Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

September 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

Happy September!

We had a wonderful first week of school! Our classrooms were buzzing as new relationships were forming. All of our colts worked hard to learn their classroom routines and procedures. I was so impressed with their behaviors in the hallway during the first week of school!

This school year marks the third year for 1:1 digital integration (meaning grades 1-5 students have their own Chromebooks). Continuing the work of meeting our students' Social Emotional Learning (SEL) needs, we are joining the division in implementing additional recess minutes in K-5 on a daily basis. Additionally, CFES is in its second year of PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). This means the entire school community will use the same language when teaching, re-directing, and re-teaching students. Lastly, we are also in our first year of school-wide morning meetings.

If you were able to attend your child's Open House, you would have learned a little about Morning Meetings. This is a Responsive Classroom practice that intentionally creates a structured, welcoming, proactive, positive classroom community on a daily basis. A morning meeting is comprised of four components: greeting, sharing, activity, and message. At CFES, we do not let a spare minute go to waste, so we are intentional about integrating academics into our morning meetings in an enjoyable way! To learn more about morning meetings, click here:

We loved seeing so many families over the past two weeks and look forward to your continued partnership throughout this year. Every week, your child's teacher will be communicating with you the objectives that will be covered and ways in which you can help reinforce them at home. At any time, if you have any questions or concerns - please know that we have an open door policy at CFES and want to work together to come to a solution.

If you haven't already, take a minute to follow us on Twitter ( to see all of the amazing things that are going on in our classrooms.

-Ms. Backer

Message from Ms. Porter, Our Assistant Principal

We began our school year with our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) systems which were in place last school year. The teachers are approaching behavior in the classroom by building relationships with students and all students begin their day with a morning meeting.

The students have been benefiting tremendously as positive behaviors observed by staff members result in a Golden Colt Ticket. When a class is observed by another teacher or staff member displaying respect, responsibility, and being ready (Our Colts Code) in the hallway, restroom, or cafeteria they will receive a Golden Colt Ticket. The students work diligently, especially in the hallway, to receive a ticket.

At the end of each week 3 tickets are randomly drawn from Pre-K-1st, 2-3, and 4-5 grades and then the class receives their reward chosen by them. Our first Golden Colt Champions will receive their class reward beginning this week. Some of the rewards chosen by classes are: PJ day, game board day, reading day, popcorn party and many other "Golden Colt" incentives for their class.

Ask your child what they have done to show they are being responsible, respectful, and ready and following the Colts Code!

Important Upcoming Dates

September 10, 2019- Reflections Program Begins (all entries due Nov 1st )

September 10, 2019- Yankee Candle/Charleston Wrap Fundraiser

September 19, 2019- PTA Meeting (all parents welcome) 3:00pm in the library

September 24, 2019- Chipotle Cashola

Counseling Corner

We would like to thank all of our students, families and staff for a successful launch to our new school year. You all embraced the various responsibilities of your roles and brought joy and excitement to our campus these first few days.

The character trait and graduate profile skill that we are focusing on for the month of September is Responsibility. For September guidance lessons we are introducing the school counselor as a resource to our students and outlining how her responsibilities can support students and families. We will also explore age appropriate student responsibilities. Though our energy is positive and strong now, we know as time goes on, life happens and stressors or challenges may arise. In these instances, we hope to continue to foster growth in responsibility with our students.

One of the strategic action agenda items for our division last school year was “with equity as an ever present emphasis, we will continue to learn more about restorative practices and to use mediation when appropriate for addressing conflicts (e.g., student to student and student to staff).” Mediation is a positive, problem solving process that can effectively resolve conflicts and repair relationships (Victorian Association for Dispute Resolution, 2001). It is a process that follows a structured protocol and is facilitated by at least one trained and neutral party (mediator). Though VBCPS has other processes in our discipline level system to address conflict resolution, mediation provides an opportunity for individuals involved to problem-solve and take responsibility for their own actions in a joint effort.

We are excited to note that mediation may be used as an appropriate way to address and resolve conflicts in a restorative manner this year. Mediation may be requested by a student, parent, staff or administrator. It may be used as a proactive measure to address a temporal conflict and/or by the school administrator as a disciplinary decision.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding mediation as an option, please contact Mrs. Yoshida and/or one of our administrators.

Bowman's Bytes

As we get our year rolling, your students will be accessing their Chromebooks and Google accounts. These accounts can be accessed from home on any laptop or desktop computer or Chromebook. Follow the instructions in the link below to get set up at home! Your student’s password will be assigned by their teacher.

There have been a lot of inquiries regarding Robotics Club. Applications will be available starting in October. We will be looking for highly motivated, hard-working team players with a passion to learn something new.

Google Login Instructions

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Reading News!

Welcome to a new year! We are so excited to begin our literacy journey with all our CFES colts.

This year we will meet new friends in all the new books we plan to read. Begin to ask your colt about their daily reading experiences.

Ask questions that require them to elaborate, like:

  • What books did you read or hear today?
  • Who was your favorite character? Why?
  • What was the problem? How was the problem solved?
  • If you could talk to this character, what would you ask him/her?
  • What advice would you give this character?

Remember, you’re a big part of this journey!

Did you hear about our One Book, One School event?

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A note from our Math Specialist - Mrs. Rockwell

We are so excited for a new school year! September is a busy month in math!

In kindergarten and 1st grade, counting is trending! Practice with your child counting forward and backwards to 10. If you have a first grader at home, extend counting forward to 120 or backwards from the number 30 or below.

In 2nd-4th grade, place value is the hot topic of the month. Have your child practice saying a number and writing it in standard (number) form.

Finally, 5th graders are exploring characteristics of odd/even numbers and prime/composite numbers. Try listing all of the prime numbers up to 100 with your child for an at-home challenge!

Information from Mrs. Vickery

5th Grade Gifted Screening Update - An Assessment Specialist for gifted education will be at Christopher Farms on Thursday, October 10th to work with all 5th grade students. A good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast are the best preparation. Your cooperation in having your child present on this date is appreciated.

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 Nov. 1, 2019 and you may access it at that time. Any student who scores 90% or higher will be recommended to apply for gifted testing. Parents must fill out the application online prior to the deadline (January 10th grades 2-5) and submit it prior to 4:00 pm. If a score is below 90%, parents may still apply for additional testing. The website to apply for gifted identification and for ODS is: .

News from the library!

Thank you to all of the parents who signed up to volunteer in the library this year at Open House. I had 28 parents!!! I am totally excited to get to work with these volunteers—especially the ones who came back for a second year! CFES really does enjoy the support of our community and I am so very grateful.

Student Library Assistants: Each year 4th grade students can apply to work in the library as student library assistants. They must fill out an application and take a library information quiz to qualify. Please have your child speak to their teachers if they are interested in doing this.

Checkout procedures and the number of books that may be checked out are as follows:

Kindergarten - 1 book each week

Grades 1-2 - 2 books each week

Grades 3-5 - 3 books each week

Books are due back in the library one week from the date of check out. Books can be renewed two times. Students must know their lunch numbers/student ID’s in order to check out books. No late fees are charged. Fees are only charged for lost books or damaged books that have to be pulled from the collection. (Fees are determined by the school district.)


We are truly galloping into September with force! Your PTA has been busy selling memberships, spirit wear and fundraising while planning the Fall Festival on October 11th.

Memberships are still on sale for $8 per student & Family member. PTA members will receive numerous discounts and freebies this year at our events. Don’t get left in the dust, partner!

Check your child’s Tuesday folder for our Yankee Candle and Charleston Wrap fundraiser now selling.

Proceeds from our fundraisers benefit the PTA and our events planned for the year. Visit Yankee Candle (Click Here) for more selections.

You can also visit the online Charleston Wrap (Click Here) store and order at The deadline to place your order is October 1.

Show your “Colt Country” pride and order your spirit wear today. First orders will be placed September 19th. Order forms are available in your child’s Tuesday folder and in your emailed Colt Crusader Newsletter.

We are accepting Reflections submissions until November 1. This year’s theme is “Look Within”. Your child can deliver their entry to the main office and attention it to Holly Virella.

Saddle up for a fun year with CFES PTA. We are all looking forward to providing fun, family events and educational programming this school year.

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