Great first week of school!

September 7, 2018

Upcoming Events

9/10: No School

9/13: 4th Grade Back to School Night - 7:00PM

9/14: Summer Reading Raffle Ends

9/14: Spirit Day

Emergency Cards and Parent/Guardian Forms - Please complete ASAP

All Garnet Valley School District emergency cards and parent forms will now be completed online usingFamilyID. This means that all of the information that was once mailed home and stored on paper is now digital, making the process for both our parents and staff more efficient. Family ID is a secure registration platform that provides families with an easy, user-friendly way to complete school emergency cards, sign school policies, media releases, and more. FamilyID also helps the district to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member for multiple uses and multiple programs.

Please click here to access the FamilyID Site and create or sign into your account (top right corner of the page). All emergency cards should be completed before the start of school.

Home & School News

The HSA wants you to know that we hope everyone is off to an awesome school year!

HSA Forms - These forms are due September 21. Click here to complete them.

Homeroom Parent Meeting - will be September 28 in the GVE Cafeteria. Homeroom parents will be contacted a few days prior.

HSA Meeting - Please join us on October 16 at 7 pm in the Guidance Classroom as we discuss our plans for the year!

School Store - Our first school store is October 17! Students can shop at recess for items ranging from 50 cents to $5.00.

Transportation Reminders

Thank you for your patience as bus route times are still being adjusted. Please remember that new procedures are in place this year. Students may only ride their assigned bus and get off at assigned stops. Changes for emergency situations must go through the transportation department. Requests for day care transportation must be requested through the form on the transportation website.

You can click here to access the transportation routing site. Thank you.

Updated Progress Report

With the new school year kicking off and Back to School Nights beginning, we wanted to remind you about our new progress report starting this year. The GVSD elementary progress report is updated to reflect current trends in education. It remains anchored in a standards based reporting principle where students’ progress towards standards is indicated along with reporting on the Qualities of a Learner. The updated progress report enhances the Qualities of a Learner to reflect 21st century skills and updates academic indicators to be more accessible to students and parents/guardians. Characteristics of an ideal progress report were identified through research on assessment and best practice, examining samples from other districts, and by defining those qualities essential in our own district.

The recent updates were created to achieve different goals. The updated progress report provides more information to parent/guardians, has a consistent grade scale across K-5 via a new rubric, reflects elements of current instructional practices like reading workshop, and will include the level of books the student is reading.

Student progress on each Quality of a Learner and academic indicator will be reported using a 4-point rubric. This rubric is a departure from previously used state reporting language and intended to be more student-centered. The rubric was designed so that grades do not indicate the end of the learning progress. The student score on the rubric informs the student and parent/guardian of where the student currently is on a learning continuum.

A full description of the new progress report was included in the Elementary Handbook that was available through Family ID. It includes the Qualities of a Learner and the rubric. It can also be found on our website and through this link:

In the Elementary Handbook, the Introduction to the Progress Report begins on page 20. Teachers may reference this during Back to School presentations as well.

Homework Guidelines


  • While overall homework at the elementary level has not shown a strong correlation to student achievement, it has been proven to help students with organization, responsibility, and preparation for middle school where there is a stronger link to positive achievement. Math homework has shown a correlation when the assignments include deeper learning and authentic tasks reflective of current learning.

Reading Homework

  • Students read nightly. Grade 1, 10 Minutes; Grade 2-3, 20 minutes; Grades 4-5, 30 minutes

  • Read alone, read with someone, read to someone, have someone read aloud to you or any combination of these.

Math Homework

  • Fewer, deeper problems

  • Assigned in reflection of daily learning

  • Connection between rote memorization and authentic learning

Time Frame Per Grade Level (for assignments in addition to Reading)

  • No specific time limits as time may vary according to task/student.

  • If student is attentive to task and not successful after ___ minutes, student should stop. Parent should write note to teacher indicating this. (Suggested time spans per night: Grade 1, 10 minutes; Grades 2-3, 15 minutes; Grades 4-5, 20 minutes)


  • Communication tool between teachers and parents

  • Please contact your child’s teacher if s/he is struggling with homework or if you have questions about the assignment.

New School Hours

The school day is now from 8:45-3:15. Students must be in the homerooms by 8:55 or they will be marked absent. Car line for morning drop off will start at 8:25. We recommend getting through the car line in the side parking lot before 8:45. There is little time to drop off at the front of the school between the buses leaving and the front door closing. After the front doors close at 8:50, please park in front of the school and walk the children in. Dismissal at the end of the day will begin at 3:05. We recommend using the school bus whenever possible.

Lunch Menus & Cafeteria Accounts

Link to breakfast and lunch menus

Link to MySchoolBucks for account information

Link to GV Food Service's website with pricing and MySchoolBucks directions

Communication Procedures

New App - Having a district app will allow our parent community to easily stay connected to district news and events. Key features of the app include push notifications, a calendar of events sections, and district news. Please note the app is new and not all features are active. We also anticipate improvements being made throughout the course of the school year. Please click here for directions on how to download the new app.

Early Dismissals - Early dismissals due to weather or unforeseen circumstances will be announced through the phone number you provide in Alma, email, district-level social media, and websites. Please keep your Alma contact information current. You can update this information in your account.

Absence Reporting - Launched at the end of the last school year, the new School Messenger (Safe Arrival) Absence Reporting System makes it easy for parents/guardians to report their child's absence, reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance and will allow our staff to respond to unexplained student absences more efficiently. Please click here for directions on how to use your phone, app, or computer to report an absence.

Social Media - GVES is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Our handle is @GarnetValleyES on all three platforms. We also podcast on iTunes. Just search iTunes for "Jaguarmax."

GVES Calendar

The calendars should all now be correct on the GVES and GVSD websites and on the app.

The view the full calendar on our website, click here or go to

Summer Reading for Students Entering Grades 3, 4, and 5

Reading over the summer is important to prevent a "summer slide." Students who return a completed log will earn a raffle ticket for each page. Additional raffle tickets can be earned for other activities. Click here for the summer reading packet. The raffle prize basket is pictured above!

Sign up for Band and Orchestra

Don't forget to sign up for band or orchestra! All incoming 4th and 5th graders are welcome to sign up. Lessons will begin in September. Please click here to register.

Contact Mrs. Burke (orchestra) or Mr. Olson (band) with any questions you may have.

Mrs. Burke:

Mr. Olson:

The new schedule for this year is below:

Monday - 4th Orchestra in LGI

Tuesday - 5th Orchestra in LGI, 4th Band in Cafeteria

Wednesday - Wind Ensemble in LGI

Thursday - 5th Band in Cafeteria

Sign Up for Chorus

Every student is invited to join chorus. Singing in chorus gives your child a wonderful opportunity to perform in an ensemble while building upon concepts generated in the general music classroom. We perform two concerts a year, one in the winter and one in the spring.

At the beginning of the school year, parents may go to the online sign up form which will need to be filled out with contact information, student home room and grade level. The information provided will help me communicate with parents regarding rehearsal attendance, performances and other announcements. Students may join in January if they did not join in September.

Morning chorus rehearsal begins after the buses arrive and runs from 8:30 to 8:55 a.m.; students are then dismissed to their homerooms. Chorus rehearsals will not conflict with morning language classes. Students who participate in language class will be dismissed from their class to attend chorus at 8:30 a.m.

PLEASE NOTE: There is absolutely no conflict with orchestra/band lessons and chorus. Instrumental lessons run during the day with ensemble rehearsals after school. More than half of our chorus students also perform in an instrumental ensemble.

Use this link to sign up for chorus.

RadRobots Clubs

Robotics clubs are registering for the fall for students in all three grades. Go to to see what is available at GVES. Multiple sessions are available and will continue to be posted on the RadRobots website. The flyers are below.
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Voluntary Elementary Foreign Language Studies

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Garnet Valley CTC Quick Tip #1 2018-2019

Did you know? CTC stands for Communities That Care. GV CTC is a coalition comprised of school district staff, parent/guardian representatives, and community leaders that base their prevention efforts on the results of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

Garnet Valley has taken the PAYS, Pennsylvania Youth Survey for the following three years - 2013, 2015, 2017. We have begun to see some positive trends and as well as new concerns. The GVSD PAYS data will be presented on 9/11/18 at the School Board Meeting at 6pm at the Administration building.

Call to action… Thank you in advance for your support of the GV CTC! We hope you found the Garnet Valley Communities That Care Donation letter in your first school emailing and in letters sent home. This is your opportunity to support the work that benefits all of our students and families. You can also click on the links below to donate and learn more about GV CTC. Our website is building with added features on throughout the school year!

*Save the date for the first New Realties of Parenting Program for the 2018-2019 school year. A community viewing of Screenagers with expert commentary and tips for families is coming on 10/2/18. More information will follow. *

Connect with GVES! Now Podcasting!

Please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! If you would like to receive text alerts, please sign up here or text @jaguarmax to 81010. Also, check out our Jaguarmax Radio Podcast on iTunes!

Garnet Valley Elementary School

"A Caring Community of Learners"

Est. 1997

The mission of our learning community is to maximize the potential of all students by empowering them to do their personal best.