Ratcliffe Weekly Newsletter June 6, 2016

Bloom Where You Are Planted!

Bloom where you are planted is a saying we hear a lot, but have we ever stopped to reflect on what it really means? Think about it. Every flower has an ideal climate and condition. But we often see flowers blooming in extreme weather conditions, and are still just as beautiful as ever. It's the same for each and every one of us. As the school year comes to a close, many of us will be going in different directions, and many new faces will join the Ratcliffe family, and some people will remain at Ratcliffe. But bloom where you are planted. Love children, teach children, impact children where ever life takes you. Remember, all of of this we do, is for children. Sure we love when we work in ideal circumstances, make great friends, but ultimately, all that we do is for...well, the boys and girls we serve. So bloom where you are planted, so that you can then help children bloom where they are planted. Ciao to 2015-2016...hello possibilities!


We have several staff members leaving the Ratcliffe Family at the end of this school year. We want to wish them all best wishes and thank each of them for what they gave to the students, staff, and family for the season they were at Ratcliffe.

Morgan Johnson and Donna Shaugness will be relocating out of the area.

Rita Roberson and Abby Seay will be joining the staff of Sandston Elementary.

Kristen Haas and Michelle Hill be joining Hanover County Public Schools.

Shalone Morgan will be joining Lakeside Elementary School.

Cassandra Willis will be pursuing full time doctoral studies at VCU.

Summer Cherry will be joining Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Melissa Cottrell will be joining Ward Elementary School.

Johnna Riley will be enjoying retirement for a while, but will be back to open Ridge Elementary in September.

Betty Wade will be enjoying retirement.

Jennifer Jensen will be permanently relocating poolside!


Please welcome to Ratcliffe Mrs. Carey Fellows. She will be the new Associate Principal as Mrs. Willis heads back to school.

Mrs. Fellows has a variety of experiences throughout the school division. She started her Henrico County career teaching at Adams Elementary School. She taught for six years and then served as the resource teacher at Londgale Elementary School. After having her second child, Carey took time off to stay at home. When her youngest went to kindergarten, Carey was the reading interventionist at Twin Hickory Elementary School for three years. The last two years she has served as the resource teacher at Twin Hickory and Glen Allen Elementary Schools.

Family is very important to Carey, both at school and home. Her husband of fifteen years, Brian Fellows, also works for Henrico County Public Schools. They have a 13 year old son at Quioccasin Middle School and a 10 year old daughter at Pemberton Elementary School. Most weekends you can find Carey on a ball field (baseball or field hockey) watching one of her kids. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to new places.

Please say hi to her as she visits with Mrs. Willis on Monday checking out all that we do in a day. She will make a wonderful addition to the staff.

End of the Year Reminders

Supervision of Students

Please continue to supervise your students closely particularly during transitions. We need to make certain we are paying very close attention to student behavior as we close the year. In addition, having engaging lessons and structured activities is key in managing behavior. Students should not be given hours of free time. Now is a good time to introduce them to a few topics from the next grade level and start a read a loud that can be completed by next Friday.

Technology Info

Please make certain you have read the Technology check out information. In addition, Ms. Cantelmo will need to collect K-2 ipads on Thursday, June 9th. Please have them ready by 8 am!

Awards Ceremony

If you are planning on giving any special awards, please have that information to Mrs. Willis by Wednesday. You will receive a sheet in your box for awards. Please return that sheet to Mrs. Willis by Friday. The sheets must be returned by Friday at 8am to be prepared for Awards Day next week. If your sheet is not in, you will be responsible for the awards.

HR Information

Please be reminded that June 17th is the final day for all teacher resignations. If a situation arises where you are offered a promotion or move out of state, Human Resources will verify the information and work to find a replacement PRIOR to you being released from your contract. Only the Superintendent can release you from a contract over the summer. This message is directly from Human Resources.

Personal Leave Requests

Thank you so much for ensuring that we are aware of all absences. Again, it is imperative that we know when you are going to be out and that you call it in as soon as you find out. If we do not have coverage, we have very few options. As the end of the year approaches, it is challenging finding substitutes. In order to ensure we have coverage, please notify Johnna and/or Cassandra as far in advance as possible for absences. We will be following the HCPS HR policies for all Personal Leave Requests.

Personal leave, which is subject to the conditions set forth in item #3, may be used in full-day or half day units with the exception of Fridays when full day use only shall be applicable. Arrangements for personal leave shall be made DIRECTLY with the principal at least three days in advance of the proposed absence. Personal leave may not be used in the following instances unless approved in advance by the principal at least five working days before the proposed absence:

a. The last contractual day or workday that precedes or the first contractual day or workday that follows a vacation or holiday

b. On the opening or closing day of a school session

c. In the absence of an approved substitute when required. This means if we cannot get a substitute, your leave will not be approved.

Signing in and Out

It is absolutely necessary for you to sign in and out of the office every single day regardless of the time you arrive and leave for the day. Thank you for remembering to do this daily!

Social Committee

The Social Committee is continuing with Countdown to Summer. Thank you to fourth grade for the hearty appetizers! This week is fifth grade! 2 weeks 'til summer!

Talent Ed News!

Please make certain you email your student growth information before the meeting. We are scheduling those meetings and will get to everyone. Remember, if you are planning on applying for exemplary status, you must make an appointment. To date, we only have two persons sign up. Make certain you also sign off on your final evaluation.

Newsletters for this Week

Please include the applicable celebrations, a blurb about field day and the grade level colors, and dismissal and lunch information for the last day.

Calendar of Events

June 1st-June 16th - Expedited Retakes

June 7th- Report Card Deadline

June 8th and 9th - Title I Bookbag Distribution

June 9th- Field Day

June 9th- Faculty Meeting

June 10th-- Classroom Meeting Forms

June 10th- Awards due

June 10th- Schoolwide Assembly

June 14th--5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 6pm, Henrico Theater

June 14th- PreK Ceremony

June 15th- Junior Achievement

June 16th- Faculty Meeting

June 16th- Final Awards Ceremony (Incorrectly listed last week)

June 17th--Final Classroom Meeting Form Due

June 17th- Last Day of School, Early Dismissal

Please continue to check School Space for any changes and for Staff Birthdays.

Toast To Summer

Friday, June 10th, 4-8pm

3823 Seminary Avenue

Richmond, VA

We will Toast to the Summer on Friday, June 10th at the home of Mrs. Jensen. Since she has been so gracious to offer her home and her pool, we need an RSVP by Tuesday, June 7th so she can be prepared and the Social Committee can order the food. Social Committee members are free and can bring one guest for $5. No worries if you are not a member, pay the $5 and come join your colleagues for some Summer Fun. (Who can find this sentence and say to Mrs. Willis first, I caught you!) The Social Committee is asking everyone to bring a dessert or side dish that pairs with BBQ! Mrs. Jensen will be providing paper products, Corn Hole games, and libations. You are welcome to bring your own but no glass by the pool! Please RSVP to Michelle Hill by Tuesday with your name and what side dish or dessert you are bringing! It promises to be a blast!