Gravely Connection

October 2019

Seadog families,

We are off to a great start fo the 2019-2020 school year. Our teachers continue to deliver engaging instruction, and our staff is working tirelessly to ensure a great year for each and every student. The month of September was full of relationship building, routine forming, and expectation setting to align our students for a successful school year. Over the past few weeks we have a had a Read a Book Assembly for grades K-2 from Rainbow Puppets Production and all students received a free book. We also had our first House Meeting where the individual houses got the opportunity to meet up for a reading buddies event. (See pictures below) All 885 students reading together at the same time was a great end to the week.

Our PTO continues to be amazing, they have celebrated our staff with treats, funding, dinner for Back to School Night, and had a phenomenal turnout for the outdoor movie night.

We look forward to our WATCHDOGS event this Thursday. Pizza will be provided as you learn more about the WATCHDOGS program. This year we will also be including a service project into our WATCHDOGS kickoff. This past summer we ordered Interactive whiteboard tables for teachers and students to utilize in their classroom to enhance learning. As part of the WATCHDOG event you and your child will have the opportunity to work together to build a table that will be utilized in our classrooms. We ask that anyone who will be staying for the service portion to please bring a drill with screwdriver bits.

Please be sure to review the Grading Document Below as PWCS and Gravely Elementary transition to new Standards Based Grading Policies. Students will be assessed on Virginia Standards of Learning using a 1-4 scaled rubric. However, PWCS will continue to convert the rubric to a grade level score for report cards. This means students will continue to receive A, B, C, D, and F letter grades for 3rd-5th or S+, S, S-, N letter grades for Kg-2nd and Encore classes. This change may mean that students could receive different letter grades than they may have received in the past based on their level of mastery as detailed in the description of performance. For example, grades of S+ and A reflect work and/or thinking exceeding grade level standards.

Currently there are glitches to the reporting system including some families seeing grades in K-2 and Encore classes as a letter grade such as C, when in actuality it should be listed as an S. We are aware of these issues and working with the county to have them fixed.

Thank you for your continued support of our Seadog Family!

Samuel. L. Gravely Jr.’s vision: Success = Education + Motivation + Perseverance.

Michael Kelchlin - Principal

Kisha Trammell - Assistant Principal

House Meeting


Book Fair through October 4th

October 1- PTO - Spirit Night Skate and Fun Zone

October 3 - Picture Day

October 3 - WATCHDOGS Pizza Night 6:30pm / Volunteer Training / Service Project

October 7 - Advisory Council 5:30pm Presentation from Gravely Gifted Program - PTO 6:30

October 10 - School Assembly, Draw your destiny

October 14- No School Division Wide PD Day / Columbus Day

October 18 - PTO Bingo

October 23 - Strings Fall Concert 7:00pm

October 25 - Field Day (Rain Date Nov 1)

November 1- End of Grading Period

November 4 - Teacher Workday

November 5 - Parent Teacher Conference

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Welcome to Kindergarten! We started September by learning classroom and school routines. We read a variety of literature and integrated lessons to teach about colors, sorting by attributes (color, shape or size), introduced letters, and learned about the life cycle of an apple. Our kindergarteners are using our school’s M.A.T.E.S characteristics to build citizenship. We also completed our first Chicka Chicka Boom Boom S.T.E.A.M. activity. So how many letters can your Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree hold? Our students had a great time being engineers! We also want to give a big “Thank You” for coming and making our Back to School Night a success.
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1st Grade

It has been a fantastic first month of school in first grade! We have already learned so much about ourselves as learners. We have engaged in many different learning experiences and are understanding our routines and procedures.

In language arts, students have worked hard understanding centers and routines. Center focuses have been on practicing reading to self, word work, STEAM bins, and word study. Through these activities, students have gained an understanding of what it means to be a reader and writer. We are so excited for our first grade journey to begin!

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2nd Grade

What a beautiful group of learners we have this year in 2nd grade. Each of us feel we have the best of the best! Your 2nd grade student has been busy learning about 2nd grade expectations and routines and adjusted wonderfully. We have created our classroom visions and and missions with their help as well. Excitement is sure to describe our attitudes towards this instructional venture we are all on from ordinal numbers to our elections for SCA Representatives. In addition we had our first Writer's Celebration where our 2nd graders shared a published piece of work with other 2nd graders. And Finally we all united to come up with Tips for Chips. Our students brainstormed ways learners can earn chips for their teams. These awesome ideas are on display in our 2nd grade hallway! Be sure to stroll along and read all about their ideas! We can not wait to see what next month has in store for our learning journey in 2nd grade. Stay tuned...
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3rd Grade

Third Grade has been working hard in the first month of school. We have been focusing on our quality mates and quality teacher traits in our classes. Students have helped to create a classroom vision and mission and we continue to work on routines and procedures as we get acquainted with being on the upper deck. In math we have been identifying place value to the thousands, rounding numbers to the nearest thousand, learning how to make change from $5.00 and adding and subtracting with regrouping. In reading we have been building our independent reading stamina, we've been determining the difference between fiction and non-fiction and we are currently working on making predictions. In science we've learned about matter and how it changes and in social studies we are currently learning about geography. Students and teachers have been working hard in third grade!
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4th Grade

4th grade classes started off the year studying the geography of Virginia. Students learned about the bordering states of VA, the four major rivers with important cities, and other land/water features of VA. Through class activities, students gained an understanding of the 5 regions of Virginia along with characteristics and location of each. To review the geography of Virginia and check their knowledge, students made a salt dough map of VA. Students made the shape of Virginia, divided it into the five regions, then added the rivers, cities and other important features. This unit is essential to learning the history of Virginia. They will use their knowledge of the geography of VA through out the school year.

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5th Grade

Our 5th graders have been hard at work on a Project-Based Learning activity to plan their field trips for the year. Students have been working in small groups to research, analyze logistics, and create proposals to inform and persuade their peers, teachers, and administration about their chosen location. Mr. Kelchlin, and Dr. Trammell participated in a question and answer session with the entire grade level where students asked questions about rules and guidelines to keep in mind when planning. We look forward to seeing their creative presentations and voting as a grade level for our top choices.

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Reading Room

Happy Fall! As we head into this school year, it is important students establish and maintain good reading routines. While this is not assigned homework, it is a recommendation of best practices.

Hopefully reading from a wide genre will create wonder and opportunities for more learning and deeper understanding (writing about their reading helps to further deepen comprehension). A good goal is at least 20 minutes a night.

Even hearing a story read by a parent/guardian or using audiobooks in conjunction with actual hard copies of books are advantageous. The visual and audio experience provides extra support for readers. Children build sight words, vocabulary, and hear fluent reading. Conveying meaning with the rise and fall and changes in voice help with the understanding of the story.

International Children's Digital Library, Storynory, MeeGenius are a few good sources for audio books.

Mrs. Breton and Mrs. Godbole

Our students in ESOL have been busy learning and starting out the year strong! First grade recently worked with Mrs. Bowman and created flipgrid videos of themselves with QR codes linked. They loved being able to listen to themselves on video and learned a lot about each other. First grade also spent some time outside finding signs of autumn. Next month we will be continuing developing our technology skills.
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Physical Education

Please welcome our fantastic PE Teacher, Mr. White!! He is an amazing addition to our Gravely PE program with tons of experience and knowledge. Currently, we are busy teaching the students in grades K-2 the importance of personal space while moving in general space and different pathways. Practicing and refining locomotor movements. As for grades 3-5, providing several opportunities for students to work on teamwork and communication skills, plus fitness testing.

Field Day is scheduled for Friday, October 25th (Rain Date : Friday, November 1st). Please be on the look-out for more information.

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For the most recent updates and pictures from the Counseling Department, please connect with us on Twitter @SGEScounselors!


Kindergarten: Students will be learning about the responsibilities of being a student worker in a school, such as listening and paying attention.

Grade 1: Students will be demonstrating positive work habits by paying attention, following directions, and staying on task.

Grade 2: Students will understand the importance of goal-setting. Students will identify a goal and develop a plan to achieve it.

Grade 3: Students will be practicing the goal-setting process by developing a realistic short-term academic goal.

Grade 4: Students will be identifying positive test-taking skills to utilize during classwork and tests.

Grade 5: Students will be practicing the goal-setting process by developing a realistic long-term academic goal.


School counseling curriculum is delivered to all students as part of the general education program through monthly C.A.S.E. (Career, Academic, and Social/Emotional) Lessons. Curriculum is designed and implemented based on Prince William County objectives, American School Counselor Association student standards, and school needs. To review grade-level specific objectives, please visit our website via the Gravely homepage and click on Counseling Curriculum.


Attendance Makes a Difference

Did you know that attendance in elementary school is so important that students who frequently miss school have lower levels of achievement throughout their school careers? This is true even in the early grades. And by sixth grade, children who miss more than two days of school each month are more likely to drop out of high school than other students are. When children miss school, they miss learning. And it doesn’t take long to fall behind. Poor attendance has a negative effect on reading and math skills, as well as on school success traits such as persistence. The first months of school set the tone for the rest of the year. Start now to develop habits that will help your child arrive at school on time, every day. When you make attendance a priority, your child will, too.

Source: L. Bauer, “School attendance: A building block of student achievement,” Brookings,

Adapted from Helping Children Learn, September 2019 from the Parent Institute, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.


We have been busy in the library learning and reviewing book care, how to use the card catalog, determining if a book is fiction or non-fiction, how to use shelf markers, and how the library is organized. Many books get damaged by water bottles. It may be helpful to give your child a large Zip-Loc bag to keep in their back-pack to protect their library book. The book fair will be starting Monday, September 30th and will end Friday, October 4th at 11:30. Please check out the book fair website. Online sales are open from 9/22- 10/5. You can also set up an

E-Wallet account 9/13-10/4. This is a great option to avoid the loss of money. Hope to see many of you next week! Thank you also to all the volunteers that have signed up to assist with the book fair. We could not do it without you!


Art News: It has been a colorful start to the school year in the art room. Classes are working on a variety of painting projects. All 3rd-5th grade students have made sketchbooks and folders that will stay at school all year. They will only bring home art at the end of each grading period. K-2nd grade students will bring home art as they complete it. I do borrow art to hang in the hallway. All art that has been borrowed will be returned before the end of the school year.

As we are heading into a new school year I would like to encourage you to check the Gravely Art website weekly. There will you find what each grade level is working on along with any art announcements. There will be a county art show on April 25th. All information on that show will be available on the Gravely Art website closer to the date of the event. There will be a PWC summer art enrichment program and applications will be available for that program in the spring.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at I look forward to a wonderful year of art at Gravely.

Miss Bonner (Art Teacher)

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Gravely ES Top 10 PWCS “Heart Hero Schools”

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