Lower School Newsletter - September 2, 2020
THINGS TO KNOW THIS WEEK IN THE LOWER SCHOOL
Below are some events and information to help you prepare for a successful start to the school year.
To prepare for reopening, we created Social Stories for our Lower School students and their families. The stories walk through things that will be different, as well as things that will be the same.
The Social Story also talks about the emotions that might come and how it is possible to hold simultaneous conflicting emotions.
Role Changes and New Faculty
We are continuing to welcome new faculty and transition returning faculty to new roles to support our students during this unique school year.
Dorothy Mooney has moved from First Grade Assistant Teacher to Virtual Learner Teacher Support.
Please join us in welcoming Laura Cirone, Kunnica Kou and Brian McDonald.
Laura Cirone – Fifth Grade Teacher – is originally from Fairfax, Virginia, and went to W.T. Woodson High School. She received a bachelor’s in psychology from Catholic University, while playing on the Varsity Women's Lacrosse Team. After graduation, she was hired as the graduate assistant women's lacrosse coach at Catholic, where she coached for two years while completing a master's degree in business management with a concentration in leadership. She graduated in 2019 and began substitute teaching at Flint Hill in the fall. Laura lives in Fairfax with her husband and son and enjoys exercising, jewelry making, and cooking.
Kunnica Kou – First Grade Assistant Teacher – is a recent graduate from GWU with her master's in public health, prior to that she completed her bachelor's in community health from George Mason University. She has been an AfterCare specialist since 2016 and is super excited to continue being a part of the Husky team!
Brian McDonald ’12 – First Grade Assistant Teacher – is a Flint Hill graduate and has a deep fondness for all of the members of this community. “In fact,” he says, “I have always aspired to return to Flint Hill so that I can give back to this environment which has afforded me so many positive opportunities.” While attending James Madison University (earning a B.S in media arts and design, with a concentration in journalism, in 2017), he worked in the Flint Hill basketball camps and basketball leagues during the summers. He also coached Flint Hill’s basketball teams in several summer leagues throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Brian expresses, “I am very excited about my new role here with Flint Hill School. I am very grateful for the livelong lessons and values that were taught to me by the teachers and administrators during my time here as a high school student; I am eager to instill those same values to your children.”
Zara Perciful – Fourth Grade Teacher – grew up in Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in construction science. She decided not to become a general contractor and went back to school for her Master of Education (also at A&M, Gig'em Aggies!) with a specialization in social studies, then moved overseas to teach in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. After nearly six years abroad, teaching language arts, ESL, and serving as a librarian, she moved back to the U.S. and has been teaching fifth grade in Northern Virginia for the past three years. She currently lives in Capitol Hill where she loves to take long walks around the monuments with her roommate, Wally the Wonder Dog!
Faith Frampton – Fifth Grade Substitute Teacher – is a Maryland native with a B.A. in English and creative writing and an MAT in Secondary English Education from Sweet Briar College. Most recently, she taught for Maryland public schools, where she was an equity liaison and diversity, club sponsor. When she isn't teaching, Faith enjoys traveling, crafting, and writing.
Snacks and Lunch
This year, Lower School students will need to bring their own lunches to campus. Parents are encouraged to provide students with a nutritional lunch with a minimum of packaging that requires no refrigeration or additional preparation. Students should be able to independently open items in their snack and lunch. Each student needs to have their own lunch, as sharing food is not permitted. Please note that there will be no additional food stored at school to give to children, if they forget their snack or lunch at home. Parents and guardians may drop off lunch with a staff member at the security desk, who will notify the divisional office which will handle it from there.
Mask Guidelines for Students
As noted in the Campus Reopening Plan, face masks are required to be worn on campus. While individual expression is encouraged, Lower School students should wear face masks with age-appropriate imagery. Please note that gaiters, bandanas and masks with vents or exhalation valves are not permitted.
Email Communication Information for New Families
We’d like to share some information regarding school email communications with new families, who may be accustomed to different processes from their previous schools.
- As a Flint Hill parent, you are automatically opted in to receive school emails; there is no specific action to take to receive emails from the School. However, unsubscribing from a single school email will unsubscribe you from all school communications, so please do not unsubscribe!
- Over time we’ve observed that some businesses have a higher tendency than others to mark bulk emails as spam and/or block access to Google documents. If you have a business email address on file with us, please also make sure we have a personal email address on file so there are no interruptions to your ability to receive communications from the School.
- If you received tonight's newsletter, great news! That means you are subscribed to receive communications from Flint Hill.
Learning Location Selection Results
Thank you to all of our families for completing the Learning Location Form! Feedback from parents indicated the flexibility to select on a quarterly basis is much appreciated. Overall, 18% of students will learn virtually during the first quarter; 15% of Lower School students will learn virtually, with all students in JK and second grade planning to learn on campus.
Outdoor Lunch, Mindfulness, Reading, and Learning
To mitigate risk, our hope is to spend as much time outdoors as possible this year. All students who will be on-campus, Grades K-6, are asked to bring in a small towel to use for outdoor lunch, mindfulness, reading, and learning. Towels should be in a bag marked with the child’s name. The towel will be sent home, at the end of each week, to be washed and should be returned to school the following Monday.
Virtual Hopes and Dreams Conference Sign-Up
Homeroom teachers will host 20-minute virtual “Hopes and Dreams” conferences for parents, from Tuesday, September 8, through Friday, September 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. The link for scheduling your conferences is now available on the Hopes and Dreams Conferences link, on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile, on the Resource Board in Husky Hub.
The objective of these conferences is for parents to meet with their child’s teacher, prior to the start of school, and share their hopes, dreams and goals for their child for the new school year. Parents are also encouraged to share any other information that would be helpful for the teacher to know about their child. Parents can sign up for the conferences, using our online scheduling system, beginning today.
Contactless School Supply Pick-Up for Virtual Learners
We also want to share that Lower School virtual learners will have the opportunity to pick up their school supplies next week before the start of school. This is a contactless hand-off and you will not be required to enter the building. Families can sign up for a time slot using our online scheduling system, which is available on the Lower School Textbook and Supplies link, on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile, on the Resource Board.
Student supply pick-up will be available Thursday, September 3, and Friday, September 4, and will occur at Door 3 of the Hazel Lower School. When you arrive on campus during your selected time slot, please follow Academic Drive down to the parking lot behind the Activity Center, and continue to pull up to Door 3 leading into the Academic Building. You will see a bin labeled “Virtual Student Supply Pick-Up” outside Door 3. Please park alongside the curb and retrieve your labeled supply pack(s) from the bin. If you have multiple students, please choose just one time slot, and we will ensure all packs may be gathered at once.
If you have any questions or need help with the online scheduling system, please contact Assistant to the Director and the Assistant Director of the Lower School Donna Holaday via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 703.584.2360.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Race, The Atlantic
Updates and Reminders From The Last Newsletter
Questions about textbooks and school supplies? Lunch? Transportation? Check out the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile on the Resource Board!
Are you ready for the new school year? We’ve been making continuous updates to our Preparing for the 2020-21 School Year tile on the Resource Board, to help you get ready and stay abreast of changes and preparations we are making due to COVID.
You may access checklists by division, by clicking on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile, on the Resource Board of Husky Hub.
To access the Resource Board, visit www.flinthill.org/app (be sure to bookmark this link!), and log in with your username and password. Once you’ve logged in, click on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year tile. The tile will remain accessible through the start of the new school year.
Class Placements for the 2020-21 School Year
Specific class assignments were made available last Thursday, August 27. We have a very thorough and thoughtful process for class placements for our students. Many factors are considered, including the child’s academic, emotional, and social needs, the student’s learning style and the different teachers’ teaching styles. Every effort is made to ensure that each student is in a learning environment in which he or she can flourish. To mitigate risk, this year, we have placed students in cohorts, and they will remain together as a cohort throughout the day, including break and recess, which will take place in assigned areas outside.
To access your child’s class placement, log in to the Husky Hub, click “Children” and select your child’s name. From the “Progress” page, scroll down to view your child’s classes and teachers.
If you have any questions, please contact Assistant to the Director and the Assistant Director of the Lower School Donna Holaday at 703.584.2360.
Thursday, September 3
For students who will need to keep medication on campus during the school year, we will have a medication drop-off day on Thursday, September 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Upper School Campus.
Families will pull into the circle, and a nurse will come to your car to collect the medication and the appropriate forms. As a reminder, all prescription medication must be accompanied by the physician's order on the Medication Authorization Form, which must be completed and signed by the prescribing physician. All medication must have the pharmacy label on it.
All over-the-counter medication must be accompanied by the Medication Authorization Form and must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian. The medication must be in the original packaging and must be administered according to the package instructions, including the time and route to be administered.
If you are unable to come to the School on the medication drop-off day, please call to schedule an appointment with one of the nurses prior to the start of school.
For medication refills throughout the school year, you will need to call and schedule appointments on Wednesdays at the Upper School Campus.
Q&A Virtual Parent Meetings
Lower School Virtual New Parent Orientation, Thursday, September 3, 10 a.m.
To help new parents prepare for the school year, Assistant Director of the Lower School Robyn Nichols and I will be hosting a virtual new parent orientation. The link to the Google Meet was emailed earlier this week.
Q&A for Returning Parents
To answer any questions returning parents may have, as we prepare for the start of the school year on Thursday, September 3 at 11:30 a.m., Assistant Director of the Lower School Robyn Nichols and I will be hosting a virtual meeting. The link to the Google Meet was emailed earlier this week.
First Week of School — For Both Virtual and On-Campus Learners
Information regarding the first week of school is available on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year Resource Board tile here. Please note that during the week of August 31, students will have the opportunity to meet virtually with their teacher/s and a small group of students from their class, to start building community. Teachers will be sending out more information with links to the Google Meet.
Morning Arrival and Afternoon Dismissal
Detailed information about arrival and dismissal is available on the Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year Resource Board tile here. You can also watch a detailed video about carpool here. If you have any questions, please contact Assistant to the Director of the Lower School Donna Holaday at 703.584.2360. In addition, every family was mailed carpool signs last Wednesday. Families with multiple households were mailed signs to each address. Please display them in the morning and afternoon carpool. Signs should be displayed on the passenger side of the car, for the duration of pick-up.
Health Forms — New and Returning Students in Grades JK-4
Completed health forms must be uploaded to the Magnus Health system and approved by the first day of classes (September 8), or your child may not attend school, virtually or on campus. If you have any questions regarding the health forms, please contact our Director of Health Services and Lower and Middle School Nurse Mary Hart at 703.584.2399.
Lower School Dress Code
Please be sure to consult the Dress Code, on the Resource Board, for information about uniforms. Please note that the dress code applies to both on-campus and virtual learners. Students may bring a hat/cap of any style or color to school, which may be worn outside for sun protection. To mitigate risk, all students are required to wear a mask. Gaiters, bandanas and vented masks are not permitted. Please note that there is no need for fifth and sixth grade on-campus students to purchase P.E. uniforms for the first semester.
Textbooks and Supplies
Please refer to the Grades JK-4 Textbook and Supply Information, on the Resource Board, for information about textbooks, workbooks, and the supplies Lower School students will need for school.
Enjoy the last couple of days of summer! In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me, Assistant Director of the Lower School Robyn Nichols or Assistant to the Director and the Assistant Director of the Lower School Donna Holaday at 703.584.2360.
Friday, August 31-Friday, September 4
Virtual New Parent Parent Orientation
Thursday, September 3, 10 a.m.
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Returning Parent Q & A
Thursday, September 3, 11:30 a.m.
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Labor Day — No Classes
Monday, September 7
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Grades JK-12 Student Orientation — Half Days, 8:10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Tuesday, September 8 - Friday, September 11
Parent-Teacher Hopes and Dreams Conferences
Tuesday, September 8-Friday September 11, 2-4 p.m.
Grades JK-12 First Day of Classes (Full Day)
Monday, September 14
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Virtual Back To School Night
Tuesday, September 21
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