Lower School Newsletter - May 19, 2021
NEW AND UPDATED INFORMATION
Last Day of School
Thursday, June 3, is the last day of school for grades JK-12. Please plan accordingly!
Grades JK-12 Virtual Parent Education Series: Supporting Grieving Children and Teens
Thursday, May 27, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Over the past year, we have been surrounded by loss: loss of routine, loss of physical connection, and the loss of rituals. And for many the death of beloved family members or friends. People are having varied reactions and responses including increased anxiety, isolation, anger and sadness as we learn to exist within this new context and grieve these many losses. The uncertainty of the intensity and duration of this crisis can exacerbate underlying conditions or unhealthy coping techniques. For parents and caregivers, the challenge is how to support your children while navigating this yourself. It is kind of like building the plane while flying it. The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing will be facilitating a one-hour conversation about grief for parents. During this time, the Wendt Center will share about grief in the context of developmental stage, and ways that you can engage your child in a continued conversation about grief and support them as they navigate the uncertain time. Additionally, the Wendt Center will share about the impact on adults and provide realistic strategies to sustain yourself in the face of grief.
Lower-School Issued Device Collection and Refresh
As we get closer to the end of the school year, here is some detailed information about returning your school-owned iPad to refresh and clean for grades JK-6.
On Friday, May 28, students will leave their school iPads, Logitech Crayons (grades 5 and 6 students only) and device cases in their classrooms for the remainder of the year. The iPads will be available to students during the school day, for academic purposes. On the afternoon of Friday, May 28, students will be sent home with a labeled, gallon-size storage bag. Please return the bag to school — on Tuesday, June 1 — with the following items: headphones (grades JK-3 only), power block, and charging cord. Please see the images below as a reminder of the charging block and cord that need to be returned to school.
Virtual learners should return their iPads, headphones (grades JK-3 only), power block, and charging cord on either Friday, June 4, or Monday, June 7 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
If you are interested in migrating your personal data from the iPad, you should move any pictures, videos, documents or other data into the student’s School Google Drive and then follow the steps for Google Takeout.
If you need any assistance or have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lower School Closing Ceremony and Promotion Ceremony, Friday, June 4
There will be no school for students in grades JK-5 on Friday, June 4. The Lower School Closing Ceremony will be released via email at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 4. The Lower School Promotion Ceremony (sixth grade only) will be held in person on Friday, June 4, at 10 a.m. on the Peterson Family Field.
Ice Cream Socials
As a sweet result of some persuasive writing from some Lower School Huskies, this week and next, John Thomas will host each grade level to a distanced walk through his garden, where students will enjoy a klondike bar or sunshine fruit bar and a little playground time.
Spring Virtual Visual Arts Show Now Open
In concert with Arts Jam, the annual Visual Arts Spring Show opened on May 13. Upper School students present highlights of their work in painting, drawing, ceramics, and digital arts in an exciting virtual gallery format. Links to these virtual art galleries as well as our Arts Jam concert are available here.
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.
Bikes for the World Update
The JK class, during the 2018-2019 school year, embarked on a project that took them from collecting trash to visiting a landfill, volunteering with Bikes for the World, and finally hosting their own bike drive on the Lower School campus. The drive was held in the spring of 2019, and the students collected over 100 bikes that day! The JK students' (currently in first grade) and their fourth-grade buddies (now sixth graders) and parents helped them disassemble the bikes and pack them into the truck to go to the Bikes for the World office. Once there, the bikes were loaded on a shipping crate and set sail for Madagascar. Almost two years later the crate of bikes safely arrived in the Diana region of Madagascar, as seen in the photo of Mahery, who works with Bikes for the World in that region. How exciting that all these years later this act of kindness from the JK class continues to make an impact on the world.
During the week of May 10-14, the Junior Kindergarten class completed a Kindness Challenge. Their goal was to complete a total of 100 kind acts. To celebrate the week, they invited guests to join them for kindness readings and special activities. Their kindness was contagious, as other classes joined in on their call to be kind at school and home. The class exceeded their goal by completing 306 acts of kindness! They also reported completing 105 kind acts in one day, which is a school record. On Monday, May 17, Mr. Thomas proclaimed that the Junior Kindergarten is the kindest class in the entire school. Great work JK!
Our Lower School students are authors! Starting with our youngest Huskies, students construct ideas as they build, play, and engage in meaningful experiences. Once their visions and ideas are primed, our young authors can capture and record them in many forms that range from stories, poems, nonfiction text, and even other media such as audio and video recordings. Having an authentic audience in their classmates, families, and greater community, our authors know that their ideas are worthy of sharing and that they have impact. At our Lower School Morning Meeting on Monday, students in 1C shared a video they made describing the animal research process that they have just completed in their nonfiction writing unit.
Last week, third grade students had the opportunity to meet with Upper School Science Teacher Fred Atwood and walked to different parts of the campus. All three classes were able to taste the sweet nectar in honeysuckle blossoms and the strong sour taste of wood sorrel leaves. They also looked for and found a nice variety of critters including a red-banded hairstreak butterfly, a beautiful pale greenish white moth that looked like a leaf and a variety of ants, spiders, flies, leafhoppers, worms, and a rolly-polly. One class was fortunate enough to see a bald eagle flying over being chased by a crow, another class saw a cooper's hawk, and all three classes saw starlings and house sparrows and heard cardinals. Two of the classes were able to learn how to identify poison ivy. Students also saw a variety of wildflowers in bloom and smelled some interesting smelling leaves.
Students in sixth grade worked to build and test their foam roller coasters as part of the final science unit to demonstrate the two types of energy they have studied: potential and kinetic.
UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM LAST WEEK
Virtual Arts Jam
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.
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.
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.
Lower School Promotion Ceremony, Friday, June 4, at 10 a.m
We are thrilled to announce that the Lower School 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.
Final Uniform Exchange Donation Opportunity
The last uniform donation opportunity for the 20.21 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 3:00 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
- PE 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
- Check out our Featured and Last Chance items. Inventory is running low for all of these items. Get them before they’re gone!
- Please enjoy free shipping, as all orders will be shipped for the remainder of the 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.
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