Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

November Edition

2828 Pleasant Acres Drive

Virginia Beach, VA 23453


Follow us on Twitter @cfescolts

Principal: Robyn Backer , @Robyn Backer

Asst. Principal: Patti Porter, @sunsetzzz15

Message From Ms. Backer, Our Principal

As we are nearing the end of the first grading period, we have had a lot to celebrate this school year and even more to be thankful for in the coming months. November offers us an opportunity to build on such a great start to the school year.

Tuesday, November 5th was our second Virtual Learning Day. We loved seeing their assignments from the first VLD; we can't wait for their assignments this month! School will be closed on November 11th for Veterans' Day. We thank all of the veterans in our community for their service to our country. This Friday, CFES will hold its traditional Veterans' day program to honor all of our Veterans' that are connected to CFES. Finally, as report cards come home on Wednesday, November 13th, please take some time to discuss the successes with your child and set specific goals with them in the areas that they want to see improvement in.

As we enter a season of thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in such a wonderful community and work together with the most caring and supportive teachers and families . It truly is a great year to be a Colt.

-Ms. Backer

Message from Ms. Porter, Our Assistant Principal

Teachers will be acknowledging students this month for the "Be Ready" part of the Colt's Code. So, if your child comes home with a sticker saying "Be Ready" ask them what they did as part of the Colt's Code and our PBIS structures to stand out from their peers. You can also ask your child on any given day what they did to show being ready at school, in your home, or on a car ride. If you want more information on what PBIS looks like at CFES, check out the video below.

-Ms. Porter

CFES PBIS VL Home Matrix

November Upcoming Events

  • November 1st- Citizen of the Month Lunches

Watch Dog Dad in the Building

Girls on the Run Club 2:45-4:15

SCA Meeting 2:45-4:00

  • November 5th- Staff Day- No school for kids
  • November 6th - Colt's Corner Store open 7:55-8:20 Foyer

Make-Up School Picture Day

Girls on the Run Club 2:45-4:15

Newspaper Club 2:45-4:00

  • November 8th- Veterans Day Assemblies; R.E.D day - wear red!
  • November 9th- PTA Junk in Your Trunk Sale 9:00-1:00 Bus Loop Area
  • ·November 11th- No School- Veterans Day
  • November 12th- 1st Grade Gifted Screening

Kindergarten Story Teller Assembly

  • November 13th- Report Cards Issued

Girls on the Run Club 25-4:15

  • November 14th-
  • 4th Grade Roaming the Regions Expo 12:30-1:15
  • PTA 5th Grade Celebration Meeting 3:00 Library. All 5th Grade

parents welcome to attend.

  • November 15th- 2nd Grade Weather Expo 10:00-10:45
  • November 18th- Girls on the Run Club 2:45-4:15
  • November 20th- Newspaper Club 2:45-4:00

Girls on the Run Club 2:45-4:15

  • November 21st- PTA Meeting 3:00 Library All are welcome to attend.

Coldstone Pies will be available for pick-up

  • November 25th- Girls on the Run Club 2:45-4:15
  • November 27th- Half day for students

** Lost and Found **

Our lost and found is overflowing!! We have jackets, sweatshirts, and more jackets. 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 will be coming soon, and we want to make sure everyone has something warm to wear. Anything left behind after November 8th will be donated.
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R.E.D. Day- Remember Everyone Deployed for Military Family Appreciation Month

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) joins the Department of Defense, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the military community in celebrating November as Military Family Appreciation Month. We know behind our brave service men and women are our military-children who serve each day alongside their loved ones.

Through deployments, reintegration and frequent relocations, our military families are essential to protecting our nation’s freedom. On Friday, Nov. 8, the Office of Student Support Services is inviting everyone throughout VBCPS to participate in R.E.D. Day - Remember Everyone Deployed by wearing red on Friday, Nov. 8. By wearing red on Nov. 8, VBCPS will demonstrate support of military families by spreading the message that we recognize and appreciate their service, not just throughout Military Family Appreciation Month, but every day of the year.

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Star Program

Since 2009, the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment (VA STAR) program, coordinated through the Office of Strategic Communications and the Virginia Beach Education Foundation, provides free, refurbished computers to identified students to support academic achievement. We solicit used computers from individuals, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, state agencies and private companies that are then re-imaged with Windows 20 software and loaded with the Microsoft Office Suite by students in the computer systems technology class at the Advanced Technology Center.

Students are selected to receive one of these computers through an application process. In order to be selected, families must meet the following requirements:

• The student must be currently enrolled in a Virginia Beach City Public School

• The family cannot have a working computer or laptop at home.

• A parent/guardian must attend a brief information session at the time the computer is received.

** Note: Internet service in NOT provided — only refurbished computers.

The limited number of laptops donated to and refurbished by VA STAR are given first to students identified as homeless, then to seniors and juniors, who may be thinking about going to college. In the upcoming weeks, school counselors and social workers will receive brochures about and applications for the VA STAR program to share with eligible students. These applications should be approved by either counselors or school social workers (SSW) before being submitted.

Should the Office of Strategic Communications not have VA STAR applications on hand when the computers are available, the refurbished computers will be distributed to community organizations and other Virginia school districts in need. Should you have questions about the VA STAR program, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications at 757.263.1936. Thank you.

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November Counseling Corner

After learning about being RESPONSIBLE in September and RESPECTFUL in October, we now turn to the final “R” in our Colts Code, READY, for November. Students will learn about being ready to learn, being mindful, prepared and organized.

Our 5th graders will begin to learn about their options for middle school. 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 as early as January 10th **

Application Programs:

  • 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

Middle School Information Nights:

  • Corporate Landing Middle School: Thursday, Dec. 5th 6:00pm
  • Princess Anne Middle School: Tuesday, Dec. 10th at 6:00pm
  • Landstown Middle School: TBD
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November Library Notes

The student library assistants’ program is up and running smoothly. Student jobs will change monthly and the students earn chart stickers for good attendance. They are really helping to keep the shelves in book-ready order.

The mini-library is painted and after one more coat will be stocked with great books to read. Take one and leave one—with no checking out! Many thanks to CODY HILL, a former CFES colt, who built this as a part of his Eagle Scout achievement! Way to go Cody!!

Students are flipgriding some break books, coding, breaking out, researching, ‘STEM’ming and solving mysteries using inferencing in the library! Come and visit. We’d love to have you.

Many thanks again to our amazing parent volunteers who have read ALL of the shelves in the library so that the books are organized correctly.

Anne Young, Librarian

Bowman's Bytes

Christopher Farm Families!

Are you looking for something fun and creative to do at home that can help work on your child's problem solving and spatial skills? TinkerCAD is a great, FREE program that works on both of these areas. TinkerCAD is a stripped down, kid friendly Computer Assisted Design program used for creating 3D models.

CAD software is something that is being used in more and more fields in our ever advancing work force. Engineers use CAD programs to design parts for ships and submarines, manufacturers use it to build prototypes of their products, and your student can use it, too!

I have attached this video with instructions on how to log into TinkerCAD. Once in the program, it provides tutorials to get you and your student started with their very own project. They are really only limited by their imagination with this program. Happy creating!

Travis Bowman, Instructional Specialist

Literacy News

We are off to a strong start in language arts! Students are already in the second unit where they are visiting the story elements of narrative text. Our younger readers are meeting new characters and making connections with those characters’ feelings. Our older readers are examining characters, setting, plot and drawing conclusions about how each have impacted the story.

All of our colts are writing personal narratives and will soon begin to revise and edit their drafts. In a couple of weeks, we will peak our curiosity about reading nonfiction text and think about how that looks different than reading fiction text. Be sure to ask you child what they are reading at school!

Patti Csenar- Reading Specialist

Math Minutes

November is here! Our kindergarten students will continue to develop number sense this month through exploration of numbers up to 20 and comparing sets of objects for size. Numeration is also a focus in grade 1 with students counting up to 120 objects by ones, fives, and tens (certainly faster than counting by ones). Our second graders will investigate plane and solid shapes during their geometry unit this month. Be on the lookout for spheres, cubes, and rectangular prisms at home! In 3rd grade, students will count money and make change, just in time for holiday shopping! Computation is highlighted in both 4th and 5th grades, as students solve various multi-step problems. As you can tell, we have a busy month ahead!

Jenny Rockwell

Math Specialist

Gifted Information

First Grade Application Process for Gifted Services

Virginia Beach City Public School system screens all first-grade students to ensure that every student is given consideration for gifted program services. The testing specialists will administer the screening instrument to the students in their classrooms at Christopher Farms Elementary School on Tuesday, November 12th. Students who score 90% or above on the screening instrument will be encouraged to apply for additional testing. Parents and/or teachers may request forms for children who do not score 90% but wish to be considered for placement.

You can access your child’s ParentVUE account to view your child’s gifted screening scores. Your child’s gifted screening score will be available on ParentVUE by Jan. 6, 2020 and you may access it at that time.

Additional testing for those students will be completed for only those students who have an application filled out online by a parent or guardian. If further testing for your child is recommended or requested, you will need to apply online. We ask that you complete the online application ( and provide specific examples of things that you see in your child as it relates to various topics.

If you have any interest in your child attending ODS (Old Donation School), you will need to check that box on the application. This must be submitted PRIOR to the deadline at 4:00 p.m. on February 10th, 2020. (1st grade only). The deadline for gifted applications and ODS admission for grades 2-7 is January 10th, 2020 before 4:00 p.m.


Parent information is very important and the more details you can provide us about your child, the clearer picture we will have of him/her. The Parent Information Form includes the following areas:

  • Intense Learner: uses advanced vocabulary; reads excessively; reads on an advanced level; knows a lot about certain topics; determined to complete assignments and projects successfully
  • Analytical Learner: completes puzzles with many pieces; enjoys working with building sets; finds patterns at home or outside; good at mental math and problem solving; learns new skills quickly
  • Creative Producer: expresses familiar ideas in unusual ways; excels at drawing or painting; enjoys writing stories or poems, sees humor in situations others may find humorless; asks questions with why or how; creates original projects such as birthday cards
  • Highly Motivated in Areas of Interest: works well independently but also cooperatively as a team member; does more than required on assignments; assumes leadership positions, completes school assignments without a lot of help or reminders, is able to entertain him/herself at home without a TV.

After the testing has been completed, the Eligibility Committee for Gifted Education will review test data, teacher forms, parent forms, achievement data, and other information to make decisions regarding identification for gifted program services. Parents will be notified of the final decisions before the end of the school year.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Debra Vickery at

5th Grade Gifted Screening Results and Gifted Applications Grades 2-5

The 5th grade screening scores will be available to parents in ParentVUE Nov. 1, 2019. If further testing for your child is recommended or requested, you will need to apply online. We ask that you complete the online application ( and provide specific examples of things that you see in your child as it relates to various topics. The user name is your child’s lunch number and the password is the one assigned by the homeroom teacher to log onto the Chromebook at school. If you have any interest in your child attending ODS (Old Donation School), you will need to check that box on the application. The deadline for gifted applications and ODS admission for grades 2-7 is January 10th, 2020 before 4:00 p.m.


For additional information, please visit:

Nurse's Notes

Flu season is upon us! Know the difference between a common cold and the flu. If your child has a fever greater than 100.2*, please keep them home until they are fever free without medications for 24 hours.


Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.


A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).


Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

Save the Date!

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Upcoming PTA Events

If you were at the 2019 Fall Festival, you know it was the place to be! Events like this are not possible without our parent and staff volunteers. A huge thank you to all who helped make the Fall Festival a huge success!

Do you have a closet over-flowing with clothes or items that need to find a new home? The First annual “Junk in the Trunk” will be held November 9th, 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM at The Farm in the bus loop. Come join us to shop or sell. Reserve a spot for $10. Email Shawnie Green at to reserve your spot today.

Attention all 5th grade parents!

We are starting to plan our schoolwide Bingo Night and end of the year celebration for the Class of 2020. Join us for a Parent Volunteer/Information Meeting for 5th Grade Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 14th at 3:00PM in the CFES library. If you have questions or can’t make this meeting, please contact Lisa Derrick at to be placed on the volunteer list.

Coldstone Sales

Do you ever have guests who pop in over the holiday and you need a quick dessert to serve? Has the traditional pumpkin pie worn out its welcome at your dinner table? No fear! Coldstone cream pies are BACK! $15 a pie and 4 flavors to choose from. Please check your child’s Tuesday folders from 10/29-11/18, complete the order form, and return with your payment. Cash or check accepted, and can be made payable to CFES PTA. You will receive a voucher to pick up your pie on November 22nd. $3 from each pie will come directly back to your PTA to help pay for programs and events. Questions? Contact Jessica Bueno at

Our Annual Santa Workshop will be back at The Farm from Dec 2nd-Dec 6th. The store hours will be 7:55AM -2:30PM daily for shopping. Your child will have an opportunity to make a wish list during their class visit and bring it home for parent approval. When sending in money, please include your child’s name on the envelope or in the bag. The Santa Workshop accepts check and cash. If you have questions or would like to volunteer please contact Michelle Cannuli at

Supper with Santa-Grinch Style

Friday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m.

At Who-Ville (Christopher Farms Elementary) Dinner will be served (Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad, and bread) from 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Santa arrives at 6:30 p.m.

PTA members visit with Santa from 6:30 p.m.- 7:15 p.m.

Non- PTA members visit with Santa from 7:15 p.m.- 8:15 p.m.

Crafts, Holiday Shop, Santa Photo, Santa Reading, and Craft Fair

Tickets are $20 (for families up to 5 members) Extra family members are $3. Tickets Include: Breakfast for Dinner, Crafts, Santa Photo, and Santa Reading. You can also enjoy a little shopping that evening at the Craft fair and Santa Shop.

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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  1. Check our website weekly:
  2. Follow us on Twitter:
  3. Download the VBSCHOOLS app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
  4. Make sure the school has your updated phone number and email address in order to receive Alert Now communications
  5. Follow your child's progress on Parent Portal: