Lower School Notes – March 6, 2019
Dear Lower School Families,
Last week, International Week provided a perfect opportunity for the Lower School students to share aspects of their rich cultures and family traditions, celebrating the characteristics that make each of them special and the importance of being a member of our Lower School community where “All are Welcome!” On Friday, to conclude International Week, 4B students hosted a special Inspiration focusing on the ethnic backgrounds of the students in the class. In addition to greeting Lower School students in another language as they entered and exited the theater, one student said the Pledge of Allegiance in Taiwanese and another student said the Husky Promise in Turkish. 4B students then shared information about the country their families originally came from, why their families came to this country and how they are still connected to their countries of origin. A group of students also performed two short dances from Italy and Mexico. I would like to thank all the parents who contributed to International Week, whether it was by providing treats for the students or spending time in the classrooms sharing their knowledge and experiences from their home countries or travels abroad.
Online Ordering for the Grades JK-8 Optional School Lunch Program
Online ordering for the new optional Grades JK-8 lunch program is now available on the Fairfax Food Service website. Detailed ordering instructions are available here. This information is also available on the Resource Board in Husky Hub. In addition to the standard menu, a menu for students with allergies and food sensitivities is available on a Monday through Friday rotation every week.
As a reminder, sign-up will occur monthly, and families have between the 1st and 28th of each month to order for the following month. Families have the option to purchase lunches for individual days or an entire month. The cost ranges from $5.45-$6.45 per meal. At this time, families can order lunch for one month at a time.
Once your email address is entered into the Fairfax Food online ordering system, order reminders, receipts, and notifications regarding new menus will be sent to your email address.
The online ordering process for pizza will not change. If you have ordered pizza for your child/ren for the year, no action is needed.
Students will sample the new menu at no cost to you when we return from Spring Break during the week of March 25. If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, please contact our Fairfax Food Service representative Katie Steverson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Fairfax Food Service’s dietitian Judy Caplan.
Save the Date – Lower School Transition Coffee, Wednesday, April 3
In preparation for your child/ren’s transition from one grade level to the next, we ask you to save the date and join us for the upcoming Lower School transition coffee. Parents will have the opportunity to visit and meet with a teacher and students from one of the classrooms in their child’s next grade level. We will discuss the transition from one grade level to the next, you will receive information about summer enrichment activities, and we will share an explanation of this year’s summer learning. The program begins at 8:15 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room, on the Lower and Middle School Campus. I look forward to seeing you at the coffee.
Save the Date – Rising Grade 5 Orientation
There is an orientation for parents of rising fifth-grade students on Tuesday, April 16, at 8:15 a.m., in the Library on the Lower and Middle School Campus.
Save the date Engineering Night
Please save the date for Lower School Family Engineering Night on Friday, April 5, from 6:00-7:00 p.m., in the Lower and Middle School Campus Gym. Students will explore the idea of forces in motion by designing, building and testing wind-powered kites, airplanes, cars and boats. We hope you can join us for an evening of challenging fun and creativity for the whole family.
Spring After-School Clubs
We are excited to announce our after-school club offerings for the spring. Popular clubs from the winter season will return for the spring, including fencing, chess, and acting. Be sure to take note of some old favorites that are back to end the school year as Ms. Snell and Ms. Hoff will offer Cupcake Artistry and Mr. Scott will join Mr. Taylor to bring back his legendary Husky Sports Club. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The spring clubs will begin during the week of April 8 and run on the dates specified, from 3:00-3:45 p.m. Please click here to register.
Articles and Blogs
How Boredom Changed One Girl’s Life
Updates and Reminders
We are currently in the midst of our Student-Involved Conferences. To help you prepare for your child’s conference, here is the information that was shared in a recent newsletter. This resource includes the conference objectives; the roles of the student, parent and teacher; and some logistical information. These guiding questions will also be helpful in setting the stage for a successful Student-Involved Conference for your child. We look forward to partnering with you in this wonderful leadership opportunity for our children. As a reminder, students attend this conference.
Headfirst Summer Camps Open House
Thursday, March 7, 7:00-8:00 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
Headfirst Summer Camps will host an information session on Thursday, March 7, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., on the Lower and Middle School Campus. Learn all about this summer’s camp offerings while hearing from Headfirst senior leadership, participate in a Q & A session, and take advantage of an opportunity to receive a discount of up to 15 percent off! Headfirst Summer Camps will offer day programs for campers, from 3 years old to rising fifth-graders, at Flint Hill this summer, along with overnight camps in Alexandria.
Make sure to RSVP by clicking HERE. If you have any questions about this event or the camp itself, feel free to contact Matt Sternberg at Msternberg@headfirstcamps.com and or 202.625.1921 ext. 114. We hope to see you on the 7th!
Innovation Intersession: April 2-4, 2019
We are excited to offer Innovation courses to kindergarten, first, and second-graders, for three afternoons after school, 3:00-3:45 p.m. on April 2, 3, 4. Last year, students were invited to participate in one-day workshop style offerings, to introduce new resources and skills that the lab offers. For this “remix” of the Intersession, parents are invited to enroll their child in a three-day immersive course on an enrichment-focused topic, to elevate the learning each class is already engaging in. The cost for each of these courses is $45.00 per course. Space is limited to eight students per session on a first-come, first served basis, so you are encouraged to sign up soon.
Please register here by Friday, March 8.
Brown Bag Lunch Program
The Brown Bag Lunch Program (BBL) is a long-standing tradition in the Lower School and was created to enrich our students’ learning and exploration. The program is completely voluntary and students in Kindergarten through Fourth Grade may select their top three choices from a number of options listed in the sign-up form. BBLs are filled in the order they were received and space is limited. Students attending a particular BBL will be collected from their classroom and brought to the Multipurpose Room to eat their lunch while hearing our speaker share and answer questions. Unless otherwise specified, students do not miss any classroom time as BBLs occur during their normal lunch time. We look forward to offering these opportunities as a series throughout the school year. Please sign up here and feel free to contact Megan Dhar with any questions.
March Reading Madness
Third- and fourth-graders are preparing to boost their independent reading time during March Reading Madness, an effort to see how many books they can read throughout the entire month. Students will receive a log to track their total reading. We hope to read 2,500 books. We will have weekly check-ins to track our progress. Logs will go home Friday, March 1.
Parents’ Association Spring Uniform Exchange for Grades JK-8
Friday March 8, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars for the final Uniform Exchange of the school year!
This is a free event for our community. Please note, all parents and guardians are welcome to participate. Whether or not you have items to donate, please come and shop and prepare for the spring!
We depend on volunteers to make it happen. Help is needed to organize clothing and set up the Exchange on Thursday, March 7. On Friday, March 8, volunteers help families “shop” and re-stock as additional uniforms are donated. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up here. Volunteers get to preview and get the first pick of all items simply for helping out!
If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Adrienne Robinson in the Development Office at email@example.com.
School Store Pop Up
Friday, March 8, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus Commons
Have your Huskies outgrown their P.E. or athletic uniforms? We will be selling both spirit wear and uniforms on Friday, March 8, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., in the Lower and Middle School Campus Commons. Sample uniforms will be available for sizing, and all uniforms will be delivered to your student’s classroom. Many spirit items will be in stock as well. Come check out what is new and shop our expanded sale section! Sign up here to volunteer on Thursday, March 7, or Friday, March 8.
Save the Date for Springfest 2019!
Saturday, April 27
Plan to celebrate spring athletics with a backyard party at Springfest! Start the day with a friendly (and free!) Tennis Social. Enjoy a grilled lunch from the Husky Hut, treats from an ice cream truck, and family-friendly games for Huskies of all ages! Be sure to read upcoming newsletters for details and a complete schedule! Volunteer opportunities and tennis registration will be available after Spring Break.
Notes from my Weekly Walkabout
After a visit to the Lorton Solid Waste Station, the JK students learned that bicycles brought there for disposal are donated to an organization called Bikes for the World. The JK students wanted to visit the organization and learn more about its mission. While at the warehouse, the JK students learned that Bikes for the World takes donated bikes, repairs them and prepares them to be shipped overseas. Most of the bikes are sent to several different countries in Africa where they are used as transportation to help people carry food, water, and even medicine through remote villages. Some bikes are sent to the Philippines where students can use them to get to school every day. After learning about the organization, the JK students had the opportunity to prepare some of the bikes and load them onto a shipping container. In order to prepare the bikes, the students had to remove the pedals, lower the handlebars and lower the seats. They then had to load them tightly into the shipping container along with spare tires and parts. The JK students had a lot of fun and worked hard too.
Kindergarten students created papier-mâché sculptures of imaginary fish in art class. The students made a paper armature, covered it with strips of plaster, painted it and added mixed media details. The works of art are currently on display in the Activities Center.
Last week in Wellness, Mrs. Benoit started a unit on emotional management with First Grade students, and they focused on the emotion of anger. The students learned that anger is a natural and common strong emotion that can cause lots of problems for students both academically, socially and emotionally. They read the book “Anh’s Anger” by Gail Silver and started naming the steps of anger management:
- Recognizing when you feel angry and the signals your body sends.
- Recognizing when someone else is starting to get angry.
First Grade students also used recycled objects to create sculptures of imaginary aliens. As a unit in sculpture, they had to consider form, shape and color to construct a piece that was self-supporting. The work is displayed in the Activities Center.
Second Grade students have studied also sculpture in art recently. They created papier-mâché puppets of the historical figures they researched in class, which they detailed with a variety of mixed media. In a second assignment, they made additive wooden sculptures of imaginary animals.
Last week, Third Grade students attended a field trip to the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater to visit Kofi’s African Village. Drummer Kofi Dennis shared the exciting traditions of a West African village through music, storytelling and dance. Using various, authentic instruments, the Ghanaian native lead lively call-and-response songs, games and movement that got our Huskies up on their feet! Students were actively engaged in a hands-on discovery of African cultural traditions. Many of our students were even invited up on stage to help Kofi drum! The trip concluded on a fun, high-note as students, teachers and chaperones had an opportunity to dance as Kofi called out our birthday months!
As part of their study of the different experiences and cultures that formed early Virginia history, Fourth Grade students have been learning about the lives of enslaved African Americans who lived on Sully Plantation in Fairfax County. The trip to Sully Plantation provided an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of life in the early 1800s. Students learned about the contributions of the enslaved Africans who worked on the farm, as well as those who served in other capacities. The experience gave students a deeper understanding of the complexities of life on a plantation and the contributions of all who lived in these spaces. Students were able to visit the main house, the kitchen and the reconstructed slave quarters at Sully Plantation.
Fourth Grade students have been working on papier-mâché masks, which are now on display in the Commons. After a brief study of masks of different cultures, they designed their own masks based on an imaginary creature or an animal. They created paper armatures which were covered with plaster strips, and then painted in acrylic and detailed. The objective of the assignment was to use to mask form and color to convey a feeling or idea.
Brown Bag Lunch
Principal Architect with Bowie Gridley Elise Robinson shared about her 25-year career leading the building design and master planning projects for public, charter and independent schools and universities throughout the United States. Ms. Robinson showed students renderings of the new seventh- and eighth-grade building including, floor plans that showcased the materials, locations and intentional spaces both inside and out. She explained how studies were performed to determine the needs of seventh- and eighth-grader and how she partnered with team members and school officials, including engineers and teachers, to
collaborate on a plan. Students were excited to ask thoughtful questions about how Ms. Robinson and her team are also working on the current Lower and Middle School building.
Director of the Lower School
Headfirst Summer Camps Open House
Thursday, March 7, 7:00-8:00 p.m., Lower School Campus
Grades JK–4 Student Involved Conferences
Grades JK-8 No Classes
Friday, March 8
Grades JK–8 Uniform Exchange
Friday, March 8, 8:30–2:30, Commons, Lower and Middle School Campus
School Store Pop Up
Friday, March 8, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus Commons
Spring Break Begins (through 3/24)
No Homework (through 3/24)
Administrative Offices Closed (through 3/15)
Saturday, March 9
Administrative Offices Open (through 3/22)
Monday, March 18
Spring Break Camp Begins (through 3/22)
Monday, March 25
Tuesday, March 26, 8:15 – 8:45 a.m, Olson Theater, Lower and Middle School Campus
Grade 4 Visit the National Zoo
Wednesday, March 27, 8:20 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Washington DC
Brown Bag Lunch: Major Minors
Wednesday, March 27, 12:00 noon -12:30 p.m., Upper School Campus
Lower School Admission Information Session
Friday, March 29, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., Lower and Middle School Campus
Brown Bag Lunch: Kyle Michl on Artificial Intelligence
Friday, March 29, 12:00 noon – 12:30 p.m., Lower and MIddle School Campus
Grades JK-12 Parent Education Series: Kaleidoscope Book Club
Monday, April 1, 8:15 – 9:45 a.m., Multipurpose Room, Upper School Campus
Brown Bag Lunch: KayAnn Schoeneman, Public Speaking
Tuesday, April 2, 12:00 noon – 12:30 p.m., Lower and Middle School Campus