Sneak Peek into 2016-2017

See what's ahead for the 2016-2107 School Year!!

Elementary Planning Teams are Paving the Way!

Elementary Planning Teams were formed with input from principals during the 2016 -2017 school year. The teams are comprised of teachers, administrators, Instructional Coaches, and our Central Office Elementary Team – Laurie Biser, Andrea Riegel, and Jane Wright. Meetings took place beginning in December with each team meeting 2-3 times prior to the end of the school year. The teams are listed below and will continue to be part of our collaborative effort as we continue to meet the needs of our students.

  • Core Content Team- will explore and decide upon negotiables and non-negotiables, instructional frameworks, assessment practices, resources, and pacing. The members are: Amanda Beverage, Becky Reeser, Bonnie Hite, Catherine Youell, Christy Wilson, Edy Shirley, Jessica Downs, John Matherly, Justine Juart, Robyn Smith, Lindsey Coyner, Tina Bowersox, Nicola Cahill, Kyla Baughman, Tessa Buchanan, Phil Coltrane, Kim Howerton.
  • Grading Team- This team will establish grading practices for all core subject areas at the elementary level to include language arts, math, science, and social studies. The members are: Kristy Breeden, Carrie Barb, Tonya Coffey, Crystal Coffman Dawn Young, Ali Wright, Deborah Burke, Elizabeth Rhodes, Jessica Colvin, Kasey Reid, Martina Carroll, Mary Flint, Miranda Ball.

  • Technology Team-Team members will take stock of the many programs purchased by the county, decide on their value and instructional intent, determine needs, and make proposals for future purchases. Team Members are: Alexander Wahlert, Crystal Hostetter, Jody Coffey, Julia Urban, Kimberly Bowman, Kim Laraway, Lee Ann Heizer, Linda Brake, Megan Yancey, Molly Borden, Sallie Livick, and Sara Lawhorne.
  • STEAM Team - This team will explore STEM initiatives and determine direction for an ACPS Elementary STEAM program. Team Members are: Abby Arey, Amy Cerminara, Emma Melcher, Hilary Bigman, Meredith Rose, Niki Berrington, Rhoda Derstine, Rhonda Reeser, John Matherly, and Tiffany Campbell. Attendees to the Children's Engineering Convention were also part of this team.
  • Remedial Programs Team - This team will evaluate the effectiveness of ACPS Summer Remedial Program and TLC and brainstorm ideas to strengthen these programs. Amanda Hemp, Amanda Selby, Ashley Sponaugle, Beth Brafford, Crystal Coffman, Crystal Hanger, Lindsey Coyner, Liz Benbow, Miranda Ball, Shawn Baska, Stacey Crawford, Tammy Lightner, and Theresa Moore.

  • Professional Development Team - This team will explore topics that strengthen and focus professional development for elementary teachers. The team members are: Angie Norman, Brooke Pritt, Crystal Coffman, Dawn Young, Emma Branch, Jessica Colvin, Jessica Moran, MarySue Traxler, Nicola Cahill, and Tina Bowersox.

If you are interested in being apart of one of the Elementary Planning teams, please speak to your administrator. Input from all staff is welcome and may be given to any team member.

Scholastic FICTION Short Reads are COMING YOUR Way this Fall!!

Scholastic Fiction Short Reads have ARRIVED and will be in schools for the start of the 2016-2017 year. This will be an AWESOME resource for strategy groups and small guided reading groups covering CAFE skills.

Math - More than Just Numbers!!!

  • A NEW Math Resource! - “Exemplars”

    • Exemplars differentiated, performance tasks support teachers in implementing effective problem solving. The open-ended tasks promote critical thinking and reasoning, and call on students to practice and apply mathematical ways of thinking to real-world problems. Material is designed to meet NCTM Process Standards and can be easily integrated into your curriculum to enrich instruction, assessment and professional development. Rubrics and anchor papers are included.

    • While the company offers several options, Differentiated Best of Math Exemplars I CD-ROM, K–8” has been purchased and will be distributed for use by elementary teachers division-wide. Preview the resource here:

  • Math Resource Review - Plans are underway for a “Math Resource Review” next year. Teachers will have the opportunity to review several math resources and make recommendations for a possible future purchase.

  • The VCTM (Virginia Council for Teachers of Mathematics) Annual Conference is returning to our area! This popular conference for math teachers will return to JMU on March 10-11, 2017. Information regarding possible teacher attendance will be shared with principals in the fall.

EXTRA, EXTRA!! Preschool News!!

The preschool program is adding two new classrooms for the 2016-2017 school year bringing the total to 15 classrooms. The new classrooms will be at Hugh K Cassell and Wilson Elementary. The preschool staff continue to work with community child care and preschools to find ways to serve the children who do not get into the school program. We are hopeful that 8-9 of our youngest children will attend community preschools with special education support next year.We are also exploring the Mixed Delivery Grant opportunity that is being funded by Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

Full STEAM Ahead!!

  • A variety of resources intended to support the STEM/STEAM initiative have been purchased. These resources will be distributed to teachers and schools in conjunction with professional development opportunities throughout the 2016-17 school year. This link contains a list of resources complete with visuals and supporting links: STEAM Purchases, 2016-17

Summer Curriculum Work - Revisions to the following resources are planned:

  • Authentic Assessments for Science and SS

  • Science Curriculum Guides

  • SS Curriculum Resources - What’s out there? What do we need?

Getting it Done for Kids Right here in VA!

These 3 high poverty schools in Norfolk and Virginia Beach are beating the odds. Here's how they're doing it.

Professional Development Opportunities for 2016-2017

Dates to ADD to YOUR Calendar...

June 9 - On June 9 all Elementary Specialists will participate in Professional Development. The topic is working with preschool age children and integrating themes.

June 14 & 15 – ALL Elementary Teachers are INVITED to attend either June 14 OR 15 the ACPS Technology Roll Out presented by staff from VSTE! This event takes place at Wilson Middle School from 8:00-3:30. Please bring your Chromebook fully charged with you to this event. Teachers will choose breakout sessions offered from an array of “hot”, yet doable right here in Augusta County, technology topics.

August 3- WELCOME BACK as we go "Full STEAM Ahead for 2016-2017"!! ALL Elementary Teachers, Specialists, Reading Specialists, SPED, and Speech Therapists are spending the day at the Plecker Center located at Blue Ridge Community College from 8:00-3:30. John Almarode is our keynote speaker and will give us an overview of teaching STEAM at the elementary level. Please understand this day is designed to set the tone for our year giving ALL a taste of what STEAM is at the elementary level. PLEASE do not think that there are expectations that ALL are supposed to ALREADY be doing STEAM in their classroom. That is NOT the case. STEAM education is a process, a different way of thinking, and something we will have to move ahead slowly with as we incorporate it into our curriculum. On August 3 Teachers will attend breakout sessions on a plethora of instructional topics to include a hands-on STEAM activity, an overview for instruction, a time to work with technology, and a time to network with teachers from other schools. Lunch will be provided. Again, please bring your device fully charged. THANKS!!

August 22 - Many new resources are available for Grade 3 teachers regarding Alternative Assessments or PBA (Project Based Assessments). Join us for a hands-on half day workshop from 12:00-3:30 at Smith East and West on the newly revised assessments.

September 28-30 - Fall professional development sessions will be presented for grade levels during this week at the Verona Government Center in Smith East and West. SPED, Reading Specialists, and Speech Teachers are welcome to join classroom teachers for this event. We plan to move forward with alignment and unpacking our standards as we incorporate STEAM into our curriculum.

Think Ahead to NEXT Summer - June 6, 2017 and July 12 ,2017 - Plans are in the works for an ACPS Math and Reading Expo for our elementary staff. Teachers will have the choice to attend this professional development for recertification points. One may choose to attend both days, a whole day, a half day, or not at all. Points will be awarded depending upon attendance. Multiple breakout sessions will be offered covering various instructional components of math, language arts, Whole Brain Teaching, and STEAM will be offered. More information will be available second semester with an opportunity to sign-up for this event.

The ACPS Elementary Team

Curriculum Supervisors:

Laurie Biser -

Andrea Riegel -

Jane Wright -

Instructional Coaches:

Sara Beck -

Jessica Colvin -

Sarah Davis -