Yellow Jacket Gazette

September/ October 2021 Edition

A Message from the Principal

Hello Wonderful Jenkins Families,

We have had a successful first month of school! We are thankful for your partnership as we continue to provide a high-quality education for all of our students. We are very proud of all of the accomplishments that our students have made in such a short amount of time.

Here at Jenkins, we have put many mitigation strategies in place in order to keep our students safe and healthy. We also need your support in ensuring that we do all that we can to stop the spread of illnesses within the building. If your child is ill, please do not send your child to school and please be sure to notify the school of any illnesses. If you take your child to get tested for COVID, please keep your child home until a negative test result has been received. Another thing that you can do is complete the Daily Home Screening (click the link) each morning before sending your child to school. We thank you for your commitment to keeping our students healthy and safe.

More information is provided about upcoming school events in this newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at, or call our school office at 571-343-5580 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Xanthe McFadden

Back to School Night

Jenkins ES will hold Back to School Night in person this Fall.

Our K, 1st, and 2nd graders will have Back to School Night on Monday, October 4th from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will have Back to School Night on Tuesday, October 5th from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

For parents of preschool students, please reach out to the preschool teacher for Back to School Night information.

For families who are unable to join us in person, a link to your teacher's presentation will be made available on the teacher's Canvas page the date of your child's scheduled Back to School Night.

Parent Teacher Organization

Please consider joining our Parent and Teacher Organization (PTO)! The cost to join is $5.00 per family. Your voice and ideas for how to help our students succeed are very important to Jenkins Elementary! Applications will be available during Back to School Night. You can also ask for one from your child's teacher.

PTO meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. Please consider joining us.

We have an upcoming PTO Spirit Wear Sale! The Spirit Wear Sale will take place from September 27th through October 10th. The flyer and more information will be coming soon!

Student Device

In order to be prepared for whatever may come our way, we are rolling out a plan in which our students will begin to take their device back and forth between home and school. We began with 5th grade and will be rolling out 3rd and 4th very soon.

Each student will get a device, charger, and bag/ carrying case for their device. Students will bring their device and charger to and from school each day. Students will also use their assigned device each day at school to complete assignments. It is important to remember to charge your computer at night so that your child is prepared and ready for learning the next morning.

Parental Notification of Assessment Opt Out Policies under The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

According to the Virginia Department of Education, "All students in tested grade levels and courses are expected to participate in Virginia's assessment program, unless specifically exempted by state or federal law or by Board of Education regulations." On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(2) of ESSA states that parents of students in Title I schools have a right to know about state or division policies regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by ESSA, including any policy, procedure, or parental right to opt students out of such assessments. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not currently have an Opt Out policy for SOL assessments. However, Section 22.1-253.13:3.C of the Code of Virginia states that, “The Board of Education shall not include in its calculation of the passage rate of a Standards of Learning assessment for the purposes of state accountability any student whose parent has decided to not have his child take such Standards of Learning assessment, unless such exclusions would result in the school's not meeting any required state or federal participation rate.” Prince William County Public Schools regulations state that, if a parent or guardian decides to not have a student take a state or local assessment, then the person making the request should be informed about the academic consequences that decision could have on the student.

If you would like to receive more information about this topic, please contact the principal.


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, most recently reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act, states that parents in Title I schools have the right to request certain information about their child’s teachers. The information that you have a right to request about your child’s teacher is:

  1. Whether the teacher has met state qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subjects the teacher is teaching.
  2. Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing has been waived.
  3. The baccalaureate degree major of certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.
  4. Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

At Jenkins Elementary School, we are extremely proud of our teachers and paraprofessionals, and are happy to provide you with any of the information above pertaining to your child’s teacher(s). If you have such a request, please call the school at 571-343-5580 and ask for the information you are interested in.

Lockdown Drills

In keeping with our ongoing commitment to effectively communicate with our school community, I am writing to inform you of the Lockdown drill performed today, April 9, 2021.

In keeping with Prince William County Public School emergency preparedness guidelines and our own school security plan, we are implementing Lockdown drills for our in person students. During Lockdown drills, all in person students and staff are instructed to seek immediate cover in a locked room. All students and staff are instructed to remain calm and quiet during the duration of the drill. Once the building is thoroughly checked by administration, staff and students are released to continue with their daily routine.

In an emergency situation, Lockdown protocols instruct all students and staff to seek immediate cover in a locked room. All school activities cease and 911 is called. All staff and students remain in lockdown until released by the police or school administration. Students and staff are instructed to remain calm and quiet during the duration of the drill.

If you have any questions or concerns about our scheduled Lockdown drills, please email me at mcfaddxm@pwcs or call at 571-343-5580.

School Counselors' Corner

Greetings JJES,

We are so happy to begin our school year and welcome our new Yellowjackets! Your school counselors have some exciting lessons to teach this year. As a Leader in Me school, we will focus on teaching the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. Each guidance lesson will focus on one of the 7 Habits.

Habit 1- Be Proactive (Be responsible for your actions)

Habit 2- Begin with the End in Mind (Set a goal)

Habit 3-Put First Things First (Work first then play)

Habit 4- Think, Win-Win (Respect each other’s feelings and needs)

Habit 5- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (Listen, then ask questions)

Habit 6- Synergize (Work together to get the job done)

Habit 7- Sharpen the Saw (Take care if your mind, body, and soul)

As school counselors, we help students manage emotions, develop social skills, apply academic achievement strategies, and explore careers. We will begin small group counseling in October.

We look forward to having an awesome school year. Please join me in welcoming Ms. McNairy to our school counseling department. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions and concerns.

October Events

National Bullying Prevention Month

Red Ribbon Week October 25-29

Ms. McNairy, School Counselor Grades K-2

Mrs. Scott-Bell, School Counselor Grades 3-5


We love to read and write at Jenkins ES! Good readers and writers make even better leaders. On September 8th we celebrated International Literacy Day by reading Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena. Make sure to ask your child about the story and the fun activity they did! On October 20th we will celebrate National Writing Day!

As we read and write in school, we’d love for students to continue practicing at home. Check out some tips below to help your child succeed with their reading and writing.

*Read for 20 min a day! Have them read silently, read to you, read to their pets, siblings, or even stuffed animals.

*Look for letters and words all around you. Look at road signs, food labels, store windows, and anything else they may see around your home or when you are out and about.

*Encourage your child to check out books from the school or public library. Your child is bound to find at least one they enjoy!

*Write, write, write! Have your child write about their day or create a story by keeping a journal. After reading a story, they can write a book review or draw a picture and label it. The more they write, the better reader they will become.

Happy Reading!

Jennifer VanZetta, Title 1 Reading Teacher

Nanette Wilson, Reading Specialist


Fall is here. I remember that being an exciting time when I was growing up. I looked forward to all the new things I got to study that year. Now time seems to pass so fast, it's hard to imagine.

As we begin this new season, please encourage your child to see themselves as a mathematician. This can help them learn—and enjoy—math. Here are some tips to improve their confidence and motivation, and they’ll be proud to say, “I’m a mathematician!”

Stay Involved

Ask about the math they are doing in class and have them show you. Also, attend virtual or in-person school activities to include Back-to-School nights, math or literacy nights, and PTO meetings and conferences. You’ll inspire them to take pride in their math work, and they’ll see that learning is important to you.

Recognize Effort

Pay attention to your child’s math efforts and accomplishments, just as you would their athletic or musical achievements. You might say, “I know you’ve been working hard on multiplication. Can you double this recipe for me?” Also, display math tests or papers at home on your refrigerator or family bulletin board. Include not only those with high grades, but also ones with good mathematical explanations or positive comments from the teacher.

Offer Encouragement

If your child struggles with a math concept or procedure, remind them of the progress they have made. Say they’re learning long division. Point out that they learned to divide smaller numbers, and tell them that they’ll conquer bigger ones, too. If they make a mistake on a quiz or on homework, ask them to show you what part they did right. Maybe they used the correct formula but put the decimal point in the wrong place, for instance. They’ll realize that there’s a lot they know how to do, and they’ll get a chance to learn from their mistakes. You can do it and so can they!

Yours Mathematically,

Mrs. Savage


Welcome back, Jenkins artists! We have already jumped in to busy, colorful projects in the art room.

Kindergarten was introduced to the art room and learned about drawing with different types of lines and shapes. We are learning how to use paint and created a colorful Pop Art piece, complete with stamping with our handprints. We are painting with cool colors now and learning about gyotaku (Japanese fish prints).

First graders dove into a messy project using mixed-media on our first day back! We created busy cities and used sharpies, watercolors, and oil pastels for vibrant masterpieces.

Second grade learned about Canadian artist Sandy Sielberzweig, and worked with color sticks, sharpies, and oil pastels to layer and design large, abstract portraits in class. We reviewed pattern and space, too.

Third grade artists also reviewed space by cutting positive and negative shapes to create a balanced composition. We are working with organic and geometric lines while composing Mehndi-inspired art on our drawn arms and hands. We will also use warm and cool colors while painting with salt tie-dye for this project!

Fourth grade created sketchbook covers and worked with non-objective art. They reviewed the differences between realistic vs. abstract vs. non-objective art and took a challenge to create their designs using white oil pastels on white paper, filling in each segment with bright watercolor and tempera paints.

Fifth grade is tackling the wonderful foil etching project (our longest project) from week one. We have been busy designing and drawing with glue layers, etching into a foil surface, and learning about ‘bas relief” or low relief, and 2D versus 3D art while reviewing safety in the art room.

We are collecting empty cereal boxes in art and would appreciate any that may be donated our way! A quick reminder that art is a messy class, so please wear old clothes on art days!

Many thanks,

Mrs. Weldner

Physical Education (P.E.)

Hello Jenkins Families,

We spent August and September practicing appropriate safety and behavior in Physical Education Class, learning different ways to move our bodies from place to place, and combined all of that knowledge into activities and games that provided your child a chance to move safely around each other indoors and outdoors. We are excited to dive into learning about fitness and begin the first round of fitness testing with our 4thand 5th grade students beginning in October. Our mission is to kindle a love for staying active and build a firm foundation on which to build a healthy lifestyle. We encourage students to try THEIR best each and every day and be a leader to all!

All Jenkins students will be participating in National Walking Day on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. During each grade level’s encore slot, all classes will participate in an interactive walk around the school campus that includes hopscotch, chalk obstacle courses, music, and tons of fun with the help of our fellow encore teachers. Please be sure students wear athletic clothes and sneakers on October 6th.

Many thanks,

Coach Bowman and Coach Thomas

For more information on the FITNESSGRAM follow the link below. Students will participate in the PACER, back saver sit-and-reach for the left and right side, curl ups, and push-ups.


In the library we are in full swing with checking out books to take home and read. Remind your child to take care of their book and to keep books away from water bottles. Students' checkout their books for two weeks. Please remind your child to return their library books to the library after they have finished reading it. We are excited to share so many new books with them and hope they find many books to read this school year!

Students will be learning about biographies in the library this month for National Hispanic Heritage Month. We will learn about many Hispanic Americans that made a positive impact in our society. Remind your child that a biography is a true story about a persons’ life. If your child has a great interest in biographies, remind them to check out more from the library.

Mark your calendars, the book fair is coming! Follett book fair will be online this October, with hopes that we can have an in-person book fair this spring.

Happy reading,

Mrs. Youngblood


♫ Attention Yellow Jacket Students and Parents! ♫

My name is Mr. Anthony Carlton, and I am the music teacher at John D. Jenkins Elementary School. This letter is about Chorus, an optional music activity for 4th and 5th Grade students. We will be singing in-person this year! Practices will be held on Thursdays from 8:15-8:55 AM beginning on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Students will participate by arriving on time for practice so that we may start promptly at 8:15 AM. If your student signs up to join Chorus, they are committing to come to practice every week, so please block out this time for their practice. Students who join Chorus must continue to attend regular Music Classes. If students do not attend practice regularly, the parent will be notified. Disrespectful actions during practice and/or multiple absences from Chorus practice may result in student removal from the group.

Students may be recorded singing during practice to be reviewed in class and posted for others to view. By signing your student up for Chorus, you are agreeing to allow your student to be recorded and for videos to be shared online.

What will Chorus practice look like? We will begin by warming up our voices. I will then introduce songs, and help the students learn to sing them. Students will sing along. Our focus will be on forming a strong singing ensemble together to create wonderful performances.

We can’t wait to start singing! If you have any questions, please send me an email at Please complete this survey by Thursday October 5, 2021, to join the 2021 Yellow Jacket Chorus!

Survey Link

Surveys are due by October 5, 2021


Mr. Anthony Carlton