Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

October 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

Just like that we are into our second month of school! September was a month filled with building classroom communities through morning meetings, diving into math and numeration with place value and number sense and deepening our reading comprehension through making connections with ourselves, to other text and to the world. Mrs. Porter and myself find ourselves amazed by the progress our students have made in learning the routines and expectations of CFES while building strong relationships with their teachers and peers.

October is filled with many events such as our SCA elections, the United Way drive, IPT for our 4th graders, and our big Fall Festival! We hope to see everyone participate! Please consider joining our PTA if you have not done so already. Our PTA works hard to support the learning of all of our students through sponsoring different educational programs for each grade level as well as putting on several events throughout the year for our community to enjoy. Our goal is to have 100% membership by November. In addition, the first class to reach 100% membership will receive an ice cream party.

Lastly, on May 10th, our school board shared the division’s plans to use virtual learning days to expand students’ academic experiences and to bank instructional time for the 2018-2019 school year. The Virtual Learning Days will take place at times when staff is at work, but students are not in school. In 2018-19, Oct. 8 (professional learning day) and Nov. 6 (staff day) were selected and recently January 28th (staff day) has been added.

You may be wondering what is involved in virtual learning days, and how the CFES will implement them. In short, students will be provided lessons in advance of the designated Virtual Learning Days which mirror learning experiences that would take place during the traditional school day. They will complete the work using either technology or a paper/pencil method, and submit it to their teacher. In order to provide flexibility to students and our families, the assignments may be completed within a designated 10-day window. Each grade level will be consistent in their assignment and this assignment will be cross curricular. While the use of virtual learning days will be new in Virginia Beach, it is a common practice among many school divisions across the nation, especially those with a 1:1 technology initiative or which experience long stretches of inclement weather. We are excited to launch the VBCPS Virtual Learning Days in the fall and look forward to seizing this opportunity to provide these flexible learning experiences that foster student agency.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @CFESColts to see frequent posts of what is happening in and out of our classrooms. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything. I truly appreciate the great amount of parent support that occurs here. That is the secret to our success! Happy fall!

Ms. Backer


Message from Mrs. Porter, our assistant principal.

Welcome to fall! We have several fabulous PTA and school events this month so come visit us here at "The Farm." I am excited to meet new families so if you visit at lunch or a night event, say "hello."

We have the 4th graders taking the IPT test on October 5th so make sure your student has plenty of rest.

Enjoy some outside time with your family as the leaves are turning colors, the pumpkins are plentiful, and the weather begins to cool down a bit!

Mrs. Porter

Assistant Principal

Colts' Code

For the 2018-2019 school year, we will be implementing PBIS: Positive Behavior Intervention Systems in all settings of our building. Teachers and staff have received training this summer about this plan with a focus on three big ideas: Be Ready, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. Students will be "taught" how each of these traits looks in the cafeteria, the classroom, the bus, the hallway, and the gym. Ask your child about this and see what they can tell you about the three big ideas. Feel free to discuss your expectations at home framed around our school-wide expectations. This will help our students realize that they need to Be Ready, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful, no matter where they are! Thank you for your support.
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Text "Yes" for VBCPS Alert Now Text Messaging

As many of you know, VBCPS uses its Alert Now system to send school news, including weather announcements, school closings, etc. This year, VBCPS is using a new provider. Families will not need to enroll in the system; their contact information is directly carried over based on their child’s registration. However, for text messaging, families will need to confirm they would like to keep receiving text messages from the division.

You may have received a message on July 2 from the division’s provider, School Messenger, asking you to confirm you want to keep receiving Alert Now texts. If you did not, families can always opt-in to the texts at any time by texting a “Y” or “Yes” to the division’s short code number, 67587.

As a reminder, there are no additional fees for this service – it would be subject to all applicable messaging charges depending on your service provider. Standard message and data rates may apply.

Counselor Corner

Our Counseling staff has enjoyed meeting many students and families throughout our first month of school. Mrs. Beda, Mrs. Yoshida and the role of a school counselor were introduced to our students in their September classroom guidance lessons. These lessons focused on whole body listening with our K-2nd grade classes and steps to problem solving with our 3rd -5th grade classes.

October lessons will highlight Personal Responsibility and Bullying Prevention in all classes K-5. October is National Bully Prevention Month. Check out these websites for more information:

Mrs. Riccio has had a great response of CYB-MFLC and Anchors Away permission forms and has already invited excited students to begin their lunch bunches. Happy Birthday to the Navy on October 13th!

Please note the 2nd annual Pre-K – 12 resource fair, Navigating the Journey, will be held on Tuesday, October 16th at the VB Convention Center from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. All families are welcome to come and speak with representatives about the many programs, initiatives and services offered at each school level to help you and your child navigate the PreK-12 journey.

Math Corner

Happy October! We kicked off the 2018-2019 school year in math by exploring numbers and relationships within the base-ten system. Our students are developing number sense through hand-on opportunities such as counting objects in kindergarten to discovering characteristics of prime and composite numbers in 5th grade. Geometry will become a focus in kindergarten, first and fifth grade classrooms this month as students classify and describe shapes by their attributes. In second, third, and fourth grade classrooms, students will use and apply strategies for problem solving with addition and subtraction.

Tech Talk

Securly is a great tool new tool that will be available to parents this year. The Securly Parent Portal will allow parents to enroll in the application and receive weekly email reminders to log in and view their child’s browsing history. Parents will also have the ability to block sites they feel are inappropriate while the child is off of the VBCPS network. Be on the lookout for emails regarding Securly, they should be coming out soon!

STEM Clubs

The Colt Robotics Club and the Colt Maker Club will have applications available for students to pick up in the Month of October. When applications are available, an announcement will be made on Colt TV. letting the students know where to pick them up, the requirements for participation, and when they will be due.


If you are helping your child login to Clever at home, please be aware that students will need to login using their school username and password. Sometimes browsers, such as Chrome, will remember other accounts that are logged in. It is important to log out of the other accounts, and then log into the student account. This is especially true if you have more than one student in Virginia Beach Schools. If you are having problems with Clever at home, please contact your child’s teacher.

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Check it out!

The second annual Navigating the Journey, a Pre K-12 Resource Fair, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center from 5:30-8 p.m. The purpose of this event is to inform students, parents and community members of opportunities offered to students across the division. Information tables will be set up in the main ballroom and information sessions will be held in the second floor meeting spaces.
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Also, check out this great resource fair with vendors available for families requiring mental health/behavioral services with/without a disability. All families are welcome.
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Important Upcoming Dates


10/3: Fall Picture Day

10/8: Staff Day/ Virtual Learning Day (Non-Attendance for Students)

10/15: Reflections Entries Due

10/19: Family Fall Festival (6:30p-8:30p)

10/24: Orange Day (Have your student wear orange in support of bullying prevention)


11/1: 1st Grade Gifted Screening

11/5: 1st Quarter Ends

11/6: Staff Day/ Virtual Learning (Non-Attendance Day)

11/7: 2nd Quarter Begins/ Fall Picture Make up/ Original Works Fundraiser Begins

11/12: Veteran's Day (No School)

11/14: Original Works Ends/ Report Cards Go Home

11/15: PTA Meeting @ 3p (CFES Library)

11/21: Early Dismissal

11/22 - 11/23: Thanksgiving Break

* Girls on the Run will meet Mondays & Wednesdays @ 2:40p-4:20p

* Starting Oct 11th, Eco Club will Meet every other Thursday

PTA News

Our first PTA sponsored event is fast approaching and now is the time to take advantage of being a PTA member! This year, our Fall Festival will be offering discounted pre-sale admissions to all PTA Members as well as 1 free bag of cotton candy, per family at the door. Sign up now to take advantage of this year’s savings and fun!

As we all know, life happens and you may have forgotten to sign up for your membership. Please see the attached flyer to join our PTA. If you choose to sign up at the Fall Festival door, you will still be able to receive the 1 free cotton candy per family! Mark your calendar for October 19th and plan to join us on “The Farm” as well welcome in the Fall Season!


  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: