Dragon Tales

The Arcola Newsletter with All the News at Arcola!

January 14, 2023

Good Afternoon Arcola Families!

I wanted to write to you about something your student may notice in the coming weeks at our school. LCPS Safety & Security has equipped all schools with multiple layers of protection, some visible, and some not, to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone. Arcola Elementary is undergoing some improvements to enhance our technology that controls access, monitors visitors, and prevents fire and life safety issues.

Beginning on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 Facilities Services is installing a security vestibule, which is a second entrance beyond our traditional entrance. It is LCPS Safety & Security’s intent, and mine as well, to ensure this construction causes minimal disruption to our daily schedule and instruction. We do not have a timeline for the anticipated completion of the project, but we hope that it will be done before the end of March.

LCPS Safety & Security is constantly re-assessing our security plan and incorporating national best practices and modernized technology to strengthen our capabilities. There is nothing more important to Loudoun County Public Schools than the safety and welfare of its students and staff.

Here are some things that will need to be modified during this construction:

  • The main entrance will be completely closed during construction.

  • We will use the secondary entrance by the music room and will have a temporary security guard since we will not have the buzzer system in place.

  • The front office furniture and personnel will be temporarily moved to the lobby area near the secondary entrance.

  • Morning arrival will require all students to enter the building through the secondary entrance (music room entrance).

  • Afternoon dismissal may be slightly delayed while we work things out. We are going to do some trial runs on Thursday and Friday of this coming week.

  • Bus riders will be exiting through the music room doors by the music room.

  • Car Riders will be dismissed from the end of the 5th grade hallway, so please be patient and stay in your cars as we work this new plan out.

If you have any questions about the construction project, please send me an email at andrew.stevens@lcps.org.

We are very excited about some upcoming events, so please take a look below.

- On Friday, January 27th we will be holding our very first Family STEM Night featuring the Innoventions Expo! Please use the QR Code and watch the short Roary videos linked below for more information!

- Parents of 5th graders were recently invited to join the 5th grade Promotion Planning Committee. If you are interested, please fill out this form.

Yearbooks are on sale now! Please check the link below and order a yearbook for your child soon! The price is currently $20, so please grab one before the price goes up!

The end of the second quarter of the school year will be on Friday, January 20th. Please make sure your students get all later assignments turned in so that their grades can be accurately reflected in the second quarter report cards. Report Cards will be available in ParentVue on January 31st. Please click the link below to make sure you have access in ParentVue.

I hope that you are all able to join us at Arcola sometime soon!

Andrew Stevens


An Important Message from Roary: Innoventions!!!

Roary and Mr. Charlish walk us through how to innovate/invent!

An Important Message from Roary: Innoventions PART 2!!!

Step 2 in the Innovention process: Brainstorming!!!

An Important Message from Roary: Innoventions PART 3!!!

Step 3 in the Innovention Process: Sketch Possible Solutions!

Big picture

We need parents to help set up tables and put out supplies. Click the link to join us!


Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 for One LCPS United for Wellness, the annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference.

This year’s conference will be held at Lightridge High School (41025 Collaboration Dr., Aldie, VA) and will spotlight 30 speakers, providing strategies promoting youth mental health and wellness.

The focus of this year’s conference is on wellness and will feature approaches such as learning about music mediation, interrupting the stress cycle, and building the teen toolkit with yoga and breathing exercises.

Other topics include:

  • Coping with Anxiety
  • Mindful Parenting
  • Positive Relationships with Food
  • Navigating Mental Health Insurance Challenges

The conference will also include a vendor fair featuring area businesses that support mental health and wellness. There will also be a raffle giving away great prizes. Refreshments will be provided. Please plan to join us!

Big picture

Pants for Clinic

Our school clinic is in need of pants of all sizes that can be used for our students

  • Used or new.
  • Small, Medium or Large.
  • Drop them off or send them with your student.

Make sure you know how to access your parentvue account! All of your bus information, grades, teacher assignments will be found in your parentvue account!

Mercer Middle School - Welcome Rising 6th Grade!

This newsletter will serve as a sneak peek into preliminary dates, some remarkable staff & events that will support acclimating your student(s) to Mercer MS for the upcoming school year. READ CAREFULLY to ensure that you are getting all information.



LCPS administers NWEA’s MAP Growth tests in Reading and Math each fall, winter, and spring to students in grades 2-8, first grade students in Math, and high school students enrolled in Algebra I and Geometry to determine their instructional readiness level and measure academic growth throughout the school year and from year to year.

The MAP Growth testing schedule is January 2nd through January 20th 2023.

MAP Growth tests are adaptive, providing a detailed picture of what your student knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below grade level expectations. MAP Growth tests also provide immediate and accurate information about your student’s learning, enabling teachers to personalize instruction to meet students’ needs.

For more information about the MAP Growth test, visit: https://www.lcps.org/Page/217792

Virginia Growth Assessments

Students in grades 3-8 will take the Virginia Department of Education’s growth assessments in reading and math this fall and again during the winter.

Test window for the winter of 2023 will be January 23 - February 17, 2023.

The online growth assessments are adaptive assessments that aid teachers with identifying learning strands that require additional instruction. In addition, the results indicate specific benchmarks for student growth. Students will take these tests in addition to the spring Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.

If you would like to refuse the opportunity to take this test, please let us know your reasons in an email to our Assistant Principal, Mr. Charlish. He can be contacted at steven.charlish@lcps.org. Please copy your class teacher on the same email too so they can plan accordingly.

Big picture
Big picture

The Division of English Learners Family and Community Engagement (FACE) - The Family Room Virtual Session

The Division of English Learners, Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Office is pleased to invite you to our next virtual session of The Family Room:

Introduction to the LCPS Gifted Education Program

Come and learn about the LCPS Gifted Education Program. The presentation will address the mission of the program, provide an introduction to current program options, offer an overview of the gifted evaluation process, and share information about gifted family outreach opportunities!

Please join us on Wednesday January 18, 2023:

6 pm (English & Spanish)

7 pm (English & Arabic)

Please see the flier link below to learn more!

Introduction to the LCPS Gifted Education Program_All Languages.pdf

Click for RSVP link!
Big picture
PTA Board Member Interest Form 2023-24

As we look ahead to our 2023-24 school year, the AES PTA has begun actively searching for individuals interested in filling our Treasurer and Secretary roles. If you think you might be interested, please fill out the form linked here!

Big picture

Arcola PTA Spring Basket Raffle Volunteers

The annual Basket Raffle & Bingo will take place on Friday, April 14th 6:30-8:30 PM

To make this event a success, we ask that each class put together a basket based on a theme for the raffle. Typically, the room parents are able to assist with putting together the baskets for their class; however, this year, many teachers do not have room parents to assist with this effort.

We are asking that completed baskets be dropped off in the office no later than Friday March 31st.

Please note that if you don't see your teachers name in the list, that means we already have a room parent or a parent who signed up to help with that class.

SIGN UP LINK: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0D48A5A629A1FC1-spring

Big picture
Learning A New Language Series!

Answering Questions about Bilingualism in Childhood


We are very excited to announce the launch of SchoolCash Online, a new online payment system that allows parents to pay for school-related fees, including everything from field trips to yearbooks.

What is SAFE2TALK?

For many years we have encouraged students to share information about suspicious activity or unusual incidents with trusted adults in our schools, including teachers, coaches, principals and other administrators. Loudoun County Public Schools and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office are collaborating on the use of a new mobile anonymous tip application called “Safe2Talk.”

This app can easily be downloaded onto any mobile device through the device’s App Store. While we prefer that all information is brought directly to the attention of a trusted LCPS staff member or law enforcement officer, we understand that some students and parents may wish to remain anonymous.

In support of See Something, Say Something, please speak with your children about this app and help them download the app to their device. We also encourage you to download the app for yourself.

Dragon Dudes - Sign Up Now Open!

Please visit the link to sign up to be a Dragon Dude!

Big picture
Big picture


Did you know that DragonTales can be translated into almost any language? You can now read this newsletter in the language most comfortable to you. Please share this information with your neighbors and friends who could benefit from the translator benefit! Click on the "Accessibility" button on the top right of your newsletter where you will find the "translate" button. Click and pick your language of choice!

Click here to visit the Arcola Website where you will find information about all the latest events at Arcola! The Arcola Homepage is your "GO TO" place for people who want to be "in the know."