Colt Crusader

A newsletter for the families of CFES students

November Edition

2828 Pleasant Acres Drive

Virginia Beach, VA 23453


Follow us on Twitter @cfescolts

Principal: Robyn Backer , @Robyn Backer

Asst. Principal: Patti Porter, @sunsetzzz15

Message from Ms. Backer, our principal

Wow!! The opening of this school year has been quite a ride with two hurricanes, and very warm temperatures. No matter what the challenge, I am so proud to share that our school family has managed to soar! We had a wonderful October with your students. The Fall Festival was amazing! It was so nice to see so many families out to engage in the fun. A big thank you goes out to the volunteers and PTA for their hard work. We could not do this without them!

Congratulations to Mrs. Cochran who was recognized as CFES's Reading Teacher of the Year! Just take one step into her classroom and one can feel how she brings literacy to life everyday for all who are fortunate to know and work with her. Her enthusiasm for literacy and all things learning is boundless and is a model for all. There is no doubt that she helps make our school a better place for literacy and most especially for children!!!

November is a busy month; we transition into a new grading period, parent conferences and holidays centered around gratitude. On Friday, we will honor our Veterans at our annual ceremony. Many of our families have members who currently serve in the military or who have served in the military. Friday, we want to honor you and say thank you. Please see the flyer below for more information if you would like to participate.

As quarter one comes to a close, please make sure you scheduled a time for a conference with your child's teacher (even if by phone) to discuss all your child has learned and his/her goals for success. Partnerships between teachers and parents are one of the keys to a child's success, and we are dedicated to ensuring you feel you have a voice, can call with questions and feel informed on your child's progress. Report cards will go home on November 14th.

2nd-5th graders will engage in brief quarterly assessments soon. The purpose of these assessments is to provide information to teachers on what standards your child still needs support with so they can design instruction that meets students' needs and to help students set goals. These assessments do not factor into a child's report card grades.

Thank you for all of your ongoing support to make CFES an even better place to learn. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me for any questions, concerns, or to extend kudos for a CFES staff member.

-Ms. Backer

Message from Mrs. Porter, our assistant principal.

We finally have Fall weather with leaves changing colors and cooler temperatures.

This month we want to celebrate and thank all of our Veteran's and Colt family members serving in the military at this time. We appreciate all of your dedication and support to our country and to CFES. As you enter the foyer in our school you will notice the Veteran's Day Hero wall completed by many of your children celebrating a parent or family member.

Later in the month is for families to gather as we celebrate Thanksgiving. We all hope everyone has time to spend with some family whether far or near on this special day. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Colt families.

Mrs. Porter

Assistant Principal

Student Drop Off Reminder

As we begin the second quarter, we have noticed that our student drop off line has increased and we need your help! Since we have so many students being dropped off, it is causing a traffic back up in the neighborhood and out onto Holland Rd. We want to make sure that we have an efficient and safe student drop off procedure. Therefore, we are asking that all parents follow these guidelines in the parent drop off line:

  • Please have all students exit on the right side of the vehicle.
  • Parents please remain in your vehicle. There are staff members outside that can help your child out of the car. If your child needs help, please just wave and a staff member will come help.
  • Please have your student ready to get out of the car. Students should have all belongings in hand when the car pulls up to the curb.

Thank you so much for your help. What I have definitely found since working at CFES is that when we all work together as Christopher Farm Colts, we have incredible horsepower.


This upcoming Staff Day, November 6th, is also designated as a VBCPS Virtual Learning Day. Our last Virtual Learning Day yielded some excellent projects throughout the building. Students were excited and energized to share their real-world tasks with one another.

Please reach out to your child's teacher for any questions on engaging in this Virtual Learning day's activities . Thank you for your support!


All parents are invited to join us on Thursday, November 15th at 3pm for our School Planning Council meeting. Highlights of success for Compass 2020 will be shared regarding the initiatives in our division and here at Christopher Farms. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions and share feedback with the school division. The goals for Christopher Farms' Continuous Plan for Improvement will be shared as well. We know many of our parents have great ideas and talents to share with us. We can't wait to see you! Please RSVP if you plan on attending to Ms. Backer -

Text "Yes" for VBCPS Alert Now Text Messaging

As many of you know, VBCPS uses its Alert Now system to send school news, including weather announcements, school closings, etc. This year, VBCPS is using a new provider. Families will not need to enroll in the system; their contact information is directly carried over based on their child’s registration. However, for text messaging, families will need to confirm they would like to keep receiving text messages from the division.

You may have received a message on July 2 from the division’s provider, School Messenger, asking you to confirm you want to keep receiving Alert Now texts. If you did not, families can always opt-in to the texts at any time by texting a “Y” or “Yes” to the division’s short code number, 67587.

As a reminder, there are no additional fees for this service – it would be subject to all applicable messaging charges depending on your service provider. Standard message and data rates may apply.

Congratulations to our Citizens of the Month for November!

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Pre- K & Kindergarten

Molly Miles (Withererow Pre-K)
Brianna Tilden (Kane AM)
Caitlyn Tilden (Sinnen AM)
Bailey Bartlett (Kane PM)
Isabelle Bartlett (Sinnen PM)
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1st - 5th Grade

1st Grade

Coltrane Miles (Cooley)
Graycie Stuart (Kernodle)
Vanessa Arnett (Shutter)
Bently Lee (Stewart)
Zoe Mendoza (Torres)

2nd Grade

Landen Muse-Fitz (Bullard)
Clara Foegelle (Burok)
Alejandro Soto (Hall/Otero)
Cade Cody (Love)
Nikhil Chong (Minehan)
Avery Cody (Zipprich)

3rd Grade

Peyton McMillen (Crouch)
Timothy McCracken (Kesner)
Max Makrygiannis (Pascual)
Campton Hudspeth (Rodriguez)
Jack Van Brunt (Willett)

4th Grade

Haley Prodigalidad (Cucuzza)
Lily Strait (Dorbin)
Shealynn Johnson (Mcneely)
Kayleigh Corleto (Nicolosi)
Addison Molina (Zaleski)

5th Grade

Peyton Lucero (Bagnall)
Raegan McMillen (Cochran)
Leniyah Hill-wiggins (Kemper)
Eva Caro (Pagan)
Barrett Renner (Zajac)

Counselor Corner

We would like to thank our staff, students and families who embraced our character trait of RESPECT throughout October. Many wore orange and wrote about how they show respect on orange flags that covered our blue colt to celebrate UNITY DAY on October 24th. Several donated food items or money to our division-wide Beach Bags collection on October 25th to help nourish or families in need. All students participated in classroom lessons on bully prevention and respect. And finally, one student from each class was recognized for their good character this month, as Citizens of the Month, for consistently showing respect.

Our monthly focus for November will be Fairness. Students will learn that fairness is not about all things being equal, but rather actions and consequences that are right, honorable and equitable.

Here are some tips for encouraging Fairness at home.

  • Invite your child’s input for ownership. Have family meetings to make house rules and expectations together, post them where all can see and enforce them consistently. (ie. Use gentle hands, Use indoor voices, Use kind words).
  • Be a role model. Children notice how adults treat others, if there are inconsistencies and if adults are not following the rules. Demonstrate the behaviors you’d like your children to have.
  • Listen to your children. Give them an opportunity to express their concerns or perspective and validate their feelings. Rather than blaming and reacting with a consequence, if a child has broken a rule, try to have established and logical and predictable consequences.
  • Empower your children by discussing with them what is fair or not, right or wrong. Use books, tv or movies to discuss perspectives and morals. Ask for their opinions.
  • Review that fair is not always equal. (ie. One sibling may get new shoes because they have grown out of their old ones, but that doesn’t mean every child gets new shoes at the same time).

Parents of 5th graders, please note that there will be some very important dates coming up over the next two to three months regarding Middle School options. Mrs. Yoshida will send home a Middle School Options form in mid-November that will list the various options that are available to our students. Schools and special programs will hold parent information nights and some require an application process. The first Information Night will be for those who are interested in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP) at Plaza Middle School on Tuesday, November 27th. Please contact Mrs. Yoshida with any questions or concerns.

Reading Corner

During quarter 1, students began to look at characters, setting, and events in stories. They worked on making predictions and connections with what they read. As we head into quarter 2, we will dig a little deeper and use that knowledge of story to develop retellings and summaries. Teachers will be providing explicit instruction in asking strong questions that will help understand characters and their actions. In nonfiction, students will find main ideas and supporting details and determine important versus interesting information. Teachers will be conferring with students and helping them set reading and writing goals.

Math Corner

November is here! Our kindergarten students will continue to develop number sense this month through exploration of numbers up to 20 and comparing sets of objects for size. Numeration is also a focus in grade 1 with students counting up to 120 objects by ones, fives, and tens (certainly faster than counting by ones). Our second graders will investigate plane and solid shapes during their geometry unit this month. Be one the look out for spheres, cubes, and rectangular prisms at home! In 3rd grade, students will count money and make change, just in time for holiday shopping! Computation is highlighted in both 4th and 5th grades, as students solve various multi-step problems. As you can tell, we have a busy month ahead!

Check out our Innovation Lab Wish List!!!

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Library News

The Makerspace in the library is up and running! If you haven't heard of what is a makerspace - ask your colt or come in and check it out! Our Student Library Assistants for this year are doing an awesome job! The library has parent volunteers coming in for every morning and almost every afternoon each day of the week. We are very grateful for this ! If you haven’t seen the Thanksgiving Graffiti Wall, please stop by and add your thoughts about what you are thankful for. The more we look for the good in our world, the more we will spread a culture of kindness and thoughtfulness.

Old Donation Gifted Programs

Check out the flyer below for more information on applying for the gifted visual and dance programs at Old Dominion University.
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Important Upcoming Dates


11/1: 1st Grade Gifted Screening

11/5: 1st Quarter Ends

11/6: Staff Day/ Virtual Learning - Parent Conferences

11/7: 2nd Quarter Begins/ Fall Picture Make up/ Original Works Fundraiser Begins

11/12: Veteran's Day (No School)

11/14: Original Works Ends/ Report Cards Go Home

11/15: School Planning Council - PTA Meeting @ 3p (CFES Library)

11/21: Early Dismissal

11/22 - 11/23: Thanksgiving Break


12/3 - Santa's Workshop Begins

12/7 - Santa's Workshop Ends

12/7 - Super W/ Santa 5:30p-8:30p

12/12 - Piano Night 7p-8p

12/13 - PTA Meeting @ 3:00p

12/19 - Winter Concert

12/24- 1/1 - Winter Break

PTA News

Happy Fall Y’all! Your CFES PTA has been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Fall Festival, Fundraisers and Fifth Grade celebrations just to name a few. A huge thank you goes out to our Fall Festival Committee Co-Chairs, Kelly Hopkins and Sandy Mealer for leading this year’s Fall Festival. It was our largest to date! Thank you Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Mealer and your committee members for all their hard work to make this event so successful.

Our PTA would be nothing without our members like you! If you have been meaning to join our PTA now is the time! Attached you will find a PTA Membership form, complete and return with your $8 per CFES student. It’s never too late to join!

Tomorrow while school is closed and you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos, stop by 5 Below in Landstown Commons and start your holiday gift shopping early. 10% of your total sales will come back to the 5th grade class to be used toward their end of your year celebration and graduation. Don't forget to mention CFES at the checkout and/or bring the flyer below with you. If you have any questions, contact Jessica Bueno at or

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, have you thought about what dessert you will be having at your dinner table? No? Not to worry! Our Annual Coldstone Pie Sales have officially begun. Attached you will find an order form and flavors to choose from. Proceeds from this sale benefits your CFES PTA. If you have any questions, contact Jessica Bueno at

Original Works begins this Wednesday - November 7th with your child’s designated artwork coming home. These Original Works make great holiday gifts for loved ones near and far. Proceeds from this fundraiser also benefits your CFES PTA, so if pie’s aren’t your thing. Original Works can be. If you have questions regarding Original Works, please contact Karen Ratner at

This year has started off with a bang and the momentum is building leading into our Supper with Santa event in December. Stay tuned for more information on this event. If you are interested in volunteering for this event or others, please contact our VIE Sandy Mealer at


  1. Check our website weekly:
  2. Follow us on Twitter:
  3. Download the VBSCHOOLS app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
  4. Make sure the school has your updated phone number and email address in order to receive Alert Now communications
  5. Follow your child's progress on Parent Portal: