Lower School Notes – October 16, 2019
Dear Lower School Families,
Thank you to all those who attended and contributed to a really fun Lower School Family Literacy Night, with children’s author Ann Marie Stephens, last Friday — parents, students, our dedicated Lower School faculty, Lower School and Middle School Information Specialist Michelle Plaut, and Lower School Enrichment Coordinator Megan Dhar. It certainly was a fabulous evening!!
Parent-Teacher Conferences are a great opportunity for us to further our partnership with you, celebrate your children’s successes and discuss strategies for enhancing their progress. Parent-Teacher Conferences in the Lower School will be held on Friday, November 1, and Thursday, November 7. To facilitate scheduling conferences, we use an electronic system, called Pick-a-Time, that allows you to schedule all of your meeting times in advance. The link to Pick-a-Time will be sent via email to parents on Friday, October 18. Please note that childcare for Lower School students only will be available in the Multipurpose Room (Room 112) on Friday, November 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., while parents are in conferences.
Director of the Lower School
Updated Lower School Dress Code
Please note that there has been an update to the jewelry section of the Lower School Dress Code. Students may now wear modest necklaces. However, because necklaces can present a safety concern during play and P.E., we recommend and would prefer that students do not wear necklaces to School.
Save the Dates for These Upcoming Parents Council of Washington Events!
The Parents Council of Washington (PCW) is a consortium of independent schools in the Washington metropolitan area that promotes excellence in education by fostering closer communication among parents, students, and independent schools. The PCW sponsors programs, speaker events, interactive forums, and online resources. Flint Hill is a member and has one parent representative, Michelle Liu, who participates and relays information about the PCW to our Parents’ Association Board and School community.
This year’s theme for the PCW is “Healthy. Connected. Engaged.” The theme will serve as a launching pad for interesting, insightful speakers and meaningful programs, where you can connect with other independent school parents, teachers and administrators to share ideas on parenting, child development and education. Please save the dates for these upcoming events!
Lower School Forum, Tuesday, October 22, 8:30 a.m., The McLean School of Maryland
All PCW member school parents, administrators, faculty and staff are invited and encouraged to attend this new program focusing on Lower Schools. Four esteemed administrators (from Beauvoir, Congressional, McLean, and Primary Day) will speak on their schools’ best practices regarding the theme: “Healthy. Connected. Engaged.”
RSVP online here.
“Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Tweens and Teens,” Thursday, November 14, 8:30 a.m., The National Presbyterian School
Author and psychologist Lisa Damour, PhD., will present. The program begins with light fare at 8:30 a.m., the presentation is at 9:00 am, and a book signing is at 11:00 am. The program is free and open to the public, so bring your friends!
RSVP online here.
Join us for the Vienna Halloween parade!
Your family is invited to represent Flint Hill School at the 73rd Annual Vienna Halloween Parade on Wednesday, October 23, at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s parade theme is Famous Children’s Books & Fairytales Brought to Life, so dress up as your favorite character, Husky spirit wear, or use your imagination for a creative costume, and march along with Klondike and the Flint Hill banner. You can check out the Vienna Halloween Parade route here. The entire family is welcome! If you would like to march with Flint Hill in the parade, RSVP here.
Questions? Contact Dawn Hopke in the admission office at 703.584.2311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t Miss Out on November Lunch Orders!
The deadline to order lunches for November (both hot lunch and pizza) is October 28. Orders can be placed on the Fairfax Food Service website.
Nineteenth Annual Book and Ball Basketball Clinic for Girls and Moms!
Saturday, November 2, 9:30-11 a.m.
For girls in kindergarten-eighth grade, at the Lower and Middle School Campus Gym
Come for the full session or just a part! Flint Hill Girls’ Basketball presents this annual event for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade and their moms, if the spirit moves you! Enjoy basketball skills, drills, fun and book talk. A youth-level book (or more than one if you choose) is the only clinic fee. Questions? Please contact Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach Jody Patrick at email@example.com.
Basketball Clinic for Boys in Grades K-8
Saturday, November 2, 9:30–11 a.m., Upper School Campus Gym
The Boys’ Basketball program is hosting a free clinic for boys in grades K-8. Conducted by the Flint Hill coaching staff and current Flint Hill Huskies, the focus will be on teaching the basic fundamentals of the game. No pre-registration is necessary; just come out and play! Questions? Email Director of the Upper School and Head Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach Rico Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid Application Opens on November 1
Is your family planning to apply for financial aid for the 2020-21 school year? If so, please mark your calendar for Friday, November 1, when you will be able to access our financial aid application on the Financial Aid for Student Tuition (FAST) website.
The application deadline is Monday, January 13, 2020. Families who complete the application process by January 13 will receive a notification of their financial aid award on Thursday, January 30, when re-enrollment contracts are issued to current families. If you have questions, please contact Flint Hill’s Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid Jennifer Webb at 703.584.2313 or via email at email@example.com.
Articles, Videos and Blogs
How to Nurture Stick-to-itiveness in Kids
Updates and Reminders From Last Week
Lower School Classroom Visits and Division Coffee, Friday, October 18
On the third Friday of every month, throughout the year, parents are invited to visit their child’s classroom. This will give parents the opportunity to observe a project’s development over time, to see what their child is learning and observe their progress at regular intervals. The classroom visits are from 8:15–8:45 a.m.
Following the visits, we will host our Lower School Division Coffee at 8:45 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room (Room 112). During the coffee, we will focus on how we are incorporating the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum, as we build community and ensure that all students can take meaningful risks, be themselves and make a difference. We will also touch briefly on the upcoming November Parent/Teacher Conferences and how parents can prepare for them.
Spirit Week Through Friday, October 18
Athletic Events, other activities: Saturday, October 19
We hope to see you on campus for Homecoming Weekend! For a complete schedule, click here! Ready to volunteer for Homecoming Weekend? Sign up here!
Students are encouraged to continue to show their Husky spirit this week. If students prefer, they may wear their uniforms on Spirit Days. On Friday, October 18, at 1:30 p.m., fourth grade students will attend the pep rally with the Middle and Upper School students in the Upper School Campus Gym.
Spirit Day Schedule:
Thursday, October 17 — Crazy Mismatch Day
Students may put together their wackiest combination of colors and prints (pants, skirts, shorts, dresses, and socks). Students must wear sneakers.
Friday, October 18 — Husky Pride Day
Students may wear any Flint Hill t-shirt or any white, blue or green t-shirt or the Homecoming t-shirt. Students should wear jeans or uniform bottoms and must wear sneakers.
Please note that Lower School students must be accompanied by an adult at all times, at all Homecoming events, on Friday evening and during the day on Saturday.
Thanks to Upper School Digital Arts Teacher Catherine Huber and seniors Jake Berkowitz and Ericka Link for creating the Day of Play poster.
Global Day of Play
We are excited to announce that we will celebrate our eighth annual Global Day of Play on Friday, October 25! The Day of Play curriculum introduces students to critical thinking, problem-solving and design skills used by engineers, architects, and other creative professionals. Teachers will facilitate the design process as students brainstorm, plan, build, test and improve their creations.
The theme for this year’s Day of Play is “2119:The Future is Now.” During class time in the Innovation Lab, homerooms will consider the historical perspective of community life 100 years ago, in order to contemplate what innovations will occur 100 years into the future. Each class will work collaboratively to build micro-scale structures and environments for their “futuristic community” that is inhabited by Lego mini-figures. Classes will use craft materials, recyclables, and upcycled materials to construct essential aspects of the community as they envision them in 2119. When the community is complete, we will play like it’s 2119.
You can help your child have a successful Day of Play in a variety of ways:
- Discuss design ideas with your child. Students will be visiting the Innovation Lab to choose an idea for their class’s design. Ask your child to share more with you about this process.
- Collect materials for your child’s class to use on the Day of Play. If your family has Lego mini figurines that they are no longer playing with and you wish to donate for the day, there are collection boxes in each of the Divisional Offices. A supply list for each homeroom’s plan will be posted on See-Saw. Beginning October 16, please send these specific items in with your child.
- Join us on the Day of Play to help with the fun! Room parents will be sending a volunteer schedule and sign up soon.
We hope that the Day of Play ignites a passion for creative problem solving and design in your children. We love to hear that your children have come home with an eagerness to share what they have learned, what they have built and an excitement about how to use their design skills to bring their creative ideas to life.
Thank you in advance for your assistance in making our Day of Play a rewarding and enriching experience for our children! If you have any questions about the day’s activities or how you can be involved, please email Megan Dhar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Halloween Parade/Free Dress Day
Thursday, October 31
Parade: 2:15 p.m., Husky Drive and the Upper Parking Lot
Note: Parents are welcome to attend the parade and may collect their children from their classrooms at 2:45 p.m.
There is great excitement in the Lower School with the approach of Halloween. We have designated this as a Free Dress Day. Children should bring their costumes to school in a bag and will have time to change before the Halloween Parade. Wearing a costume for the Halloween Parade is optional. Please be mindful that gruesome or violent costumes are not permitted nor is weaponry of any sort. When selecting a costume, we appreciate children being respectful of ethnic and cultural sensitivities and mindful not to reinforce cultural stereotypes. In the event of rain, the parade will be canceled.
Parents are welcome to attend the parade and are asked to park in either the back lot or the circle. After the parade, at 2:45 p.m., students may be collected from their classrooms. We ask that parents please leave campus as soon as they have picked up their child/children to avoid a congestion of cars at carpool. If parents are unable to stay after the parade, they may pick up their child/children in regular carpool.
Brown Bag Lunches
The Brown Bag Lunch enrichment program provides students with exposure to a variety of topics, beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. In our efforts to encourage students to explore their interests and talents, we are looking for a variety of speakers to come to Flint Hill to share their careers, talents and hobbies. This, in turn, may stimulate new interests and inspire in some students a desire to do an independent investigation in that area. Students in grades K-4 will sign up to attend these sessions during their lunch or recess.
We are looking for volunteers to share their professional expertise, talents, hobbies and experiences with our Lower School students. This program has been extremely successful due to the enthusiasm of our current parents and the greater Flint Hill community. If you would like to be involved or have a friend, a neighbor, colleague or another family member who may be willing to share, I encourage you to contact us. If you have any further questions, please contact Lower School Enrichment Coordinator Megan Dhar.
Driving Spirit Award Nominations Due December 13
Send your nominations to Ana Yarbrough.
The Driving Spirit Award recognizes current Flint Hill teachers and staff who have demonstrated ethical leadership, diligent intellectual scholarship and a commitment to teaching, coaching and mentoring students. Recipients are recognized for their contributions to the “Driving Spirit,” which makes our school the special and unique place we all value and a place that honors excellence while emphasizing the importance of honesty, compassion, respect and responsibility. These faculty and staff members lead by example through their dedication and ability to energize and inspire Flint Hill’s community to new heights of learning and leadership, both inside and outside the classroom. They promote an element of excellence and are extraordinary in their effort.
Please think about the great current teachers and staff members in the Flint Hill community whom you believe fit this description. Emails and letters should be sent to Ana Yarbrough by Friday, December 13.
Holiday Shoppes Gucci Crossbody Handbag Raffle Tickets Available NOW!
The handbag is generously being donated by Karen Sparks & Associates, Realtor®. The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. on the day of the event (Saturday, November 9). You don’t need to be present to win!
Tickets are $10 each and available now from any of the event co-chairs: Karen Sparks P’11, P’21; Claudia Augenstein P’21, P’26; Debbie Wesley P’22, P’25; and Amanda Norton P’21. Tickets are also available at the Miller House by contacting Advancement Events Coordinator, Alice Yates at email@example.com or 703.584.2315.
To learn more about the event, visit www.flinthill.org/holiday. Proceeds from The Holiday Shoppes benefit the Endowment for Financial Aid in Honor of Sally Hazel.
Notes from my Weekly Walkabout
The JK class enjoys weekly walks, called Wednesday Walks, throughout the Flint Hill School campus and the surrounding neighborhood. Last week JK students walked to the Oak Marr Farmers Market. The students recently tasted some seasonal foods, apples and pumpkins, and were curious and eager to learn more about where to buy fruits and vegetables. Before going to the Farmers Market, the students gathered some questions to ask the farmers. These questions included what fruits and vegetables grow on your farm? Where is your farm located? How do you know when the fruits and vegetables are ready to be picked? The farmers were eager to answer all of the students’ questions and even offered some samples. The JK class is hoping to next compare the type of fruits and vegetables found at the farmer’s market with the ones sold at the grocery store.
Kindergarten students were busy in the Innovation Lab, last week, brainstorming and planning their futuristic creations for this year’s Day of Play. In keeping with the theme “2119: The Future is Now,” students considered what aspects of our current community would stay relevant in 100 years, what innovations might happen, and what new ideas could take shape. The Innovation Lab was a Think Tank of collaborative ideas. Each student took the time to draw and write about his/her ideas. KA considered what restaurants, grocery stores and places of recreation will be like and drew designs for the lego citizens. KB is designing for schools and residences. Both classes took a “gallery walk” to examine each of their classmate’s ideas and then, as a group, determined what types of recyclable materials they could collect to support each other’s plans. Information for your child’s class has been posted to Seesaw.
After introducing first graders to the core values of Flint Hill, they learned the meaning of each value and reflected on how they can incorporate these values on a daily basis. During writing workshop, students made books with illustrations and sentences on what it looks like and how they will be respectful, honest, responsible and compassionate Huskies at school.
Last week, in computer science second grade began their unit; Everyone Can Code. The first step was to get unplugged and discuss terms such as apps, developers, and codes. When they started to use a common language, they added in the technology and their iPads were used to collect thoughts on a Pages document where they filled in word bubbles to share what they wondered about coding and also shared their favorites apps. In their second session, students explored using the Tynker app. Through the use of block coding, second grade learned the basics of sequencing as they helped their characters collect items that they’ll need by using three commands. Second grade was thrilled to find out that everyone CAN code and with each item that they were able to collect, a new command was introduced. The room was filled with hi-fives, fist bumps, and growing confidence in their coding abilities. Second grade is looking forward to transferring their coding skills to BlueBots next week!
Last week, third grade musicians practiced reading two-measure rhythms to a steady beat. They also learned proper management and technique when playing drums, and how to play their first and last names as a two-beat rhythm.
Our fourth graders visited the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. They participated in their program, “Telling the American Story.” The American story has been profoundly shaped by American Indians, yet the stories told about Indians are often false and almost always incomplete. What do we gain by telling stories that may not be true? What do we lose? In this program, students examined three key events in American history — the first Thanksgiving, the life of Pocahontas, and the Battle of Little Bighorn — to uncover the hidden stories behind them.
Afterward, students traveled in small groups to observe examples of Native American culture, noticing the uniqueness of different Native American tribes. In preparation for the trip, fourth graders worked together in research teams to learn about the clothing, food, shelter, tools and technology, traditions, and other aspects of culture of tribes such as the Navajo, Sioux, Apache, and Cherokee.
Last Saturday, Fourth Grade students showed their Husky spirit and attended the Special Olympic Soccer Tournament on the Upper School Campus. They had made posters to support the teams and cheered loudly, as they encouraged the participating athletes.
Thursday, October 17, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School Campus
Friday, October 18, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
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Division Coffee: Pollyanna Curriculum
Friday, October 18, 8:45-9:30 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Lower and Middle School Campus
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Grade 4- 8 Pep Rally
Friday, October 18, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Upper School Campus
Junior-Senior Flag Football Match and Bonfire
Friday, October 18, 5:15-8:15 p.m., Upper School Campus
Saturday, October 19
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Admission Innovation Workshop
Saturday, October 19, 9:30-11 a.m., Lower and MIddle School Campus
Grade JK-12 Two-Hour Delayed Opening
Faculty Staff In-Service
Monday, October 21
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Grades JK-12 Parent Coffee: Institutional Equity and Inclusion
Wednesday, October 23, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Upper School Campus
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JK visits the Fairfax Fire Station
Thursday, October 24, 9:45-11:30 a.m., Fairfax Va.
Global Day of Play
Friday, October 25
Friday, October 25, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School Campus
Lower School and Middle School Admission Information Session
Wednesday, October 30, 8:30-10 a.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
Thursday, October 31, 2:15-2:45 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
Grades JK-12 Parent Conferences
Grades JK-12 No Classes
Friday, November 1
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Grades JK-12 Parent Education Series: Kaleidoscope Book Club
Monday, November 4, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Upper School Campus
Lower School Inspiration/Morning Meeting
Tuesday, November 5, 8:15-8:45 a.m., Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School Campus
Grade 4 to National Museum of African Art
Wednesday, November 6, 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Washington
Grade JK-12 Two-Hour Delayed Opening
Thursday, November 7