Lions' Ledger

October 2019

Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to October and the beautiful Fall Season! I know we are all surprised how fast September has flown by!

The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month and, at Lafayette Upper Elementary, we take this issue very seriously. Hugh Mercer and Lafayette will be participating in Unity Day on Wednesday, October 23rd. The students and staff will be asked to wear orange to show unity and stand together against bullying.

October is full of fun activities! Our grade 5 Fall concert kicks off the month. We can't wait to see everyone here on Wednesday, October 9th at 6:00 PM.

We are quickly approaching the end of the first nine weeks. Friday, October 11 is the last day of the marking period. Please reach out to your scholar's teacher if you have any questions or concerns. You may reach them via email or phone.

We look forward to welcoming our Daily Dads on campus the night of October 15th, for our kick-off event and pizza dinner. Then, join us on Thursday, October 17th at 6:00 PM for Family Math and Reading night. We will have activities for all ages, so bring the family and join us for a night filled with learning and excitement!

We will end the month with our Fall Festival, more information to come as we approach this event.

Finally, this newsletter will be posted for all families to access on our website. Paper copies will not be sent home unless requested, which you can do by updating your profile on PowerSchool (parent portal) or contacting our counseling department. If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to contact me anytime. Have a great month ahead!


Courtney Wheeler


Teachers' Corner

Grade 3

Lots of fun and exciting things are going on in 3rd grade at LUES! As we dive into your second unit of inquiry, 3rd graders are thinking about 'Sharing the Planet'. We will be discussing habitats, food chains, ecosystems and earth's resources. In reading, we are finishing up our Magic Tree House creative writing and moving on to BUGS research and narrative writing. For Math, we will begin the wonderful world of multiplication and division. We can't wait to get started!

Grade 4

The 4th grade is off to an extremely busy start! We are beginning to work on our first IB Unit and the theme is Who We Are. The central idea of this unit is that humans investigate the world around them to responsibly share and use resources. As we study the regions of Virginia in social studies, we will talk about Virginia’s location on the Earth and the many natural resources we have. We will discuss the states that border Virginia, key cities and rivers in Virginia, and the characteristics of the five different regions. We will be able to link this to a future science unit on natural resources.

We are reviewing place value in math which includes standard, word, and expanded forms of numbers and place value through the hundred million. We will also discuss the place value of decimals. The next unit will be comparing and rounding both whole numbers and decimals.

Please encourage students to practice multiplication. You can buy a set of flash cards or make a set and quiz your child. It will be a huge help when we get to this unit in the upcoming months.

The use of Literacy Lab will begin in ARC. Literacy teams will begin leveling students to find their independent reading levels. Students will be reading Alvin Ho as part of a genre study on realistic fiction. We are also practicing our independent reading to build reading stamina.

Writing will concentrate on two small units: subject and predicate and writing proper sentences. We will brainstorm ideas for our own realistic fiction stories and begin to write them.

We have a busy year planned. Thanks to parents and families for your support!

Grade 5

Fifth grade teachers are excited about starting a new school year and building relationships with our fifth grade scholars. In Math, our scholars have been reviewing odd/even, prime and composite numbers and whole number operations. Next, they will be able to solve expressions using the order of operations and round decimals numbers.

Our IB Theme is “Who We Are,” and our Central Idea is “Change impacts relationships”. We are completing our Science IB Inquiry Unit on types of matter, learning about plate tectonics, rock cycle, weathering and erosion, fossils, and earth changes. ​

In Reading and Language Arts, scholars are learning to love to read and to write. We will be using American Reading Company again this year to ensure this happens. The scholars will be reading both fiction and non-fiction books, working on accountable talk, and writing for a variety of purposes. Please make sure your scholar is reading at home on a daily basis. Scholars will be keeping track of their minutes read on a reading log. Please sign the log each night.

Your calls and e-mails are welcomed. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We thank and appreciate each and every one of our parents and guardians for supporting us. We are off to a great start!

Counseling Corner

School Counselors are licensed professionals trained in human development; career information and development; tests and measurements and social cultural issues. The school counselors at LUES provide programs that include preventative services; individual and small group counseling; classroom guidance lessons; informative and referral services.

Ms. Janet Nelson-Counselor for all 5th grade homerooms and the following 4th grade homerooms- Swider, Scovell, Scruggs, Bolling, Murray and Okert

Mrs. Annette Richards – Counselor for all of 3rd grade and the following 4th grade homerooms-Brady, Hoosier, Graebner, Cosner, Herrera and Stadler


If your child is experiencing bullying…

When you discover your child is being bullied, you may feel a variety of emotions, from anger to fear to sadness. These reactions and emotional responses are natural for parents who want their child to feel valued, protected, and loved. To become an effective advocate for your child, it is important to acknowledge your emotions and then focus on developing an action plan to help your child.

Make sure your child knows:

1. It is NOT their fault. They are not to blame.

2. They are NOT alone. You are here to help.

3. It is the adults’ responsibility make the bullying stop.

4. Bullying is never okay and they have the right to be safe.

5. No one deserves to be bullied.

6. They deserve to be treated with respect.

7. They have the right to feel safe at school.

October classroom guidance lessons in third and fourth grades are focusing on Mindfulness in the Classroom, Emotional Regulation and Bullying Prevention.


Report Cards go home – October 18

Parent Conferences – October 29

Referrals for Gifted Intellectual eligibility for third quarter – November 1

IB Update

In October, each grade level is wrapping up their first Unit of Inquiry and getting ready to start a new one. This is what they will be working on this month.

Third Grade: Third graders have started their unit on Sharing the Planet. They are looking at the central idea, “When interacting with ecosystems, humans make choices that have an impact on other living things.” Within this unit, students will be exploring their SOLs on the survival of organisms, food chains, habitats, living systems and processes, ecosystems, and Earth’s resources. In reading, they will connect to the unit by researching the characteristics and life cycles of different bugs, and start writing a book about them.

Fourth Grade: In fourth grade, students are beginning their unit on Where We Are in Place and Time. In this unit, students consider the central idea, “Different perspectives on issues create conflicts between individuals and governments.” In this unit, students will investigate their SOLs on the Revolutionary War and Forming a Nation, where they will examine the how our nation was formed through the creation of important documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. In literacy classes, they will be making connections to the unit as they learn about elements of non-fiction; in particular, text features and author’s purpose. They will consider these elements as they discuss the different documents that formed our nation.

Fifth Grade: Fifth grade students are starting their unit on How the World Works. This unit revolves around the central idea, “Earth’s cycles and life systems affect and connect with one another.” Within this unit, students will cover their SOLs on ocean features and the structures of cells and organisms. In literacy classes, students will connect to the unit by researching the characteristics of different ecosystems, and writing informational reports on their chosen ecosystem.

Book Fair

The library will be hosting a book fair for all students and staff October 21-25. We will have a variety of books and school supplies available. Please come and support our library!