Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

May 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 May!

The end of the school year is nearing, but you would have no clue if you walked into any of our classrooms. Our teachers and students are working hard to reach new goals and prepare for success in their next grade. The high level of student engagement is out of this world! Just this past month, our students have participated in lessons with the VA Aquarium, Fire Safety Assembly, and Master Gardeners. Many of our students and SCA even volunteered their time on Earth day to transform the front of our school with fresh mulch and fresh flowers.

Our 3-5th graders will take the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessments beginning next week. Please see the SOL Calendar below so you avoid taking your child out of school during testing. As a school leader, I understand the purpose of accountability and the need for measuring mastery of essential skills and knowledge. I also believe in celebrating the growth of the whole child and know that goes far beyond a test score. At Christopher Farms, we celebrate all of a child's growth such as the ability to collaborate with others, being honest and persevering when facing challenges in life. We know these skills may not be measured on a test, but they're just as important. We tell our older students who take the SOLs as long as they give it their all and do their best, we will all be so proud of them!

Teacher Appreciation week in full swing this week! Thank you, to our outstanding PTA, for helping us recognize our amazing teachers and staff. Our community at Christopher Farms is like no other. We work hard to continuously support each other and ensure that everyone feels welcomed! We love our students, and we thank you for all you do to support your children and our staff. You really are the best parents!

-Ms. Backer

Field Day fun!

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The warm weather has finally arrived and our front garden areas look beautiful! SOL testing will begin on May 14th through June 12th. Please have your student get a good night's rest before they take a test. Thank you for all you do as parents and enjoy the sunshine!

Important Upcoming Dates


5/6 - 5/10 - Teacher Appreciation Week (See below for fun ideas to brighten your teacher's day)

5/8 - School Nurse's Day! Send a sweet note to Nurse Jill today to thank her for all that she does.

5/8 - Spring Concert @ 7:00 pm

5/10 - Progress Reports

5/14 - SOL Testing Begins

5/16 - PTA Meeting 3pm - 4pm

5/20 - Skinny Dip Cashola 3pm - 9pm

5/27 - Memorial Day (No School)


6/6 - PTA Meeting 3pm - 4pm

6/11 - Pre K Nursery Rhyme Parade/Lunch

6/13 - Kindergarten Ceremony 8:30am - 10:00am (All Kindergarten students will leave after ceremony)

6/14 - 4th Quarter Ends

6-14 - Last Day of School (adjusted dismissal at 12:10)

6-14 - 5th Grade Celebration 9:30am

6/21 - Report Cards go Home

SOL Testing Calendar

Please avoid absences on testing days. Of course, if your child is sick, we can offer a make up testing date, but kids tend to do much better if they can engage in uninterrupted sessions and test with their class. Providing your child a protein-rich breakfast, making sure they have a big glass of water before school and getting them a good night's sleep the night before are great ways to support your child during testing. And...don't forget the hugs! A big hug and a high five each morning go a long way for our kiddos too.
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School Start Times Changing in the Future (not this school year)

For the past four years, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has been engaging in conversations regarding a possible shift in school start times. Following the School Board of the City of Virginia Beach's vote in November to approve a resolution to change school start times, VBCPS administration began developing four schedule options that would provide adolescent students more sleep time.

Now, VBCPS is seeking feedback on those four options from students, staff members, parents and Virginia Beach community members. The public can weigh in on the four potential options by visiting the school division's e-Town Hall survey. The survey will be live until Wednesday, May 15.

Additionally, for those interested in learning more about the medical research behind the change in schedule as well as the development process of the options, the school division is hosting three community meetings in May. Attendees will hear a brief presentation and have the opportunity to weigh in directly on the school start times options. The schedule for the meetings is as follows:

  • Monday, May 6 at Bettie F. Williams Elementary School

  • Tuesday, May 7, at Landstown High School

  • Wednesday, May 8, at Plaza Middle School

All community meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

Celebrating Mrs. Cochran, Our Teacher of the Year

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An Achievable Dream Academy

In 2014, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) and An Achievable Dream Academy (AADA) began a partnership in Virginia Beach by establishing an AADA program at Seatack Elementary School.

For the past five years, the elementary program has become a staple of the Seatack community, and, in the 2018-19 school year, AADA expanded to middle school – finding a home at Lynnhaven Middle.

Since the program has been established, only students who lived in the Seatack/Birdneck/Lynnhaven communities could apply to be in the academy. This year, to bolster participation in the program, VBCPS and AADA are expanding the recruitment areas for families interested in applying.

Check out the article below for more information and a list of the schools who can apply to be considered for the program.

Congratulations to our Volunteer of the Year, Mrs. Shawnie Green!

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Celebrating all of our volunteers! We would be lost without you!

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Congratulations to our Citizens of the Month for April!

Pre-K & Kindergarten

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1st - 5th Grade

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1st Grade

Rian Guiaman (Cooley)
Declan Donnelly (Kernodle)
Tanner Berry (Torres)
Grady Douglas (Doyle)
Aiden Solomon (Frierson)

2nd Grade

Kinnley Osborne (Bullard)
Violet Strait (Burok)
Lily Baumann (Hall)
Kaiden Clark (Love)
Michael Anderson (Minehan)
Sadie Renfro (Zipprich)

3rd Grade

Lillian Brooks (Crouch)
Ethan Palmatory (Kesner)
Kylie Clark (Pascual)
Maahi Patel (Rodriguez)
Ianna Matro (Willett)

4th Grade

Evan Zhang (Cucuzza)
Sebastian Cook (Dorbin)
Shane Weaver (Zaleski)
Daniel Chanavanno (Nicolosi)
Robert Brown (Mcneely)

5th Grade

Ben Meneses (Bagnall)
Kian Laffey (Cochran)
Alex Seifert (Kemper)
Colin Rose (Pagan)
Miku McSwain (Zajac)

Counselor's Corner

May your May be Meaningful and Marvelous! Our guidance focus for the month of May is Critical Thinking. Lessons this month will highlight the importance of using our own minds to ask questions and do research to increase understanding before making decisions. Students will specifically learn how to recognize and challenge stereotypes. Please help us to encourage our students to appreciate individuality and inclusivity.

Critical thinking will be an asset as students prepare for and take SOLs this month. We know that this time of year is important for students to show what they know and what they’ve been working so hard on throughout the year, but it is also a time that may bring stress to some students. We will encourage them to get adequate sleep and eat healthy, as well as be sure to read the entire question and each answer before making their choices. However, please help us to minimize any unnecessary stress and support your child with positive praise for their effort rather than just performance. When students believe in themselves they will perform better.

Library News

We would like to thank all of the wonderful parent volunteers who have given their time to the library this year. We have had eight volunteers who faithfully came every week and many more who helped out with the spring book fair. The time you give and how you help the students, is such a gift! We had more volunteers this year than we have had in the past and we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you.

If you enjoyed your time working in the library, spread the word. The more the merrier is our motto and we are looking for more volunteers to help out in our Makerspace next year. Thanks and blessings to each and every one of you.

Reading Corner

As summer approaches, please be sure to stock up on some fun summer books! It is imperative that our children read during the summer months to prevent the “summer slide.” Summer Slide can cause students to regress in their reading skills and put them behind the following year. But the fix is easy! Find some fun books each week at the library. Even find books that are too difficult for your child to read, but still high interest and read them to him/her. This builds listening vocabulary and the love of reading. Make reading relaxing and fun, not work. It is okay for your child to read easier books. This helps build fluency. So check out the library, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and enjoy some good stories!

Math Corner

The month of May brings flowers, warmer weather, and Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests! In grades 3-5, students will participate in Math SOL testing. Please encourage an early bedtime and a healthy breakfast to ensure your child is mentally prepared for these rigorous assessments. Attached is a link that provides access to practice items and the online tools available during the assessment. Thank you for your support and commitment to your child’s education!

Nurse's Notes

We are coming down to the end of the year. Reminders will be sent home for parents to pick up ALL medications by 12 NOON on the last day of school. New medication forms must filled out each new school year and will be sent home with the reminder. For all rising 6th graders who have had their Tdap immunization and have turned it into the School Nurse, their records have been updated and the list will be sent to the appropriate Middle School the student will attend.

Junior Tides Membership

Memberships for the Junior Tides are now available!

New Junior Tides memberships can be purchased online or in person at Harbor Park for just $25.

Children who have previously participated in the Junior Tides program can renew their membership for only $20. Those memberships can be purchased online or in person at Harbor Park.

Please note that the child must be 13 or younger to participate in the club. Federal law prohibits collecting personal information from a child under 13 without the consent of that child's legal guardian. Entering the guardian's name in the form will serve as consent.

Member of the Junior Tides receive:

  • Kids Ticket for 5 games with Ticket Discounts for Companions
  • Membership Card
  • New Tides Lunchbox
  • New Junior Tides T-Shirt
  • New Junior Tides Pencil Case
  • Four Exclusive pre-game photo opportunities with a Tides player
  • Five FREE vouchers for concourse games (Speed Pitch and Kids' Bounce)
  • Completed forms should be mailed to:

    Harbor Park

    Junior Tides

    150 Park Ave.

    Norfolk, VA 23510

For more information on the Junior Tides, please contact Heather McKeating at 757-622-2222 Ext. 106 or Ext. 121.


Attention 5th Grade Parents and Guardians

We Need Photos of your child! See the flyer below for details.

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Fun at the Color Run!

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Other PTA News

Upcoming Dates

5/6 - 5/10 - Teacher Appreciation

5/16 - PTA Meeting @ 3:00 pm (CFES Library)

5/20 - Skinny Dip Cashola 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Shutterfly Partners with CFES!

Lifetouch pictures are now owned by Shutterfly and they have partnered up to help support CFES! Every time you make an order on Shutterfly and you use the link below, CFES will receive a 8%. This money will go back to support the students at Christopher Farms Elementary School. Our first goal is $500.00.


  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: