From the Castle

Parent Newsletter for Thomas Dale High School-April 2019

Big picture

Greetings from the Castle!

Knight Families and Community Members,

Please watch THIS SHORT VIDEO.


Don't forget to follow us on Twitter: @GoTDKnights, Facebook: Thomas Dale, Instagram: @GoTDKnights, and SnapChat: @GoTDKnights. Our website is updated regularly for more information:

Big picture


  • Volunteer Opportunities. Many hands make for light(er) work. Operating a school with 2,400 students and 220 adults creates a tremendous workload, and we need your help. Are you in a position to donate a bit of your time to assist with the heavy lifting required to operate a large, comprehensive high school? Just email ME, and I will ensure we get you linked in. For quick access to volunteer information from CCPS, click HERE.
  • Thomas Dale is proud to be a high-quality public educational setting and center of the Chester community. Because of the nature of our service and purpose, there are a few reminders about what is not permitted on school grounds at any time: weapons, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products of any kind (including vapor).

Feedback on Trust, Communication, and Relationships

Please carve out time to take THIS BRIEF SURVEY. Your feedback is vital for us to improve our school, especially as it pertains to trust, communication, and relationships.

The survey is completely anonymous. You are welcome to include your name and contact information in one of the boxes reserved for comments if you wish to continue the conversation and your feedback further.

Thank you so much for taking time to give us feedback. We are committed to continuous improvement, and we cannot do so without your voice!


Now, more than ever, our children need strong, empathetic, and patient leadership!

During a recent Monday Morning Meeting, I asked Homeroom teachers to engage our students in a dialogue after watching a short video on Judgement. We will continue to use Morning Meeting time to explore other topics and issues that we face and how to work through them and be a better version of ourselves as a result of watching the video and talking with our peers.

I felt it would be a good idea to share those videos and facilitation guides with you, so that you could continue those conversations with your children. If you would like to keep the conversation going with your child's teachers, counselor, administrator, or ME...I encourage you to do so!

Click HERE for the video.

Click HERE for the facilitation guide.


Safety and Security Upgrades

The West Campus has a new security lock system in place. This system allows for us to provide for a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff. The system also necessitates some changes are made to student arrival. Door 9 will be locked promptly at 8:30. Any student arriving after this time must enter the West building through Door 1 and report to the office to check-in if they did not ride a bus to school. Door 1, will be locked immediately following the arrival of our last bus. Once the door is locked, you must ring the bell to be admitted.

A similar system for Main Campus is scheduled for installation soon!

SOL Testing Season is Coming in May!

SOL Testing Requirements: May SOL Testing:

Beginning with this 2018-2019 school year, due to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there are new SOL guidelines that Virginia public schools are required to follow. Parent letters were mailed on March 26th from our Division of School Leadership Office which will explain in detail how these changes may affect your student. A reference chart that shows the requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies diplomas was also included. We strongly encourage that you read this information so that you are informed of these new changes. If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to contact your student's School Counselor.

Spring (May) SOL Testing:

The May SOL testing schedule will be finalized once we return from spring break and will be posted on our website, along with social media platforms. A similar bell schedule that was used in previous test administrations will be used in May. There will be a "Testing" block, and 1st Block will not begin until after the "Testing" block when attendance will be taken. More detailed information will be provided by the middle of April.

Congratulations Corner

Congratulations to Rahil Kapoor and McKenzie Ferguson, our Students of the YEAR!

Congratulations to Elle Kotowski, our 2020 Teacher of the YEAR!

Congratulations to our Job Shadow Day participants! We connected 166 Juniors with 43 employers for a day in the life of a career of choice!

Upcoming Events

Stay connected to OUR CALENDAR and mark yours!

April 1-5 - Spring Break

April 9 - PTSA Meeting (6pm, Main Library)

April 10 - Coffee with the Principal (Anytime between 7-8am, West Cafeteria)

April 10 - Sunset Snacks with the Principal (Anytime between 7-8pm, Main Front Office)

April 11 - No Texting While Driving Campaign during lunches

April 12 - Prom (7-11pm, VSU)

April 15 - Specialty Center Class of 2023 Orientation

April 15-17 - Cap and Gown Deliveries for Seniors (15, 16 during lunches and 17 before school)

April 16 - Community Partners Meeting (1-2pm, Main Library)

April 19 - No School

April 27 - PTSA Spring Yard Sale

Stay In-the-Know! There have been over 5,400 views of our newsletter, From the Castle! Click below for previous issues.