The Tiger Times
The Thomas Jefferson Elementary Parent Newsletter
September 13, 2019
Another Opening, Another Show!
Welcome To TJ!
Dr. Noonan greets TJ students as they arrive during the first week of school.
Mrs. Schimmoller begins the day with a read aloud.
Small Group Work
One of the hallmarks of TJ's instructional model is small group, personalized learning, in which students receive instruction based on their current academic levels.
Chalk Dust: Notes From the Principal's Desk
"Life be crazy."
We have all been there...:)
All jokes aside, the reality is that life can get crazy for most of us, including our kids. This is one of many reasons why it is critically important that our classrooms be places of calm and assurance for our students. While we have curriculum and instruction and achievement to work on, we are, first and foremost, a people business. If we don't get the people right, the rest probably isn't going to matter all that much.
To that end, this year, TJ has worked on creating "Morning Meetings" in many of our classrooms. A "morning meeting" is a part of a larger practice known as Responsive Classrooms, but in this case, the morning meeting is a very specific time, usually near the beginning of the day, in which kids will gather as a class and have some type of sharing time. Perhaps they simply tell one another about their weekends, or perhaps they play a game together organized by the teacher, or perhaps they share something about themselves. Generally done with kids sitting on the floor or in a circle, it is a time of togetherness and community.
"Morning Meetings" are one of our attempts to create an atmosphere of family and community. the early results have been incredibly promising, with our kids reporting that they genuinely enjoy the meeting time. Staff members Meagan Flajser, Jillian Johnston, and Sarah Mihm led a training for our staff on September 4 on morning meetings, and in the following days, more teachers reported giving "Morning Meetings" a try.
Indeed, life be crazy sometimes...:) Our hope is that for your children, morning meetings make the day a little more calming and recognizable irrespective of how life is treating them at the moment.
TJ Back To School Night September 19
6:00-6:40, 3rd grade
6:15-7:30, Encore (in gym)
6:40-7:20, 4th grade
7:20-8:00, 5th grade
We hope to see you there!
Sign Up For Extracurricular Music Programs!
Strings Club Sign Up September 18
Critical Decision Points For Families of Children With Disabilities
FCCPS is very pleased to present this program in collaboration with the Virginia Departmentof Education. The "Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities" curriculum is designed to assist participants in understanding four things as they prepare to make decisions for their student who receives special education services. The key questions covered in the session are written below.
· What are some of the keys to a child’s academic success?
· What decisions will need to be made regarding a child’s educational path?
· At what point should we be making these decisions?
· What information is needed so that we can make the most well informed decisions possible for a child?
Friday, September 20 @ Falls Church City Community Center, or Saturday, September 21 @ Mt. Daniel Elementary School. This program is limited to 35 "face-to-face" sessions each day.
Those who are not able to join us at one of the "face to face" sessions, can also access the content via online training modules at the following link: I'm Determined - Parents - Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities. There are a total of five modules that range in length from three minutes to five minutes, which can be completed in a single viewing or broken up over time to meet individual time constraints. They are self-paced learning modules and available to all. The curriculum for these modules are available in print and online. A fully accessible online version can be found at the web link: Virginia Department of Education’s Special Education - Parents Section.
Questions regarding FCCPS programs, contact Rebecca Sharp, Director of Special Education & Student Services email@example.com (703)248-5630.
Questions regarding online module training, contact Mrs. Tracy Lee, Family Engagement Specialist Tracy.Lee@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-3492.
Keep Calm And Check Parent University
Did you know that FCCPS has a resource for parents that pulls together all of the parent education opportunities across the schools? Anything that helps parents get smarter about school and parenting is included in Parent University. It is accessible from each school's homepage.
It is in both English and Spanish, and includes:
1. A Parent University Calendar of all programs, accessible for PK-12 parents.
2. A Course Catalog with event descriptions
3. Parent resources on Talking with Your Children about Race
4. Links to all the school newsletters
5. A video archive of programs that you may have missed.
You can add the Parent University Calendar to your own google calendar. Add Parent University Calendar
Every Course Catalog listing has a Google Calendar link so that you can easily add specific events to your own calendar.