The Latest News: January 17, 2023

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Message from Ms. Aiello

Dear Hutchison Families,

Happy New Year! We hope every one of you had a wonderful winter break and are ready to start the new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

As we begin a new year, it is a natural time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. At Hutchison, we are committed to helping our students grow and learn to reach their full potential. Whether it is a deeper self-reflection, becoming more involved in extracurricular activities, or simply paying kindness forward, we encourage our students, staff, and families to set personal goals for themselves and work towards achieving them.

We also want to remind everyone of the importance of being a positive member of our school community. Let's make it our resolution to be empathetic, accountable, respectful, and safe towards one another and to work together to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

We are confident that, with the hard work and dedication of our students, parents, and staff, we will have a successful and productive year. Let's make it a great one!


Sarah C. Aiello


In this update, you will find the following information:

  • December Students of the Month!
  • Salad Bar Returning
  • Multicultural Resources
  • January Community Connection
  • Winter VGA, WIDA, I-Ready Testing Schedule
  • Strategic Planning Community Forums
  • Supporting Your Child's Mental Health
  • ESSER Funding Community Input (complete form)
  • Hutchison Parent Group Association (complete form)

January Community Connections: Healthy Choices/Substances Abuse 9:15 AM & 7:00 PM

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Substance Abuse & Healthy Choices

Monday, Jan. 23rd, 9:15am

13209 Parcher Avenue

Herndon, VA

Learn about the signs of Substance Abuse & Healthy Life Choices
January Community Connection

Monday, January 23rd 9:15 & 7PM

Upcoming Student Holidays

Wednesday, January 25--2-hour Early Release (dismiss at 1:35 PM)

Thursday, January 26--Staff Workday--No Classes

Friday, January 27--Staff Workday--No Classes

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December: Communicators of the Month

Congratulations to the following students who were exemplary communicators for the month of December.
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WIDA Assessments--Schedule

The WIDA testing window for all English language learners levels 1-4 at Hutchison, will begin January 17, 2023 and continue through the end of February. Please look your child’s grade level schedule. We are excited for our students to show their improvement in their language proficiency levels this year.

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VGA Winter Testing

Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) is a test required for students in grades 3-8. The state legislature introduced this requirement to measure student growth and progress within the school year in reading and mathematics.

Students enrolled in grades 3-8 will generally take an assessment in both reading and mathematics. Here are the dates for the VGA assessments in Grades 3-6. Click to access the Parent Notification Letter.

i-Ready Testing

Universal screening with the iReady assessment gives teachers information about strengths and needs in students’ basic reading and mathematics skills.

January Testing Schedule

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Salad Bar--Returning Monday, January 31, 2023

The salad bar returns to Hutchison Elementary on Monday, January 31, 2023. Students are welcome to choose fresh fruit and vegetables to accompany the daily entree.


  • Are you wondering what experience other FCPS families have had with Tutor.com? Read some comments below:

  • “As a parent, I logged in for the first time to see what my student could expect here. The tutor I chatted with was very helpful with my questions and gave me some great tips to try with my child. Next time, I will log in with my child and hopefully match with a tutor that will help him realize learning can be done in different ways.” -Elementary school parent

  • “My child used tutor.com last night and said her math tutor was EXCELLENT. She was happy and so now I'm happy, too, as she's been grinding it out solo in the hardest math.” -High school parent

Unless they have been opted out, students can access Tutor.com through Schoology. Every session is personalized to meet students’ needs from remedial to advanced levels. Sessions focus on conceptual learning and critical thinking—not quick answers.

Learn more on FCPS’ Tutor.com webpage.

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Multicultural and Language Resources Families

FCPS’ Office of Family and School Partnerships would like to remind families of some of the many resources available to them:

· Bilingual community liaisons support student registrars by providing families with information about school and community services offered in Fairfax County. Liaisons are available to help families speaking Spanish, Korean, and Arabic. Once registered at a school, families can contact their family liaison for assistance.

· Early literacy programs are available to Fairfax County residents for parents of children up to 5 years old. These programs help prepare children for school and build confidence in parents as their child’s first teacher. They also help parents become active partners in their child’s education. Programs are available in African-Heritage, Arabic, Spanish, and Korean.

· Parent Information Phone Lines are available in eight languages for parents who speak languages other than English.

· A Multilingual Family Podcast is produced by the offices of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Family and School Partnerships, and Professional Learning and Equity. It covers important information for parents in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Korean.

· ESOL services are available in Fairfax County not only for students, but also for adults and families. Information on Spring classes will be posted in March 2023.

Visit the Family Engagement webpage for more resources.

Staying Healthy This Flu & Cold Season

Although the community level of COVID-19 in Fairfax County is currently low, cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses are on the rise.

It continues to be important to wash your hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, monitor your health daily, and stay home if you are sick. For more tips, visit our Return to School website.

2022-2023 Hutchison Parent Group Association

ESSER Funding Community Survey

Please share your input on how we can utilize additional ESSER funds to address academic and wellness needs at Hutchison Elementary School

Mental Health--New Year Resolutions

In December, many people will head to their local Target or Michaels to find a new planner. The crisp, fresh feeling of new paper to write new and improved goals gets some of us excited. When thinking of your goals consider making them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound), this method breaks your goals down into specific objectives and makes it easier for you to track your progress. What goals would you like to share with your child, to show them examples of healthy adult introspection? Introspection, looking within, is necessary to learn how to manage stress in a healthy manner. What regular coping skills can be implemented into your daily/ weekly routine? Some goals may be physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional. Would it be easier to have serious conversations over a family dinner? Or maybe regular family dinners, spark joy and connection that’s often missing.

Research has shown that family therapy is the best treatment option for young people who misuse drugs and alcohol (SAMHSA). Many people use drugs to manage life’s hardships when they feel disconnected from themselves or others. The opposite of addiction is connection, and young people benefit from connection with their families. Families who have a common mission based on autonomy and openness instead of secrecy and silence thrive. Families teach young people how to manage stress when they communicate honestly and openly with one another. Learning how to manage stress early in life could be a major factor in whether or not a young person decides to use drugs.

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.

Sources & Resources

Why Small Conversations Make a Big Difference

SMART Goals Quick Overview

Knowing the Signs: Substance Abuse & Today’s Youth

Roselyn Abrigo: rpabrigo@fcps.edu

Renee Gorman: rjgorman@fcps.edu

Andrea Kessler: adkessler@fcps.edu

Priscilla Rigsby" pgrigsby@fcps.edu


Substance Use Disorder info

FCPS Social Work

Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

Identifying whether your child’s behaviors are normal or a warning sign of a mental health concern can be difficult. Talk to your child and pay attention to their actions. Also, consider these warning signs:

  • Increased irritability, hyperactivity, energy, and/or aggressive behavior.

  • Excessive sadness, hopelessness, or worries.

  • Loss of appetite, or significant weight gain or loss.

  • Lack of sleep, or too much sleep.

  • A decline in grades, school avoidance, or attendance concerns.

  • Alcohol or drug use.

  • Withdrawal from activities and/or friends and family.

  • Thoughts of harming themselves or others.

If you notice any of these warning signs or feel your child may be experiencing a mental health challenge, help is available. All Fairfax County public schools have at least one school counselor, school psychologist, and school social worker. Please reach out to one of these staff members to discuss your concerns and identify resources. Call your school or visit their website for staff members’ contact information. Find additional information to support your child’s wellness on FCPS’ website.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health crisis such as thoughts of harm to self or others, please take action:

  • Text NEEDHELP to 85511 for the CrisisLink hotline or call them at 703-527-4077.

  • Chat online with a specialist.

  • Go to the nearest emergency room or contact the Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health Emergency Services at 703-573-5679.

  • Call 911.

Attendance: When Should I Keep My Child Home?

When students miss too many days of school, they fall behind and struggle to keep up with their classmates. Whether the days missed are due to illness, truancy, or for any other reason, the end result for the student is the same — learning time is lost. Children and adolescents will get sick at times and may need to stay at home, but we want to work with you to help minimize the number of days your student misses school. Please click here for additional guidance: https://www.fcps.edu/about-fcps/policies-regulations-and-notices/attendance-policies/attendance-when-should-i-keep-my?utm_campaign+=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Office of the Ombudsman

Did you know that FCPS has an Office of the Ombuds that is available to support you? An ombuds is someone who helps resolve conflict by facilitating communications and sharing available resources. See the link above for more information about this available service. The Office of the Ombuds works as an independent confidential resource to help students, families, community members, and employees get questions answered, resolve concerns, and voice complaints regarding FCPS matters. They do not change or make decisions, policies, or regulations; take sides; or provide legal advice.

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