Grafton Gazette

Nov/ Dec 2019

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A message from the Principal

Dear Families,

Every year at this time, we are given many reasons to reflect on our blessings and give thanks. From recognizing the brave men and women who have served in our military to appreciating our rights through our participation in elections and finally to taking time to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our families, we have much to celebrate. The same is true here at school and we are very pleased with the progress our students have made thus far as we wrap up our first grading period. Classes have been very productive and I encourage you to check out the dazzling hallway displays throughout our building when you visit our school.

We are currently experiencing some difficulty with car rider drop off and pick up. If you drop your child off in our car rider lane, please be aware that car rider staff must leave the area promptly at 9:00 to be on time for their classroom duties. At 9:00, they will return to the building and the car rider entrance will be locked. If you arrive after the staff has departed the area, you must park and accompany your child to the office to check them in. Arrivals after 9:00 are counted as tardy in our attendance system. Additionally, we have seen an increase in cars attempting to drive through the middle of the car rider traffic or create a third lane. Failure to obey the staff who work in the car rider area and diverge from the established patterns is a major safety concern for our students. Staff members are positioned there to monitor the movement of the students and direct cars so please follow their directions and help us keep all of our students and staff members safe.

We have many items to be thankful for and I’d like to share just a few. I am thankful to our teachers and staff for working tirelessly each day to connect with each and every child. I am thankful for a tremendous office staff, who constantly amaze me with their knowledge of each student and family. I am thankful to the transportation department for carefully carrying our students over the river and through the woods each day. Finally, I am thankful for our students who make each day fun and interesting.

On behalf of the entire Grafton Village family, please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

Michael B. Sidebotham


11/1 Karate graduation 6:30- 7:30 pm

11/4 FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

11/5 Election Day/ No school

11/6 Chorus 8- 8:45 am

Girl Scouts and Sea Perch 4- 5 pm

11/9 DARE Race at Pratt Park 8- 9 am

11/11 Veterans Day/ No school

11/12 Running Club 8:00 am

Book Fair 8:40- 4:00 pm

FLEX 4- 4:45 pm, French and Spanish Only

11/13 Chorus 8- 8:45 am

Book Fair 8:40- 4:00 pm

Girl Scouts and Sea Perch 4-5 pm

11/14 1st Grade Music Program K- 2

Book Fair 8:40- 7:15 pm

Curriculum Night and 1st Grade Music Program 6:30- 7:30 pm

11/15 Interims

Book Fair 8:40- 4:00 pm

PTA Family Hike 10- 11 am

11/18 Book Fair 8:40- 4:00 pm

FLEX 4- 4:45

11/19 Fall Picture Retakes

Running Club 8:00 am

FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

11/20 Turkey Trot during specials

Character Assembly

Chorus 8- 8:45 am

Girl Scouts/ Sea Perch 4- 5 pm

11/21 Chorus 8:00- 9:00 am

Chorus Thanksgiving Concert 6:30- 7:30 pm

11/25 FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

11/26 Chorus 8:00-- 8:45 am

FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

11/27- 11/29 No School Holiday

12/2 Native American Folk Tales in library

FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

12/3 4- 4:45 pm

12/4 Chorus 8- 8:45 am

Girl Scouts and Sea Perch 4-5 pm

12/6 2nd grade Patawomeck Tribe visit 12:45- 2:15 pm

12/9 FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

12/10 FLEX 4- 4:45 pm

12/11 Chorus 8- 8:45 am

Girl Scouts and Sea Perch 4-5 pm

12/13 PTA Bingo

12/18 Staff Holiday luncheon provided by PTA

Chorus 8- 8:45 am

4th grade Chorus field trip to Sr Living 10:10- 11:30 am

Girl Scouts and Sea Perch 4- 5 pm

12/19 5th grade Chorus field trip to Sr. Living 10:10- 11:30 am

Holiday sing along K- 1st 3- 4 pm

12/20 Early release all grades

Chorus sing along 9:15- 10:45 am

12/22- 1/5 Winter Break

Counselor's Corner

Mrs. Spangler and Miss Santina were very busy teaching bully prevention guidance lessons in Kindergarten through fifth grades during the month of October! Next, we will be working on a variety of different lessons with our specific grade levels (Mrs. Spangler is teaching classroom guidance lessons in Kindergarten, second, third and fifth grades and Miss Santina teaches guidance in first and fourth grade).

In Kindergarten we introduced Feeling words and read the book Today I Feel Silly. In second grade, we talked about our word of the month, Honesty, and read the book A Big Fat Enormous Lie. We talked about the importance of always being honest and discussed what we would do in certain situations (ie-What would you do if you found a dollar lying on the ground in the middle of an empty parking lot?) In third grade we introduced a new character, Mr. Pickle, and discussed responsibilities that we have at home and at school. Ask your 3rd graders to recite the “pickle rap” when you get a chance :). Fifth graders focused on Red Ribbon Week and making healthy choices. We will be focusing on Kindness for the month of December.

In 1st grade we worked on developing listening skills and learning to follow directions to be a responsible student. In 4th grade, we worked on taking responsibility for our actions and not blaming others! Coming up for 1st grade will be Kelso’s Choices and 4th grade will be learning about honesty and truthful behaviors.

In addition to this, we have started our social skills groups to help students develop positive social skills and interactions with others in their class. Development of positive social skills and interactions will not only benefit students socially, but also academically and emotionally.


SCA did a great job of partnering with the counselors, administration and our PTA during Bully Prevention month and Unity Day! They created anti-bullying slogans and labeled water bottles to pass out to each class. Our SCA meets the last week of each month to brainstorm and come up with ways to develop a positive community at GVES as well as in our local community!

Coming up: The SCA reps and SCA officers will be going around to each classroom to provide information and directions on how our “Share Fridge” and ”Share Box” work in the cafeteria. This will ensure appropriate items are placed in these designated areas. SCA is also working with the PTA to clean out and make sure that there are no expired items in these designated areas! They will also be helping support the Troops by creating holiday cards to be sent to our service men and women overseas!

The Clinic Chronicle by Amy Pisciotta, RN

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Most likely everyone of us knows someone with diabetes whether it is Type I or Type II. What is the difference of Type I and Type II?

Type 1 diabetes (previously called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, but it can develop at any age.

If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas isn’t making insulin or is making very little. Insulin is a hormone that enables blood sugar to enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy. Without insulin, blood sugar can’t get into cells and builds up in the bloodstream. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and causes many of the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2—about 5% of people with diabetes have type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed by following your doctor’s recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle, controlling your blood sugar, getting regular health checkups, and getting diabetes self-management education.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that prevents your body from using insulin the right way. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance. It’s the most common type of diabetes. There are about 27 million people in the U.S. with type 2. Another 86 million have prediabetes: Their blood glucose is not normal, but not high enough to be diabetes yet.

Attached is an article about Diabetes.

Reminder regarding when to keep your children home from school:

-Fever over 100.4 (must be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication to return to school.)

-Vomiting and/or Diarrhea (Must be 24 hours without any symptoms).

-Communicable diseases, especially this time of year with influenza, strep throat, scarlet fever. If in doubt, please call me and ask.

As Flu season rolls in and Stafford County Schools have already had several cases of Type A flu, hand-washing is key. Covering the mouth when sneezing and coughing helps decrease the chance of spreading the flu. And, finally, get the Flu shot. Children over the age of 6 months can receive a yearly flu shot. The Flu virus can spread up to 6 feet away if someone infected coughs or sneezes. Don’t delay and keep the flu away.

National Diabetes Awareness Month

It is important to get educated on how to best protect yourself and your loved ones from diabetes. American Diabetes Association has released recent statistics about diabetes in America. Almost 30 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes. An additional 86 million Americans are prediabetic and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. What does American Diabetes Association estimate the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in America to be? $245 billion. American Diabetes Association has implemented the America Gets Cooking initiative which is designed to empower and inspire living a more active and a healthier lifestyle which includes cooking healthy foods. Each week, for the month of November, you will find tips on how to stay healthy throughout the Thanksgiving holiday season and healthy recipes to try at home within the Weekly Wellness Bulletin. Together, we can raise awareness and education on diabetes. For more information on National Diabetes Month, visit
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Diabetes Myth Buster

Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will develop type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor but does not guarantee that you will develop Type 2 diabetes. There are many other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity, and age, that also play an important role. According to American Diabetes Association, "most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or moderately overweight".

Online risk assessment:

The Book Buzz Greetings from Mrs. Lieser, Librarian

The 3rd Annual Storybook Pumpkin Patch

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the GVES Library’s 3rd Annual Storybook Pumpkin Patch! This year was our biggest year so far with 139 pumpkins! I was so impressed by our students’ creativity. This year we even had students working together to create a favorite storybook pumpkin! Students names were randomly picked from each grade level to win a free book from the book fair! Parents, thank you for allowing your children to participate in this event. The children really love seeing their favorite book characters and discovering some new ones!

2019 Fall Book Fair

We wrapped up our first ever Follett Book Fair on November 18, 2019. We are so thankful to all of our wonderful volunteers. We would not be able to have this event without their amazing commitment to our students and our school!!

Many of you have wondered why we switched to a Follett Book Fair. Follett offers a very high quality selection of books for our students and promotes books as opposed to toys. I am very grateful to everyone that came out to support our library. The proceeds from the book fair will be used to purchase books for our students. As a librarian, my main goal is to get students reading books they love. Thank you for helping to make that possible!

Bright Ideas by Susan Kesler

Best Toys for Gifted Children


Overall: Kanoodle Extreme – more than 300 challenges that test your child’s spatial awareness and critical thinking.

One-Player Game: IQ Blox – This travel-friendly game tests your child’s cognitive skills with over 120 different challenges.

Logic-Based: Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles – If your child loves riddles and mysteries, this book of logic-based puzzles is sure to keep them occupied for hours.

STEM: Ozobot Bit Coding Robot – This robot serves as in intro into the world of coding as young as 6.

Chemistry: Dalton Labs Molecular Model Kit – For visual learners, this chemistry model kit can provide a fun way to learn the atomic structure of different molecules.

Coding: Roboblog Robot Kit - for kids who are ready to take the next step in coding, this robot can be built 6 different ways and programmed to do a variety of tasks.

Puzzle: Robotime 3D Puzzle Music Box Craft Kit – Kids can build this music-playing robot from the ground up from laser-cut pieces of wood, then ask him to play a tune.

RiddleCube The Game - This affordable game challenges children to improve their spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills. It includes four shape-shifting cubes and 200 puzzles that they can either tackle on their own or race against friends to compete.

Rush Hour Shift – You and a friend take turns moving cars on the board according to the cards in your hand, trying to get your Hero Car across the board first. Work quickly before the grid shifts, though!

Smithsonian Motor -Works Advanced Science Kit - Older children (8 and up) who are interested in science, engineering, and cars will relish the chance to build their very own four-cylinder engine. This STEM-focused kit includes everything needed to build a motor, including spark plugs, pistons, and more.

Mrs. Feeney's Art Message

Art Projects

Kindergarten: The students have created a fall tree collage and now they are creating a blue collage by drawing and painting a variety of lines and shapes.

1st Grade: The students will are creating a clay butterfly that can be hung up on the wall and then they will create an owl collage using watercolor and colored construction paper.

2nd Grade: The students have created a clay pinch bowl that turns into a pumpkin. Then they will create an abstract snowman based on the artwork of Pablo Picasso.

3rd Grade: The students have created a clay pinch bowl that turns into a pumpkin. Then they will create a treehouse collage using multiple mediums including crayons, tempera paint, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, and other craft items.

4th Grade: The students have created an abstract computer art lesson.

Now they are creating an oil pastel pumpkin project showing highlights and shadows to make it look three-dimensional on a two-dimensional surface.

5th Grade: The students have designed the cover of the yearbook using the computer. Now they will create an inspirational wall quote, using their own designs, lettering, and choice of mediums.

Music "Notes" from Mrs. Greven

All 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th grade classes are playing recorders. The following are

reminders that will help us take care of our recorders and be responsible for having them

when we need them. Please remember the following:

 During the beginning of our recorder unit, we will keep all

recorders in the music classroom.

 When it is time to take your recorder home, always keep your

recorder in your backpack. This will be your recorder’s home and

you will always have it when you need it at school or at home.

 When washing your recorder, use warm soapy water, rinse and air

dry. Remember when you are sick to wash your recorder so it is


 Musicians practice to increase their ability. Take a break from your

homework and practice for 5 minutes. Or if you are watching your

favorite television program, practice during the commercials.

1 st grade students: Students in 1 st grade will be performing a music program called

“The Eagle and The Turkey” on Thursday, November 14 h at 6:30 p.m. to kick off Social

Studies Curriculum Night.

Upcoming Chorus Performances:

Thursday, November 21 st GVES Chorus Thanksgiving Concert at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 18 th 4 th grade Chorus Field Trip to Greenfields Senior Living

Thursday, December 19 th 5 th grade Chorus Field Trip to HeartFields Senior Living

Thursday, December 19 th Chorus Holiday Sing-a-long for classes in K/1

Friday, December 20 th Chorus Holiday Sing-a-long for classes in grades 2-5

PE News

PE classes are having a great time - developing our skills and participating in activities to keep our bodies healthy and strong.

· Our annual Turkey Trot is set for Wednesday, November 20th. Students will run/walk during the school day, and the boy and girl in each grade who finishes first will earn a turkey for their family. The Turkey Trot will take place during your child’s normally scheduled Specials time. Please remember to have students wear proper footwear and appropriate clothing to do their best. All students who participate will earn a turkey shoe token. We run to be healthy and to have fun!

· Students are learning about the 5 components of fitness: cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, and body composition. Mrs. Menezes has come up with fun hand signals to help us remember what each component represents.

· Our K-2 students are working to perfect their throwing and catching skills. We have focused on the underhand toss and the overhand throw. Ask your child to show you what they can do!

Please let us know if you have any questions.

David Bridi

Bevin Menezes