Discovery Weekly Newsletter

Week of February 1

Snowman Contest!!!

With our recent snowfall we want to see all of your fun snowmen! Post a picture of your creation and tag Discovery PTO with #DISCOVERYPTOSNOW! If chosen, you can win a $25 Dunkin' Donuts gift card. Tag Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

*Contest ends this Tuesday at noon.

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Administrative Update


I love that PTO's call for "your snowman" comes before my Administrative Update in our newsletter because if I've learned anything from Covid, it is to seize the moment and relish what is important in every moment. My daughter, Allie, and our dog, Tala, excitedly rushed out to romp in the beautiful fresh new snow this morning. I don't know if it's possible, but I'd swear our bouncing dog was smiling and almost giggling in the joy of the fresh snow as she zoomed around, being the first to leave her prints in the snow. It warmed my heart to see such pure joy and made me reflect for a moment that this is how I try to live my life...finding joy in little things and living so that when I leave my prints all over the "snow," that I have left prints I can hopefully be proud of.

Along with snow, it is also testing season! Here are few test preparation reminders:

  • Follow consistent routines for bedtime
  • Follow consistent routines for waking up (get up, get dressed, and greet the day as the smart, prepared students that you are)
  • Build in regular time for exercise and for calming activities
  • Start/continue a growth mindset (I can show grit and determination and not give up, even when it's hard or frustrating; I am brave enough to try; I work hard to prepare so I am ready to do my best; I'm striving for progress, not perfection; I grow my brain by learning hard things)
  • Eat a healthy breakfast/lunch/snacks

We also wanted to share a few updates on many of the assessments that occur midyear, as well as remind you to sign up on the LCPS website to receive updates on school cancellations. If school is cancelled, your child's assessment will not be administered.

1) Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Testing (grades K-2 and some 3rd graders):

  • Your child's homeroom teacher will contact you about the scheduled days for the PALS assessment, as well as any schedule changes that may occur due to the testing.
  • PALS may be administered virtually or in the building for hybrid students, depending on the dates of your child's assessments.
  • The PALS is administered (generally 1:1) to monitor your child's phonological skills in some or all of these areas: letter names, letter sounds, concept of word, rhyming, blending sounds, sight words, and spelling.

2) Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) Testing (grades 1-5):

  • Your child's homeroom teacher will contact you about the scheduled days for the DRA assessment, as well as any schedule changes that may occur due to the testing.
  • DRA may be administered virtually or in the building for hybrid students, depending on the dates of your child's assessments.
  • The DRA is administered 1:1 to monitor your child's reading level by analyzing their comprehension, fluency, and decoding skills while reading and retelling a reading passage.

3) Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) Testing (grades 2-5):

  • Your child's homeroom teacher will contact you about the scheduled days for the Reading and the Math MAP assessment, as well as any schedule changes that may occur due to the testing.
  • MAP is an online test and may be administered virtually or in the building for hybrid students, depending on the dates of your child's assessments.
  • The MAP is administered to monitor and analyze the progress your student is making in several different areas in reading and in math. Your child's teacher will share their growth with you shortly after the window closes on February 22nd.
  • Please support your student by allowing them to work through the test on their own, just as they would in the classroom.

4) ACCESS Testing (grades K-5 Active Levels 1-4 English Language Learners):

  • The window is open and will close March 12th
  • Your student's Homeroom and EL Teacher have reached out or will be reaching out with the exact days for your child's testing.
  • ACCESS is administered to measure how much English your child has learned this year by measuring your child's ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English.

5) Standards of Learning (SOL) Testing (grades 3-5):

  • More information will be coming about SOL testing, which will be administered in person in May and June.
  • Communication was recently sent out informing parents that the 2021 SOL tests would be administered in person during the months of May and June 2021. All students within Discovery’s boundaries, including Distance Learners, will have access to LCPS transportation if they choose.
  • We will be following our Health Mitigation Strategies to ensure the safety of all our students:
  1. Maintain 6 feet of social distance
  2. Wear a face covering over mouth and nose
  3. Wash hands frequently
  4. Use hand sanitizer when entering or exiting a room
  5. Daily symptom checker filled out each morning
  6. Desk shields will be installed shortly (the clear plastic shields are being provided as a supplement to the health mitigation practices/requirements already in place for staff and students).
  • If you choose to opt your student out of the 2021 SOL tests for any reason, there is no impact on your student's grades or grade promotion. If you would like to opt out, please fill out a parent refusal form which can be found on the right hand side of the LCPS webpage: LCPS SOL Parent Refusal form. This form can be filled out at any time, but it would be incredibly helpful for our planning to receive these forms as soon as possible. Please send your forms, as well as any questions, to

I wish you a week filled with joyful moments, health, and safety!


Debbie Ragan

Assistant Principal

Discovery Elementary

Save The Date

PTO Update

January is a wrap and we hope you are staying wrapped up in a warm blanket, while you are reading this! Brrrrrrr!!!! We also hope your new year is off to a great start, whether you are tackling a resolution or even a new job!

The PTO and your school administrators have a resolution to keep our community connected and support one another. Take a look at some of the initiatives that are being introduced here in our own school community! The details about the book drive our food pantry is included in this newsletter, so you can join us, in supporting our friends and neighbors.

You can always support your PTO by participating in our Spirit Nights, as well!! See the details about participating in our Texas Roadhouse fundraiser! Yum!

In addition to the Food Drive, we are holding our popular KISS (Kids Invite Someone Special) drive-thru event on Saturday, February 13...8:30-10:30am. We will have a scavenger hunt and a sweet treat for all of our Trailblazers!

Join us, on our way, into a promising 2021!

Erin Sullivan & Kristin Stephens

PTO Presidents

Stay Connected:

Instagram @discoveryPTO

FB @discovery.pto.trailblazers

Twitter @discoverypto1

Will you join us?

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K.I.S.S. Drive-Thru Edition

Saturday, Feb. 13th, 8:30-10:30am

44020 Grace Bridge Drive

Ashburn, VA

Join us for a new view of K.I.S.S. as we host a Drive-Thru version Saturday February 13, from 8:30 - 10:30 am. We will be passing out donuts and a fun family drive around scavenger hunt. Plan to pick up your donuts and spend some time in the car talking, working together, and having a ball! You will also get to see some of your favorite teachers and staff in the Drive-Thru!

Sponsored by The PTO & Ashburn Orthodontics

RSVP is not mandatory, but we'd love to know if we will get to see you that morning!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Discovery's Food Pantry is officially open for donations!

We are Open!! We are so happy to be able to have a Food Pantry onsite at Discovery Elementary where the contributions are made by our very own Discovery families, FOR Discovery families! Our pantry will include food items, hygiene and household items, as well as seasonal items for our students.

Between now and February 13, donation boxes will be placed at various locations throughout the Ashburn community to make it easy to contribute. See below for further details!

Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser Fun

Who has tried the new Texas Roadhouse off route 7? If you haven’t, now is your chance!

We are running a gift card promotion, beginning this Friday, February 5 through February 19. Your gift card will earn Discovery PTO money back and it will be emailed to your email address. No contact needed. To purchase your gift card now, click here.

Then... be sure and Save the Date for March 2, when we will be holding a spirit night there. The PTO can also earn additional money back on your dine-in or carry out orders the night of March 2 as well. So grab your gift card now and plan to use it on March 2! See below for further details.

Thanks for all your support!

Texas Roadhouse Gift Cards

Click here to purchase

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Calling all 5th Grade Parents

We are starting a fifth grade party committee and we would love your help! If you are interested in volunteering to be a part of the committee and assist the night of (June 11), please sign up through the Sign Up Genius noted below. We will have our first Zoom meeting in February.

If you have any questions, please email us at Discovery PTO.

5th Grade Celebration Committee & Volunteers

Sign up through this Sign Up Genius to help plan and volunteer.

LCPS Meal Delivery Service Update & February Schedule

As a reminder, beginning Monday, February 1, bus delivery of school meals will be limited to Mondays only with all meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) for the week (Monday through Sunday) being delivered on Mondays.

Walk-up meal service at schools WILL NOT change. Walk-up meal service will continue daily Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at elementary schools and 10:00 am - 2:30 pm at middle and high schools.

Weekly delivery of meals for the month of February will occur as follows:

  • Monday, February 8: Meals for 2/8 - 15 (8 days worth of meals)
  • *Tuesday, February 16: Meals for 2/16-21 (6 days)
  • Monday, February 22: Meals for 2/22 - 28 (7 days)

*NOTE: Due to a federal/school holiday on Monday, February 15 - weekly meal delivery for this week will fall on Tuesday, February 16.

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