your students get a glimpse into what their zone middle school has to offer and/or be ready to apply to any specific programs they may be interested in. Note, applications for MYP & ODS Brickell Academy are due on January 10th. ODS Gifted Dance and VB Middle Gifted Art applications are due February 3rd, however, they require scheduled auditions and portfolio assignments, so please begin the process as soon as possible to ensure you have all components complete by the application due date.

Middle School Open House/Information Nights:

Corporate Landing Middle School: Thursday, Dec. 5th 6:00pm

Princess Anne Middle School: Tuesday, Dec. 10th at 6:00pm

Landstown Middle School: Tuesday, Jan. 7th at 6:00pm

Middle School Application Program Information Nights:

Plaza Middle School MYP IB Program Information Night: Wednesday, Nov. 20th at 6:30pm

Old Donation School Brickell Academy Gifted Program Night: Thursday, Dec. 5th at 5:00pm

Virginia Beach Middle School Gifted Visual Arts Program Night: Tuesday, Dec. 10th at 5:30pm

Old Donation School Gifted Dance Program Night: Friday, Jan. 3rd at 5:00pm

Congratulations to our Citizens of the Month for being READY!

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December Library Notes

Exciting things are going on in the library. Kinders have been doing LOTS of ABC turkey activities. Fifth graders are learning about descriptive language, and then using it to write a Civil War letter using sensory words and researching the different roles people played during that time period. Third grade has had fun doing a simple machines breakout and, along with fourth grade, have used a ‘crime scene’ to practice their inferencing skills. First graders will be researching their favorite pets using PebbleGo and print materials. Second grade had fun playing a Jeopardy game during their Weather unit. Many thanks to the teachers at each grade level who support the learning that goes on in the library.

Bowman's Bytes

December 9-15 is Hour of Code week. Schools all around the country emphasize the importance of coding during this week. However, coding is a skill that can and should be practiced year round. Coding teaches students important skills like cause and effect, problem solving, team work, spatial reasoning, and communication. Coding teaches kids that there is often more than one way to approach a problem and encourages creativity. While we will be encouraging coding here at school, you can code at home, too! Here are some FREE coding resources that kids love to explore:



More coding sites and information about coding can be found here.

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Literacy News

Language Arts in December

In December, grades 2-5 will delve into nonfiction and examine texts through the author’s lens. They will use the main ideas and key details to summarize texts. Students will also draw conclusions about the author’s purpose for using specific words, phrases, and text features. Various types of nonfiction texts will be used, including functional text.

In the primary grades, students will be working on retelling skills with holiday stories and reading some winter nonfiction texts and looking for text features that help identify the important facts. Be sure to ask what you child is reading!

Math Minutes

Math is all around us in December! If your child is in kindergarten, practice counting the ornaments on the Christmas tree. They are counting to 20 in kindergarten and counting by ones, fives, and tens to 120 in 1st grade. If your child is in 2nd grade, try measuring the length of menorah candles to the nearest inch. If you have a 3rd grader at home, try calculating how many days Ramadan lasts if it is about 4 weeks in duration. Students in 4th grade are exploring equivalent fractions, so try designing a kente cloth with equivalent fractions for Kwanzaa! Challenge your 5th grader to help bake some of those tasty holiday desserts while adding and subtracting the fractions in the recipe! As you can see, there are endless possibilities for math in the month of December!

Gifted Information

Gifted Application:

The following link is used for all gifted application services to include identification, cluster classroom, Old Donation School, dance, and visual arts. Please note that the gifted visual arts application requires a portfolio to be submitted to complete the application.

Application Deadlines:

Grades 2-7 January 10, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Grade 1 February 10, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Please submit applications well in advance prior to the due date to allow for any issues. No late applications will be accepted. If applying for gifted art, the drawings are due prior to the deadline along with the online parent portion.

Parents in grades 1-5 interested in applying for gifted services at CFES or ODS- You are invited to attend a parent workshop to learn more about the 1st and 5th grade gifted screening, identification, and application processes. Please click the link to complete the RSVP form.

When: Friday, December 13, 2019 8:30 AM – Room 36.

The application forms can be accessed using the following link:

User Name: (Your child’s student ID #)

Password: (Password assigned to your child by homeroom teacher to log onto Chromebook)

Nurse's Notes

CFES Families,

Cold and flu season is upon us! Proper hand washing can prevent illness! If your child is sick and has a fever, please remember they must be fever free for 24 hours without medication. I hope each of you will enjoy a HEALTHY and HAPPY Holiday Season!!!!

Upcoming PTA Events

Holiday Lights Merry Mile tickets are on sale now! Save money on the price, enjoy the beautiful beach lights tradition, and raise money for your school all at the same time. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased now. Please Complete the attached order form and return to your child’s homeroom teacher with a check made payable to CFES PTA.

Santa’s Workshop is on it’s way back to the farm to help your child’s gift giving experience a memorable one. The fun begins December 2 with a “Preview Only“ day. Shopping begins Dec 3rd and lasts thru December 6th, from 7:55 am-2:40 pm located in the Innovation Lab. December 6th will be our family night from 5:30-8:30pm. All are welcome.

Fifth Grade Celebration Planning is off to a fantastic start. We have many great Fundraisers planned this year starting with our Five Below Cashola, at the Landstown location, from December 15th-December 21st. This is an entire week that anyone from the school can get a jump start on your stocking stuffers for the holiday season! The info flyer will be coming home soon in your child's Tuesday folder.

Volunteers.... Log your hours!!! This means you! Anytime you are volunteering in or outside of the school, please remember to log hours. You can be working on Tuesday folders, helping with lunch duty, or calling vendors for a PTA event. This also includes making copies for a teacher or organizing an event for PTA or a teacher. All of your time spent volunteering earns our school funding based on your hours. All you have to do is visit:

If you have questions on how to log your hours, please feel free to contact Sandy Mealer at

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Link your VIC card to Christopher Farms

The “link” program that Harris Teeter has is called Together In Education. The below link has all of the information on it. The school gets money for programs every time you shop at Harris Teeter.
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  4. Make sure the school has your updated phone number and email address in order to receive Alert Now communications
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