Galloping Gazette

A newsletter for the Faculty and Staff - Week 5/27 - 5/31

Put Students First • Seek Growth • Be Open to Change . Do Great Work Together • Value Differences

Principal's Message for the week:

This week at our faculty meeting, we discussed being "all in" for each other and for the betterment of CFES. Being "all in" starts with reflecting on your impact and your ripple effect. We all have so many strengths to highlight and share; it is almost selfish not to.

*Case in point was the vast knowledge and copious amount of ideas that were shared in just two rounds of ed camp.

*Case in point are the increased pass rates but, also, individual students that are raising their SOL scores by over 20 points.

*Case in point is the daily all in effort from every staff member to be a champion for our students and to ensure that every one of our students has someone in their corner fighting for them.

I could go on and on, point is we all have so many strengths that instead of focusing on the deficits, let's share and build on our strengths. A simple shift to focusing on strengths can make all of the difference in the experience of school for all learners and not just talking about our students :).

Here are three simple starting points:

  1. Finding strengths and still “doing school” does not have to be an “either-or scenario” in education. When we understand and help develop our students’ strengths and tap into them, and work the curriculum in backward from knowing your students, you can still help students find their way without ignoring the system.
  2. Focusing on strengths does not mean you ignore weaknesses. It means that by developing the abilities in our students where they are passionate, the things that are “harder” become more tolerable in a system where students (and adults) feel valued.
  3. Although we want to tap into the strengths and passions of our learners, there should be an opportunity to help expose our students to “unknowns” as well. For example, I didn’t start writing until my 30’s, but one of the reasons I love writing is because I have the opportunity to write about ideas in which I am passionate. So yes, a student might hate writing now, but if we know their strengths and tie that into the writing process, how would that help grow the process?

Thank you for all of your continued hard work and your dedication to high quality instruction and engagement! We are already HALF way through SOLs so to celebrate, please feel free to wear jeans on Tuesday!


Big picture

Sometimes all we need is just a little encouragement to reach our goals!
Big picture

Shout Outs

Thank you to Mrs. Cooley and her amazing class for encouraging our class each day during the reading and math SOL's. We were spoiled each day and are very appreciative of your kindness. You ROCK! - Donna

Shout out to Danielle for creating an awesome math resource for 2nd grade to use. - Claire

Shout out to Wende for being so helpful! - Claire

Shout out to Jackie for being AMAZING in so many ways. I appreciate all your help and support. - Claire

Claire & May, Thanks for all you are doing to help get ready for the end of year party! - Abbe

Wende, Thanks for being so patient and answering all of my questions! - Abbe

Shout out to Mercy McBee for helping me early mornings in my room this week! - Patti P.

Thank you to EVERYONE that helped with SOL testing the past 2 weeks. We are halfway there! - Patti P.

Marissa thanks being the best partner! I appreciate all you do! - Sharon

Love the updates to Colt TV, Travis!! –Tennys Kane

Thank you Robyn for helping with two different student situations this week! -Tennys

Sharon, thank you for continuing to keep a close eye on the butterflies! Danielle

Karen R., you’re awesome! Danielle

Whitney, thanks for an awesome lunch! #partysize - Danielle

Thanks Ms. Mercy For all you do, you're a rock star! - Jill

Thanks Karen R. for covering the clinic for me! - Jill

Thank you, Danielle. That donut you delivered to me 20 minutes before Friday dismissal was everything I needed it to be and more! - Bevin

If you have any shout outs, please send them to Ms. Backer and Mrs. Jacobs by Thursday.

Schedule for upcoming weeks

May 27th - May 31st

SOLs this week. No PLCs will occur; rather if your grade is testing, you will have PE at 1:30 but teachers will dismiss their students.

Monday, May 27th

· Memorial Day (No School)

Tuesday, May 28th

· 4th Grade Math SOL (Part 1)

· 3rd Grade Expedited Reading

Wednesday, May 29th

· 4th Grade Math SOL (Part 2)

· 3rd Grade Expedited Reading

Thursday, May 30th

· 3rd Grade Math SOL (Part 1)

· 2:40p - 4:00p Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34/ Computer Lab/ Rm 38 Art Room)

· 5th Grade Remediation Math

Friday, May 31st

· 3rd Grade Math SOL (Part 2)

· 5th Grade Expedited Math

11:30 Lunch for all of those students who have been mentored by a LBBC volunteer

· End of year party!


June 3rd - June 7th

SOLs this week. No PLCs will occur; rather if your grade is testing, you will have PE at 1:30 but teachers will dismiss their students.

Monday, June 3rd

· Last two weeks of school, you got this!

· 5th Grade Expedited Math

· 4th Grade Remediation Math

Tuesday, June 4th

· 5th Grade Science SOL

·4th Grade Expedited Math

Wednesday, June 5th

· 5th Grade History SOL

· 4th Grade Expedited Math

· 3rd Grade Remediation Math

· 2nd Grade Family Life Lessons

1:30 Liz Scott Skype Session

Thursday, June 6th

· 3rd Grade Expedited Math

· 5th Grade Remediation Science/VA Studies

· 2nd Grade Family Life Lessons

Citizen of the Month Lunches on the Stage

· 2:40p - 4:30p Stem Club Meetings (Rm 34/ Computer Lab/ Rm 38 Art Room)

· 2:40p - 5:00p Eco Club Meeting (Cafeteria)

· 3:00p - 4:00p PTA Meeting (Library)

Friday, June 7th

· 3rd Grade Expedited Math

· 5th Grade Remediation Science/VA Studies

· 9:00 - 2:00 MOCA Programs

· 2nd Grade Family Life Lessons

· 5th Grade Family Life Lessons

Still rocking out our SOLs!!!

As testing continues. Please remind students to be quiet in the halls and encourage everyone to be supportive of our students who have worked so hard to do their best. If you go outside, please stay away from testing areas remembering that students who are testing get distracted when they see others outside playing. Please assume testing is still going on until an announcement and/or email has gone out.

PBIS: Tip of the week

End the year on a positive note by celebrating successes and recognizing growth! Check out this list of end of year reflections questions by These could easily be adapted for Morning Meetings or used as writing prompts. Reflecting on the year is a great way to prepare students for the transition that is coming up. The end of year is exciting for some of our children but there is a lot of stress that comes with moving to a new grade level, SOLs, and, for some, spending the summer at home. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
Big picture

Literacy Folders!

In accordance with the state and division's literacy initiative, a literacy folder is required to be inserted in each elementary student's cumulative file to capture information regarding students' literacy performance and growth. The Virginia Department of Education Regulation VAC 20-131-80 states, "In kindergarten through grade 3, reading, writing, spelling and mathematics shall be the focus of the instructional program. Schools shall maintain an early skills and knowledge achievement record in reading and mathematics for each student in grades kindergarten through grade 3 to monitor student progress and to promote successful achievement on the third grade SOL tests. This record shall be included with the student's records if the student transfers to a new school." The folders are required for all K-5 students in Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). Please note, the standards-based grading report card serves as the achievement record in mathematics for each student.

As a reminder, the folders have a table on the front in which teachers should record the student's annual Spring DRA2 instructional level score. The Spring DRA2 and a spring writing sample should be stored in the literacy folder. For fourth- and fifth-grade students who are reading on or above grade level, their most current DRA2 should be stored in the folder. PALS teachers are putting the spring reports for all students that they tested in grades K-3. The K teachers are going to put the EDK assessments in the literacy folders. Teachers will place a checkmark in the table after inserting the spring writing sample, indicating the writing piece has been included in the folder. The literacy folder and table will provide evidence of literacy performance through the elementary grade levels. In addition, data from the literacy folder will assist teachers in planning instruction at the beginning of each school year to meet students' needs and begin small group reading instruction prior to the completion of the Fall DRA2 administration. The folder will remain in the cumulative file when a student transfers to another school within VBCPS; this includes students progressing from elementary to middle school.


5/1 - Christine Hayes

5/6 - Denise Norred

5/8 - Anne Young

5/20 - Debbie Hall

5/21 - Melissa Raehl

5/21 - Michelene Kesner

Let's have some fun!

There is a sign up sheet in the Teacher's Lounge for the END OF YEAR PARTY! It will be at May's Robertson's house, on Friday, May 31st, starting at 5pm. We will have some main food dishes, soft drinks and a few other treats supplied by Hospitality, but please BYOB and a dish to share. It's always a great time celebrating with everyone in May's backyard oasis! Yard games, music(Travis....guitar?...please!), pool, wonderful company, and maybe a game of Right Left Center(bring single bills to join in that fun). Her address is 2936 Couples Ct. (Heron Ridge Neighborhood). We're almost at the finish line, so let's CELEBRATE! Please sign up ASAP so we can order enough food.

Staff Updates

Farewell Friends!

Darlene Rodriguez will be leaving to care for her parents

Bevin Reinin as she seeks a new position that is a good fit for her family

Melissa Raehl will be retiring this year

Aiming for that green check mark in Talent Ed - Look below to see what is due

Big picture

Important Links from the Principal Packet

Talk about Student Agency! Our 4th graders lead student ed camp for our 5th graders to help them with their science SOL!

Big picture

Teacher driven PD!

Big picture

Our kinder cuties taking advantage of this beautiful weather!

Big picture
Big picture

#Goodphonecalloftheday - We only have about 30 days left - Who can we highlight?!

Keep these coming!

Please check out our form below to see how Mrs. Porter and myself will be celebrating our students and continuing our positive culture and environment.