Lower School Newsletter - November 11, 2020
NEW AND UPDATED INFORMATION
Save the Dates: Virtual Headmaster’s Parent Discussion Series
Each year, Headmaster John Thomas offers sessions for parents in each division, sharing his insights as a parent, veteran educator, and former school counselor. These sessions will allow us to discuss how to raise children in today’s world. The early years in a school like ours are exciting, eventful, transformative and scary, and challenging at times. And add to that mix the COVID experience of having to wear masks and staying physically distant. At Flint Hill, we are fortunate to have faculty and staff who take their role as educators very seriously. I look forward to talking with you and engaging in healthy and positive conversations. Lower School parents can join John at the following times:
Grades JK-K — Monday, November 30, 1:30 p.m. Here is the link to the meet.
Grades 1-2 — Thursday, December 3, 8:30 a.m. Here is the link to the meet.
Grades 3-4 — Tuesday, December 8, 11 a.m. Here is the link to the meet.
Grades 5-6 — Wednesday, December 16, 10:30 a.m. Here is the link to the meet.
Playground Use During and After Carpool
To mitigate risk, the School playgrounds are closed at the end of the school day, at 3 p.m., and may not be used by families.
Welcome New Faculty
To support our teachers with the additional responsibilities they have this year, we are delighted to welcome the following new faculty on board. In addition, our first grade assistant teachers are now with us for a full day.
Carol Zhang — Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten Assistant Teacher — comes to Flint Hill School with international experience in tutoring and instructing lower elementary students. She is a graduate of Lee University with a degree in English literature and a minor in teaching English as a second language. During her five years abroad, Carol guided young students, as they acquired English as their second or third language, giving them the confidence to be themselves. She is passionate about fostering early learners’ interest in reading and writing. Carol is excited to join the Flint Hill Huskies this year to help students imagine what’s possible.
Marcia Visaggio — Second Grade Assistant Teacher — will be joining the second grade team as an instructional assistant. She has spent many years working in elementary education as a classroom teacher, computer resource teacher, substitute and classroom observer. Marcia attended Mary Washington College and received her master’s degree in instructional technology from George Mason University. Although she comes with a variety of educational experiences, none has been as valuable or rewarding as being a mom to three boys. Marcia is looking forward to joining the Flint Hill Huskies and using her experience to support the teachers and students in her favorite grade — second!
Sara Cleland – Third Grade Assistant Teacher – is a familiar face around Flint Hill School, having had both her son and daughter attend FHS as “lifers.” For 15 years, Sara was an active participant/volunteer at Flint Hill, serving in many leadership positions and ultimately serving as the president of the Parents Association for two years, 2009-2011. Sara’s passion for Flint Hill led her to return as a substitute teacher in our Lower and Middle Schools for the past two and a half years. Sara graduated from the University of Richmond, with a double major in English and communications, and enjoyed working in public relations, marketing, and sales, before stopping to raise her children. She is thrilled to be supporting the third grade teaching team!
Clinton Fitzgerald — Fourth Grade Assistant Teacher — comes to Flint Hill School with a variety of experiences in K-12 education, particularly in math and science. He is a graduate of George Mason University's K-6 teacher program. Clinton is making mathematics, physics, and biology come alive for K-6 students through activities, modeling, and real-world examples. He’s currently studying for his Master of Education in physics from the American College of Education. He is excited to work with Flint Hill Huskies this year to help them fall in love with learning and blaze their own paths.
Judy Willett — Fifth and Sixth Grade Assistant Teacher — is excited to join the Flint Hill Community! She is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies concentrating on middle school English, human resources, and sociology, with a minor in dance. Prior to joining Flint Hill, Judy specialized in assisting students who needed extra support by serving as a resource teacher for many years. More recently, she served as dean of students for grades 4-8, where she provided support for middle school students needing additional academic and social-emotional support. Judy is excited to use her experience to assist the fifth and sixth grade teams. She is passionate about collaborating with teachers, students and parents and believes it is important to have open lines of communication in order to create seamless transitions through academic and social challenges students may face.
Online Ordering for Virtual Learner Student Portraits Now Available
Portraits for virtual learners photographed on October 28 are now available online for ordering. If you did not receive an email from Freed Photography with your student's private gallery information, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301.652.5452.
School Store Updates
We have some great new items on the way and need to make room in our inventory. Check out our sale items and browse new items in the “Featured Products” section. Returns and exchanges are quick and easy, but items that are returned must sit in quarantine before they go back into 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.
Miller House front porch pick-up is still available any time after morning carpool and before afternoon carpool. Questions? Contact Adrienne Robinson at email@example.com.
The second meeting of the virtual Kaleidoscope Book Club is scheduled for Monday, December 7, 9-9:45 a.m. We will discuss “All We Ever Wanted” by Emily Giffin. We look forward to building and deepening relationships through this shared learning opportunity. All parents are welcome to attend regardless of your familiarity with the book selection. Please submit your name and email address, in this form, to RSVP for the first meeting and/or be added to our email list. Please contact All-School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson if you have any questions.
Adapting Holiday Traditions During Coronavirus
UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM THE LAST NEWSLETTER
Academic Planning Day for Faculty on December 9 — No Classes
On Wednesday, December 9, faculty will participate in an academic planning day. School will be closed to students that day, and no classes will be held.
Home Learning Policy
For a number of years, guided by research on homework, our previous homework policy was based on time (e.g.,10 minutes for first grade students, 20 minutes for second grade students, etc.). Two years ago, in addition to reviewing the current research on homework, we surveyed Lower School students, parents and teachers to request their feedback on our approach to homework. After reviewing all of the feedback we received, and after a great deal of consideration, we created this policy for home learning.
Reminder: Masks for Parents and Guardians During Morning and Afternoon Carpool
As a reminder, to mitigate risk and potential exposure for the Lower School faculty and staff who open car doors during carpool, parents/guardians are required to wear masks during morning and afternoon carpool.
Driving Spirit Award Nominations Due December 11
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 — a place that honors excellence while emphasizing the importance of our core values: respect and value all equally, lead and support with compassion, act with integrity, imagine what’s possible and blaze the trail. These teachers 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.
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 11.
JK-6 On-Campus Learner Picture Make-Up Day
Thursday, November 12
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Grades JK-4 Virtual Student Supply Pick-Up
Friday, November 13, 8:30-2:30 p.m.
Grades JK-12 Virtual Parents’ Association Event: Yoga/Stretching with Alex Wolitzer
Saturday, November 14, 9-10 a.m.
Week of Thankful Giving
Monday, November 16-Friday, November 20
Lower School Admission Parent-to-Parent Conversations
Thursday, November 19
Grades 5-6 Virtual Student Supply Pick-Up
Friday, November 20, 8:30-2:30 p.m.
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Saturday, November 21-Sunday, November 29
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Headmaster’s Parent Discussion Series, Grades JK-Kindergarten
Monday, November 30, 1:30 p.m.
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Headmaster’s Parent Discussion Series, Grades 1-2
Thursday, December 3, 8:30 a.m.
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Academic Planning Day for Faculty — No Classes
Wednesday, December 9
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