Lower School Newsletter - May 12, 2021
NEW AND UPDATED INFORMATION
Virtual Arts Jam — Tomorrow Night at 7 p.m.!
Our annual Arts Jam concert is back! This year, we present an exciting collection of performances from our band, choir, percussion ensemble, orchestra, dancers, and our a capella group, Major Minors. These performances, recorded by students in their homes, or in small groups outside at a safe physical distance, will premiere on our YouTube channel at 7 p.m. on May 13. Please enjoy these performances from the comfort of your home, and celebrate the amazing talent and hard work of our student artists. You can access the event here.
Library Books Due by Friday, May 14
All library books should be returned to school by this Friday. If you have found any from last school year, please return those as well. Thank you!
2021 Parent Satisfaction Survey
This year we will resume conducting our annual Parent Satisfaction Survey. On Tuesday, May 18, you will receive an email with a link to the survey. The survey is being conducted for us by Measuring Success, who will handle all data collection, analysis and reporting confidentially. Please take the time to tell us what you think we’re doing well, what we can improve on and what is important to you. Your input is extremely valuable. Thank you in advance for completing the survey!
Field Day, Thursday, June 3
One of the many events held for the Lower School to help celebrate the end of the year is Field Day. We are very excited to announce that Field Day will be held live on Thursday, June 3. This year, in a year of many changes, the students will participate as cohorts within their own grade levels chaperoned by a variety of teachers and specialist teachers. The activities at the various stations have all been approved by our Director of Health Services Mary Hart to ensure that students are safe. Field day will start at 8:30 a.m. with grades JK-3, and all will participate until 10 a.m. After everything is cleaned and sanitized, grades 4, 5, and 6 get to enjoy the activities from 10:30 to noon. We would also like to remind everyone that face masks will have to be worn at all times. Please apply both bug spray and sunscreen to your children, as we are unable to do this for you at school. Students should also bring in a change of clothes and extra masks due to several fun water stations.
Sixth Grade Promotion Ceremony, Friday, June 4, at 10 a.m
We are thrilled to announce that the Sixth Grade Promotion Ceremony will be held in person on Friday, June 4, at 10 a.m. on the Peterson Family Field. We will honor the sixth grade class with some brief reflections from Headmaster John Thomas, student representatives and me, before distributing the Lower School Promotion Certificates. In preparation for the Ceremony, please consider the following details as we work to make this event safe and memorable for you:
Attendance will be limited to sixth grade students, parents, step parents and guardians.
Sixth grade students are to arrive on the Peterson Family Field by 9:30 a.m. This will ensure that guests can have their temperatures taken and students have time to line up before the 10 a.m. start.
Parking will be available in the Middle School parking lot, which is accessible from the Oakton Road entrance to the Peterson Middle School.
In order to comply with Virginia’s requirements for in-person commencement and promotion ceremonies, guests must comply with the following health protocols:
- Everyone aged five and older must cover their nose and mouth with an appropriate mask. Please leave a mask on at all times before, during and after the ceremony.
- No one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the prior 10 days, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted to attend.
- Temperature screening will be performed before guests take their seats.
- Maintain physical distancing of six feet between guests outside of your household, including while in the temperature screening line.
- Guest seating pods will maintain appropriate physical distancing between them.
- Please maintain physical distance before and after the ceremony. Please exit promptly, and do not linger or congregate at the end of the ceremony.
Dress Attire for Students
Sixth grade students may wear the following:
- School uniform.
- Collared shirt or blouse with khaki-style or dress pants; skirt with a blouse; or sundress with a cardigan.
- Appropriate footwear for the occasion is required. We recommend black or brown shoes with dark socks, tennis shoes, low-heeled shoes or flats.
In the event of inclement weather, the location for the Promotion Ceremony will be in the Upper School Gym. Temperature screening will be required before entering the building. We will limit indoor guests to parents, stepparents and guardians only.
Making the Learning Visible
In the Lower School, our teachers provide a learning environment where students are actively involved and encouraged to inquire, and the activities are interactive, hands-on and student-centered. Teachers also provide authentic learning opportunities that are relevant to the child’s life experiences. Choice is a great motivator for our students, and very frequently, the inquiry that ensues is based on the students’ interests and passions as a class. Teachers are also intentional about providing field trip opportunities that enhance the learning experience.
Second Grade scientists have been digging into how plants use and create energy. Students wondered “do plants make air” and “how do plants grow from seeds?” To answer these and other questions, 2A and 2B are conducting experiments and design challenges. Collaborating with lab partners across their grade level, teams of students worked together to plant bean seeds and then set up a controlled variable to block the sunlight. One student in 2A controlled for sunlight by keeping their seedling in a paper bag, while the student in 2B kept their plant in the direct light. Students were careful to give both plants the same amount of water. The partners collaborated to share daily photo updates by emailing each other to document the impact of the variable. Second graders have been learning about the life cycles of plants this spring. They learned that seeds can travel in the wind to make new plants. Students took part in a design challenge where they got to make their own seed flyer. They tested their seed flyer against a real maple seed flyer and a design they have got from Doug on Mystery Science. Students then reflected on how each one had performed outside, by dropping them from the playground structure and making test videos. Researching using PebbleGo and Epic, students learned about each part of the plant and its purpose. Each class used craft and recyclable materials to design and build a plant that included each part and presented how the parts function to help it grow. Students are also exploring how plants’ seeds spread and how carnivorous plants work.
Students in third grade have been learning about persuasive writing techniques. Each student selected a topic and target audience. Audiences included school administrators, family members, or community leaders to read and consider their request for a change or, in some cases, no change. They needed to include three reasons to support their request. Some of their persuasive writing topics include bringing back hot lunches, opening the library, starting up bus transportation, more free dress days, extra recess, the need for a family pet, having an allowance, and continuing to hold carpool in the classrooms.
Students in Language Arts 6 read the novel Some Kinds of Happiness by Claire LeGrand. They chose one setting from the novel, and using cardboard and craft supplies, they designed a light play box in Innovation 6 to make the settings come to life. It was magical to listen to the rich discussions of the book while students were building and to watch them experiment with light and shadow. Lower School students will enjoy these light play boxes, on display in the Commons, during the next two weeks.
The sixth graders have finished learning about Rome but, of course, could spend an entire year on ancient Rome and still not have time to learn about everything. Each student has chosen a topic they could not fully cover. They have made a mini exhibit to show what life was like 2000 years ago. Beside each exhibit is a written explanation of what the students learned and how their model impacted ancient Rome. The museum will be on display in the commons.
As we enjoy spring, here are this week’s suggestions for fun and creative activities, for families to try at home, from our Department Chair for Innovation Joey Starnes.
“It’s Okay to Make Mistakes:” How Being Wrong Can Help Us Learn
How to Realistically Teach Your Kids to Set Screen Time Boundaries
UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM LAST WEEK
Student Virtual Trivia Night for Rising Grades 5-12 — Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m.
Students currently in grades 4 through 11 are invited to a Trivia Night! Similar to the recent parent event, this event will be hosted by Trivia Hub and will feature a live host. Students new to Flint Hill next year are also joining in on the fun. To help students make new connections, we will randomly create grade level teams that include both new and current students. Teams will huddle in breakout rooms as they discuss their answers, so the evening will be a combination of time with all participants and small group fun.
Sign Up here to participate. The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 12.
Lower School Virtual Division Coffee, Thursday, May 20, 9 a.m.
Parents are invited to join us at our last Lower School Virtual Division Coffee of the year. The Coffee will be an open forum. Assistant Director of the Lower School Robyn Nichols, Director of Studies Emily Sanderson, Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion Mia Burton and Director of Counseling Ilana Reyes will be in attendance. Here is the link to the Google Meet.
Final Uniform Exchange Donation Opportunity
The last uniform donation opportunity for the 2020-21 school year will be May 24 through May 28.
Donations should be dropped off on the Miller House front porch between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and adhere to the following guidelines:
We are only collecting the following uniform items for future distribution:
- Flint Hill polo shirts.
- Khaki and navy skirts, shorts, skorts, pants, and jumpers.
- Spirit Wear.
- P.E. shirts and shorts.
All items should be washed and sorted to minimize contact when they arrive. Pants in one bag. Shirts in one bag.
School Store Update
- Please enjoy free shipping, as all orders will be shipped for the remainder of the year.
- As the school year comes to an end, inventory will be restocked in late summer for the 21.22 school year.
- Returns and Exchanges are quick and easy, but all returned items must sit in quarantine before they are returned to inventory. Please order only the size you think you need so we can keep as much inventory in stock as possible. We are happy to change out the size quickly if it doesn’t fit.
How do I make an exchange or return?
- Please contact Adrienne Robinson within 30 days of your original purchase.
- Exchanges may be made for the same item in a different size or for an item of equal value.
- We are happy to issue a refund for items that did not work for you.
Virtual Arts Jam, 7-10 p.m.
Thursday, May 13
Access the event here
Friday, May 14
Lower School Admission Virtual Preview, 9-10 a.m.
Friday, May 14
Lower School Morning Meeting, 8:15-8:30 a.m.
Monday, May 17
Rising Grades 5-12 Student Virtual Trivia Night, 7-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 19
Add to Calendar
Lower School Virtual Divisional Coffee, 9-10 a.m.
Thursday, May 20
Add to Calendar
Husky Pride Dress
Friday, May 21
Grades 5-6 Virtual Student Supply Pick Up and
Virtual Students Grades 4, 5, 6 Math Material Drop Off, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Friday, May 21
Final Lower School Morning Meeting, 8:15-8:30 a.m.
Monday, May 24
Lower School Admission Virtual Social for Rising JK-4, 4:45-5:15 p.m.
Tuesday, May 25
Husky Pride Dress
Friday, May 28
Grades JK-12 No Classes, Administrative Offices Closed
Monday, May 31
Thursday, June 3
End of Fourth Quarter
Grades JK-12 Last Day of School
Thursday, June 3
In-Person Grade 6 Promotion Ceremony, 10 a.m.
Friday, June 4
Lower School Virtual Closing Ceremony
Friday, June 4
Friday, June 11, 10:00 a.m.
Summer Programs Begin
Monday, June 21